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Causes for the War of 1812

             The Battle of Yorktown in 1781 marked the end of the Revolutionary War with Britain. In December 1782, the British ordered a cessation of hostilities in the United States, and the Treaty of Paris was finally signed on September 3, 1783. In this treaty, the British recognized American independence and agreed to evacuate all royal troops. They conceded to the United States all lands east of the Mississippi River. The treaty also contained a clause stating that Americans would pay debts owned to British merchants and loyalists claim for property. However, the terms of the treaty were not enforced and the British still remained in the U.S. This brought up problems on both the western and eastern front. In the West, British were giving the Indians weapons so they could stand up to the white settlers. In the East, the British army began seizing American merchants' ships and impressing seamen. As a result, British violations of American neutrality rights on the high seas led to President Madison declaring war against Britain "War of 1812. And so began the War of 1812 and confirmation of America's independence.
             With the ongoing battles between Great Britain and France in the early 19th century, the newly formed United States found itself thrust in the middle of this struggle. These countries, during their course of fighting, violated the maritime rights of neutral powers. The United States, attempting to market its own produce, was especially affected. To preserve Britain's naval strength, Royal Navy officers impressed thousands of seamen from U.S. vessels, claiming that they were either deserters or British subjects. The United States defended its right to naturalize foreigners and challenged the British practice of impressments on the high seas. Relations between the two nations reached a breaking point in 1807 when the British frigate Leopard fired on the USS Chesapeake in American territorial waters and removed, and later executed, four crewmen.

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