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Mr. Madison’s War. A Dispassionate Inquiry into the Reasons Alleged by Mr. Madison for Declaring an Offensive and Ruinous War Against Great Britain. Together with some Suggestions as to a Peaceable andConstitutional Mode of Averting Dreadful Calamity. By
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Severely critical of the War of 1812, John Lowell, “A New England Farmer,” questions the Madison administration’s true motives for declaring war on Great Britain. He sees this war as a secret understanding between the American government and France, designed to further the interests of Napoleon. Lowell also criticizes the government’s lack of preparedness for war. The relationship between the United States and Great Britain had been strained for years preceding the opening of hostilities why, then, Lowell asks, was the country so unprepared for war? In response to these government “errors,” Lowell proposes a “legal and constitutional” plan the citizens of the United States should instead take.
This pamphlet was a direct response to President Madison’s message to Congress justifying the declaration of an offensive war against Great Britain. Like Lowell, many New Englanders openly opposed the war, speaking out through broadsides and pamphlets, and in some areas, continuing to trade directly with the British.
John Lowell, known among his family as “the Boston rebel” and “the Roxbury farmer,” was a Harvard-trained Massachusetts lawyer. After his retirement from law in 1803, he turned his interests to agriculture and became a farmer. A staunch member of the Federalist Party, Lowell wrote several pamphlets, many on his opposition of the French influence, amongst other important political topics.
Text © 2010 USS Constitution Museum
A 9.125″ by 5.75″ 72-page string-bound pamphlet. The paper is brown with age; the edges are tattered, some torn, with staining throughout and water damage on some of the pages. There is a hole punched into the front of the cover in the bottom right corner, and has handwriting in pencil on the cover.
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