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06 - War of 1812 & Awakening of Nationalism (1).doc

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University of Toronto St. George
Erin Black

THE WAR OF 1812AND THE AWAKENING OF AMERICAN NATIONALISMOct 19I Origins of 1812At the time Napoleonic wars going on in the European continent oFrance and Britain were at war as America was warned not to interveneoAmerica thus pursued a policy of neutralityNeutrality means freedom of the seas and since it had not sided with anyone formally the US under Washington had reason to believe they could do so and trade with whomever they wantedAs a result of this neutrality trade expands into the West IndiesAlso operated reexportation where they brought in products and the exported them again to the west Indies and Latin AmericaMerchant marine was rapidly becoming one of the largest in the AtlanticBritain watching with a weary eye with hopes of joining the Latin American trade market due to Spains declineBritain has a growing beef with the us due to its growing tradeTrade is making the us stronger economically makes them wearyTrade is benefiting France as well angers them American ships were offering aid to British desertersBritain believes the us is harboring these deserters which creates much tensionBy 1805 the war in Europe has stalematedBritain still controls the oceansBlockade 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 onThe us found this to be greatly disturbing and they protest these violations but to no availThe 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 FrenchThe US neutrality is greatly tested Underlying Causes Harassment at SeaImpressmentMost 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 desertersThis practice is called impressmentJefferson began to issue formal government papers of citizenship passportsThe 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 territoryThe crew held as suspects of deserting the navyJefferson could have gotten a declaration of war if he wanted it but doesnt wish to do so because he is wise to the fact that the us is ill prepared to be at war with another powerNonetheless he has to act in some manner and responds by closing all American ports to british shippingHe instructs the American ambsassador to Britain to seek reparations to pay back for the damages destroyed on the ship and return the impressedAlso demands an apology from the BritishThey do apologize pay reparations but remain their right to impress people into the service of their navyJefferson is now faced with three choicesoHe can say that does nothing and he will declare waroHe could do nothing at alloHe could impose some sort of a harder sanction which is the most viable optionEmbargo Act embargos trade with the entire European continentJefferson thought that neither Britain nor France could survive this embargo for that long because the Americans were importing great amounts from themThey were hopeful that this would force Britain to give up impressmentJefferson 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 revolutionIn a remarkably short time the us had assembled one of the world largest merchant marines which brought much prosperity to manyAmericas economic well being is thus far different in this period than in the revolutionary period the embargo kills the US economyUS trade plummet by 80 percentThe merchantile sector stood in shambles as a resultHard times also befell farmers because the price of wheat was dropping in reaction to the continent being pissed offOverall highly negative effect but Jefferson stuck with it because he believed the rbitish of French would yield to American neutralityThen realizes that it has become an utter disaster and works with Congress to repeal the embargo actIt is then replaced with the Non I Act which opens trade to all other countries but France and BritainHe works within the confines of the non I act but was set to expire in 1810As of then the economy is still in shambles this does not resolves the issues
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