Causes and Impacts of the War of 1812 - Essay Example

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The author of the paper "Causes and Impacts of the War of 1812" will begin with the statement that the War of 1812 began between the United States of America and Great Britain in June 1812. It ended in 1815. The paper outlines the causes that led to the War of 1812…
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Causes and Impacts of the War of 1812
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Download file to see previous pages There were two reasons why Britain adopted this policy. During the war between Britain and France that began in 1803, the U.S. remained neutral. In 1805, the British defeated a combination of French and Spanish fleets near Cape Trafalgar, confirming its status as the world’s most powerful naval power. The main strength of the French, on the other hand, lay in its strong ground forces. Since the two opponents could not directly pit their strengths against one another, they resorted to economic strangulation methods. This was the first reason why Britain resorted to unfair maritime practices. The second reason was the perception that the American merchant marine was unfairly benefiting greatly from the European war, while also growing at a rapid pace thus posing a threat to Britain’s naval dominance and its commercial shipping (Harney).
The British Orders in Council of 1807 decreed that all neutral ships should pass through British ports. France’s Berlin decree of 1806 and Milan decree of 1807 proclaimed Britain as commercially isolated and condemned neutral nations whose ships adhered to the British decree. America perceived that both countries were disregarding its neutral rights, but British maritime practices were opposed more because Britain controlled the seas (Gateway New Orleans).
Impressment refers to the right to search for deserters of a nation’s armed forces. Britain started stopping and searching American ships for British deserters – an act looked upon as a breach of sovereignty. American displeasure was exacerbated by the arrogant power entrusted by the British to their naval officers whereby they made unilateral, on-the-spot judgments about the nationality of any man on the boarded vessel
Britain resorted to impressment because an increasing number of its sailors were deserting the navy due to discouraging factors like poor food, hard work and excessive discipline and preferring to work in the American merchant marine that itself faced a shortage of sailors and could afford to offer British deserters a wage treble of what they earned in the British navy (Harney). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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