New York rempers boiled in thar same splendid year 1807,
when the Englishman John Lam berr marveled a rscenes of sea commerce in Sourh Srreer,
and Roberr Fulto n rook his sreamboar up ro Livingston’s manor house “Clermonr” on the Hudson and on up to Albany.
Whar made peo ple anxious and angry was Presidenr Thomas Jefferso n’s decision to impose an embargo on all foreign rrade to avoid insulrs to.
American ships and seamen ar the hands ofBrirain and France in rheirriranic war ove r rhe furure of Europe.
Of rhe rwo belligerenrs, rhe Brirish were by far rhe worsr offenders of neurra!American shipping.
Commanding the world ‘s sea lanes, they had more need of seamen and more oppo rruniry to snar chmen off the decks of American ships.
Brirish shipping was srrerched to mainrain the worldwide commerce which enabled them to finance a waragainsra Europe conquered or coerced by Napoleon into subservience to the new French Empire.
And rhe Royal Navy, commanding the seas afrer Nelson’s victory ar Trafalgar in 1805,
was srrerched to conrain rhe French and Spanish fleers, rhe navies of Holl and, conquered by apoleon, Denmark, coerced by Napoleon ,
and rhe big fleers of Sweden and Russia, which swayed opporrun isri cally fromo ne side ro rhe orher, longing ro rweak rhe rail of rhe Brirish lion, bur fearing irs heavy paw.
The Royal Navy had more ships than ever before, whichirhad to man from a popularion base much smaller trhan the popularions broughr under Napoleo n’s sway.
The need for seamen was real, bur irled to severe violarions of American righrs arsea,
A War that Brought Peace including a disgraceful firing on the unprepared US frigare Chesapeake.
Orders-in-Council allowed Brirish ships to seize American cargoes for a wide range of causes,
and seizure of American seamen was recognized as valid if the seaman had been born in Brirain.
Ir was nor rhese very real abuses which led ro rhe ourbreak of rhe War of 1812, however.
A War that Brought Peace By a narrow margin, however, war was declared.
The resulrs surprised borh sides. Firsr, rhe American forces marching in to liberare Canada were driven back by scour Canadian resisrance.
Then Brirish frigares, accustomed to bearin g anyrhing they metar sea, shorr of an enemy line-of-bartleship,
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