Chapter

THE HEMP WAR OF 1812

NAPOLEON INVADES RUSSIA

This is a piece of history that you may have been a little bit hazy about when they taught it in school: You might well have asked, "What the heck were we fighting about, anyway?"

Here we present the events that led up to the Battle of New Orleans, which, due to slow communications, was actually fought on January 8, 1815, two weeks after the war had officially ended on December 24, 1814, by the signing of a peace treaty in Belgium.

TIME:

1700S AND EARLY 1800s

Cannabis hemp is, as it has been for thousands of years, the biggest business and most important industry on the planet. Its fiber (see chapter 2, "Uses") moves virtually all the world's shipping. The entire world's economy uses and depends upon thousands of different products from the marijuana plant.

1740 ON

Russia, because of its cheap slave/serf labor1, produces 80% of the western world's cannabis hemp and finished hemp products, and is, by far, the world's best-quality manufacturer of cannabis hemp for sails, rope, rigging, and nets.

Cannabis is Russia's number-one trading commodity - ahead of its furs, timber and iron.

1. Russia under the Czars' and Russian Orthodox Church's domination continued to have virtual slave/serf/peasant labor for making hemp until 1917. Cannabis is Russia's number one trading commodity ahead of its furs, timber, and iron.

1740 TO 1807

Great Britain buys 90% or more of its marine hemp from Russia; Britain's navy and world sea trade runs on Russian hemp; each British ship must replace 50 to 100 tons of hemp every year or two.

There is no substitute; flax sails, for example, unlike hemp sails, would start rotting in three months or less from salt air and spray!

1793 TO 1799 ON

The British nobility is hostile toward the new French government primarily because the British are afraid that the 1789-93 French Revolution of commoners could spread, and/or result in a French invasion of England and the loss of its Empire and, of course, its nobility's heads.

1803 TO 1814

Britain's navy blockades Napoleon's France, including Napoleon's allies on the Continent. Britain accomplishes the blockade of France by closing its (France's) English Channel and Atlantic (Bay of Biscay) ports with its navy; also, Britain controls absolute access to and from the Mediterranean and Atlantic, by virtue of its control of the straits of Gibraltar.

1798 TO 1812

The fledgling United States is officially "neutral" in the war between France and Britain. The United States even begins to solve its own foreign problems by sending its navy and marines (1801-1805) to the Mediterranean to stop Tripoli pirates and ransomers from collecting tribute from American Yankee traders operating in the area. "Millions for Defense not a penny for Tribute" was America's rallying cry, and the incident came to be memorialized in the second line of the Marine Corps' hymn: "To the shores of Tripoli."

Napoleon, needing money to press war with Great Britain and pursue control of the European continent, bargain-sells the Louisiana Territory to the United States for $15 million, or roughly two-and-a-half cents per acre.

This area is about one-third of what is now the 48 contiguous states.

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