International disputes that end in war are not generally questions of absolute right and wrong. They may quite as well be questions of opposing rights. But, when there are rights on both sides; it is usually found that the side which takes the initiative is moved by its national desires as well as by its claims of right.
ndliness and hostility behind them while they were engaged with Napoleon in front. Yet they could hardly be described as anti-American; and they certainly had no wish to fight, still less to conquer, the United States. Canada did contain an anti-American element in the United Empire Loyalists, whom the American Revolution had driven from their homes. But her general wish was to be left in peace. Failing that, she was prepared for defence.
Anti-British feeling probably animated at least two-thirds of the American people on every question that caused international friction; and the Jeffersonian Democrats, who were in power, were anti-British to a man. So strong was this feeling among them that they continued to side with France even when she was under the military despotism of Napoleon. He was the arch-enemy of England in Europe. They were the arch-enemy of England in America. This alone was enough to overcome their natural repugnance to his autocratic ways. Their position towards the British was such th
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