The War of 1812

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The War of 1812, sometimes referred to as “The Second War of Independence,” was one of the bloodiest, yet most pointless wars in American history. After 32 months of Americans fighting for a change in the relationship between Britain and the U.S., the war ended with a treaty that left many of the original conflicts unresolved. Although the war had no obvious victor, it boosted American nationalism and patriotism, something much needed after only 39 years of independence. However, British interferences with American trade, and the cost of war materials had a negative impact on the United State's economy. America’s geographic location, in relation to Canada and New York, played a key role in defense against British attacks. Whoever gained control of the Niagara peninsula that connected these two territories would have an advantage over the other nation. On June 1st, 1812, President James Madison declared war on the British for many reasons. In his war message, Madison brought three unpardonable British acts to Congress’s attention. The first, impressment. “Thousands of American citizens, under the safeguard of public law and of their national flag, have been torn from their country and from everything dear to them,” (War Message to Congress, Paragraph 4). British Navy ships would stop American ships to search for British deserters. This often resulted in natural American citizens being apprehended and forced into the British navy. During this time, Britain was at war with Napoleon and wanted to hurt France economically. To do so, Britain tried to restrict French trade with other nations, including America. “Not content with these occasional expedients for laying waste our neutral trade, the cabinet of Britain resorted at length to... ... middle of paper ... ...ended the hatred between American and British soldiers. Although America did not win The War of 1812, due to the Battle of Lake Erie, they did not lose it. The war was caused by the impressment of American soldiers, blockades on American trade, and Indian slaughters on the American frontier. James Madison launched The War of 1812 so that the United States would not be taken advantage of, but by doing so, he took on an army fifty times bigger than his own. When it looked like America would lose the war, Oliver Hazard Perry turned the tables and won the deciding battle that allowed James Monroe to sign the Treaty of Ghent and bring peace to the two countries. Although the original conflicts were not solved, they dissipated over time. The War of 1812 may not have solved many problems, but it proved to American’s that they could stand together and prevail over injustice.

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