Oh no! Now I can't bring these goods to France, which is Britain's enemy!
Cheerio, lad! I'm here to impress you, in a bad way!
We are so poor because we can't trade anymore.
This is an outrage! The economy is failing!
The War Declaration
The vote has been settled. The U.S. shall declare war against Great Britain!
We are not ready for this war! We're guaranteed to lose!
Hooray! Time to show them who's boss!
Amid the battle against France, Great Britain chose to attack American ships going to France to trade so that their enemy couldn't get any supplies. They also impressed, or kidnapped, American sailors.
Thomas Jefferson, the President at the time, made the Embargo Act, which stated that no sailors could trade with any foreign nation anymore. This hurt the nation's economy. He eventually changed this to the Non-Intercourse Act, which prohibited trade with only Britain and France, this didn't fix much.
When James Madison became the 4th President, the Non-Intercourse Act was still in effect. Several members of Congress, called the War Hawks, desperately wanted to declare war on Great Britain for causing America so much trouble. But other people in Congress thought America wasn't ready for war. Madison allowed Congress to vote on whether to have the war, and the War Hawks won.