The Citizenship War

The War of 1812 was a complex event in the early history of the United States.  In many ways, this war was like a braided rope, made up of many strands. If we tease out the strains, we may see that they bring with them some of the same issues we face today.  One of these issues is the meaning and value of U.S. citizenship The document that created U.S. citizens, the Constitution, was only 25 years old when the War of 1812 began.  At that time, northeast merchants wanted to trade freely with Britain and France, who were at war.  The citizen-settlers on the U.S. frontier wanted to move westward with protection from the federal government.  In 1807, five years prior to the declaration of war, the British ship Leopard fired upon the American frigate Chesapeake off Hampton Roads, Virginia.  When the American captain raised the white flag, four men, three of them American citizens, were impressed into the British navy.  According to historian Henry William...(Read Full Article)

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