War Of 1812 Dbq Essay

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Thomas Jefferson and James Madison put forth their best attempts to prevent war with Britain and France for a number of reasons. For one, the United States was still a nation in its infancy compared to Britain and France, with no standing army at the time. This is supported by Andrew Lambert in his essay, "A British Perspective on the War of 1812" when he stated that the United States, once it was inevitably involved in war with Britain, "fought with whatever money, manpower and navel force that could be spared, no more than seven percent of the total British military effort" (Lambert). The United States was largely disadvantaged due to its lack of funds and military forces, therefore it desperately wanted to remain neutral throughout the wars …show more content…
The most significant reasons for America entering into the War of 1812 were because of "impressment, illegal blockades, the Orders of the Council, and British responsibility for renewing Indian warfare in the northwest" (*). The Americans were especially angered by the impressment taking place by the British, as it was one of the first ways in which America was dragged into the conflict between Britain and France. It was also a threat to the American citizens, as those who were kidnapped by the British were forced to be a part of the Royal Navy and would often die for it. The illegal blockades, as stated by Madison himself in the "Special Message to Congress on the Foreign Policy Crisis" from June 1, 1812, caused America great distress because "our [American] commerce [had] been plundered in every sea, the great staples of our country [had] been cut off from their legitimate markets, and a destructive blow aimed at our agricultural and maritime interests" (Madison). Clearly, these illegal blockades were a threat to the American economy and interests, which in turn even further led America to go to war with Britain. The Orders of the Council, which were meant to block trading between the United States and France, and the British involvement in the northwestern Indian warfare, which only contributed to the already growing tension between Americans and the Indians, were also direct causes for Madison's decision to declare war on

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