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Mr. Madison’s War The War of 1812 • The “War Hawks” were angry because they found out that England had been supplying the Indians with guns to use against American settlers. • On the high seas, Britain had used impressment, or the drafting of American sailors into its navy, capturing many Americans. In 1807, Jefferson announced an embargo to punish the English, which closed American ports and led to an economic slump. Despite these problems, Jefferson’s Secretary of State James Madison was easily elected president in 1808. By 1812 the situation was bad enough that Madison decided to declare war on Great Britain • Because of Jefferson’s cuts to the military, the U.S. was not ready for a full-scale war with England. • An attack on Canada failed, even though the Americans managed to take Detroit, and had some successes on Lake Erie. • By the end of 1813, though, the war didn’t look good for the Americans. The British navy had American ships bottled up in their ports. In 1814, the British were attacking all up and down the Atlantic coast. On August 24, British troops entered Washington, D.C. forcing President Madison and others to flee. The British burned the White House along with several other buildings. In Baltimore, lawyer Francis Scott Key witnessed the British attack on Fort McHenry from a British ship. When he saw the flag still flying, he wrote a poem known as the “Star Spangled Banner,” which would become the national anthem. While the British were attacking Washington and Baltimore, General Andrew Jackson was gathering troops to protect New Orleans. He won a major victory against the British there. At the same time the Treaty of Ghent had been negotiated, bringing an end to the fighting, or armistice. Very little changed, but the two nations were at peace. Most outstanding issues were resolved in the years immediately after the war. Commerce resumed between England and the United States. In 1817, the two sides agreed to the Rush-Bagot Treaty, which limited the number of warships on the Great Lakes. The two nations set the boundary between the United States at the 49th parallel as far as the Rocky Mountains and agreed to jointly occupy the Oregon Territory. In 25 years, the United States had doubled its size and made itself secure. It would not go to war with England again.