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Unit 5-A New Country Lesson 28: Foreign Conflict
Review Thomas Jefferson believed in westward expansion because it would allow more people to own property. In 1802, diplomats from the United States purchased the Louisiana Territory from France, doubling the size of the country. Expeditions were sponsored by Congress to explore the new lands. Many Federalists opposed the Louisiana Purchase.
U.S. in Foreign Seas Sea travel in the early 1800s was very dangerous, but the well-being of many Americans relied on foreign trade. Ships were sailing regularly from New York, Philadelphia, and New England to China and India to trade furs and other goods for tea and silk. Americans began sailing to South America, Africa, and the Mediterranean Sea looking for new goods.
Foreign Trade Routes
Boost in U.S. Trading War between France and England in the 1790s gave Americans a boost in the shipping industry. Many French and British merchant ships remained in port, instead of risking capture or destruction by the enemy.
Boost in U.S. Trading This allowed American merchants to increase their trade. The United States had almost 1,000 merchant ships trading around the world by 1800.
Barbary Pirates Ships sailing in the Mediterranean Sea had to lookout for pirates from Tripoli and other Barbary Coast states of North Africa. Barbary pirates would stop ships and demand tribute, or protection money, from European governments in order for their ships to pass safely.
War With Tripoli The United States had to pay tribute to safely pass, as well. In 1801, the ruler of Tripoli demanded more money from the United States, but President Jefferson refused. The ruler of Tripoli cut down the flagpole of the American consulate, which meant a declaration of war.
War With Tripoli Jefferson sent ships to the Mediterranean Sea and blockaded, or closed off, Tripoli. The American naval fleet was not strong enough to defeat the Barbary pirates, and the war continued.
Stephen Decatur In 1804, the pirates captured the U.S. warship Philadelphia, towed it into Tripoli harbor, and threw the captain and crew into jail. Decatur was a young Navy captain who slipped into the harbor with a small raiding party, burning the captured ship to prevented the pirates from using it.
Burning of the Philadelphia
End of War With Tripoli In June 1805 negotiations finally ended the conflict with Tripoli. Tripoli agreed to stop demanding tribute from the United States The United States had to pay $60,000 for the release of the American prisoners of war.
Neutral Rights When England and France went to war in 1803, America peacefully traded with both sides. The United States knew they had neutral rights, which meant that they had the right to sail the seas and not take sides.
Neutral Rights Violated In 1805, both France and England grew tired of America’s “neutrality.” England blockaded the French coast and threatened to search all ships trading with France. France responded by saying that they would seize and search ships trading with England.
Impressment The British needed sailors for their navy due to the fact that many British sailors deserted the Royal Navy. The British claimed the right to stop American ships at sea and search for any sailors that had deserted the British Royal Navy. Thousands of American citizens were impressed, or forced to serve in the navy.
Attack on the Chesapeake British ships would often wait for American ships outside the American harbors. In June 1807, the British demanded to search the American ship, named the Chesapeake, for British deserters. The Chesapeake’s captain refused, which resulted in the British opening fire, killing 3, injuring 18, and destroying the ship.
Attack on the Chesapeake
Reaction to the Chesapeake Americans reacted to the news of the attack with anti-British feelings not seen since the Revolutionary War. Many Americans demanded war against England. Jefferson wanted to respond to the attacks, but wanted to take a course of action other than war.
Embargo Act of 1807 America had already banned some trade with England due to the impressment of sailors. In December 1807, Congress passed the Embargo Act which prohibited trade with all foreign countries. Jefferson wanted to prevent American merchants from using other countries as a go between with England.
Results of the Embargo Act President Jefferson and Secretary of State, James Madison, believed the Embargo Act would hurt England because they depended on American agricultural products. The Embargo Act hurt the United States more than anyone else, especially doing business with other nations. England began to trade with Latin America for its agricultural goods.
Nonintercourse Act Congress repealed the Embargo Act, which had not worked, on December 1, In its place, Congress passed the Nonintercourse Act, which prohibited trade with only England and France and their colonial territories.
New President Jefferson decided to follow George Washington’s precedent, and not run for a third term as president. The Republicans nominated James Madison to run against Charles Pinckney. Federalists hoped that anger over the embargo would help Pinckney win, but he got little support from regions outside of New England. James Madison became the 4 th president.
Closer to War The country was still suffering from the embargo situation, and England still claimed the right to stop American ships. Congress passed a law in 1810 that allowed direct trade with either France or England, depending on which country lifted its trade restrictions against America. Napoleon promised to end France’s trade restrictions.
Madison is Tricked France continued to seize American ships, selling them and keeping the profits. The United States was on the verge of war, but it was hard to decide if the enemy should be England or France. Madison continued to view England as the bigger threat to the United States, even though he been tricked by France.
Issues Out West While the nation dealt with problems in Europe, problems began out west in Ohio, which became a state in White settlers continued to move into the Ohio Valley, moving onto lands guaranteed to the Native Americans by treaty. As problems in the west grew, Native Americans renewed their contact with British agents and Canadian fur traders.
Tecumseh Tecumseh was a powerful chief of the Shawnee tribe who built an alliance with many Native American nations in the Northwest Territory. He believed this alliance, with the help of the British in Canada, could stop the Americans from moving to Native American lands.
The Prophet The Prophet was an ally and a brother of Tecumseh. The Prophet believed that Native Americans everywhere should return to the customs of their ancestors, giving up practices learned from the white Europeans. He had a huge following that helped him find a village in northern Indiana, called Prophetstown.
General William Henry Harrison Harrison, governor of the Indiana Territory, was surprised by the growing power of Tecumseh and his brother, feared they would form an alliance with England. Harrison warned Tecumseh in a letter that the United States had more warriors than all the Indian nations could put together, and that the British could not help them.
General William Henry Harrison
Battle of Tippecanoe In 1811 Harrison decided to attack Prophetstown on the Tippecanoe River, while Tecumseh was in the South trying to recruit more Native Americans. After two hours of fighting, forces led by the Prophet fled the area in defeat. The American victory resulted in Tecumseh officially joining forces with the British.
War Hawks A group of young Republicans elected to Congress in 1810, known as the War Hawks, demanded more aggressive policies towards England. The War Hawks, who came from the South and the West, pressured Madison to declare war on England. The War Hawks also wanted to expand the nation’s power.
War Hawks The War Hawks had a strong loyalty to their country, or nationalism, which appealed to the renewed sense of patriotism among Americans. Henry Clay of Kentucky (West) and John Calhoun of South Carolina (South) were the two main leaders of the War Hawks.
War Hawks Westerners wanted to move north to the fertile lands of southern Canada. A war with England might make this land available. Southerners wanted Spanish Florida. War Hawks persuaded Congress to increase military spending, leading to the military quadrupling in size. Federalists in the Northeast opposed war.
Declaring War Stating that a war with England was inevitable, Madison asked Congress for a declaration of war. England had decided to end their policy of search and seizure of American ships. Due to the time it took for news to travel across the Atlantic, war had been declared before America learned of the change to British policy.
Conclusion During the early 1800s America was dealing with issues across the Atlantic in Europe and Africa, as well as out West with the Native Americans. New policies by the United States’ government failed, leading to more conflict with Europe. These conflicts led to a group of young politicians pushing for war, which was finally declared in 1812.
Assignments Answer the four review questions for this lesson. Create a time line for the events leading to the declaration of war against England in 1812, starting with the presidency of John Adams from lesson 25. You will have a Unit 5 test after you complete Lesson 32