Essay on War of 1812

This essay has a total of 1143 words and 6 pages.

War of 1812



The War of 1812

While Britain was stealing American soldiers, encouraging Indians to attack American
settlements and destroying the United States economy, America was trying to start a
country. America didn’t have the economy to fund a war. The United States made one of its
most obvious mistakes when it declared war on Britain in 1812.

Britain had been at war with France since 1793. Toward the end of the British-French war,
Britain to manipulate the American economy and well being.

Prior to this war, Britain began provoke the United States by the impressment of American
ships. By impressing American ships, British ships would stop American trading ships and
search them, claiming they were looking for British military deserters. Many times the
British authorities would take American sailors or even ships saying they belonged to the
British. This reached an incredible peak when the British frigate “Leopard” fired upon the
American warship “Chesapeake”. After killing three men and injuring eighteen others,
British crewmembers boarded the “Chesapeake” and took five men whom they claimed were
deserters, however, It was later discovered that only one of these men was an actual
deserter. In 1806 the British blockaded many European ports in an attempt cripple France.
This had trickle-down effects on the United States economy. An unknown American historian
states, “The value of American export trade dropped from $108,343,150 in 1807 to $22,
430,960 in 1808.”(member.tripod.com/war1812)

To further manipulate the development of the United States, the British began to incite
the peaceful Indians along the northwestern frontier of the United States to riot and
revolt. The British also provided these Indians guns. This caused many problems for the
United States. The United States felt that Britain was interfering with the United States’
economic freedom and attempting to sabotage their internal expansion. The United States
felt they had to retaliate against Britain. The United States declared war on Great
Britain on June 18, 1812. This turned out to be a mistake of great magnitude. While these
were all good reasons to take action to try to change the British actions, they were not
good reasons for the United States to declare war on Great Britain.

The United States was not prepared for war as a country. Many Americans felt that war was
not the best way to deal with the conflict between Britain and The United States. “In a
war with England we shall need numerous armies and ample treasuries for their support. The
war-hounds that are howling for war through the continent are not to be the men who are to
force entrenchments, and scale ramparts against the bayonet and the cannon’s mouth; to
perish in sickly camps, or in long marches through sultry heats or wastes of snow… While
these brave men who are “designing or exhorting glorious war,” lodged safe at Monticello
or some other secure retreat, will direct and look on; and will receive such pay for their
services as they shall see fit to ask, and as will answer their purpose.”(New York Evening
Post) Massachusetts set their flags at half-mast when they heard that war was declared on
Britain. Daniel Webster, an American statesman said, “Whoever would discover the causes
which have produced the present state of things, must look for them, not in the efforts of
the opposition, but in the nature of the war in which we are engaged… Quite too small a
portion of public opinion was in favor of the mode in which it has been conducted… Public
opinion, strong and united is not with you.”( member.tripod.com/war1812) After war was
declared on Britain New England threatened to secede from the United States.

The United States was not prepared for war economically. The United States had been an
independent country for less than thirty years when they made the fateful decision to
declare war on Britain. Not only was the United States economically very young, it was
still recovering from the hardships of the revolutionary war when they declared war on
Britain. Economically, not only was the United still very young, it was also trying to
recover from the revolutionary war that had won them independence from Britain.

In addition the United States military was not ready to plan a war, much less fight one.
Congress had only voted in 1812 to establish an army and was destitute of naval power.
Until the establishment of the army the majority of American military presence was
militias. Militias are civilian volunteers who gather together, when called upon, to
defend a city or town. Militias are for defensive purposes only. The United States had
very little offensive power. Nearly all American officers were inexperienced and
Continues for 3 more pages >>