BIBLIOGRAPHIES. - W. E. Foster, References to Presidential Administrations, 12-15; J. Winsor, Narrative and Critical History, VII. 320-323, 341-343, 420-437, 457-460, 522-524; Channing and Hart, Guide, secs. 170-173.

HISTORICAL MAPS. - Nos. 1 and 4, this volume (Epoch Maps, Nos. 7 and 9); T. MacCoun, Historical Geography; Henry Adams, United States, VI, VII., VIII., passim; Anderson, Canada (1814); Arrowsmith, Map of the United States (1813); Scribner, Statistical Atlas, Plate 14; school histories of Channing, Johnston, Scudder, and Thomas.

GENERAL ACCOUNTS - R. Hildreth, United States, VI. 149-674; H. Von Hoist, Constitutional History, I 226-272; J. Schouler, United States, II. 194-444; J. B. McMaster, United States, III. 339-560 (to 1812), IV.; Bryant and Gay, Popular History, IV. 185-244; Geo. Tucker, United States, II. 349-515, III. 21-145; Bradford, Constitutional History, I. 330-410.

SPECIAL HISTORIES. - Henry Adams, History of the United States, V.- IX.; C. Schurz, Henry Clay, I. 38-137; S. H. Gay, James Madison, 283- 337; C. J. Ingersoll, Historical Sketch of the Second War; T. Roosevelt, Naval War of 1812; J. Armstrong, Notices of the War of 1812; B. J. Lossing, Pictorial Field-book of the War of 1812; H. M Brackenridge, History of the Late War ; William Jones,Military Occurrences and Naval Occurrences ; E. S. Maclay, United States Navy.

CONTEMPORARY ACCOUNTS - J. Q. Adams, Memoirs, II, III. (ch. ix); S. G Goodrich, Recollections, I. 435-514, II. 9-60; Dolly Madison, Memoirs and Letters; John Randolph, Letters to a Young Relative; S. Leech, Thirty Years from Home (by a seaman of the Macedonian); W. Cobbett, Pride of Britannia Humbled (1815); Coggeshall, History of the American Privateers; William Sullivan,Familiar Letters on Public Characters, 290-355; Timothy Dwight, History of the Hartford Convention. Works of Jefferson, Madison, Gallatin, Dallas, Clay. - Reprints in M. Carey, Olive Branch; A. Johnston, American Orations, I, American History told by Contemporaries, III.

107. NON-INTERCOURSE LAWS (1809, 1810).

[Madison's administration.]

James Madison, who became President March 4, 1809, felt that his administration was to be a continuation of that of Jefferson; and he took over three members of Jefferson's cabinet, including Gallatin. The Secretary of State, Robert Smith, was incapable, and Madison was practically his own foreign minister.

[The situation abroad.]

The condition of European affairs was, on the whole, favorable to America. In 1807 Russia had formed an alliance with France and had accepted the Continental System, thus cutting off American trade; but in 1808 the French lost ground in Spain, and the Spanish and Portuguese ports were thus opened to American commerce. Nevertheless a hundred and eight merchantmen were captured by England in 1808.

[Non-intercourse Act.] [Favorable trade.]

To defend American commerce and the national honor, the administration possessed but three weapons, - war, retaliatory legislation, and diplomacy. War meant both danger and sacrifice; there was already a deficit in the Treasury. Congress, therefore, continued to legislate, while at the same time attempts were made to negotiate with both France and England. The Non-intercourse Act continued in force throughout 1809, and hardly impeded American commerce; trade with England and France went on through a few intermediary ports such as Lisbon and Riga, and there was a brisk direct trade under special license of one or the other of the powers. The shipping engaged in foreign trade now reached a higher point than ever before. The profits of American vessels were so great that forged American papers were openly sold in England. The defection of New England was stayed, and the President was supported by a fair majority in both Houses. It remained to be seen whether non-intercourse would have any effect in securing a withdrawal of the offensive orders and decrees.


[The Erskine treaty.]

On April 19, 1809, Madison obtained what seemed a diplomatic triumph; Erskine, the new British envoy, signed a formal agreement that the British government should withdraw the Orders in Council. A proclamation was then issued, announcing that trade might be renewed with Great Britain. As France had from the first protested that her Decrees were simply retaliatory, it was expected that they would in due time also be annulled. The satisfaction of the country was short-lived: Erskine had gone beyond his instructions. Once more the opportunity to conciliate the United States was thrown away by England; his agreement was formally disavowed; and on August 9 the President had the mortification of issuing a second proclamation, announcing that the Orders had not been withdrawn, and that trade with England was still forbidden.

[Jackson's negotiation.]

Another British minister, James Jackson, was received October 1, and began his negotiation by asserting that Madison had tricked Erskine into signing an agreement which the American government knew he was not authorized to make. The charge was denied, and his relations were finally closed on November 8 by a note in which he was informed that inasmuch as he "had used a language which cannot be understood but as reiterating and even aggravating the same gross insinuation, no further communications will be received." Having thus practically been dismissed for brutally insulting the government to which he was accredited, Jackson made a tour of the Eastern States, and was received with hospitality and enthusiasm by the leading New England Federalists.

[Macon Bill No. 2.] [Anger of France.] [Pretended revocation by France.]

From France no satisfaction could be obtained during 1809. To remove all restrictions on commerce was to give up everything; but Congress was tired of resistance, and on May i, 1810, passed the "Macon Bill No. 2," which was practically a surrender of all the principles at stake. It provided that commerce should be free, but that if either England or France should withdraw her Orders or Decrees, intercourse should be prohibited with the nation which retained them. The probable effect on France was speedily seen by the publication of a Decree which had been issued March 23, 1810: it declared that all American vessels which had entered French ports after the date of the Non-Intercourse Act of 1809 were to be seized. This was practically an act of war. The Macon bill now suggested to the Emperor that the Americans might be entrapped into another ambush: on August 5 his foreign minister wrote to Armstrong, the American minister, that "the Emperor loves the Americans," and that he would revoke the Milan and Berlin Decrees from November 1, provided England would withdraw her Orders in Council. Five days earlier the secret Decree of the Trianon had ordered the seizure of all American vessels that might reach French ports. The object of these measures was to entice American vessels within the reach of the French, and the ruse was successful. November 1 the President issued a proclamation declaring trade with England suspended because France had withdrawn her Decrees. Then ensued a long diplomatic discussion: since captures of American vessels by French cruisers continued, the British government refused to admit that the Decrees had been withdrawn, and complained of the prohibition of English trade. On December 25 Napoleon drew in his net by a general order for the seizure of all American vessels in French ports; and property to the value of about ten million dollars was thus confiscated.

[Fruitless negotiation with England.]

The British ministry kept its promise to Jackson, not to recall him till the end of a year. In February, 1811, Pinkney, our minister in London, demanded his passports, and left England with a tacit threat of war. The British government instantly sent a fourth minister, Mr. Foster, to the United States, and on June 13, 1811, reparation was made for the "Leopard- Chesapeake" outrage. This tardy act was received with coldness: four weeks earlier the English corvette "Little Belt" had fired upon the American frigate "President;" the fire was returned, and the "Little Belt" captured.

109. THE WAR PARTY (1811).

[Madison's first Congress.]

The responsibility for peace or war was now thrown upon the Congress which assembled Nov. 4, 1811. It had been elected at a time when it was believed that France had at last withdrawn the Decrees, and it had a strong Republican majority in both branches; there were but six Federalists in the Senate, and thirty-seven in the House. Even Massachusetts had chosen a Republican senator.

[The young Republicans.]

The new Congress had little of the timid spirit of its predecessor. It contained an unusual number of vigorous young men. Among the members who appeared for the first time in the House were John C. Calhoun, Langdon Cheves, and William Lowndes; two years later Daniel Webster took his seat. The first act of the new House Was to elect as its Speaker Henry Clay of Kentucky, - a young man for the first time a member of the House, and known to be in favor of war. His selection meant a change of counsels; the committees were reorganized, and Calhoun was made a leading member of the committee on Foreign Relations.

[Influence of the West.]

For the first time since 1807 war seemed likely. The controlling element in Congress had no longer the traditions of the Revolutionary War and the influence of Revolutionary statesmen. Many of these members represented interior States, having no sea-coast, and subject to no danger from invasion. These States were too new to command the affectionate support of their people; to their members the United States government represented the power and dignity of America; they chafed under the humiliations which had so long been suffered. The growth of the South and West enabled Congress to override the Federalists of New England and the peace Republicans of the Middle States.

[Madison's attitude.]

The President was a peaceful man, but he was unable to manage Congress, and was weary of the long series of offensive measures against his country. The annual message bore a distinctly warlike tone, especially toward England; and Gallatin suggested increased import duties and new war taxes.

[Who was the enemy?]

The grievances of the United States were heavy, but to go to war was difficult. The government was hampered by the fact that the New England ship-owners, in whose behalf the government was negotiating and threatening, preferred an irregular and hazardous trade to war. A more serious difficulty was that France had notoriously been a worse enemy than England; she had done all the open injury in her power, and had then treacherously entrapped our vessels. Madison had taken the untenable ground that our trade was respected by France, and that the British government was therefore bound to withdraw its Orders. The New England Federalists had a corresponding partisan friendship for England, and could see no offence in the blockade of our coasts, or even in impressment.

[Designs on Canada.]

Yet the war spirit against England was steadily rising. The reason is to be found in a speech delivered by Henry Clay some months later: "An honorable peace is obtainable only by an efficient war. My plan would be to call out the ample resources of the country, give them a judicious direction, prosecute the war with the utmost vigor, strike wherever we can reach the enemy at sea or on land, and negotiate the terms of peace at Quebec or Halifax." The immediate object of the war was, therefore, not to secure the rights of vessel-owners: war would instantly make all American commerce subject to capture; the evident purpose was to take Canada, and by the occupation of British territory to force England to make a favorable peace.

[Preliminaries of war.]

On Jan. 6, 1812, a bill for raising twenty-five thousand troops was passed, and fifty thousand volunteers were authorized. The enthusiasm of Congress was chilled by new action of the French government, which proved its friendliness by capturing American merchantmen wherever found upon the sea. Nevertheless, on April 1 the President recommended an embargo, which was understood to be preliminary to war with England. As the time for Presidential nominations came on, the New York Republicans bolted, and nominated De Witt Clinton.

[War declared.]

Still the war was delayed. Although on May 19 news was received that the British government would not yield the Orders in Council, it was June 1 before Madison sent to Congress a message recommending war, and not until June 18 did the declaration pass. Nearly forty Republican members refused to vote for it, and the test vote was seventy-nine to forty-nine in the House, and nineteen to thirteen in the Senate.

[Causes of the war.]

The causes of the war, as set forth in the messages of the President and in contemporary speeches, were four. The first was that the British had tampered with the Indians and urged them to hostilities: it was true, and it was trying; but the breaking out of war simply aggravated that difficulty. The second charge was the interference with neutral trade by the Orders in Council; but the injury from the French Decrees had been more humiliating. The third complaint was perhaps the most serious and exasperating: it was the virtual blockade of American ports by British cruisers, and their interference with arriving and departing vessels. Finally came the impressment of American seamen.

[Orders in Council withdrawn.]

Of these grievances the last two had not up to this time been put forward as cause for war. On June 16, two days before the declaration of war, the British government reluctantly withdrew the Orders in Council against which the United States had for six years protested. Before hostilities had fairly begun, notice was sent to the American government: it insisted on prosecuting the war, which was therefore undertaken ostensibly for the protection of the coast and the prevention of impressments.


[Population.] [Financial resources.]

In every respect except in the numbers available for land operations the Americans seemed inferior to the English. It was a war between a people of eight millions and a people of nearly twenty millions. The United States had been deceived by eleven years of great prosperity, and failed to see that the revenues of the government rose almost entirely from import duties, which would be cut off by war; and Congress showed a decided unwillingness to supplement these with other taxes. In 1811 the customs produced $13,000,000, in 1812 but $9,000,000; and the total revenue of the government was less than $10,000,000. The war, once begun, cost about $30,000,000 a year. The government was therefore thrown back upon loans, and it borrowed $98,000,000 during the war. As the credit of the government began to diminish, those loans were sold at prices much less than their face, and the country was obliged to issue $37,000,000 of Treasury notes. Meanwhile, England was raising by taxation nearly 70,000,000 pounds a year, and in 1815 was successfully carrying a debt of 860,000,000 pounds. The remnant of Republican prejudice against Federalist finances was just sufficient to prevent the re-chartering of the United States Bank in 1811. The country, therefore, entered on the war with insufficient means, impaired credit, and a defective financial organization.

[National spirit.] [Disloyal utterances.]

In national spirit, also, the United States was the weaker. The British had for twenty years been carrying a popular war with France, in which they had shown themselves far superior at sea, and had gained great military experience. In the United States sectional spirit was more violent than at any time since 1798. We now know that some of the leading Federalists were, up to the outbreak of the war, in confidential communication with British envoys. In 1809 and 1810 the Republican governor and legislature in Pennsylvania were opposing with military violence the service of the writs of the United States District Court in the Olmstead Case. The disaffection of the Federalists was publicly expressed by Josiah Quincy, of Massachusetts, in a Speech in 1811 on the admission of Louisiana: "If this bill passes, it is my deliberate opinion that it is virtually a dissolution of this Union; that it will free the States from their moral obligation; and, as it will be the right of all, so it will be the duty of some, definitely to prepare for a separation, amicably if they can, violently if they must."

[The two armies.] Nor did the military and naval preparation of the country make up for its political weakness. The regular army of the United States was composed of 6,700 men. The service was so unpopular that two proclamations were issued in 1812 promising pardons to deserters. The highest number of officers and men in the regular army was during the war but 34,000. The dependence of the government, therefore, for offensive operations was upon the State militia. The general officers were old Revolutionary soldiers or men who had seen no service; the military organization was defective; and the Secretary of War, Eustis, was incompetent. In this very year, 1812, the British regular troops under Wellington were steadily beating back the French, who had been supposed to be the best soldiers in the world.

[The two navies.]

In naval affairs comparison between the two powers was almost impossible. The American navy consisted of twelve vessels, the largest of which were the three 44-gun frigates "United States", "Constitution," and "President". The number of men was 4,000, with 1,500 marines. The British navy was composed of eight hundred and thirty vessels, of which two hundred and thirty were larger than any of the American ships; they had 150,000 seamen, and unlimited power of impressing sailors.

[The theatre of the war.]

The theatre of war was to be much the same as in the French and Indian war (sec. 14). The lines stretched from Nova Scotia to the Great Lakes, but settlement had extended so far westward that Detroit marked the flank of both powers, and Lake Erie was included in the field of operations. Like Braddock in 1755 (sec. 16), the Americans expected to roll the enemy's line up from west to east; and at the same time they meant to penetrate where Loudon and Abercrombie had attacked, through Lake Ontario and Lake Champlain. For harbor and coast defence they relied chiefly on the fleet of gunboats.


[Campaign of 1812.]

For the beginning of the campaign two expeditions were planned, - one across the river from Detroit, the other across the Niagara from Buffalo. The experience of the Revolution threw little light on the problem of conveying large bodies of men, with the necessary stores, across such stretches of wild country. General Hull, in command at Detroit, after a single effort to invade Canada, was forced back, and on Aug. 16, 1812, was brought to a disgraceful capitulation. Fort Dearborn, now Chicago, and Mackinac were captured at about the same time. In October and November two attempts were made to cross the Niagara into Canada. Owing to the incapacity of the commanders, Van Rensselaer and Smythe, six thousand American troops were held in check, and smaller bodies of them defeated, by one thousand British. The military authorities in the centre waited for the reduction of western Canada before attempting to advance northward to Montreal.

[Campaign of 1813.]

The campaign of 1813 was little more fortunate. The British, with their savage allies, held Detroit; but a fresh-water navy had been constructed by both parties on Lake Erie, and the victory of Commodore Perry gave the control of Lake Erie, and thus of Detroit, to the Americans. On the Niagara frontier the Americans were successful in occupying the British forts on the western side of the river, but could not penetrate the country. A northern expedition descended the St. Lawrence, but was obliged to retire into American territory without result; and in the last days of the year the Niagara posts were again abandoned.

112. NAVAL WARFARE (1812-1815).

[The first cruise.] [English cruisers captured.]

When the war broke out, the purpose of the administration was to keep the vessels of the United States navy in Port for harbor and coast defence. An order was sent to New York authorizing a brief preliminary cruise, and within one hour Commodore Rodgers, with the frigates "President", and "Congress", the ship "Hornet" and brig "Argus", had got to sea. Within two days the little squadron attacked the British frigate "Belvidera," which had made herself obnoxious by her blockade of American ports, but lost her. On August 19 the frigate "Constitution", Captain Hull, met the British frigate "Guerriere", renowned for its unauthorized search of American vessels: in thirty minutes the "Guerriere" was taken; and the "Constitution" returned in triumph to Boston. The effects of this brilliant victory were immediately felt: New England shared in it; British naval prestige had received a damaging blow; and the Navy Department could no longer hope to keep the navy at home for police duty. Meantime the sloop-of-war "Wasp" had captured the British brig "Frolic" of equal force; and Decatur, in the frigate "United States", on October 25 took the British frigate "Macedonian". A few weeks later the frigate "Constitution" captured the British frigate "Java".

[Effect of the victories.]

The result of six months naval warfare was the capture of three British frigates and two smaller vessels, besides large numbers of merchantmen. American commerce had been almost driven from the seas, but only three small American cruisers had been taken. The victories were more than unexpected, they were astounding In nearly every fight the American vessel was of heavier tonnage, and threw a heavier broadside; but the sailors were fighting the most renowned naval power in the world, The British captains in every case sought the encounter, and they were defeated by the superior tactical skill, and especially the superior gunnery, of the Americans, Congress was obliged by the force of public sentiment to begin the construction of new vessels. At the same time American privateers ranged the seas and brought in British merchantmen. In 1813 there was a minor naval warfare on Lakes Erie, Ontario, and Champlain, Two small armed vessels, the "Peacock" and the "Boxer," were captured at sea by the Americans; and the ship "Essex," under Captain Porter, ranged the Pacific and captured thirteen vessels,

[The American navy subdued.]

The tide had now begun to turn, In June, 1813, Captain Lawrence, of the frigate "Chesapeake," was challenged by Captain Broke, of the "Shannon," to fight him near the harbor of Boston. People assembled on Marblehead Neck to see the English cruiser made a prize; after a hard fight the "Chesapeake" was captured and towed into Halifax. It was the victory of disciplined courage over courage less trained, and perhaps less well handled. By this time large blockading squadrons had been sent out, and most of the American fleet was shut up in the harbors of Boston, New London, and New York. The frigate "President" was captured while endeavoring to escape from New York; the "Essex" was taken in a neutral port; and for a time there was no American cruiser on the sea.

[American privateers.]

The defence of the newly acquired American reputation at sea was thus left to the privateers. They were small, handy vessels, apt at striking, and quick to run away. In 1813 they captured four hundred prizes, while the national cruisers took but seventy-nine. The "True-Blooded Yankee" alone in thirty-seven days took twenty-seven vessels, some of them in Dublin Bay, and was not captured. The loss of property and of prestige was so great that in 1814 insurance on vessels crossing the Irish Channel was rated at thirteen per cent. During two and a half years of war the privateers took fourteen hundred prizes, and the cruisers took three hundred more. On the other hand, about seventeen hundred American merchantmen had been captured by the British. The flag of the United States on unarmed vessels had at the end of 1814 almost ceased to float on the ocean.


[The situation abroad.]

Nothing but a total want of understanding of the conditions in Europe could have brought about the War of 1812. In 1811 the Continental System (sec. 102) had broken down, because Russia would no longer cut off the trade in American ships. The result of this breach was Napoleon's Russian campaign of 1812; his success would have totally excluded American commerce from the Baltic, and would probably have resulted in the overthrow of England. The Americans were assisting the cause of a great tyranny and a great commercial monopoly.

[Fall of Napoleon.]

During 1812 and 1813, while the Americans were vainly struggling to capture a few petty forts on the Canadian frontier, Napoleon was falling back step by step; and on April 6, 1814, he abdicated his throne, and a general European peace was made.

[Lundy's Lane.] [English invasion.] [Sidenote: Capture of Washington.]

The result was new energy in the American war. Twelve thousand English veteran troops were despatched to Canada, and expeditions were planned to harass the American coast. The struggle was renewed on the Niagara frontier under the efficient command of Jacob Brown, a New York militia general. An American force penetrated into Canada and fought the successful battle of Lundy's Lane; but Brown was wounded, and his forces abandoned the field. The British now attempted to invade the United States; the Maine coast was occupied, almost without resistance, as far south as the Penobscot; the Americans were attacked at Fort Erie, on the west side of the Niagara; and a force of eighteen thousand men moved up Lake Champlain to Plattsburg. On September 11 its advance was checked by a field-work and an American fleet under Macdonough. Both at Fort Erie and at Plattsburg the veteran British troops were beaten off by the Americans behind their breastworks. Meanwhile the nation had been overwhelmed with terror and shame by the capture of Washington. Five thousand British troops landed from the Chesapeake, marched fifty miles across a populous country, and coolly took the national capital. The defence made by General Winder is characterized in his order to the artillery when, with seven thousand militia, he was about to make a stand: "When you retreat, take notice that you must retreat by the Georgetown road." The President and cabinet fled, and the public buildings were burned, in alleged retaliation for destruction of buildings in Canada; and the assailing force withdrew to its ships without molestation. Encouraged by this success, a similar attack was made upon Baltimore; here a spirited resistance from behind intrenchments once more beat the British off.

[Attack on New Orleans.]

Now came the news that an expedition was preparing to attack the Gulf coast. Andrew Jackson, who had been engaged in Indian wars in the southwest, was put in command. Still, he made no preparation for the defence of New Orleans, until, on December 10, the British expedition of fifty sail was sighted. Jackson now showed his native energy; troops were hurried forward, and militia were brought together. A want of common watchfulness suffered the British to reach a point within seven miles of New Orleans before they met any resistance. Then Jackson made such defence as he could. He formed an intrenched line with artillery; and here, with about forty-five hundred men, he awaited the advance of eight thousand of the British. They attacked him Jan. 8, 1815, and were repulsed.

114. QUESTION OF THE MILITIA (1812-1814).

[New England disaffected.]

As at New Orleans, so throughout the war, the greater part of the fighting was done by State militia hastily assembled, imperfectly disciplined, and serving only for short terms. From the beginning, however, the New England States had refused to furnish militia on the call of the general government. They did not interfere with volunteer recruiting, and Massachusetts alone supplied as many troops as came from Virginia and North and South Carolina; but they declined officially to take part in offensive military operations. The war was very unpopular to the New Englanders because of the great losses to their commerce, and because they paid more than half the expense; nor had New England any sympathy with that invasion of Canada which was so popular in the West.

[Militia refused.]

As soon as war broke out, the Secretary of War authorized General Dearborn to summon twenty thousand militia from the New England States. Care was taken in sending the call to ask for small detachments of the militia, so as to rid the United States of the general militia officers appointed by the States. The result of these combined causes was that the Governor of Connecticut refused to send militia, declaring that he must "yield obedience to the paramount authority of the Constitution and the laws." The Massachusetts House voted that the "war is a wanton sacrifice of our best interests;" and the Governor of Massachusetts informed the President that since there was no invasion, there was no constitutional reason for sending the militia. New Hampshire took similar ground, and the governor of Rhode Island congratulated the legislature on the possession of two cannon, with which that State might defend itself against an invader. On Nov. 10, 1813, Governor Chittenden of Vermont ordered the recall of a brigade which had been summoned outside the boundary of the State, declaring it to be his opinion that "the military strength and resources of this State must be reserved for its own defence and protection exclusively."

[National government hampered.] [New England attacked.]

The general government had no means of enforcing its construction of the Constitution. It did, however, withdraw garrisons from the New England forts, leaving those States to defend themselves; and refused to send them their quota of the arms which were distributed among the States. This attitude was so well understood that during the first few months of the war English cruisers had orders not to capture vessels owned in New England. As the war advanced, these orders were withdrawn, and the territory of Massachusetts in the District of Maine was invaded by British troops. An urgent call for protection was then made upon the general government; but even in this crisis Massachusetts would not permit her militia to pass under the control of national military officers.


[Federalist successes.] [Opposition to the war.]

More positive and more dangerous opposition had been urged in New England from the beginning of the war. Besides the sacrifice of men, Massachusetts furnished more money for the war than Virginia. In the elections of 1812 and 1813 the Federalists obtained control of every New England State government, and secured most of the New England members of Congress. The temper of this Federalist majority may be seen in a succession of addresses and speeches in the Massachusetts legislature. On June 15, 1813, Josiah Quincy offered a resolution that "in a war like the present, waged without justifiable cause and prosecuted in a manner which indicates that conquest and ambition are its real motives, it is not becoming a moral and religious people to express any approbation of military or naval exploits which are not immediately connected with the defence of our sea-coast and soil." As the pressure of the war grew heavier, the tone in New England grew sterner. On Feb. 18, 1814, a report was made to the Massachusetts legislature containing a declaration taken almost literally from Madison's Virginia Resolution of 1798 (sec. 90), that "whenever the national compact is violated, and the citizens of the State oppressed by cruel and unauthorized laws, this legislature is bound to interpose its power and wrest from the oppressor his victim."

[Impotence of Congress.] [Resistance threatened.]

The success of the British attacks in August and September, 1814, seemed to indicate the failure of the war. Congress met on September 19 to confront the growing danger: but it refused to authorize a new levy of troops; it refused to accept a proposition for a new United States Bank; it consented with reluctance to new taxes. The time seemed to have arrived when the protests of New England against the continuance of the war might be made effective. The initiative was taken by Massachusetts, which, on October 16 voted to raise a million dollars to support a State army of ten thousand troops, and to ask the other New England States to meet in convention.

[A convention called.]

On Dec. 15, 1814, delegates assembled at Hartford from Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, with unofficial representatives from New Hampshire and Vermont. The head of the Massachusetts delegation was George Cabot, who had been chosen because of his known opposition to the secession of that State. As he said himself: "We are going to keep you young hot-heads from getting into mischief." The expectation throughout the country was that the Hartford convention would recommend secession, Jefferson wrote: "Some apprehend danger from the defection of Massachusetts. It is a disagreeable circumstance, but not a dangerous one. If they become neutral, we are sufficient for one enemy without them; and, in fact, we get no aid from them now."

[Hartford Convention.] [Secession impending.]

After a session of three weeks, the Hartford Convention adjourned, Jan. 14, 1815, and published a formal report. They declared that the Constitution had been violated, and that "States which have no common umpire must be their own judges and execute their own decisions." They submitted a list of amendments to the Constitution intended to protect a minority of States from aggressions on the part of the majority. Finally they submitted, as their ultimatum, that they should be allowed to retain the proceeds of the national customs duties collected within their borders. Behind the whole document was the implied intention to withdraw from the Union if this demand were not complied with. To comply was to deprive the United States of its financial power, and was virtually a dissolution of the constitution. The delegates who were sent to present this powerful remonstrance to Congress were silenced by the news that peace had been declared.

116. THE PEACE OF GHENT (1812-1814).

[Sidebar: Russian mediation.] [Sidebar: American commissioners sent.]

Three months after the war broke out, the Russian government had offered mediation; it regretted to see the strength of the English allies wasted in a minor contest with America. Madison eagerly seized this opportunity, and on May 9, 1813, Gallatin and Bayard were sent as special commissioners. On arriving in Russia they found that the British government had refused the offer of mediation. The immediate effect was to take Gallatin out of the Treasury, and he was followed by Secretary Campbell, to whose incompetence the financial impotence of the war is partly due. Toward the end of 1813 an offer of direct negotiation was made by the British government, and John Quincy Adams, Jonathan Russell, and Henry Clay were added to the negotiators. The absence of Clay, who had exercised such influence as Speaker of the House, accounts for the apathy of Congress in 1814.

[Sidebar: The effect of European peace.] [Impressment.]

It was not until Aug. 8, 1814, that the commissioners finally met English commissioners at Ghent. Of the grievances which had brought on the war, most had been removed by the European peace: neutral vessels were no longer captured; the blockade of American ports in time of peace was not likely to be resumed; and the impressment of American seamen ceased because the English navy was reduced. The two countries were therefore fighting over dead questions. The Americans, however, naturally desired, in making peace, to secure a recognition of the principles for which they had gone to war; and the British had now no other enemy, and were incensed at the temerity of the little nation which had attempted to invade Canada and had so humiliated England at sea. Gradually, the commissioners began to find common ground. Gallatin reported to the home government that in his judgment no article could be secured renouncing the right to impress British subjects wherever found. With a heavy heart, Madison consented that that point should be omitted from the treaty.

[The war unpopular in England.] [Effect of American defence.]

During 1814 great pressure was put upon the British government to make peace, on account of the loss inflicted by American privateers. The war was costing England about ten million pounds sterling a year, and no definite result had been gained except the capture of a part of Maine and of the American post of Astoria in Oregon. The Americans were unable to make headway in Canada; the English were equally unable to penetrate into the United States. Wellington was consulted, and reported that in his judgment the British could hope for no success without naval superiority on the lakes. The brave resistance of the Americans at Fort Erie and Plattsburg had won the respect of the great military commander. The ministry, therefore, resolved upon peace.

[Territory.] [Fisheries.] [The treaty signed.]

The first question to settle was that of territory. The British consented to restore the territory as it had been before the war; some attempt was made to create a belt of frontier neutral territory for the Indians who had been allies of the British, but that point was also abandoned. Next came the question of the fisheries: the British held that the American rights had been lost by the war; Clay insisted that the British right of navigation of the Mississippi had also been forfeited, and that the fisheries might therefore be sacrificed as a "matter of trifling moment." Adams stood out for the fisheries, and the result was that neither question was mentioned in the treaty. In 1818 a special convention was negotiated, defining the fishery rights of the United States. Upon these general lines agreement was at last reached, and the treaty was signed Dec. 24, 1814, several weeks before the battle of New Orleans.


[No gain from the war.] [National pride.]

After nearly three years of war, the expenditure of one hundred millions of dollars, the loss of about thirty thousand lives, the destruction of property, and ruinous losses of American vessels, the country stood where it had stood in 1812, its boundary unchanged, its international rights still undefined, the people still divided. Yet peace brought a kind of national exaltation. The naval victories had been won by officers and men from all parts of the Union, and belonged to the nation. The last struggle on land, the battle of New Orleans, was an American victory, and obliterated the memory of many defeats. President Madison, in his annual message of 1815, congratulated the country that the treaty "terminated with peculiar felicity a campaign signalized by the most brilliant successes."

[Training of soldiers.]

One noteworthy effect of the war had been the development of a body of excellent young soldiers. Winfield Scott distinguished himself in the Niagara campaigns, and rose eventually to be the highest officer of the American army. William Henry Harrison's military reputation was based chiefly on the Indian battle of Tippecanoe in 1811, but it made him President in 1840. Andrew Jackson's victory at New Orleans brought him before the people, and caused his choice as President in 1828. The national pride was elated by the successes of American engineers, American naval architects, American commodores, and volunteer officers like Jacob Brown, who had finally come to the front.

[Extrication from European politics.]

The end of the war marks also the withdrawal of the United States from the complications of European politics. From 1775 to 1815 the country had been compelled, against its will, to take sides, to ask favors, and to suffer rebuffs abroad. During the long interval of European peace, from 1815 to 1853, the United States grew up without knowing this influence. Furthermore, the field was now clear for a new organization of American industries. The profits of the shipping trade had not been due so much to American enterprise as to the greater safety of foreign cargoes in neutral bottoms. When this advantage was swept away, American shipping languished, and its place was taken by manufacturing.

[Decay of the Federalist party.] [Persistence of Federalist principles.] [Gain in national spirit.]

The most marked result of the war was the absorption of the Federalist Party, which at once began, and in five or six years was complete. In the election of 1812 eighty-nine votes had been cast for the Federalist candidate (sec. 109); in 1816 there were but thirty-four (sec. 123); in 1820 there was not one. This did not mean that Federalist principles had decayed or been overborne; the real reason for the extinction of that party was that it lived in the ranks of the Republican party. When Jefferson in 1801 said, "We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists," he expressed what had come to be true in 1815. The great principles for which the Federalists had striven were the right of the federal government to exercise adequate powers, and its duty to maintain the national dignity: those principles had been adopted by the Republicans. John Randolph was almost the only leader who continued to stand by the Republican doctrine enunciated by Jefferson when he became President. Jefferson himself had not scrupled to annex Louisiana, to lay the embargo, and to enforce it with a severity such as Hamilton would hardly have ventured on. Madison had twice received and used the power to discriminate between the commerce of England and of France; and during the war the nation had reimposed federal taxes and adopted Federalist principles of coercion. James Monroe, Secretary of State at the end of Madison's administration, and candidate for the Presidency in 1816, was in his political beliefs not to be distinguished from moderate Federalists like James A. Bayard in 1800. The Union arose from the disasters of the War of 1812 stronger than ever before, because the people had a larger national tradition and greater experience of national government, and because they had accepted the conception of government which Washington and Hamilton had sought to create.