AP Advanced Placement U.S. DBQ: "Although President Madison stressed U.S. neutral rights as the principal reason for war, other reasons were probably far more important." Assess validity (War of 1812)

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The fact that the American foreign policy of neutral rights was violated is not the underlying principal as to why the War of 1812 had commenced. Several other incidents also contributed to the war, far more important than impressment. A major cause that found support among the settlers of the West is the fact that the British were supplying and aiding the Indians on the frontier. This cause was found to be true especially after the battle of Tippecanoe (1811). At this battle, the Indians lost and left their supplies behind them as they ran. The supplies were of British origin and caused uproar in the West.

Another cause of the war is land. Not only did the British go against the U.S. foreign policy of neutral rights, but so did the French. Both nations underwent a violation of this, however the Americans insisted on fighting only Britain. President Madison did not keep up with Jefferson's ongoing policy of remaining out of war.

The War Hawks wanted to obtain more land especially British controlled Canada and Spanish-Florida to add more states to the Union. Popular opinion in the South and West clearly favored the conflict. The reason why America wanted this is because it would deny the British the Indians on the West to incite, hence saving lives. Also, it would control and deny the marauding bands of Indians, thieves, and run away slaves in the Spanish Sanctuary in Florida. John Randolph also expresses, "agrarian cupidity, not maritime right, urges the war," has much validity to it. Randolph mentions U.S. went to war was because it wanted a farming society, having strong desires for wealth, as opposed to their rights at sea.

The last cause was to get revenge for the British insults. Britain's Orders-in-Council blockaded American ports for the...