HIS271Y1 Lecture Notes - Hne, New Spain, Missouri Compromise

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30 Mar 2012
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THE WAR OF 1812
AND THE AWAKENING OF AMERICAN NATIONALISM
(Oct 19)
I. Origins of 1812
At the time Napoleonic wars going on in the European continent.
oFrance and Britain were at war as America was warned not to intervene
oAmerica thus pursued a policy of neutrality
Neutrality means freedom of the seas and since it had not sided with anyone formally the
U.S. under Washington had reason to believe they could do so and trade with whomever
they wanted
As a result of this neutrality trade expands into the West Indies
Also operated re-exportation where they brought in products and the exported them again
to the west Indies and Latin America
Merchant marine was rapidly becoming one of the largest in the Atlantic
Britain watching with a weary eye with hopes of joining the Latin American trade market
due to Spain’s decline
Britain has a growing beef with the us due to its growing trade
Trade is making the us stronger economically, makes them weary
Trade is benefiting France as well, angers them
American ships were offering aid to British deserters
Britain believes the us is harboring these deserters which creates much tension
By 1805 the war in Europe has stalemated
Britain still controls the oceans
Blockade British policy: all vessels headed to Europe had to enter a British port to submit
to inspection and pay various fees in order to travel on
The us found this to be greatly disturbing and they protest these violations but to no avail
The British were not the only ones: Napoleons response to the blockade was that any vessel
found on the path towards this port would be declared French
The US neutrality is greatly tested
- Underlying Causes
- Harassment at Sea (Impressment)
Most of this is coming from the British: take it to a different level when in 1806
the British navy starts stopping American shipping far from when its close to
the European continent, boarding and inspecting cargo at that point,
Begin to seize American citizens who the British thought were deserters from
the British navy: vast majority were not deserters
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This practice is called impressment
Jefferson began to issue formal government papers of citizenship (passports)
The last straw seems to come when a british ship fire upon an American ship
when it is barely on the coast of the atlantic: still on american territory
The crew held as suspects of deserting the navy
Jefferson could have gotten a declaration of war if he wanted it but doesn’t wish
to do so because he is wise to the fact that the us is ill prepared to be at war with
another power
Nonetheless, he has to act in some manner and responds by closing all
American ports to british shipping
He instructs the American ambsassador to Britain to seek reparations to pay
back for the damages destroyed on the ship and return the impressed
Also demands an apology from the British
They do apologize, pay reparations but remain their right to impress people into
the service of their navy
Jefferson is now faced with three choices
oHe can say that does nothing and he will declare war
oHe could do nothing at all
oHe could impose some sort of a harder sanction which is the most viable
option
Embargo Act: embargos trade with the entire European continent
Jefferson thought that neither Britain nor France could survive this embargo for
that long because the Americans were importing great amounts from them
They were hopeful that this would force Britain to give up impressment
Jefferson was comfortable to this act because it was similar to the non
consumption acts of the revolutionary era
Unfortunately for Jefferson and the us much had changed since the revolution
In a remarkably short time the us had assembled one of the world largest
merchant marines which brought much prosperity to many
America’s economic well being is thus far different in this period than in the
revolutionary period: the embargo kills the US economy
US trade plummet by 80 percent
The merchantile sector stood in shambles as a result
Hard times also befell farmers because the price of wheat was dropping in
reaction to the continent being pissed off
Overall highly negative effect but Jefferson stuck with it because he believed
the rbitish of French would yield to American neutrality
Then realizes that it has become an utter disaster and works with Congress to
repeal the embargo act
It is then replaced with the Non I. Act which opens trade to all other countries
but France and Britain
He works within the confines of the non I act but was set to expire in 1810
As of then the economy is still in shambles, this does not resolves the issues
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Madison decides to repeal the non intercourse act to restore commerce with
both Britain and france BUT with a promise that if either one of the repealed
their restrictions the us would immediately cut off trade with the one who did so
Trade with Britain ist he first to be cut off
Britain’s continued harassment of us shipping annoyed the us
Americans increasingly blamed the british for troubles with NA
(Embargo Act, 1807; Non-Intercourse Act, 1808)
- Troubles with Native Americans (Tenskwatawa; Tecumseh)
The first shots are not fired on the atlantic but on the trans appalacian frontier
inland America
Approximately 53 treaties of land seccesssion were signed
The result was that the us received millions of acres of land in return for annual
payments and promises to not impose upon native land
These promises are not normally kept
Massive expansion of population in the US makes it prone to break most of its
agreements to leave certain lands alone which angers Native Americans
Similarly, Jefferson had established govt trading posts on native land as a
means of gaining territory
The trading posts tended to extend credit to drag them into debt, so that when
they could not pay they could take their lands instead
Only a matter of time before america’s own actions hardened resentment
Tenskwatawa emerges from a vision calling on his people to reject the wrong
doings of the white peoples: urges followers to stop any contact with whites:
firearms only allowed
Gains real currency with his brother: Tecumseh
Speaks of forming a confederation amongst various native peoples to stop the
spread of white civilization
All treaties that had been signed do not count anymore: taking back their lands
Alarms the US, particularly those in the north west territory
Calls out the militia some places
Tecumseh’s attempts to create a federation come to and end but in the process
the American militia discovered british weapons in possession of some native
tribes
Believed that the British were egging them on to get the us in trouble
There is some truth to this insofar as they were supplying weapons for their
own weapons, but did not go around egging them on
“War hawks” kept calling for war for her intolerable actions and are fed up with
Madison and his diplomacy
They push for war until Madison caves in
The US declares war against Britain
British supports for native tribes
Continued occupation of British in forts
Why does the U.S. declare war?
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