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Impressment and shipping rights are the most commonly given reason that America...

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kylekasman | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

Posted March 22, 2012 at 12:54 PM via web

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Impressment and shipping rights are the most commonly given reason that America declared war on England in 1812. What other factors caused this?

the British had been capturing American ships bound for France and that they also were “impressing” American sailors into the British Navy.

There were other causes that were less often talked about but may have been larger factors in the decision to go to war.  What were they?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 22, 2012 at 1:09 PM (Answer #1)

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The main reason, outside of the issues of neutral shipping, that the US was upset with Britain during this time had to do with British forts and Native Americans.  The British had maintained forts on US territory even after the US became independent.  This was a severe infringement on US sovereignty.  It was compounded by the fact that the British were using these forts as places from which to arm Indians and encourage them to attack American settlers.  It was intolerable for Americans that the British would be doing these things on American soil.

There were also some Americans who wanted the war simply to be expansionist.  This was one reason that some Americans wanted to invade Canada.  However, the much more important issue was the issue of the forts.  

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