Reasons and Events Leading Up to the War of 1812

Wars in the past were so adamant and as such, there were many reasons that led to them. In connection to this, there were major events, factors, and reasons that led to the wars altogether. In this context, the major events, factors, and reasons that led up to War of 1812 will be explored. In order to highlight the major events, factors and reasons that led up to war of 1812, it is important to bring into context the fact that the war was between the United States of America and the British Empire (Benn, 2003).

In particular, it was the war between the Greta Britain and the British North America. More specifically, the war lasted for the period between 1812 and 1815. Needless to say, the war was in the most part  fought on the regions of Atlantic Ocean, coasts and waterways of North America and on the land altogether. Having stated the major participants of the war of 1812 and the regions that participated, of importance it is the need to bring into view the causes of the war.

First of all, the war began as a result of the trade restrictions which were started as well as introduced by the Britain. They were particularly meant to impede the trade between America and France. France was a country that was at war with Britain by then and therefore the Great Britain could not allow France to trade with the U.S. (Benn, 2003). Following this point, the U.S contested the restriction that the Great Britain imposed since it was illegal on the basis of the international law. Accordingly, forced recruitment of the US citizens by Great Britain to the Royal Navy contributed to the beginning of the war. 

More to this point was the role that was played by the British military support for Indians in America. This was meant in particular to make an armed resistance offer to resist the Americans from expanding to the Northwest frontier. In this case, it is vital to bring out the point that this war was also termed as the Second War of Independence. This is to suggest that the US had to get out of the harassment that was carried out against it by the British. The US in this case pointed out to its main reason to engage in war. So to speak, the reason was that the British warships demandingly harassed the merchant ships at the sea. This was accompanied by the impressing of those that were considered to be British nationals into the service. The British in addition, required the American ships to call a UK port first. Furthermore, the blockage of both ports, limited America from involving itself in both imports and exports. As a consequence, the US stroke back by invading Canada and burning the Montreal. Repulsing the invaders, the Britain burned down the Whitehouse (Benn, 2003). US resentment of British naval harassment led to this war that lasted for the period of three years as highlighted.

More precisely, this war was maneuvered by many factors and events to be specific. In line with this, there was the growth of American shipping which was a threat to British commercial supremacy. As a result, the British became hostile to the American ships at the same time capturing their sailors. This led to the British resolution to restrict the American ships. At the same time, this was accompanied by impression of the sailors as they were mostly needed by the British in order to be trained as deserters to fight against France (Heidler & Heidler, 2002).

Although this took a long time, Americans did not in the past resolve to wage war. However, some of the related events led to public demand for a war .Apart from this factor, there was the issue of American expansionism which was directed to the Northwest. Nonetheless, it was being blocked by the Indians who attacked the American settlers moving into potentially valuable farmlands that were in the Northwest. They comprise of the regions such as Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin (Grodzinski, 2007).

In combination with this, Britain's military support for the American Indians led to the more provocation of tension thus resulting to the war. Again in this case, Canadians had a conception that the Americans were hungry for land and their aim was to take this land from the British. Another reason that led to the war was the fact that United States sought to defend its national honor as well as sovereign rights against the British insults as presumably stated. As such, some of such insults involved events like the Chesapeake affair. This affair played a great role in the war (Benn, 2003). 

As a matter of fact, this affair involved the British warship HMS Leopard which fired as well as boarded an American ship killing three and carrying off four deserters. Later, three of them were returned. Following the occurrence of this event, the American public was so much outraged and in the unfolding of the events many called for war. As such, the war was meant to assert the American sovereignty as well as the American national honor (Turner, 2000). A close examination of the reasons for the war of 1812 was so much associated with a quest for free trade and sailors rights. Although the British tried so much to have special consideration before the war, the outcry of the American to have the free trade and the sailors overpowered the concessions. 

Most important to note is the fact that violation of American rights in most part led to the war. Needles to say, the rights of Americans as a neutral to trade with both sides, suffered in a greater percentage. In addition to the violation of the rights of neutral trade, the Americans complained of the fact that British agents in Canada supplied hostile Native American tribes with munitions (Grodzinski, 2007). As such, this was one of the reasons that led to the war of 1812. Another right that was violated was the right of sailors who were heavily impressed. This was done against their will and it was done by the British to reclaim the British subjects. Nevertheless, the reason for this was later violated and U.S citizens were being impressed.

Again in this context, this aggravated the tension and the war at the end of it all.  In the same line of thought, the American economic motivations played a great role and contribution to the emergence of the war of 1812. As such, some of these motivations comprised of Jefferson’s embargo and Madison’s economic coercion which had the war or absolute submission to England as the only alternatives (Turner, 2000). Likewise, the war hawks were particularly from the south and west regions that happened to suffer most from the restrictions by the British at the sea. This as a result, led to the southerners and the westerners suffering from depression as most of them were farmers and had no place to sell their farm products. The depression led them to demand for war.

Besides this, the major events that brought the dispute to the forefront were the occurrence of Chesapeake-leopard Affair which stirred up the Americans to engage in the war. Above and beyond, France and Great Britain had implemented the embargoes that made the international trade unstable (Grodzinski, 2007). At this point, President Thomas Jefferson had to respond with the Embargo of 1807 which brought about the prohibition of the American ships from sailing to any foreign ports at the same time closing the American ports to British ports.

As a result, the American goods lacked market although they enjoyed the benefit of reduced numbers of the ships that were attacked. However, this idea was not so much welcomed by the residents of New England who preferred the impressments to the faltering of all seas commerce. Taking in the highlighted factors and incidents, in the United States House of Representatives, a group of young men known as war Hawks, came to the frontline in the year 1811 (Grodzinski, 2007).

During this time, they were under the leadership of Speaker of the House Henry Clay of Kentucky and John of South Carolina. It was within this time that the war Hawks advocated for war against Great Britain. They did so owing to a variety of factors which were interlinked to the interference of the Royal navy in American shipping. According to the war Hawks, this so much hurt the American economy along with its prestige. From the perspective of the western war hawks, the British were initiating Native Americans on the frontier to attack American settlements. In this regard, the war Hawks called for an invasion of British Canada to end this threat. In connection to this, in the US presidential election of 1812, President James Madison argued for the war against Britain (Turner, 2000).

 From a broader point of view, the war of 1812 became the first war by America owing to public appeal. President James Madison additionally gave a speech on 1st June 1812 to go for the war. He gave several reasons for it. Arguably, in his speech, he pointed out to the ongoing Impressments of American sailors into the service on British Navy Ships. He termed this as a violation of rights and peace of the American peace along with the fact that it was an insult to the American sovereignty. Similarly, he pointed out that the blockade of US ports has plundered the commerce of the US in every sea (Heidler & Heidler, 2002). Again, he said that the US was acting against the Britain refusal to repeal its order-In- Council which forbade neutral countries from trading with European countries along with the British navy’s enforcement of the law.

Along with this, he called for a fight against the Britain’s incitement of Native Americans to violence against the Americans. In the long run, the Senate voted for war on 19 to 13 and the conflict began with the American declaration of the war on June 18. Being the first war that America declared against another nation, it was a surprise to many and due to their weak military power, in most cases, the British worn the war. However, it was finally a war that both sides worn. Just to mention a few, there were major events that contributed to the war of 1812. As a matter of fact, there was the event of when Napoleon excluded the British goods from fortress Europe (Heidler & Heidler, 2002).

In line with this, there is the British impress of American sailors which involved 10,000 American citizens captured to man ships. Again there is the Chesapeake leopard fight which took place in June 1807 resulting to death of three Americans with 18 of them being injured. Along with this the event of December 1807 of the Embargo Act triggered the war along with the event of 1810 of the ascension of war Hawks like Calhoun, Clay and others led to the war as they pushed for a declaration of the war by  president Madison on 18th, June , 1812. 

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