War of 1812 Causes Essay

971 Words Nov 1st, 2005 4 Pages
Ever since the American Revolution, there was a bitter friction between the United States and Great Britain. This detestation of each other was finally acted out when President Madison declared war on Great Britain on June 14, 1812, thus beginning the War of 1812. The Unites States was tired of getting harassed on the seas, had a strong will to expand, and felt too much pride to let Great Britain get away with everything they had done. Three causes of the War of 1812 were maritime problems, Manifest Destiny, and national pride. One of the three main causes of the War of 1812 was maritime problems between the United States and Great Britain. The seeds of these maritime problems were planted nine years before the War of 1812 even …show more content…
In his Declaration of War, President Madison stated, "We behold our seafaring citizens still the daily victims of lawless violence. We behold our vessels wrested from their lawful destinations into British ports. We behold, in fine, on the side of Great Britain a state of war against the United States." (Doc. 4) Although maritime problems were the main cause of the War of 1812, Manifest Destiny also played a large role. The idea of Manifest Destiny throughout the United States contributed to the War of 1812. During the Jefferson Administration, the United States purchased the Louisiana Territory from the French for fifteen million dollars. Napoleon originally bought it from Spain in an effort to make his country more self-sufficient and less reliant on trade. However, because of a slave rebellion in Santo Domingo, Napoleon was losing men and money. He decided to cut his loses and sell the territory. Now that America had more land, we felt like we had to colonize it all. This was called Manifest Destiny. It was our God-given right to expand to our natural borders and we were going to do it! Congressman John Randolph believed that maritime problems were not the cause of the war, but Manifest Destiny was the sole cause and showed it by saying, "Gentlemen from the North have been taken up some high mountain and shown all the kingdoms of the earth; and Canada seems tempting in their sight." (Doc. 3)

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