The War of 1812
Causes of the War of 1812

Causes of the War of 1812
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   high interest, readability grades 5 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.21

     challenging words:    embargo, smugglers, ports, meaning, freedom, failure, presidency, battle, during, term, foreign, longer, between, country, trade, neutral
     content words:    United States, President Thomas Jefferson, After Jefferson, James Madison, Native Americans, Thirty-two British, New England, President Madison, In June

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Causes of the War of 1812
By Cathy Pearl

1     After the United States won its freedom from Britain, the country grew quickly. Trade to other countries also began to grow. Ships would leave the United States to trade. Sometimes they wouldn't come back for many years.
2     The American ships faced many problems when they were sailing. Britain and France had gone to war again in 1803. America said that it was neutral, meaning that it wouldn't help either side. During the war, British and French ships were too busy to trade. The American ships took advantage of this and traded with both sides. They made a lot of money and worked hard to build more ships.
3     Britain and France weren't happy that the Americans were helping their enemies. The two sides ignored the United States when it said it was neutral. France and Britain began to attack the American ships. Soon, hundreds of ships had been captured.
4     Men that were on the ships were also forced to help either Britain or France. Many of these men were American citizens. People in the United States were very angry. They began to call for the United States to go to war.
5     President Thomas Jefferson was afraid the United States could not win a war. He decided to try an embargo. An embargo is a ban on foreign trade. Americans could no longer trade with any other country. It did hurt Britain and France. But it hurt Americans more.

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