NS 202 Lesson 9 War of 1812

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Information about NS 202 Lesson 9 War of 1812

Published on February 26, 2008

Author: Mudki

Source: authorstream.com

Sea Power and Maritime Affairs:  Lesson 9 The War of 1812 Sea Power and Maritime Affairs Jefferson’s “Gunboat Navy”:  Jefferson’s “Gunboat Navy” Exclusively defensive Posed no challenge to Britain Thus would not provoke a preemptive strike Could be manned quickly in a crisis (By militia) Wouldn’t upset those suspicious of standing military Cheap Used to protect harbors and inlets Failed to fulfill their advertised function Causes of the War of 1812:  British at war with France since 1793 French Fleet destroyed in a guerre d’escadre engagement at Trafalgar US merchants enjoy unprecedented prosperity as only major neutral trader Neutral rights was key issue Orders in Council vs. Retaliatory decrees US Expansion British stir up Indian tribes in America? Impressment British begin to seize U.S. ships to “search” for British deserters Causes of the War of 1812 Chesapeake – Leopard Affair:  June 22, 1807 HMS Leopard, 44 stops USS Chesapeake, 36, outside Norfolk Atypical: Impressment of a warship rather than a merchant Violated sanctity of warship as part of national territory James Barron, US commander, not ready to fight and struck colors under fire Had just taken on supplies Court-martialed and dismissed from the service Enraged American public Chesapeake – Leopard Affair Chesapeake-Leopard Affair Result:  Chesapeake-Leopard Affair Result National uproar – Jefferson could have had war but sought peaceable coercion Embargo Act (Dec 1807) Self imposed blockade to deny British & French access to American goods Ineffective and hurt US more than Europe Non-Intercourse Act (1809) replaces US commerce quickly revived, but still seized US lost 1000 ships to British and 800 to French Macon’s Bill #2 (1810) If one country stopped seizing US shipping, the US would cease trade with the other Unless that country agreed to recognize the rights of the neutral US ships as well The War Hawks:  The War Hawks Elected to Congress in 1810 Mainly young Republicans from South and West Henry Clay (Kentucky), John C. Calhoun (S. Carolina) Believed it was National Destiny to possess continent and take possessions Advocated war with Britain but defeated every attempt to strengthen Navy Believed taking Canada would make British negotiate Increased tension finally led to War of 1812 60 day embargo passed in April War declared 18 Jun 1812 British Position:  British Position War of 1812 a limited war Napoleon still their greatest threat and primary concern Could not dedicate all required resources to the conflict Great Britain was the leading naval power 175 ships-of-the-line and over 600 other ships Strategy Blockade US Ports Hurt US economy Bottle up US Fleet Raid American Coast at will “Proper Leeverage” Take Northwest Territory and New Orleans for better bargaining position American Position:  War Hawks coerce America into war New England states opposed (Limited support) Militarily unprepared Troops, leadership, finances, logistics, etc American Forces on 18 June 1812 18 Seagoing Warships, plus some gunboats 6700 man army Strategy Repulse British Attacks Capture British holdings in Canada Guerre de course American Position Naval Policy: Squadrons vs. Single Ships:  Naval Policy: Squadrons vs. Single Ships Commodore John Rodgers Senior US Naval Officer Goal: Attack English shipping through the use of squadrons of American warships Proposed two squadrons One to cruise around Britain One to stay at home Naval Policy: Squadrons vs. Single Ships:  Stephen Decatur, Jr. and William Bainbridge prefer single ship tactics Limited losses Pointed to French success with raiders SECNAV sided with Rodgers and split the Navy into two squadrons Naval Policy: Squadrons vs. Single Ships Cruise of the US Fleet:  Cruise of the US Fleet Rogers sails from NYC to intercept 110 ship convoy headed from Jamaica to England Spots British frigate Belvidera, 32 and pursues Delay prevents squadron from catching convoy before it gets to England Squadron action was a failure Only 7 insignificant prizes captured SECNAV adopts Single Ship Operations However, British fleet protect merchant convoys and look for Rodgers vice stationing off ports Allowed hundreds of merchants to return to US ports safely Commerce Raiding:  Commerce Raiding Argus and Wasp in English Channel Brought fight to English Essex in Pacific David Porter led a series of highly successful raids and took many prizes Finally seized off Chile after a year long cruise in which the British whaling industry was ruined Slide13:  Overview of Frigate Victories War of 1812 Single Ship Engagements:  Single Ship Engagements Constitution vs. Guerriere (Aug 1812) Constitution, commanded by Isaac Hull, sails from NYC in July 1812 to avoid being blockaded Evades a British squadron by kedging After taking several prizes off Halifax, Constitution meets the HMS Guerriere Both 44 guns After a fierce battle, Hull emerges victorious Constitution earns her nickname “Old Ironsides” in the battle Slide15:  USS Constitution vs. HMS Guerriere 19 August 1812 Single Ship Engagements:  Single Ship Engagements United States vs. Macedonian (Oct 1812) United States, commanded by Stephen Decatur, detaches from his squadron Meets HMS Macedonian off Africa Decatur outmaneuvers and outguns the faster British frigate British captain had underestimated his foe Decatur repairs the Macedonian and sails it to NYC Decatur and the United States blockaded in New London, CT the next year Slide17:  USS United States vs. HMS Macedonian 25 October 1812 Single Ship Engagements:  Single Ship Engagements Constitution vs. Java (Dec 1812) Constitution, commanded by William Bainbridge, sails from Boston with the sloop Hornet Off Brazil, Constitution meets the HMS Java In a bloody 2 hour battle, the Americans prevailed due to a higher state of readiness “Hard Luck Bill” finally had his victory Slide19:  USS Constitution vs. HMS Java 29 December 1812 Single Ship Engagements:  Single Ship Engagements Frigate victories were great morale builders Helped offset poor results coming from Canada British shocked Victories led Congress to fund 6 additional frigates and 3 ships of the line 1813: Chesapeake vs. Shannon:  1813: Chesapeake vs. Shannon James Lawrence 2nd in command to Decatur when Philadelphia burned Captured HMS Peacock while in command of the sloop Hornet Awarded command of Chesapeake with raw crew in Boston Mission: Raid shipping in Gulf of St Lawrence Chesapeake vs. Shannon:  Chesapeake vs. Shannon British captain Broke (Gunnery expert) in Shannon dared Lawrence to fight Result was predictable with inexperienced Chesapeake crew Lawrence killed “Don’t give up the Ship” 1812: Abortive Invasion of Canada:  Lake Champlain-Richelieu River route not used due to lack of support from New England Poor American leadership and untrained militia American army too small Indians capture Fort Dearborn (Chicago) British take Detroit Threaten whole Northwest Territory of the US Control of the lakes became critical 1812: Abortive Invasion of Canada Battles on the Lakes:  Battles on the Lakes British hold on Detroit dependent on long supply route over Lake Erie and Lake Ontario via the St. Lawrence Seaway Control of the waterways critical British also intended to use the old Lake Champlain route for invasion American objectives: Cut waterborne lines of communication British entirely dependent upon line of communications to support efforts in Northwest Battles on the Lakes: Lake Ontario:  US Army-Navy force raided York (Toronto) Set fire to Parliament building Captured Fort George on Niagara River Neither side ever controlled the lake Neither commander willing to take risks Campaign becomes a race to gain an advantage through ship building Each side produced 100 gun ships that never fired a shot in battle Stalemate thwarts British advance Battles on the Lakes: Lake Ontario Battles on the Lakes: Lake Erie:  Oliver Hazard Perry named to command squadron Inherits two 20 gun brigs (Lawrence and Niagara) and nine smaller vessels June 1813: Perry slips past blockade and sails to Put-In-Bay Battles on the Lakes: Lake Erie Battle of Lake Erie (10 Sep 1813):  Battle of Lake Erie (10 Sep 1813) Perry in Lawrence pairs off w/British ship Detroit Both ships severely damaged Perry transfers his flag to Niagara Detroit and Queen Charlotte collide Perry able to rake both resulting in the British surrender “We have met the enemy and he is ours” Perry’s victory enabled land victory at the Battle of Thames Ended the danger to the Northwest Territory by cutting off British from St Lawrence line of communication Defeat of British fleet was massive morale boost Washington Campaign Summer 1814:  Napoleon defeated in Europe British could dedicate efforts on the Americans Campaign meant as a diversion to draw strength and energy away from the Canadian border Results: Raid Chesapeake Bay Washington burned Militia and gunboats proved to be ineffective Attacks stalled at Fort McHenry Star Spangled Banner (Francis Scott Key) Washington Campaign Summer 1814 Battle of Lake Champlain (1814):  British plan invasion via Richelieu River – Lake Champlain route Control of Lake required for campaign to succeed Superior British force (12,000) under Gen Prevost marches to Plattsburgh Thomas MacDonough brings squadron to Plattsburgh Bay to cover BGen Macomb’s flank Battle of Lake Champlain (1814) Battle of Lake Champlain (11 Sep 1814):  MacDonough’s disposition: Anchored along N – S line Rigged spring lines allowing movement to redirect broadsides Inspired by Battle of Nile: Studied French errors Cumberland Head blocks wind Decisive victory New England not cut off British forced to retreat Changed the course of the war Battle of Lake Champlain (11 Sep 1814) Slide33:  Battle of Lake Champlain 11 September 1814 Treaty of Ghent:  Signed 24 Dec 1814 Both sides weary of a costly war that seemed to offer nothing but a stalemate US National debt rose from $45 million in 1812 to $127 million by the end of 1815 Shipping dropped from 948,000 tons in 1811 to 60,000 tons in 1814 Treaty ended fighting and return to status quo ante bellum Created an undisputed and disarmed border with Canada Neutral Rights not addressed Issue dissipates with end of Napoleonic War Treaty of Ghent Battle of New Orleans:  Early 1815 – meant to be the other diversionary attack Occurred after treaty signed American Gunboats defeated at Lake Borgne and allowed British landings Delay allowed Jackson to improve defenses British were repulsed by Andrew Jackson’s men No effect actual on the war Americans feel like they’ve “won” the war Jackson emerged as a national hero Battle of New Orleans Battle of New Orleans:  Battle of New Orleans Naval Contributions:  Victory on lakes Wins control of lines of communication Force British out of west/Prevent invasion Commerce raiding Privateers contribute to unpopularity of the war in England Ultimately ineffective Single ship engagements Boosted national morale Ineffective against blockade Squadron deployments Ineffective for commerce raiding Required enemy to respond in-kind Naval Contributions British Capabilities at Sea:  British Capabilities at Sea Although the Napoleonic Wars were a constant distraction, British sea power was effective throughout the War of 1812 Mobility enjoyed no matter how extensive other distractions Hurt commerce and kept small U.S. Navy bottled up Conclusions:  Conclusions Gunboats and militia failed in coastal defense role Small Navy could not prevent blockade No postwar demobilization of U.S. Navy Emerged strong and would be increased Three 74 gun ships-of-the-line started Navy held in high public esteem Nationalism soars Psychological sense of complete independence Slide40:  Next Time: Chapter 11 Navies in Transition

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