Learning From a Forgotten War
Biggest Lessons Of The War of 1812: Why Divided Houses Can’t Stand
Feb 21, 2009
Even though the United States was fortunate to earn a draw against Great Britain in the War of 1812, it showed what it could do … and what it could have done.
Few Americans or Britons remember much about the War of 1812. Those few who studied it may not even agree about the ultimate outcome of the war. However, the United States showed flashes of what it could have accomplished had it truly been prepared to fight.
U.S. has a lot of catching up to do in War of 1812 bicentennial
Staff Reports Niagara Gazette Feb 09, 2012
NIAGARA FALLS — Almost 200 years after President Madison declared the War of 1812 there is a distinct lack of interest on this side of the border in commemorating that milestone.
At a glance, the federal government in Canada is committing nearly $29 million toward the anniversary for everything from colorful pageants and giant fireworks displays to monuments, themed license plates and new buildings like the addition to the Niagara Falls, Ont., Historical Society.
Meanwhile, on this side of the border where a number of major events unfolded, there is now mostly token recognition — in the words of some historians — of our “Second War of Independence.”
Two New York governors — David A. Paterson and Andrew M. Cuomo — have vetoed any legislation for creating a War of 1812 Commission.
1812: June 18, US Declaration of War against Great Britain
1815: February 16, President Madison ratifies Treaty of Ghent, War of 1812 officially ends.
June 18th, 1812, President James Madison and the United States Congress declared war on Great Britain. Battles raged throughout the continent for over two years before peace was negotiated.
For two and a half years, Americans fought Against the British, Canadian colonists, and native nations. In the years to come, the War of 1812 would be celebrated in some places and essentially forgotten in others. But it is a war worth remembering—a struggle that threatened the existence of Canada, then divided the United States so deeply that the nation almost broke apart. Some of its battles and heroes became legendary, yet its blunders and cowards were just as prominent. The film shows how the glories of war became enshrined in history – how failures are quickly forgotten – how inconvenient truths are ignored forever.
The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire. The Americans declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions due to Britain’s ongoing war with France, the impressment of American merchant sailors into the Royal Navy, British support of American Indian tribes against American expansion, and outrage over insults to national honor after humiliations on the high seas. Tied down in Europe until 1814, the British at first used defensive strategy, repelling multiple American invasions of the provinces of Upper and Lower Canada. However, the Americans gained control over Lake Erie in 1813, seized parts of western Ontario, and destroyed the dream of an Indian confederacy and an independent Indian state in the Midwest under British sponsorship. In the Southwest, General Andrew Jackson destroyed the military strength of the Creek nation at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814. With the defeat of Napoleon in 1814, the British adopted a more aggressive strategy, sending in three large invasion armies. The British victory at the Battle of Bladensburg in August 1814 allowed them to capture and burn Washington, D.C. American victories in September 1814 and January 1815 repulsed all three British invasions in New York, Baltimore and New Orleans.
The war was fought in three theaters. At sea, warships and privateers of both sides attacked each other’s merchant ships. The British blockaded the Atlantic coast of the U.S. and mounted large-scale raids in the later stages of the war. American successes at sea were characterized by single ship duels against British frigates, and combat against British provincial vessels on the Great Lakes, such as at the action on Lake Erie. Both land and naval battles were fought on the frontier, which ran along the Great Lakes and Saint Lawrence River. The South and the Gulf coast saw major land battles in which the American forces destroyed Britain’s Indian allies and repulsed the main British invasion force at New Orleans. Both sides invaded each other’s territory, but these invasions were unsuccessful or temporary. At the end of the war, both sides occupied parts of the other’s territory, but these areas were restored by the Treaty of Ghent.
In the United States, battles such as the Battle of New Orleans of 1815 and the Battle of Baltimore of 1814 (which inspired the lyrics of the United States national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner”) produced a sense of euphoria over a “second war of independence” against Britain. It ushered in an “Era of Good Feelings” in which partisan animosity nearly vanished. Canada also emerged from the war with a heightened sense of national feeling and solidarity, having repelled multiple American invasions. Battles such as the Battle of Queenston Heights and the Battle of Crysler’s Farm were used as such examples by Canadians. The war is scarcely remembered in Britain today, as it regarded the war as a sideshow to the much larger war against Napoleon raging in Europe; as such it welcomed an era of peaceful relations and trade with the United States.
The War of 1812, a war between the United States and the British Empire (particularly Great Britain and British North America), and Britain’s Indian allies, lasted from 1812 to 1815. It was fought chiefly on the Atlantic Ocean and on the land, coasts and waterways of North America.
(NOTE: What’s next, no bathroom breaks? The Conservative ideology will lead the USA back to the Great Depression, when workers had no rights, and what we take for granted today, like 5 day work week, 8 hour work day, sick time off so when you are too ill to work you don’t lose your job, etc… came about because the people of that time fought for it, much like the Occupy movement. except, many pro-worker people were targeted and killed off by owners of factories. Socialism is the only way to get their country back from Corporations, organizations, Churches, politicians and their friends.)
Lunch breaks on the chopping block – Bill would leave it up to employers
By Ray Duckler / Monitor columnist
February 8, 2012