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The War Of 1812: Was The War Of 1812 Justified?

1126 words - 5 pages

For America, the War of 1812 was justified. Clearly there were sufficient reasons for America to declare war with Great Britain. Time after time the British violated American rights and freedoms. Acts such as impressments, the attack on the USS Chesapeake, the violation of American neutral rights and waters, blockades on U.S. ports, and the ignoring of stipulations of Jay's Treaty and their Treaty of Paris all imposed threats on America. To prevent further altercation, America tried to solve the problems peacefully by using economic warfare. After the failure of economic warfare, and the continuation of British wrongdoings, there was no other choice but war.Tension had been building for a ...view middle of the document...

In 1803 when the Napoleonic Wars erupted, tensions between the United States and Great Britain began to rise. When the war broke out blockades were proclaimed on hundreds of miles of coastline in both Great Britain and France. American merchants sought to become rich through neutral trade. By trading with both Great Britain and France the United States would become the leader in foreign trade. The British did not hesitate to seize merchant ships headed for blockaded ports in order to keep France from getting supplies from the U.S and vise versa. Although both the French and British were guilty of seizing American merchant ships, Britain had a greater fault. To preserve Britain's naval strength British Royal Navy Officers were practicing impressments in which thousands of American seamen were forced into the British Royal Navy. The British also impressed naturalized Americans of British origin claiming that they were either deserters or British subjects. Impressments not only involved the right to search ships for deserters but the right of any officer of the Royal Navy to make a decision on the spot. (Taylor, 71)In 1807 relations between the United States and Great Britain reached the breaking point. On June 1, 1807 the British frigate "Leopard" fired upon the "USS Chesapeake" in American territorial waters. The "Leopard" was on a mission to search for deserters. . The "Leopard" waited until the "Chesapeake" left Norfolk bound for the Mediterranean and then made its move. The British captain demanded that the deserter's surrender but the captain of the "Chesapeake" refused. Then the "Leopard" fired three shots on the American vessel, killing three Americans and wounding eighteen. A British search party boarded the ship and removed four crewmen. These four men were later executed. The attack on the "Chesapeake" outraged the Americans. Never before had the British so blatantly violated United States sovereignty. The whole country was angered by this act and many people began to form protests. (Taylor, 72)The U.S. at first decided to respond with economic constraint rather than war. In 1807, Congress passed the Embargo Act, which prohibited virtually all American ships from putting to...

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