Chapter 8 Republican Ascendancy: The Jeffersonian Vision


V. THE STRANGE WAR OF 1812



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V. THE STRANGE WAR OF 1812

Americans expected victory even though they were unprepared for war. To ensure that Republican financial reforms would not be undone, Congress refused to raise taxes. New England, where the Federalist party was still strong, refused to take an active part in the war effort. The United States Army was small, and state militias proved inadequate to fight well-trained veterans.

In 1814, England planned a three-pronged attack on the United States: a march from Canada into the Hudson River Valley, an amphibious assault on the Chesapeake Bay region, and occupation of New Orleans. The decisive campaign was in New York State, where Americans stopped the English on Lake Champlain, near Plattsburg. As a result of this defeat, England agreed to end hostilities. In the meantime, however, English operations in the Chesapeake resulted in the burning of Washington and the siege of Baltimore.

The British attempt to take New Orleans actually took place after the peace

treaty had been signed, but there was no way to communicate the news in time to prevent the battle. A ragtag American army, led by Andrew Jackson, annihilated the English invading force in January 1815.




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