Madison – War of 1812

The Presidency of James Madison

As the new nation grew and it’s foreign policy of avoiding
permanent alliance became defined it sought out trade relationships.
America was determined to grow and become prosperous. It was
inevitable that there would be affairs with England and France as
they were the two strongest powers of the time. Eventually that
contact, as Washington feared, brought America to the brink of war.

I. The Presidency of James Madison

A. The War of 1812

1. Policy under Jefferson

  • English and French had been blocking and seizing American

  • Jefferson tried to negotiate. This led to the XYZ Affair
  • Jefferson orders an embargo

In the election of 1808, Madison, a Republican, beat
Pinckney, a Federalist.

In 1810 the War Hawks
were elected to Congress – These included John C. Calhoun, South
Carolina and Henry Clay, Kentucky

These men were called the Ware Hawks because they were looking
for an excuse to go to war. They did not feel that the US was getting
any respect. England had never recognized the US, they felt
slighted and angry!

2. Causes of War of 1812

  • Impressment – US ships and sailors were being
    seized and forced to work on British ships. The British never
    officially recognized the US and viewed our sailors as THEIR
    citizens. Violated the concept of Freedom of the

  • US finds out that the English were inciting the Indians.
    Tecumseh, an Indian chieftain attempts to wage
    war and loses to William Henry Harrison.

Went poorly at first losing Detroit and failing to mount an
attack. Later we won important naval battle on Lake Erie regained
Detroit and attacked and defeated the British and Tecumseh at York,
now Toronto. By 1814, however, British naval superiority began to
tell and Britain had numerous armies in America. One burned
Washington D.C. and Madison was forced to leave the White House.
British attacks then stalled at Baltimore and Niagara. The Battle of
New Orleans with the rogue Andrew Jackson leading American forces was
the lat triumph. Note that the war had actually ended prior to the

3. Results of the War of 1812

  • Washington DC burned to the ground by the British
  • War ends in a tie – armistice signed at Treaty of Ghent
  • US officially recognized by England
  • William Henry Harrison becomes an American hero from the
    Battle of Tippecanoe

  • Andrew Jackson becomes an American hero from the battle of New