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In the frigate H. Leopard fired on the U. Navy frigate Chesapeake and seized four sailors, three of them U. London eventually apologized for this incident, but it came close to causing war at the time. Jefferson, however, chose to exert economic pressure against Britain and France by pushing Congress in December to pass the Embargo Act , which forbade all export shipping from U.

In August , Napoleon insinuated that he would exempt American shipping from the Berlin and Milan decrees. Although the British demonstrated that French restrictions continued, U. James Madison reinstated nonintercourse against Britain in November , thereby moving one step closer to war. British manufacturing and shipping interests demanded that the Royal Navy promote and sustain British trade against Yankee competitors. The policy born of that attitude convinced many Americans that they were being consigned to a de facto colonial status.

Events on the U. Indian fears over American encroachment coincidentally became conspicuous as Anglo-American tensions grew. Shawnee brothers Tecumseh and Tenskwatawa The Prophet attracted followers arising from this discontent and attempted to form an Indian confederation to counteract American expansion. Although Maj. Isaac Brock , the British commander of Upper Canada modern Ontario , had orders to avoid worsening American frontier problems, American settlers blamed British intrigue for heightened tensions with Indians in the Northwest Territory.

As war loomed, Brock sought to augment his meagre regular and Canadian militia forces with Indian allies, which was enough to confirm the worst fears of American settlers. Meanwhile, Canadians suspected that American expansionists were using Indian unrest as an excuse for a war of conquest. Under increasing pressure, Madison summoned the U. Congress into session in November Madison sent a war message to the U. Congress on June 1, , and signed the declaration of war on June 18, The vote seriously divided the House 79—49 and was gravely close in the Senate 19— Because seafaring New Englanders opposed the war, while westerners and southerners supported it, Federalists accused war advocates of expansionism under the ruse of protecting American maritime rights.

Expansionism, however, was not as much a motive as was the desire to defend American honour. The United States attacked Canada because it was British, but no widespread aspiration existed to incorporate the region. Furthermore, British commercial restrictions hurt American farmers by barring their produce from Europe. Regions seemingly removed from maritime concerns held a material interest in protecting neutral shipping. The onset of war both surprised and chagrined the British government, especially because it was preoccupied with the fight against France.

In addition, political changes in Britain had already moved the government to assume a conciliatory posture toward the United States. British West Indies planters had been complaining for years about the interdiction of U. On June 16, two days before the United States declared war, the Orders were suspended. War of United Kingdom-United States history. Written By: Jeanne T. Heidler David S. Top Questions. Read more below: Major causes of the war. Read more below: Final stages of the war and the aftermath. Battle of New Orleans.

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Read more below: War. The Prophet. Treaty of Ghent. Decatur gave unreliable accounts of the battle stating that President was already "severely damaged" by a grounding before the engagement, but undamaged after the engagement with Endymion. He stated Pomone caused "significant" losses aboard President , although President ' s crew claim they were below deck gathering their belongings as they had already surrendered. Despite saying "I surrender my ship to the captain of the black frigate", Decatur also writes that he said, "I surrender to the squadron".

Nevertheless, many historians such as Ian Toll, Theodore Roosevelt , and William James quote Decatur's remarks to either enforce that Endymion alone took President or that President surrendered to the whole squadron, when actually it was something in-between. Success in single ship battles raised American morale after the repeated failed invasion attempts in Upper and Lower Canada. However, these victories had no military effect on the war at sea as they did not alter the balance of naval power, impede British supplies and reinforcements, or even raise insurance rates for British trade.

The operations of American privateers proved a more significant threat to British trade than the U. They operated throughout the Atlantic and continued until the close of the war, most notably from ports such as Baltimore. American privateers reported taking British merchant vessels, compared to taken by the U. Navy, [] [] [] although the insurer Lloyd's of London reported that only 1, British ships were taken, of which were recaptured, for a total loss of Due to the massive size of the British merchant fleet, American captures only affected 7.

Due to the large size of their navy, the British did not rely as much on privateering. The majority of the 1, captured American merchant ships were taken by the Royal Navy. The war was the last time the British allowed privateering, since the practice was coming to be seen as politically inexpedient and of diminishing value in maintaining its naval supremacy. However privateering remained popular in British colonies.

It was the last hurrah for privateers in Bermuda who vigorously returned to the practice after experience in previous wars. Privateer schooners based in British North America , especially from Nova Scotia took American ships and proved especially effective in crippling American coastal trade and capturing American ships closer to shore than the Royal Navy cruisers. The naval blockade of the United States began informally in and expanded to cut off more ports as the war progressed.

The British government, having need of American foodstuffs for its army in Spain, benefited from the willingness of the New Englanders to trade with them, so no blockade of New England was at first attempted. Illicit trade was carried on by collusive captures arranged between American traders and British officers.

American ships were fraudulently transferred to neutral flags. Eventually, the U. The overpowering strength of the British fleet enabled it to occupy the Chesapeake and to attack and destroy numerous docks and harbours.


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The blockade of American ports later tightened to the extent that most American merchant ships and naval vessels were confined to port. Others, mainly from New England, were issued licences to trade by Admiral Sir John Borlase Warren , commander in chief on the American station in This allowed Wellington's army in Spain to receive American goods and to maintain the New Englanders' opposition to the war. Most of these were food exports that ironically went to supply their enemies in Britain or British colonies. As the Royal Navy base that supervised the blockade, Halifax profited greatly during the war.

From that base British privateers seized many French and American ships and sold their prizes in Halifax. The British Royal Navy's blockades and raids allowed about 4, African Americans to escape slavery by fleeing American plantations to find freedom aboard British ships, migrants known, as regards those who settled in Canada, as the Black Refugees. The blockading British fleet in Chesapeake Bay received increasing numbers of enslaved black Americans during By British government order they were treated as free persons when reaching British hands.

About 2, of the escaped slaves and their families who were carried on ships of the Royal Navy following their escape settled in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick during and after the war. From May , younger men among the volunteers were recruited into a new Corps of Colonial Marines.

They fought for Britain throughout the Atlantic campaign, including the Battle of Bladensburg and the attacks on Washington, D. The slaves who escaped to the British represented the largest emancipation of African Americans before the American Civil War. Maine, then part of Massachusetts, was a base for smuggling and illegal trade between the U. Until the region was generally quiet except for privateer actions near the coast. In September , there was a notable naval action when the U.

In 26 days, he raided and looted Hampden , Bangor , and Machias , destroying or capturing 17 American ships. He won the Battle of Hampden losing two killed while the Americans lost one killed. Retreating American forces were forced to destroy the frigate Adams. The British occupied the town of Castine and most of eastern Maine for the rest of the war, re-establishing the colony of New Ireland. On July 4, , Commodore Joshua Barney , a Revolutionary War naval hero, convinced the Navy Department to build the Chesapeake Bay Flotilla , a squadron of twenty barges powered by small sails or oars sweeps to defend the Chesapeake Bay.

Launched in April , the squadron was quickly cornered in the Patuxent River , and while successful in harassing the Royal Navy, they were powerless to stop the British campaign that ultimately led to the " Burning of Washington ". This expedition, led by Cockburn and General Robert Ross , was carried out between August 19 and 29, , as the result of the hardened British policy of As part of this, Admiral Warren had been replaced as commander in chief by Admiral Alexander Cochrane, with reinforcements and orders to coerce the Americans into a favourable peace.

Released from the Peninsular War by victory, the British intended to use them for diversionary raids along the coasts of Maryland and Virginia. On August 24, U. Secretary of War John Armstrong Jr. The inexperienced state militia was easily routed in the Battle of Bladensburg, opening the route to Washington. American morale was challenged, and many Federalists swung around and rallied to a patriotic defense of their homeland. The British moved on to their major target, the heavily fortified major city of Baltimore. They delayed their movement allowing Baltimore an opportunity to strengthen the fortifications and bring in new federal troops and state militia units.

The " Battle for Baltimore " began with the British landing on September 12, , at North Point , where they were met by American militia further up the "Patapsco Neck" peninsula. An exchange of fire began, with casualties on both sides. The British Army commander Major Gen. Robert Ross was killed by snipers. The British paused, then continued to march northwestward to face the stationed Maryland and Baltimore City militia units at "Godly Wood.

The British also planned to simultaneously attack Baltimore by water on the following day, September 13, to support their military facing the massed, heavily dug-in and fortified American units of approximately 15, with about a hundred cannon gathered along the eastern heights of the city named "Loudenschlager's Hill" later "Hampstead Hill" — now part of Patterson Park. The Baltimore defences had been planned in advance and overseen by the state militia commander, Maj.

Samuel Smith. The British naval guns, mortars and new " Congreve rockets " had a longer range than the American cannon onshore. The ships mostly stood out of range of the Americans, who returned very little fire. The fort was not heavily damaged except for a burst over a rear brickwall knocking out some fieldpieces but with few casualties. The British eventually realized that they could not force the passage to attack Baltimore in coordination with the land force.


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  5. A last ditch night feint and barge attack during a heavy rain storm was led by Capt. Charles Napier around the fort up the Middle Branch of the river to the west. Split and misdirected partly in the storm, it turned back after suffering heavy casualties from the alert gunners of Fort Covington and Battery Babcock. The British called off the attack and sailed downriver to pick up their army, which had retreated from the east side of Baltimore. All the lights were extinguished in Baltimore the night of the attack, and the fort was bombarded for 25 hours. The only light was given off by the exploding shells over Fort McHenry, illuminating the flag that was still flying over the fort.

    Because of the region's polyglot population, both the British and the Americans perceived the war in the Gulf South as a fundamentally different conflict from the one occurring in the Lowcountry and Chesapeake. Before , the war between the Creeks or Muscogee had been largely an internal affair sparked by the ideas of Tecumseh farther north in the Mississippi Valley. A faction known as the Red Sticks , so named for the colour of their war stics, had broken away from the rest of the Creek Confederacy, which wanted peace with the United States.

    The Red Sticks were allied with Tecumseh, who about a year before had visited the Creeks and encouraged greater resistance to the Americans. The Red Sticks, as well as many southern Muscogeean people like the Seminole , had a long history of alliance with the Spanish and British Empires. It prompted the state of Georgia as well as the Mississippi territory militia to immediately take major action against Creek offensives. The Lower Creek lived along the Chattahoochee River.

    The United States combined forces were large. At its peak the Red Stick faction had 4, warriors, only a quarter of whom had muskets. The attack on Fort Mimms resulted in the death of settlers and became an ideological rallying point for the Americans. The Indian frontier of western Georgia was the most vulnerable but was partially fortified already.

    From November to January , Georgia's militia and auxiliary Federal troops — from the Creek and Cherokee Indian nations and the states of North Carolina and South Carolina — organized the fortification of defences along the Chattahoochee River and expeditions into Upper Creek territory in present-day Alabama.

    The army, led by General John Floyd , went to the heart of the "Creek Holy Grounds" and won a major offensive against one of the largest Creek towns at Battle of Autosee , killing an estimated two hundred people. Jackson suffered enlistment problems in the winter. He decided to combine his force with that of the Georgia militia. However, from January 22—24, , while on their way, the Tennessee militia and allied Muscogee were attacked by the Red Sticks at the Battles of Emuckfaw and Enotachopo Creek.

    Jackson's troops repelled the attackers, but outnumbered, were forced to withdraw to his base at Fort Strother.

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    Jackson's force increased in numbers with the arrival of U. Army soldiers and a second draft of Tennessee state militia and Cherokee and Creek allies swelled his army to around 5, In March they moved south to attack the Creek. The most of western Georgia and part of Alabama was taken from the Creeks to pay for expenses borne by the United States. The Treaty also "demanded" that the "Red Stick" insurgents cease communicating with the Spanish or British, and only trade with U.

    The Creek promised to join any body of 'troops that should aid them in regaining their lands, and suggesting an attack on the tower off Mobile. Although he gave an angry reply to Jackson, Manrique was alarmed at the weak position he found himself in.

    American Wiseass: The War of 1812 - History

    He appealed to the British for help, with Woodbine arriving on July 28, and Nicolls arriving at Pensacola on August Captain William Percy tried to take the U. After the Americans repulsed Percy's forces, the British established a military presence of up to Marines at Pensacola. In November, Jackson's force of 4, men took the town. Jackson's army of 1, regulars and 3, to 4, militia, pirates and other fighters, as well as civilians and slaves built fortifications south of the city.

    At the end of , the British launched a double offensive in the South weeks before the Treaty of Ghent was signed. On the Atlantic coast, Admiral George Cockburn was to close the Intracoastal Waterway trade and land Royal Marine battalions to advance through Georgia to the western territories. The British suffered high casualties: dead, wounded, and captured or missing [] [] whereas American casualties were 13 dead, 39 wounded, and 19 missing. It was hailed as a great victory across the U.

    Philip endured ten days of bombardment from Royal Navy guns, which was a final attempt to invade Louisiana; British ships sailed away from the Mississippi River on January However, it was not until January 27, , that the army had completely rejoined the fleet, allowing for their departure. Tammany in a decisive victory. Under the orders of his commanding officers, Cockburn's forces relocated many refugee slaves, capturing St. Simons Island as well, to do so. During the invasion of the Georgia coast, an estimated 1, people chose to relocate in British territories or join the military.

    In mid-March, several days after being informed of the Treaty of Ghent, British ships finally left the area. By , both sides had either achieved their main war goals or were weary of a costly war that offered little but stalemate. They both sent delegations to a neutral site in Ghent, Flanders now part of Belgium. The negotiations began in early August and concluded on December 24, when a final agreement was signed; both sides had to ratify it before it could take effect. Meanwhile, both sides planned new invasions.

    In the British began blockading the United States, and brought the federal treasury to long delays in paying its bills, [] [] [] and forcing it to rely on loans for the rest of the war. American foreign trade was reduced to a trickle. The parlous American economy was thrown into chaos with prices soaring and unexpected shortages causing hardship in New England which was considering secession. Although American privateers found chances of success much reduced, with most British merchantmen now sailing in convoy, privateering continued to prove troublesome to the British, as shown by high insurance rates.

    At last in August , peace discussions began in the neutral city of Ghent. Both sides began negotiations warily. It was understood the British would sponsor this Indian state. The British strategy for decades had been to create a buffer state to block American expansion. Britain demanded naval control of the Great Lakes and access to the Mississippi River. The Americans refused to consider a buffer state and the proposal was dropped.

    American public opinion was outraged when Madison published the demands; even the Federalists were now willing to fight on. The British had planned three invasions. One force burned Washington but failed to capture Baltimore, and sailed away when its commander was killed. In northern New York State, 10, British veterans were marching south until a decisive defeat at the Battle of Plattsburgh forced them back to Canada.

    Wellington said that he would go to America but he believed he was needed in Europe. I think you have no right, from the state of war, to demand any concession of territory from America You have not been able to carry it into the enemy's territory, notwithstanding your military success and now undoubted military superiority, and have not even cleared your own territory on the point of attack.

    You cannot on any principle of equality in negotiation claim a cessation of territory except in exchange for other advantages which you have in your power Then if this reasoning be true, why stipulate for the uti possidetis? You can get no territory: indeed, the state of your military operations, however creditable, does not entitle you to demand any. The Prime Minister, Lord Liverpool, aware of growing opposition to wartime taxation and the demands of Liverpool and Bristol merchants to reopen trade with America, realized Britain also had little to gain and much to lose from prolonged warfare especially after the growing concern about the situation in Europe.

    The main focus on British foreign policy was the Congress of Vienna, during which British diplomats had clashed with Russian and Prussian diplomats over the terms of the peace with France, and there were fears at the Britain might have go to war with Russia and Prussia. Now each side was tired of the war.

    Export trade was all but paralyzed and after Napoleon fell in France was no longer an enemy of Britain, so the Royal Navy no longer needed to stop American shipments to France, and it no longer needed to impress more seamen. It had ended the practices that so angered the Americans in The British were preoccupied in rebuilding Europe after the apparent final defeat of Napoleon.

    British negotiators were urged by Lord Liverpool to offer a status quo and dropped their demands for the creation of an Indian barrier state, which was in any case hopeless after the collapse of Tecumseh's alliance. This allowed negotiations to resume at the end of October. British diplomats soon offered the status quo to the U. Prisoners were to be exchanged and captured slaves returned to the United States or paid for by Britain. At this point, the number of slaves was approximately 6, Britain eventually refused the demand, allowing many to either emigrate to Canada or Trinidad.

    On December 24, the diplomats had finished and signed the Treaty of Ghent. The treaty was ratified by the British three days later on December 27 [] and arrived in Washington on February 17, where it was quickly ratified and went into effect, thus finally ending the war. The terms called for all occupied territory to be returned, the prewar boundary between Canada and the United States to be restored, and the Americans were to gain fishing rights in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence.

    The Treaty of Ghent failed to secure official British acknowledgement of American maritime rights or ending impressment. However, in the century of peace until World War I these rights were not seriously violated. The defeat of Napoleon made irrelevant all of the naval issues over which the United States had fought. The Americans had achieved their goal of ending the Indian threat; furthermore the American armies had scored enough victories especially at New Orleans to satisfy honour and the sense of becoming fully independent from Britain. British losses in the war were about 1, killed in action and 3, wounded; [8] 3, British died from disease.

    American losses were 2, killed in action and 4, wounded. While the number of Americans who died from disease is not known, it is estimated that about 15, died from all causes directly related to the war. In addition, at least 3, American slaves escaped to the British lines. Many other slaves simply escaped in the chaos of war and achieved their freedom on their own.

    The British settled some of the newly freed slaves in Nova Scotia. In the United States, the economy grew every year —, despite a large loss of business by East Coast shipping interests. Per capita GDP grew at 2. Money that would have been spent on foreign trade was diverted to opening new factories, which were profitable since British factory-made products were not for sale.

    The Boston Manufacturing Company , built the first integrated spinning and weaving factory in the world at Waltham, Massachusetts, in Neither side lost territory in the war, [i] nor did the treaty that ended it address the original points of contention—and yet it changed much between the United States of America and Britain. The Treaty of Ghent established the status quo ante bellum ; that is, there were no territorial losses by either side. The issue of impressment was made moot when the Royal Navy, no longer needing sailors, stopped impressment after the defeat of Napoleon in spring ended the war.

    Napoleon unexpectedly returned in , after the final end of the war of The long-term results of the war were generally satisfactory to both sides. Except for occasional border disputes and some tensions during the American Civil War , relations between the U. Historian Troy Bickham argues that each participant defined success in a different way. The new American Republic could claim victory in the sense that its independence from London Was assured, and the Indian barrier to Westward expansion was removed. The memory of the conflict played a major role in helping to consolidate a Canadian national identity after The British retained Canada, but their attention was overwhelmingly devoted to celebrating the defeat of Napoleon.

    The general consensus is that the Native Americans were the big losers. It demilitarized the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain, where many British naval arrangements and forts still remained. The treaty laid the basis for a demilitarized boundary.

    Queenston Heights, October 13, 1812

    It remains in effect to this day. After two decades of intense warfare against France, Britain was in no mood to have more conflicts with the United States. Instead it focused on expanding the British Empire into India. Britain never seriously challenged the US over land claims after it had hoped to keep Texas Independent from the United States and had Some hopes of taking California from Mexico.

    From the s, as the United States emerged as the world's leading industrial power, Britain wanted American friendship in a hypothetical European war. Border adjustments between the U. Eastport , Massachusetts, was returned to the U. A border dispute along the Maine—New Brunswick border was settled by the Webster—Ashburton Treaty after the bloodless Aroostook War , and the border in the Oregon Country was settled by splitting the disputed area in half by the Oregon Treaty. A further dispute about the line of the border through the island in the Strait of Juan de Fuca resulted in another almost bloodless standoff in the Pig War of The line of the border was finally settled by an international arbitration commission in Bermuda had been largely left to the defences of its own militia and privateers before U.

    It originally was intended to be the winter headquarters of the North American Squadron, but the war saw it rise to a new prominence. As construction work progressed through the first half of the 19th century, Bermuda became the permanent naval headquarters in Western waters, housing the Admiralty and serving as a base and dockyard. The military garrison was built up to protect the naval establishment, heavily fortifying the archipelago that came to be described as the "Gibraltar of the West".

    Pro-British leaders demonstrated a strong hostility to American influences in western Canada Ontario after the war and shaped its policies, including a hostility to American-style republicanism. In the decades following the war, several projects were undertaken to improve the defence of the colonies against the United States. Additionally, work began on the Halifax Citadel to defend the port against foreign navies.

    From to , the Rideau Canal was built to provide a secure waterway not at risk from American cannon fire. The Native Americans allied to the British lost their cause. The British proposal to create a "neutral" Indian zone in the American West was rejected at the Ghent peace conference and never resurfaced. After the natives, who lost most of their fur-gathering territory, became an undesirable burden to British policymakers. The latter now looked to the United States for markets and raw materials.

    British agents in the field continued to meet regularly with their former American Indian partners, but they did not supply arms or encouragement and there were no American Indian campaigns to stop U. Abandoned by their powerful sponsor, American Great Lakes—area Indians ultimately migrated or reached accommodations with the American authorities and settlers.

    The war is seldom remembered in Great Britain.

    American History for Truthdiggers: The Forgotten and Peculiar War of 1812

    The massive ongoing conflict in Europe against the French Empire under Napoleon ensured that the British did not consider the War of against America as more than a sideshow. While the land campaigns had contributed to saving Canada, the Royal Navy had shut down American commerce, bottled up the U. Navy in port, and widely suppressed privateering. British businesses, some affected by rising insurance costs, were demanding peace so that trade could resume with the U.

    However, the two nations quickly resumed trade after the end of the war and, over time, a growing friendship. This was the principal rationale for Britain's long-term policy of rapprochement with the United States in the nineteenth century and explains why they were so often willing to sacrifice other imperial interests to keep the republic happy.

    The nation also gained a psychological sense of complete independence as people celebrated their "second war of independence". No longer questioning the need for a strong Navy, the U. Navy became the heroes of their generation in the U. Several war heroes used their fame to win election to national office. Andrew Jackson and William Henry Harrison both took advantage of their military successes to win the presidency, while Richard Mentor Johnson used his wartime exploits to help attain the vice presidency.

    During the war, New England states became increasingly frustrated over how the war was being conducted and how the conflict was affecting them. They complained that the U. The increased taxes, the British blockade, and the occupation of some of New England by enemy forces also agitated public opinion in the states. They did not call for secession but word of the angry anti-war resolutions appeared at the same time that peace was announced and the victory at New Orleans was known.

    The upshot was that the Federalists were permanently discredited and quickly disappeared as a major political force. This war enabled thousands of slaves to escape to British lines or ships for freedom, despite the difficulties. The planters' complacency about slave contentment was shocked at the sight of their slaves fleeing, risking so much to be free.

    After the decisive defeat of the Creek Indians at the battle of Horseshoe Bend in , some Creek warriors escaped to join the Seminole in Florida, who had been forming as an ethnic group since the late 18th century. The remaining Creek chiefs signed away about half their lands, comprising 23,, acres, covering much of southern Georgia and two thirds of modern Alabama.

    The Creek were separated from any future help from the Spanish in Florida, and from the Choctaw and Chickasaw to the west. During the war the United States seized Mobile, Alabama , which was a strategic location as it provided an oceanic outlet for export from the cotton lands to the north. Most were yet to be developed, but US control of this territory increased pressure on remaining Creek, as European Americans began to migrate in number into the area. Jackson invaded Florida in , demonstrating to Spain that it could no longer control that territory with a small force. Pratt concludes:.

    Thus indirectly the War of brought about the acquisition of Florida To both the Northwest and the South, therefore, the War of brought substantial benefits. It broke the power of the Creek Confederacy and opened to settlement a great province of the future Cotton Kingdom. During the 19th century, residents of both the United States and Canada widely believed that their own countries had won the war. Each young country saw its self-perceived victory, and settling of the border between them, as an important foundation of its growing nationhood.

    The British, on the other hand, who had been preoccupied by Napoleon's challenge in Europe, paid little attention to what was to them a peripheral and secondary dispute, a distraction from the principal task at hand. While American popular memory includes the British capture and the burning of Washington in August , [] which necessitated its extensive renovation, it focused on the victories at Baltimore, Plattsburg, and New Orleans to present the war as a successful effort to assert American national honour, the "second war of independence" in which the mighty British empire was humbled and humiliated.

    This interpretation of the war was and remains the dominant American view of the war. Americans also celebrated the successful American defence of Fort McHenry in September , which inspired the lyrics of what was adopted as the U. Navy became popular heroes, and commemorative plates were produced with the likenesses of Decatur, Issac Hull, and Charles Stewart on them, becoming popular items.

    Many of these plates were manufactured in England. The navy became a cherished institution, lauded for the victories that it won against all odds. Marines had acquired a well-deserved reputation as excellent marksmen, especially in ship-to-ship actions. In British North America, the War of was seen by Loyalists as a victory, as they had claimed they had successfully defended their country from an American takeover.

    Army had done poorly, on the whole, in several attempts to invade Canada, and the Canadians had fought bravely to defend their territory. But the British did not doubt that the thinly populated territory would remain vulnerable in a third war. By the 21st century it was a forgotten war in Britain, [] although still remembered in Canada, especially Ontario.

    Historians have differing and complex interpretations of the war. Neither side wanted to continue fighting since the main causes had disappeared and since there were no large lost territories for one side or the other to reclaim by force. Insofar as they see the war's resolution as allowing two centuries of peaceful and mutually beneficial intercourse between the U.

    These writers often add that the war could have been avoided in the first place by better diplomacy. It is seen as a mistake for everyone concerned because it was badly planned and marked by multiple fiascoes and failures on both sides, as shown especially by the repeated American failures to seize parts of Canada, and the failed British attack on New Orleans and upstate New York.

    However, other scholars hold that the war constituted a British victory and an American defeat. They argue that the British achieved their military objectives in by stopping the repeated American invasions of Canada and retaining their Canadian colonies. In contrast, they say, the Americans suffered a defeat when their armies failed to achieve their war goal of seizing part or all of Canada. Additionally, they argue the U. Even tied down by ongoing wars with Napoleonic France, the British had enough capable officers, well-trained men, and equipment to easily defeat a series of American invasions of Canada.

    In fact, in the opening salvos of the war, the American forces invading Upper Canada were pushed so far back that they ended up surrendering Michigan Territory. The difference between the two navies was even greater. While the Americans famously shockingly for contemporaries on both sides of the Atlantic bested British ships in some one-on-one actions at the war's start, the Royal Navy held supremacy throughout the war, blockading the U.

    Yet in late , the British offered surprisingly generous peace terms despite having amassed a large invasion force of veteran troops in Canada, naval supremacy in the Atlantic, an opponent that was effectively bankrupt, and an open secessionist movement in New England. He considers that the British offered the United States generous terms, in place of their initially harsh terms which included massive forfeiture of land to Canada and the American Indians , because the "reigning Liverpool ministry in Britain held a loose grip on power and feared the war-weary, tax-exhausted public".

    The war was also technically a British victory "because the United States failed to achieve the aims listed in its declaration of war". A second minority view is that both the U. Risjord argues that the main motivation was restoring the nation's honour in the face of relentless British aggression toward American neutral rights on the high seas, and in the Western lands.

    The results in terms of honour satisfied the War Hawks. Most Republicans thought it did. In the beginning they called the contest a 'second war of independence', and while Britain's maritime practices never truly threatened the Republic's independence, the war did in a broad sense vindicate U. But it ended in a draw on the battlefield. The lessons of the war were taken to heart. Anti-American feeling in Great Britain ran high for several years, but the United States were never again refused proper treatment as an independent power.

    American naval historian George C. Daughan argues that the US achieved enough of its war goals to claim a victorious result of the conflict, and subsequent impact it had on the negotiations in Ghent. Daughan uses official correspondences from President Madison to the delegates at Ghent strictly prohibiting negotiations with regards to maritime law, stating: []. Madison's latest dispatches [arrived July 25—27, ] permitted them [the delegates] to simply ignore the entire question of maritime rights.

    Free trade with liberated Europe had already been restored, and the Admiralty no longer needed impressment to man its warships. The president felt that with Europe at peace the issues of neutral trading rights and impressment could safely be set aside in the interests of obtaining peace Thus, from the start of the negotiations, the disagreements that started the war and sustained it were acknowledged by both parties to be no longer important. The British permanently stopped impressing Americans, although they never publicly rescinding the possibility of resuming that practice.

    The US delegates at the meeting understood it to be a dead issue after the surrender of Napoleon. Henry Clay wrote to the delegates in October , "for in our own country, my dear sir, at last must we conquer the peace. You have not been able to carry Why Stipulate for uti possidetis? He cites the Edinburgh Review , a British newspaper, who had remained silent about the war with America for two years, wrote "the British government had embarked on a war of conquest, after the American government had dropped its maritime demands, and the British had lost.

    It was folly to attempt to invade and conquer the United States. To do so would result in the same tragedy as the first war against them, and with the same result. Historians have different views on who won the War of , and there is an element of national bias to this. Only US historians follow the minority view that the US was the victorious party in the war.

    Historians generally agree that the real losers of the War of were the Indians called First Nations in Canada. Hickey says:. The big losers in the war were the Indians. As a proportion of their population, they had suffered the heaviest casualties. Worse, they were left without any reliable European allies in North America The crushing defeats at the Thames and Horseshoe Bend left them at the mercy of the Americans, hastening their confinement to reservations and the decline of their traditional way of life.

    Throughout the war the British had played on terror of the tomahawks and scalping knives of their Indian allies; it worked especially at Hull's surrender at Detroit. By Americans had killed Tecumseh and broken his coalition of tribes. Jackson then defeated the Creek in the Southwest. Historian John Sugden notes that in both theaters, the Indians' strength had been broken prior to the arrival of the major British forces in Notwithstanding the sympathy and support from commanders such as Brock, [k] Cochrane and Nicolls , the policymakers in London reneged in assisting the Indians, as making peace was a higher priority for the politicians.

    US History

    At the peace conference the British demanded an independent Indian state in the Midwest, but, although the British and their Indian allies maintained control over the territories in question i. The withdrawal of British protection gave the Americans a free hand, which resulted in the removal of most of the tribes to Indian Territory present-day Oklahoma. The Treaty of Ghent technically required the United States to cease hostilities and "forthwith to restore to such Tribes or Nations respectively all possessions, rights and privileges which they may have enjoyed, or been entitled to in "; the United States ignored this article of the treaty and proceeded to expand into this territory regardless; Britain was unwilling to provoke further war to enforce it.

    A shocked Henry Goulburn , one of the British negotiators at Ghent, remarked:. Till I came here, I had no idea of the fixed determination which there is in the heart of every American to extirpate the Indians and appropriate their territory. About half of the Creek territory was ceded to the United States, with no payment made to the Creeks. This was, in theory, invalidated by Article 9 of the Treaty of Ghent.

    Without this support, the Indians' lack of power was apparent and the stage was set for further incursions of territory by the United States in subsequent decades. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the British-American War from to For the Franco-Russian conflict, see French invasion of Russia.

    For other uses of this term, see War of disambiguation. Marines U. Navy and Revenue Cutter Service at war's start : Frigates: 12 Other vessels: 14 Privateers: ships [1] Indian allies: Choctaw unknown others [2]. Niagara Frontier. Old Northwest. Chesapeake campaign. Havre de Grace Craney Island St. Gulf Theater — Naval battles of the War of Main article: Origins of the War of See also: Canadian units of the War of This section contains weasel words : vague phrasing that often accompanies biased or unverifiable information.

    Such statements should be clarified or removed. June Declaration of War left and Issac Brock 's Proclamation in response to it right. See also: Timeline of the War of This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. June Learn how and when to remove this template message. Main article: Ohio in the War of Main article: Creek War. Main article: Treaty of Ghent. Main article: Results of the War of War of portal History of Canada portal. After this battle, most of the tribes abandoned their association with the British.

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