A School History of the United States eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 507 pages of information about A School History of the United States.

%262.  The War Congress.%—­Another way in which the anger of the people showed itself was in the election, in the autumn of 1810, of a Congress which met in December, 1811, fully determined to make war on Great Britain.  In that Congress were two men who from that day on for forty years were great political leaders.  One was John C. Calhoun of South Carolina; the other was Henry Clay of Kentucky.

Clay was made Speaker of the House of Representatives, and under his lead preparations were instantly begun for war, which was finally declared June 18, 1812.  There was no Atlantic cable in those days.  Had there been, it is very doubtful if war would have been declared; for on June 23, 1812, five days after Congress authorized Madison to issue the proclamation, the Orders in Council were recalled.

The causes of war, as set forth in the proclamation, were: 

1.  Tampering with the Indians, and urging them to attack our citizens on the frontier.

2.  Interfering with our trade by the Orders in Council.

3.  Putting cruisers off our ports to stop and search our vessels.

4.  Impressing our sailors, of whom more than 6000 were in the British service.


1.  One reason which led Napoleon to sell Louisiana was his determination to go to war with England.  This he did in 1803.

2.  Renewal of war in Europe made the United States again a neutral nation, and brought up the old quarrel over neutral rights.

3.In 1806, Napoleon, who was master of nearly all western Europe, cut off British trade with the continent.  Great Britain in return declared, by an Order in Council, the coast from Brest to the Elbe blockaded; that is, shut to neutral trade.

4.  Later in the year 1806 Napoleon retaliated with the Berlin Decree, declaring the British Islands blockaded.

5.  Great Britain, by another Order in Council (1807), shut all European ports, under French control, to neutrals.

6.  Napoleon struck back with the Milan Decree.

7.  Our commerce was now attacked by both powers, and to force them to repeal their Decrees and Orders in Council, certain commercial restrictions were adopted by the United States.

A. Non-importation, 1806. 
B. Embargo, 1807-1809. 
C. Non-intercourse, 1809.

8.  Each of them failed to have any effect, and in 1812 war was declared.


%1803.  Renewal of War between France and Great Britain%
- | -------------+-------------- The United States a neutral. -------------+-------------- | +----------------+-------------------+----------------------
------------+ | | | British views of American views._ Napoleon’s view.
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A School History of the United States from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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