October 28

Blog #66 – War of 1812 Debate

You’ve heard the arguments, now decide where America should have headed that summer of 1812.

Bro, lend me your advice.

Let’s say you had President Madison’s ear (no, not really, that would be gross).  But let’s say you could sway him with your amazing argumentation skills.

And you’d just heard the four arguments (which I’m about to sum up for those reading at home):

Option 1 – All out war with Britain – this means invading Canada to stop them from supplying our Indians w/ weapons; it also means setting sail to do battle with the mammoth British navy.  Yes, that British navy.  We must defend ourselves and our rights from being violated.

Option 2 – Strictly limited to naval war – land invasion is too costly and Canada might be a pesky target to invade (who knew?), therefore, we’ll attack them in the Caribbean while the British are busy w/ the French.  Or we’ll bombard Canadian towns.  Or make mayhem on the high seas.

Option 3 – wait until we’re ready to make war – obviously Britain is too big and burly right now, so let’s wait until we build up our meager armed forces into something a little more formidable and then go and attack.  We might just catch them by surprise.  Everyone loves a good surprise.

Option 4 – Peace is the only recourse – seriously?  You want to take on the British?  The last time we battled them we had loads of help, and this time around we can’t even count on that.  Our army is small and navy is miniscule by comparison.  Rights, smights, who needs them?

Using notes from the debate, and your own common sense, give President Madison your learned opinion who will then steer America on the correct course.  Nothing is at stake here but the future of the country.  No pressure.

Your  opinion is due by class on Thursday, October 30.  250 words minimum. 

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Posted October 28, 2014 by geoffwickersham in category Blogs

75 thoughts on “Blog #66 – War of 1812 Debate

  1. Caty H

    If I were a member of James Madison’s cabinet, I would try to convince him that the best thing to do for the future of the country is to wait to go to war with Great Britain until we are well prepared to fight them. America is not ready by any means for a full out war, especially with Britain. We as a country fought and won our rights from Britain and we cannot let them repress us again. We have to prove that we are a strong country; to do this we need to fight for our rights, but we are ill prepared. We have 16 measly naval vessels compared to their 800. It is clear that war is inevitable, because of that we should wait until we have the best chance to win the war at this point in time. We are a very vulnerable country. If we wait we will have the ability to have our navy and military grow in numbers and in strength. We will be able to take on Great Britain. A war on land would be a bad choice because we have a very small military that is composed mostly of militia, and very few experienced officers. Also due to the fact that the economy is very weak, the only way to pay our militia is with alcohol, so we have a weak drunk army, you get the picture. If we wait until winter to fight the British we will have had time to improve our army and navy. Also, the British ships will not be able to last very long in the harsh winters that come our way, but ours will. If we wait, we will have the opportunity to conduct a surprise attack on the British, catching them off guard, and gaining an advantage. Waiting will show strength as well by letting other countries know that we know when to attack and that we aren’t a rash country. If we go to war now ill prepared and broke, we not only risk the lives of our troops, but the country itself. The union will surely be destroyed. We need to prove to Great Britain as well as the to the rest of the world that America is a force to be reckoned with; to do this we have to fight, but we have to be prepared too

  2. Zach H

    If I were a member of President James Madison’s cabinet during the troubling times leading up to the War of 1812, I would most likely advise him to engage in strictly maritime combat with the British. While none of Mr. Madison’s options would be at all optimal, partaking in a limited naval war seems like the most rational course of action. No, America cannot simply sit back and allow Britain to continue bullying them, impressing their sailors and flooding our markets with their surplus cheap goods. Similarly, America cannot bide its time and prepare for war, strengthening its own military forces so that it might be able to go toe-to-toe with Great Britain’s: doing so would just allow Britain to strengthen its own military while America prepares, and it ignores the risk that there could be British spies in America who could attempt to sabotage every attempt to prepare.
    Conversely, an all-out war on both land and on sea would be, in essence, suicide. The American military was eons behind the British in terms of size, skill, and discipline. Engaging in battles on land would simply lead to the American forces being steamrolled, and possibly result in a considerable loss of innocent lives. With these significant downsides to each of the other three options taken into consideration, it seems that a maritime war is the only remaining possibility. Yes, such a war would most likely be just as unsuccessful as an all-out war, as the British navy outnumbered that of America nearly 67 ships to one. Even with a good portion of those ships being used in the war with Napoleon, the British navy was still vastly superior to America’s. But despite those incredibly steep odds, a naval war would most certainly not lead to nearly the same amount of civilian casualties that a land war would produce. So, while none of the options available to President Madison seem at all favorable, engaging in a war on the seas would be the most logical, rational one, and the one that would lead to the least horrible outcome.

  3. Rori M

    Rori Mullen
    2nd Hour
    APUSH Blog #66- War of 1812 Debate

    If I were to persuade President Madison of choosing one of the four options, I would advise him to choose option three. Option three is the most logical of the four, saying that we should hold back until we are ready for war. Option one, going into all out war may be one of the most illogical of the three irrelevant options. Having no money because of no national bank, thanks to Madison, we would either be in huge debt of using the already scarce money we have, or become bankrupt. Not only that, but we are entirely surrounded by the almighty Britain. Native Americans covering the upper region of America, and Britain’s humongous and undefeated navy lining our coast– we cannot and will not win. Not to mention that we are entirely unprepared to even stick up for ourselves at this point. It would be an actual manslaughter for our nation. Using strictly limited naval warfare is out of the question, having only approximately a ratio of 1 to 50 ships against the British, they would immediately dominate our navy. Nonetheless, in the horrible weather we were having at the time. Finally, option four, to keep peace with Britain, is smart but will not suffice Britain’s expectations. Britain is ready for battle, entirely done with the feud between us. Britain will not agree to keep peace, after all, they’ve been trying their hardest to get our country to crumble. They want this to end aggressively. They want a fight. They want us to know that they are still superior to the baby country. We need to build ourselves up until our economy, navy, and people are considered elite and have a chance to actually fight back. We need power, and currently we have no power. Sure, we just got our freedom- but power isn’t just an internal characteristic, it’s external as well. Once we practice, we will achieve. Therefore, option three is the most suitable. America needs time, just like how Britain did when they first started out. Once we grow, we’ll gain both power and opportunity.

  4. Nennaya L

    I think it’s best to defend our rights and honor through limited maritime war. The embargo puts many out of a job and doesn’t prohibit the impressments of the US soldiers. Thomas Jefferson had already limited the army on the US grounds. Our foundation is mainly based on our coastal cities exports. Great Britain is one of the greatest powers in the world even without America’s trade they can still thrive. While we are preparing ourselves for war with Britain it is still becoming stronger. There’s an 800 ships to a 16 ship ratio. We can still borrow ships from other countries and the embargo prohibits any sort of trade with any country. Besides, too much money will be lost from trying to go forth with the plan. New England colonies would be furious and looking to fund from the lost commerce and the nation could fall from under our feet. A war on land is too costly a ton of damage could be done and multiple innocent lives would be lost putting the country more in debt. If we do borrow more ships we would owe more but still we can build an alliance with other countries. We can make an alliance with France and continue trade with them if they agree to stop impressing our soldiers. It’ll be easier to attack Great Britain while they fight with France. Invading Canada is a little too risky for us and bombarding their coast will do just fine. We already learned that in the Quasi War that much can be gained at sea without interfering with American soil and causing devastation to our land. We’ve only lost one warship to enemy action. We’ve been fighting this battle too long with Great Britain and it is time for us to stop our treaties and acts of peaceful coercion are clearly not working. George Washington believed, “If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known, that we are at all times ready for War.”

  5. Shannon Smith

    My advice to President James Monroe would still be Option 3. It makes the most logical since to be prepared for war than heading straight into it. If Britain can’t listen to negotiations about peace and won’t listen, war is the only option but we need to be prepared. At that time, the navy only had 12 ships compared to 800 ships in the British navy. The British had the most powerful navy in the world and the American navy would be easily crushed if encountered by them. This eliminates the option of maritime war simply because the navy would not be prepared enough with a strong and large navy. There was under 200 men compared to the thousands of professional British regulars in which could easily overtake untrained and drunken soldiers and militia men. Also, the US did not have enough money or funds at the time to go into unlimited war with Britain. The money was little due to the banks being divided and the funds being very low. There wasn’t even enough money to pay privateers and let alone, soldiers. Their ration pay was usually alcohol and a nation can’t fight with drunk men. The USA also had no allies to fight with such as France, so therefore, the US was on its own with the war. If the embargo was extended, not only would there be time to gather more money, fortify defenses, and build an army; but the elements would be of use and slow the British down so they could be bombarded on the arrival in America. Extending the embargo would give the US time to be fully prepared for war. It wouldn’t lose too much money in damages and loss. In the long run, I think it would cost less because the damage inflicted on the coastal cities and American army would be little to none. In unlimited war, you would take multiple blows of damage and that would put the nation into an even further debt. This option would lead to fewer casualties on the battlefield and better defense of the country. Also, it would benefit the country in which the US could prove to the world that not only is this nation willing to fight against the British for something, but also be smart about too through being through roughly prepared for war.

  6. Paige B

    If I were someone in President Madison’s cabinet and he asked me for advice on what to do about the War of 1812, I would tell him to take option 4, keep the peace and not go into war. At this time we have no idea of what the outcome will be if we go into this war, but if we avoid war we will know that there will be no bad consequences that we have to endure. I have many reasons for choosing not to go into war, one of the reason is that we have 16 ships to their 800 ships which is a wary comparison and this shows we have a little chance of survival. If we even think about sending our navy to go up against their navy we would lose. If we decided to fight them by land we would never be able to beat them their army is better trained and better prepared to go into war because of their 20 year war with France. After losing the battle we would not be able to become our own country and would have to fight for our independence all over again. No matter how long we wait and how big our army and navy get we will never be able to be full prepared to vanquish Britain. The British will always have more ships then we will have, they will also be better equated with more things to beat us with such a guns. There are so risks that will have to be endured if we do not go into a fight such as having their navy attack us without us being prepared. Finally we have no chance of winning this war and the only option we have is to stop it before it starts.

  7. Colin C

    I advise president Madison to wait until winter to start the war, all the while preparing the regular army and navy troops. I advise this because the American navy only has 16 ships in it entire fleet. I also advise this because the regular army has less than 7,000 troops. This is very little in comparison to Britain’s over 109,000 troops in its regular navy. Britain also has the most powerful navy in the world due to its war with France. This massive difference in number of troops would be devastating for Americans in battles. America would also get massacred in battles because our primary sources of troops are state militias. These state militias are not to be trusted because they do not follow orders, lack the proper military training, and are drunk most of the time because they are paid in whiskey. Britain’s regular troops are well equipped and well trained due to Britain’s war with France. If America waits until winter, we will have time to train American army and navy regulars. We should also wait until winter because the harsh weather on the eastern coast will wreck Britain’s huge ships. We should not only fight naval battles because we only have 16 ships right now, which will not even make a dent in the British fleet. We should also not avoid war completely because Britain’s actions are intolerable and deserve punishment. If our nation is to survive, we need to show other countries that we are capable and willing to stand up for ourselves and fight for what we know is right.

  8. Nicki Yost

    Alright Madison, we heard four really thought out arguments, but I only heard one solid option that will allow us to win the war. I feel that we should go into a strictly naval war. It is a less costly alternative than charging into an all-out war. News flash, we do not have the army to fight back. We have a standing militia that will get destroyed if we try to face them all on land. And that, in turn, will hit our economy hard, which is not good for this young nation. We also cannot wait, because the British have done so much to us already by capturing ships and drafting our merchants and sailors into their navy, so we are helping them get bigger, more powerful. So this is not the time to wait, frankly, we needed to act yesterday. Or we can wait until they’re more powerful from our own people. Just as saying we can’t wait, we also can’t let this go on. This is not the time to sit back and wait until we have nothing, we have to do something. So let’s side with the French, it’s worked before. It would be two against one and the odds would be looking in our favor. Let’s quit being pushed around. Now is the time to make a stand. Now is the time to show the world who we are. We are a new nation; we have a new government, now let’s show them what this government can do. We are going to fight the naval battle, and we are going to come out victorious from what we have decided as a democratic government.

  9. Bethany Mac

    If I were in the ear of President James Madison, I think I would stay with my assigned option, option four. I feel as if fighting another war against British is not good for a number of reasons. First off, we lack the funds for a war. James Madison decided not to renew a national bank, so we do not have the money to buy weaponry and supplies needed for a war, unless we were completely OK with going into debt with another country. Also, Britain is a power house. They have the guns, the people and the power. In fact, our naval ration is a 50:1 setting, which basically means fifty ships bombing us at sea while our one ship tries not to sink. I do not think that we will be able to have the same response as we did to the revolution, because now we are a new country, living off of no outside help- the French are not going to help in a war against Britain. We already have a small number of troops compared to Britain, but we also have to consider that all the militia, and army citizens will not be completely designated to fight Britain because some of them have to keep the Indians away. Speaking of Indians, the Indians are armed and have been fighting us- being supplied by Britain weapons- frequently along the Western Border of the new country, and in order to keep control of the Indians from coming into our territory, we must also realize how many troops will be able to fight Britain and how many are fighting the Indians.

  10. Emily Lulkin

    Britain has taken advantage of America for far too long and it is time to put an end to it. Out of the four options, I believe option one, unlimited war with Britain, is the only way to solve this ongoing problem. Even though it has been 36 years since America became an independent country, Britain still sees it as their daughter country. We need to do anything in our power to maintain America’s independence and show Britain that we won’t put up with their bulling anymore. Our military is young and inexperienced compared to Britain, so we should use all of our available resources if we want to plan to beat them. A war that is limited in any way will not give us this opportunity. If we wait to declare war while we strengthen our army, then Britain will have time to strengthen their army as well. It is best to attack now while Britain is occupied with France. This way, they cannot focus their entire military force on us. Furthermore, relying on peace is not the optimal course of action. We have tried the peaceful route, but that has gotten us nowhere. The British have completely disregarded any attempts that the United States has made at signing treaties to keep the peace. As John C. Calhoun says, “Americans are worthy to enjoy liberty which their fathers purchased at the price of so much blood and treasure, and seeing in the measures adopted by Great Britain, a course commenced and persisted in, which must lead to a loss of national character and independence, fell no hesitation in advising resisting by force”. To summarize Calhoun, many people have fought for America’s rights before, and now should we should do anything we can to defend these rights that we are entitled to. Unlimited war holds the best opportunity for our country and gives us the best chance at success.

  11. Gillian Tremonti

    If I could give James Madison my opinion of what to do, I would say to wait until we are more prepared to go to war. We should not be hasty in going to war with the British with such limited supplies and very limited army and navy to fight. America should go to war with the British but we should wait before doing so. There will be no point if we are outnumbered and unprepared. The outcome would be to our disadvantage. Our military is not ready for war with Britain, when some of our troops are trying to suppress an Indian uprising in the Battle of Tippecanoe. Our navy is small compared to the British, which has the strongest navy in the world. We have few commanders and soldiers that are experienced and ready to fight. The soldiers are untrained and not ready for an all out war with Britain. The untrained soldiers are getting cruel punishments for not listening to their commanders. The commanders are trying to teach the men the best they can in the amount have time they possess. Britain has been fighting France in a war for quite awhile. Due to British military strength and our challenges, it would be best to wait and prepare before going into war. We should not go into an all out war with Britain with our limited supplies and unready military and navy. We do not have a good chance in succeeding. Group one said if we could take them by surprise we could win, but really they are more powerful and they will win in the long run. America would run out of our limited resources before doing any damage. We should not go into a naval war because we have few ships to fight with and few commanders to lead. Group 2 said, “Navy ships are ready and most vulnerable at war in the sea.” We, however, are even more vulnerable than Britain with our unstable economy. Sectionalism in the nation with the North not wanting to fight, and the South and West do. Peace won’t work either. We need to show that America our nation is growing and expanding. We need respect. We are not the baby country anymore. If we go in the direction of peace, we will be looked upon as weak. “Why rush into a war when we’re not ready for it,” as indicated by group 3.

  12. Torry C

    If I was to advise president Madison, I would advise him to choose option 2. I feel that limited naval war is america’s best option. We can create a strong navy that the British will not be able to beat. First america is not in the financial state or do we have the population to have an all out war. Since we are still trying to recover from other wars our economy can not fund a large army. Britain is restricting our trade and they have blockades all along the east coast, which is having a bad impact on our economy,we rely on that trade. If the British are not stopped jobs will be lost. We do not want war on our soil, that will just cause america a greater devastation. Naval war will be one of the faster options.The British do not have loyalty on their side; America has a substantial amount of experienced sailors with a loyal cause. The British has to resort to impressment to fill their navy. Will impressed sailors really fight to the best of their ability? Our sailor have experience after the Barbary pirates and Quasi-French war. We have to act before Britain becomes even stronger. The British are also in a battle with France, which is an advantage to us because they do not have all their resources available. It is time for us to end our conflict with Britain. We have to protect not only the people of america but the honor of our country.

  13. Jayde

    If I were in Madison’s cabinet, I would try to convince him to go with Option 2, limited war through naval means. In the oceans Britain is both restricting our trade and impressing our sailors. These are clear infringements on the rights we fought for during the revolution. If Britain disregards any of these rights than they are disrespecting us as a nation. It is our job as the American government to protect the rights promised to our people in the constution. Failing to do so and accepting opression for any amount of time is unjust and makes us unworthy of represent American citizens. While we must defend the rights of our people, unlimited warfare is not the answer. The majority of our problems with Britain occur in the sea so our solution should also occur there. Though there some want to acquire land in Canada it is not worth a war, sometime in the future we may have the change to obtain the land through diplomatic means. Britain’s army has thousands of soliders while our unorganized militias barley contain 700 total men. Besides we have fought a naval war against a military superpower, the Quasi was with France, and came out of it victorious. Other than the revolutionary war, in which we had extreme economic help from France who are currently fighting their own war with Britain and unable to help, we have no real expirence with land warfare. As a country we can’t afford to approach war with a power such as Britain without taking extreme caution. In conclusion we must protect the constitutional rights of our people but only with naval war fore it is the only type of war we can handle at this time.

  14. Colin J

    I would advise Madison to choose option one, all-out war because it is one of our best options. Britain is currently in the need for money and has almost gone bankrupt 3 times in 10 years. Not only are they short on money they are also fighting the French which means they cannot give full defensive abilities if we attacked. Money for the war can be funded if we reopen the national bank. This will allow us to have an economic leap on Britain. Given the advantages of a better economy and a full military capability over Britain gives us the strategic advantage. Besides that the payoffs will be even better. If we win we will conquer Canada which will vastly increase the size of America, but the biggest reward is to show that the will and can defend our rights and sailors. This war will prove that we are not to be tested by stealing our sailors and that we are willing hold our ground and fight back.
    At the time Britain has a fleet of around 800 which out numbers ours 67 to 1. This shows us that the option of maritime is out of the picture due to our little navy, with no experience that will be fighting a massive navy with lots of experience. War cannot be delayed because as we build up the British build up which means as we get stronger, the British also get stronger. This in turn will not help us because we cannot build up to let the enemies build up which means delaying the war cannot be an option. Plus if we delay the war than the rights of our people and the sailors will not be protected. We cannot stand there hoping everything will be better or that one day we can fight back. This proves that delaying the war and peace will have no effect on the British but a greater effect on us. Madison has to attack now before it is too late.

  15. PJ R

    If I were able to persuade President Madison any way, I would persuade him to go with option three. I feel like it is the most sensible option because it’s going to let you get prepared to fight a war when your not ready for it. Option one doesn’t make much sense. It is saying strike now to stop the British from giving guns and weapons to the Indians in Canada. I don’t understand how starting a war with Canada when the real problem is the impressment of our ships. Why would we start a ground and sea war when our navy is only made up of 16 ships to the British’s 800 which is a ratio of 50;1. Also we are a very young country still developing and not ready for a full blown war. This brings me to my second point why option two is really just an awful. Ok so I understand you don’t want any civilian casualties and being at sea would prevent that. But at the same time as I have previously said that we have 16 ships and the British have 800! This is 16;1 difference if one of their ship can’t beat one of ours they just send more. Option 4 although I once thought it was the way to go we need to protect our rights as a country and show that we as a young nation are not going to be pushed around by these other countries. We are losing ships and precious materials and hard working men. But we need to wait for the right time to strike like a tiger waiting for the perfect time to attack its prey!

  16. Cassie D

    Blog 66
    The War of 1812

    If I could advice James Madison on his approach to the war of 1812, I would advise him to pursue option four: peace is the only recourse. I acknowledge that Great Britain has interfered with the US in multiple ways, whether that being impressments of our sailors or messing with our trade, but personally I still don’t think that justifies bloodshed. Also, our entire nation would be put at risk just to protect these few people that are directly impacted. To strengthen that point I also offer the fact that France has impressed more of our sailors than Britain has, and yet a war would align us with France. If we were to go to war, we would be aligned with France, which would align us also with Napoleon. Napoleon is a tyrant and we just fought a war against tyranny, so why would we go right back and support a tyrant? A war would cause an inevitable economic downfall. The US has no national back that could fund a war or manage war debt, causing extreme taxation on the US citizens. Great Britain has the strongest military power in the world, while the US military power is extremely disorganized and maintained by state militias of untrained commoners. In the Revolutionary War we had the support of France against Great Britain, along with gunpowder supplies. The US doesn’t manufacture their own supplies, so we would also be one step down due to that. A maritime war would be completely illogical because we have 16 ships while Britain has 800. A war with Great Britain would risk the United States existence as an independent country as well as our constitutional government. The benefits that could come along with the war would only occur if the war was won. So I will pose the question: Is it worth risking the demise of an entire nation full of potential, for the rights and honor of a few people based on the sake of principle? What will we win, if we lose?

  17. James Voss

    If I was able to convince President Madison, I would try to make him understand the importance of option 3. Option 1 would most likely result in Americas downfall, option 2 would most likely result the same way as option 1, and option 4 would show the British that we don’t care whether or not our rights are played with and not respected. Option 3 is the only way. Our military is not big enough to face the entire British army. They have one of the most powerful armed forces in the world. We need to build our military power by making more ships, getting new soldiers, properly training those soldiers, and getting enough ammo to light up all the southern states. This battle is not like the American Revolution because we don’t have any allies to help us and Great Britian is stronger and more prepared. Great Britian has 800 ships to our 16, we need to prepare for a battle this significant that could also change our fate as a nation. We also have to have time to raise money for these military upgrades. A great positive about this plan is that we have the ability to catch Great Britian by surprise which will make them more vulnerable. I know that if we fight Great Britian, we look as if we are allies with the French whom have also participated in wrongdoings toward us but that’s not true. We are fighting for our respect as a nation, not to be allies with Napolean. Our nations future is based upon the result of this battle so we have to be prepared for anything.

  18. Gary C

    I would choose all-out war. This is option 1. I choose this because of a couple important reasons. One being Indians. The Indians west of our settlement can become a huge threat to us if they become powerful. They can become powerful with Britain’s help with them supplying guns and supplies. My second reason is our freedom is being threatened. What we just fought for is now being taken away. Britain is controlling us still by blockading our trade with their naval forces. My third reason is that we have to fight to gain respect. If we don’t fight the little respect we have from foreign countries will be lost and countries will control us like Britain has done for years past. Going into this war does risk losing men. But we lose men every time we go to war. We don’t have a choice we must fight. We were out numbered 3-1 in the American Revolution, yet we still came out on top. We can handle this war we can’t wait. We must fight for our rights and freedoms. If we do not all we have fought for in past years and wars will all go to waste. We will be back at square one and we will not be the powerful country we want to be. So we must fight an all-out war and we will come out victorious in years past. We have taken them on before and we will win again. We can’t let the British use the Indians against us and we cannot let them boss us around we must go to war.

  19. Amelia P

    American exceptionalism exists for a reason. We, as a nation, have made a reputation that we need to uphold. Therefore, if I were to advise Madison during this time, my advice would be to choose option 1: all-out, no holds barred, war.
    Britain isn’t taking us seriously. They think that they can still control us. Is that what we fought for in 1776? No. We fought for our independence, and won. So how are we sitting around not even trying to defend our country? Its not like we don’t have plenty of reasons to go to war; they’re forcing our men to serve for them, they’re breaking our treaty by engaging with the natives on our land, and they’re limiting our trade. Britain is mocking us. Its time to fight back and show them that we’re not to be toyed with.
    Many would argue that we’re not ready for war. My question is: when will we be ready? We don’t have time to try and build a bigger army or get more supplies because it’ll be too late. British forces will soon be threatening our land more than they are now, so we need to act soon and show that we mean business.
    Others would argue that we don’t have enough reason to go to war, or the same advantages that we had in the Revolutionary War, so we should remain at peace. We might not have homeland advantage, but we still have angry citizens tired of getting pushed around by the British. In a sense, its almost worse than it was during the Revolutionary War, because we’ve already fought for and won our independence, yet Britain still isn’t taking us seriously. Plus. we were outnumbered in the Revolutionary War, just as we are now. It was our honor and hunger for our rights that made us prevail through the war. Why should this war be any different?
    We can’t let Britain walk all over us anymore. They’re taking our men to serve for them. They’re killing our women and children by tomahawking them. They’re on our land, engaging with the Indians. They’re blocking our trade and putting new tariffs on our exports. How can we sit back and say its ok? We have already fought for our independence. Its time to take ourselves seriously so that Britain will too.

  20. Jaxon B

    If I were in the cabinet of President James Madison, to me, the most logical option to me would be to wage war with the British Empire only on the high seas. This is because for one, even though our navy is small, it has had a pretty good track record for our small existence (i.e. Quasi-War, Barbary pirates, etc.). Even if numbers were a problem, we could easily issue letters of marque to those who wish to be privateers. Also, another perk to giving out letters of marque means that we could recapture seized cargo and impressed American sailors much easier than without these letters of marque. Also, we could hurt Britain’s economy enough to their breaking point if we kept going. Because Britain is an island nation that is only powerful because of its navy. That being said, after the war, our economy would greatly boom if we came out the more powerful navy. You may argue that the consequences with going to war with Britain at sea and losing would be great, but the consequences of war on land endanger us even more than at sea. At sea, we can avoid the loss of civilian life on both sides. Another problem with waging a war on land is that in order to win, we must conquer Canada, and that is a very large territory and we wouldn’t be familiar with the terrain, which might mean disastrous defeats for us. Also, a war with the British on land would mean that we would also be at war with the native tribes of the frontier that we are at the mercy of. If the British and Indians make an alliance with one another, it could mean disastrous results for the people of the Western parts of our country. Point is, we would do far better at Sea than on land.

  21. Taya S.

    I believe our best option is to go to war, but we must hold off until we are ready in order to win the battle. We as a country have not been given any respect and it is necessary to take action just not right now. Currently our troop number are very low compared to the British. Also we use militia as soldiers who are not well trained and coward at when it comes to battle. If we go into war now we will have no chance of winning and it would be a waste of resources. On the other hand if we follow through with the plan that I have stated is the best choice, then we will have the time we need to get ourselves together to take on the country that has been fighting Napoleon. It is also a good idea to push this war back because if we wait until winter we can use the frigid weather to our advantage. There will be storms on the coast and it will complicate the British ships on their voyage to America. Currently Britain is at war with France and if we wait a little then the British will be damaged by the war. They will have less men, resources, and money to use for this war with us. Lastly it just makes the most sense to go with this plan. If we go to war now we are greatly unprepared and will lose terribly to Britain, costing us money and lives, then putting us into debt and forcing us to tax our people. So that is why, President Madison, that waiting to go to war is the best option of this country.

  22. Brett Anger

    If I had President Madison’s ear just before the war of 1812, I would suggest a limited maritime war with the British. The other world superpowers at this time did not think of America as a contender to be one of the word’s greatest countries. The only way to gain their respect would be to force them into submission. It was true that the British severely outnumbered our military at the time, they were fighting a total war against the French and the British economy was on the verge of collapsing. The British had no interest in fighting the United States, and would not attack unless provoked. Continuing to wait until the British finished the French would only strengthen them, and 1812 would be the opportune time to strike. We have the resources of an entire continent at our disposal, and many ports along the eastern seaboard to build a mighty navy. The British could only use 7% of their total was effort while fighting Napoleon, which meant a navy of 56 ships. We could arm merchant ships and use privateers against the British, which were devastating during the Revolutionary War. Also, we should bring the fight to the British in order to subdue them once and for all. Our economy and population could not stand a total war, and continuing to wait for the British would solve nothing. By defending the rights of the oppressed Americans in the British Navy by using a maritime war we would stand up to the world superpower and show that America is a force to be reckoned with.

  23. Isaiah J

    If I were in the Cabinet of President Madison, I would express to him that the best option for the country to would be to wait until we are ready for war. We are still very young as a nation, and our revolution was not far in the past. We earned our freedom, now we need to make sure we don’t lose it. AS a new nation, our resources and supplies are very limited right now, so I think that the best option is to build up and then go to war. I don’t think that peace is an option due to the fact that Britain is stealing our sailors and on our frontier, but I do think that these threats are minor enough to wait awhile to attack back. Going into war right now would be asking to be reclaimed by Britain, due to the fact that we have about 16 ships to their 300. Waiting could give America a little more time to become more industrialized, and work on relationships with other nation to maybe aid us in going against Britain. As a new nation, we are the babies of the world, so we need to do something that proves we are not to be trifled with. This means that losing a war to Britain would not be an option, because it would sort of undermine the importance of the Revolutionary War. We need to be thinking long run, what can we do to give ourselves a little bit of street cred, because otherwise we will continue to be stolen from and taken advantage of.

  24. Joey D

    Late, but I figure I might as well do it.

    Were I at the right, left, or back or front of James Madison’s cabinet, I would do whatever it takes to convince him of Option 3, that the only rational course of action would be to avoid military contact with Britain at all until we are adequately prepared to deal with the threat. Yes, our integrity as a country of its own has been spat upon by the British, as they use their term ‘impressment’ for the act of kidnapping our soldiers, and as they refuse to show us the respect we truly deserve, as our own power. War is inevitable, not going to war would prove that the United States is just another territory that can be bullied and pushed around with no consequence. Having said this, we’re simply not ready. The circumstances don’t offer any perfect decisions, but this is as close as we’ll get. The British naval forces are immense. Nothing can quite begin to capture how terrifyingly outnumbered our navy is in comparison to Britain’s. A number of sources suggest that our navy consists of anywhere from 6 to 16 battle-ready ships, and the British navy is suggested to have upwards of several hundred. What’s more, Britain has a true infantry, and we have a group of militia, many of which operate only in their own regions, have little to no battle experience, and are notorious for falling back at the first sign of true danger. The militia further west would struggle to brush up their act in time to declare war on Britain immediately, leaving us with a number of drunken farmers who hardly know how to fight versus a number of men who have at least experienced some true military practice and training. Using the facts, that Britain horrifyingly outnumbers us in every way, one can clearly see that it’s just not the time for war yet. I would suggest that we immediately begin to use our Merchant Marine as a fighting force of their own, along with brushing up of our own infantry, that way the impending battle will not be so much of a case of matching a water pistol up against a howitzer.

  25. Evan G

    If I were a part of Madison’s cabinet, I would advise him to commit to unlimited war with Britain in Option 1. For far too long, the British have been sitting around our coastline and impressing our seamen. This is absolutely unacceptable and we need to take action. It makes you wonder, did the Treaty of Paris mean anything to them? These seamen are hard-working Americans, and the spineless British are at sea taking their lives away from them forever. The capturing of our seamen also makes it harder to trade with foreign nations. This presents us with the problem of lack of trade, which in turn weakens our economy. We rely on foreign trade for a great deal of good in our young country, and Britain is making trading near to impossible. How are we also to have any sailors if all the previous ones get taken away? Without taking action, our economy would continue to weaken and weaken, and would eventually crumble to the ground. There is also a sense of pride involved in this whole thing. If we didn’t attack in this situation, our country, deserved of the title “superpower”, would just be viewed as a country other can push around and not be taken seriously. We absolutely cannot allow our country to have this image, as it would be devastating in foreign affairs. Mr. Madison, just look at the amount of people who desire war with the villainous Great Britain. The people want this war, and it only makes sense to. We cannot let the British damage our country any further, the time to act is now!

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