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1 The War of 1812. 2 Impressment By the early 19th Century, Napoleon had conquered the majority of Europe. By the early 19th Century, Napoleon had conquered.

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Presentation on theme: "1 The War of 1812. 2 Impressment By the early 19th Century, Napoleon had conquered the majority of Europe. By the early 19th Century, Napoleon had conquered."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 The War of 1812

2 2 Impressment By the early 19th Century, Napoleon had conquered the majority of Europe. By the early 19th Century, Napoleon had conquered the majority of Europe. England, protected by the English Channel and Royal Navy, stood largely alone against a continental power. England, protected by the English Channel and Royal Navy, stood largely alone against a continental power. The English, utilizing their great advantage, used their navy to interrupt Atlantic trade with the French. The English, utilizing their great advantage, used their navy to interrupt Atlantic trade with the French. The United States maintained strict neutrality in the war. The United States maintained strict neutrality in the war. American merchants were free to trade with any of the combatants. This quickly brought American merchant ships into contact with British warships. American merchants were free to trade with any of the combatants. This quickly brought American merchant ships into contact with British warships. Since the conditions in the Royal Navy were abysmal and was characterized as “a floating hell,” many English sailors took this opportunity to defect to the American ships. Since the conditions in the Royal Navy were abysmal and was characterized as “a floating hell,” many English sailors took this opportunity to defect to the American ships.

3 3 The British, at war with France, could not afford this loss of manpower. Therefore, the Royal Navy began to search American ships for runaway British sailors. The British, at war with France, could not afford this loss of manpower. Therefore, the Royal Navy began to search American ships for runaway British sailors. As most Americans were, at this point, indistinguishable from the British and the Royal Navy did not trust the often forged American documents, many American sailors were impressed into the Royal Navy. As most Americans were, at this point, indistinguishable from the British and the Royal Navy did not trust the often forged American documents, many American sailors were impressed into the Royal Navy. The most famous incident was the Chesapeake Affair of 1807 when a British warship demanded the right to search for deserters on the American ship Chesapeake. The most famous incident was the Chesapeake Affair of 1807 when a British warship demanded the right to search for deserters on the American ship Chesapeake. When the American captain refused, the British ship fired on the Americans forcing them to submit. Eventually, the British carried off four crew members from the Chesapeake, two of whom were American born. When the American captain refused, the British ship fired on the Americans forcing them to submit. Eventually, the British carried off four crew members from the Chesapeake, two of whom were American born. By 1806, after the French fleet was destroyed at Trafalger in England, the British established a full blockade on the French, eventaully ensnaring more than 1000 American ships. By 1806, after the French fleet was destroyed at Trafalger in England, the British established a full blockade on the French, eventaully ensnaring more than 1000 American ships. Between 1803 and 1812, an estimated 10,000 American sailors were impressed into the English navy. Between 1803 and 1812, an estimated 10,000 American sailors were impressed into the English navy.

4 4 Jefferson and "Peaceful Coercion" Following the humiliation of the Chesapeake Incident, Congress and the Jefferson administration realized the futility of proclaiming neutrality in the war while maintaining trade relationships with the combatants. Following the humiliation of the Chesapeake Incident, Congress and the Jefferson administration realized the futility of proclaiming neutrality in the war while maintaining trade relationships with the combatants. Trade would, by necessity, enmesh the United States in the war. Trade would, by necessity, enmesh the United States in the war. Congress responded with the Embargo Act of 1807 which essentially prohibited foreign trade conducted over waterways. The bill was later expanded to include Canada. Congress responded with the Embargo Act of 1807 which essentially prohibited foreign trade conducted over waterways. The bill was later expanded to include Canada. The Embargo Act was a disaster. Congress badly overestimated American economic importance. The Embargo Act was a disaster. Congress badly overestimated American economic importance. The shutting off of American trade failed to modify European behavior but, instead, penalized Americans. The shutting off of American trade failed to modify European behavior but, instead, penalized Americans. American exports abruptly fell from $108 million to $22 million. The great American merchant fleet sat rotting in harbors while their owners and crews fell into insolvency. American exports abruptly fell from $108 million to $22 million. The great American merchant fleet sat rotting in harbors while their owners and crews fell into insolvency. The Embargo Act was replaced in 1809, despite the wishes of the Jefferson administration, with the Non-Intercourse Act which permitted trade with all nations except Britain and France. The Embargo Act was replaced in 1809, despite the wishes of the Jefferson administration, with the Non-Intercourse Act which permitted trade with all nations except Britain and France. The following year, the restrictions were further loosened and trade with Britain and France was again permitted. The following year, the restrictions were further loosened and trade with Britain and France was again permitted.

5 5 Election of 1808 The Election of 1808 pitted the Secretary of State James Madison, a Virginian and Jefferson's handpicked successor, against the Federalist Charles Pinckney. The Election of 1808 pitted the Secretary of State James Madison, a Virginian and Jefferson's handpicked successor, against the Federalist Charles Pinckney. The Federalists, once the dominant national party of Washington and Adams, had largely fallen into irrelevance as a regional party, only generating any significant interest in the coastal Northeast. The Federalists, once the dominant national party of Washington and Adams, had largely fallen into irrelevance as a regional party, only generating any significant interest in the coastal Northeast. In an attempt to appeal to this constituency, Pinckney attacked the Embargo Act which had impacted the merchant community so heavily. The election went according to form, with Madison winning easily. In an attempt to appeal to this constituency, Pinckney attacked the Embargo Act which had impacted the merchant community so heavily. The election went according to form, with Madison winning easily.

6 6 The War Hawks The failure of both the Embargo Act and the Non- Intercourse Act left the United States in much the same situation as before. The failure of both the Embargo Act and the Non- Intercourse Act left the United States in much the same situation as before. The realities of trade still carried American ships into harm’s way and the Royal Navy continued to impress American sailors into service. The realities of trade still carried American ships into harm’s way and the Royal Navy continued to impress American sailors into service. The War Hawks, a faction in Congress led by John C. Calhoun and Speaker of the House Henry Clay, began to press the Madison administration for war with Great Britain. The War Hawks, a faction in Congress led by John C. Calhoun and Speaker of the House Henry Clay, began to press the Madison administration for war with Great Britain.

7 7 While the War Hawks embraced the rhetoric of freedom of trade, their outlook and constituencies were agrarian and Southern. While they may have been outraged at British treatment of American sailors, their real objective was nationalistic and territorial. The War Hawks hoped that, through war, the English, distracted by a far more serious war with Napoleon, could be expelled from North America and the United States could invade Canada.

8 8 The United States Declares War on England On 18 June 1812, President Madison acquiesced to the wishes of the War Hawks and asked Congress for a declaration of war against England. On 18 June 1812, President Madison acquiesced to the wishes of the War Hawks and asked Congress for a declaration of war against England. Congress complied, though reluctantly. In the House of Representatives, the war measure passed 79-49, and in the Senate Congress complied, though reluctantly. In the House of Representatives, the war measure passed 79-49, and in the Senate Northern representatives feared the impact war would have on their shipping interests. Northern representatives feared the impact war would have on their shipping interests. The Niles Weekly Register was a national weekly from Baltimore that rivaled the great newspapers of the time. In this article, the paper presents a very optimistic view of the coming war with England. The Niles Weekly Register was a national weekly from Baltimore that rivaled the great newspapers of the time. In this article, the paper presents a very optimistic view of the coming war with England.

9 9 The United States Invades Canada Following the declaration of war against England, between 1812 and 1815 the United States made three attempts to invade Canada. Following the declaration of war against England, between 1812 and 1815 the United States made three attempts to invade Canada. The larger American army, comprised largely of militia hastily assembled at the outbreak of hostilities, faced a British Canadian army which, along with Native American allies, was far more professional and better prepared for combat. The larger American army, comprised largely of militia hastily assembled at the outbreak of hostilities, faced a British Canadian army which, along with Native American allies, was far more professional and better prepared for combat.

10 10 Although Thomas Jefferson once boasted that invading Canada would be “a mere matter of marching,” the campaigns each ended badly for the Americans. The Americans lost an army at Detroit and another at Queenston Heights. Eventually the losses proved too much and the Americans withdrew from Canada.

11 11 During the invasions, the American army burned the cities of York, modern Toronto, and Newark. The British would later retaliate by burning Buffalo and Washington D.C. Oliver Perry became an American hero during the invasion, routing the British in Lake Erie and becoming the first man to capture a British fleet.

12 12 The USS Constitution At the outbreak of war in 1812, the English used their fleet, much as had been done to the French, to blockade American ports. At the outbreak of war in 1812, the English used their fleet, much as had been done to the French, to blockade American ports. It was a classic mismatch. It was a classic mismatch. The English maintained the strongest navy in the world while the majority of the American navy, in a cost cutting measure, was sold off in The English maintained the strongest navy in the world while the majority of the American navy, in a cost cutting measure, was sold off in The Americans were forced to rely on privateers and improvised merchant vessels that stood no chance against the Royal Navy. The Americans were forced to rely on privateers and improvised merchant vessels that stood no chance against the Royal Navy.

13 13 The USS Constitution, one of the few legitimate warships in the American navy, was recalled from patrolling the Mediterranean against the Barbary Pirates to help break the English siege. On 19 August 1812, in one of the most famous naval battles in American history, the Constitution defeated the HMS Guerriere off the coast of Nova Scotia. The Constitution, larger, more heavily armed, and constructed of oak timbers that earned her the nickname “Old Ironsides,” was the superior ship. Through the course of the war, the Constitution would defeat seven other British ships and help dispel the myth of British naval invincibility while laying the cornerstone for the American navy. The Constitution is now a floating museum in Boston Harbor. The Constitution is now a floating museum in Boston Harbor.

14 14 British Offensive In North America By 1814, Napoleon was all but defeated in Europe. By 1814, Napoleon was all but defeated in Europe. This allowed England much more latitude deploying troops to the American theatre. This allowed England much more latitude deploying troops to the American theatre. It is estimated that over ten thousand British regulars poured into Canada for an offensive against the United Sates. It is estimated that over ten thousand British regulars poured into Canada for an offensive against the United Sates. On Lake Erie, the British began what would have been the largest warship ever deployed on the Great Lakes. On Lake Erie, the British began what would have been the largest warship ever deployed on the Great Lakes. This deployment would prove unstoppable for the Americans. This deployment would prove unstoppable for the Americans. The British planned a three pronged attack though Lake Champlain and the Chesapeake Bay to defeat the American army and force a favorable peace. The British planned a three pronged attack though Lake Champlain and the Chesapeake Bay to defeat the American army and force a favorable peace.

15 15 The British Burn Washington The British first pressed their new advantage in North America with an attack on Washington D.C. The British first pressed their new advantage in North America with an attack on Washington D.C. On 24 August 1814, the British defeated the Americans at Bladensburg and were, from there, able to march unmolested into the city. On 24 August 1814, the British defeated the Americans at Bladensburg and were, from there, able to march unmolested into the city. Most residents of the city, including President and Mrs. Madison, fled the British advance. Most residents of the city, including President and Mrs. Madison, fled the British advance. The White House was abandoned with such haste that the arriving British soldiers found dinner prepared the dinning room set for forty guests. The White House was abandoned with such haste that the arriving British soldiers found dinner prepared the dinning room set for forty guests.

16 16 With only four thousand troops, the British had no interest in occupying or holding the city. With only four thousand troops, the British had no interest in occupying or holding the city. Instead, in retaliation for the Americans burning York, modern Toronto, the British burned all of the public buildings in the city. Instead, in retaliation for the Americans burning York, modern Toronto, the British burned all of the public buildings in the city. Of all government building in Washington, only the Patent Office was spared destruction. Of all government building in Washington, only the Patent Office was spared destruction. Below a first person account of the burning. Below a first person account of the burning. “ When the detachment sent out to destroy Mr. Madison's house entered his dining parlor, they found a dinner table spread and covers laid for forty guests. Several kinds of wine, in handsome cut glass decanters, were cooling on the sideboard; plate holders stood by the fireplace, filled with dishes and plates; knives, forks, and spoons were arranged for immediate use; in short, everything was ready for the entertainment of a ceremonious party. Such were the arrangements in the dining room, whilst in the kitchen were others answerable to them in every respect. Spits, loaded with joints of various sorts, turned before the fire; pots, saucepans, and other culinary utensils stood upon the grate; and all the other requisites for an elegant and substantial repast were exactly in a state which indicated that they had been lately and precipitately abandoned.” “ When the detachment sent out to destroy Mr. Madison's house entered his dining parlor, they found a dinner table spread and covers laid for forty guests. Several kinds of wine, in handsome cut glass decanters, were cooling on the sideboard; plate holders stood by the fireplace, filled with dishes and plates; knives, forks, and spoons were arranged for immediate use; in short, everything was ready for the entertainment of a ceremonious party. Such were the arrangements in the dining room, whilst in the kitchen were others answerable to them in every respect. Spits, loaded with joints of various sorts, turned before the fire; pots, saucepans, and other culinary utensils stood upon the grate; and all the other requisites for an elegant and substantial repast were exactly in a state which indicated that they had been lately and precipitately abandoned.”

17 17 Battle of Plattsburgh The brunt of the British assault was to come through Lake Erie in Vermont and upstate New York. By the summer of 1814, the British amassed over ten-thousand troops in Montreal, many of them battle hardened veterans of Wellington’s victory over Napoleon at Waterloo, and had constructed the Confiance, then the largest warship on the Great Lakes. Under the command of General George Prevost, the British planned a combined land and naval assault on the badly outnumbered Americans in New England and upstate New York. It was hoped that this would the Americans to a peace favorable to the British.

18 18 The Americans, seeing the massive British advantage, retreated to improvised defenses around Plattsburgh, New York. The Americans, seeing the massive British advantage, retreated to improvised defenses around Plattsburgh, New York. Most importantly, the confined waters of Plattsburgh Bay did not allow the large British warships room to maneuver. Most importantly, the confined waters of Plattsburgh Bay did not allow the large British warships room to maneuver. Pressing this advantage, on 11 September 1814, the American captain, Tomas Macdonough, defeated the British fleet. Pressing this advantage, on 11 September 1814, the American captain, Tomas Macdonough, defeated the British fleet. After losing the fleet, the cautious Prevost withdrew the British forces to Canada. After losing the fleet, the cautious Prevost withdrew the British forces to Canada.

19 19 Battle of Baltimore and Fort McHenry The next prong in the British assault was an attack on the major port city of Baltimore. With troops already on the ground, the British planned to bring their fleet into the harbor to support the invasion and shell the city. This plan was contingent however on the defeat of Fort McHenry, which guarded the entrance to the harbor.

20 20 The American commander at Fort McHenry, knowing that the British assault was immanent, purchased an extra large American flag for the battle so that the British would be sure to see it. The American commander at Fort McHenry, knowing that the British assault was immanent, purchased an extra large American flag for the battle so that the British would be sure to see it. On 13 September 1814, the British ships, out of range for the American cannon, began bombardment of the fort. On 13 September 1814, the British ships, out of range for the American cannon, began bombardment of the fort. One shell, which failed to detonate, landed in the gunpowder magazine, which, if ignited, would have destroyed the entire fort. One shell, which failed to detonate, landed in the gunpowder magazine, which, if ignited, would have destroyed the entire fort. Through the course of the attack, which would last twenty five hours, four Americans were killed and twenty five wounded, but the fort held. Unable to enter the harbor, the British abandoned the attack. Deprived of naval support and with their commander killed by an American sharpshooter, the British ground forces were defeated and turned back from Baltimore. Through the course of the attack, which would last twenty five hours, four Americans were killed and twenty five wounded, but the fort held. Unable to enter the harbor, the British abandoned the attack. Deprived of naval support and with their commander killed by an American sharpshooter, the British ground forces were defeated and turned back from Baltimore.

21 21 Unable to enter the harbor, the British abandoned the attack. Unable to enter the harbor, the British abandoned the attack. Deprived of naval support and with their commander killed by an American sharpshooter, the British ground forces were defeated and turned back from Baltimore. Deprived of naval support and with their commander killed by an American sharpshooter, the British ground forces were defeated and turned back from Baltimore. On the morning of 14 September, the sight of the American flag still flying above the fort moved Francis Scott Key, a Georgetown lawyer held captive on one of the British ships, to write the poem “The Star Spangled Banner," the first stanza of which, in 1931, would become the national anthem. On the morning of 14 September, the sight of the American flag still flying above the fort moved Francis Scott Key, a Georgetown lawyer held captive on one of the British ships, to write the poem “The Star Spangled Banner," the first stanza of which, in 1931, would become the national anthem.

22 22 The Hartford Convention The War of 1812 hit the New England states particularly hard. The War of 1812 hit the New England states particularly hard. Dating to the Embargo Act of 1807, seven years of embargos, blockades, and naval battles had crippled the economy which was built primarily on shipping, fishing, and other maritime pursuits. Dating to the Embargo Act of 1807, seven years of embargos, blockades, and naval battles had crippled the economy which was built primarily on shipping, fishing, and other maritime pursuits. Federalist politicians appealed to New England’s reluctance to enter the war in the elections of 1808 and 1812, but carried only the New England states. Federalist politicians appealed to New England’s reluctance to enter the war in the elections of 1808 and 1812, but carried only the New England states. What is more, recent fighting and British incursions were waged in New England, a tough reality for people who did not want the war. What is more, recent fighting and British incursions were waged in New England, a tough reality for people who did not want the war.

23 23 From 15 December 1814 to 5 January 1815, delegates from New England states met in Hartford, Connecticut to lay out their objections to the Madison administration and its conduct of the war. From 15 December 1814 to 5 January 1815, delegates from New England states met in Hartford, Connecticut to lay out their objections to the Madison administration and its conduct of the war. The most radical elements called for secession from the union and the reaching of a separate peace with Great Britain. The most radical elements called for secession from the union and the reaching of a separate peace with Great Britain. Ultimately, moderates prevailed and the convention produced a document advocating a return to the state centered federalism similar to the Articles of Confederation. Ultimately, moderates prevailed and the convention produced a document advocating a return to the state centered federalism similar to the Articles of Confederation. The end of the war quickly made the Hartford Convention politically noxious. The end of the war quickly made the Hartford Convention politically noxious. Due, in part, to their close identification with the convention, the Federalist collapsed as a major political party and were never again able to field a national candidate. Due, in part, to their close identification with the convention, the Federalist collapsed as a major political party and were never again able to field a national candidate.

24 24 The Treaty of Ghent The War of 1812 had quickly devolved into a stalemate. The War of 1812 had quickly devolved into a stalemate. The United States failed to realize its territorial ambitions in Canada and Britain, other than burning Washington, failed to land a decisive victory that could end the war on favorable terms. The United States failed to realize its territorial ambitions in Canada and Britain, other than burning Washington, failed to land a decisive victory that could end the war on favorable terms. With the defeat of Napoleon, the issue of impressment, which ostensibly triggered the war, receded into irrelevance. With the defeat of Napoleon, the issue of impressment, which ostensibly triggered the war, receded into irrelevance. With victory unlikely for either side, peace negotiations began in the Netherlands. With victory unlikely for either side, peace negotiations began in the Netherlands. In the resulting treaty, signed on 24 December 1814, both sides essentially agreed to recognize the status quo as it existed before the war so much as was possible. In the resulting treaty, signed on 24 December 1814, both sides essentially agreed to recognize the status quo as it existed before the war so much as was possible.

25 25 The Treaty of Ghent was quickly ratified by the Senate and was signed by President Madison on 18 February The Treaty of Ghent was quickly ratified by the Senate and was signed by President Madison on 18 February The treaty was hailed as a major success in the United States. The treaty was hailed as a major success in the United States. Though any benefits of the war were negligible at best, the young United States had stood up to what amounted to bullying by a major European power and had held its own. Though any benefits of the war were negligible at best, the young United States had stood up to what amounted to bullying by a major European power and had held its own. Through this, the United States gained a great deal of prestige and was becoming recognized as a significant military power. Through this, the United States gained a great deal of prestige and was becoming recognized as a significant military power.

26 26 The Battle of New Orleans Owing to the difficulties of communication in the early 19th Century, the Battle of New Orleans, the largest battle in the War of 1812, did not occur until after the peace was reached at Ghent. Owing to the difficulties of communication in the early 19th Century, the Battle of New Orleans, the largest battle in the War of 1812, did not occur until after the peace was reached at Ghent. On 13 December 1814, a large force crossed the Caribbean from the British base at Jamaica to attack New Orleans and deprive the Americans the port and the mouth of the Mississippi River. On 13 December 1814, a large force crossed the Caribbean from the British base at Jamaica to attack New Orleans and deprive the Americans the port and the mouth of the Mississippi River. After defeating a number of small American gunboats at the Battle of Lake Borgne, the way was open for an invasion. After defeating a number of small American gunboats at the Battle of Lake Borgne, the way was open for an invasion. Many considered the outcome of the coming battle to be a foregone conclusion Many considered the outcome of the coming battle to be a foregone conclusion

27 27 The British invaders outnumbered the Americans by better than two to one. The British invaders outnumbered the Americans by better than two to one. Residents of New Orleans took steps to protect their property as they feared American commander Andrew Jackson, who would later become president, would conduct a scorched earth defense, destroying the city rather than surrender it to the British. Residents of New Orleans took steps to protect their property as they feared American commander Andrew Jackson, who would later become president, would conduct a scorched earth defense, destroying the city rather than surrender it to the British. Jackson chose to mount his defense from an elevated position protected by a stone wall that would require the British to march across a large field while exposed to American fire. Jackson chose to mount his defense from an elevated position protected by a stone wall that would require the British to march across a large field while exposed to American fire. The British simply hoped that, through their vastly superior numbers, enough attackers would survive the march to take the American position. The British simply hoped that, through their vastly superior numbers, enough attackers would survive the march to take the American position.

28 28 The British launched their major attack on 8 January The British launched their major attack on 8 January Through the early stages of the battle, things went according to form. The British suffered terribly crossing the field, but there were simply too many soldiers to shoot. Through the early stages of the battle, things went according to form. The British suffered terribly crossing the field, but there were simply too many soldiers to shoot. Upon reaching the base of the American position however, the British discovered that they had forgotten the siege ladders needed to scale the American position at their camp. Upon reaching the base of the American position however, the British discovered that they had forgotten the siege ladders needed to scale the American position at their camp. At this point, the battle became a massacre as the British were trapped between the oncoming push of their own ranks and the stone wall held by the Americans. At this point, the battle became a massacre as the British were trapped between the oncoming push of their own ranks and the stone wall held by the Americans. Americans were able to fire into the exposed and stationary British from very close range. Of the 10,000 British soldiers that began the assault, more than 2,700 were killed, wounded, or captured. The Americans lost 71 men. Americans were able to fire into the exposed and stationary British from very close range. Of the 10,000 British soldiers that began the assault, more than 2,700 were killed, wounded, or captured. The Americans lost 71 men.


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