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Date Submitted: 03/05/2011 03:12 PM

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2) What were the causes of the War of 1812 between America and England?

Before the War of 1812, America was profiting off of the fighting that took place in Europe. While nations like England and France fought each other, they needed supplies and food from the U.S. During this time, there was a sixty five percent increase in American exporting. In an attempt to cut off foreign supplies going to England, France issued the Berlin Decree, barring any ships that had brought supplies to England from entering any ports controlled by France. England responded by issuing directives that allowed ships of neutral countries to travel to European ports only if they stopped in England first and paid a transit tax. These provisions made it impossible for a neutral America to follow the laws of either nation without violating the laws of the other. Another issue that led to tension between America and England was a British law that enabled the king to force civilian English sailors into military service. British sailors protested the cruel conditions and low pay, some even escaped in American ports and enlisted as merchant sailors on American ships. Armed British soldiers forced their way onto these ships and reclaimed their escaped sailors, even those that had become U.S. citizens. In June of 1807, a British frigate called Leopard, patrolling the American shoreline confronted an American warship named Chesapeake. The Leopard demanded that the Chesapeake halt and hand over any British sailors. When the Chesapeake’s captain refused, the Leopard fired, damaging the U.S. ship and killing three Americans. This event led to the U.S. enforcing the Embargo Act, which closed all American foreign trade, sending America into an economic depression. Blaming Britain for the depression, members of congress known as War Hawks campaigned for war with England in hopes of stimulating the economy. A war bill was introduced in Congress, and when the vote was finally cast in 1812 it...