The War of 1812: Was the War of 1812 Justified?

Essay by bigboy6106College, UndergraduateA+, December 2003

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For America, the War of 1812 was justified. Clearly there were sufficient reasons for America to declare war with Great Britain. Time after time the British violated American rights and freedoms. Acts such as impressments, the attack on the USS Chesapeake, the violation of American neutral rights and waters, blockades on U.S. ports, and the ignoring of stipulations of Jay's Treaty and their Treaty of Paris all imposed threats on America. To prevent further altercation, America tried to solve the problems peacefully by using economic warfare. After the failure of economic warfare, and the continuation of British wrongdoings, there was no other choice but war.

Tension had been building for a little less than thirty years due to Great Britain's disregard of certain stipulations of the Jay and Paris treaties. This disregard resulted in the failure of these treaties. Problems with the Treaty of Paris included border disputes, and vagueness.

The boundaries were never clearly stated which led to future turmoil. Britain, who was ordered to evacuate posts on the northwest frontier, never did. Due to the problems in the Treaty of Paris, John Jay was sent to Europe in 1794 to form a new treaty. This treaty later became known as Jay's Treaty. This treaty called for the evacuation of British posts on the northwestern frontier of the U.S., and to define boundaries between the U.S. and Canada. In addition it was to determine America's compensation from Britain for the illegal seizure of ships, and for the payment by Americans of prewar debts owed to British merchants. The problem with Jay's Treaty was that it only provided America's compensation for past seizures, and was never required to stop seizing ships and sailors in the future. Since the treaty never put a stop to it, impressments and ship seizing...