Hartford Convention (Great Events from History: North American Series)
Article abstract: Sectional divisions highlighted by the War of 1812 result in proposals to amend the U.S. Constitution and preserve the Union.
Summary of Event
The War of 1812 had never been popular among New England Federalists; they called it Mr. Madison’s War. New Englanders as a whole recoiled from the war of conquest preached by Southerners and Westerners, and Federalists were eager to find fault with the Republicans’ conduct of the war. By the fall of 1814, sectional and political feelings about the war had reached alarming proportions. The U.S. invasions of Canada had been abortive. British troops had burned Washington in August, 1814. The British army occupied eastern Maine, and enemy ships hovered about the New England coast. The Madison Administration collected war taxes and militia units in New England, but it appeared that a disproportionately small share of money and men was allotted to the defense of that section. New Englanders believed that they were carrying the dual burdens of defending themselves and also supporting the war effort of an incompetent national administration that showed no concern for them. New England had been the most fiercely anti-British part of the nation during the Revolutionary War. As the momentum of the nation had shifted to the Western states, New England had become more conservative in nature, sympathetic to the mercantile and business classes, much as the British had...
(The entire section is 1436 words.)
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