Слике страница
PDF
ePub

Reëlection

18 Congress formally declared war. Five days later the British government, acting under pressure of the manufacturing and commercial interests, withdrew the Orders in Council, but this was before the days of ocean cables, and the news came too late. The impressment question was, moreover, the main cause of the popular feeling against England, and that alone was amply sufficient to justify war.

When Congress declared war Madison had already been renominated for the presidency by the Republicans. George Clinton, the leader of the New York Republicans, Rei had grown tired of Virginia domination and had of Madison, taken steps to organize a coalition between Madi- 1812 son's enemies and the Federalists, but he died before the campaign had fairly opened. As a result of the disaffection in New York, Madison's friends nominated Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts for the vice-presidency. This further alienated the Clinton faction, and De Witt Clinton, a nephew of George, was nominated for the presidency by the New York legislature and indorsed by the Federalists. The Federalists still hoped to stop the war and the campaign was fought out on this issue. The close alliance of the South and West, aided by the votes of Pennsylvania, carried the day, and Madison was reëlected by 128 electoral votes to Clinton's 89. His majority was much smaller than had been expected and without the votes of Pennsylvania be would have been defeated.

TOPICAL REFERENCES 1. French Decrees and British Orders: Channing, History of the United States, Vol. IV, Chap. XIII, Jeffersonian System, Chaps. XIII, XV; Schouler, History of the United States, Vol. II, pp. 133–156; McMaster, History of the People of the United States, Vol. III, pp. 220–275; A. T. Mahan, Sea Power in its Relations to the War of 1812, Vol. I, pp. 89–154.

2. Search and Impressment: Channing, History of the United

Vol. I the Emba, Jefersonvilson,

States, Vol. IV, pp. 365–378, Jeffersonian System, Chap. XIV; Mahan, Vol. I, pp. 155–180; Roosevelt, Naval War of 1812, Vol. I, p. 53.

3. The Embargo: Channing, History of the United States, Vol. IV, Chap. XIV, Jeffersonian System, Chaps. XVI, XVII; Mahan, Vol. I, pp. 181–214; Wilson, History of the American People, Vol. III, pp. 193–199; Adams, History of the United States, Vol. IV, Chaps. VII, XII, XIX.

4. The Non-Intercourse Act: Channing, History of the United States, Vol. I, pp. 402-415, Jeffersonian System, Chap. XVIII; Mahan, Vol. I, pp. 214–252; Schouler, Vol. II, pp. 282–311.

5. British Intrigues with the Indians: Schouler, Vol. II, pp. 331335; McMaster, Vol. III, pp. 528–540; Adams, Vol. VI, Chaps. IV, V.

6. War with England Declared : President Madison's Message to Congress, June 1, 1812, Messages and Papers of the Presidents, Vol. I, pp. 499-505; K. C. Babcock, Rise of American Nationality, Chap. V; Channing, Vol. IV, pp. 444-454; McMaster, Vol. III, pp. 426–458; Schouler, Vol. II, pp. 335–356.

CHAPTER XIV

THE SECOND WAR WITH ENGLAND

[ocr errors]

DURING the greater part of the War of 1812 England was engaged in the gigantic struggle with Napoleon, and could not give the war in America the attention

Americans it would otherwise have received. Americans had unprepared, no reason to feel any regard for Napoleon and but

optimistic no attempt was made to form an alliance with him or to coöperate in any way. While it was realized that the United States was not prepared to cope with the entire military and naval power of Great Britain,

Kingston it was generally believed that with the latter's forces

{Hartford occupied abroad,

Cleveland the conquest of

HO PENNSYLVANIA

6 Canada would be

THE CANADIAN FRONTIER. an easy task and that a severe blow could be dealt to British commerce. As army and navy were both small, great reliance was placed on volunteers for the conquest of Canada and on privateers for the war on British commerce.

"On to Canada" was the general cry. The first invading column, led by General Hull, crossed over from “On to Detroit in July, 1812, for the purpose of at- Canada " tacking Fort Malden, but on learning that the British had

[graphic]
[ocr errors]

ܙܙ

captured Mackinac and aroused the Indians against the Americans, Hull immediately recrossed to Detroit. General Brock, the British commander, promptly assumed the aggressive and on August 15 compelled Hull to surrender Detroit with his entire force of 2500 men.

Two other expeditions which had started for Canada were equally fruitless, though they did not equal the disgrace of Hull's surrender. General Dearborn, who was to advance through New York against Montreal, met with so many delays that he finally went into winter quarters at Plattsburg without having accomplished anything. The third movement, by way of Niagara, was repulsed at Queenstown, October 13, with a loss of 1000 men. It was now evident that “on to Canada” was not an easy task for raw recruits and untrained militia.

On the sea the Americans met with a success during the first year of the war which, in view of their own slim reThe war on

sources and the tremendous prestige of the

British navy, filled them with pride and at1812

tracted the attention of all the world. At the beginning of the war the United States had in commission three forty-four-gun frigates, United States, Constitution, and President; three thirty-eight-gun frigates, Congress, Constellation, and Chesapeake; the Essex of thirty-two guns, the Adams of twenty-eight, two sloops, Hornet and Wasp, each of eighteen guns, and six brigs of twelve to sixteen guns each, besides about two hundred and fifty small boats mounting usually a single gun. The American frigate was superior in construction and armament to the British frigate, but the American navy did not possess a single vessel corresponding to the British ship-of-the-line, which carried usually seventyfour guns.

When the war began most of the ships were in New York harbor in two divisions, one commanded by Commodore John Rodgers and the other by Commodore Stephen Decatur.

the sea,

[ocr errors]

On June 21 Rodgers put to sea with the entire squadron and started in search of a large convoy which had sailed from Jamaica for England. He followed it to within a short distance of the British Channel, but failing to overtake it, sailed south to the Madeiras and then returned home, putting in at Boston August 31. While he had made no important captures, his movements kept the British squadron waiting in suspense off the American coast and prevented the ships from separating and going in search of American merchant vessels, large numbers of which were returning to the United States.

Meanwhile the first of the single-ship actions, or naval duels, which redounded so to the credit of the Americans, had occurred. When Rodgers left New York

The fight on his cruise, the Constitution, commanded by between the Captain Hull, was at Annapolis enlisting a Constitution

and the crew. She put to sea in July and eluding the Guerrière, pursuit of the British squadron, which was sighted August 19, off the coast of New Jersey, made her way to od Boston and later to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, where some important prizes were taken. Hull then started South for the Bermudas and had run about 300 miles when on August 19 he sighted the Guerrière. In an action which lasted about half an hour the Guerrière was rendered helpless and forced to surrender. Her injuries were so serious that after the removal of her crew Hull ordered her to be blown up. Hull was a nephew of the general who a few days before had surrendered Detroit, and his victory was as welcome to his countrymen as it was surprising to the world at large. The prestige of the British navy was at last broken by a ship of the American navy, which had so long been treated with contempt.

On October 18, 1812, occurred the second naval duel, in which the American sloop Wasp, Captain Jacob Jones, took the British sloop Frolic. The fight occurred about 500 miles east of Chesapeake Bay. Scarcely had Jones taken

« ПретходнаНастави »