Presentation on theme: "Pirates! And Other Obnoxious People!. Danger on the High Seas United States merchants and traders went all around the world selling goods. The state of."— Presentation transcript:
Danger on the High Seas United States merchants and traders went all around the world selling goods. The state of Algiers was one of several North African lands known as the Barbary states. These countries practiced piracy and held foreign citizens captive for ransom. Many nations, including the United States, agreed to make payments to the Barbary States to protect their ships and citizens.
Eventually, the U.S. was tired of paying the Barbary States and refused to continue, and the U.S. Navy was sent to end the pirate raids. Sailing to the Barbary States presented even greater dangers. When the French and British had gone to war in 1803, both sides wanted to stop the U.S. from supplying goods and war materials to the other.
In the early 1800’s, Great Britain passed a law saying their navy could search and seize ships carrying war supplies to France. The French quickly stuck back and said no country could ship goods to Britain. Many American merchants ignored these laws. As a result, the British and French navies captured many American ships. They also searched these ships for British sailors who had run away from the British navy. The British then forced these people to return with them. This practice of pressing, or forcing, people to serve in the army or navy was called impressment. Sometimes U.S. citizens suffered impressment by accident.
A Trade War Debates raged in the U.S. on how to deal with impressment. Some Americans wanted to go to war, others favored an embargo against Britain. Jefferson favored an embargo. In December 1807, Congress passed the Embargo Act which banned trade with all foreign countries.
The idea behind this was to hurt Great Britain and France, and to protect American ships. But, the act only hurt American merchants. Without trade, they lost a great deal of money. Jefferson’s support fell as a result of the Embargo Act, plus it had little effect on Britain or France.
Congress replaced the Embargo Act with the Non-Intercourse Act in 1809. This act banned trade only with Britain and France. It also stated that the U.S. would begin trading with the country that stopped violating U.S. neutrality first.
The Rise of Tecumseh Tensions between Great Britain and the U.S. extended on land as well. In the early 1800’s, thousands of settlers were moving into the Northwest Territory. Great Britain wanted to protect their interests in Canada, but did not want to fight the U.S. So, they gave military aid to American Indians living in the Northwest Territory.
One of the most influential and talented American Indian leaders was Tecumseh. He warned other American Indians about the dangers they faced from settlers, and tried to unite the Indians against the American settlers. Tecumseh’s brother, the Prophet, helped him build a village for his followers near the Tippecanoe River.
War on the Frontier William Henry Harrison, the governor of the Indiana Territory, believed Tecumseh was a serious threat to American power. Harrison and Tecumseh met to try to make peace, but they were unsuccessful. Tecumseh went to ask other Indian tribes to join forces with them. While he was gone, Harrison attacked his village. The Battle of Tippecanoe lasted all day. Tecumseh’s village was destroyed, and the Prophet was killed.
The War Debate The war on the frontier angered many Americans. They felt that the British had encouraged Tecumseh to attack settlers in the west, so they blamed the British for the war. Some members of Congress called War Hawks wanted to declare war on Great Britain. This group was led by Henry Clay of Kentucky and John C. Calhoun of South Carolina.
War Hawks felt that if they didn’t go to war with Britain, their independence was at stake. They also thought this would give the United States an opportunity to expand. Anti-war politicians felt the U.S. was not ready to go to war. The U.S. army and navy were small and poorly equipped.
A Declaration of War James Madison, who had been elected president in 1808, faced a dilemma. He described Britain’s conduct to Congress in 1812. He complained about impressment of American sailors and criticized British violation of American neutrality. He asked Congress to decide what to do. A few days later, Congress voted to go to war. A few months later, Madison was re-elected and would serve as commander in chief during the War of 1812.