How did the War of 1812 and the related trade embargoes affect American production of textiles and other goods?
The trade embargoes stretched back to Thomas Jefferson's Embargo Act of 1806, which tried to avoid European conflict by banning trade with England and France, among others. The answer to this question is that the decline in trade put many wealthy northern merchants and the banks that extended them credit in a very difficult position. Their response was to put their capital (and their labor) into developing manufacturing enterprises. The War of 1812 saw a tremendous boom in American manufacturing, especially textiles. Francis Cabot Lowell, for example, was a merchant who emerged as a leading manufacturer in New England during the war. After the war, however, British merchants sought to exploit newly reopened American markets by pouring their own manufactured goods into the country. This led to a crisis in the northern manufacturing sector that prompted demands for protective tariffs on imported goods.