President Madison did not possess Jefferson??s skill at keeping the United States out of war but it was clear by popular opinion in the South and West the war was inevitable. Madison realized that the country was poorly prepared. The United States army maintained week and the scattered army and navy was insignificant to that of Britain??s. There was a not one single causes for war but several related cause. In June of 1812 the United States declared war on Britain. This declaration of war was the result of almost thirty years of tension between the two nations. It both surprised the British and upset the many Americans who saw it as a foolish choice to go to war.
?°President Madison narrowly won reelection against Federalist candidate Dewitt Clinton, the governor of New York State.?± (Document 8) The United States had deliberately avoided war for so long that when they abandoned the peaceful policy it was very unexpected. The Americans that were skeptical about the nation going to war had reason to be.
The country was young and untested by war. The army consisted of little more than six thousand regular troops and its navy was in no shape to go war. The United States objected to many British Maritime practices. ?° if you go to war it will not be for the protection of maritime rights.?± (Document 3) The British carried out most of these practiced in the 1790??s during thefirst period of war between Britain and France.
However, they enforced them much more often after the renewed hostilities in 1803. The British shipping interested and their supporters felt that American merchant marine was profiting immensely from the European wars. The growth of American shipping was a threat to British commercial supremacy, to British naval power and to the safety of the country. Another of the maritime issues was that of impressments,.
It was the most conflicting issue between the two countries. This w..