The Road to War
Conflict With Native Americans
Miamis and other Indians signed the Treaty of Greenville.
White settlers moved west of the Appalachians between 1790 and 1810. Native Americans resented these newcomers, who built farms on Indian lands and hunted the animals Indians needed for food. Fighting often broke out between Native Americans and settlers. Isolated acts of violence led to larger acts of revenge. In Ohio, Little Turtle of the Miamis and Blue Jacket of the Shawnees organized Indians resistance in 1791. Indians drove white settlers from the area. President Washington sent General Anthony Wayne into Ohio in 1794. Native American forces at a place called Fallen Timbers. In 1795 the
General Anthony Wayne
White settlers were pushed beyond Ohio into Indian territory. The Prophet and Tecumseh taught that white customs corrupted the Indian way of life. They said many Indians depended on white goods. In 1808 the Prophet built a village for his followers. Tecumseh worked to organize Indian nations into a confederation. Native Americans kept Tecumseh from uniting all Indians east of the Mississippi River. In 1811, Harrison marched soldiers against Prophetstown on the Tippecanoe Creek. Prophet led a suprise attack on Harrison's troops. Both sides suffered losses in the Battle of Tippecaoe.
Prophet and Tecumseh
A Push Toward War
The British were supplying guns and ammunition to the Native Americans. They also encourageed Indians to attack United States settlement. Congress authorized President Madison to make a tantalizing offer. If the British or French stopped seizing American ships, the United States would halt trade with the other nation. Napoleon announced that France would respect American neutrality. United States continued to trade with France. But stopped all shipments to Britain.
The War Hawks
New England wanted to restore trade with Britain, anti-british feeling ran strong. Members of Congress from the South and the West called for war, these people are called War Hawks. War Hawks were stirred by a strong sense of nationalism, or devotion to one's country. War Hawks felt that Britain was treating the United States as if it were still a British colony. They were willing to fight a war to defend American rights. The most outspoken War Hawk was Henry Clay. Clay wanted to punish Britain for seizing American ships. He hoped to conquer Canada. The War Hawks felt that winning a war against Britain would bring lasting safety to settlers on the frontier.
Congress Declares War
The United States and Britain drifted closer to the war. The British boarded American ships and impress American seamen. To cut off American trade with France, British warships blockaded some American ports. Near New York Harbor a brief battle broke out between an American frigate and a British warship. Representatives of New England feared that the British navy would attack New England seaports. President Madison gave in to war fever. Americans would soon learn, though, that declaring war was easier than winning.
Early Days of the War
The United States was not ready for war. Jefferson had reduced spending on defence, the navy had only 16 shipd to meet the huge British fleet. Since there were few regular troops, the goverment relied on volunteers. They were poorly trained, however, with little experience in battle. Many deserted after a few months. The British navy blockaded American ports to stop American trade. One famous battle took place early in the war, in August 1812. As he was sailing, Isaac Hull captain of the USS Constitution roared into action spotted the British ship. The British captain surrendered.
War in the West
One goal of the War Hawks was to conquer Canada. General William Hull moved American troops into Canada from Detroit. The Canadians had been led by a clever British general, Isaac Brock. Brock paraded his soldiers in red coats to make it appear that experienced British troops were helping the Canadians. Captain Oliver Hazard Perry had no fleet, so he designed and built his own ship. During the Battle of Lake Erie, the British battered Perry's own ship and left it helpless.
Captain Oliver Hazard Perry
General William Hull
In 1814 British ships sailed into Chesapeake Bay and landed an invasion force about 30 miled from Washington D.C. American troops met the British at Bladensburg, Maryland. British troops marched into the caapital. Dolley Madison gathered up important papers of the presidents and a portrait of George Washington. Then she fled south. From Washington, the British marched north toward the city of Baltimore. Francis Scott Key, a young lawyer who witness the battle, wrote a poem."The Stared Spangled Banner" was published and set to music. Today, it is the United States national anthem.
Francis Scott Key
Battle of New Orleans
In 1814 the British prepared to attack New Orleans. Andrew Jackson was wataing for the British to sail up the Mississippi. Jackson had turned his frontier fighters into a strong army. He took Pensacola in Spanish Florida to keep the British from using it as a base. He then marched through Mobile and set up camp in New Orleans. In 1815 the British attacked. Americans cheered the victory at the Battle of New Orleans. Overnight Jackson became a national hero. The United States and Britain had already signed a treaty in Europe.
African Americans in the War
The Battle of New Orlenas was not the only place where black and white soldiers fought side by side. Following the British attack on Washington and Baltimore, African American volunteers helped defend Philadelphia against a possible British attack. Bishop Richard Allen and the Reverend Absalom Jones recruted more than 2,000 men to help build Philadelphia fortifcations. Commander Nathaniel Shaler praised one particular black sailor who was killed in battle
Bishop Richard Allen
Protest and Peace
As Jackson was preparing to fight the british at New Orleanes, New Englanders were meeting to protest. The British blockade had hurt New England's sea trade. The delegates to the Hartford Convention threatened to leave the union if the war continued. John Quincy Adams, one of the American delegates, summed up the Treaty of Ghent in one sentence.
The War of 1812