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Results of the War of 1812

Noontime Seminar

October 16th, 2003


a.       Treaty of Ghent


1.       Even though the British won, they wanted peace


a.       McDonough Victory on Lake Champlain

b.       British merchants at home

c.       Struggles at the Congress of Vienna showed them that they couldn’t waste their time in America.  Worries of Napoleon coming back also made Brits want peace


2.       Initially, the British demanded a lot (peace proceeding began immediately in 1812)


a.       Territorial demands in Maine and New York

b.       Access to the Mississippi

c.       Indian Buffer State near the Great Lakes.


3.       Again, changed their demands after McDonough’s victory


4.       British peace commissioners were under secret orders to change the Treaty if the British had been successful at New Orleans – so Jackson’s victory was significant for more than the nationalism it provided.


5.       Terms of Peace


a.       Status quo antebellum

b.  Silent on impressment and trade


b.      Native American Problems


1.  Both Northern and Southern problems were solved.  Tecumseh was killed at the Battle of Thames and the Creeks were subdued at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend.


c.       Hartford Convention

October 5, 1814 – a true sign of how divided Americans were over this war.  Basically a call for government on Federalist terms.  Some called for a separate nation.  But there were simply a list of reforms.


1.       Abolish the 3/5 Compromise

2.       Limit the President to one term

3.       Prohibit any state from having a president for two consecutive terms

4.       Require 2/3 vote before going to war


**Obviously thought the West and the South was gaining too much influence. 


** Waited until 1814 because the war never hit New England until then.  Once Napoleon was defeated, the British included New England in their blockade effort.  Before this, Britain needed New England merchants who traded illegally with them despite the war.


**List was presented as news of the Treaty of Ghent arrived.  Although not treasonous, it certainly ruined the Federalist party.


d.      Sectionalism


Early sign of sectionalism, as New England did not see the purpose of fighting a war for Western and Southern desires.


1.       During the war, New Englanders had continued to trade with Great Britain.


a.  Charges of treason against some New Englanders – called “blue lighters” for flashing lights to British blockades about Americans trying to break blockade.


e.      Nationalism   

A spirit of unity came from defeating the strongest nation on earth for the second time in 40 years.


1.       Even the burning of Washington brought the nation together.  Before the burning, the Declaration of Independence was taken away, as were Congressional records.

2.       The burner, Admiral George Cockburn, sat in the White House sipping Madison’s liquor before burning.

3.       Madison and his cabinet actually headed out with pistols to try and help drive back the British.  But the army was disorganized so the President fled too.  But not before his wife, Dolly, protected a priceless painting of Washington.

4.       Battle of New Orleans

5.       American independence had been reasserted – sometimes called the 2nd War of Independence.


f.        Move to Self Sufficiency


Isolationism was not possible the way America was.  To truly isolate, America had to become self – sufficient:


1.       Economically – no longer dependent on other countries.  Move to manufacturing.  To be a competent manufacturer, you needed roads and tariffs, and banks.

2.      Free from foreign invasion and worries – border disputes dragged America into conflicts.  These needed to be cleared up.