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Thomas Jefferson’s presidency would lead the America straight into the war. His Embargo Act would hurt the US rather than the British and cause more animosity towards Great Britain. The motive, other than the Burr incident, as to why the war did not come earlier is because of the attention the British Empire desired to place upon the United States. Britain was preoccupied with Napoleon and his world takeover. They were attempting to keep England in one piece, but at the same time they would pull over American ships and take their soldiers and sailors to fund the war effort. Even the French took part in this mugging of American ships but was much overlooked. The British were a hated enemy that America still had quarrels to bargain with. The Embargo Act had two dealings to meet, in Jefferson’s eyes. For one he sought American ships off of the seas so as to guard his sailors. Second, he attempted to force British and French commerce to come to a close. “Characterize the Embargo Act as you will, it had a disastrous impact on the American economy.” Exports plummeted from a stout $108 million (1807) to $22 million (1808) and imports decreased from $138 million to $57 million in the same time period. At the end of Jefferson’s term, it would be canceled and substituted with the Non-Intercourse act which demanded no trade to Britain or France anywhere was permitted. Even with the act the vessels that tried to trade with France were confronted by the British and the ships that Napoleon sought after, well, just became his, so in turn no actual modification was made.
By 1812, James Madison took over for Jefferson and decided to change things to his liking. First, he voted for a bill to support the regular army (RA) swelling to 30,000 under a one-year plan added on to the already effective 4,000 officers and men. Congress would approve an extra 15,000 into the RA and states to have an 80,000-force militia prepared at a moment’s notice. But these tactics only gave to be less than half accurate coming short remarkably much. The Navy was in the same circumstance. On June 1, 1812, a declaration of war was proclaimed to the houses of congress. On June 17 the declaration passed the second house and was in effect.
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