It would non be excessively much of a stretch to state that the War of 1812 had its beginnings on the island of Corsica, in the Mediterranean. Possibly because of the province of personal businesss on Corsica taking up to the twelvemonth 1769, the male child born Napoleone di Buonaparte was destined to change history on two continents at the same time. But to put the sole cause at the pess of the future Gallic Emperor would be far excessively simplistic. By 1810 the American authorities was get downing to get a new voice, one that no longer merely came from the blue plantation owners of the South and the mercantile involvements of New England ; but instead chiefly from the bare-knuckle West, a topographic point where pride superseded common sense, a topographic point where they did non, where they could non, allow travel of any sensed insult to their award. In this sense the Americans were surely non forced into war, instead once the Chesapeake-Leopard Affair occurred in 1807 they started looking for it ; for as any stripling, they were eager to declare “ independency ” from their “ parents ” , in this instance for the 2nd clip. So in this vena it could be looked at as the war was inevitable, as Napoleon forced the British to necessitate more ships, which in bend needed more work forces, which meant in order to happen those work forces the British had to turn outside their ain shores for a fresh supply.
Corsica had been under the regulation of the Republic of Genoa since 1347, and even though they had declared independency in 1727, they ne’er wholly drove the Genoese off the island. They did declare a Corsican Republic in the twelvemonth 1755, and maintained a quasi-freedom for the following 14 old ages. However, since they still controlled the coastal towns, the Genoese still laid claim to Corsica, and with that claim sold the right to the island to France in 1764. By the clip the hereafter Napoleon Bonaparte arrived in 1769, the Gallic had taken over the island and set down the Corsican authorities, along with all other opposition to Gallic regulation. So Napoleon grew up Gallic, while still retaining a strong sense of Corsican patriotism. Upon graduating from the Ecole Militaire in Paris in 1785, he received his committee in the heavy weapon as a 2nd lieutenant. ( World Encyclopedia ) While he was functioning in assorted forts across the countryside, the Gallic Revolution broke out, and Napoleon allied himself to the Jacobins. He foremost attracted notice by his distinguished portion in fring the British from Toulon in 1793, and for this he was promoted to brigadier general and sent to the Italian forepart ; nevertheless upon returning to France, the authorities had changed and he was placed briefly under apprehension for his connexion to the Jacobins and although rapidly released, he remained out of favour. ( World Encyclopedia ) However, a causeless political event was to reopen his calling overnight. In October 1795, the authorities came under onslaught by a monarchist originating in Paris ; and a member of that authorities named Paul Barras, who remembered his feats at Toulon, persuaded his co-workers to give Bonaparte bid of the defence. Napoleon dispersed the rabble with heavy weapon fire that he famously called “ a puff of grapeshot ” . The action killed approximately 100 insurrectionists, and secured the authorities. For this effort, he was given bid of the ground forces of the inside ; and after pulling up a program for an Italian run, he was made commanding officer in head of the ground forces of Italy. ( World Encyclopedia ) After expeditions in Italy, Austria, and Egypt ; Napoleon was now steadfastly in charge of the Gallic authorities. On the threshold of war with England yet once more, he agreed to sell the Louisiana Territory to the Americans for 15 million dollars, so as to roll up money for the at hand war. It was upon decision of this exchange where he intimated to so American Ambassador to France James Monroe that there would be a 2nd American-British war. ( Langguth, p.105 )
In the American head, there were four distinguishable causes for the War of 1812, head among them being the indignity suffered by American ships being boarded and American citizens being impressed, seting them into British military service involuntarily. When the Napoleonic Wars broke out in earnest in 1803, the English started to increase the size of the Royal Navy. Short of manpower to maintain the Royal Navy at sea, Great Britain purely enforced a policy of seeking impersonal vass for British apostates. ( Warof1812-History.com ) The Americans were particularly outraged by the Chesapeake-Leopard Affair, in which the British war vessel HMS Leopard attacked and boarded American frigate USS Chesapeake off American Waterss, seeking to retrieve Royal Navy topics who had deserted. President Thomas Jefferson responded with the Embargo Act of 1807, which prohibited American ships from sailing to any foreign ports and closed American ports to British ships. This trade stoppage served to both antagonise the British and earnestly damage the American economic system ; and was particularly unpopular in New England, where merchandisers preferred the indignities of impressment to the halting of all abroad commercialism. ( Warof1812-History.com ) Second, Great Britain wished to maintain America from trading with the Gallic, irrespective of the state of affairs. Americans claimed this intruded upon the right of neutrals to merchandise as they wished. As Napoleon tried to maintain British ships from trading with the European mainland, so the British wanted to maintain any foreign ships from trading with the Gallic. This angered the Americans towards both sides. However, because the lone Gallic ships at sea were a few privateers ; the Americans suffered far more from British limitations, and therefore Britain received the majority of the incrimination. ( Hitman, p. 15 ) Bonaparte, for his portion, was bent on arousing a war between Britain and America in order to ease the force per unit area on his ain forces. ( Langguth, p. 148 ) And to that terminal, his propaganda saying the British were non merely perpetrating an act of war with their behavior ; they were seeking to set up universe economic domination impressed many Americans. ( Hitsman, p. 15 ) Third, the American accused the British of motivating Indian aggression along their Western forepart, and this was non wholly untrue, for the British did hold the thought that the Old Northwest might shortly function as an Indian buffer province. ( Hitsman, p.232 ) The thought of British incitation was besides reinforced when Tecumseh, the Chief of the Indian Confederacy, told American functionaries at Fort Wayne: “ My British Father will non deny me. To him I will travel. ” ( Langguth, p. 171 ) It proved out when the Indians launched a British-encouraged series of onslaughts on American outstations in both Alabama and West Florida, which were portion of the larger Creek War taking topographic point at the clip. ( Schweitzer, p. 15 ) Finally, and non to be overlooked, was the American pursuit for enlargement. The Western appetency for free land spurred them on to drive the Indians of all time farther west, and the Southerners desired to take Florida for multiple grounds. This made these two cabals view the Indian-supporting British as obstructor, and together they called to free the North American continent of them. It occurred to them that Canada was lightly garrisoned, and practically it was the easiest manner for the Americans to contend the British straight. They reasoned that even if the almighty Royal Navy were to go disencumbered in Europe and do possible the English gaining control of New York and New Orleans ; these could be recovered at the inevitable peace conference in exchange for returning Canada. ( Hitman, p.21-22 ) There were besides some ideas of annexing Canada as a whole, but overall, it was largely thought of as a bargaining bit for a worst-case scenario. Americans genuinely believed taking Canada would be simple ; portion of that belief came from the big figure of ex-Americans life at that place. Thomas Jefferson wrote that suppressing Canada “ would be a mere affair of processing ” and Secretary of War William Eustis stated that “ We can take Canada without any soldiers. ” ( Langguth, p.174 ) This prevalent attitude, combined with New Englanders undisguised animus for the actions undertaken by their authorities, went a long manner in explicating what really did go on one time the war got underway.
The western backwoodsman lived daily with the menace of Indian onslaughts. The farther west they pushed, the more likely onslaughts would come. Still, they would be non denied the opportunity for economic freedom from what they felt was the dictatorship of Northeastern merchandisers and Eastern elites. Around the bend of the nineteenth Century, the Indians, under the leading of the Shawnee Tecumseh, began to hammer an confederation to maintain their hereditary lands from being sold or taken by the Americans. This threatened the colonists, and they demanded protection. William Henry Harrison, the governor of the Indiana Territory, had heard the narratives of this confederation ; and met with Tecumseh in 1810 to discourse this every bit good as a recent land purchase made from the Miami. Tecumseh wanted to protest the sale, stating that Indian land was the common belongings of all folks and could non be sold by any single 1. ( Langguth, p. 158 ) Harrison ‘s rebuttal was that it was pathetic to claim that all Indians constituted one folk. ( Langguth, p. 165 ) Tecumtha so left the meeting and returned the following twenty-four hours with heads of the Wyandots, Kickapoos, Potawatamies, Ottawas, and Winnebagos ; and informed Harrison they were all members of his alliance. ( Langguth, p.166 ) Hearing them out, Harrison decided if it was non for the presence of the United States, Tecumseh could establish an imperium to equal those of Mexico or Peru. ( Langguth, p. 166 ) Tecumtha left shortly thenceforth to make more recruiting for his Confederate states in the South, and Harrison took advantage of his absence to process on the Indian small town of Prophetstown in a show of force, trusting to frighten them into disbanding ; most probably besides prepared to scatter them forcefully if the panic tactics did non work. ( Langguth, p.167 ) The Indian response was to direct a busting party in the center of the dark to seek and kill Harrison in his slumber. The Americans were guarding against such an onslaught, nevertheless ; and this gave them an gap to get down the Battle of Tippecanoe, on the side the first conflict of the War of 1812. The Americans routed the Indians off the field and so destroyed Prophetstown, although with high casualties. In Washington, one time word reached of the conflict, the incrimination went to Britain for inciting the Indians and war inched of all time closer.
The American forces at the beginning of the war were 7,000 in the regular Army and 20 ships in the Navy, including six frigates. Most of the combat was along the Canadian boundary line, although there were British runs against Washington and Baltimore ; every bit good as New Orleans. The Indians besides were stirring up problem in the Mississippi Territory and in West Florida. The first conflict was Michilimakinac Island, in which the Americans lost their lightly garrisoned garrison in contemporary Michigan. It was a conflict where the American commanding officer had non even been informed that the U.S. and the British were at war. Next up was the slaughter of Fort Dearborne ( contemporary Chicago ) by the Indians. This rallied more Indian folk to the British side, and they joined with Tecumseh and a group of approximately 700 British habitues and reserves in a bold onslaught on Fort Detroit. The American commanding officer, Brigadier-General William Hull, allowed himself to be deceived by the British into believing he was at a disadvantage when he truly had about double the work force, and fell victim to a panic onslaught. He so ordered to give up the garrison and the metropolis. The following notable battle was the Battle of Queenston Heights, where the New York reserves would non traverse the Niagara River to contend, bing the Americans the triumph. In the first conflict of LaColle Mills, two American forces opened the battle by contending each other, while both Vermont and New York reserves refused to traverse into Canada. Suddenly it began to click on Washington that Canada would non be had so easy. After bivouacing for the winter, 1813 began with a twine of American triumphs. Harrison repelled a British onslaught on his central office at Fort Meigs, followed by another successful defence of an onslaught on Fort Stephenson. They so scored their first violative triumph of the war, the pickings of Fort York ( contemporary Toronto ) . However, during the conflict the British abandoned the garrison while go forthing their colourss winging, and so put fire to their ammo. This drew the American military personnels in, and when the magazine exploded, it killed 30 work forces and wounded over 200. In revenge, American military personnel burned down the metropolis of York, which would hold major reverberations subsequently in the war. At the Battle of the Thames, Tecumseh was killed ; stoping the Indian Confederacy and for purposes and purposes the Indian menace. But by the terminal of the twelvemonth, the British had taken back the impulse with the gaining control of Fort Niagara and the combustion of Buffalo. The affair of most importance, nevertheless, was the licking of Napoleon in Europe, hence liberating approximately 14,000 British military personnels to concentrate entirely on the on the American theater. ( Davis, p. 111 ) 1814 besides marked the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, the decisive American triumph that marked the terminal of the Creek War. While peace dialogues opened in Ghent, the British developed a three pronged scheme to get the better of the Americans and perchance to recover a settlement. They foremost strove to assail New York due south from Montreal via Lake Champlain. The Americans thwarted this at the Battle of Plattsburgh.
The military bungling by the administrative officials in Washington can non be underestimated. Now it is apprehensible, to an extent, that a people who greatly feared standing military forces as a tool of dictatorship for the authorities would non be the best decision makers of a war. But if war is to be had, so the instruments for war must be made available and a clear concatenation of bid for all military personnels on American dirt must be used.