Again?•Despite Washington’s warning to avoid “entangling alliances,” the United States seemed to find their way into international conflicts.
Again?• Most of this was because the U.S. needed to trade with England and France, and when the two of them had problems with each other, those problems extended to the U.S.
Again?• In 1803, war again erupted between France and England, this time centered around Napoleon’s desire to expand his influence throughout Europe. This conflict lasted until roughly 1814.
inspiration• Since the time before 1794, impressment (the kidnapping of sailors, in this case American citizens, and putting them to work on British ships) had been a problem.
inspiration• In 1807, the U.S.S. Chesapeake left Virginia for a cruise of the Mediterranean Sea and was attacked by a British ship, the Leopard, because the British believed that there were British deserters on board.
inspiration•Being unprepared for the attack, the U.S. commander had little choice but to allow the British to board and arrest the supposed deserters.
inspiration•The Chesapeake Affair was seen as yet another attack against the U.S. by Britain.
inspiration• This led President Jefferson to ask for a series of laws that became known as the Embargo Act, which prevented U.S. ships from exporting or carrying goods for other nations.
inspiration•It was so unpopular in the county that by 1809 it had been repealed, but the damage had already been done.
inspiration• The “War Hawks,” a group of about 20 Democratic- Republicans who had been elected in 1810 and had grown up on the glorious stories of the Revolution, were angered at what they saw as a lack of respect from England.
inspiration• They were mostly from the South and western sections of the country and included people such as Henry Clay of Kentucky and John C. Calhoun of South Carolina, where the threat of violence from Amerindian tribes perhaps provoked by the British was very real.
reality•With all of these arguments for war against Britain, it is little wonder that in June, 1812, Congress voted to go to war against
reality•Unfortunately for the U.S. in June, 1812, they were not at all ready to fight a war against the mighty British.
reality• Land battles were a complete loss, but naval battles were a little bit better, but even victories by ships like the U.S.S. Constitution (“Old Ironsides”), Wasp, and United States were not nearly enough to turn the tide of the war in the favor of the U.S.
- Or +•With their position of strength in tact, the British sailed up the Chesapeake Bay and marched to Washington, D.C., which they burned to the ground.
- Or +• From there the British decided to march about 50 miles north to the city of Baltimore and Fort McHenry, on which the unleashed an all-night bombardment.
- Or +• When the smoke cleared on the morning of September 14, 1814, the U.S. flag was still flying over the fort, announcing that the U.S. would not surrender to the British.
- Or +• A young lawyer, Francis Scott Key was inspired by the defense of Baltimore and wrote words to convey that joy, later to become known as “The Star Spangled Banner.”
Status quo, ante bellum• The overall fighting accomplished very little and both sides eventually signed the Treaty of Ghent which said that nothing would change from how it was before the war, “status quo, ante bellum” (the way things were before the war).
Status quo, ante bellum• The plans that some New England states had made at the Hartford Convention to secede, or breakaway, went nowhere, as the Treaty of Ghent was announced shortly after they started to meet.
Status quo, ante bellum• Also, after the war was officially over, but before it could be announced, Andrew Jackson won the greatest victory of the war for the Americans at the Battle of New Orleans in January, 1815.