Tag Archives: american history

The War of 1812 Was Opposed By Many Americans

The Declaration of War Passed the Congress, But Divisions Remained

President James Madison, who move toward war against Britain was controversial. - Library of Congress
President James Madison, whose move toward war against Britain was controversial.  Library of Congress
Updated June 22, 2015.

When the United States declared war against Britain in June 1812, the vote on the declaration of war in the Congress was fairly close, reflecting how unpopular the war was to large segments of the American public.

Though one of the main reasons for the war had to do with the rights of sailors on the high seas and the protection of American shipping, the senators and representatives from the maritine states of New England tended to vote against the war.

Sentiment for war was perhaps strongest in the western states and territories, where a faction known as the War Hawksbelieved that the United States could invade present day Canada and seize territory from the British.

The debate about the war had been going on for many months, with newspapers, which tended to be highly partisan in that era, proclaiming pro-war or anti-war positions.

The declaration of war was signed by President James Madison on June 18, 1812, but for many that did not settle the matter.

Opposition to the war continued. Newspapers blasted the Madison administration, and some state governments went so far as to essentially obstruct the war effort.

In some cases opponents to the war engaged in protests, and in one noteworthy incident, a mob in Baltimore attacked a group which opposed the war. One of the victims of the mob violence in Baltimore, who suffered serious injuries from which he never fully recovered, was the father of Robert E. Lee.

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American Forefathers Were Not Paternalistic

Jun 8, 2016

OPINION – America! For more than 250 years the word has represented hope, opportunity, a second chance, and freedom. In America the accident of a man’s birth did not have to serve as an inescapable weight that dictated a person’s fate or that of his family. The American identity is shaped, not predetermined. We are a society of the free.

Once a newcomer – the immigrant – stepped on American soil he left the political tyrannies and economic barriers of the “old world” behind. A willingness to work hard and to bear the risks of one’s own decisions, the possession of a spirit of enterprise, and a little bit of luck were the keys to the doors of success in their “new world” home.

Visitors from Europe traveling to America in the nineteenth century, Frenchmen like Alexis de Tocqueville and Michel Chevalier, marveled at the energy and adaptability of the ordinary American. An American paid his own way, took responsibility for his actions, and showed versatility in the face of change, often switching his occupation, profession, or trade several times during his life, and frequently moving about from one part of the country to another.

American Ideals Don’t Need Regulating

What’s more, individual Americans demonstrated a generous spirit of charity and voluntary effort to assist those who had fallen upon hard times, as well as to deal with a wide variety of common community services in their cities, towns, and villages.

Those foreign observers of American life noted that no man bowed to another because of the hereditary accident of birth. Each man viewed himself as good as any other, to be judged on the basis of his talents and abilities as well as his character and conduct as a human being.

Even the scar of slavery that blemished the American landscape through more than half of the nineteenth century stood out as something inherently inconsistent and untrue to the vision and conception of a society of free men laid down by those Founding Fathers. The logic of liberty meant that slavery, and all other denials of equal rights before the law, would eventually have to end, in one way or another, if the claim of freedom for all was not to remain confronted with a cruel hypocrisy to the ideal.

A Free America’s Wondrous Fruits

What a glorious country this America was. Here was a land of free individuals who were able to pursue their dreams and fulfill their peaceful desires. They were free men who could put their own labor to work, acquire property, accumulate wealth, and fashion their own lives. They associated on the basis of freedom of exchange, and benefited each other by trading their talents through a network of division of labor that was kept in order through the competitive processes of market-guided supply and demand.

In this free marketplace, the creative entrepreneurial spirit was set free. Every American was at liberty to try his hand, if he chose, to start his own business and devise innovative ways to offer new and better products to the market, through which he hoped to earn his living. No man was bond to the soil upon which he was born or tied to an occupation or profession inherited from his ancestors. Every individual had an opportunity to be the master of his own fate, with the freedom to move where inclination led him and choose the work that seemed most profitable and attractive.

The Counter-Revolution of Collectivism

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The Legendary Hyperborea and the Ancient Greeks: Who Really Discovered America?

Is it possible the ancient Greeks knew of the New World thousands of years ago? Courtesy Christos A. Djonis

In his story of Atlantis, written at around 360 BC, Plato mentioned a grand island or continent across the Atlantic, one larger than Libya and Asia combined. This continent was so enormous, he said, “it encompassed (wrapped around) that veritable ocean”. Is it possible that Plato was talking about the American continent and not that of Atlantis, as many automatically assume when they read that story for the first time?

Let’s not ignore that many scholars and researchers also show that proper translation of Plato’s text places Atlantis in the Mediterranean and not in the Atlantic, or some other exotic location. Aside from those claims though, is it conceivable to accept that the ancient Greeks, around the 4th century BC, knew of the American continent across the Atlantic? Interestingly, several clues suggest that this may not be such an outlandish assumption after all.

Roughly twenty years ago, in 1996, Mark McMenamin, a professor of geology at Mount Holyoke College in the United States, discovered and interpreted a series of enigmatic markings on the reverse side of a Carthaginian gold coin, minted circa 350 BC, as an ancient map of the world. In the center of this world map there is a clear depiction of the Mediterranean basin. An image to the right of it is interpreted to represent Asia, while the image to the left is interpreted to represent the American continent. Professor McMenamin also found that all known specimens of this type of coin formed the same type of “world” map. This was an interesting discovery, no doubt; however, what is most interesting about this find, is that this particular Carthaginian coin was minted within the same decade when Plato unveiled the story of Atlantis and revealed that there was a large continent across from the Pillars of Hercules.

Carthaginian coins from circa 310–290 BC. Representational image only.

Carthaginian coins from circa 310–290 BC. Representational image only. (Classical Numismatic Group, Inc.  http://www.cngcoins.com /  CC BY-SA 2.5 )

The Piri Reis Map

Read more: http://www.ancient-origins.net/ancient-places-americas/legendary-hyperborea-and-ancient-greeks-who-really-discovered-america-005258#ixzz3yYM63kGY
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The Real Victor of World War II in Europe

The Real Victor of World War II in Europe

 

It was churlish for western leaders to boycott this week’s Victory Parade in Moscow that commemorated the Soviet Union’s defeat of Nazi Germany 70 years ago.

Historic events are facts that should not be manipulated according to the latest political fashions. Being angry at Moscow for mucking about in Ukraine does not in any way lessen the glory, admiration and thanks owed to the Russian people for their heroism during World War II.

Americans and Canadians like to believe they won the war in Europe and give insufficient recognition to the decisive Soviet role. Most Europeans would rather not think about the matter. By contrast, Russians know that it was their soldiers who really won the war. They remain angry that their military achievements are ignored by American triumphalists and myth -makers.

Not only did Stalin’s Soviet Union play the key role in crushing Nazi Germany, its huge sacrifices saved the lives of countless American, British and Canadian soldiers. Were it not for the USSR’s victory, Nazi Germany might be alive and well today.

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