The War Of 1812
The War of 1812 took place while president James Madison was in office. Madison was born in Orange County, Virginia in 1751. He attended the College of New Jersey, which is now well known as Princeton. Madison did many significant things both before and after he was in office. He participated in the framing of the Virginia Constitution, served in the Continental Congress and he was also a leader in the Virginia Assembly. One of his major contributions was a ratification to the Constitution. He wrote the Federalist essays along with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay. In writing that, many people then began referring to him as the “Father of the Constitution.” Madison felt guilty for getting all the credit so he protested that the document was not “the off-spring of a single brain,” but “the work of many heads and many hands.” Also he helped frame the Bill of Rights and enact the first revenue legislation. All of those things were done before he was elected president in 1808.
On June 1, 1812, Madison asked Congress to declare war. The war was influenced by a group of people known as the “War Hawks.” The group included Henry Clay and John C. Calhoun. They believed that Madison should have taken a more militant policy towards Great Britain, instead of proclaiming non-intercourse towards them because of trading issues. Madison kept in mind their suggestion and when the British impressed American seamen and took over their ships, Madison gave into the pressure and declared war. This began the War of 1812.The youthful nation definitely was not prepared for the fight.
The war was many times referred to as the Second War of Independence. But a lot of people did not have much interest for this Second War of Independence. Even president Madison had very little enthusiasm towards it, but he felt as though he was forced by people of his own party to pursue it.# The Federalists, based out of New England, opposed the war and they renamed it “Mr. Madison’s War.”# Their reasoning for not wanting it was that they believed a war against the world’s major naval power would do very little to help restore their shipping.
In the beginnings of the war, America was not too successful. The choices of the troops and the generals were not too smart, most of them being militia and volunteers. Also, a general by the name of William Hull, who was a Revolutionary War veteran, had plans to invade Canada through Detroit. Instead of him doing just that, he decided to surrender his army and Detroit to a much smaller British and Native American army. General Hull was then court-marshaled and convicted. Luckily, president Madison saved his life, saying that he did not deserve death because of his previous services to the country. There were many other attempts to invade Canada but none of them were successful.
Once the war had gotten its start, America began making victories. At one point, America’s confidence level was through the roof because of a few naval...