The War of 1812: The Americans Were Justified

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The War of 1812: The Americans Were Justified

Over the years The United States of America has forged itself a reputation of declaring wars. Ironically, declaration of war was most justified in one of its least acknowledged conflicts, the War of 1812. The United States was justified in its attack on British North America, which was a colony of Great Britain at the time. The reasons for this justification were Great Britain's breach of Maritime rights, their support for the Natives, who were waging war against the United States, and the impressments of American naval men.

One of the most profound reasons that the United States declared war on Great Britain in June of 1812 was because of Britain's blatant disregard of the Maritime Rights guaranteed to the United States. In the year 1806, the Napoleonic war raged in Europe. Napoleon, the leader of France, was in complete economic, military, and social control of Continental Europe.

Napoleon created the Continental System, which prevented continental Europe from participating in any trade with Britain, in the hope that this would cripple one of his last opponent's economy. However, Napoleon lacked the naval power to enforce a decree such as this. On the other hand, Britain's naval power was strong enough to enforce maritime law. Britain declared that no ships could proceed to continental Europe without first obtaining a license. This decree also entitled Britain to search ships at its discretion, and confiscate any cargo that they deemed 'contraband'.

America took no part in the European conflict, and therefore practiced their right to freely trade with any country that offered economic benefits. Europe presented many lucrative trading partners, of which the United States sought to take advantage. However, as a result of the British decree, American trade...