Wednesday, 15 June 2011

The War of 1812

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The War Of 181

The War of 181 was an extension of events in Europe. The continued war between the British and French eventually drew the Americans into an unnecessary war.

George Washington (17-17) was born on February , 17. He was the first President of the United States. His terms of Presidency were, first term 178-17 and second term 17-177. During Washington’s terms of Presidency there were many major Foreign Policy changes. One was the Genet affair (17) Genet, a minister appointed by the French republic, seemed determined to entice Americans into war on the side of the French. This disturbed Washington, and after Genet had tried to group American warships to send to war against the British. Citizen Genet (17) was sent by France to be its new ambassador to the United States. Genet’s instructions were to use the United States as a base to equip privateers against the British. He then attempted to bring about change in the American government. The US government generally requested his recall. The major conflict of the Washington administration was the Whisky Rebellion (174) � farmers in four counties in western Pennsylvania were refusing to pay whiskey taxes. They armed themselves and attacked federal officials. Washington squelched this rebellion by sending 15,000 troops to western Pennsylvania. Because during the course of this conflict, the government proved that it could enforce law when it needed to. The actions of the government during the Whisky Rebellion led the way for present-day policemen enforce the laws of the United States.

John Adams (175-186) was born in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 175. A Harvard-educated lawyer, he early became identified with the patriot cause; a delegate to the first and second Continental Congresses, he led in the movement for independence. During the Revolutionary War he served in France and Holland in diplomatic roles, and helped negotiate the treaty of peace. From 178 to 1788 he was minister to the Court of St. James’s, returning to be elected Vice President under George Washington. When Adams became President, the war between the French and British was causing great difficulties for the United States on the high seas and intense partisanship among contending factions within the Nation. His administration focused on France, where the Directory, the ruling group, had refused to receive the American envoy and had suspended commercial relations. In 17, Adams sent three commissioners to France, but in the spring of 178 word arrived that the French Foreign Minister Tallyrand and the Directory had refused to negotiate with them unless they would first pay a substantial bribe. Adams reported the insult to Congress, and the Senate printed the correspondence, in which the Frenchmen were referred to only an “X, Y, and Z.” When word of the affair became public, the American people were incensed. They demanded war with France. Adams refrained from decaling war, but a quasi-war took place for two years.

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Alien and Sedition act, 178, four laws enacted by the Federalist-controlled U.S. Congress, allegedly in response to the hostile actions of the French Revolutionary government on the seas and in the councils of diplomacy, but actually designed to destroy Thomas Jefferson’s Republican party, which had openly expressed its sympathies for the French Revolutionaries. Depending on recent arrivals from Europe for much of their voting strength, the Republicans were adversely affected by the Naturalization Act, which postponed citizenship, and thus voting privileges, until the completion of 14 years of residence, and by the Alien Act and the Alien Enemies Act, which gave the President the power to imprison or deport aliens suspected of activities posing a threat to the national government. President John Adams made no use of the alien acts. Most controversial, however, was the Sedition Act, devised to silence Republican criticism of the Federalists. Its broad proscription of spoken or written criticism of the government, the Congress, or the President virtually nullified the First Amendment freedoms of speech and the press. Prominent Jeffersonian, most of them journalists, such as John Daly Burk, James T. Callender, Thomas Cooper, William Duane (1760�185), and Matthew Lyon were tried, and some were convicted, in sedition proceedings. The Alien and Sedition Acts provoked the Kentucky and Virginia Resolution 178 and did much to unify the Republican Party and to foster Republican victory in the election of 1800. The Republican-controlled Congress repealed the Naturalization Act in 180; the others were allowed to expire (1800�1801).

In November 178, the Kentucky legislature passed the Kentucky Resolutions, which declared the Alien and Sedition Acts unconstitutional and therefore null and void. Thomas Jefferson was the author of the Act. And In December of 178, the House passed the Virginia Resolutions with a vote of 100 to 6. The resolution was adopted as a protest against the Alien and Sedition Acts passed by Congress. James Madison authored it in collaboration with Thomas Jefferson, who authored a set of resolutions for Kentucky.

James Madison (1751-185) 180-1817 he made a major contribution to the ratification of the Constitution by writing, with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay, the Federalist essays. In later years, when he was referred to as the Father of the Constitution, Madison protested that the document was not the off-spring of a single brain, but the work of many heads and many hands. In Congress, he helped frame the Bill of Rights and enact the first revenue legislation. Out of his leadership in opposition to Hamiltons financial proposals, which he felt would unduly bestow wealth and power upon northern financiers came the development of the Republican, or Jeffersonian, Party. As President Jeffersons Secretary of State, Madison protested to warring France and Britain that their seizure of American ships was contrary to international law. The protests, John Randolph sharply commented, had the effect of a shilling pamphlet hurled against eight hundred ships of war. Despite the unpopular Embargo Act of 1807, which did not make the aggressive nations change their ways but did cause a depression in the United States, Madison was elected President in 1808. Before he took office the Embargo Act was repealed. During the first year of Madisons Administration, the United States prohibited trade with both Britain and France; then in May, 1810, Congress authorized trade with both, directing the President, if either would accept Americas view of neutral rights, to forbid trade with the other nation. Napoleon pretended to comply. Late in 1810, Madison proclaimed non-intercourse with Great Britain. The Non Intercourse Act was replaced by Macon’s Bill Number Two- This bill lifted all restrictions on trade with both England and France. A provision was added that stated that in the event of either nation repealing its trade restrictions, and embargo would be established against the other nations.

In Congress a young group including Henry Clay and John C. Calhoun, the War Hawks, pressed the President for a more militant policy. They supported an embargo against Great Britain that would culminate in military action. This embargo was designed to avoid having merchant ships at sea at the outbreak of war, but the embargo had just the opposite effect, with merchants rushing their ships to sea before the embargo began. The British impressments of American seamen and the seizure of cargoes impelled Madison to give in to the pressure. On June 1, 181, he asked Congress to declare war. The young Nation was not prepared to fight; its forces took a severe trouncing. The American declaration of war in June of 181 heightened tensions within the Creek confederacy. Though both Britain and its Spanish ally in West Florida attempted to lure them into an alliance, the Red Stick Creeks initially maintained their distance from the white mans war. But in the summer of 181 the internal crisis deepened when the Red Sticks retaliated for Little Warriors death against the Creek town of Tuckabatchee, signaling the start of a nine-month long civil war. The Upper Creeks called for help and militia units from the surrounding states responded hoping to stop the violent attacks that threatened their settlements. The Red Sticks also sought outside support and, through British contacts, secured gunpowder and lead from Spanish authorities in Florida in July of 181. American militia at Burnt Corn Creek ambushed the Red Stick force returning with these provisions. The Red Sticks were driven off at first, but they regrouped and routed the Americans. The victory won over even more Creeks to the Red Stick cause.

In the spring of 181 marked a change in the fortunes of the Army of the United States. The capital of Upper Canada, York (present day Toronto) had been captured, looted, jails opened public buildings damaged and military structures destroyed. However the victory had come at an expensive price with the death of the US’s most able general, Zebulon Pike. The amphibious attack on York had showed to the British how vulnerable their supply line was to the Niagara peninsula and had forced badly needed reinforcements back to Kingston, 00 miles further away from Niagara’s principal garrison, Fort George. To the American General Henry Dearborn across the river at Fort Niagara the time was right for an all-out invasion of Upper Canada.

In August 1814, British forces captured Washington and burned the White House in retaliation for the destruction of some public buildings in Canada by American troops. The exterior sandstone walls and interior brickwork were all that remained. Reconstruction began in 1815 under Hobans supervision, and the White House was ready for James Monroe in September 1817.

The war of 181 was a war that should not have happened. Eventually some men prevailed and put an end to this war. There were no victors, and the war proved to be a Tragic Tally.

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