The Struggle for Power in the War of 1812

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An enduring issue is a repeated problem that has been debated over time. Sometimes, societies have to deal with issues or endure issues that they face. It is important to look back at some of the ways society has endured these issues so we can apply them to the future and make better decisions. The enduring issue of power was a significant issue faced by societies. Power means to have authority or strength over other people or nations. Power played a huge role in North America between the French and Indian War and the War of 1812. The Indians, Americans, and the British all wanted power in North America.

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Power was a really significant issue throughout American history. Some nations or groups of people were desperate for power. In document three, James Madison wanted a war with England because English Merchants were trying to gain more power by impressing US sailors and forcing them into the English navy. Impressment was cruel and it violated the rights of American sailors. Impressment prevented the US from being neutral in foreign relations because they couldn’t trade with France during the war. In this example, England had power over the US. impressment caused the US to declare war on England. A good outside example of power would be when England taxed the colonists without representation. For example, the stamp act, tea act and the sugar act were all British taxes. The British Parliament took advantage of their power by taxing the colonists without representation. The colonists debated on weather the taxes violated their rights. They thought that the British government had too much power over them and wanted a say in government. They faced this issue by starting a War for independence against Great Britain. Document four demonstrates power. Tecumseh was begging the British to give them their weapons to prevent the Americans from moving west and from taking over Indian land. He wanted the British to arm them so they can have more power over the Americans. This shows that the Indians are relying on a powerful nation to arm them with weapons. Another outside example of power would be the whiskey rebellion. The US government taxed whiskey. Farmers out west opposed the tax because they grew the grain to make whiskey. Farmers felt that this would impact their business so they rebelled and tried to attack the government. As a result of this, Washington sent troops to take them down. This shows that the government is using the power of the military to enforce laws.

Throughout history, power was used to conquer territory and win wars. Document five would be a good example of this. Henry Clay was a war hawk and wanted to conquer Canada. He tried to persuade the Americans that there would be nothing to fear because Canada had a scarce population of only 300,000 people while America had a population of 8 million people. Because of this, America has an advantage while invading Canada. There was an imbalance of power between Canada and America. During the Revolutionary War, not only were the British Army larger than the Continental army but they were wealthy. This made them use the power of their wealth to purchase Hessians which were skilled German soldiers. The Continental army wasn’t wealthy so they weren’t able to buy soldiers. This shows that there was an inequality of power between the patriots and British.

Power is an important enduring issue faced by societies. It means having authority over a group of people or nations. As shown in the war of 1812, there was a power struggle between Native Americans, the British and the Americans. In most cases the British had the power. They often impressed US soldiers and the Native Americans relied on the British to supply them with weapons. Also, power was shown when the War Hawks wanted Canada because they thought they had the power to conquer Canada. There were other times in history when an imbalance of power was demonstrated such as England taking advantage of their power by taxing colonists without representation, the whiskey rebellion and also the British army buying Hessians. All of these events demonstrate the enduring issue of power and its impact on society.  

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