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The American War against England in 1812

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Introduction

The American War against England in 1812 In the early 1800's, the United States was facing problems in establishing its independence. The "second war for independence" came about as a solution to dealing with the problems. Political factors, from the new face of the government to the desire for expansion, and economic factors, such the need for commercial control and the impressment of U.S. sailors, contributed to the United State's decision to go to war against England in 1812. The United State's government during this period was made up of a younger group of men, sons of those who fought for the nation's independence in the 1700's. These new members of congress were looking for their own glory as their fathers had, and were looking for conflict. The United States was trying to assert itself globally as a free and independent nation at the time, and these young "war hawks" felt that the best way to help it along would be to go to war, especially since England was the country that was causing most of the problem. ...read more.

Middle

England also impaired the United State's right to independence by attempting to control its trade. The decision to go to war in 1812 was largely influenced by economic problems, and England caused most of them. A major concern of the U.S. at the time was its commercial rights, because revenue from trade was important to the growing nation. The war between England and France was both helpful and detrimental to the United States. France at war meant that the U.S. would be transporting more goods and supplies to France from the French West Indies as demand increased, and thus bringing in a tidy profit. But England and France were enemies, and the English were not delighted with the fact that the United States was trading with its enemy. A series of legislations by England, France, and the U.S. were made. To curb the trade, the English courts passed the Essex decision, which stated that American ships that were transporting goods from the French West Indies to France were subject to seizure. ...read more.

Conclusion

Sir, I prefer war to submission. Over and above these unjust pretensions of the British Government, for many years past they have been in the practice of impressing our seamen, from merchant vessels; this unjust and lawless invasion of personal liberty, calls loudly for the interposition of this Government... With the impressment of U.S. sailors and the need for commercial rights, war in 1812 seemed to be the preferred route to fully establishing independence. The combination of all these factors led to the need to declare war in 1812. The United States felt threatened both economically and politically. According to The Annals of American History, Henry Clay summed up the economic motivation of the war. "...for free trade and sailor's rights." That is not to say that the political factors were not a part of it. Though the political factors were overshadowed by the economic factors, they did weigh in to the final decision. The determination of the war hawks, the desire to expand, and the need for commercial independence and the impressment of U.S. sailors were all factors that ultimately brought about the decision to go to war. ...read more.

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