"Free Trade and Sailors' Rights": The Rhetoric of the War of 1812

  title={"Free Trade and Sailors' Rights": The Rhetoric of the War of 1812},
  author={Paul A. Gilje},
  journal={Journal of the Early Republic},
  pages={1 - 23}
  • P. Gilje
  • Published 28 February 2010
  • History, Political Science
  • Journal of the Early Republic
At the beginning of the War of 1812 Captain David Porter flew from his mast a banner with the phrase "Free Trade and Sailors' Rights." This slogan reflected ideas that derived from the Age of Revolution combining patrician interest in free trade with more plebeian concerns about rights and the protection of seamen from impressment. As such it aptly summarized the key diplomatic reasons why the United States entered the war. Throughout the conflict Americans used the phrase to explain their… 

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