That been strained after the United States won

That the United States was in a time of disrupted trade, economic distress and
shaky foreign alliances, demonstrates that war with either France or England
was inevitable, however, the United States was able to detain the war from
Relations between the United States and Great Britain had been strained
after the United States won its independence in 1783, but the greatest
problems developed during the war between England and France that broke
out in 1793. To prevent American neutral shipping from helping the French, the
British instituted extensive marine blockades of European ports. The resulting
seizures of American merchant shipping quickly brought demands for
retaliation in the United States. From 1794 on, however, tensions eased as the
administrations of George Washington and John Adams worked to avoid
diplomatic difficulties with the British.
In the years between 1803 and 1812 relations between the United States
and Great Britain again deteriorated sharply. France was now ruled by
Napoleon, and the European struggle became more widespread. Beginning in
1805 the British imposed much stricter marine blockades.

These orders severely restricted neutral trade with Europe. The effect of
these blockades was compounded by the British practice of impressment. The
British navy claimed the right to stop neutral vessels on the high seas to look
for “deserters.” In the course of searching American ships, mistakes were often
made, and as a result many American seamen were impressed into the British
From 1807 to 1811 the Democratic-Republican administrations of Thomas
Jefferson and James Madison attempted to change British policies by economic
coercion, restricting British imports as well as American exports to Great Britain.

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The most severe of these measures was the Embargo Act, passed in December
1807, which banned all exports and confined American shipping to the coastal
trade. When neither economic coercion nor negotiation changed British
policies, war sentiment built in the United States.
Adding to this time of tension between Great Britain and the United
States were the War Hawks. In 1810 young Democratic-Republican “War
Hawks” from the West and the South argued that the right to export American
products without losing ships and men had to be defended. They also objected
to the British inciting the Indians along the Great Lakes frontier and argued that
the British would be forced to change their policies if the United States attacked
Canada. Some believed that the future of republican government was in danger
if the United States could not successfully defend its rights. Others hoped that if
Canada was conquered it could be retained after the war.
The War Hawks protested the incursions being made by Great Britain on
the United States’ maritime and commercial sovereignty – impressing sailors,
blockading American ports, and violating American neutrality – but in fact these
violations had little impact on the communities the War Hawks represented. A
more compelling reason for war with Great Britain, from the point of view of
the War Hawks’ home districts, was the possibility that such a war might result
in American conquest of Canada, Florida, and Texas. Protests against Britain’s
disregard of American sovereignty fit into the War Hawks’ larger vision of an
aggressive, expansionist republic insisting on its proper place in the world of
War with Britain was inevitable. There were too many outstanding
actions by the British to warrant anything but war. Impression of American
ships was one of the biggest things that caused tension between the U.S. and
Great Britain, plus there were many more contributing factors that lead directly
to war. It is absolutely hard to believe that the United States managed to avoid


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