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War of 1812

"Mr. Madison's War," as the War of 1812 was sometimes called, was fueled by several factors:

  • Anger over the violation of American neutral rights
  • The clamor of the so-called War Hawks
  • The real or imagined British hand in stirring up Native American unrest in the West, particularly the exploits of Tecumseh
  • .
President Madison did not possess Jefferson's skill at keeping the United States out of war, but in any event the War Hawks' strident activities had changed the landscape. Popular opinion in the South and West clearly favored the conflict. Madison realized, however, that the country was poorly prepared. The United States maintained a weak, scattered army and a navy that was virtually insignificant by comparison to Britain's. The Prospects and Strategy of the United States left much to be desired. Nevertheless, pro-war sentiment helped carry Madison to a second term in the Election of 1812.
See Neutral Rights.