Britain dominated the seas and France dominated the land.
Since they couldn’t fight directly they waged economic warfare.
In 1806 the two European superpowers issued edicts that closed off each others ports and they stole merchant ships, including American ones.
No way for America to trade with one without fighting the other.
Thomas Jefferson decided that he had had enough of Britain and France fooling with our trade, so he decided to cut off trade with everyone so that they would be forced to bow and respect Americas rights.
Embargo Act (1807)
Forbade all exports from America in hopes that Britain and France would be peacefully coerced into trading with us and not stealing our men or ships.
Ended up hurting America more than anyone else.
Macon’s Bill #2
1810 James Madison replaced the Embargo act with Macon’s Bill #2, which would hopefully entice either Britain or France to lift their trade restrictions, then if the other did not follow we would enact the embargo on them alone.
Napoleon took the offer but only so that there would be a blockade against his enemy, Britain.
Britain had strong control of the seas and refused to negotiate.
The U.S. established an embargo on Britain alone and this basically meant war.
Early 1812 the British began arming hostile Indians.
Congress declared war on June 1, 1812
Britain mainly operated out of Montreal, Canada and attacked out of Canada.
Naval control of the Great lakes was crucial and America surprisingly won many naval battles on the lakes.
1814, Four thousand British soldiers advanced on Washington D.C. and burnt the White Hose along with other government buildings.
Battle of New Orleans (Jan. 1815). 8,000 British soldiers attacked 7,000 Americans lead by Andrew Jackson in New Orleans. Dominating Victory for Americans.
Treaty of Ghent (Dec. 1814) War of 1812 is over. No land won or lost.
On and international scale it wasn’t a very big or important war, but to America it was important because it renewed a sense of strong national pride, also because it proved we would fight anyone if we felt they had wronged us.