Ever since the American Revolution, there was a bitter friction between the United States and Great Britain. This detestation of each other was finally acted out when President Madison declared war on Great Britain on June 14, 1812, thus beginning the War of 1812. The Unites States was tired of getting harassed on the seas, had a strong will to expand, and felt too much pride to let Great Britain get away with everything they had done. Three causes of the War of 1812 were maritime problems, Manifest Destiny, and national pride.
One of the three main causes of the War of 1812 was maritime problems between the United States and Great Britain. The seeds of these maritime problems were planted nine years before the War of 1812 even began. In 1803 the Napoleonic Wars broke out between Great Britain and France and the United States got caught in-between it. Since France and England were matched up well on the battlefield, they both decided that the most prudent way to win the war would be to destroy the other country's trade. This did not bode well with the United States because it was the main trading country with both Great Britain and France. They both set up blockades; the British one was called the Orders of Council and the French one was called the Berlin-Milan Decree. The British even began seizing American ships on the open sea. In a congressional report by the Committee on Foreign Relation recalled these actions, "Great Britain, in defiance of this incontestable right, captures every American vessel bound to, or returning from, a port where her commerce is not favored; enslaves our seamen, and in spite of our [complaints and protests] perseveres in these aggressions." (Doc. 1) One specific example of impressment was the Chesapeake-Leopard Affair. The British vessel, the Leopard, seized the Chesapeake (American) within three miles of the Unites States coastline. This violated International Water Policy which is recognized by all nations and...
Cited: Document 1: This excerpt is from a report from the Committee on Foreign Relations of the U.S. House of Representatives on our nation 's growing conflict with France and Great Britain
Document 4: This excerpt is from President Madison 's Declaration of War
Document 3: This excerpt is from a speech by Congressman John Randolph given in the House of Representatives
Document 2: This excerpt is from a speech made by Congressman John C. Calhoun regarding the foreboding feeling of war.
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