War of 1812

Bri­tain & the United States fought a dra­matic but in­con­clu­sive con­flict that wit­nessed the burn­ing of Wash­ing­ton, DC & failed Amer­i­can in­va­sions of Canada

History of War - - CONTENTS -

Years of ten­sion caused this war be­tween Bri­tain and its Na­tive Amer­i­can al­lies and the USA

13 OC­TO­BER 1812 BAT­TLE OF QUEENSTON HEIGHTS

Bri­tish and Cana­dian mili­ti­a­men (along with First Na­tion al­lies) de­feat an in­vad­ing Amer­i­can army on the Ni­a­gara Es­carp­ment in the first ma­jor bat­tle of the war. The Amer­i­cans in­tend to in­vade Up­per Canada, but the bat­tle proves to the Bri­tish that the Cana­di­ans will re­sist a US oc­cu­pa­tion.

1803–1812 FROM PRESS GANGS TO WAR

Ten­sions build be­tween Bri­tain and the USA for al­most a decade. The

Bri­tish forcibly im­press Amer­i­can sailors to serve in the Royal Navy dur­ing the Napoleonic Wars, which the US gov­ern­ment stren­u­ously ob­jects to. After naval in­ci­dents and a failed US trade em­bargo on Bri­tain, Pres­i­dent James Madi­son de­clares war on 18 June 1812.

1812–14 AMER­I­CAN IN­VA­SIONS OF CANADA

The war is dom­i­nated by re­peated Amer­i­can in­va­sions of Canada. Although they achieve some suc­cesses and tem­po­rar­ily take some ter­ri­tory, the Amer­i­cans mostly suf­fer de­feats in sev­eral bat­tles and cam­paigns. The in­va­sions con­trib­ute to a grow­ing sense of Cana­dian na­tion­hood.

10 SEPTEM­BER–5 OC­TO­BER 1813 BAT­TLES OF LAKE ERIE & THE THAMES

The Amer­i­cans achieve their great­est suc­cesses against the Bri­tish and Cana­di­ans at two bat­tles within a month of each other. At Lake Erie, Com­modore Oliver Haz­ard Perry cap­tures six Royal Navy ships while the Bri­tish lose control of Western On­tario at the Bat­tle of the Thames. The Bat­tle of the Thames re­sults in the death of Te­cum­seh, a Shawnee chief who had waged war against the USA with a pow­er­ful Na­tive Amer­i­can con­fed­er­acy

24 AU­GUST 1814 BURN­ING OF WASH­ING­TON

After de­feat­ing the Amer­i­cans at the Bat­tle of Bladens­burg in Mary­land, a Bri­tish force marches on Wash­ing­ton, DC. and pro­ceeds to burn down build­ings, in­clud­ing the Capi­tol and the White House. A heavy thun­der­storm puts out the fires and the Bri­tish re­turn to their ships.

6–15 SEPTEM­BER 1814 BAT­TLES OF PLATTSBURGH & BAL­TI­MORE

The Amer­i­cans win two vic­to­ries in quick suc­ces­sion in New York and Mary­land against in­vad­ing Bri­tish forces. Both bat­tles see the de­feat of com­bined Bri­tish naval and army forces, and they with­draw from the US east coast.

24 DE­CEM­BER 1814–17 FE­BRU­ARY 1815 TREATY OF GHENT

This peace treaty ends hos­til­i­ties be­tween the United States and Bri­tain. The po­lit­i­cal sta­tus quo is re­stored and all con­quests are re­lin­quished on both sides. Dis­putes over ter­ri­to­rial bound­aries are de­ferred to joint com­mis­sions, and the war ef­fec­tively ends in a stale­mate.

8 JAN­UARY 1815 BAT­TLE OF NEW OR­LEANS

Although the Treaty of Ghent has been signed, the news does not reach Amer­ica for a month. In the in­terim, the Bri­tish in­vade Louisiana but are fa­mously de­feated by Brevet Ma­jor Gen­eral An­drew Jack­son at the Bat­tle of New Or­leans.

Although the Bri­tish won the Bat­tle of Queenston Heights, their com­man­der, Ma­jor Gen­eral Sir Isaac Brock, was mor­tally wounded. He ex­horted his troops for­ward, cry­ing, “Push on, brave York Vol­un­teers!”

James Madi­son had hopes to quickly con­quer Canada, but his op­ti­mism ul­ti­mately would prove to be mis­placed

A naval en­gage­ment on Lake Cham­plain dur­ing the Bat­tle of Plattsburgh. This clash is nick­named the ‘False Nile’ by the Bri­tish, in ref­er­ence to Ho­r­a­tio Nel­son’s great vic­tory

The Bat­tle of New Or­leans is a fed­eral hol­i­day in the USA, cel­e­brated with songs, films and a na­tional his­tor­i­cal park

The treaty be­ing signed in the Nether­lands, with the Amer­i­cans rep­re­sented by the fu­ture pres­i­dent John Quincy Adams

The Bri­tish at­tack on Wash­ing­ton re­mains the only oc­ca­sion where a for­eign power has cap­tured and oc­cu­pied the US cap­i­tal

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