Vermonters reluctantly supported the War of 1812. The federal trade embargoes stopped all legal trade with Canada, stunting Vermont’s commerce. War with Great Britain made Vermont a battle zone, with the Champlain Valley a familiar battlefield. Political parties again were split, with Jeffersonian Republicans in favor of war, and Federalists in opposition.
Vermont’s governor, Federalist Martin Chittenden, Thomas’s son, caused a stir when he recalled the Vermont militia from New York in 1813, where it was supporting federal troops. He believed the militia was needed in Vermont. The militia officers refused Chittenden’s order to return immediately, stating that they were needed to defend the Union, and criticized Chittenden for playing politics. The Vermont militia returned to New York in 1814 and played a key role in America’s victory at the Battle of Plattsburgh. Chittenden lost his bid for reelection.
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