USS Constitution v. HMS Guerriere by Michel Felice Corne (+1845AD)
So begins the first declared war of the United States of America. Some characterize this conflict as a sort of "Second American Revolution" in which the newly independent USA defended their sovereignty from a British attempt to retake the country. The writer of this blog would disagree with this assessment -- the primary war aim of the United Kingdom was simply to maintain control of Canada. This they did, even while having to wrap up the conflict with Napoleon. There is certainly more to say as the anniversaries of events come and go. A little background, then, on the declaration of war that today's anniversary marks:
The U.S. was drifting into the Napoleonic conflict toward the end of the Presidency of Thomas Jefferson. From 1789 to 1805 US shipping increased from 100,000 to a million tons – supplying both
In 1807 Congress and President Jefferson adopted the Embargo Act as the reply – no US foreign trade. The replacement of President Jefferson with newly elected James Madison in 1809 didn't eliminate the problem. In 1809 the US replaced the Embargo Act of 1807 with the Non-Intercourse Act, which forbid trade with France and Britain, but opened up to other nations. This would expire in 1810.
We shall have to keep track of this war as it develops.