Columbia Southern University Napoleon War on England in 1803 Paper Once Napoleon declared war on England in 1803, America was caught between the two world powers and abused by both as it tried to desperately hold onto neutrality. Do you think the response of Thomas Jefferson’s administration was strong enough? How could it have been improved? Please explain your answer. Your journal entry must be at least 200 words. No references or citations are necessary. UNIT III STUDY GUIDE
Course Learning Outcomes for Unit III
Upon completion of this unit, students should be able to:
4. Explain the importance of the U.S. military in the settlement of the West.
4.1 Discuss the role of major leaders in the campaigns of the Mexican-American War.
8. Discuss the United States transition from isolation to involvement in world conflicts.
8.1 Explain the political influences related to the U.S. military involvement in the War of 1812.
Chapter 5; Assessment
Chapter 4; Assessment
Chapter 4: Preserving the New Republics Independence, 1783-1815
Chapter 5: The Armed Forces and National Expansion, 1815-1860
Peace after the American Revolution was short lived. The military of the new nation began to cut its teeth, so
to speak, evolving into a crucial element of defense both at home and abroad in the rapidly expanding new
country. Among the most significant conflicts were domestic disputes, such as Friess and Shayss
Rebellions, as well as foreign altercations, such as the War of 1812 and the Mexican-American War.
The nation desired to preserve the newly obtained independence of the republic, and there were clashes of
opinion between political groups over the proper way to maintain this independence. The patriots desired to
turn an ideological desire for freedom into an effective government, but this did not come without impediments
(Millett, Maslowski, & Feis, 2012).
On the home front, the new country faced almost constant opposition from the Native Americans. As the
nation developed and expanded, this relationship was increasingly strained and often violent. The United
States soon discovered that the increasingly hostile relationship with native peoples on the northern frontier
needed more than local militia, and the nation soon became involved militarily in attempts to quell the Native
American trouble. While the administration began negotiations to satisfy the eastern populace who thought
aggressive frontiersmen had given rise to the Native American problems, they were also engaged in raising
an army capable of dealing with the issue.
The pirates of Algiers preyed on American shipping. To combat this problem, Congress passed the Naval Act
of 1794. This act authorized the building of six frigates. Before any of the six were completed, Algiers agreed
to a peace. Only three of the six frigates were completed. Algiers would not be the only barbary state to try
the United States. As pirates from Tripoli continued to attack merchants, war with Tripoli seemed a real
possibility. In 1802 war was declared, but American commanders did not aggressively pursue the war. In
1803, a blockade was enacted against Tripoli. By 1805, the pasha of Tripoli had been forced into a peace
treaty thanks in large part to the revitalized marine corps on the shores of Tripoli and President Jeffersons
HY 2000, American Military History I
fascination with the new concept of the gunboat that proved extremely effective in Tripolis shallow waters
(Millett et al., 2012).
During all of this, the French Revolution
had developed into a worldwide war.
The United States was primarily able to
deal with the French problem
diplomatically. In July of 1798, the first
clashes between America and its former
ally France occurred in what became
known as the Quasi-War. The
Americans enjoyed considerable
success, though much of it was due to
British assistance, and as its name
indicates, war was never actually
declared. The Convention of 1800
ended the Quasi-War and led to
Republican control of both the White
House and Congress.
The Battle of Valmy, one of the battles of the Revolutionary War that
followed the French Revolution
The new nations first major formidable
problem, however, would be a familiar
one: the English. Even after the
successful revolt against the
motherland, the English remained a major impediment to the success of the United States. With Britains
continued land holdings in the Canadian frontier and with the increasing hostilities in Europe, this problem
proved to be unresponsive to diplomatic coercion. Fearful, Americans began to build more sea forts in case of
a British invasion (Millett et al., 2012). Only a generation after its founding, the United States would be forced
to engage in its first major conflict: the War of 1812.
Both countries actually went to war reluctantly. The United States reluctance stemmed from her insufficient
preparation against the formidable foe. Britains reluctance was that it did not desire to fight both the
Americans and the French at the same time. While the American battlefield was filled with inadequacies and
problems, the ensuing Treaty of Ghent reaffirmed and forever solidified The United States independence. It
also had two seemingly unexpected outcomes. First, politically this conflict served as the final nail in the coffin
of the Federalist Partyespecially after its strong stance against engaging the British. Without strong
leadership (after Adams) the Federalists found themselves with limited support. Jeffersons political legacy,
the Democratic-Republican Party, completely dominated the political scene during a period now known as the
Era of Good Feelings. The second outcome would be a surge in nationalism; perhaps the most recognizable
example of such would be the origins of the Star Spangled Banner whose wording is adapted from Francis
Scott Keys witness of the successful defense of Fort McHenry during a British bombardment.
Following the War of 1812, the American military would go through a transition brought on in the expansion of
the United States borders. Adding to this exultant time were various technological advances such as the
steamship and the telegraph. As the United States expanded westward, communication and travel became
easier. Technology was also directly reflected in the military as rifles replaced smoothbores and bullets
replaced lead balls. However, this time of expansion and innovation attracted conflict. The military engaged in
domestic struggles against western tribes and, eventually, in its next international conflict: the MexicanAmerican War.
The military changed not only due to great technological advances but also due to great men and celebrated
writing. Military schools began to turn out great minds skilled in the art of military science. This new military
subculture was employed to help fulfill the idea of Manifest Destiny, or the idea that the expansion of the West
was both a way of securing new lands for the growing former European population and a religious
responsibility to purify those lands (Millett et al., 2012).
HY 2000, American Military History I
The unquenchable desire for more territory led to
the need for military power. Conflicts occurred
between Native tribes whose removal was
necessary for the fulfillment of the United States
destiny for which the army would play a number of
roles, including a role in the removal process. The
U.S. desire for the West also caused strife with
Great Britain, who was also spreading west in what
is now Canada; this was settled once Oregon was
split between the two powers. Unfortunately,
problems with Mexico were not so easily solved. As
the United States extended boundaries beyond
what the Mexican government officially recognized,
war erupted (Millett et al., 2012).
The Mexican-American war created political strife
between opposing parties at home. Much like with
the Revolutionary War, this conflict would require
The Battle of Cerro Gordo in the Mexican-American War
inventive tactics, but Generals Taylor and Scott
(Kellogg & Kellogg, 1847)
eventually forced Mexican General Santa Anna into
negotiations and the highly unpopular Treaty of
Guadalupe Hidalgo. Despite opposition from both the president and the public, a war-weary Congress ratified
the treaty to bring the conflict to an end. The divide between politics and the public was only part of a greater
issue starting to come to a boil. With the growing population also came significant differences in beliefs, some
of which would threaten to divide the nation in half. In the wake of territorial disputes, a civil war was brewing.
Kellogg, E. B., & Kellogg, E. C. (1847). Battalla de Cerro Gordo [Image]. Retrieved from
Millett, A. R., Maslowski, P., & Feis, W. B. (2012). For the common defense: A military history of the United
States from 1607 to 2012 (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Free Press.
Vernet, H. (1826). Valmy Battle painting [Image]. Retrieved from
In order to access the following resources, click the links below:
Winfield Scott is an interesting figure in history. Take a few minutes to read this article that focuses on his
Arnold, J. R. (2012). Winfield Scott makes a name for himself. Journal of Military History, 76(4), 1183-1185.
This article examines General Stephen Watts Kearnys invasion of Santa Fe during the Mexican-American
Brandt, A. (2016). General Kearnys California trek, 1846. MHQ: Quarterly Journal of Military History, 29(1),
52-59. Retrieved from
HY 2000, American Military History I
You are encouraged to read the following two articles about the U.S. victory in the Battle of New Orleans.
They examine this battle in detail to include the strategies and figures involved.
Ethier, E. (2016). The savage battles of New Orleans 1814-1815. MHQ: Quarterly Journal of Military History,
28(3), 98-103. Retrieved from
Norris, D. A. (2012). “They shall not sleep here tonight!”: The Battle of New Orleans. History Magazine, 13(5),
16-20. Retrieved from
Watch segments 2 (American Maritime Trade), 14 (British Bombardment of Ft. McHenry), 17 (Defense of
New Orleans), and segment 20 (Battle of New Orleans) in the video First Invasion: The War of 1812. These
segments will give you a better understanding of the War of 1812.
Foreman, G. L. (Executive Producer), & Raine, C. H. (Producer). (2004). First Invasion: The War of 1812
[Video file]. Retrieved from
Watch segments 9 (Americas Victories and Santa Anas Return), 12 (Legacy of Buena Vista), and 13
(Vera Cruz and Path Through Mexico) in the video Mexico: Battle for North America. These segments will
give you a better understanding of the Mexican-American War.
Land, S. (Executive Producer), Proud, G. (Supervising Producer), & Roger, M. (Producer). (1999). Mexico:
Battle for North America [Video file]. Retrieved from
Take a few minutes to watch segment 3, War of 1812, in the video The Big Picture: Hall of Heroes. This
short video segment will further your knowledge on this subject.
National Archives & Records Administration (Producer). (2007). The Big Picture: Hall of Heroes [Video file].
The article below examines the history of the Mexican-American War. Topics covered include artillery tactics
and major leaders.
Trudeau, N. A. (2010). A ‘band of demons’ fight for Texas. MHQ: Quarterly Journal of Military History, 22(3),
84-93. Retrieved from
HY 2000, American Military History I
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