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“Taxation without representaion” was the cause of the American Revolution. A long phrase for little folks to remember, but easy enough after you understand what it

means. 5

I shall have to ask you to remember a longer phrase, but I will try to explain it to you so that it will be as easy as that giving the cause of the Revolution.

The cause of this second war with England, was “the impressment of American sailors” and the capturing of our 10 vessels.

Now let us see if we can understand what "impressment of American sailors” means.

Of course, England did not feel very kindly towards the American colonies after the Revolution. Not only had she 15 met with a most humiliating defeat from those whom she

had laughed at and called barnyard soldiers, clod-hopper militia, and many other such contemptuous names, but she had also lost a very valuable colony, one that would have

been a source of great wealth to her as it grew in numbers 20 and in power.

Ever since the Constitution had been formed, and the American nation had seemed so full of success, England had been doing everything possible to injure American

commerce. England had for a long, long time called her25 self the “Mistress of the Seas,” and had prided herself on having the finest navy in the world.

The United States, dreading to go to war again, had borne many an insult both from England and from France.

But when the English began impressing our sailors — that 30 was a little more than we could endure.


It had long been the custom in Engand to fill up their ship's crew by “impressment,” as they called it. This is the way they went about it. When they could not find enough men who were willing to become sailors, a party of 5 rough men, called the “press-gang,” would go upon land, look about for hearty, strong-looking young men, and, when they had found one who seemed likely to make a good sailor, would seize upon him, bind him, and carry him off to a ship.

Sometimes they did not seize upon these men, but would invite one to drink with them; and then when they had made him drunk, would carry him off to their vessel, throw him into the hold and leave him there until he became

sober. Many a poor lad has awakened from his stupor to 15 find himself on shipboard, away from home and friends,

bound on a voyage which was, perhaps, to last for years. If he refused to work, he was whipped until he cried for mercy. The “press-gang” was indeed the terror of all

Europe. You see now what “impressment of sailors” 20 means; just simply this: stealing them and forcing them to become sailors on English ships.

And now, when I tell you that thousands of Americans had been seized in just this way by these English ships,

do you wonder that again America declared war against 25 England?

It was just at the close of Jefferson's Administration that an event occurred that aroused the Americans to act at


As the Chesapeake, one of our vessels, was crossing the 30 ocean, it was ordered by the Leopard, an English vessel, to stop.

"I order you to stand and be searched,” said the English officer.

“What do you expect to find?” asked Captain Barron. “I search for English sailors,” was the reply.



“We have no English sailors on board, and we shall not stop," answered our captain.

You are all Englishmen, and in the name of the English government, I demand that you be searched.” Immedi5 ately the English ship fired upon the Chesapeake, killing and wounding several of the crew. Three sailors were taken from the vessel and forced to serve as slaves. Such outrages as this were enough to stir the anger of any nation; and if ever war was right, it was right in such a time as this.

But in spite of all this the Federalists were opposed to war with England. They declared that if war with England was entered into, the United States would surely fall into the power of France, who was still at war with England.

It was just here that Henry Clay and John C. Calhoun, 15 two of the greatest statesmen that America ever had, came

into notice. Henry Clay was the leader of the Federalists, and was opposed to the war; John C. Calhoun, was the leader of the Republicans, and was in favor of war.

Thus matters stood, when, in June, 1812, Congress 20 declared war with England.

Great was the joy in the hearts of these impressed sailors on the English ships. Many of them at once refused to pull another rope on board a ship belonging to a nation at war with their own country.

“Will you do your duty on this ship?” asked one captain of an American who was suffering under the lash for refusal to work the ship. “Yes, sir," answered the man, with his back bleeding at every pore. "It is my duty to blow up

this ship, an enemy to my country, and if I get a chance 30 I'll do it."

The captain looked around in astonishment. “I think this man must be an American," he said. “No English sailor would talk like that. He is probably crazy, and you may untie him and let him go.

Over twenty-five hundred Americans who had been im



pressed and who thus refused to serve, were sent to prison in England, where they were kept in most wretched imprisonment until the war closed.

Many of the men were flogged some of them till they 5 dropped dead -- but they showed the same brave spirit that

they had shown years before in the Revolution. One would suppose that after being so completely defeated by the American colonies England would hardly have cared to go to war with the American States.


What is the meaning of “Taxation without representation”?
What was the cause of our second war with England?
What was “impressment”?
What finally led to America's declaring war against England?
What were the two political parties at this time?
Who were the leaders of these parties?
How did they stand on the war question?
Why were the American sailors glad when Congress declared war?


I love my country's pine-clad hills,
Her thousand bright and gushing rills,

Her sunshine and her storms;
Her rough and rugged rocks that rear
Their hoary heads high in the air

In wild fantastic forms.


I love her rivers deep and wide,
Those mighty streams that seaward glide

To seek the ocean's breast;
Her smiling fields, her pleasant vales,
Her shady dells, her flowery dales,

The haunts of peaceful rest.



Her forests and her valleys fair,
Her flowers that scent the morning air,
Have all their charms for

But more I love my country's name,
Those words that echo deathless fame

“The land of liberty.”Hesperian

I see the living tide roll on,

It crowns with fiery towers
The icy capes of Labrador,

The Spaniard's "land of flowers!”
It streams beyond the splintered ridge

That parts the northern showers,
From eastern rock to sunset wave,
The Continent is ours.-0. W. Holmes

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