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War Of 1812 Essay

2409 words - 10 pages


Introduction With the ongoing battles between England and France in the early 19th century, the newly formed United States found itself thrust in the middle of this struggle. In the early part of the century Napoleon was on a mission to once again establish a mighty French empire of early years. But with the build up of the royal British Navy the English were trying fiercely to hold Napoleon in check. The United States was determined to stay neutral and continue its trading with both nations. However several mandates passed by both France and England made this very difficult. With England’s naval blockade and the repeated search and seizure of American trade vessels, the United States, led by an aggressive group of leaders in congress known as the Young War Hawks, took a very aggressive approach to Britain and its royal navy. However, the War Hawks and President Madison also had plans of expansion in mind, to extend its boarders to the North Pole, home to royal colonies of the now hated Great Britain. With this plan and the negative feeling toward Britain, the war was just around the corner. And in June of 1812, a full-fledged war was upon them. The war, which lasted approximately two years, was a very bloody and costly battle to both the United States and Britain. Systematic Analysis To begin to look at this war we must take a look at the system the world was in at the time. The world was dominated by a bi-polar system, with France and England being the two poles. However you also had another player in the system, Russia. Although not quite as powerful as either of the top two, but if thrown in the mix could tip the scales toward one side or the other. The United States at this time preferred to practice a policy of isolationism, and stay out of the turbulent affairs of Europe. The constant struggle between the French and the British dominated the world scene. The French who were led by Napoleon were trying to establish an empire and dominate all of Europe. This struggle had been raging since the turn of the century. The British as in any bi-polar system were dead set on preventing this from happening. With the United States only a minor player in the international system at the time there was nothing the United States could do in this affair except continue its policy of neutrality, and isolationism. With a bi-polar international system, you are always in a position of war breaking out at anytime, especially in the days before nuclear warheads. With each pole trying to expand its power and sphere of influence, they were constantly at each other’s throat. With Britain still establishing colonies in the west and gaining dominance over the seas with their naval abilities, France was looking for ways to stop Britain. France began forming alliances with the third player in the game, Russia. With the addition of the Russians France had Britain reeling and worried about a possible invasion and defeat. France, by adding Russia had tipped the scales...

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