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Re-Winning American Independence: The War Of 1812

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When the Peace treaty of Paris was signed in 1782 there were a bevy of issues left unresolved. Due in great part to this fact, the revolutionary war was not to be the last time of conflict between England and America. In June of 1812, America declared war on England once more. Considering England's complete lack of respect for American Rights, engaging in this war was most certainly necessary, and in fact, a contributing factor to the strength of America today.

Britain's disrespect for America's independence was made apparent the moment that they granted it. While conceding to remove their troops from American soil, they agreed to do so with the tag of "with convenient speed". A phrase any legal system would have trouble decoding. The British troops remained in the country for many years and provided a constant pinprick in the pride of American Independence. The issues of Indian lands and the borders around Ohio, Oregon, Maine, and Canada also failed to reach any conclusion in the treaty of Paris. All of these issues remained until, and directly contributed to, the war of 1812. However, it was not only Britain's past actions they angered Americans, it was their current as well.

The British navy virtually ruled the Atlantic for a number of years, and they used that power to their advantage as often as possible. During the French-British war, the English began impressing British citizens aboard any foreign vessel. Many of the subjects they impressed were "naturalized" American citizens; a term that meant nothing to the English. In addition to these ex-British, the English impressed many Americans, who had never been British subjects. In the end, the British impressed around 6000 American citizens. However, Britain was not only taking America's sailors, they were also taking America's ships. Aiming to hurt the economy of their enemies the French and English decided to close off each other's ports during the war. In order to do so, they seized any ships they saw heading to the ports. American ships were a great casualty. While both the French and the English seized American vessels, the French navy was scarce compared to the English, thus so were their seizures. The trade embargoes

by France and England had a drastic effect on American economy. Artisans, merchants, farmers and many more lost either their jobs or at least the majority of their income due to these European decisions. By putting American economy in such a chokehold, the Europeans virtually forced America to take action or face potential economic disaster.

Fury over the actions of the British spread, and soon the western frontiersmen were out for war. People such as Henry Clay and his war hawks, a radical group of pro-war westerners, were crying out for an American retaliation against the unfair actions of the English. In addition to the crimes on the sea westerners believed that the British were provoking the Indians to attack from Canada. While this is likely true, many of the attacks were also due to the fact that the Americans were constantly swindling the Indians out of money and land. The frontiersman also blamed the English for the raise in prices on appliances like hammers, hoes, shovels and other tools necessary for their livelihood. With the trade embargoes

in Europe restricting imports the supply quickly dropped much lower than the demand and prices for these items shot through the roof. While, again, this was partly the fault of the English, Napoleon and the French were to blame as well. However, the Westerners still cried out for war with Britain. These frontiersmen were probably motivated in great part by the desire



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