The war of 1812 Research

Document Type:Research Paper

Subject Area:History

Document 1

Historians from Britain view this battle as one of the many Napoleonic wars but in the eyes of Canadians and Americans, it is a battle by its own (Watson, 2014). In this paper, I will discuss the causes, effects and the events that took place before, during and after the war. There are a number of reasons that led to the start of this war. First is economic warfare. In 1805, Admiral Nelson's navy defeated napoleons navy in the battle of Trafalgar. In 1810, the Congress passed a bill stating that if either France or Britain resumed to trading with the USA, the Non-intercourse rule would be imposed on the country that failed to resume trading with the US. Napoleon took the advantage and reinstated trading with the US.

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US put up trade barriers against the Britain which further worsened the condition. The war hawks were also a major cause of the war. As their name implies, they concentrated on war only. The war would continue on US soil. On August 19, 1812, the US launched an attack through the sea and captured the British warship. The heavily armed American warships destroyed the light armored British ships. Also, the American government hired private ship owners to act as pirates and harass the British trading ships. Additionally, the war in the north fueled this battle. Concentrating on the US, Britain sent army reinforcement into Canada. In early July the American forces captured Port Erie and beat up British veterans. The British responded with the Battle of Lundy Lane which ended with many fatalities.

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The British decided to build a supply line on the Lake Champlain. The British built a number of ships to seize the lake from the American vessels. The British now focused on Baltimore. Baltimore under Major General Samuel Smith was ready and prepared to go to war against the British. He had assembled an army with five artillery guns. The British started advancing towards Baltimore. The British Commander General Ross was killed in crossfire which made the forces come to a halt. It demanded the federal government to boost New England's economy financially. It also suggested that a two-thirds majority vote is used to make constitutional amendments or declare war as opposed to the 51% majority rule (Stagg and John, 2012). The Harford convention sent messengers to Washington to pass the message.

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They, however, received no attention as the city was celebrating the victory of Andrew Jackson in New Orleans. They were viewed as treacherous secessionists. In Jamaica, British Admiral Thomas repaired his fleet of ships and planned an attack against New Orleans. Andrew Jackson who had become a hero in conquests against the Indians was in charge of the southern forces. General Edward Peckham was put in charge of the British forces after the death of General Ross in Baltimore. However, it would take him a while before he arrived and hence the British squad suffered from inadequate preparation and poor leadership (Turner and Wesley, 2014). Jackson became distracted by British Lieutenant Edward Nicholls movements in Florida which may have been a diversion.

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