This chapter discusses the economic, social, and political factors that led the War of 1812. Particular attention is paid to the war’s unpopular status in public opinion. It claims that the maritime communities were reluctant to enter war, and instead sought to subvert it through legitimate and illegitimate means, and analyses the maritime merchant’s pursuit of trade during the war, through the avenues of smuggling, specie, and licensed trade. The conclusion asserts that British and American maritime merchants opted for profit over politics, and continued to trade despite the war that sought to divide.
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