Published on February 1, 2013 by Carol
The spread of white settlements in the Old Northwest generated tension with the native inhabitants. Opposition coalesced around the Shawnee chief Tecumseh and his brother, The Prophet.
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Congressional leaders voiced an increasing concern for frontier safety, in particular, John C. Calhoun of South Carolina and Henry Clay of Kentucky. Suspicions grew about British involvement in Canada and their encouragement of native resistance to American expansion. In 1811, William Henry Harrison led forces at the Battle of Tippecanoe, a victory that reduced the Native American threat in the Old Northwest, but did not remove the skilled leader Tecumseh. Animosity toward Britain persisted and war fever remained undiminished.
Interaction among American settlers, native inhabitants and British influence led to a sharpening of sectional strife within the United States. The West was dominated by the War Hawks, but New England feared that war with Britain would destroy their commercial relationships and ruin their economy.