American History Unit 3 – Lesson 4 The War of 1812 Gearing Up for War Democratic Republicans felt humiliated by the failure of the 1807 embargo against Britain. With persistent British abuses on the oceans, and Native American resistance in the West, Americans increasingly blamed the British. Replacing the Embargo In 1809, Congress replaced the embargo with the Nonintercourse Act. Aimed at Britain and France, the act stated that the United States would resume trade with whichever of those countries lifted their restrictions on American shipping. The following year, Congress passed legislation that went a step further. Macon’s Bill No. 2 restored trade with both Britain and France but also promised that if either country actively recognized American neutrality, then the United States would resume trading sanctions against the other country. When France agreed to withdraw decrees against American shipping, President Madison ordered sanctions against the British. In the meantime, however, France continued to seize American ships. Battling Native Americans On the western frontier, two Shawnee Indian brothers, the prophet Tenskwatawa and the warrior Tecumseh , wanted to preserve Native American culture and unite the Indian nations in armed resistance against American expansion. They were angered by the government’s repeated use of dishonest treaties to take their lands. In late 1811, while Tecumseh was seeking allies in the South, Governor William Henry Harrison of the Indiana Territory led troops into the brothers’ village of Prophetstown, along the Tippecanoe River. After the Battle of Tippecanoe , the Americans burned Prophetstown. The Native American movement lost some momentum , though most Native Americans escaped to fight again. The War Hawks Demand War In 1811 some aggressive young politicians, known as the War Hawks , took the lead in Congress. Representing farmers and settlers from the southern and western states, the War Hawks included John C. Calhoun of South Carolina and Henry Clay of Kentucky. Strongly nationalist, they denounced the impressments of American sailors and British support for Native Americans. The War Hawks pushed for a war against Britain to restore national honor. They insisted that invading British-held Canada would deprive the Indians of their main source of arms and drive the British out of North America. The War Hawks also believed that the British would make maritime concessions to get Canada back from the Americans. They underestimated the value that the British put on their domination of world trade.
- Spring '16
- War Of 1812