A Costly War: The War of 1812

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A Costly War

The Napoleonic Wars was a series of battles between France and Great Britain. Conflict that lasted over a decade included numerous countries that were ultimately fighting to conquer European Supremacy. Napoleon Bonaparte, ruler of England, conquered a vast majority of Europe’s land, before being brutally defeated during the Invasion of Russia in 1812. On the retreat France was meet with the Peninsula War and at Waterloo. As a result of being defeated at both wars and all land being conquered by the victors, this set the fall of Napoleon’s empire. Despite George Washington’s effort, in the Farewell Address, to keep Americans form intervening with European Alliances or “in other words – the United States should stay out of European political affairs,” (Phelps 4) the United States entered the Napoleonic Wars after numerous attacks on American naval ships and unarmed cargo ships. After a meeting with Madison and the “War Hawks’, “a group of congressmen particularly interested in securing land at the expense of Native Americans,” (Phelps 8) they led the country into the War of 1812.

Many think that the War of 1812 was the “second war of independence”(Axelrod 1) for the United States. Although America signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776, after claiming victory over the British in the American Revolution, the United States struggled to protect their independency. Many European countries were very slow to give formal recognition to the United States. They would also put restrictions on trading with the United States, thus hurting our economy enormously. This led to an international campaign for free trade against countries like Britain, France, and Spain. These countries wanted to see “the new country broken u...

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...s against all odds. With few men scattered across the new vast land recently purchased in the Louisiana Purchase, the Americans got their men together and fought many battles. After being torn down, General Harrison capitalized on an opportunity made possible by the U.S Navy. Defeating the British on October 5th might be one of the greatest victories in history.

Works Cited

Axelrod, Alan. "War of 1812." Eyewitness to America's Wars, Vol. 1. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2011. American History Online. Facts On File, Inc.

Battle of Austerlitz. Encyclopedia Britannica, 16 Nov. 2000 Web. 20 June 2005.

Phelps, Nicole M. "foreign affairs in the 19th century." In Kupperman, Karen Ordahl, ed. American Centuries: The Ideas, Issues, and Values That Shaped U.S. History. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2011. American History Online. Facts On File, Inc.

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