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Why the US Declared War on Great Britain


The war between Britain and America supposedly lasted for three years from 1812 to 1815. It was fought mostly on the Atlantic Ocean and in parts of North America. The declaration of the war was endorsed by both the Senate and the House of Representatives, and was extensively backed by President Madison (O'Neill and Benn 2011). From the onset of the war, it was disaster always loomed for America. It is of importance to note that Great Britain had been avoiding armed confrontation with America since 1803 when ties between the two countries began to falter (Heidler, 2004)

Factors that Influenced the Declaration of War on Great Britain by the United States

One of the most pressing issues apparently was the fact that Britain had restricted trade ties with between America and France. This was due to the fact that at this very time, Britain was at war with France. Another reason for America's declaration of war was because Britain was harassing United States seamen and forcing their recruitment into Britain's Royal Navy. The United States had reason to believe that Britain intended to create some sought of Indian buffer in the Northern frontier (Katcher, 1990). The third reason was that Britain was seen by America as being supportive of the Indians with America claiming that Britain offered military support to the struggle in the northern frontier which America saw as an impediment to their expansion There was also unspoken desire to revive the honor of the American people by getting rid of the presence of British forces in the Northern frontier.

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Could The War Have Been Avoided?

The United States was certainly more emotionally attached to the war and could not in any way let the opportunity to suppress British presence in Northern America pass. I personally believe that due to this it would have been impossible to avoid armed confrontation between America and Great Britain as many American citizens were already too exited. The case of the two Ships belonging to either of the warring parties hyped things even further and facilitated nationwide demand for American action in restoring honor for the American people.


It was particularly unhealthy of the Americans to underestimate Britain's power especially on water. They believed that Canada would welcome an invasion by America but apparently the Indians wielded grater power supported by the British. In Britain's case, the war in Europe made resulted in them making concessions during the first few months of the war. However they latter dropped on American soil and threatened the very Sovereignty of the American people, forcing the Americans to fight decisively in what came to be known as the fight for the second independence of America.

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