|PinkMonkey Study Guide - American History
4. 7 The War of 1812
In 1809, James Madison won the presidential elections.
Again in 1812, he took over the reigns of the government after defeating
DeWitt Clinton. During this period, Britain and France were once
again at war. And America, which had declared her neutrality in
the war was made a scapegoat. Her ships were constantly stopped
on the high seas by British naval fleets. Often her goods, especially
French goods were confiscated. But what galled the Americans was
that the British navy arrested crew members from American ships
and forced them to fight on British naval vessels. These incidents
caused many Americans to advocate some retaliatory action against
Britain. Matters took a serious turn when a British warship attacked
the U.S. ship called ’Chesapeake.’ Moreover, British merchants in
America were trying to fish in troubled waters. It was believed
that Britain had encouraged the red Indians led by Tecumesh to revolt
in Texas. Though the revolt was crushed, the American public resented
the British attempts too create problems in the country. The elections
of 1812, saw a young group of members elected to the Congress. These
members - known as the War Hawks advocated war with Britain. Their
ideas drew a lot of support from the American people.
War of 1812
Finally in June 1812, Congress declared war on
Britain. Though the American army was rather weak, the fact that
Britain was involved in a war with France went in favor of the U.S.
The U.S. army faced many humiliating defeats. But the Americans
succeeded in crushing the Red Indians at the Battle of Thames (1813)
and at Horseshoe Bend (1814).
American navy won some victories in the battle
of Lake Erie. Here, Oliver Perry took control of the Great Lakes
(1813) and Lake Champlain (1814). During the war, the British army
razed Washington City. But Andrew Jackson won a spectacular, victory
for the U.S. in the battle of New Orleans.
A peace treaty was signed by the 2 belligerent
nations at Ghent in Belgium. The Treaty of Ghent was signed in Dec.1814.
But the war did not settle any of the problems faced by the two
nations. Thus, all in all the war was rather futile.
Table of Contents
- Chronology of Major Events in this Period
4.1 - The Hamilton Reports
4.2 - About the Constitution
4.3 - Emergence of Political Parties
4.4 - Foreign Affairs
4.5 - The XYZ Affair
4.6 - The Louisiana Purchase
4.7 - The War of 1812
4.8 - Points to Remeber