Napoleon orders the Czar to stop all trade with the American traders! The Czar responds by withdrawing Russia from that part of the Treaty of Tilset that would require him to stop selling goods to neutral American ships.
1810 to 1812
Napoleon, infuriated with the Czar for allowing Britain’s life blood of navy hemp to reach England, builds up his army and travels over 2,000 miles to invade Russia, planning to punish the Czar and ultimately stop hemp from reaching the British Navy.
1811 to 1812
England, again an ally and full trading partner of Russia, is still stopping American ships from trading with the rest of the Continent.
Britain also blockades all U.S. traders from Russia at the Baltic Sea and insists that American traders have to now secretly buy other strategic goods for them (mostly from Mediterranean ports), specifically from Napoleon and his allies on the Continent who, by this time, are happy to sell anything to raise capital.
Ironically, it is representatives of the western states who argue for war under the excuse of “impressed” American sailors. However, the representatives of the maritime states, fearful of loss of trade, argue against war, even though it’s their shipping, crews, and states that are allegedly afflicted.
Not one senator from a maritime state votes for war with Great Britain, whereas virtually all western senators vote for war, hoping to take Canada from Britain and fulfill their dream of “Manifest Destiny,” in the mistaken belief that Great Britain is too busy with the European wars against Napoleon to protect Canada.
It’s interesting to note that Kentucky, a big supporter of the war which disrupted the overseas hemp trade, was actively building up its own domestic hemp industry.
At this time, 1812, American ships could pick up hemp from Russia and return with it three times faster and cheaper than shippers could get hemp from Kentucky to the East Coast over land (at least, until the Erie Canal was completed in 1825; shortening travel time dramatically by as much as 90%).
The western states win in Congress, and on June 18, 1812, the United States is at war with Britain.
America enters the war on the side of Napoleon, who marches on Moscow also in June of 1812.
Napoleon is soon defeated in Russia by the harsh winter, the Russian scorched-earth policy, 2,000 miles of snowy and muddy supply lines – and by Napoleon not stopping for the winter and regrouping before marching on Moscow, as was the original battle plan.
Britain, after initial success in war with the United States (including the burning of Washington in retaliation for the earlier American burning of Toronto, then the colonial Canadian capitol), finds its finances and military stretched thin – with blockades, war in Spain with France, and a tough new America on the seas.
Britain agrees to peace, and signs a treaty with the United States in December, 1814. The actual terms of the treaty give little to either side.
In effect, Britain agrees it will never again interfere with American shipping.
And the United States agrees to give up all claims to Canada forever (which we did, with the exception of “54-40 or Fight”).