Free Trade and Sailors' Rights in the War of 1812

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Cambridge University Press, Mar 18, 2013 - History - 425 pages
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On July 2, 1812, Captain David Porter raised a banner on the USS Essex proclaiming "A free trade and sailors rights," thus creating a political slogan that explained the War of 1812. Free trade demanded the protection of American commerce, while sailors' rights insisted that the British end the impressment of seamen from American ships. Repeated for decades in Congress and in taverns, the slogan reminds us today that our second war with Great Britain was not a mistake. It was a contest for the ideals of the American Revolution bringing together both the high culture of the Enlightenment to establish a new political economy and the low culture of the common folk to assert the equality of humankind. Understanding the War of 1812 and the motto that came to explain it - free trade and sailors' rights - allows us to better comprehend the origins of the American nation.
 

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Contents

PART ONE FREE TRADE
11
PART TWO SAILORS RIGHTS
69
PART THREE ORIGINS
125
WAR
198
The Language of Combat 21 5
215
Politics of War
228
Dartmoor
262
I
272
II
299
Politics
308
13
321
Popular Culture
324
Notes
345
32
348
85
356
110
375

MEMORY
277
Remembering Impressment
288
The Persistent Dream
297

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About the author (2013)

Paul Gilje is a George Lynn Cross Research Professor in the Department of History at the University of Oklahoma. He holds an MA and PhD from Brown University and has held fellowships at Johns Hopkins University and Washington University, St Louis. Gilje is the author of The Road to Mobocracy: Popular Disorder in New York City, 1763-1834; Riots in America; Liberty on the Waterfront: Society and Culture of the American Maritime World in the Age of Revolution, 1750-1850; and The Making of the American Republic, 1763-1815. Liberty on the Waterfront received the 2004 Society for Historians of the Early American Republic Best Book Prize and the 2004 North American Society for Oceanic History John Lyman Book Award in the category of United States Maritime History. Professor Gilje has organized an adult civics program in the state of Oklahoma, consulted for museums, edited several books and lectured widely in Europe and America. Throughout his career he has a sustained interest in how common people have been affected by the larger events of history.

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