The War of 1812

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The years Thomas Jefferson and James Madison took office were in many ways difficult for the United States. Several events which compounded upon each other lead to the American-British War of 1812 which ended officially in 1814 with the peace Treaty of Ghent. None of the issues which instigated war were really resolved and it would seem that for the US, the War of 1812 was just a series of failures and few triumphs that, in the end, cost the Natives more than anyone else.

The war began with fired-up Americans seeking resolution to their deep-seated resentments toward the British; hard feelings which only festered during the French Revolutionary Wars. Since the American Revolution, the Untied States had long been provoked by the unwillingness of the British to withdraw from the Great Lakes, which was in fact American territory. Meanwhile across the Atlantic, France’s number one megalomaniac, Napoleon, waged economic war with the British in an attempt to secure his dominion of Europe. The French-British war in Europe set in motion the creation of trade embargoes and blockades in 1807 which severely restricted the process of neutral countries trading with Europe. On top of that, both the British and French would seize and search any ship vessel that entered their trade territory. For the U.S., a reluctantly neutral country to the war affairs of Europe, these trade embargoes were the source of much economic pain and all the more reason to fuel their growing distaste for the British.

To make matters even worse, in 1807 the Chesapeake-Leopard conflict between two American and British ships occurred, an event that would catalyze the War of 1812. Chesapeake, an American vessel, refused to be searched by the British Royal Navy...

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...n time, General Andrew Jackson defeated the British attempt at capturing New Orleans on January 8, 1815, a battle from which he gained the reputation of being a war hero.

The War of 1812 certainly gave Americans the edge they needed in order to be respected by other countries that looked upon the infant country with doubt. But when the British, Canadians and American whites who served in the war went home after all was said and done, the Native Indians who participated in the war had no home to go to, for the war had cost them their land, leaving them to move further west while Americans flooded into the new territories that were once Native homeland. Nobody won the war; everybody lost warriors. Yet, the only real losers of the War of 1812 were the eastern Native American Indians who lost their homeland.

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