The War of 1812

Code Blue

Ad Honorem
Feb 2015
3,981
Caribbean
#12
"Interesting. I'm wondering about the ''official'' reason. I've heard that the Americans wanted to genuinely annex Canada, that they wanted to just occupy some territory as a bargaining chip and a show of strength or that Canada wasn't a goal at all and it was just a theatre of war "


First, it is dubious to generalize about what Americans wanted, given how divided the States were on this. Not a single Federalist voted for the war. That would be the "East" (as Madison called New England), who seemed to have more "connexion" (as Madison called it) to Old England than they had to the Southern States. In my opinion, 1812 is more is an early north-south civil war than a second revolution as so many choose to call it.

The New England states to one degree or another were in open rebellion against "Mr. Madison's War." Governors and state legislatures nullified Madison's order to commandeer the state militias.

Caleb Strong, Massachusetts Governor
“As this power is not delegated to the United States by the Federal Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, it is reserved to the states, respectively; and from the nature of the power, it must be exercised by those with whom the states have respectively entrusted the chief command of the militia.”

From Ketcham's 'The Unimperial President':
"Massachusetts refused to send militia to meet a British invasion of Maine, Vermont smugglers drove herds of cattle into Canada to feed British troops, Connecticut Federalists talked of a New England army free from Federal control, and the Massachusetts legislature called for a convention to play regional “self-defense,” and to decide whether “to lay the foundation for a radical reform in the national compact.":

From a Madison letter in 1814:
"You are not mistaken in viewing the conduct of the Eastern States as the source of our great difficulties in carrying on the war; as it certainly is the greatest, if not the sole, inducement with the enemy to persevere in it. The greater part of the people in that quarter have been brought by their leaders, aided by their priests, under a delusion scarcely exceeded by that recorded in the period of witchcraft*; and the leaders are becoming daily more desperate in the use they make of it."
[*Madison referencing the Salem witch trials? lol]

As to Madison's incursion into Canada, I'd say it has less to to with expansion than defense. Britain had sent a spy from there to "collude" (a word of recent popularity) with New England politicians. He called a special session of Congress to lay the evidence before them.

Madison's speech to Congress:
“I lay before Congress copies of certain documents, which remain in the department of State. They prove that, at a recent period, on the part of the British Government, through its public minister here, a secret agent of that government was employed, in certain States, more especially at the seat of government in Massachusetts, in fomenting disaffection to the constituted authorities of the country ; and intrigued with the disaffected, for the purpose of bringing about resistance to the laws, and eventually, in concert with a British force, of destroying the Union, and forming the eastern part thereof into a political connexion with Great Britain
 
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Feb 2019
697
Serbia
#14
First, it is dubious to generalize about what Americans wanted, given how divided the country was on this. Not a single Federalist voted for the war. That would be New England who seemed to have more ties to Old England to the South. In my opinion, this is more is an early north-south civil war than a second revolution as so many choose to call it.

The New England states to one degree or another were in open rebellion against "Mr. Madison's War." Governors and state legislatures nullified Madison's order to commandeer the state militias.
I am aware.In addition to what has been said New England was also not included in the British blockade until later in the war. The region had many economic ties to Britain and profited from trading with the British in peace time.
 

Code Blue

Ad Honorem
Feb 2015
3,981
Caribbean
#15
I am aware.In addition to what has been said New England was also not included in the British blockade until later in the war. The region had many economic ties to Britain and profited from trading with the British in peace time.
Much more profitable before the Embargo Acts of 1807, during the Jefferson Presidency.

So, you knew about the British spy from Canada trying to foment a split in the union, north and south?
 
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Feb 2019
697
Serbia
#16
I wonder if you have any information about economic ties.

In 1811, the Congress voted down renewing the national bank. Again, every Federalist (New England) voted for it. The economic ties I am interested in would be uncovering any relationship between Rothschild money (the national bank, New England newspapers, and the personal finances of Federalist Congress members).
Sorry, I don't know about the Rothschild connections. The merchants in New England were on good terms with the British and tried to remain so through the war. Interestingly:

Warren’s blockade, already encompassing the coast from Charleston, South Carolina, to Spanish Florida, was extended to include the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays. Only New England was left alone: there was much opposition to the war in these Federalist states, for the large mercantile community had much to gain from remaining on friendly terms with Britain. In due course, New England states continued to send supplies to Canada, the West Indies, and even to the Royal Navy itself.
In Nelson's Wake: The Navy and the Napoleonic Wars page 259

Do you have any info on them supplying the Royal Navy, though.
 

Code Blue

Ad Honorem
Feb 2015
3,981
Caribbean
#17
Sorry, I don't know about the Rothschild connections.
Neither do I. I am just fishing. It's just hard to believe there is a national bank in 1811 that they are not connected to.

Do you have any info on them supplying the Royal Navy, though.
No. But there is the possibility. The key points are thatgui there is a lot of collusion between New England and Old England, that New England is declaring Constitutional States' Rights, and Madison is going along with it (while the Vice President and Chief Justice are telling him not to).

IMO, there is lot of "lost" history on this war. That's why it's hard to figure out.
 
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pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,270
#19
I am aware.In addition to what has been said New England was also not included in the British blockade until later in the war. The region had many economic ties to Britain and profited from trading with the British in peace time.
My understanding is that Grain supplies for the British Army in Spain continued from New England despite the war.
 

Kotromanic

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
4,808
Iowa USA
#20
My understanding is that Grain supplies for the British Army in Spain continued from New England despite the war.
I think Lisbon was recognized by the authorities enforcing the Embargo Act as a neutral port.

A few years back we had something of "specialist" on this era who went by the nickname "Harry" (or a derivative of Harry) that might have appreciated how Portugal was legally neutral.