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During the period 1792-1815 there was almost constant conflict between Great Britain and France, namely the French Revolutionary wars and Napoleonic wars. During this period, America traded with both sides of the conflicts. Each side strove to prevent America from trading with the other, and in the process American interests were injured by both sides.

Britain's decisive victory at the Battle Of Trafalgar and the blockading of French ports prompted Napoleon to cut Britain off from trading with Europe and America. Napoleon's 'Continental System' designated any ships that visited British ports as enemy vesels. Britain's response was to issue a regulation (Orders in Council) requiring neutral ships to obtain licences at English ports before trading with France. France then decreed that any neutral ship that had been searched by the British could be captured. American ships thus faced capture by the French if they obeyed Britain, and capture by the Royal Navy if they obeyed Napoleon.

The Royal Navy's use of impressment -- thousands of alleged RN deserters, U.S. citizens, were accosted -- provoked the Americans, who ineffectively tried counter embargoes.

British shipping and manufacturing interests demanded that the RN sustain trade against 'Yankee' competitors, convincing many Americans that they were being treated as colonials, while people in Britain countered that the U.S. was a participant in Napoleon's Continental System.

Events on the American Northwest frontier added further tensions; most American Indians in that area were convinced that their only hope of stemming the flood of American settlers lay with the British. Canadians believed that American expansionists were using Indian unrest as a cover for a war of conquest.

President Madison, under increasing pressure, sent a war message to the U.S. Congress on 1st June, 1812. The vote split the House (79-49) and was perilously close in the Senate (19-13). Westerners and southerners (southern support was encouraged by the prospect of taking East and West Florida from Spain) supported the war, while seafaring New Engladers were against it.

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12y ago
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16y ago

The basic causes of the War of 1812 were economic, commercial, territorial, and part bluff. A group in Congress lead by Henry Clay, known as the “War Hawks” wanted to invade Canada and make it part of the United States. Because of the Napoleonic Wars in Europe, our commercial rights as a neutral on the high seas were being infringed upon by France and England. Great Britain also practiced the policy of impressment, stopping American ships and claiming that some sailors were British deserters from the British navy and forcing them to serve on British war ships. Impressment had been a policy of Great Britain for a long time. Some westerners also believed that the British were stirring up the Indians in the Northwest, to attack American settlers. The American government hoped that in threatening war, the British might give in to American’s demands regarding our rights as neutrals.

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12y ago

it inspired America to become an imperialisted nation, nationalism flowed throughout the US cause they thought they had won war, Britain and France now viewed America as an unconquerable nation, and America gained respect of other nations in the world

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13y ago

Yes their was a war with Britain in 1812 on US soil.

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Q: What are the significant events of the war of 1812?
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