What were the issues that led to the War of 1812?

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martinjmurphy eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There were several important issues that brought about the War of 1812 with Great Britain.  First of all, it must be remembered that at this time, Britain and France were at war.  Because of this, the British were seizing American ships headed towards France.   Some used this as an argument for war.  Also because Britain was at war, it was impressing American sailors into the British navy.  Impressment, which was forcing American sailors to serve in the British navy, was another argument for war.  Another issue was Indian attacks on Americans in the western frontier.  Many blamed the British for inciting and arming these Indians and felt the British were ultimately responsible for these attacks.  There were some in America who wanted war with Britain in order to gain new territory for the United States.   They felt that war with Britain could gain the U.S. all of Canada its valuable fur trade.  Some felt the U.S. could also gain Florida from Spain since Britain and Spain were allies. These were the main arguments for war at the time.