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National Post | News

The resentments and ambitions that led to the War of 1812 were numerous and complex. The United States was angry about Great Britain’s alliance with the aboriginal peoples, which was hindering America’s westward expansion. Some of its politicians were eager to add British North America to the Union and were spurring the government to invade.

But nothing caused as much resentment in the U.S. as the actions of the Royal Navy. As the European war between Napoleon and Britain continued, the British were determined to prevent supplies from being shipped to France. To enforce the blockade, they began searching and seizing goods on the ships of neutral powers, including the U.S.

“The British also seized any deserters they found on these ships and forced them to serve in the navy, even if the deserters were now American citizens,” says Victor Suthren, a Canadian naval historian and author of the book…

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