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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.

Exhibit 4.2

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.

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Table of Contents

4.0 - 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

Chapter 5


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