1812 War

War of 1812 Timeline

Cause & Effect

          The seeds of this American war had deep roots. Hardly had the Treaty of 1783 between America and Great Britain been planted, the age old enmity between France and Great Britain thrust neutral America into a foreign entanglement. Precisely what President Washington had forewarned the nation to avoid. However, neutrality could not insulate the new nation caught between the ambitions of great empires.

After your review of this timeline, we call your attention to the additional links located below this table relating the decisive elements of this war.

1812 War Dates
Political Figures
1793 French & British commence hostilities British seize American merchant vessels attempting French trade Napoleon Bonaparte, King George III
1794 American & British treaty Americans agree to stop trade with France Justice John Jay-chief American negotiator-many Americans find treaty objectionable and insulting
1802 British/French peace treaty Insured American neutrality
1803 Louisiana purchase Created a new and large frontier to the dissatisfaction of Indian nations. Over the next years, Britain preached insurrection and furnished arms to be aimed at American settlers. Native American Indians ultimately led by Tecumseh; President Thomas Jefferson
1803-1812 British continue to seize American vessels and impress U.S. sailors into British navy Americans engaged in international trade deeply disturbed and seek redress from the government Jefferson and Madison administrations. Over 10,000 American sailors pressed into British naval service. This statistic was debated, questioned and became a hot button issue defining the political parties.
1804 France launches navy with the ultimate intent to invade Ireland British prepare to defend its Channel coast. French and British navies seize American vessels.
1806 British and French engage in all out sea warfare American ships seized by both combatants approx. 1,500
1807 HMS Leopard attacks U.S.S. Chesapeake British board Chesapeake and 3 Americans die. U.S. vessel poorly prepared for battle although resisted British. Citizens of Norfolk refuse to sell supplies to British warships in their port.
British Order in Council Closed all European ports to American/neutral shipping excepting those vessels paying entry fee.
U.S. congress passes embargo against all British products Jefferson attempts peaceful response but northern merchants feel the pinch and rally against the Act. Sales drop from 100 million to 22 million dollars.
1810 Embargo Act expires but renewed James Madison
1810 War hawks rule congressional sentiment rail against British insulting acts at sea and incitement of Indians on land James Madison, Henry Clay and John Calhoun
1811 Indian nations attack settlers in Indiana territory Battle of Tippecanoe-Indians soundly beaten William Henry Harrison leads 1000 American troops
1812 1812 War Commences 1812 Declaration of War against Britain President Madison reacts to pressure of war hawks.

Every American war was defined and illuminated by thousands of moving parts. In a sense, a war machine is like a huge wheel designed to advance a strategy, a goal, but inherently capable of sudden stops and reversals. You may examine the wheel and its component spokes (links) that propelled the American war machine, all trans-formative, and the human hands that created the turns and pivots that marked this war and our times.

More War of 1812 Info

War of 1812 Battles

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