CHAPTER XX. THE STRUGGLE FOR COMMERCIAL INDEPENDENCE
Nevertheless the gain was great. Our naval victories made us respected abroad and showed us to be the equal of any maritime power. At home, the war aroused a national feeling, did much to consolidate the Union, and put an end to our old colonial dependence on Europe. Thenceforth Americans looked westward, not eastward.
THE HARTFORD CONVENTION. - News of the treaty signed in December, 1814, did not reach our country till February, 1815.  Had there been ocean steamships or cables in those days, two famous events in our history would not have happened. The battle of New Orleans would not have been fought, and the report of the Hartford Convention would not have been published. The Hartford Convention was composed of Federalist delegates from the New England states,  met in December, 1814, and held its sessions in secret. But its report proposed some amendments to the United States Constitution, state armies to defend New England, and the retention of a part of the federal taxes to pay the cost. Congress was to be asked to agree to this, arid if it declined, the state legislatures were to send delegates to another convention to meet in June, 1815.  When the commissioners to present these demands reached Washington, peace had been declared, and they went home, followed by the jeers of the nation.
1. The war with Tripoli (1801-5) ended in victory for our navy.
2. The renewal of war between France and Great Britain involved us in more serious trouble.
3. When France attacked British commerce by decrees, Great Britain replied with orders in council (1806-7). In these paper blockades we were the chief sufferers.
4. Great Britain claimed a right to take her subjects off American ships, and while impressing many British sailors into her navy, she impressed many Americans also.
5. She sent vessels of war to our coast to search our ships, and in 1807 even seized sailors on board an American ship of war, the Chesapeake.
6. Congress retaliated with several measures cutting off trade with France and Great Britain; these failing, war on Great Britain was declared in 1812.
7. War on land was begun by attempts to invade Canada from Detroit, Niagara, and northeastern New York. These attempts failed, and Detroit was captured by the British.
8. In 1813 Perry won a great naval victory on Lake Erie; and the American soldiers, after a reverse at Frenchtown, invaded Canada and won the battle of the Thames.
9. In 1814 the Americans won the battles of Chippewa and Lundys Lane, but were later driven from Canada. A British invasion of New York met disaster at Plattsburg Bay.
10. Along the seaboard the British blockaded the entire coast, seized the eastern part of Maine, took Washington and burned the public buildings, and attacked Baltimore.
11. Later New Orleans was attacked, but in 1815 Jackson won a signal victory and drove the British from Louisiana.
12. On the sea our vessels won many ship duels.
13. Peace was made in 1814, just as the New England Federalists were holding their Hartford Convention. The war resulted in strengthening the Union and making it more respected.
 During the war, in 1803, the frigate Philadelphia ran on the rocks in the harbor of Tripoli, and was captured by the Tripolitans. The Americans then determined to destroy her. Stephen Decatur sailed into the harbor with a volunteer crew in a little vessel disguised as a fishing boat. The Tripolitans allowed the Americans to come close, whereupon they boarded the Philadelphia, drove off the pirate crew, set the vessel on fire, and escaped unharmed.
 The French decrees and British orders in council were as follows: (1) Napoleon began (1806) by issuing a decree closing the ports of Hamburg and Bremen (which he had lately captured) and so cutting off British trade with Germany. (2) Great Britain retaliated with an order in council (May, 1806), blockading the coast of Europe from Brest to the mouth of the river Elbe. (3) Napoleon retaliated (November, 1806) with the Berlin Decree, declaring the British Isles in a state of blockade, and forbidding English trade with any country under French control. (4) Great Britain issued another order in council (November, 1807), commanding her naval officers to seize any neutral vessel going to any closed port in Europe unless it first touched at a British port, paid duty, and bought a license to trade. (5) Napoleon thereupon (December, 1807) issued his Milan Decree, authorizing the seizure of any neutral vessel that had touched at any British port and taken out a license. Read Adams's History of the U. S., Vol. III, Chap. 16; Vol. IV, Chaps. 4, 5, 6; McMaster's History of the People of the U. S., Vol. III, pp. 219-223, 249-250, 272-274.
 The British sailor was hanged at Halifax. The three Americans were not returned till 1812. Read Maclay's History of the Navy, Vol. I, pp. 305- 308.
 The Federalists ridiculed the embargo as the "terrapin-policy"; that is, the United States, like a terrapin when struck, had pulled its head and feet within its shell instead of fighting. They reversed the letters so that they read "o-grab-me," and wrote the syllables backward so as to spell "go-bar-'em."
 Read McMaster's History of the People of the U. S., Vol. III, pp. 279-338.