When the War of 1812 opened there were fully 600 seamen in the city, practically all of whom were engaged in privateering or in the regular naval service of the United States.
Though privateering was carried on by the French with daring and a considerable measure of success, it did not put an appreciable check on the growth of British merchant shipping.
The rupture between Great Britain and the United States in 1812 caused privateering to be resumed, the trade of the colony being thereby almost destroyed.
Newport became the centre of an extensive business in piracy, privateering, smuggling, and legitimate trade.
Now the French fleet was definitely destroyed, and though a destructive privateering warfare continued, England was no longer in danger of invasion.