Tuesday, May 30, 2017
War Hawks of 1812
(Cruising through Montana, stopped to gas up and saw this 51' Chevrolet. Pretty Cool!)
With tensions at home and abroad rising, congressmen in the House of Representatives in favor of war were known as War Hawks. These men were from the western and southern states, and held powerful positions in Congress. Two leaders of this group were Speaker of the House Henry Clay of Kentucky and John C. Calhoun of South Carolina. On June 18, 1812 Congress declared war on Great Britain.
(For the life of me, I'm really trying to understand 'skull art,' I mean, 'Alas poor Yorick,' I get it but... )
(After a quick pit stop we're back on the open road. Look at that open sky. We're loving you, Montana!)
John Quincy Adams wrote: “In the Eastern-States the opposition to the war was market with virulent… in the Middle and Southern States, public opinion was divided, a large minority approved the measures adopted by Congress. But in the West there was only one sentiment: love of country sparkled in every eye and animated every heart.”
The War Hawks also felt war was an opportunity to gain land. Despite this, America was woefully underprepared. The treasury had little money, the army had fewer than ten thousand troops, officers were scarce, and the navy had less than twenty ships available. Nevertheless, many Americans believed victory would be easy. I mean, war hinged on our invasion of Canada after all. There’s nothing so grandly foolish and spectacularly short-sighted … as American optimism! God Bless It!