War of 1812
Throughout the 19th century, America transformed from a small, developing country into a world power. Acquisitions due to events such as The Louisiana Purchase, the Mexican Cession and the addition of Alaska, Florida, Oregon, and Texas tripled the size of the United States from 890,000 sq. miles to 2.73 million sq. miles in less than 100 years. One of the events that catalyzed this expansion was the War of 1812. The war is sometimes called “America’s second war for independence” because Great Britain was still interfering with American affairs. One definite cause of the war cannot be pinpointed because there were many factors that compounded upon one another. They can be whittled down to four main concerns which are maritime and trade issues, the Embargo Act, territorial expansion, and War Hawks.
The dispute on the seas and involving trade may have been the biggest concern. Britain was blockading any ship from going to France because of a war between the two countries, and as a result, ships had to first go through a British port in order to trade in France. Britain considered any ship that did not stop any enemy. On top of the trade dilemma was the problem of British search and seizure on the high seas. The British felt they had the right to search for deserters on any ship, anywhere in the ocean. Sometimes British generals made mistakes and American citizens would be wrongly accused of deserting. Many times it would take years for the mistake to be corrected.
To try to influence the European economy, President Jefferson passed the Embargo Act in 1807. It stopped almost every American vessel from sailing and closed trade with Europe; however, instead of disturbing Britain’s economy, the act adversely affected every region of the U.S., and its economy stalled. The Embargo lasted until 1810 when Congress passed Macon’s Bill No. 2, which reversed everything the Embargo Act had enforced. Americans were still mad at Britain, though, because it had...