War-of-1812-Document-Analysis.pdf - War of 1812 Document...

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1 War of 1812 Document Analysis Historical Context: In 1812, only 29 years after the American Revolution, the United States found itself again at war with Great Britain. The threat of war had been brewing for some time, and this War of 1812 was not unexpected. Since the 1790's, America's leaders had tried to avoid being drawn into a series of wars between France and Britain. In 1793 President Washington issued a proclamation of neutrality asking his countrymen to be impartial toward both Britain and France. In 1800 President Adams agreed to the Convention of 1800. This ended the alliance America had formed with France during the American Revolution, an alliance which now threatened to draw America into Europe's wars. Following Adams, President Jefferson continued to steer clear of war with France and Britain. However, when both countries violated American trading rights, with Britain often stopping American ships, seizing cargoes, and kidnapping sailors (a practice called "impressment"), Jefferson called for a total embargo (or ban) on American trading. Unfortunately, this "Embargo of 1807" failed to force the European powers to respect our rights, and severely harmed our own economy, throwing thousands of merchants, shippers, and sailors out of work. When James Madison became president in 1809, he found himself facing the same problem: How could we force Britain and France to respect our rights on the high seas without being forced to war? Finally, after three years of failed diplomatic efforts, Madison asked Congress to declare war on Great Britain. Part A : The following documents address the factors that led America into war with Britain in 1812. Examine each document carefully, and answer the question or questions that follow. Document 1 In November 1811, the Committee on Foreign Relations of the U.S. House of Representatives reported on our nation's growing conflict with France and Britain. In the following excerpt, the report explains our complaints against Britain. (From Annals of the

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