The War of 1812

1)The War of 1812

The war of 1812 was fought in two phases. The first was between the British and France and the second was between the British and the Americans. Britain and France were already at war with France in 1812.

They were fighting over colonial domination in the region. Each of the two nations aspired to control most of the American territories as well as the resources. The British colonial rulers were interfering with the daily activities of the U.S.A such as the shipping (Donald, 2001). This was a potential ground for engaging war with the Americans. Britain at first did not want to involve war with the Americans and therefore it withdrew all the interferences with the Americans. Communication to hinder the war was done through the mail which at that time was too slow. It became too late that the war could not be hindered. However, British concentrated on its war with France from 1812 to 1814(Donald, 2001). The British then turned their war to U.S.A after they defeated France. The military of U.S. A proved to be weak when the war began. The fighting equipments were limited and the soldiers were few with little experience. Although they have little experience, the U.S navy continued to gain experience as the war continued and they even defeated the British navy overseas. This boosted the U.S.A confidence. The most remarkable U.S victory was witnessed on Lake Erie. The American navy further won another battle under the leadership of Hazard Oliver Perry on September 1813 after a long struggle with the British navy. Under the leadership of Harrison, the U.S.A army defeated the British again on land during the battle of the Thames. The British had started to retreat towards Canada but the American army pursued them and even burnt sections of the Canadian capital city including the parliament. The British retaliated by attacking Washington D.C. the reasons that sparked off Americans to wage war with the British was because of preventing their ships from entering French ports. The British had also supported the Indians to attack the Americans. The British had therefore already made allies with the settlers. They had also persistently sought to block trade between the Americans and the France. Earlier on in 1794, George Washington prevented an outbreak of war between Americans and the British when he sent the chief justice of the Supreme Court, John Jay, to negotiate with the British. The treaty made by John Jay and the British stipulated that the British would stop seizing the American ships while the later would stop trading with the French. This treaty met a lot of opposition from some of the Americans. Even though there was a treaty, the British navy continued to seize the American ships.

The war had no clear winner but a lot of consequences were witnessed especially those skewed towards the Americans. First, the war had interrupted trade and the Americans later were forced to make their own goods which led to the growth of the manufacturers. Secondly, the U.S army proved that it could defeat the strongest military power of the time. This later encouraged the U.S army to be strong. The war also led to systematic weakening of the Americans who had sided with the Britain. This would consequently challenge all citizens to be patriotic to their nation. Lastly, the heroism of the Americans furthered their patriotic feelings for their country.

2) The Monroe Doctrine

This was a policy that was first introduced by the fifth president of America, James Monroe on December 2, 1823.

It was aimed at protecting the sovereignty of the United States and its people. The doctrine was aimed at restricting the European nations from invading either the northern or the southern side of America (Dozer, 1965). Restrictions were issued to the European powers against colonizing the land again or interfering with the affairs of the state. Any of the European power that would break the doctrine would call for U.S intervention. The policy played a pivotal role in the U.S foreign policy. The Monroe’s statement came after the state perceived that Spain and Portuguese had interests in invading the southern parts of America. The state was still recovering from the traumas of the war of 1812. The principles of the doctrine were based on enlightenment, neutrality and justice. Ironically, the policy was held as a strong foundation for America’s domination and influences over other states especially the Latin American in the decades that followed.

3) The evolution of Jacksonian democracy and its legacy including:

a) The Nullification crisis

b) The bank crisis

c) The Trail of Tears

d) The socio-political effects of Manifest Destiny

The bank crisis started in 1829. Andrew Jackson interpreted his victory in 1832 as a mandate to terminate the second bank of the United States

In 1790 and 1830, the population of Georgia had grown in six folds. The trail of tears was experienced in 1835.

Manifest destiny was a concept held in the U.S.A that stipulated that the state was destined to expand. This was held in the 1840’s (mid 19th century). This consequently led the Americans to war with Mexico.

During the reign of Jackson democracy grew at a very high rate. Qualifications on property were declined. The was equality among people. Voting was done fairly and there were other privileges that some people had in form of rights were protected. There also emerged the two party system in his error.

The nullification crisis

In an attempt to cater for the needs of the people, Andrew Jackson in 1832 declared high charges on tariffs. This was met with a lot of opposition from north Carolina. They declared the whole proclamation null and void including the one of 1828. This was an important focus in the history of America as individual would consequently learn of the states’ rights (Cole, 1993).

The bank crisis

Jackson owed debts to banks. He had experienced the plight of those who owed debts to banks including withholding their properties. The experience made him to develop hostility towards banks. To him the banks owned a lot of monopoly which was unauthorized by the constitution. This stand brought him a lot of resistance and criticism from powerful sources. In 1833, Jackson made a move to finish the banks. He ordered all the federal deposits in the bank withdrawn. He also removed those who disobeyed his orders and instead elected those who followed his orders. He announced that with effect from 1st October, 1833, federal funds would never be deposited in banks (Francis, 2008).The effect was that the growth economy was compromised.

The president of U.S.A by then Andrew Jackson had already signed an agreement in the congress that aimed at displacing the Cherokees from the state of Georgia. Although there was a lot of opposition, they went ahead and displaced them. As a result most of them died on the way as they were being removed. The process of removal was accompanied with much problems. That is why it was termed as the trail of tears.

The social- political effects as a result of upholding the doctrine entailed the war between the Americans and Mexico over Texas. This culminated into the loss of lives as well as properties. The Americans were able to gain more settling land. Americans in the process also were recognized as superpowers.


Mexican- American war was at its optimum in the period (1846-1848).

It was fought in Mexico and adjacent waters. The war was primarily sparked off by the territorial disagreement between the American and the Mexican government. The U.S government wanted to expand their land to Texas something that met opposition from the Mexican government. This was held as a provocative measure by the Mexican government since U.S.A had previously expanded other territories. Mexico had already forewarned the U.S against annexing Texas. It had previously stated that if U.S ever attempted to annex the nation, it would declare war. They had previously revolted in 1836 and refused to recognize the independence of Texas. After 10 years from the revolt, in 1846, the war broke out. Americans in early 1835 were actively helping the Texans to fight for their freedom. Texas during the time was a Mexico colony and was most of the residents were Spanish. Most minor causes led to the war. The border disagreement mainly made the war to start on January, 1846. It continued until a treaty was signed on 1848. One of the major reasons of the war was the secret treaty of velasco. This treaty recognized the border at Rio Grande and the release of Santa Anna. Santa Anna was not released immediately and therefore the border disagreement was not settled immediately. Mexicans persistently held that the border was the Nueces River which was about 200 miles from Rio Grande northwards. Texans and the U.S held the Rio Grande as the border. The disputed land in between was a rich farmland. The final resolution was that Texas joined U.S in 1845. Mexico therefore held that U.S.A was out to grab the land as it could and that Mexico would be the next target. The battle was fought in two years; from 1846 to 1848. The battles were either won by the Texans or the U.S armies. Most of the armies from U.S died majorly because of diseases and not wars.

The result of the war was that the U.S army was able to capture the Mexico City. They made the U.S flag fly over Mexican palace. The final treaty after the war would consequently be manipulated by the U.S who was the winners of the war. The Mexicans agreed to the treaty and the war was officially over on 2 February, 1848. The terms of the treaty stipulated that Mexico would sell part of the land to U.S such as California, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah among others. All the Mexicans in these regions were to be allowed to become U.S citizens. The war heavily affected the U.S more so the Texas. For Mexico there was massive loss of lives and damage of properties. The U.S by then gained large tracts of land which would be used to settle the growing population. This period of the war was also significant in the American history since it started to be recognized as a superpower.

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