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The Jefferson Era The Coming of War

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1 The Jefferson Era The Coming of War
Chapter 8, Section 3 Pages

2 Building Background The United States tried to stay neutral in the conflicts between France and Great Britain, but it was impossible to avoid getting involved. French and British ships interfered with American trade across the Atlantic. The British also caused trouble along the western frontier. Many Americans began to want to wage war with Great Britain.

3 Violations of Neutrality
While overseas trade was profitable for American merchants, it was also risky. Ships had to travel great distances, often sailing through violent storms. Merchant ships sailing in the Mediterranean risked capture from pirates from the Barbary States of North America. Attacks continued until the U.S. sent the USS Constitution and other ships to end them.

4 Violations of Neutrality
In 1804 the pirates seized the United States warship Philadelphia and towed it into Tripoli Harbor. When a United States navy captain and his raiding party burned the ship, a British admiral called it a “bold and daring act.” The conflict ended in June 1805 when Tripoli agreed to stop demanding tribute. However, the United States had to pay a ransom of $60,000 to release American prisoners.


6 Violations of Neutrality
While the Barbary pirates were a serious problem, a greater threat troubled the Americans. Both Britain and France wanted to stop the U.S. from supplying goods to the other. Each government passed laws designed to prevent American merchants from trading with the other. In addition, the navies of both nations captured many American ships searching for war supplies.

7 Trouble on the Seas The British needed sailors, so they kidnapped American sailors. Their naval patrols claimed the right to stop American ships at sea. They seized sailors though to be British deserters and forced them into service. This practice of impressment did catch some deserters, but thousands of the impressed sailors were native-born and naturalized American citizens.

8 Attack on the Seas The British attacked the American ship Chesapeake in June 1807. The British warship Leopard intercepted the Chesapeake and demanded to search the ship for British deserters. The British opened fire when the Chesapeake’s captain refused to let the British search his ship.

9 American Reaction Americans were furious at the British when they heard of the attack. Many demanded war. However, Jefferson chose another path. Congress passed a disastrous trade ban in December 1807 called the Embargo Act.

10 The Embargo Act The intent of the Embargo Act was to hurt Britain. Instead, the embargo banned imports from and exports to all foreign countries. The act was a disaster. It wiped out all American commerce with other nations. It was also ineffective against Britain because it traded with Latin America for agricultural goods. On March 1, 1809, Congress repealed the act and passed the Nonintercourse Act. This act prohibited trade with only Britain and France and their colonial possessions.

11 Conflict in the West Disagreements between Great Britain and the U.S. went beyond the neutrality issue. In the early 1800s, Native Americans in the old Northwest Territory continued to lose land as thousands of settlers moved into the region. British agents from Canada began arming Native Americans. Rumors of British activity in the old Northwest Territory began to anger Americans.

12 Tecumseh Resists Tecumseh, a Shawnee chief, watched angrily as the
Native Americans were being pushed off their lands. He warned other Native American groups about the dangers that they faced from the settlers. He believed that the Native Americans had to do what the white Americans had done – unite. Tecumseh hoped to united that Native Americans of the northwestern frontier, the South, and the eastern Mississippi Valley.

13 Tecumseh

14 Tecumseh Tecumseh met with the white people and the governor of
the Indiana Territory, General William Henry Harrison. Harrison warned him on the weakness of a Native American-British alliance and the power of the United States against them. Tecumseh said that it was the Americans who were killing the Native Americans, taking away the land and pushing the Native Americans to do mischief, and keeping the tribes from uniting.

15 Battle of Tippecanoe In 1811 William Henry Harrison attacked Tecumseh’s brother, the Prophet, at the Battle of Tippecanoe. The Americans proclaimed a victory, while the Prophet’s forces fled. Unfortunately for the Americans, Tecumseh and the British forces united as a result of the American victory.

16 The War Hawks The War Hawks, led by Henry Clay from Kentucky and
John Calhoun from South Carolina, pushed for the president to declare war with Britain. The Federalists in the Northeast remained opposed to war. The War Hawks were eager to expand the nation’s power. By their efforts, the size of the army quadrupled through military spending.

17 The Opposition The strongest opponents of the War Hawks were New
England Federalists. British trade restrictions and impressment had hurt New England’s economy. People there wanted to renew friendly business ties with Britain instead of fighting another war.

18 Declaring War Republican James Madison was elected president in 1808.
He faced the difficulty of continuing an unpopular trade war begun by Jefferson. He also felt growing pressure from the War Hawks. By 1812 he decided that Congress must vote on war. Madison blasted Great Britain’s conduct and asked Congress to decide just how the nation should respond. Congress decided to declare war.

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