1812 & Awakening of Nationalism 10/17/2012 2:52:00 PM
Federalism & Anti-Federalism
Support for national bank
Whether or not we need a bill of rights
Thomas Jefferson’s Presidency
o Emphasis on foreign affairs
o Not president in 1812—Madison is.
I. Origins of 1812
o Napoleonic Wars
France & England are back at war in 1803, with each side warning the USA
not to aid the other side—don’t trade.
George Washington issued a statement of neutrality in the first conflict—
can trade with either power.
Trade with anyone
Rights of neutrals also included freedom to the seas—access to the Atlantic
without being harassed by European Navies
American shippers were benefitted—extensive trade.
Successful re-export trade in tropical produce with France.
The US merchant marines became quite large due to success in shipping.
Britain is watching this with hopes of getting into the markets of Latin
America, which the US is thriving off of.
o Rich, Atlantic Trade
Benefitting French too—pissing off British
Offering support to British deserters
Louisiana’s purchase from the French—puts money to France’s war efforts,
expands america’s influence on the contienent.
France has the contienent by 1805
Britain controls the seas.
Continental System—issued by Napoleon Britain—American ships must stop at Britain to be inspected for war goods
(will be confiscated), if not, the sailors must purchase liscences to trade
Any vessel complying with the French blockade would be seized by
France—retort to the British blockades
This violates our rights—neither side cares.
Harassment at Sea (Impressment) (Embargo Act, 1807; Non-Intercourse Act, 1808)
o British start meeting ships on sea to inspect them to out maneuver French
o Ships holds are cargo are inspected.
o British started impressing American sailors into the Navy, claiming them to be
deserters. 2500 were taken. Most were not deserters (citizens of USA), some
o Started issuing passports to state that they were American
o Britain didn’t care—America is getting harassed.
o Leads to the British firing on an American ship, while it was in American territorial
waters—taking all the soldiers of deserters
o If he went to congress, Jefferson could have declared war—didn’t—knew that the
US couldn’t go to war with the Brits, not strong enough
o Closes all American ports to the British—Jefferson instructs the British ambassador
to seek reparations.
o Brits do apologize for the incident, they offer compensation, but the British
maintain that they have the right to use force—should it be necessary.
It can happen again, cause we can do this
o Jefferson’s choices:
2—do fuck all
3—Impose a trade sanction on the British—he does this.
o Assisted by Madision—greater scale though—embargo not only on British but all
nations at war in Europe (Embargo Act 1807)
o Rationale: they couldn’t survive the blockade—America absorbed 45% of British
o Embargo is also similar to the revolutionary strategy of non-consumption—past
o Changes since revolutions America has one of the world’s largest merchant marines
Prosperity to eastern seaboard and inner parts of the entire continent—
gonna hurt the US economy too
1808—US trade plummeted 80%
Exports dropped dramatically.
o Jefferson stayed because he hoped it was hurting them
o Before leaving office, he realizes this has done more harm than good.
o Replaces it with Non-intercourse Act (1808)
Trade with all European nations SANS Britain & France
o Succeeded by James Madison.
o Only supposed to be two years (the intercourse act)
o 1810—American economy still sucks; when it expires, he lets it.
o Restores commerce with both BUT if one repeals their blockade/stops harassment,
we’ll stop trading with the other
o France revokes its measures against shipping first—Madison blockades trade with
o Britain continues to harass US shipping (Impression & Seizure)
o US is concurrently having trouble with the Natives—blame it on the British.
Troubles with Native Americans (Tenskwatawa; Tecumseh)
o First shots of 1812 are fird in the Trans-appelation frontier
o Approx 53 treaties of land succession were signed between Indians and US (1800-
o Millions of acres in land for economic support
o As US Surges, so does its nececcity for land.
o Indiana—1600 people in 1800
o Indians lose land based on deby
o Resentment leads to resistance—in 1805—Tenskwatawa—emerged from a vision—
reject white influence—cease contact with whites and stop using their goods other
than firearms for defense
Messgae spreads because his brother is TECUMSEH!—brother condemned
all past treaties as invalid
Wanted to unite all tribes against America as a confederation.
o US Milita dispearses all the followers and eliminates the Tecumseh followers—finds
british wepons—they were egging them on to attack us! They were older weapons, but theseed is planted—British caused this
unrest with the natives
o Warhawks in Congress—advocate war
Sick of this shit
Condescending behaviour for the US—trying to cause unrest.
Mad at Madison’s attempts at diplomacy
Push for war
Starts in 1810, madison gives in on 1812
When Britain CONVENIENTLY repeals the blockade of harassment—war is
War message lists unfair trade violations as the main reason for war—June
1812—violation of sovereignty.
Secondary: British egging on Natives, causing civil disruption & continued
occupation of British forts on the western front.
o Why at this point would they declare war?—1812
Problems with republican party—Madison hadn’t been the unanimous
choice for the 1808 election—New England hates him.
1812—election year, more opposition for republicans—war is used to unite
American people, secure nomination for 1812 election.
Wants his party to stay together, uses war as an excuse
British Canada is targeted
Britsh are egging them on form Canada
Britain has started to look (during embargo act) to its colonies as an
alternative for resources bought from the USA.
Move on Canada to secure market trade.
II. Impact of War at Home
o Economy is broken by embargos.
o In a depression by this point—trade killed, massive inflaction, economy stops.
o Prior to the war, the economic malaise led to the war, but it sparks economic
development in other areas. o Jefferson is an enforcer of agrarianism.
Opens door to change in American economy to machine-based production
that is domestic
Domestic industrialization—textile mills.
Internal manufacturing base
1807-1810 # of textile plants go from 10 to a lot more…like 80.
o Although there was enough support for war, the American public was divided by
the merits of this war
o Federalists—against war, final straw of breaking away from Britain
o New England—SUPER PISSED. Rhode Island, COnneticut refuse to commit their
militias for the national army
o All New England states meet in 1814 and discuss leaving the Union
o Hartford Convention 1814 → Nullification
New England debates withdrawing from the USA
Decide that succession would be too extreme—argues that an individual
state group ahs the right to interpose its will to protect itself rom
The Supreme court not only has the right to cancel laws, the states can
too if its unconstitutional—foreshadows civil war.
War ends—while the war created such division, leads to intense
Nationalism (at war’s end)
o Mass feeling of patriotism—despite stalemate.
o British forces succeeded in Burning down the white house and most of
o Only won one major battle—major victory after the war ironically.
o After two years of stalemate, diplomacy ensues.
o For the US, ray of light comes with the BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS (1815)
Andrew Jackson leads American troops to victory
Irony is that the war was technically over—news just hadn’t reached the
Looks like the war needs due to American victory—treaty as a result of
Didn’t lose anything really, the Britsh could have rolled over America but
was preoccupied with Napoleon’s demise. “Second American Revolution”—we kicked their ass again!
NOW the British are leaving the forts in the Western frontier
Cozy relationship develops.
White House—symbol of Nationalism
Star spangled banner is written during the war of 1812 by Francis Scott