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160   HISTORY OF CANADA.

the European powers by an embargo by which foreign trade with the United States was entirely cut off. This proved the severest blow of all to New England commerce, and the obnoxious measures were soon repealed.

Real Cause of War.—If the proceedings of the European belligerents justified the United States in declaring war to maintain her rights as a neutral nation, France as well as Great Britain should have been attacked. "The injuries we have received from France," said a New York convention, called to protest against the war, " are at least equal in amount to those we have sustained from England, and have been attended with circumstances of still greater insult and aggravation." In fact, as a distinguished writer has said, American counuerce had adjusted itself to the risks, and trade was very profitable. The war, when it did come, was the act of a political party, and was determined upon in face of the strongest opposition from those for whose protection it was ostensibly designed. Madison, who had in 1809 succeeded Jefferson as president of the United States, confined himself to diplomatic protest until the time for the next election—the autumn of 1812—approached. He was a candidate for re-election, and, as a party manoeuvre, Henry Clay of Kentucky, the leader of the " war-hawks," succeeded in inducing Congress to vote in favor of war with Great Britain. The vote of the northern states was as two to one against the war. The west and south persisted in protecting the mercantile interests of the eastern states against the will of the latter. Clay made no secret of his desire to drive Great Britain from the American continent, and to this end the war was to be directed against her colonies to the north.

War Declared—Plans for Invasion of Canada.—War was declared by the United States on the 18th of June, 1812, and preparation was at once made for the invasion of Canada by three "Grand Armies." Brigadier-General Hull, in command of the Grand Army of the West, was to cross the Detroit River ; General Van Rensselaer, at the head of the Grand Army of the Centre, was to attack the Niagara frontier ; while the commanderhi-chief, General Dearborn, was to lead the Grand Army of the North by- the old route of the Richelieu against Montreal.

Preparation in Canada.—Sir George Prevost was commander-in-chief of the British forces in North America. The


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