Your assigned reading and media this week have shown that the nation wasn’t necessarily a politically united nation, and Jefferson’s desire for a politically agrarian nation would end with the failure of the Embargo Acts. At this time, England and France were at war and the United States would support the nature of neutrality and free trade. Neither warring nation respected the neutrality and began to seize ships and impress sailors into their navies. James Madison would inherit these problems and would eventually ask Congress for a declaration of war on Britain. Given those circumstances, the War of 1812 was hardly an American victory. Was the nation ready for war? Was the declaration of war supported by all political factions?

Ironically, at the conclusion, the United States was stronger than it had ever been. Why do you believe this was so? Explain your answer with specific examples from your assigned reading and media.


  • Of the People with Sources: Chapters 8 and 9

Primary Sources

  • 8.1 Alexander Hamilton, Report on Manufactures (1791)
  • 8.3 George Washington, Farewell Address (1796)
  • 9.1 Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address (1801)
  • 9.3 Felix Grundy, Predictions About the War of 1812