Getting into War
The United States declared war against Great Britain on 18 June 1812.
American leaders who advocated war spoke of the need to protect the United States’ sovereignty, economy, and territory from British aggression. These “war hawks” hoped to compel Britain to end three policies that threatened the United States.
- Britain maintained relationships with Native Americans who resisted American westward expansion.
- British regulations attempted to control American trade with Europe, as part of Britain’s war against Napoleonic France.
- The Royal Navy boarded American ships to search for British subjects who could be forced into British service.
A Scene on the Frontiers as Practiced by the "Humane" British and Their "Worthy" Allies
Print by William Charles, 1812 Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection, Brown University Library, Providence, Rhode Island