Chapter 8 Section 3

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Chapter 8 Section 3

Non-Intercourse Act

The Embargo Act

The Conflict Over Land

Chapter 8Section 3By: Grace Bailey

Violations of Neutrality

During the late 1700s and 1800s, American merchant ships fanned out across the oceans. Ships sailing in the Mediterranean risked capture by pirates from the Barbary States of North Africa, who would steal cargo and hold ships' crews for ransom. Attacks continued until the United States sent the USS Constitution, a large warship, to end them. The real trouble, however, started when Britain began stopping and searching American ships for sailors who had run away from the British navy, forcing the sailors to return to British ships.

Some people wanted to go to war while others favored an embargo, or the banning of trade, against Britain. At Jefferson's urging, in late 1807 Congress passed the Embargo Act which essentially banned trade with all foreign countries. The effect of the law was devastating to American merchants because without foreign trade, they lost enormous amounts of money. The embargo damaged Jefferson's popularity and strengthened the Federalist Party.

In 1809, Congress tried to revive the nation's trade by replacing the unpopular act with the Non-Intercourse Act. This new law banned trade only with Britain, France, and their colonies. It also stated that the United States would resume trading with the first side that stopped violating U.S. neutrality. In time, however, the law was no more successful than the Embargo Act.

Declaring War

The War Hawks

The Opposition

The Battle of Tippecanoe

Tecumseh Resists U.S. Settlers

In the early 1800s, Native Americans in the old Northwest territory continued to lose land as thousands of settlers poured into the region. The United States had gained this land in the Treaty of Greenville, but Indian leaders who had not agreed to the treaty protested the the settlers' arrival. British agents from Canada began to arm Native Americans who were living along the western frontier. They saw the opportunity to slow America's westward growth and they took it.

Tecumseh, a Shawnee chief, had watched angrily as Native Americans were pushed off their land. He hoped to unite the Native Americans of the northwestern frontier, the South, and the eastern Mississippi Valley. He was helped by his brother, a religious leader called the Prophet. They founded a village called Prophetstown for their followers near the Wabash and Tippecanoe rivers.



The governor of the Indiana Territory, William Henry Harrison, watched Tecumseh's activities with alarm. He was convinced that the chief had British backing which could be a huge threat to American power in the West. In 1810, Tecumseh and Harrison met face to face where the governor urged him to follow thre Treaty of Greenville, but he resisted. Fighting broke out soon after and U.S. forces defeated Tecumseh and his followers in the Battle of Tippecanoe. The defeat destroyed Tecumseh's dream of a great Indian confederation, and he fled to Canada.

Many Americans felt that Britain had encouraged Tecumseh to attack settlers in the West. Several young memebers of Congress-called War Hawks by their opponents-took the lead in calling for war against Britain. These legislators, most of whom were from the South and West, were led by Henry Clay of Kentucky, John C. Calhoun of South Carolina, and Felix Grundy of Tennessee. Leaders wanted to put a stop to influence among Native Americans, as well as invade Canada and gain more land for settlement.

Republican James Madison was elected president in 1808.He faced the difficulty of continuing an unpopular trade war begun by Jefferson and growing pressure from the War Hawks. By 1812, he decided that Congress must vote on war. When they voted a few days later, the War Hawks won and for the first time in the nation's brief history, Congress had declared war. Months later, Americans elected Madison to a second term, so he would serve as commander in chief during the War of 1812.

The strongest opponents of the War Hawks were New England Federalists whose economy had been hurt due to British trade restrictions and impressment. People there wanted to renew friendly business ties with Britain instead of fighting another war. Other politicians argued that war with Great Britain would be foolish, for they feared that the United States was not yet ready to fight powerful Britain. America's army and navy were small and porrly equipped compared to Britain's military, and Americans could only produce a fraction of the military supplies Britain could.


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