The War of 1812 (America at War)

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The first major battles of the war occurred in The United States had hoped to invade Canada in , but British soldiers successfully rebuffed the assault. However, America did have some important victories the following year. Tecumseh died in the battle.

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In , despite a great naval victory at the Battle of Lake Champlain, the war turned against the Americans. A British army captured and held Washington, D.

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Before the British evacuated the city, they set fire to several of the buildings, including the White House. By late , both the Americans and the British were ready to conclude the war. The two sides signed the Treaty of Ghent on December 24, Before news of the peace treaty reached America, one final battle, the Battle of New Orleans, which resulted in an American victory, occurred in January Most Ohioans actively supported the American war effort.

These British soldiers also were trading guns with the Native Americans, helping the natives to resist the advance westward of white Americans. The United States' victory in the War of ended British support to the Native Americans and virtually ended the native threat to white Ohioans, allowing these Americans to fully settle Ohio without further opposition. No one like George Washington, Ulysses Grant, or Dwight Eisenhower emerged to put his stamp on the war and to carry the nation to victory.


Another reason for the obscurity of this war is that its causes are complex and little understood today. In contemporary parlance, the war was fought for "Free Trade and Sailors' Rights.

Moreover, the only way that the United States to strike at Great Britain was by attacking Canada, and that made it look like a war of territorial aggression. Even today Canadians are likely to see the war in this light, and who can blame them?

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A war fought to secure maritime rights by invading Canada strikes many people as curious. If the causes of the war are obscure, so too are the consequences. The United States has won most of its wars, often emerging with significant concessions from the enemy. But the War of was different. Far from bringing the enemy to terms, the nation was lucky to escape without making extensive concessions itself.

War of Causes and Definition | - HISTORY

The Treaty of Ghent which ended the conflict said nothing about the maritime issues that had caused the war and contained nothing to suggest that America had achieved its aims. Instead, it merely provided for returning to the status quo ante bellum — the state that had existed before the war. The prosecution of the war was marred by considerable bungling and mismanagement. This was partly due to the nature of the republic. The nation was too young and immature — and its government too feeble and inexperienced — to prosecute a major war efficiently.

Politics also played a part. Federalists vigorously opposed the conflict, and so too did some Republicans. Even those who supported the war feuded among themselves and never displayed the sort of patriotic enthusiasm that has been so evident in other American wars. The advocates of war appeared to support the conflict more with their heads than their hearts, and more with their hearts than their purses.

The 10 Things You Didn’t Know About the War of 1812

As a result, efforts to raise men and money lagged far behind need. Despite the bungling and half-hearted support that characterized this conflict, the War of was not without its stirring moments and splendid victories.

American success at the Thames in the Northwest, the victories at Chippewa and Fort Erie on the Niagara front, the rousing defense of Baltimore in the Chesapeake, and the crushing defeat of the British at New Orleans — all these showed that with proper leadership and training American fighting men could hold their own against the well-drilled and battle-hardened regulars of Great Britain. The war also produced its share of heroes—people whose reputations were enhanced by military or government service. Tompkins, John C.

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Calhoun, and Richard M. The war also gave a significant boost to the political or military careers of other men.

Indeed, for many young men on the make, the war offered an excellent launching pad for a career. In some ways, the War of looked more to the past than to the future.