Chapter Themes

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Chapter 12

The Second War for Independence and the Upsurge of nationalism, 1812–1824

Chapter Themes

Theme: The American effort in the War of 1812 was plagued by poor strategy, political divisions, and increasingly aggressive British power. Nevertheless, the United States escaped with a stalemated peace settlement, and soon turned its isolationist back to the Atlantic European world.

Theme: The aftermath of the War of 1812 produced a strong surge of American nationalism that was reflected in economics, law, and foreign policy. The rising nationalistic spirit and sense of political unity was, however, threatened by the first severe sectional dispute over slavery.

Theme: Chief Justice John Marshall's Supreme Court strengthened the federal government by supporting a "loose construction" of the Constitution, asserting the federal judiciary's power over state courts, and enforcing economic provisions in the Constitution (interstate commerce, sanctity of contracts).

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