A spur is a metal tool designed to be worn in pairs on the heels of riding boots for the purpose of directing a horse to move forward or laterally while riding. It is usually used to refine the riding aids and to back up the natural aids, the spur is used in many equestrian disciplines. There are rules in most equestrian organizations about spur design and this very old word derives from Anglo-Saxon spura, related to spornan, spurnan, to kick, spurn, cf. Medieval High German Sporn, modern German Sporn, Dutch spoor, Frisian spoar. The generalized sense of anything that urges on, stimulus is recorded in English from circa 1390, the parts of a spur include, The yoke, branch, or heel band, which wraps around the heel of the boot. The shank or neck, which extends from the back of the yoke and is the area that touches the horse, the rowel, seen on some spurs, a revolving wheel or disk with radiating points at the end attached to the shank. Spurs are usually held on by a leather or leather-like strap, called a spur strap, some western designs have a leather strap that goes only over the top, with a heel chain or a rubber tiedown instead of a strap under the boot.
There are styles with no straps where the band is simply very tight. Due to the prong, such spurs can only be worn with appropriately equipped boots and this construction is shown in the illustrations of the swan neck and Waterford spurs below. The shank angle from the yoke can vary from full, to one half, to one quarter to straight. Some cowboys added small metal Pajados, known as Jingo Bobs or Jingle Bobs, near the rowel, rowels can vary in size and number of points. In the history of science, the word rowel described a small disk of leather or other material that was used as a seton stitch. The spur was used by the Celts during the La Tène period, the spur existed in the medieval Arab world. Early spurs had a neck that ended in a point, called a prick, prick spurs had straight necks in the 11th century and bent ones in the 12th. The earliest form of the horsemans spur armed the heel with a single prick, in England, the rowel spur is shown upon the first seal of Henry III and on monuments of the 13th century, but it does not come into general use until the 14th century.
The earliest rowels probably did not revolve but were fixed, the spurs of medieval knights were gilt and those of squires were silvered. To win his spurs meant to gain knighthood, as gilded spurs were reckoned the badge of knighthood, in the rare cases of ceremonious degradation, the spurs were hacked from the disgraced knights heels with the cooks chopper. The English named the French rout from Thérouanne as the Battle of the Spurs, prick spurs were the standard form until the 14th century, when the rowel began to become more common. The prick design never died out entirely, but instead became a thicker, shorter neck with a dulled end, such as the modern Prince of Wales design commonly seen in English riding
Forts of Vincennes, Indiana
During the 18th and 19th centuries, the French and American nations built and occupied a number of forts at Vincennes, Indiana. These outposts commanded a strategic position on the Wabash River, the first trading post on the Wabash River was established by the Sieur Juchereau, Lieutenant General of Montreal. He, with 34 Canadians, founded the company post 28 October 1702 for the purpose of trading buffalo hides, the post was evidently a success, in the first three years, they collected over 13,000 buffalo hides. When Juchereau died, the post was abandoned, and the settlers left what they considered hostile territory for Mobile, some other historians place the post 50 miles further south. François-Marie Bissot, Sieur de Vincennes, acting under the authority of the French colony of Louisiana, the outpost was designed to secure the lower Wabash Valley for France, mostly by strengthening ties with the Miami and Piankashaw nations. It was named Fort Vincennes in honor of Vincennes, who was captured and burned at the stake during a war with the Chickasaw nation in 1735, in 1736, Louis Groston de Saint-Ange de Bellerive assumed command of the post.
He rebuilt the fort, turned the post into a trading center. By 1750, the Piankashaw resettled their village near the post, on May 18,1764, St. Ange left the post under British orders to assume command of Fort Chartres. He transferred command to Drouet de Richerville, a local citizen, British Lt. John Ramsey came to Vincennes in 1766. The population grew quickly in the years followed, creating a unique culture of interdependent Native Americans with French and British farmers, craftsmen. The site of Ft. Sackville was near the present day intersection of First, following the French and Indian War, the British and colonial governments could not afford the cost of maintaining frontier posts. They did not station troops in the Wabash Valley at all for a following the conflict. Thus Fort Vincennes fell into disrepair, and Vincennes was ordered evacuated due to ongoing lawlessness, the residents united and were able to prove to the British authorities that they were permanent residents, not illegal squatters.
Lieutenant Governor Edward Abbott was sent to Vincennes without troops, making the best of it, he rebuilt Fort Sackville. Abbott soon resigned, citing lack of support from the crown, in July 1778, Father Pierre Gibault arrived with news of the alliance between France and the new United States. The Canadien residents took control of the unoccupied Fort Sackville, in December, a British force consisting of The Kings 8th Regiment and Detroit Volunteers under Lieutenant-Governor Henry Hamilton retook Fort Sackville, and Captain Helm. Lieutenant Colonel George Rogers Clark marched 130 men through 180 miles of wilderness to Vincennes in February 1779, as he entered town, the French settlers and native peoples joined his force to re-capture Ft. Sackville. Clark had Hamiltons native allies tomahawked to death as an example and sent Hamilton and his men to jail in Williamsburg and he renamed the post Fort Patrick Henry
Battle of the Thames
The Battle of the Thames, known as the Battle of Moraviantown, was a United States victory in the War of 1812 against the United Kingdom and Tecumsehs Confederacy. It took place on October 5,1813 in Upper Canada, near present-day Chatham, British troops under Major General Henry Procter had occupied Detroit until the U. S. Navy gained control of Lake Erie, depriving them of their supplies. Procter was forced to retreat north up the river Thames to Moraviantown, where his allies, American control over the Northwest frontier was re-established, the tribal confederacy collapsed, and Procter would be court-martialled for his poor leadership. The British position depended on maintaining command of Lake Erie, from the start of the war to the end of July 1813, the British ships, which since May 5,1813 were led by Commander Robert Heriot Barclay, had maintained control of the lake. They contained the American squadron under Master Commandant Oliver Hazard Perry at Presque Isle harbour, when Barclay lifted the blockade for two days in order to receive supplies, Perry was able to move his ships across the sandbar at the entrance to the harbour and into the lake.
Once it was armed and manned, Perrys superior squadron instituted a counter-blockade of Amherstburg. Finally, with supplies almost exhausted, Barclay put out to battle with Perry. On September 10, Perry gained a victory in the Battle of Lake Erie. On receiving Perrys hastily written note that We have met the enemy and they are ours, Harrison knew that Procter would be forced to retreat, and ordered an advance. Even before he received news of Barclays defeat, Procter had made preparations to fall back to the British position at Burlington Heights at the end of Lake Ontario. Our ships have one way, and we are much astonished to see our Father tying up everything and preparing to run the other. We must compare our Fathers conduct to a fat animal that carries its tail upon its back, Procter could not defend Fort Amherstburg. Not only was no food, but the guns had been removed from the fort to be mounted on Barclays ships. Procter began to retreat up the Thames River on September 27, Tecumseh had no option but to go with him.
Procter apparently agreed to a compromise to retreat only as far as Moraviantown, as this was the highest point of the river to which batteaux could navigate, it was safe from outflanking moves by water. Also, some supplies could in theory be brought overland from Burlington Heights. However, Procter made no attempt to fortify this position, the British retreat was badly managed, and the soldiers had been reduced to half rations. The Americans left a brigade under Duncan McArthur to garrison Detroit and another under Lewis Cass to garrison Sandwich, Harrison led the main body from Sandwich in pursuit of Procter on October 2
Native Americans in the United States
In the United States, Native Americans are people descended from the Pre-Columbian indigenous population of the land within the countrys modern boundaries. These peoples were composed of distinct tribes and ethnic groups. Most Native American groups had historically preserved their histories by oral traditions and artwork, at the time of first contact, the indigenous cultures were quite different from those of the proto-industrial and mostly Christian immigrants. Some of the Northeastern and Southwestern cultures in particular were matrilineal, the majority of Indigenous American tribes maintained their hunting grounds and agricultural lands for use of the entire tribe. Europeans at that time had patriarchal cultures and had developed concepts of property rights with respect to land that were extremely different. Assimilation became a consistent policy through American administrations, during the 19th century, the ideology of manifest destiny became integral to the American nationalist movement.
Expansion of European-American populations to the west after the American Revolution resulted in increasing pressure on Native American lands and this resulted in the ethnic cleansing of many tribes, with the brutal, forced marches coming to be known as The Trail of Tears. As American expansion reached into the West and miner migrants came into increasing conflict with the Great Basin, Great Plains and these were complex nomadic cultures based on horse culture and seasonal bison hunting. Over time, the United States forced a series of treaties and land cessions by the tribes, in 1924, Native Americans who were not already U. S. citizens were granted citizenship by Congress. Contemporary Native Americans have a relationship with the United States because they may be members of nations, tribes. The terms used to refer to Native Americans have at times been controversial, by comparison, the indigenous peoples of Canada are generally known as First Nations. It is not definitively known how or when the Native Americans first settled the Americas and these early inhabitants, called Paleoamericans, soon diversified into many hundreds of culturally distinct nations and tribes.
The archaeological periods used are the classifications of archaeological periods and cultures established in Gordon Willey and Philip Phillips 1958 book Method and they divided the archaeological record in the Americas into five phases, see Archaeology of the Americas. The Clovis culture, a hunting culture, is primarily identified by use of fluted spear points. Artifacts from this culture were first excavated in 1932 near Clovis, the Clovis culture ranged over much of North America and appeared in South America. The culture is identified by the distinctive Clovis point, a flaked flint spear-point with a notched flute, dating of Clovis materials has been by association with animal bones and by the use of carbon dating methods. Recent reexaminations of Clovis materials using improved carbon-dating methods produced results of 11,050 and 10,800 radiocarbon years B. P, other tribes have stories that recount migrations across long tracts of land and a great river, believed to be the Mississippi River.
Genetic and linguistic data connect the people of this continent with ancient northeast Asians
Siege of Fort Mackinac
The Siege of Fort of Mackinac was one of the first engagements of the War of 1812. A British and Native American force captured the island soon after the outbreak of war between Britain and the United States, encouraged by the easy British victory, more Native Americans rallied to their support. Their cooperation was an important factor in several British victories during the remainder of the war, Mackinac Island was a U. S. fur trading post in the Straits of Mackinac between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. Since the mid-seventeenth century, it had been important for its influence and Canadian traders had resented it being ceded to the United States at the end of the American Revolutionary War. The United States Army maintained a fort, named Fort Mackinac. About 40 miles away was the British military post on St. Joseph Island, as soon as he learned of the outbreak of war, Brock sent a canoe party led by the noted trader William McKay to Roberts with the vital news, and orders to capture Mackinac.
McKay reached St. Joseph Island on 8 July, as preparations for the expedition proceeded, Roberts received successive orders from Brock to cancel, and to reinstate, the attack on Mackinac. Colonel Edward Baynes, the Adjutant General for all British forces in Canada, however, on 15 July, Roberts received further orders from Brock which allowed him to use his own discretion. Fearing that the Indians would drift away if they were not allowed to attack and his force was embarked in the armed schooner Caledonia belonging to the North West Company, seventy war canoes and ten bateaux. Fort Mackinac was sited on a ridge which overlooked the harbour at the south-eastern end of the island. The American garrison consisted of 61 artillerymen under Lieutenant Porter Hanks with seven guns, although one of these. There were other weaknesses, the garrison relied for fresh water on a spring outside the fort, the United States Secretary of War William Eustis, who was apparently preoccupied with financial economies, had sent no communications to Hanks for several months.
He sent word of the declaration of war on 18 June to the commanders in the northwest by ordinary rate post, though he was unaware of events elsewhere, Hanks had heard rumours of unusual activity at St. Joseph Island. He sent a fur trader named Michael Dousman, who held a commission as an officer in the militia, dousmans boat was captured by the advancing British force, and Dousman apparently quickly changed sides. Hankss force was surprised and was already at a tactical disadvantage, the flag of truce had been accompanied by three of the villagers, who greatly exaggerated the number of Indians in Robertss force. Fearing a massacre by the Indians, Hanks capitulated without a fight, the garrison of the fort was taken prisoner but was released on giving their parole not to fight for the remainder of the war. The islands inhabitants were made to swear an oath of allegiance to the United Kingdom or leave within a month, Roberts arrested three deserters from the British Army and twenty alleged British citizens.
There was no looting, although Roberts expropriated the goods in the United States storehouses, the British abandoned their own fort at St. Joseph Island and concentrated their forces at Mackinac Island
Battle of Fort Dearborn
The battle, which occurred during the War of 1812, followed the evacuation of the fort as ordered by William Hull, commander of the United States Army of the Northwest. The battle lasted about 15 minutes and resulted in a victory for the Native Americans. Fort Dearborn was burned down and those soldiers and settlers who survived were taken captive, Fort Dearborn was constructed by United States troops under the command of Captain John Whistler in 1803. It was located on the bank of the main stem of the Chicago River in what is now the Loop community area of downtown Chicago. At the time, the area was seen as wilderness, in the view of commander, the fort was named in honor of Henry Dearborn, United States Secretary of War. It had been commissioned following the Northwest Indian War of 1785–1795, the British Empire had ceded the Northwest Territory—comprising the modern states of Ohio, Illinois and Wisconsin—to the United States in the Treaty of Paris in 1783. However the area had been the subject of dispute between the Native American nations and the United States since the passage of the Northwest Ordinance in 1787, the Indian Nations followed Tenskwatawa, the Shawnee prophet and the brother of Tecumseh.
Tenskwatawa had a vision of purifying his society by expelling the children of the Evil Spirit and Tecumseh formed a confederation of numerous tribes to block American expansion. The British saw the Native American nations as valuable allies and a buffer to its Canadian colonies, attacks on American settlers in the Northwest further aggravated tensions between Britain and the United States. The Confederations raids hindered American access to potentially valuable farmlands, mineral deposits, in 1810, as a result of a long running feud, Captain Whistler and other senior officers at Fort Dearborn were removed. Whistler was replaced by Captain Nathan Heald, who had stationed at Fort Wayne. Heald was dissatisfied with his new posting and immediately applied for a leave of absence to spend the winter in Massachusetts. On his return journey to Chicago, he visited Kentucky, where he married Rebekah Wells, the daughter of Samuel Wells, as the United States and Britain moved towards war, antipathy between the settlers and Native Americans in the Chicago area increased.
In the summer of 1811, British emissaries tried to enlist the support of Native Americans in the region, on April 6,1812, a band of Winnebago Indians murdered Liberty White, an American, and John B. Cardin, a French Canadian, at a farm called Hardscrabble that was located on the branch of the Chicago River. News of the murder was carried to Fort Dearborn by a soldier of the garrison named John Kelso, following the murder, some residents of Chicago moved into the fort while the rest fortified themselves in a house that had belonged to Charles Jouett, a Native American agent. Fifteen men from the population were organized into a militia by Captain Heald. On June 18,1812, the United States declared war on the British Empire, Hull sent a copy of these orders to Fort Wayne with additional instructions to provide Heald with all the information and assistance within their power
Siege of Fort Meigs
The Siege of Fort Meigs took place during the War of 1812, in northwestern Ohio. A small British army with support from Indians attempted to capture the recently constructed fort to forestall an American offensive against Detroit, an American sortie and relief attempt failed with heavy casualties, but the British failed to capture the fort and were forced to raise the siege. In the early days of the War of 1812, an American Army under Brigadier General William Hull surrendered following the Siege of Detroit, to recover Detroit, the Americans formed the Army of the Northwest. Brigadier General James Winchester briefly commanded the Army before William Henry Harrison was commissioned Major General in the regular United States Army, Harrisons advance was hampered by bad weather and shortage of supplies. On 22 January 1813, the detachment of his army was defeated at the Battle of Frenchtown. Two of the most important were Fort Meigs on the Maumee River, Harrison descended the Maumee to the site of Fort Meigs with an army which ultimately numbered 4,000 men and began construction of the fort on 1 February 1813.
He found the officer he had left in charge, Joel B, had left with all his men because the enlistment period of the militia units assigned to the task had expired. Construction had halted, and the wood that had cut was being used as firewood. As the enlistments of Harrisons Ohio and Kentucky militia were about to expire, Harrison disbanded his force and departed for Cincinnati, Ohio and he left Engineer Major Eleazer D. Wood to complete the construction of the fort. The fort was on the bank of the Maumee, near the Miami Rapids. Across the river were the ruins of the old British Fort Miami, Fort Meigs occupied an area of 8 acres, the largest constructed in North America to that date. The perimeter consisted of a picket fence, linking eight blockhouses. The north face was protected by the Maumee, and the east and west faces by ravines, the south face was cleared of all timber to create an open glacis. The poor weather of early spring prevented a British attack while the fort was still vulnerable, instead, he decided upon an attack on Fort Meigs, to disrupt American preparations for a summer campaign and hopefully capture supplies.
Harrison received word of Procters preparations, and hastened down the Maumee with 300 reinforcements and he had persuaded Isaac Shelby, the Governor of Kentucky, to call up a brigade of 1,200 Kentucky militia under Brigadier General Green Clay. Clays brigade followed Harrison down the Maumee, but had not reached the fort before it was besieged, Procters force disembarked at the mouth of the Maumee on 26 April. His force consisted of 31 men of the Royal Artillery,423 men of the 41st Regiment of Foot,63 men of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment,16 men from other units, and 462 Canadian militia. He had roughly 1,250 Native American warriors led by Shawnee chief Tecumseh and his artillery consisted of two 24-pounder guns which had been captured at Detroit, nine lighter guns and two gunboats mounting 9-pounder guns
Forty-eight of the fifty states and the federal district are contiguous and located in North America between Canada and Mexico. The state of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east, the state of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean, the geography and wildlife of the country are extremely diverse. At 3.8 million square miles and with over 324 million people, the United States is the worlds third- or fourth-largest country by area, third-largest by land area. It is one of the worlds most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, paleo-Indians migrated from Asia to the North American mainland at least 15,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century, the United States emerged from 13 British colonies along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the following the Seven Years War led to the American Revolution. On July 4,1776, during the course of the American Revolutionary War, the war ended in 1783 with recognition of the independence of the United States by Great Britain, representing the first successful war of independence against a European power.
The current constitution was adopted in 1788, after the Articles of Confederation, the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, were ratified in 1791 and designed to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties. During the second half of the 19th century, the American Civil War led to the end of slavery in the country. By the end of century, the United States extended into the Pacific Ocean. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the status as a global military power. The end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the sole superpower. The U. S. is a member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States. The United States is a developed country, with the worlds largest economy by nominal GDP. It ranks highly in several measures of performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP. While the U. S. economy is considered post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge economy, the United States is a prominent political and cultural force internationally, and a leader in scientific research and technological innovations.
In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America after the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci
Battle of the Mississinewa
The site is near the city of Marion, Indiana. Today, the location is the site of Mississinewa 1812, the largest War of 1812 reenactment in the United States, the annual festival draws thousands of visitors from all over the world. In 2004, a memorial was unveiled and is currently on display near the Mississinewa River in downtown Marion. After receiving permission from Secretary of War William Eustis, Harrison ordered Lieutenant Colonel John B, Campbell to lead an expedition into Indiana. Campbells objective was to destroy the Miami villages along the Mississinewa River, if possible, he was to avoid harm to Miami chiefs Pacanne, Jean Baptiste Richardville, White Loon, or Lenape Chief Silver Heel. Campbells force of 600 mounted troops departed from Fort Greenville on December 14 and traveled 80 miles and reached Silver Heels village on December 17, the mounted force moved down the Mississinewa River, attacking at least two Miami villages. The Indians were taken by surprise and had not evacuated, a large number of Miami were killed, and 76 were taken prisoner, including 34 women and children.
Later that day, having accomplished his objective, Campbell considered returning to Fort Greenville on account of severe frostbite among his troops, the next morning, December 18, as Campbell returned to Silver Heels village, a sizeable Native American force counterattacked. The American Indians were outnumbered, but fought fiercely to rescue the villagers being held by Campbell. A joint cavalry charge led by Major James McDowell and Captains Trotter, the American loss was 8 killed and 48 wounded. Campbell claimed that 8 Indians were killed on December 17 and that at least 30 were killed on December 18,8 warriors and thirty-four women and children were captured. One of the villagers told Campbell that Tecumseh was nearby and was coming with hundreds of men, so Campbell began the return march to Fort Greenville. An entire regiment, under Colonel Simrale, was disbanded due to frostbite, the Indian force was only concerned with protecting their lives and winter food supplies. In order to ensure this, they needed to stop Cambells expedition and force it to return to its base, Harrison received approval and appointed Campbell a full colonel in the Regular Army.
Harrison ordered another attack on the Mississinewa villages the following July, although crops and houses were again destroyed, the Miami had evacuated and escaped further casualties. Three active battalions of the Regular Army perpetuate the lineages of the old 19th Infantry Regiment, list of battles fought in Indiana Allison, Harold. The Tragic Saga of the Indiana Indians, the War of 1812 in the Old Northwest. East Lansing, MI, The Michigan State University Press, the Miami Indians of Indiana, A Persistent People
The Shawnee are an Algonquian-speaking ethnic group indigenous to North America. Pushed west by European-American pressure, the Shawnee migrated to Missouri and Kansas, Other Shawnee did not remove to Oklahoma until after the Civil War. The Shawnee language, an Algonquian language, was spoken by 200 people in 2002, the language is written in the Latin script. It has a dictionary and portions of the Bible were translated into Shawnee, some scholars believe that the Shawnee are descendants of the people of the precontact Fort Ancient culture of the Ohio region, although this is not universally accepted. Fort Ancient culture flourished from 1000 to 1650 CE among a people who predominantly inhabited lands along the Ohio River in areas of southern Ohio, northern Kentucky, Fort Ancient culture was once thought to have been an extension of the Mississippian culture. But, scholars now believe Fort Ancient culture developed independently and was descended from the Hopewell culture, uncertainty surrounds the fate of the Fort Ancient people.
There is a gap in the record between the most recent Fort Ancient sites and the oldest sites of the Shawnee. The latter were recorded by European explorers as occupying this area at the time of encounter, the Shawnee traditionally considered the Lenape of the East Coast mid-Atlantic region, who were Algonquian speaking, as their grandfathers. The Algonquian nations of present-day Canada regarded the US Shawnee as their southernmost branch, along the East Coast, the Algonquian-speaking tribes were mostly located in coastal areas, from Quebec to the Carolinas. Algonquian languages have similar to the archaic shawano meaning south. However, the stem šawa- does not mean south in Shawnee, in one Shawnee tale, Sawage is the deity of the south wind. Curtin translates Sawage as it thaws, referring to the weather of the south. šaawaki is attested as the spirit of the South, or the South Wind, in account, in one of Voegelins tales. Europeans reported encountering Shawnee over a geographic area. One of the earliest mentions of the Shawnee may be a 1614 Dutch map showing some Sawwanew located just east of the Delaware River, 17th-century Dutch sources place them in this general location.
Accounts by French explorers in the same century usually located the Shawnee along the Ohio River, where the French encountered them on forays from eastern Canada, a Shawnee town might have from forty to one hundred bark-covered houses similar in construction to Iroquois longhouses. Each village usually had a house or council house, perhaps sixty to ninety feet long. According to one European legend, some Shawnee were descended from a party sent by Chief Opechancanough, ruler of the Powhatan Confederacy 1618–1644, the party was led by his son, Sheewa-a-nee
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was established as a sovereign state on 1 January 1801 by the Acts of Union 1800, which merged the kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland. The growing desire for an Irish Republic led to the Irish War of Independence, Northern Ireland remained part of the United Kingdom, and the state was consequently renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Britain financed the European coalition that defeated France in 1815 in the Napoleonic Wars, the British Empire thereby became the foremost world power for the next century. The Crimean War with Russia and the Boer wars were relatively small operations in a largely peaceful century, rapid industrialisation that began in the decades prior to the states formation continued up until the mid-19th century. A devastating famine, exacerbated by government inaction in the century, led to demographic collapse in much of Ireland. It was an era of economic modernization and growth of industry and finance.
Outward migration was heavy to the colonies and to the United States. Britain built up a large British Empire in Africa and Asia, India, by far the most important possession, saw a short-lived revolt in 1857. In foreign policy Britain favoured free trade, which enabled its financiers and merchants to operate successfully in many otherwise independent countries, as in South America. Britain formed no permanent military alliances until the early 20th century, when it began to cooperate with Japan and Russia, and moved closer to the United States. A brief period of limited independence for Ireland came to an end following the Irish Rebellion of 1798, the British governments fear of an independent Ireland siding against them with the French resulted in the decision to unite the two countries. This was brought about by legislation in the parliaments of both kingdoms and came into effect on 1 January 1801, King George III was bitterly opposed to any such Emancipation and succeeded in defeating his governments attempts to introduce it.
When the Treaty of Amiens ended the war, Britain agreed to return most of the territories it had seized, in May 1803, war was declared again. In 1806, Napoleon issued the series of Berlin Decrees, which brought into effect the Continental System and this policy aimed to eliminate the threat from the British by closing French-controlled territory to foreign trade. Frances population and agricultural capacity far outstripped that of the British Isles, Napoleon expected that cutting Britain off from the European mainland would end its economic hegemony. The Spanish uprising in 1808 at last permitted Britain to gain a foothold on the Continent, after Napoleons surrender and exile to the island of Elba, peace appeared to have returned. The Allies united and the armies of Wellington and Blucher defeated Napoleon once, simultaneous with the Napoleonic Wars, trade disputes, arming hostile Indians and British impressment of American sailors led to the War of 1812 with the United States. The war was little noticed in Britain, which could devote few resources to the conflict until the fall of Napoleon in 1814, American frigates inflicted a series of defeats on the Royal Navy, which was short on manpower due to the conflict in Europe