The war of 1812  pitted the United States into war against Great Britain, from whom the American colonies had just won their independence in 1783. The war was really a byproduct of the conflict between Great Britain and France over who would dominate the world. Britain tried to control the world's oceans and encroached upon American maritime rights and American trade during the Napoleonic wars in response the United States declared war on Britain in June of 1812. The two main causes of the war with the British Orders-in-Council which limited American trade with Europe and the Royal Navy's practice of taking sailors from American merchant vessels to fill out the crews of its own undermanned warships. Britain seized hundreds of American merchant ships and their cargoes between 1807 and 1812. Britain also took 6000 to 9000 Americans as crewman on British ships against their will between 1803 and 1812. The war of 1812 ended in a draw on the battlefield and the peace treaty was signed on December 24, 1814 and went into effect on February 17, 1815. Both sides claimed victory because the British held onto Canada and their maritime rights and the United States because they felt their sovereignty was vindicated and they earned the respect of Europe.

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