Forces Leading to the War of 1812

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The war of 1812, supposedly fought over neutral trading rights, was a very peculiar conflict indeed. Britain's trade restrictions, one of the main causes, were removed two days before the war started; the New Englanders, for whom the war was supposedly fought, opposed it; the most decisive battle, at New Orleans, was fought after the war ended. Before the war began, Britain and France had disrupted US shipping, confiscated American goods, taking US seamen into the British navy, and both sides had blockaded each other's ports which caused great annoyance to American traders, and Britain's abduction of American sailors especially caused great uproar and indignation at home. These forces led Americans to declare war on Britain in 1812.

When the war began, it was being fought by the Americans to address their grievances toward the British. This seemed like a justifiable cause for a war, however not all of the citizens shared the same sense of unity about the political issues the war was being fought over. The US was quite upset about the continuing impressments of American sailors into the British Navy and the seizures of American merchant trading vessels by the British. In a committee report in 1811, congressmen address their complaints against Britain. The British defied an “incontestable right”, and they captured “every American vessel” that they could find. In response to these intolerable actions, The president of the United States wishes to declare war against Great Britain. A group of congressman known as the War Hawks desperately desired going to war. One of these “War Hawks,” John C. Calhoun, agrees with the committee’s report, by saying “these rights are essentially attacked, and war is the only means of redress.” Hugh Nelson, congressman from Virginia, believed that the war was inevitable and that it would bring the American people together. He stated, “to demonstrate to the world... that the people of these state were united, one and...
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