Dennis when President Jefferson’s trade embargo went into
Dennis RasmussenEssay question # 2 Dr Dennis CaseyHistory 1301
If you look at one small aspect of this war you could infer, had the United States been able to stay neutral this war might have been avoided. In reality I don’t think this war was anymore avoidable than World War I or World War II. American pride coupled with the fact that we were a fledgling nation experiencing a depression, political unrest, and being provoked at nearly every turn by Britain made this war inevitable.
The American economy had never been especially strong, but In 1808 when President Jefferson’s trade embargo went into effect, not being able to trade freely with Britain and the rest of Europe sent the American economy spiraling into a depression. Because of the depression net earnings from the shipping industry fell by almost fifty percent and its estimated that almost thirty thousand sailors and one hundred thousand people in support related industries lost their jobs. Earnings from legitimate business enterprises fell to less than a quarter of what their value was in 1807. The depression crippled many eastern towns especially New England where their economy had become almost entirely dependent on shipping.
Even after the Revolutionary War, Great Britain always maintained a harassing presence in America. Their failure to withdraw from American territory along the Great Lakes was constant thorn in our sides. The British also aided the Indians by selling them arms and supplies, which the Indians in turn used to attack farms and small towns. This at least seemed tolerable, but when they started capturing American ships and impressing American sailors into British service Americans became incensed and started crying for action.
A government already stressed to the breaking point with domestic issues. The British blockade, harassment, and the depression that was ruining our economy forced America to do