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The War of 1812
Trouble in the Nursery A Baby Nation Goes to War

Trouble in the Nursery A Baby Nation Goes to War
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   3.6

     challenging words:    embargo, fledgling, shipload, dignity, impressment, altogether, risky, protest, infant, slavery, armed, since, empire, quarrel, battle, honor
     content words:    Royal Navy, Native Americans, North America, Some U. S., President Jefferson, When James Madison, War Hawks, Many Americans, United States

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Trouble in the Nursery A Baby Nation Goes to War
By Toni Lee Robinson

1     A short twenty years had passed since the birth of America. In the early 1800s, the new nation was bursting with life. It had doubled in size. Business and farming thrived. U.S. ships carried goods to markets all over the world. Could the future of the infant country be anything but bright? In the distance, however, a cloud was growing. Soon the young nation would face some serious tests.
2     The whole thing started off as someone else's worry. England and France were fighting each other. These two countries were also the biggest buyers of American goods. At first, the quarrel worked out well for the U.S. Both nations needed American products in war even more than in peace time. The U.S. sold food and other wares by the shipload.
3     Then the trouble began. Britain ran short of men to work on her warships. The Royal Navy began stopping U.S. ships. They grabbed American sailors. The men were forced to man British ships. Between 1803 and 1814, as many as 9,000 men were yanked from their ships to become British sailors. This form of slavery was called impressment.
4     In 1807, the British warship Leopard fired upon a U.S. ship. Eighteen men from the U.S. ship Chesapeake were hurt. Three were killed. British officers hauled four sailors off the U.S. ship. The attack took place off the coast of Virginia in U.S. waters. News of the event made Americans boiling mad.
5     Things got worse. France was also looking for ways to win the war. The French knew that England needed supplies from the U.S. French ships began seizing U.S. ships headed for Britain. Britain fought back by snatching American ships bound for France. In all, nearly 1,500 vessels were taken.

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The War of 1812
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