Factors Contributing to the Outbreak of the War of 1812
1. Involuntary impressment of American sailors and merchant seamen into the British Navy- more than 6,000 had been shanghaied by British press gangs by 1812.
2. American designs on foreign possessions in North America- a group of U.S. congressmen known as "War Hawks" spurred this effort to expand U.S. territory and influence.
A. Spanish Florida
B. British Canada
3. Indian troubles- many persons felt that British agents were purposely stirring up Indian troubles in the U.S.'s midwestern territorial possessions.
4. Napoleon's invasion of Russia (1812)- the "War Hawks" and others eager for war with Britain felt that Britain would be stretched too thin if forced to contend with simultaneous military campaigns in Europe and North America.
5. "Continental System"- The U. S. became ensnared in the tangle of decrees and orders in council concerning European trade restrictions and boycotts (1806-1812) which had been issued by England and France as a result of the continuing quest of each of those nations to achieve world dominance. The "Continental System" and French efforts to enforce its decrees is one of the factors which led to Napoleon's invasion of Russia (1812).