Danger on the High Seas Barbary States – North African lands that practiced piracy and held foreign citizens captive for ransom The U.S. had been making payments to the states for protection, but in 1801 the U.S. refused to keep paying and sent the U.S. Navy instead First Barbary War (1801-1805): U.S. vs. Tripoli, Algiers, and Morocco
(More) Danger on the High Seas 1803 – Great Britain and France went to war Each side wanted to stop the U.S. from supplying the other side Britain: passed laws allowing them to search and seize ships carrying war supplies to France France: declared no country could ship to Britain What do Americans do?
(Even More) Danger on the High Seas American merchant ships continued to sail to Europe and many were caught and searched for runaway sailors Impressment: British began pressing (forcing) these sailors to return to the British navy and sometimes American sailors were taken by mistake
Impressment (example) June 1807 – British ship stopped the U.S. Chesapeake and tried to remove four sailors American captain refused and the British opened fire and took the sailors by force “[The incident] has excited the spirit of ‘76 and the whole country is literally in arms.”
Jefferson’s Response Embargo Act (1807) – banned trade with foreign countries Goal: punish Britain and France Actual result: Punished American merchants Britain and France were barely hurt (Britain turned to newly independent Latin American countries for trade) Consequence: popularity of the Federalist party rose and support for Jefferson fell
Jefferson’s 2nd Response Non-Intercourse Act (1809) – banned trade only with Britain, France, and their colonies AND stated that the U.S. would start trading with the first side that stopped violating U.S. neutrality.
Danger in the “Wild West” Americans began moving into the Northwest Territory (former Native American lands) Britain wanted to contain U.S. expansion – gave military aid to Native Americans in the territory Tecumseh Military leader and brilliant speaker who warned of the encroaching Americans With his brother, the Prophet, he tried to unite the Native Americans
Battle of Tippecanoe William Henry Harrison (gov. of Indiana Territory) marched to Tecumseh’s village while he was away trying to gain more followers The Prophet ordered an attack on Harrison’s camp but the U.S. eventually won and destroyed the village Consequences: Destroyed hope of a Northwestern Native American alliance Harrison becomes a national hero
The War Debate Federalists Supported by New England industrialists British trade restrictions and embargoes was hurting the economy Wanted to renew business ties instead of fighting War Hawks Henry Clay (KY), John C. Calhoun (SC) Strong in the West and the South Angered by British aid to Native Americans and hoped war would give the U.S. a chance to expand vs.
President James Madison Elected in 1808 (Democratic-Republican) Had to carry on the trade war and faced growing pressure from the War Hawks, but he did not want to go to war. Napoleon in France sent a message that he would stop interfering with American trade In Congress, the War Hawks won and for the first time in U.S. history, Congress declared war in 1812. (Months later, Madison was reelected)
The War at Sea U.S. Navy was greatly outnumbered but they licensed American merchant ships to attack the British (“privateers” captured hundreds of ships) Americans achieved surprising victories at sea and forced the British to bring many ships from around the world to blockade the American coast
The Canadian Border U.S. plan: invade Canada with 3 separate armies Mistake: thought the Canadians would welcome U.S. British joined with Native Americans (led by Tecumseh) and defeated the invasion and controlled the Great Lakes U.S. struck back and Captain Oliver Hazard Perry built a small navy and defeated the British at the Battle of Lake Erie (1813)
The Death of Tecumseh After Perry’s victory, Harrison pursued the British/Native Americans into Canada Battle of the Thames (1813) – Harrison’s cavalry charge forced the Native Americans to retreat and Tecumseh died in the battle Significance: Indian-British alliance was weakened in the Northwest
The Frontier War After Tecumseh’s death, the Creek Indians in the South took up arms – led by Chief Red Eagle Andrew Jackson (general in the Tennessee militia) led the attack in present-day Alabama Battle of Horseshoe Bend (1814) – victory for Jackson, caused the surrender of Red Eagle Significance: ended the Creek War and forced Creek to give up millions of acres of their land
British on the Offensive April 1814 – Britain defeated France so they could use all their energy on the U.S. Britain attacked the U.S. capital and set fire to the White House and other government buildings British then sailed on to Fort McHenry (Baltimore, MD) and shelled the fort for 25 hours but the U.S. refused to surrender
The Battle of New Orleans British launched a second offensive from the Caribbean on New Orleans – got within 7 miles of the city Andrew Jackson’s forces took a stand to defend the city 5,300 British troops attacks Jackson’s 4,500 men (regular soldiers, state militia, prisoners, and pirates) British suffered 2,000 casualties vs. 70 American casualties Significance: Jackson is a national hero
The Hartford Convention Federalists gathered at Hartford, Connecticut to oppose the war Extremists: wanted New England to withdraw from the U.S. Moderates: created a list of demands to end the war and resume trading with Britain Unfortunately, the war ended before the delegates to present their case in Washington and many accused them of treason Significance: the beginning of the death of the Federalist Party
The Treaty of Ghent Signed in Belgium on December 24, 1814 (before the Battle of New Orleans took place) Outcomes: Both sides returned conquered territory Agreed to address issues of impressment and trade embargoes after peace (???)
So what was the point of the War of 1812?
So what was the point of the War of 1812? The “Second War for Independence”? America had stood up to the British and “won” (kind of…)