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The War of 1812 (18 June 1812 – 17 February 1815) was a conflict fought by the
United States of America The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country in . It consists of 50 , a , five major , 326 , and some . At , it is the world's . The United States shares significan ...

United States of America
and its indigenous allies against
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Great Britain
and its allies in
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, with limited participation by
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Spain
in
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. It began when the US declared war on 18 June 1812 and although peace terms were agreed in the December 1814
Treaty of Ghent The Treaty of Ghent () was the peace treaty that ended the War of 1812 The War of 1812 (18 June 1812 – 17 February 1815) was a conflict fought by the United States of America and its Indigenous peoples of the Americas, indigenous allies agai ...
, did not officially end until ratified by
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Congress
on 17 February 1815. Tensions originated in long-standing differences over territorial expansion in
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North America
and British support for
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who opposed US colonial settlement in the
Northwest Territory The Northwest Territory, also known as the Old Northwest and formally known as the Territory Northwest of the River Ohio, was formed from unorganized western territory of the United States after the . Established in 1787 by the through the , ...

Northwest Territory
. These escalated in 1807 after the
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare Naval warfare is combat Combat ( French for ''fight'') is a purposeful violent conflict meant to physically harm or kill the opposition. Combat may be armed (using weapon A ...
began enforcing tighter restrictions on American trade with
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses ...
, exacerbated by the
impressment Impressment, colloquially "the press" or the "press gang", is the taking of men into a military or naval force by compulsion, with or without notice. European navies of several nations used forced recruitment by various means. The large size of ...
of men claimed as British subjects, even those with American citizenship certificates. Opinion was split on how to respond and although majorities in both
House A house is a single-unit residential building A building, or edifice, is a structure with a roof and walls standing more or less permanently in one place, such as a house A house is a single-unit residential building, which may range ...
and
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voted for war, they divided along strict party lines, with the
Democratic-Republican Party The Democratic-Republican Party, also referred to as the Jeffersonian Republican Party and known at the time under various other names, was an American political party founded by Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – J ...
in favour and the
Federalist Party The Federalist Party was the first political party in the United States American electoral politics has been dominated by two major political parties since shortly after the founding of the republic. Since the 1850s, they have been the Histo ...
against. News of British concessions made in an attempt to avoid war did not reach the US until late July, by which time the conflict was already underway. At sea, the far larger Royal Navy imposed an effective blockade on US maritime trade, while between 1812 to 1814 British regulars and colonial militia defeated a series of American attacks on
Upper Canada The Province of Upper Canada (french: link=no, province du Haut-Canada) was a part Part, parts or PART may refer to: People *Armi Pärt Armi Pärt (born 18 June 1991) is an Estonian handballer, playing in French D2 for Massy Essonne H ...
. This was balanced by the US winning control of the Northwest Territory with victories at
Lake Erie Lake Erie (; french: Lac Érié) is the fourth largest lake (by surface area) of the five Great Lakes in North America and the eleventh-largest globally. It is the southernmost, shallowest, and smallest by volume of the Great Lakes and theref ...
and the
Thames The River Thames ( ), known alternatively in parts as the River Isis, is a river that flows through southern England Southern England, or the South of England, also known as the South, is an area of England consisting of its southernm ...

Thames
in 1813. The abdication of
Napoleon Napoléon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French military and political leader. He rose to prominence during the French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) refers to the period that began with the Estates General o ...

Napoleon
in early 1814 allowed the British to send additional troops to North America and the Royal Navy to reinforce their blockade, crippling the American economy. In August 1814, negotiations began in
Ghent Ghent ( ; Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Du ...

Ghent
, with both sides wanting peace; the British economy had been severely impacted by the trade embargo, while in December Federalists convened the
Hartford Convention The Hartford Convention was a series of meetings from December 15, 1814 to January 5, 1815, in Hartford, Connecticut, United States, in which the New England Federalist Party met to discuss their grievances concerning the ongoing War of 1812 and t ...
to formalise their opposition to the war. In August 1814, British troops burned Washington, before American victories at
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and
Plattsburgh Plattsburgh is a city in and the county seat, seat of Clinton County, New York, United States. The population was 19,989 at the United States Census, 2010, 2010 census. The population of the unincorporated areas within the surrounding (and separ ...

Plattsburgh
in September ended fighting in the north. It continued in the
Southeastern United States The southeastern United States, also referred to as the American Southeast or simply the Southeast, is broadly the eastern portion of the southern United States The Southern United States, also referred to as the Southern States, the Ame ...
, where in late 1813 a
civil war A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine publis ...
had broken out between a
Creek A creek is a stream that is usually smaller than a river Creek may refer to: People * Muscogee, also known as Creek, Native Americans * Murder of Amber Creek, Amber Creek (1982–1997), American murder victim * Mitch Creek (born 1992), Austral ...
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supported by Spanish and British traders and those backed by the US. Supported by American
militia A militia () is generally an army An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" eminine, ground force or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on land. In the broadest sense, it is the land-b ...
under General
Andrew Jackson Andrew Jackson (March 15, 1767 – June 8, 1845) was an American lawyer, soldier, and statesman who served as the seventh president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of ...

Andrew Jackson
, they won a series of victories, culminating in the capture of
Pensacola Pensacola () is the westernmost city in the Florida Panhandle The Florida Panhandle (also West Florida and Northwest Florida) is the northwestern part of the U.S. state of Florida Florida is a U.S. state, state located in the Southeas ...
in November 1814. In early 1815, Jackson defeated a British attack on
New Orleans New Orleans (,New Orleans
, catapulting him to national celebrity and later victory in the 1828 United States presidential election. News of this success arrived in Washington at the same time as that of the signing of the Treaty of Ghent, which essentially restored the position to that prevailing before the war. While Britain insisted this included lands belonging to their Native American allies prior to 1811, Congress did not recognize them as independent nations and neither side sought to enforce this requirement.


Origin

Since the conclusion of the War of 1812, historians have long debated the relative weight of the multiple reasons underlying its origins. During the nineteenth century, historians generally concluded that war was declared largely over national honour, neutral maritime rights and the British seizure of neutral ships and their cargoes on the high seas. This theme was the basis of James Madison's war message to Congress on June 1, 1812. At the turn of the 20th century, much of the contemporary scholarship re-evaluated this explanation and began to focus more on non-maritime factors as significant contributing causes as well. However, historian Warren H. Goodman warns that too much focus on these ideas can be equally misleading. Historian Richard Maass argues that the
expansionist In expansionism, governments and states expand their territory, power, wealth or influence through economic growth Economic growth can be defined as the increase in the inflation-adjusted market value of the goods and services produced by an eco ...
theme is a myth that goes against the "relative consensus among experts that the primary U.S. objective was the repeal of British maritime restrictions". He says that scholars agree that the United States went to war "because six years of
economic sanctions Economic sanctions are commercial Commercial may refer to: * a dose of advertising conveyed through media (such as - for example - radio or television) ** Radio advertisement ** Television advertisement * (adjective for:) commerce, a system of ...
had failed to bring Britain to the negotiating table, and threatening the Royal Navy's Canadian supply base was their last hope". Maass agrees that expansionism might have tempted Americans on a theoretical level, but he finds that "leaders feared the domestic political consequences of doing so", particularly because such expansion "focused on sparsely populated western lands rather than the more populous eastern settlements". However, Maass accepts that many historians continue to believe that expansionism was a cause. Reginald Horsman sees expansionism as a secondary cause after maritime issues, noting that many historians have mistakenly rejected expansionism as a cause for the war. He notes that it was considered key to maintaining sectional balance between free and slave states thrown off by American settlement of the Louisiana Territory and widely supported by dozens of War Hawk congressmen such as
Henry Clay Henry Clay Sr. (April 12, 1777June 29, 1852) was an American attorney Attorney may refer to: Roles * Attorney at law, an official title of lawyers in some jurisdictions * Attorney general, the principal legal officer of (or advisor to) a gov ...

Henry Clay
,
Felix Grundy Felix Grundy (September 11, 1777 – December 19, 1840) was a congressman A Member of Congress (MOC) is a person who has been appointed or elected and inducted into an official body called a congress, typically to represent a particular co ...

Felix Grundy
, John Adams Harper and
Richard Mentor Johnson Richard Mentor Johnson (October 17, 1780 – November 19, 1850) was an American lawyer and politician who served as the ninth vice president of the United States A vice is a practice, behaviour, or Habit (psychology), habit generally con ...

Richard Mentor Johnson
, who voted for war with expansion as a key aim. However, Horsman states that in his view "the desire for Canada did not cause the War of 1812" and that "The United States did not declare war because it wanted to obtain Canada, but the acquisition of Canada was viewed as a major collateral benefit of the conflict". However, other historians believe that a desire to permanently annex Canada was a direct cause of the war. Carl Benn notes that the
War Hawks A war hawk, or simply hawk, is a term used in politics for someone who favors war or continuing to escalate an existing conflict as opposed to other solutions. War hawks are the opposite of dove Columbidae () is a bird Family (biology), fam ...
' desire to annex the Canadas was similar to the enthusiasm for the annexation of
Spanish Florida Spanish Florida ( es, La Florida) was the first major European land claim and attempted settlement in North America during the European Age of Discovery The Age of Discovery, or the Age of Exploration (sometimes also, particularly regionally, Age ...
by inhabitants of the American South as both expected war to facilitate expansion into long-desired lands and end support for hostile tribes ( Tecumseh's Confederacy in the North and the
Creek A creek is a stream that is usually smaller than a river Creek may refer to: People * Muscogee, also known as Creek, Native Americans * Murder of Amber Creek, Amber Creek (1982–1997), American murder victim * Mitch Creek (born 1992), Austral ...
in the South). Alan Taylor says that many
Democratic-Republican The Democratic-Republican Party, better known at the time under various other names, was an American political party founded by Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, diplomat, l ...
congressmen such as John Adams Harper, Richard Mentor Johnson and
Peter Buell Porter Peter Buell Porter (August 14, 1773 – March 20, 1844) was an United States of America, American lawyer, soldier and politician who served as United States Secretary of War from 1828 to 1829. Early life Peter Buell Porter was born on August 14, 1 ...

Peter Buell Porter
"longed to oust the British from the continent and to annex Canada". A few Southerners opposed this, fearing an imbalance of free and
slave state In the United States before 1865, a slave state was a state in which slavery and the slave trade were legal, while a free state was one in which they were not. Between 1812 and 1850, it was considered by the slave states to be politically im ...
s if Canada was annexed.
Anti-Catholicism Anti-Catholicism is hostility towards Catholics or opposition to the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Baptism (from ...

Anti-Catholicism
also caused many to oppose annexing the mainly Catholic Lower Canada, believing its French-speaking inhabitants unfit "for republican citizenship". Even major figures such as Henry Clay and
James Monroe James Monroe (; April 28, 1758July 4, 1831) was an American statesman, lawyer, diplomat and Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were credited with establishing a state. ...
expected to keep at least Upper Canada in an easy conquest. Notable American generals such as
William Hull William Hull (June 24, 1753 – November 29, 1825) was an American soldier and politician. He fought in the American Revolutionary War The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the Revolutionary War and the American War ...

William Hull
issued proclamations to Canadians during the war promising republican liberation through incorporation into the United States. General
Alexander Smyth Alexander Smyth (1765April 17, 1830) was an United States, American lawyer, soldier, and politician from Virginia. Smyth served in the Virginia Senate, Virginia House of Delegates, United States House of Representatives and as a General officer, ...

Alexander Smyth
similarly declared to his troops when they invaded Canada that "you will enter a country that is to become one of the United States. You will arrive among a people who are to become your fellow-citizens". However, a lack of clarity about American intentions undercut these appeals. David and Jeanne Heidler argue that "most historians agree that the War of 1812 was not caused by expansionism but instead reflected a real concern of American patriots to defend United States' neutral rights from the overbearing tyranny of the British Navy. That is not to say that expansionist aims would not potentially result from the war". However, they also argue otherwise, saying that "acquiring Canada would satisfy America's expansionist desires", also describing it as a key goal of western expansionists who, they argue, believed that "eliminating the British presence in Canada would best accomplish" their goal of halting British support for tribal raids. They argue that the "enduring debate" is over the relative importance of expansionism as a factor, and whether "expansionism played a greater role in causing the War of 1812 than American concern about protecting neutral maritime rights". In the 1960s, the work of Norman K. Risjord, Reginald Horsman, Bradford Perkins and Roger Brown established a new eastern maritime consensus. While these authors approached the origins of the war from many perspectives, they all conceded that British maritime policy was the principle cause of the war.


Honour and the "second war of independence"

As historian Norman K. Risjord notes, a powerful motivation for the Americans was their threatened sense of independence and the desire to uphold national honour in the face of what they considered British aggression and insults such as the ''Chesapeake''–''Leopard'' affair. writes: "The other war hawks spoke of the struggle with Britain as a second war of independence; ndrewJackson, who still bore scars from the first war of independence, held that view with special conviction. The approaching conflict was about violations of American rights, but it was also about vindication of American identity". Some Americans at the time and some historians since have called it a "Second War of Independence" for the United States. The young republic had been involved in several struggles to uphold what it regarded as their rights, and honour, as an independent nation. The
First Barbary War The First Barbary War (1801–1805), also known as the Tripolitan War and the Barbary Coast War, was the first of two Barbary Wars The Barbary Wars were a series of two wars fought by the United States, Sweden, and the Kingdom of Sicily agai ...
had resulted in an apparent victory but with the continued payment of ransoms. The
Quasi-War The Quasi-War (french: Quasi-guerre) was an undeclared naval war fought from 1798 to 1800 between the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country ...
against the French had involved single ship naval clashes over trade rights similar to the ones about to occur with Britain. Upholding national honour and being able to protect American rights was part of the background to the US political and diplomatic attitudes towards Britain in the early 1800s. At the same time, the British public were offended by what they considered insults, such as the ''Little Belt'' affair. This gave them a particular interest in capturing the American
flagship A flagship is a vessel used by the commanding officer The commanding officer (CO) or sometimes, if the incumbent is a general officer A general officer is an officer of high rank in the armies, and in some nations' air forces, spac ...
''
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'', an act that they successfully realized in 1815. They were also keen to maintain what they saw as their rights to stop and search neutral vessels as part of their war with France, and further ensure that their own commercial interests were protected.


Impressment, trade, and naval actions

Britain was the largest trading partner of the United States, receiving 80 percent of American
cotton Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber Fiber or fibre (from la, fibra, links=no) is a natural Nature, in the broadest sense, is the natural, physical, material world or universe The universe ( la, universus) is all of s ...

cotton
and 50 percent of all other American
export An export in international trade International trade is the exchange of capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase ...

export
s. The British public and press resented the growing mercantile and commercial competition. Historian Reginald Horsman states that "a large section of influential British opinion ..thought that the United States presented a threat to British maritime supremacy". During the
Seven Years' War The Seven Years' War (1756–1763) is widely considered to be the first global conflict in history, and was a struggle for world supremacy between Kingdom of Great Britain, Great Britain and Kingdom of France, France. In Europe, the conflict ar ...
, Britain introduced rules governing trade with their enemies. The
Rule of 1756 The Rule of 1756 or Rule of the War of 1756 was a policy of the Kingdom of Great Britain, and later the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland that was promulgated during the Seven Years' War (1756-1763). It ruled that Britain would not trade ...
, which the US had temporarily agreed to when signing the
Jay Treaty The Treaty of Amity, Commerce, and Navigation, Between His Britannic Majesty and the United States of America, commonly known as the Jay Treaty, and also as Jay's Treaty, was a 1794 treaty between the United States and Great Britain that averted ...
, stated that a neutral nation could not conduct trade with an enemy, if that trade was closed to them before hostilities had commenced. Since the beginning of Britain's war with France in 1793, the US merchant marine had been making a fortune continuing trading with both nations, America's share of trans-Atlantic trade growing from 250 thousand tons in 1790 to 981 thousand tons in 1810, in the process. Of particular concern to the British was the transport of goods from the French West Indies to France, something the US would have been unable to do, due to French rules, during times of peace. The United States' view was that the treaty they had signed violated its right to trade with others, and in order to circumvent the Rule of 1756, American ships would stop at a neutral port to unload and reload their cargo before continuing to France. These actions were challenged in the ''Essex'' case of 1805. In 1806, with parts of the Jay Treaty due to expire, a new agreement was sought. The
Monroe–Pinkney Treaty The Monroe–Pinkney Treaty was a treaty drawn up in 1806 by diplomats of the United States and Great Britain to renew the 1795 Jay Treaty. Since it was rejected by President Thomas Jefferson, it never took effect. The treaty was negotiated by the m ...
offered the US preferential trading rights, and would have settled most its issues with Britain but did not moderate the Rule of 1756 and only offered to exercise "extreme caution" and "immediate and prompt redress" with regard to impressment of Americans. Jefferson, who had specifically asked for these two points to be extirpated, refused to put the treaty before the senate. Later, in 1806, Napoleon's
Berlin Decree The Berlin Decree was issued in Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inhabitants, as of 31 December 2019 makes it the L ...
declared a blockade of the British Isles, forbade neutral vessels harbour in British ports and declared all British made goods carried on neutral ships lawful prizes of war. The British responded in 1807 with
Orders in Council An Order in Council is a type of legislation in many countries, especially the Commonwealth realm A Commonwealth realm is a sovereign state that has Elizabeth II as its monarch and head of state. Each realm functions as an independent state, ...
which similarly forbade any shipping to France. By 1807, when Napoleon introduced his
Milan Decree The Milan Decree was issued on 17 December 1807 by Napoleon I of France to enforce the 1806 Berlin Decree, which had initiated the Continental System, the basis for his plan to defeat the British by waging economic warfare. The Milan Decree stated ...
, declaring all ships touching at British ports to be legitimate prizes of war, it had become almost impossible for the US to remain neutral. Between 1804 and 1807, 731 American ships were seized by Britain or France for violation of one of the blockades, roughly two thirds by Britain. Since the Jay Treaty, France had also adopted an aggressive attitude to American neutrality. Whereas Britain, through a process known as pre-emption, compensated American ship owners for their losses, France did not. French frigates burned American grain ships heading for Britain and treated American sailors as prisoners of war. US–French relations had soured so much, that by 1812, Madison was also considering war with France. As a result of these increasing trade volumes during the
Napoleonic Wars The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major World war, global conflicts pitting the First French Empire, French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon, Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of Coalition forces of the Napoleonic W ...
the
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United States Merchant Marine
became the world's largest neutral shipping fleet. Between 1802 and 1810, it nearly doubled, which meant that there were insufficient experienced sailors in the United States to man it. To overcome this shortfall, British seamen were recruited, who were attracted by the better pay and conditions. It was estimated that 30% (23,000) of the 70,000 men employed on American ships were British. During the Napoleonic Wars, the British
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare Naval warfare is combat Combat ( French for ''fight'') is a purposeful violent conflict meant to physically harm or kill the opposition. Combat may be armed (using weapon A ...
expanded to 600 ships, requiring 140,000 sailors. The Royal Navy could man its ships with volunteers in peacetime, but in wartime, competing with merchant shipping and
privateer A privateer is a private person or ship that engages in maritime warfare under a commission of war. Since robbery under arms was a common aspect of seaborne trade, until the early 19th century all merchant ships carried arms. A sovereign or deleg ...
s for the pool of experienced sailors, it turned to
impressment Impressment, colloquially "the press" or the "press gang", is the taking of men into a military or naval force by compulsion, with or without notice. European navies of several nations used forced recruitment by various means. The large size of ...
from ashore and at sea. Since 1795 the Quota System had been in use to feed men to the navy but it was not alone sufficient. Though most saw it as necessary, the practice of impressment was detested by most Britons. It was illegal under British law to impress foreign sailors; but it was the accepted practice of the era for nations to retrieve seamen of their own nationality from foreign navies during times of war. However, in the nineteen years Britain was at war with France prior to the war of 1812 some ten thousand American citizens were impressed into the British navy. The American ambassador in London,
James Monroe James Monroe (; April 28, 1758July 4, 1831) was an American statesman, lawyer, diplomat and Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were credited with establishing a state. ...
, under President Thomas Jefferson, protested to the British Foreign Office that more than fifteen thousand Americans had been impressed into the Royal Navy since March 1803. When asked for a list however, the Madison administration was only able to produce one based on hearsay, with 6,257 names, many of which were duplicated, and included those that had legitimately volunteered to serve. By 1804 the incidents of impressment of Americans had sharply increased. Underlying the dispute was the issue that Britain and the United States viewed nationality differently. The United States believed that British seamen, including naval deserters, had a right to become American citizens. In reality few actually went through the formal process. Regardless Britain did not recognize a right for a British subject to relinquish his citizenship and become a citizen of another country. The Royal Navy therefore considered any American citizen subject to impressment if he was born British. American reluctance to issue formal
naturalization Naturalization (or naturalisation) is the legal act or process by which a non-citizen of a country may acquire citizenship Citizenship is a relationship between an individual and a state to which the individual owes allegiance and in turn i ...
papers and the widespread use of unofficial or forged identity or protection papers among sailors made it difficult for the Royal Navy to tell native born-Americans from naturalized-Americans and even non-Americans, and led it to impress some American sailors who had never been British. Though Britain was willing to release from service anyone who could establish their American citizenship, the process often took years while the men in question remained impressed in the British Navy. However, from 1793 to 1812 up to 15,000 Americans had been impressed while many appeals for release were simply ignored or dismissed for other reasons. There were also cases when the
United States Navy ), (unofficial)."''Non sibi sed patriae''" ( en, "Not for self but for country") (unofficial). , colors = Blue and gold  , colors_label = Colors , march = "Anchors Aweigh" , mascot = , equipment = List of equipment of the United St ...
also impressed British sailors. Once impressed, any seaman, regardless of citizenship, could accept a recruitment bounty and was then no longer considered impressed but a "volunteer", further complicating matters. American anger with Britain grew when Royal Navy
frigate A frigate () is a type of warship A warship or combatant ship is a that is built and primarily intended for . Usually they belong to the of a state. As well as being armed, warships are designed to withstand damage and are usually faste ...

frigate
s were stationed just outside American harbours in view of American shores to search ships for goods bound to France and impress men within the United States territorial waters. Well-publicized events outraged the American public such as the ''Leander'' affair and the ''Chesapeake''–''Leopard'' affair. The British public were outraged in their turn by the ''Little Belt'' affair in which the larger USS ''President'' in search of HMS ''Guerriere'' instead clashed with a small British
sloop A sloop is a sailboat sloop ged sloop Image:Sail plan sloop.svg, Gaff-rigged sloop with a Topsail#Gaff rig, gaff topsail A sloop is a sailboat with a single mast (sailing), mast typically having only one headsail in front of the mast and ...
, resulting in the deaths of 11 British sailors. While both sides claimed that the other fired first, the British public particularly blamed the United States for attacking a smaller vessel, with calls in some newspapers for revenge. ''President'' had sighted and chased HMS ''Little Belt'' trying to determine her identity throughout the afternoon. The first shot took place after an exchange of hails had still failed to identify either ship to the other in the growing dusk. After 45 minutes of battle, taking place in darkness, ''Little Belt'' had received much damage, with several holes to her hull near the water-line and her rigging "cut to pieces". ''President''s Captain Rodgers claimed ''Little Belt'' had fired first; but he did not ascertain her size or country of origin until dawn. After sending over a boat, Rodgers expressed regret and apologized for the 'unfortunate affair'. ''Little Belt''s Captain Bingham claimed the opposite: ''President'' had fired first and had been manoeuvring in a such a way as to make him think she was planning an attack. Historian Jonathon Hooks echoes the view of Alfred T. Mahan and several other historians, that it is impossible to determine who fired the first shot. Both sides held inquiries which upheld their captain's actions and version of events. Meanwhile, the American public regarded the incident as just retribution for the Chesapeake–Leopard affair and were encouraged by their victory over the Royal Navy, while the British regarded it as unprovoked aggression.


Canada and the US

Whether the annexation of Canada was a primary American war objective has been debated by historians. Some argue it was an outcome of the failure to change British policy through economic coercion or negotiation, leaving invasion as the only way for the US to place pressure on Britain. This view was summarised by Secretary of State
James Monroe James Monroe (; April 28, 1758July 4, 1831) was an American statesman, lawyer, diplomat and Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were credited with establishing a state. ...
, who said " might be necessary to invade Canada, not as an object of the war but as a means to bring it to a satisfactory conclusion". Occupation would also disrupt supplies to colonies in the
British West Indies The British West Indies, sometimes abbreviated to the BWI, is a collective term for the British territories The British Overseas Territories (BOTs), also known as United Kingdom Overseas Territories (UKOTs), are fourteen dependent territo ...
and Royal Navy, and prevent the British arming their allies among the Indian nations of the
Northwest Territory The Northwest Territory, also known as the Old Northwest and formally known as the Territory Northwest of the River Ohio, was formed from unorganized western territory of the United States after the . Established in 1787 by the through the , ...

Northwest Territory
. Nevertheless, even though President Madison claimed permanent annexation was not an objective, he recognised once acquired it would be "difficult to relinquish". A large faction in Congress actively advocated this policy, including
Richard Mentor Johnson Richard Mentor Johnson (October 17, 1780 – November 19, 1850) was an American lawyer and politician who served as the ninth vice president of the United States A vice is a practice, behaviour, or Habit (psychology), habit generally con ...

Richard Mentor Johnson
, who stated "I shall never die content until I see England's expulsion from North America and her territories incorporated into the United States". John Adams Harper claimed "the Author of Nature Himself had marked our limits in the south, by the Gulf of Mexico, and on the north, by the regions of eternal frost". Both saw the war as part of a divine plan to unify the two countries, Johnson being its leading exponent. Others considered annexation a matter of domestic economic and political necessity. Tennessee Congressman
Felix Grundy Felix Grundy (September 11, 1777 – December 19, 1840) was a congressman A Member of Congress (MOC) is a person who has been appointed or elected and inducted into an official body called a congress, typically to represent a particular co ...

Felix Grundy
was one of many who saw it as essential to preserve the balance between
Slave states and free states In the United States before 1865, a slave state was a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State ...
that might be disrupted by the incorporation of territories in the
Southeast The points of the compass are the vectors by which planet A planet is an astronomical body orbiting a star or Stellar evolution#Stellar remnants, stellar remnant that is massive enough to be Hydrostatic equilibrium, rounded by its own gravity ...
acquired in the 1803
Louisiana Purchase The Louisiana Purchase (french: Vente de la Louisiane, translation=Sale of Louisiana) was the acquisition of the territory of Louisiana by the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United St ...

Louisiana Purchase
. Control of the
St. Lawrence River The Saint Lawrence River is a large river in the middle latitudes of North America. The Saint Lawrence River flows in a roughly north-easterly direction, connecting the Great Lakes File:Location of the Great Lakes in North America.jpg, upr ...
, the major outlet for trade between Europe and the
Great Lakes region The Great Lakes region of North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographic ...

Great Lakes region
, was a long-standing American ambition, going back to the early years of the Revolutionary War, and supported by powerful economic interests in the North-West. Madison also viewed it as a way to prevent American smugglers using the river as a conduit for undercutting his trade policies. All these groups assumed American troops would be greeted as liberators, guaranteeing an easy conquest.
Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, philosopher, and Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were cr ...

Thomas Jefferson
believed taking "...Canada this year, as far as...
Quebec ) , image_shield=Armoiries du Québec.svg , image_flag=Flag of Quebec.svg , coordinates= , AdmittanceDate=July 1, 1867 , AdmittanceOrder=1st, with New Brunswick ("Hope restored") , image_map = New Brunswick in Canada 2.svg , ...

Quebec
, will be a mere matter of marching, and will give us the experience for the attack on
Halifax Halifax commonly refers to: *Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada *Halifax, West Yorkshire, England *Halifax (bank), a British bank Halifax may also refer to: Places Australia *Halifax, Queensland *Halifax Bay, North Queensland Canada Nova Scotia *Hali ...
, the next and final expulsion of England from the American continent". In 1812, Canada had around 525,000 inhabitants, two thirds of whom were French-speakers living in Quebec.
Upper Canada The Province of Upper Canada (french: link=no, province du Haut-Canada) was a part Part, parts or PART may refer to: People *Armi Pärt Armi Pärt (born 18 June 1991) is an Estonian handballer, playing in French D2 for Massy Essonne H ...
, now southern
Ontario ("Loyal she began, loyal she remains") , Label_map = yes , image_map = Ontario in Canada 2.svg , map_alt = Map showing Ontario's location east/central of Canada. , coordinates = , cap ...

Ontario
, had a population of less than 75,000, primarily
Loyalist Loyalism, in the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdo ...
exiles and recent immigrants from the
Northeastern United States The Northeastern United States (also referred to as the American Northeast, the Northeast, and the East Coast) is a geographical region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics (physical geography), ...
. The former were implacably hostile to the US, the latter largely uninterested in politics and their loyalties unknown; unlike the
Texas annexation The Texas annexation was the 1845 annexation File:Gulf War Saudi Flag.JPEG, upCivilians and coalition military forces wave Kuwaiti flag, Kuwaiti and Saudi flag, Saudi Arabian flags as they celebrate the Liberation of Kuwait, reversal of th ...
in 1845, they were too few to provide a critical mass of pro-American support, while many followed their Loyalist neighbours and joined Canadian militia. Absence of local backing prevented American forces from establishing a foothold in the area, and of ten attempts to invade Upper Canada between 1812 and 1814, the vast majority ended in bloody failure.


US policy in the Northwest Territory

The
Northwest Territory The Northwest Territory, also known as the Old Northwest and formally known as the Territory Northwest of the River Ohio, was formed from unorganized western territory of the United States after the . Established in 1787 by the through the , ...

Northwest Territory
, a region between the
Great Lakes The Great Lakes also called the Great Lakes of North America or the Laurentian Great Lakes, is a series of large interconnected freshwater lake A lake is an area filled with water, localized in a basin, surrounded by land Land ...

Great Lakes
, the
Ohio River The Ohio River is a long river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its course wi ...

Ohio River
,
Appalachians The Appalachian Mountains, often called the Appalachians, are a mountain range, system of mountains in eastern North America. The Appalachians first formed roughly 480 million years ago during the Ordovician, Ordovician Period. They once reache ...

Appalachians
, and
Mississippi Mississippi () is a U.S. state, state in the Southeastern United States, Southeastern region of the United States, bordered to the north by Tennessee; to the east by Alabama; to the south by the Gulf of Mexico; to the southwest by Louisiana; a ...

Mississippi
, was a long-standing source of conflict in 18th and early 19th-century North America. This arose when settlers from the
Thirteen Colonies The Thirteen Colonies, also known as the Thirteen British Colonies or the Thirteen American Colonies, were a group of Kingdom of Great Britain, British colonies on the Atlantic coast of North America. Founded in the 17th and 18th centuries, th ...
moved onto lands owned by the indigenous inhabitants, a collection of
Algonquian Algonquin or Algonquian—and the variation Algonki(a)n—may refer to: Indigenous peoples *Algonquian languages, a large subfamily of Native American languages in a wide swath of eastern North America from Canada to Virginia **Algonquin languag ...
and
Iroquoian The Iroquoian languages are a language family of indigenous peoples of North America The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the inhabitants of the Americas before the arrival of the European colonization of the Americas, European settler ...

Iroquoian
-speaking peoples, chiefly the
Shawnee The Shawnee are an Algonquian-speaking indigenous people of the Northeastern Woodlands Indigenous peoples of the Northeastern Woodlands include Native American tribes The term tribe is used in many different contexts to refer to a categor ...

Shawnee
,
Wyandot Wyandot may refer to: Native American ethnography * Wyandot people The Wyandot people or Wendat, also called the Huron, are Iroquoian-speaking peoples of North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hem ...
,
Lenape The Lenape (, , or Lenape ), also called the Leni Lenape, Lenni Lenape and Delaware people, are an indigenous people of the Northeastern Woodlands Indigenous peoples of the Northeastern Woodlands include Native American tribes The term ...
,
Miami Miami (), officially the City of Miami, is a coast, coastal metropolis located in Miami-Dade County, Florida, Miami-Dade County in southeastern Florida, United States. With a population of 467,963 as of the 2020 United States census, 2020 censu ...
,
Potawatomi p The Potawatomi , also spelled Pottawatomi and Pottawatomie (among many variations), are a Native American people of the western Great Lakes The Great Lakes also called the Great Lakes of North America or the Laurentian Great Lakes, is a ...
, Kickapoo,
Menominee The Menominee (; also spelled Menomini, derived from the Ojibwe language word for "Wild Rice People"; known as ''Mamaceqtaw'', "the people", in the Menominee language) are a federally recognized nation of Native Americans in the United States, N ...
and
Odawa The Odawa (also Ottawa or Odaawaa ), said to mean "traders", are an Indigenous American Native Americans may refer to: Ethnic groups * Indigenous peoples of the Americas, the pre-Columbian peoples of North and South America and their descend ...
. When Pontiac’s Rebellion was defeated in 1766, they generally accepted British sovereignty but retained ownership of their lands, while the Proclamation of 1763 prohibited colonial settlement west of the Appalachians, a grievance that contributed to the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War. The territory was ceded in 1783 to the new American government, who encouraged its citizens to settle in the region and ignored the rights of local inhabitants. In response, the tribes formed the Northwestern Confederacy which from 1786 to 1795 fought against the US in the Northwest Indian War, with military support provided by British forts along the Maumee River. After the 1794
Jay Treaty The Treaty of Amity, Commerce, and Navigation, Between His Britannic Majesty and the United States of America, commonly known as the Jay Treaty, and also as Jay's Treaty, was a 1794 treaty between the United States and Great Britain that averted ...
, the British handed over these strongpoints to the US, most notably Fort Detroit, and abandoned their indigenous allies, who signed the 1795 Treaty of Greenville with the American government. Under the treaty, they ceded most of what is now the state of Ohio but granted title to the rest of their lands in perpetuity, a commitment the US government had already secretly agreed to ignore. A key factor in this policy was the acquisition by France of the Louisiana (New France), Louisiana Territory in 1800, which meant the US faced an expansionist power on its northwestern border, rather than a weak Spain. To ensure control of the Upper Mississippi River, President
Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, philosopher, and Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were cr ...

Thomas Jefferson
incorporated the region into the Indiana Territory, which originally contained the modern states of Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. He appointed William Henry Harrison as governor, ordering him to acquire as much land as possible beyond the Greenville line, using deception if needed. In doing so, Harrison was helped by vague and competing claims, since tribes whose title to the lands was either limited or disputed were happy to sign them away in return for bribes. Although the December 1803
Louisiana Purchase The Louisiana Purchase (french: Vente de la Louisiane, translation=Sale of Louisiana) was the acquisition of the territory of Louisiana by the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United St ...

Louisiana Purchase
ended the French threat, between 1803 and 1805 he obtained extensive territorial cessions in the treaties of Treaty of Fort Wayne (1803), Fort Wayne (1803), Treaty of St. Louis (1804), St Louis, Treaty of Vincennes, Vincennes and Treaty of Grouseland, Grouseland. The policies adopted by Harrison meant low-level conflict between local tribes and American settlers quickly escalated post-1803. In 1805, a Shawnee leader named Tenskwatawa launched a nativist religious movement that rejected American culture and values, while his elder brother Tecumseh organized a new confederacy to defend their territory against settler encroachment. They established a community at Prophetstown State Park, Prophetstown in 1808, gaining support from young warriors and traditional chiefs including the Wyandot leader Roundhead (Wyandot), Roundhead and Main Poc from the Potawatomi. The Sioux, Sauk people, Sauk, Meskwaki and Ojibwe peoples, who lived along the Upper Mississippi and Western Great Lakes forests, Western Great Lakes, initially rejected Tenskwatawa's message because of their dependence on the fur trade, but continued settler incursions into their lands meant they too became hostile to the U.S. Britain traditionally maintained good relations with the local people by handing out gifts, including arms and ammunition; after 1795, they ended this policy and advised the tribes to live peacefully with the American government. Their position changed following the 1808 Chesapeake-Leopard Affair, when the Northwest came to be seen as a buffer against an American attack on Upper Canada. They re-started the distribution of gifts and offered the tribes a defensive alliance if war broke out with the US, while urging them to refrain from aggressive action in the meantime. The situation worsened after the 1809 Treaty of Fort Wayne (1809), Treaty of Fort Wayne; negotiated primarily with the Lenape, it included lands claimed by the Shawnee and Tecumseh insisted it was invalid without the consent of all the tribes. Alarmed at the threat posed by Tecumseh and Tenskwatawa, in 1811 Harrison secured permission to attack them. Taking advantage of Tecumseh's absence, he marched on Prophetstown with an army of nearly 1,000 men; in the ensuing Battle of Tippecanoe, the Americans first repulsed an attack by forces under Tenskwatawa, then destroyed Prophetstown. Fighting along the frontier escalated, while Tecumseh reconstituted his confederacy and allied with the British. This action strengthened American hostility against Britain in the run up to the War of 1812, with many blaming them for unrest on the frontier, rather than government policy. in the ensuing conflict, most of the Northwest nations supported the British, including the previously neutral tribes of the Upper Mississippi.


Internal American political conflict

The United States was in a period of significant political conflict between the
Federalist Party The Federalist Party was the first political party in the United States American electoral politics has been dominated by two major political parties since shortly after the founding of the republic. Since the 1850s, they have been the Histo ...
(based mainly in the Northeast) and the
Democratic-Republican Party The Democratic-Republican Party, also referred to as the Jeffersonian Republican Party and known at the time under various other names, was an American political party founded by Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – J ...
(with its greatest power base in the South and West). The Federalists, who sympathized with Britain and their struggle with Napoleonic France, were criticized by the Democratic-Republicans for being too close to Britain, while the Federalists countered that the Democratic-Republicans were allied to France, a country headed by Napoleon, who was seen as a dictator. The Federalist Party favoured a strong central government and closer ties to Britain while the Democratic-Republican Party favoured a smaller central government, preservation of states' rights (including slavery), westward expansion and a stronger break with Britain. By 1812, the Republicans believed that the Federalists in New England were conspiring with the British who were forming alliances with the various Indian tribes while recruiting "late Loyalists" in Canada, to break up the union. Instead, the war served to alienate the Federalists who were ready to trade and even smuggle with the British rather than to fight them. By 1812, the Federalist Party had weakened considerably and the Republicans were in a strong position, with James Madison completing his first term of office and control of Congress. Support for the American cause was weak in Federalist areas of the Northeast throughout the war as fewer men volunteered to serve and the banks avoided financing the war. The negativism of the Federalists ruined the party's reputation post-war, as exemplified by the
Hartford Convention The Hartford Convention was a series of meetings from December 15, 1814 to January 5, 1815, in Hartford, Connecticut, United States, in which the New England Federalist Party met to discuss their grievances concerning the ongoing War of 1812 and t ...
of 1814–1815, and the party survived only in scattered areas. By 1815, after the victory at the Battle of New Orleans, there was broad support for the war from all parts of the country. This allowed the triumphant Democratic-Republicans to adopt some Federalist policies, such as the national bank, which Madison re-established in 1816.


Forces


American

During the years 1810–1812, American naval ships were divided into two major squadrons, with the "northern division", based at New York, commanded by Commodore John Rodgers, and the "southern division,", based at Norfolk, commanded by Commodore Stephen Decatur. Although not much of a threat to Canada in 1812, the United States Navy was a well-trained and professional force comprising over 5,000 sailors and marines. It had 14 ocean-going warships with three of its five "super-frigates" non-operational at the onset of the war. Its principal problem was lack of funding, as many in Congress did not see the need for a strong navy. The biggest ships in the American navy were frigates and there were no ship of the line, ships-of-the-line capable of engaging in a fleet action with the Royal Navy. On the high seas, the Americans pursued a strategy of commerce raiding, capturing or sinking British merchant ships, merchantmen with their frigates and privateers. The Navy was largely concentrated on the Atlantic coast before the war as it had only two gunboats on Lake Champlain, one brig on Lake Ontario and another brig in Lake Erie when the war began. The United States Army was initially much larger than the British Army in North America. Many men carried their own long rifles while the British were issued muskets, except for one unit of 500 riflemen. Leadership was inconsistent in the American officer corps as some officers proved themselves to be outstanding, but many others were inept, owing their positions to political favours. Congress was hostile to a standing army and the government called out 450,000 men from the state defense force, state militias during the war. The Militia (United States), state militias were poorly trained, armed, and led. The failed invasion of Lake Champlain led by General Dearborn illustrates this. The British Army soundly defeated the Maryland and Virginia militias at the Battle of Bladensburg in 1814 and President Madison commented "I could never have believed so great a difference existed between regular troops and a militia force, if I had not witnessed the scenes of this day".


British

The United States was only a secondary concern to Britain, so long as the war continued with France. In 1813, France had 80 ships-of-the-line and was building another 35 and containing the French fleet was the main British naval concern, leaving only the ships on the North America and West Indies Station, North American and Jamaica Station (Royal Navy), Jamaica Stations immediately available. In Upper Canada, the British had the Provincial Marine. While largely unarmed, they were essential for keeping the army supplied since the roads were abysmal in Upper Canada. At the onset of war the Provincial Marine had four small armed vessels on Lake Ontario, three on Lake Erie and one on Lake Champlain. The Provincial Marine greatly outnumbered anything the Americans could bring to bear on the Great Lakes. When the war broke out, the British Army in North America numbered 9,777 men in regular units and Fencibles#War of 1812, fencibles. While the British Army was engaged in the Peninsular War, few reinforcements were available. Although the British were outnumbered, the long-serving regulars and fencibles were better trained and more professional than the hastily expanded United States Army. The militias of Upper Canada and Lower Canada were initially far less effective, but substantial numbers of full-time militia were raised during the war and played pivotal roles in several engagements, including the Battle of the Chateauguay which caused the Americans to abandon the Saint Lawrence River theatre.


Indigenous peoples

The highly decentralized bands and tribes considered themselves allies of, and not subordinates to, the British or the Americans. Various Indian tribes fighting with United States forces provided them with their "most effective light troops" while the British needed indigenous allies to compensate for their numerical inferiority. The indigenous allies of the British, Tecumseh's confederacy in the west and Iroquois in the east avoided pitched battles and relied on irregular warfare, including raids and ambushes that took advantage of their knowledge of terrain. In addition, they were highly mobile, able to march 30–50 miles a day. Their leaders sought to fight only under favourable conditions and would avoid any battle that promised heavy losses, doing what they thought best for their tribes, much to the annoyance of both American and British generals. The indigenous fighters saw no issue with withdrawing if needed to save casualties. They always sought to surround an enemy, where possible, to avoid being surrounded and make effective use of the terrain. Their main weapons were a mixture of muskets, rifles, bows, tomahawks, knives and swords as well as clubs, bows and melee weapons, which sometimes had the advantage of being quieter than guns.


Declaration of war

On 1 June 1812, President James Madison sent a message to Congress recounting American grievances against Great Britain, though not specifically calling for a declaration of war. The United States House of Representatives, House of Representatives then deliberated for four days behind closed doors before voting 79 to 49 (61%) in favour of United States declaration of war upon the United Kingdom, the first declaration of war. The
Senate The Curia Julia in the Roman Forum ">Roman_Forum.html" ;"title="Curia Julia in the Roman Forum">Curia Julia in the Roman Forum A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or Debating chamber, chamber of a bicameral legislatu ...
concurred in the declaration by a 19 to 13 (59%) vote in favour. The declaration focused mostly on maritime issues, especially involving British blockades, with two thirds of the indictment devoted to such impositions, initiated by Britain's
Orders in Council An Order in Council is a type of legislation in many countries, especially the Commonwealth realm A Commonwealth realm is a sovereign state that has Elizabeth II as its monarch and head of state. Each realm functions as an independent state, ...
.} The conflict began formally on 18 June 1812, when Madison signed the measure into law. He proclaimed it the next day, while it was not a formal declaration of war. This was the first time that the United States had declared war on another nation and the Congressional vote was the closest vote in American history to formally declare war. None of the 39 Federalists in Congress voted in favour of the war, while other critics referred to it as "Mr. Madison's War". Just days after war had been declared, a small number of Federalists in Baltimore were attacked for printing anti-war views in a newspaper, which eventually led to over a month of deadly 1812 Baltimore riots, rioting in the city. Prime Minister Spencer Perceval was Assassination of Spencer Perceval, assassinated in London on 11 May and Robert Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool, Lord Liverpool came to power. He wanted a more practical relationship with the United States. On June 23, he issued a repeal of the Order in Council, Orders in Council, but the United States was unaware of this, as it took three weeks for the news to cross the Atlantic. On 28 June 1812, was despatched from Halifax to New York under a flag of truce. She anchored off Sandy Hook on July 9 and left three days later carrying a copy of the declaration of war, British ambassador to the United States Augustus Foster and consul Colonel Thomas Henry Barclay. She arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia eight days later. The news of the declaration took even longer to reach London. British commander Isaac Brock in Upper Canada received the news much faster. He issued a proclamation alerting citizens to the state of war and urging all military personnel "to be vigilant in the discharge of their duty", so as to prevent communication with the enemy and to arrest anyone suspected of helping the Americans. He also issued orders to the commander of the British post at Fort St. Joseph (Ontario), Fort St. Joseph to initiate offensive operations against American forces in northern Michigan who were not yet aware of their own government's declaration of war. The resulting Siege of Fort Mackinac on 17 July was the first major land engagement of the war and ended in an easy British victory.


Course of war

The war was conducted in three theatres: # The
Great Lakes The Great Lakes also called the Great Lakes of North America or the Laurentian Great Lakes, is a series of large interconnected freshwater lake A lake is an area filled with water, localized in a basin, surrounded by land Land ...

Great Lakes
and the Canadian frontier. # At sea, principally the Atlantic Ocean and the American east coast. # The Southern states and southwestern territories.


Unpreparedness

The war had been preceded by years of diplomatic dispute, yet neither side was ready for war when it came. Britain was heavily engaged in the
Napoleonic Wars The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major World war, global conflicts pitting the First French Empire, French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon, Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of Coalition forces of the Napoleonic W ...
, most of the British Army was deployed in the Peninsular War in Portugal and Spain, and the
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare Naval warfare is combat Combat ( French for ''fight'') is a purposeful violent conflict meant to physically harm or kill the opposition. Combat may be armed (using weapon A ...
was blockading most of the coast of Europe. The number of British regular troops present in Canada in July 1812 was officially 6,034, supported by additional Canadian militia. Throughout the war, the British Secretary of State for War and the Colonies, War Secretary was Henry Bathurst, 3rd Earl Bathurst, Earl Bathurst, who had few troops to spare for reinforcing North America defences during the first two years of the war. He urged Lieutenant General George Prévost to maintain a defensive strategy. Prévost, who had the trust of the Canadians, followed these instructions and concentrated on defending Lower Canada at the expense of Upper Canada, which was more vulnerable to American attacks and allowed few offensive actions. Unlike campaigns along the east coast, Prevost had to operate with no support from the Royal Navy. The United States was also not prepared for war. Madison had assumed that the state militias would easily seize Canada and that negotiations would follow. In 1812, the regular army consisted of fewer than 12,000 men. Congress authorized the expansion of the army to 35,000 men, but the service was voluntary and unpopular; it paid poorly and there were initially few trained and experienced officers. The militia objected to serving outside their home states, they were undisciplined and performed poorly against British forces when called upon to fight in unfamiliar territory. Multiple militia refused orders to cross the border and fight on Canadian soil. American prosecution of the war suffered from its unpopularity, especially in New England where anti-war speakers were vocal. Massachusetts Congressmen Ebenezer Seaver and William Widgery were "publicly insulted and hissed" in Boston while a mob seized Plymouth's Chief Justice Charles Turner Jr., Charles Turner on 3 August 1812 "and kicked [him] through the town". The United States had great difficulty financing its war. It had disbanded its First Bank of the United States, national bank, and private bankers in the Northeast were opposed to the war, but it obtained financing from London-based Barings Bank to cover overseas bond (finance), bond obligations. New England failed to provide militia units or financial support, which was a serious blow, and New England states made loud threats to secede as evidenced by the
Hartford Convention The Hartford Convention was a series of meetings from December 15, 1814 to January 5, 1815, in Hartford, Connecticut, United States, in which the New England Federalist Party met to discuss their grievances concerning the ongoing War of 1812 and t ...
. Britain exploited these divisions, blockading only southern ports for much of the war and encouraging smuggling.


Great Lakes and Western Territories


Invasions of Upper and Lower Canada, 1812

An American army commanded by
William Hull William Hull (June 24, 1753 – November 29, 1825) was an American soldier and politician. He fought in the American Revolutionary War The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the Revolutionary War and the American War ...

William Hull
invaded Upper Canada on July 12, arriving at Sandwich (Windsor, Ontario) after crossing the Detroit River. His forces were chiefly composed of untrained and ill-disciplined militiamen. Hull issued a proclamation ordering all British subjects to surrender, or "the horrors, and calamities of war will stalk before you". The proclamation said that Hull wanted to free them from the "tyranny" of Great Britain, giving them the liberty, security, and wealth that his own country enjoyed—unless they preferred "war, slavery and destruction". He also threatened to kill any British soldier caught fighting alongside indigenous fighters. Hull's proclamation only helped to stiffen resistance to the American attacks as he lacked artillery and supplies. Hull also had to fight just to maintain his own lines of communication. Hull withdrew to the American side of the river on 7 August 1812 after receiving news of a Battle of Brownstown, Shawnee ambush on Major Thomas Van Horne's 200 men, who had been sent to support the American supply convoy. Half of Horne's troops had been killed. Hull had also faced a lack of support from his officers and fear among his troops of a possible massacre by unfriendly indigenous forces. A group of 600 troops led by Lieutenant Colonel James Miller (general), James Miller remained in Canada, attempting to supply the American position in the Sandwich area, with little success. Major General Isaac Brock believed that he should take bold measures to calm the settler population in Canada and to convince the tribes that Britain was strong. He moved to Amherstburg near the western end of Lake Erie with reinforcements and Siege of Detroit, attacked Detroit, using Fort Malden as his stronghold. Hull feared that the British possessed superior numbers; also Fort Lernoult, Fort Detroit lacked adequate gunpowder and cannonballs to withstand a long siege. He agreed to surrender on 16 August, saving his 2,500 soldiers and 700 civilians from "the horrors of an Indian massacre", as he wrote. Hull also ordered the evacuation of Fort Dearborn (Chicago) to Fort Wayne, but
Potawatomi p The Potawatomi , also spelled Pottawatomi and Pottawatomie (among many variations), are a Native American people of the western Great Lakes The Great Lakes also called the Great Lakes of North America or the Laurentian Great Lakes, is a ...
warriors ambushed them, escorted them back to the fort where they were Battle of Fort Dearborn, massacred on 15 August after they had travelled only . The fort was subsequently burned. Brock moved to the eastern end of Lake Erie, where American General Stephen Van Rensselaer was attempting a second invasion. The Americans attempted an attack across the Niagara River on 13 October, but they were defeated Battle of Queenston Heights, at Queenston Heights. Brock was killed during the battle and British leadership suffered after his death. American General Henry Dearborn made a final attempt to advance north from Lake Champlain, but his militia refused to go beyond American territory.


American Northwest, 1813

After Hull surrendered Detroit, General William Henry Harrison took command of the American Army of the Northwest (United States), Army of the Northwest. He set out to retake the city, which was now defended by Colonel Henry Procter (British Army officer), Henry Procter and Tecumseh. A detachment of Harrison's army was defeated at Battle of Frenchtown, Frenchtown along the River Raisin on 22 January 1813. Procter left the prisoners with an inadequate guard and his Potowatomie allies killed and scalped River Raisin Massacre, 60 captive Americans. The defeat ended Harrison's campaign against Detroit, but "Remember the River Raisin!" became a rallying cry for the Americans. In May 1813, Procter and Tecumseh set Siege of Fort Meigs, siege to Fort Meigs in northwestern Ohio. Tecumseh's fighters ambushed American reinforcements who arrived during the siege, but the fort held out. The fighters eventually began to disperse, forcing Procter and Tecumseh to return to Canada. Along the way they attempted to Battle of Fort Stephenson, storm Fort Stephenson, a small American post on the Sandusky River near Lake Erie. They were repulsed with serious losses, marking the end of the Ohio campaign. Captain Oliver Hazard Perry fought the Battle of Lake Erie on 10 September 1813. His decisive victory at Put-in-Bay ensured American military control of the lake, improved American morale after a series of defeats and compelled the British to fall back from Detroit. This enabled General Harrison to launch another invasion of Upper Canada, which culminated in the American victory at the Battle of the Thames on 5 October 1813, where Tecumseh was killed.


Niagara frontier, 1813

Both sides placed great importance on gaining control of the
Great Lakes The Great Lakes also called the Great Lakes of North America or the Laurentian Great Lakes, is a series of large interconnected freshwater lake A lake is an area filled with water, localized in a basin, surrounded by land Land ...

Great Lakes
and the
St. Lawrence River The Saint Lawrence River is a large river in the middle latitudes of North America. The Saint Lawrence River flows in a roughly north-easterly direction, connecting the Great Lakes File:Location of the Great Lakes in North America.jpg, upr ...
because of the difficulties of land-based communication. The British already had a small squadron of warships on Lake Ontario when the war began and had the initial advantage. The Americans established a Navy yard at Sackett's Harbor, New York, a port on Lake Ontario. Commodore Isaac Chauncey took charge of the thousands of sailors and shipwrights assigned there and recruited more from New York. They completed a warship (the corvette USS Madison (1812), USS ''Madison'') in 45 days. Ultimately, almost 3,000 men at the shipyard built 11 warships and many smaller boats and transports. Army forces were also stationed at Sackett's Harbor, where they camped out through the town, far surpassing the small population of 900. Officers were housed with families. Madison Barracks was later built at Sackett's Harbor. Having regained the advantage by their rapid building program, on 27 April 1813 Chauncey and Dearborn attacked York, Upper Canada, York, the capital of
Upper Canada The Province of Upper Canada (french: link=no, province du Haut-Canada) was a part Part, parts or PART may refer to: People *Armi Pärt Armi Pärt (born 18 June 1991) is an Estonian handballer, playing in French D2 for Massy Essonne H ...
. At the Battle of York, the outnumbered British regulars destroyed the fort and dockyard and retreated, leaving the militia to surrender the town. American soldiers set fire to the Legislature building, and looted and vandalized several government buildings and citizens' homes. On 25 May 1813, Fort Niagara and the American Lake Ontario squadron began bombarding Fort George, Ontario, Fort George. An American amphibious force assaulted Fort George on the northern end of the Niagara River on 27 May and captured it without serious losses. The British abandoned Fort Erie and headed towards Burlington Heights (Ontario), Burlington Heights. The British position was close to collapsing in Upper Canada; the Iroquois considered changing sides and ignored a British appeal to come to their aid. However, the Americans did not pursue the retreating British forces until they had largely escaped and organized a counter-offensive at the Battle of Stoney Creek on 5 June. The British launched a surprise attack at 2 a.m., leading to confused fighting and a strategic British victory. The Americans pulled back to Forty Mile Creek rather than continue their advance into Upper Canada. At this point, the Six Nations of the Grand River began to come out to fight for the British as an American victory no longer seemed inevitable. The Iroquois ambushed an American patrol at Forty Mile Creek while the Royal Navy squadron based in Kingston sailed in and bombarded the American camp. General Dearborn retreated to Fort George, Ontario, Fort George, mistakenly believing that he was outnumbered and outgunned. British Brigadier General John Vincent (British Army officer), John Vincent was encouraged when about 800 Iroquois arrived to assist him. An American force surrendered on 24 June to a smaller British force due to advance warning by Laura Secord at the Battle of Beaver Dams, marking the end of the American offensive into Upper Canada. British Major General Francis de Rottenburg did not have the strength to retake Fort George, so he instituted a blockade, hoping to starve the Americans into surrender. Meanwhile, Commodore James Lucas Yeo had taken charge of the British ships on the lake and mounted a counterattack, which the Americans repulsed at the Battle of Sackett's Harbor. Thereafter, Chauncey and Yeo's squadrons fought two indecisive actions, off the Niagara on 7 August and at Burlington Bay on 28 September. Neither commander was prepared to take major risks to gain a complete victory. Late in 1813, the Americans abandoned the Canadian territory that they occupied around Fort George. They set fire to the village of Newark (now Niagara-on-the-Lake) on 10 December 1813, incensing the Canadians. Many of the inhabitants were left without shelter, freezing to death in the snow. The British retaliated following their Capture of Fort Niagara on 18 December 1813. The British and their Indian allies stormed the neighbouring town of Lewiston, New York on 19 December, torching homes and killing about a dozen civilians. The British were pursuing the surviving residents when a small force of Tuscarora people, Tuscarora warriors intervened, buying enough time for the civilians to escape to safer ground. The British Battle of Buffalo, attacked and burned Buffalo, New York, Buffalo on Lake Erie on 30 December 1813 in revenge for the attack on Fort George, Ontario, Fort George and Newark in May.


St. Lawrence and Lower Canada, 1813

The British were vulnerable along the stretch of the St. Lawrence that was between Upper Canada and the United States. In the winter of 1812–1813, the Americans launched a series of raids from Ogdensburg, New York that hampered British supply traffic up the river. On 21 February, George Prévost passed through Prescott, Ontario on the opposite bank of the river with reinforcements for Upper Canada. When he left the next day, the reinforcements and local militia attacked in the Battle of Ogdensburg and the Americans were forced to retreat. The Americans made two more thrusts against Montreal in 1813. Major General Wade Hampton I, Wade Hampton was to march north from Lake Champlain and join a force under General James Wilkinson that would sail from Sackett's Harbor on Lake Ontario and descend the St. Lawrence. Hampton was delayed by road and supply problems and his intense dislike of Wilkinson limited his desire to support his plan. Charles de Salaberry defeated Hampton's force of 4,000 at the Battle of the Chateauguay, Chateauguay River on 25 October with a smaller force of Canadian Voltigeurs and Mohawks. Salaberry's force numbered only 339, but it had a strong defensive position. Wilkinson's force of 8,000 set out on 17 October, but it was delayed by weather. Wilkinson heard that a British force was pursuing him under Captain William Mulcaster and Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Wanton Morrison and landed near Morrisburg, Ontario by 10 November, about 150 kilometres (90 mi) from Montreal. On 11 November, his rear guard of 2,500 attacked Morrison's force of 800 at Battle of Crysler's Farm, Crysler's Farm and was repulsed with heavy losses. He learned that Hampton could not renew his advance, retreated to the United States and settled into winter quarters. He resigned his command after a failed attack on a British outpost at Battle of Lacolle Mills (1814), Lacolle Mills.


Niagara and Plattsburgh campaigns, 1814

The Americans again invaded the Niagara frontier. They had occupied southwestern Upper Canada after they defeated Colonel Henry Procter at Delaware Nation at Moraviantown, Moraviantown in October and believed that taking the rest of the province would force the British to cede it to them. The end of the war with Napoleon in Europe in April 1814 meant that the British could deploy their army to North America, so the Americans wanted to secure Upper Canada to negotiate from a position of strength. They planned to invade via the Niagara frontier while sending another force to recapture Mackinac. They captured Fort Erie on 3 July 1814. Unaware of Fort Erie's fall or of the size of the American force, the British general Phineas Riall engaged with Winfield Scott, who won against a British force at the Battle of Chippawa on 5 July. The American forces had been through a hard training under Winfield Scott and proved to the professionals under fire. They would deploy in a shallow U formation bringing flanking fire and well-aimed volleys against Riall's men. Riall's men were chased off the battlefield. An attempt to advance further ended with the hard-fought but inconclusive Battle of Lundy's Lane on July 25. The battle was fought several miles north of Chippewa River (Michigan), Chippewa River near Niagara Falls and is considered the bloodiest and costliest battle of the war. Both sides stood their ground as American General Jacob Brown pulled back to Fort George after the battle and the British did not pursue. Commanders Riall, Scott, Brown and Drummond were all wounded; Scott's wounds ended his commission for the rest of the war. The Americans withdrew but withstood a prolonged siege of Fort Erie. The British tried to storm Fort Erie on 14 August 1814, but they suffered heavy losses, losing 950 killed, wounded and captured compared to only 84 dead and wounded on the American side. The British were further weakened by exposure and shortage of supplies. Eventually, they raised the siege, but American Major General George Izard took over command on the Niagara front and followed up only halfheartedly. An American raid along the Grand River (Ontario), Grand River destroyed many farms and weakened British logistics. In October 1814, the Americans advanced into Upper Canada and engaged in skirmishes at Cook's Mill, but they pulled back when they heard that the new British warship , launched in Kingston that September, was on its way, armed with 104 guns. The Americans lacked provisions and retreated across the Niagara after destroying Fort Erie. Meanwhile, 15,000 British troops were sent to North America under four of Wellington's ablest brigade commanders after Napoleon abdicated. Fewer than half were veterans of the Peninsula and the rest came from garrisons. Prévost was ordered to neutralize American power on the lakes by burning Sackett's Harbor to gain naval control of Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, and the Upper Lakes as well as to defend Lower Canada from attack. He did defend Lower Canada but otherwise failed to achieve his objectives, so he decided to invade New York State. His army outnumbered the American defenders of Plattsburgh, New York, Plattsburgh, but he was worried about his flanks and decided that he needed naval control of Lake Champlain. Upon reaching Plattsburgh, Prévost delayed the assault until Downie arrived in the hastily completed 36-gun frigate . Despite the Confiance not being fully completed, she had a raw crew that had never worked together. Prévost forced Downie into a premature attack when there was no reason for the rush. The British squadron on the lake under Captain George Downie was more evenly matched by the Americans under Master Commandant Thomas Macdonough. At the Battle of Plattsburgh on 11 September 1814, the British had the advantage of larger vessels and guns; the American gunboats were more suited to engagements on Lake Champlain, while MacDonough was able to manoeuvre his ships using pulley lines attached to anchors. Early in the battle each side lost a ship; Downie was killed by the recoil of a loose gun carriage while MacDonough was twice knocked down and dazed. After two and a half hours HMS Confiance (1814), HMS ''Confiance'' suffered heavy casualties and struck her colours and the rest of the British fleet retreated. Prevost, already alienated from his veteran officers by insisting on proper dress codes, now lost their confidence, while MacDonough emerged as a national hero. The Americans now had control of Lake Champlain; Theodore Roosevelt later termed it "the greatest naval battle of the war". General Alexander Macomb (general), Alexander Macomb led the successful land defence. Prévost then turned back, to the astonishment of his senior officers, saying that it was too hazardous to remain on enemy territory after the loss of naval supremacy. He was recalled to London, where a naval court-martial decided that defeat had been caused principally by Prévost urging the squadron into premature action and then failing to afford the promised support from the land forces. He died suddenly, just before his court-martial was to convene. His reputation sank to a new low as Canadians claimed that their militia under Brock did the job but Prévost failed. However, recent historians have been kinder. Peter Burroughs argues that his preparations were energetic, well-conceived, and comprehensive for defending the Canadas with limited means and that he achieved the primary objective of preventing an American conquest.


American West, 1813–1815

The Mississippi River valley was the western frontier of the United States in 1812. The territory acquired in the
Louisiana Purchase The Louisiana Purchase (french: Vente de la Louisiane, translation=Sale of Louisiana) was the acquisition of the territory of Louisiana by the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United St ...

Louisiana Purchase
of 1803 contained almost no American settlements west of the Mississippi except around St. Louis and a few forts and trading posts in the Boonslick. Fort Belle Fontaine was an old trading post converted to an Army post in 1804 and this served as regional headquarters. Fort Osage, built in 1808 along the Missouri River, was the westernmost American outpost, but it was abandoned at the start of the war. Fort Madison was built along the Mississippi in Iowa in 1808 and had been repeatedly attacked by British-allied Sauk people, Sauk since its construction. The United States Army abandoned Fort Madison in September 1813 after the indgenous fighters attacked it and besieged it—with support from the British. This was one of the few battles fought west of the Mississippi. Black Hawk (Sauk leader), Black Hawk played a leadership role. The Battle of Lake Erie, American victory on Lake Erie and the recapture of Detroit isolated the British on Lake Huron. In the winter a Canadian party under Lieutenant Colonel Robert McDouall established a new supply line from York to Nottawasaga Bay on Georgian Bay. He arrived at Fort Mackinac on 18 May with supplies and more than 400 militia and Indians, then sent an expedition which Siege of Prairie du Chien, successfully besieged and recaptured the key trading post of Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, Prairie du Chien, on the Upper Mississippi. The Americans dispatched a substantial expedition to relieve the fort, but Sauk, Fox, and Kickapoo warriors under Black Hawk ambushed it and forced it to withdraw with heavy losses in the Battle of Rock Island Rapids In September 1814, the Sauk, Fox, and Kickapoo, supported by part of Prairie du Chien's British garrison, repulsed a second American force led by Major Zachary Taylor in the Battle of Credit Island. These victories enabled the Sauk, Fox, and Kickapoo to harass American garrisons further to the south, which led the Americans to abandon Fort Johnson, in central Illinois Territory. Consequently, the Americans lost control of almost all of Illinois Territory, although they held onto the St. Louis area and eastern Missouri. However, the Sauk raided even into these territories, clashing with American forces at the Battle of Cote Sans Dessein, Missouri, Cote Sans Dessein in April 1815 at the mouth of the Osage River in the Missouri Territory and the Battle of the Sink Hole in May 1815 near Fort Cap au Gris. This left the British and their Indian allies in control of most of modern Illinois and all of modern Wisconsin. Meanwhile, the British were supplying the Indians in the Old Northwest from Montreal via Mackinac. On 3 July, the Americans sent a force of five vessels from Detroit to recapture Mackinac. A mixed force of regulars and volunteers from the militia landed on the island on 4 August. They did not attempt to achieve surprise, and Indians ambushed them in the brief Battle of Mackinac Island (1814), Battle of Mackinac Island and forced them to re-embark. The Americans discovered the new base at Nottawasaga Bay and on 13 August they destroyed its fortifications and the schooner ''Nancy (1789 ship), Nancy'' that they found there. They then returned to Detroit, leaving two gunboats to blockade Mackinac. On 4 September, the gunboats were taken unawares and captured by British boarding parties from canoes and small boats. These engagements on Lake Huron left Mackinac under British control. The British returned Mackinac and other captured territory to the United States after the war. Some British officers and Canadians objected to handing back Prairie du Chien and especially Mackinac under the terms of the Treaty of Ghent. However, the Americans retained the captured post at Fort Malden near Amherstburg until the British complied with the treaty. Fighting between Americans, the Sauk and other indigenous tribes continued through 1817, well after the war ended in the east.


Atlantic theatre


Opening strategies

In 1812, Britain's Royal Navy was the world's largest and most powerful navy, with over 600 vessels in commission, following the defeat of the French Navy at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Most of these ships were employed blockading the French navy and protecting British trade against French privateers, but the Royal Navy still had 85 vessels in American waters, counting all North American and Caribbean waters. However, the Royal Navy's North American squadron was the most immediately available force, based in Halifax, Nova Scotia and Bermuda, and numbered one small ship of the line and seven
frigate A frigate () is a type of warship A warship or combatant ship is a that is built and primarily intended for . Usually they belong to the of a state. As well as being armed, warships are designed to withstand damage and are usually faste ...

frigate
s as well as nine smaller Sloop-of-war, sloops and brigs and five schooners. By contrast, the entire
United States Navy ), (unofficial)."''Non sibi sed patriae''" ( en, "Not for self but for country") (unofficial). , colors = Blue and gold  , colors_label = Colors , march = "Anchors Aweigh" , mascot = , equipment = List of equipment of the United St ...
was composed of 8 frigates, 14 smaller sloops and brigs, with no ships of the line. The United States had embarked on a major shipbuilding program before the war at Sackett's Harbor, New York to provide ships for use on the Great Lakes, and continued to produce new ships. The British strategy was to protect their own merchant shipping between Halifax and the West Indies, with the order given on 13 October 1812 to enforce a blockade of major American ports to restrict American trade.
Because of their numerical inferiority, the American strategy was to cause disruption through hit-and-run tactics such as the capturing prizes and engaging Royal Navy vessels only under favourable circumstances. Days after the formal declaration of war, the United States put out two small squadrons, including the frigate ''President'' and the sloop under Commodore John Rodgers (1772–1838), John Rodgers and the frigates ''United States'' and , with the brig under Captain Stephen Decatur. These were initially concentrated as one unit under Rodgers, who intended to force the Royal Navy to concentrate its own ships to prevent isolated units being captured by his powerful force. Large numbers of American merchant ships were returning to the United States with the outbreak of war and the Royal Navy could not watch all the ports on the American seaboard if they were concentrated together. Rodgers' strategy worked in that the Royal Navy concentrated most of its frigates off New York Harbor under Captain Philip Broke, allowing many American ships to reach home. However, Rodgers' own cruise captured only five small merchant ships, and the Americans never subsequently concentrated more than two or three ships together as a unit.


Single-ship actions

The more recently built frigates of the US Navy were intended to overmatch their opponents. The United States of America did not believe that it could build a large enough navy to contest with the Royal Navy in fleet actions. As such where it could be done, individual ships were built to be tougher, larger, and carry more firepower, than the equivalent in European navies.With this in mind the newest three 44-gun ships were designed with a 24-pounder main battery. These frigates were intended to demolish the 36 to 38 gun (18-pounder) armed frigates that were by far the majority of the world's navies, while being able to evade larger ships. Similarly the Wasp class ship-sloops were an over-match to the Cruizer class brigs being employed by the British. The Royal Navy maintaining more than 600 ships, in fleets and stations worldwide, was overstretched and undermanned. Its crews were also with a few exceptions, less practiced and drilled with their guns than the crews of the smaller US Navy. This meant that in single-ship actions the Royal Navy ships often found themselves against larger ships with larger crews, who were better drilled, as intended by the US planners. However naval ships do not fight as individuals by the code of the duel, they are national instruments of war, and are used as such. The Royal Navy counted on its numbers, experience, and traditions to overcome the individually superior vessels. As the US Navy found itself mostly blockaded by the end of the war, the Royal Navy was correct. For all the fame that these actions received, they in no way affected the outcome of the results of Atlantic theatre of War. The final count of frigates lost was three on each side, with most of the US Navy blockaded in port. During the war, the United States Navy captured 165 British merchantmen (although privateers captured many more) while the Royal Navy captured 1,400 American merchantmen. More significantly, the British blockade of the Atlantic coast caused the majority of warships to be unable to put to sea and shut down both American imports and exports. USS Constitution vs HMS Guerriere 19 August 1812, 2pm 750 miles east of Boston the USS ''Constitution'' sighted HMS ''Guerriere''. After manoeuvring for advantage both ships were at broadsides at a range of 75 yards at 6:00pm. The first exchange of broadsides was delivered at 6:05pm. The result was very one-sided. ''Guerriere'' had lost her mizzenmast, mainyard, and many of her gun crews. With ''Guerriere''s mizzenmast in the water the ship was hard to manoeuvre. The return fire from ''Guerriere'' was far less successful. Two royal halyards fell and ''Constitution''s heavy scantlings and planking shrugged off the ''Guerriere''s fire. A failed boarding attempt was made by ''Guerriere'' and she swung helplessly into the wind as ''Constitution'' luffed by her bow raining down musket fire on her quarterdeck then raking her with a port broadside. Completely de-masted by ''Constitution''s fire the ''Guerriere'' surrendered. USS United States vs HMS Macedonian On 25 October, the USS ''United States'' commanded by Commodore Decatur captured the British frigate HMS ''Macedonian''. ''Macedonian'' was faster, and the USS ''United States'' was a notoriously slow vessel and ''Macedonian''s captain John S. Carden used this to keep the weather gage. Decatur hove round to two points off the wind, forcing ''Macedonian'' into a stern chase on a parallel course to maintain contact. This was a deliberate tactic, as it allowed for the superior range of ''United States'' 24-pounder guns. ''Macedonian'' closed the distance slowly. At 0900 hours both ships fired long-range broadsides to no effect. At 0920 ''United States'' opened fire again. This time ''Macedonian'' lost several carronades, her mizzen topmast, and her driver gaff. With this damage ''Macedonian'' had lost her sailing advantage. Decatur used this fact to take up a raking fire from ''Macedonian''s quarter. The results were horrific; cannonballs were flying through both sides of Macedonian, and the crew was slaughtered. Captain Carden felt that he had to surrender. USS ''Constitution'' vs HMS Java (1811), HMS ''Java'' (1811) On 29 December at 9:00 a.m., at sea off Bahia, Brazil. in search of prizes, ''Constitution'' sighted unknown sails on the distant horizon. Captain William Bainbridge, Bainbridge was initially unsure of the type and nationality of the ships, but hours later as they drew closer he was able to discern that the approaching vessels were large, and now assumed them to be British. ''Constitution'' hoisted the US private signal at 11:30 a.m., while the presumed British vessel, the frigate , also hoisted its signals, but neither ship made the correct counter-signal.#Harris, Harris, 1837 p. 148 ''Constitution'', tacking the wind, made her way from the neutral Portuguese territorial waters with ''Java'' giving chase. The following day at 12:30 p.m. ''Java'' hoisted her colours and ensign with ''Constitution'' hoisting her colours in reply. With the affiliations of each ship now confirmed, ''Java'', with the weather gauge to her advantage, came about to position herself to rake ''Constitution''. Being French-built, she was comparatively light for a frigate and was consequently faster and more manoeuvrable. In reply ''Constitution'' fired a shot across ''Java''s bow with ''Java'' returning fire with a full broadside. The opening phase of the action comprised both ships turning to and fro, attempting to get the better position for which to fire upon and rake the other, but with little success. Bainbridge now Jibe (sailing), wore ''Constitution'' to a matching course and opened fire with a broadside at half a mile. This broadside accomplished nothing and forced Bainbridge to risk being raked in order to get closer to ''Java''.As the battle progressed a broadside from ''Java'' carried away ''Constitution''s helm, disabling her rudder and leaving Bainbridge severely wounded; however he retained command, refusing to sit out the battle. Both ships continued firing broadsides but by now ''Java'' had a mast and sail falling over her starboard side that prevented most of her guns on that side from firing, which also prevented her from laying alongside ''Constitution'' to board. The guns that attempted to fire only managed to set the fallen sail and rigging ablaze. After a battle lasting three hours, ''Java'' finally struck her colours and was burned after being judged unsalvageable. ''Constitution'' sustained considerable damage to both her hull and rigging. ''Java'' had fought hard and had the butcher's bill to show for it. In single ship battles, superior force was the most significant factor. In response to the majority of the American ships being of greater force than the British ships of the same class, Britain constructed five 40-gun, 24-pounder heavy frigates and two "spar-decked" frigates (the 60-gun and ) and others. To counter the American sloops of war, the British constructed the of 22 guns. The British Admiralty also instituted a new policy that the three American heavy frigates should not be engaged except by a ship of the line or frigates in squadron strength. Capture of USS Chesapeake, HMS Shannon vs USS Chesapeake. Despite her unlucky reputation Captain James Lawrence took the command of the USS Chesapeake (1799), USS ''Chesapeake'' in Boston Harbor in May 1813. Up to 25% of Chesapeake's crew was new, and 50% of her officers. Those men had not practiced either gunnery or small arms. HMS Shannon (1806), HMS ''Shannon'' under Captain Philip Broke was on patrol off of the harbour. In a fleet that largely maintained blockades against the French Navy, most Royal Navy ships rarely practiced their guns. HMS ''Shannon'' was an exception. ''Shannon''s gunnery practice drills were noted from a Boston hill. However both captains were eager to engage, and both captains were disobeying orders not to engage enemy warships – one on one in duels in Shannon's case. Not at all in Lawrence's case. Captain Broke issued a challenge to Lawrence, who had however sailed to battle before receiving it. Initially Lawrence held the weather gauge but refused to use it, coming up on ''Shannon''s weather quarter. From the onset of the battle, ''Shannon''s superior small arms musketry told. Of interest, ''Chesapeake'' was holding her own with the great guns. ''Chesapeake'' lost her forward head-sails and her helmsman, lost way, and tangled rigging with ''Shannon''. By this stage most of her quarterdeck crew were wounded or dead. A boarding action captured ''Chesapeake'' at further cost to both crews. Captain Lawrence was mortally wounded and famously cried out to Lieutenant Augustus Ludlow, "Tell the men to fire faster! Don't give up the ship!" Lawrence would die from wounds, Broke would barely survive the boarding action. This would prove to the bloodiest action of the war. Battle of Valparaíso, HMS Phoebe vs USS Essex In January 1813, the American frigate , commanded by Captain David Porter (naval officer), David Porter, sailed into the Pacific to harass British shipping. Many British whaling ships carried letters of marque allowing them to prey on American whalers, and they had nearly destroyed the American industry. ''Essex'' challenged this practice and in turn inflicted considerable damage on British interests. The British dispatched HMS Phoebe (1795), HMS ''Phoebe'' and a collection of smaller vessels to hunt down the ''Essex''. Eventually ''Essex'' and her consort USS Essex Junior were captured off Valparaíso, Chile by ''Phoebe'' and the sloop on 28 March 1814 in what statistically appears as battle of equal force as ''Essex'' and ''Phoebe'' were of similar tonnage, scantling and broadside weight. ''Cherub'' and ''Essex Junior'' were similarly matched. Once again the Americans had more men. Nevertheless, ''Phoebe'' was armed with long 18-pounder guns, where as ''Essex'' carried heavy but short ranged carronades. This gave the British a decisive long range advantage. Capture of USS President, HMS Endymion vs USS President To conclude the cycle of duels caused by the ''Little Belt'' affair, USS ''President'' was finally captured in January 1815. In her efforts to escape the blockade of New York ''President'' grounded on a sandbar but, after incurring damage, managed to break free into the Atlantic. Following the Royal Navy's standing orders, ''President'' was pursued by a squadron consisting of four frigates, one being a 56-gun razee. ''President'' was an extremely fast ship and successfully out-sailed the British squadron with the exception of , which has been regarded as the fastest ship in the age of fighting sail. Captain Henry Hope (Royal Navy officer), Henry Hope of ''Endymion'' had fitted his ship with Philip Broke's gunnery technology as used on ''Shannon''. This gave him the slight advantage at range and he was able to slow ''President'' with rigging hits. Commodore Decatur commanding ''President'' had the advantage in scantling strength, firepower crew, and tonnage, but not in manoeuvrability. Despite having fewer guns, ''Endymion'' was armed with the larger 24-pounders just like ''President''. Using her speed ''Endymion'' was able to position herself to rake ''President'' and following Broke's philosophy of "Kill the man and the ship is yours", fired into the hull severely damaging her. ''President'' was left shot holes below the waterline, ten to fifteen starboard guns disabled, water in the hold and shot from ''Endymion'' were later found inside the Magazine (artillery)#Naval magazines, magazine. Decatur knew his only hope was to damage or disable the ''Endymion''s rigging and then outrun the rest of the squadron. However the cumulative damage told and he struck his colours. Both ships then paused to conduct repairs and Decatur took advantage of the fact ''Endymion'' had no boats intact to send over a prize crew with and attempted to escape under the cover of night. After the crew of the ''Endymion'' had quickly repaired her rigging, she, along with HMS Pomone (1811), HMS ''Pomone'' and HMS Tenedos (1812), HMS ''Tenedos'' finally overtook and captured the damaged ''President''. Later Decatur was to give unreliable accounts of the battle stating that ''President'' was already "severely damaged" by the grounding before the engagement, but was 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 (naval historian), 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. The United States Navy's smaller ship-sloops had also won several victories over Royal Navy sloops-of-war of approximately equal armament. The American sloops , , , and were all full-rigged ship, ship-rigged while the British sloops that they encountered were brig-rigged, which gave the Americans a significant advantage. Ship rigged vessels are more manoeuvrable in battle because they have a wider variety of sails and thus being more resistant to damage. Ship-rigged vessels can back sail, literally backing up or heave to (stop). In the only engagement between two brig-sloops the ''Cruizer''-class brig HMS Pelican (1812), HMS ''Pelican'' overwhelmed the USS Argus (1803), USS ''Argus'' as she had greater firepower and tonnage, despite having less crew. USS Enterprise (1799), USS ''Enterprise'', a schooner that had been converted to a brig, took HMS ''Boxer'' a HMS Bold (1812), ''Bold''-class gun-brig. These ships were of a comparable size with similar crews. USS ''Enterprise'' led a chasing ''Boxer'' out on run then turned and let fly at 10 yards. The ''Boxer'' replied at the same time. The ''Boxer''s captain was killed instantly while ''Enterprise''s captain received a mortal wound. The quality of gunnery was better on the ''Enterprise'', demasting ''Boxer''. Unable to reply when ''Enterprise'' took up a raking position, ''Boxer'' surrendered.


Privateering

The operations of American privateers proved a more significant threat to British trade than the United States Navy. They operated throughout the Atlantic until the close of the war, most notably from Baltimore. American privateers reported taking 1300 British merchant vessels, compared to 254 taken by the United States Navy, although the insurer Lloyd's of London reported that only 1,175 British ships were taken, 373 of which were recaptured, for a total loss of 802. The Canadian historian Carl Benn wrote that American privateers took 1,344 British ships, of which 750 were retaken by the British. The British tried to limit privateering losses by the strict enforcement of convoy by the
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare Naval warfare is combat Combat ( French for ''fight'') is a purposeful violent conflict meant to physically harm or kill the opposition. Combat may be armed (using weapon A ...
and directly by capturing 278 American privateers. Due to the massive size of the British merchant fleet, American captures only affected 7.5% of the fleet, resulting in no supply shortages or lack of reinforcements for British forces in North America. Of 526 American privateers, 148 were captured by the Royal Navy and only 207 ever took a prize. Due to the large size of their navy, the British did not rely as much on privateering. The majority of the 1,407 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 with experience gained in previous wars. The nimble Bermuda sloops captured 298 American ships. Privateer schooners based in
British North America British North America comprised the British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate, mandates, and other Dependent territory, territories ruled or adminis ...
, especially from Nova Scotia took 250 American ships and proved especially effective in crippling American coastal trade and capturing American ships closer to shore than the Royal Navy's cruisers.


Blockade

The Blockade, naval blockade of the United States began informally in the late fall of 1812. Under the command of British Admiral John Borlase Warren, it extended from South Carolina to Florida. It expanded to cut off more ports as the war progressed. Twenty ships were on station in 1812 and 135 were in place by the end of the conflict. In March 1813, the Royal Navy punished the Southern states, who were most vocal about annexing British North America, by blockading Charleston, South Carolina, Charleston, Port Royal, Savannah, Georgia, Savannah and New York City as well. Additional ships were sent to North America in 1813 and the Royal Navy tightened and extended the blockade, first to the coast south of Narragansett, Rhode Island, Narragansett by November 1813 and to the entire American coast on 31 May 1814. In May 1814, following the abdication of Napoleon and the end of the supply problems with Wellington's army, New England was blockaded. The British needed American foodstuffs for their army in Spain and benefited from trade with New England, so they did not at first blockade New England. The Delaware River and Chesapeake Bay were declared in a state of blockade on 26 December 1812. 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 United States government was driven to issue orders to stop illicit trading. This put only a further strain on the commerce of the country. The British fleet occupied the Chesapeake Bay and attacked and destroyed numerous docks and harbours. The effect was that no foreign goods could enter the United States on ships and only smaller fast boats could attempt to get out. The cost of shipping became very expensive as a result. The blockade of American ports later tightened to the extent that most American merchant ships and naval vessels were confined to port. The American frigates and ended the war blockaded and hulk (ship type), hulked in New London, Connecticut. USS ''United States'' and USS ''Macedonian'' attempted to set sail to raid British shipping in the Caribbean, but were forced to turn back when confronted with a British squadron, and by the end of the war, the United States had six frigates and four ships-of-the-line sitting in port. Some merchant ships were based in Europe or Asia and continued operations. Others, mainly from New England, were issued licences to trade by Admiral Warren, commander in chief on the American station in 1813. This allowed Wellington's army in Spain to receive American goods and to maintain the New Englanders' Opposition to the War of 1812 in the United States, opposition to the war. The blockade nevertheless decreased American exports from $130 million in 1807 to $7 million in 1814. Most exports were goods that ironically went to supply their enemies in Britain or the British colonies. The blockade had a devastating effect on the American economy with the value of American exports and imports falling from $114 million in 1811 down to $20 million by 1814 while the United States Customs took in $13 million in 1811 and $6 million in 1814, even though the Congress had voted to double the rates. The British blockade further damaged the American economy by forcing merchants to abandon the cheap and fast coastal trade to the slow and more expensive inland roads. In 1814, only 1 out of 14 American merchantmen risked leaving port as it was likely that any ship leaving port would be seized. As the Royal Navy base that supervised the blockade, Halifax profited greatly during the war. From there, British privateers seized and sold many French and American ships. More than a hundred prize vessels were anchored in St. George's Harbour awaiting condemnation by the Admiralty Court when a hurricane struck in 1815, sinking roughly sixty of the vessels.


Freeing and recruiting slaves

The British Royal Navy's blockades and raids allowed about 4,000 African Americans to escape Slavery in the United States, slavery by fleeing American plantations aboard British ships. American slaves near to the British military rebelled against their masters and made their way to British encampments. The migrants who settled in Canada were known as the Black Refugee (War of 1812), Black Refugees. The blockading British fleet in the Chesapeake Bay received increasing numbers of freed slaves during 1813. By British government order, they were considered free persons when they reached British hands. Alexander Cochrane's Black Refugee (War of 1812), proclamation of 2 April 1814 invited Americans who wished to emigrate to join the British. Although it did not explicitly mention slaves, it was taken by all as addressed to them. About 2,400 escaped slaves and their families were transported by the Royal Navy to the Royal Naval Dockyard, Bermuda, Royal Naval Dockyard at Bermuda (where they were employed on works about the yard and organized as a militia to aid in the defence of the yard), Nova Scotia and New Brunswick during and after the war. Starting in May 1814, younger male 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.C., and Battle of Baltimore, before withdrawing to Bermuda with the rest of the British forces. They were later settled in Trinidad after having rejected orders for transfer to the West India Regiments, forming the community of the Merikins (none of the freed slaves remained in Bermuda after the war). These escaped slaves represented the largest emancipation of African Americans prior to the American Civil War. Britain paid the United States for the financial loss of the slaves at the end of the war.


Occupation of Maine

Maine, then part of Massachusetts, was a base for smuggling and illegal trade between the United States and the British. Until 1813, the region was generally quiet except for privateer actions near the coast. In September 1813, the United States Navy's brig Capture of HMS Boxer, fought and captured the Royal Navy brig off Pemaquid Point Light, Pemaquid Point. On 11 July 1814, Thomas Masterman Hardy took Moose Island (Eastport, Maine) without a shot and the entire American garrison, 65 men of Fort Sullivan (Maine), Fort Sullivan peacefully surrendered. The British temporarily renamed the captured fort "Fort Sherbrooke". In September 1814, John Coape Sherbrooke led 3,000 British troops from his base in Halifax, Nova Scotia in the "Penobscot Expedition". In 26 days, he raided and looted Hampden, Maine, Hampden, Bangor, Maine, Bangor and Machias, Maine, Machias, destroying or capturing 17 American ships. He won the Battle of Hampden, with two killed while the Americans had one killed. Retreating American forces were forced to destroy the frigate . The British occupied the town of Castine, Maine, Castine and most of eastern Maine for the rest of the war, governing it under martial law and re-establishing the colony of New Ireland (Maine), New Ireland. The Treaty of Ghent returned this territory to the United States. When the British left in April 1815, they took £10,750 in tariff duties from Castine. This money, called the "Castine Fund", was used to establish Dalhousie University in Halifax. Decisions about the islands in Passamaquoddy Bay were decided by joint commission in 1817. However, Machias Seal Island had been seized by the British as part of the occupation and was unaddressed by the commission. While kept by Britain/Canada, it remains in dispute to this day.


Chesapeake campaign

The strategic location of the Chesapeake Bay near the Potomac River made it a prime target for the British. Rear Admiral George Cockburn arrived there in March 1813 and was joined by Admiral Warren who took command of operations ten days later. Starting in March a squadron under Rear Admiral George Cockburn started a blockade of the mouth of the Bay at Hampton Roads harbour and raided towns along the Bay from Norfolk, Virginia to Raid on Havre de Grace, Havre de Grace, Maryland. In late April Cockburn landed at and set fire to Frenchtown, Baltimore, Frenchtown, Maryland and destroyed ships that were docked there. In the following weeks he routed the local militias and looted and burned three other towns. Thereafter he marched to Principio Furnace, iron foundry at Principio and destroyed it along with sixty-eight cannons. On 4 July 1813, Commodore Joshua Barney, an American Revolutionary War naval officer, 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 1814, the squadron was quickly cornered on the Patuxent River. While successful in harassing the Royal Navy, they could not stop subsequent British operations in the area. In August 1814, a force of 2,500 soldiers under General Ross had just arrived in Bermuda aboard , three frigates, three sloops and ten other vessels. Released from the Peninsular War by victory, the British intended to use them for diversionary raids along the coasts of Maryland and Virginia. In response to Prévost's request, they decided to employ this force, together with the naval and military units already on the station, to strike at the national capital. Anticipating the attack, valuable documents, including the original Constitution, were removed to Leesburg, Virginia. United States Secretary of War John Armstrong Jr. insisted that the British were going to attack Baltimore rather than Washington, even as British army and naval units were on their way to Washington. Brigadier General William H. Winder, who had burned several bridges in the area, assumed the British would attack Annapolis and was reluctant to engage because he mistakenly thought the British army was twice its size. The inexperienced state militia was easily routed in the Battle of Bladensburg, opening the route to Washington. British troops led by Major General Robert Ross (British Army officer), Robert Ross, accompanied by Rear Admiral George Cockburn, the 3rd Brigade attacked and captured Washington with a force of 4,500. On 24 August, after the British had finished looting the interiors, Ross directed his troops to Burning of Washington, set fire to number of public buildings, including the White House and the United States Capitol. Extensive damage to the interiors and the contents of both were subsequently reported. US government and military officials fled to Virginia, while Secretary of the United States Navy William Jones (statesman), William Jones ordered the Washington Navy Yard and a nearby fort to be razed in order to prevent its capture. Public buildings in Washington were destroyed by the British though private residences ordered spared. After taking some munitions from the Washington Munitions depot, the British, boarded their ships and moved on to their major target, the heavily fortified major city of Baltimore. Because some of their ships were held up in the Raid on Alexandria (Virginia), Raid on Alexandria, they delayed their movement allowing Baltimore an opportunity to strengthen the fortifications and bring in new federal troops and state militia units. The "Battle of Baltimore, Battle for Baltimore" began with the British landing on 12 September 1814 at Fort Howard (Maryland), 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 (British Army officer), 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 Battle of North Point was fought for several afternoon hours in a musketry and artillery duel. The British also planned to simultaneously attack Baltimore by water on the following day, although the Royal Navy was unable to reduce Fort McHenry at the entrance to Baltimore Harbor in support of an attack from the northeast by the British Army. The British eventually realized that they could not force the passage to attack Baltimore in coordination with the land force. A last ditch night feint and barge attack during a heavy rain storm was led by Captain Charles Napier (Royal Navy officer), 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. The defence of the fort inspired the American lawyer Francis Scott Key to write "Defence of Fort M'Henry", a poem that was later set to music as "The Star-Spangled Banner".


Southern theatre

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 South Carolina Lowcountry, Lowcountry and Chesapeake.


Creek War

Before 1813, 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 sticks, 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 had visited the Creeks about a year before 1813 and encouraged greater resistance to the Americans. The Creek Nation was a trading partner of the United States, actively involved with British and Spanish trade as well. The Red Sticks as well as many southern Muscogee people like the Seminole had a long history of alliance with the British and Spanish empires. This alliance helped the North American and European powers protect each other's claims to territory in the south. On 27 July the Red Sticks were returning from Pensacola, Florida, Pensacola with a pack train filled with trade goods and arms when they were Battle of Burnt Corn, attacked by Americans who made off with their goods. On 30 August 1813, in retaliation for the raid, the Red Sticks, led by chiefs of the Creeks William Weatherford, Red Eagle and Peter McQueen, attacked Fort Mims north of Mobile, Alabama, Mobile, the only American-held port in the territory of West Florida. The attack on Fort Mims resulted in the horrific death of 400 refugee settlers, all butchered and scalped, including women and children, and became an ideological rallying point for the Americans. It prompted the state of Georgia and the Mississippi militia to immediately take major action against Creek offensives. The Red Sticks chiefs gained power in the east along the Alabama River, Coosa River and Tallapoosa River in the Upper Creek territory. By contrast, the Lower Creek, who lived along the Chattahoochee River, generally opposed the Red Sticks and wanted to remain allied to the U.S. Indian agent Benjamin Hawkins recruited Lower Creek to aid the United States historical military districts, 6th Military District under General Thomas Pinckney and the state militias against the Red Sticks. The United States combined forces were 5,000 troops from East and West Tennessee, with about 200 indigenous allies. At its peak, the Red Stick faction had 4,000 warriors, only a quarter of whom had muskets. The Indian frontier of western Georgia (U.S. state), Georgia was the most vulnerable but was partially fortified already. From November 1813 to January 1814, Georgia's militia and auxiliary United States Army, Federal troops from the Muscogee (Creek), Creek and Cherokee indigenous 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 (Georgia politician), John Floyd, went to the heart of the Creek Holy Grounds and won a major offensive against one of the largest Creek towns at the Battle of Autossee, killing an estimated two hundred people. In November, the militia of Mississippi with a combined 1,200 troops attacked the Econachca encampment in the Battle of Holy Ground on the Alabama River. Tennessee raised a militia of 5,000 under Major General
Andrew Jackson Andrew Jackson (March 15, 1767 – June 8, 1845) was an American lawyer, soldier, and statesman who served as the seventh president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of ...

Andrew Jackson
and Brigadier General John Coffee and won the battles of Battle of Tallushatchee, Tallushatchee and Battle of Talladega, Talladega in November 1813. Jackson suffered enlistment problems in the winter. He decided to combine his force, composed of Tennessee militia and pro-American Creek, with the Georgia militia. In January, however, the Red Sticks attacked his army at the Battles of Emuckfaw and Enotachopo Creek. Jackson's troops repelled the attackers, but they were outnumbered and forced to withdraw to his base at Fort Strother. In January, Floyd's force of 1,300 state militia and 400 Creek moved to join the United States forces in Tennessee, but they were attacked in camp on the Calibee Creek by Tukabatchee Muscogees on 27 January. Jackson's force increased in numbers with the arrival of United States Army soldiers and a second draft of Tennessee state militia, Cherokee, and pro-American Creek swelled his army to around 5,000. In March 1814, they moved south to attack the Red Sticks. On 27 March, Jackson decisively defeated a force of about a thousand Red Sticks at Battle of Horseshoe Bend (1814), Horseshoe Bend, killing 800 of them at a cost of 49 killed and 154 wounded. Jackson then moved his army to Fort Jackson (Alabama), Fort Jackson on the Alabama River. He promptly turned on the pro-American Creek who had fought with him and compelled their chieftains, along with a single Red Stick chieftain, to sign the Treaty of Fort Jackson, which forced the Creek tribe as a whole to cede most of western Georgia (U.S. state), Georgia and part of Alabama to the U.S. Both Hawkins and the pro-American Creek strongly opposed the treaty, which they regarded as deeply unjust. The treaty also demanded that the Creek cease communicating with the British and Spanish and trade only with United States-approved agents. British aid to the Red Sticks arrived after the end of the Napoleonic Wars in April 1814 and after Admiral Alexander Cochrane assumed command from Admiral Warren in March. Captain Huge Pigot arrived with two ships to arm the Red Sticks. He thought that some 6,600 warriors could be armed and recruited. It was overly optimistic at best. The Red Sticks were in the process of being destroyed as a military force. In April 1814, the British established an outpost on the Apalachicola River (Prospect Bluff Historic Sites). Cochrane sent a company of Royal Marines commanded by Edward Nicolls, the vessels and and further supplies to meet the Indians in the region. In addition to training them, Nicolls was tasked to raise a force from escaped slaves as part of the Corps of Colonial Marines. In July 1814, General Jackson complained to the governor of Pensacola, Mateo González Manrique that combatants from the Creek War were being harboured in Spanish territory and made reference to the British presence on Spanish soil. Although he gave an angry reply to Jackson, Manrique was alarmed at the weak position he found himself in and appealed to the British for help. Woodbine arrived on 28 July and Nicolls on 24 August. The first engagement of the British and their Creek allies against the Americans on the Gulf Coast was the 14 September 1814 attack on Fort Bowyer. Captain William Percy tried to take the United States fort, hoping to then move on Mobile and block United States trade and encroachment on the Mississippi. After the Americans repulsed Percy's forces, the British established a military presence of up to 200 Marines at Pensacola. In November, Jackson's force of 4,000 men Battle of Pensacola (1814), took the town. This underlined the superiority of numbers of Jackson's force in the region. The United States force moved to New Orleans in late 1814. Jackson's army of 1,000 regulars and 3,000 to 4,000 militia, pirates and other fighters as well as civilians and slaves built fortifications south of the city.


Gulf Coast

American forces under General James Wilkinson, himself a paid Spanish secret agent, took the Mobile, Alabama, Mobile area from the Spanish in March 1813. This region was the rump of Spanish West Florida, the western portion of which had been annexed to the United States in 1810. The Americans built Fort Bowyer, a log and earthen-work fort with 14 guns, on Mobile Point to defend it. Major Latour opined that none of the three forts in the area were capable of resisting a siege. At the end of 1814, the British launched a double offensive in the South weeks before the Treaty of Ghent was signed. On the Atlantic coast, Admiral Sir George Cockburn, 10th Baronet, George Cockburn was to close the Intracoastal Waterway trade and land Royal Marine battalions to advance through Georgia to the western territories. While on the Gulf of Mexico, Gulf coast, Admiral Alexander Cochrane moved on the new state of Louisiana and the Mississippi Territory. Admiral Cochrane's ships reached the Louisiana coast on 9 December and Cockburn arrived in Georgia on 14 December. The British had the objective of gaining control of the entrance of the Mississippi, and to challenge the legality of the Louisiana Purchase. To this end, an expeditionary force of 8,000 troops under General Edward Pakenham attacked Jackson's prepared defences in New Orleans on 8 January 1815. The Battle of New Orleans was an American victory, as the British failed to take the fortifications on the East Bank. The British attack force suffered high casualties, including 291 dead, 1,262 wounded and 484 captured or missing whereas American casualties were light with 13 dead, 39 wounded and 19 missing, according to the respective official casualty returns. This battle was hailed as a great victory across the United States, making Jackson a national hero and eventually propelling him to the presidency. In January 1815 Fort St. Philip endured Siege of Fort St. Philip (1815), ten days of bombardment from five boats of the
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare Naval warfare is combat Combat ( French for ''fight'') is a purposeful violent conflict meant to physically harm or kill the opposition. Combat may be armed (using weapon A ...
. Remini believes this was preventing the British moving their fleet up the Mississippi in support of the land attack. Roosevelt does not share Remini's theory. He observes that the British disengaged once the fort's mortar was resupplied on 15 January 1815 and was able to return fire, the engagement being described as 'unsuccessfully bombarding' the fort by the British. After deciding further attacks would be too costly and unlikely to succeed; the British fleet withdrew from the Mississippi River on 18 January. However, it was not until 27 January 1815 that the British Army, land forces rejoined the fleet, allowing for its final departure. After New Orleans, the British moved to take Mobile as a base for further operations. In preparation, General John Lambert (British Army officer), John Lambert laid siege to Fort Bowyer taking it on 12 February 1815. However HMS ''HMS Brazen (1808), Brazen'' brought news of the Treaty of Ghent the next day and the British abandoned the Gulf Coast. This ending of the war prevented the capture of Mobile, and renewed attacks on New Orleans. Meanwhile, in January 1815, Admiral Cockburn succeeded in blockading the southeastern coast of Georgia (U.S. state), Georgia by occupying Camden County, Georgia, Camden County. The British quickly took Cumberland Island, Georgia, Cumberland Island, Battle of Fort Peter, Fort Point Peter and Fort St. Tammany in a decisive victory. Under the orders of his commanding officers, Cockburn's forces relocated many refugee slaves, capturing St. Simons, Georgia, St. Simons Island as well to do so. He had orders to recruit as many runaway slaves into the Corps of Colonial Marines as possible and use them to conduct raids in Georgia and the Carolinas. Cockburn also provided thousands of muskets and carbines and a huge quantity of ammunition to the Creeks and Seminole Indians for the same purpose. During the invasion of the Georgia coast, an estimated 1,485 people chose to relocate to British territories or join the British military. However, by mid-March, several days after being informed of the Treaty of Ghent, British ships left the area. The British did not recognize the West Florida territory as being legally American, as it had been seized from the Spanish during the war. The British also did not recognize the
Louisiana Purchase The Louisiana Purchase (french: Vente de la Louisiane, translation=Sale of Louisiana) was the acquisition of the territory of Louisiana by the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United St ...

Louisiana Purchase
because they and Spain voided all land deals and treaties made by Napoleon, especially the 1800–1804 transfer of Louisiana from Spain to France to the United States. Owsley is of the opinion this appeared to be compelling evidence that Britain had no intention of returning the region, had it completed capture of the territory, without new American concessions. West Florida was the only territory permanently gained by the United States during the war.


Treaty of Ghent


Factors leading to the peace negotiations

By 1814, both Britain and the United States either achieved their main war goals or were weary of the costly stalemate. They both sent delegations to
Ghent Ghent ( ; Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Du ...

Ghent
, a neutral site. The negotiations began in early August and concluded on December 24, when a final agreement was signed as both sides had to ratify it before it could take effect. Meanwhile, both sides planned new invasions.


Negotiations and peace

In August 1814, peace discussions began. Both sides approached negotiations warily. British diplomats stated their case first, demanding the creation of an Indian barrier state in the American Northwest Territory (the area from Ohio to Wisconsin). It was understood the British would sponsor this state. The British strategy for decades had been to create a buffer state to block American expansion. Britain also demanded naval control of the Great Lakes and access to the Mississippi River. On the American side, Monroe instructed the American diplomats sent to Europe to try to convince the British to cede the Canadas, or at least Upper Canada, to the U.S. At a later stage, the Americans also demanded damages for the burning of Washington and for the seizure of ships before the war began. American public opinion was outraged when Madison published the demands as even the Federalists were now willing to fight on. The British had planned three invasions. One force burned Washington, but it failed to capture Baltimore and sailed away when its commander was killed. In northern New York State, 10,000 British veterans were marching south until a decisive defeat at the Battle of Plattsburgh forced them back to Canada. Nothing was known of the fate of the third large invasion force aimed at capturing New Orleans and southwest. The prime minister wanted Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, the Duke of Wellington to command in Canada and take control of the Great Lakes. Wellington said that he would go to the United States, but he believed he was needed in Europe. Wellington emphasized that the war was a draw and the peace negotiations should not make territorial demands: Prime Minister Robert Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool, aware of growing opposition to wartime taxation and the demands of Liverpool and Bristol merchants for reopened trade with America, realized Britain also had little to gain and much to lose from prolonged warfare especially given growing concern about the situation in Europe. After months of negotiations, against a background of changing military victories, defeats and losses, Britain and the United States finally realized that both their nations wanted peace and there was no real reason to continue the war. The main focus of British foreign policy was the Congress of Vienna, at which British diplomats had clashed with Russian and Prussian diplomats over the terms of the peace with France and there were fears that Britain might have to go to war with Russia and Prussia. Each side was now tired of the war. Export trade was all but paralyzed and France was no longer an enemy of Britain after Napoleon fell in 1814, 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 1812. The British were preoccupied in rebuilding Europe after the apparent final defeat of Napoleon. Consequently, Lord Liverpool urged the British negotiators to offer a peace based on the restoration of the pre-war status quo. The British negotiators duly dropped their demands for the creation of an Indian neutral zone, which allowed negotiations to resume at the end of October. The American negotiators accepted the British proposals for a peace based on the pre-war status quo. Prisoners were to be exchanged and escaped slaves returned to the United States or paid for by Britain. At this point, the number of slaves was approximately 6,000. Britain eventually refused the demand, allowing many to either emigrate to Canada or Trinidad. On 24 December 1814, the diplomats had finished and signed the Treaty of Ghent. The treaty was ratified by the British Prince Regent three days later on 27 December. On 17 February, it arrived in Washington, where it was quickly ratified and went into effect, 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 British insisted on the inclusion of provisions in Article IX of the treaty which called on both signatories to restore to the Indians "all possessions, rights and privileges which they may have enjoyed, or been entitled to in 1811". The inherent flaw in the British demand was the assumption that the Indian tribes were independent, however, they were only considered dwellers in the United States who had recently made war upon her in co-operation with Great Britain. Subsequently, the Americans did not comply with these provisions and the British made no effort to compel them to do so. Much like the Congress of Vienna, the Treaty of Ghent completely maintained Britain's maritime belligerent rights, a key goal for the British, without acknowledging American maritime rights or the end of impressment. While American maritime rights were not seriously violated in the century of peace until World War I, the defeat of Napoleon made the need for impressment irrelevant and the grievances of the United States no longer an issue. In this sense, the United States achieved its goals indirectly and felt its honour had been upheld.


Losses and compensation

Losses figures do not include deaths among Canadian militia forces or losses among Indian tribes. British losses in the war were about 1,160 killed in action and 3,679 wounded, with 3,321 British who died from disease. American losses were 2,260 killed in action and 4,505 wounded. While the number of Americans who died from disease is not known, it is estimated that about 15,000 died from all causes directly related to the war. There have been no estimates of the cost of the American war to Britain, but it did add some £25 million to its national debt. In the United States, the cost was $105 million, about the same as the cost to Britain. The national debt rose from $45 million in 1812 to $127 million by the end of 1815, although by selling bonds and Treasury Note (19th century)#War of 1812, treasury notes at deep discounts—and often for irredeemable paper money due to the suspension of specie payment in 1814—the government received only $34 million worth of specie. Stephen Girard, the List of richest Americans in history, richest man in the United States at the time, was one of those who funded the United States government's involvement in the war. The British national debt rose from £451 million in 1812 to £841 million in 1814, although this was at a time when Britain was fighting a war against Napoleon. The war was bad for both economies. In addition, at least 3,000 American slaves escaped to British lines. Many other slaves simply escaped in the chaos of war and achieved freedom on their own. The British settled some of the newly freed slaves in Nova Scotia. Four hundred freedmen were settled in New Brunswick. The Americans protested that Britain's failure to return the slaves violated the Treaty of Ghent. After arbitration by the Alexander I of Russia, Tsar of Russia the British paid $1,204,960 in damages to Washington, to reimburse the slave owners. In the United States, the economy grew every year from 1812 to 1815, despite a large loss of business by East Coast shipping interests. Prices were 15% higher—inflated—in 1815 compared to 1812, an annual rate of 4.8%. The national economy grew 1812–1815 at 3.7% a year, after accounting for inflation. Per capita GDP grew at 2.2% a year, after accounting for inflation. Hundreds of new banks were opened; they largely handled the loans that financed the war since tax revenues were down. 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. This gave a major boost to the Industrial Revolution in the United States as typified by the Boston Associates. The Boston Manufacturing Company, built the first integrated spinning and weaving factory in the world at Waltham, Massachusetts in 1813.


Long-term consequences

The border between the United States and Canada remained essentially unchanged by the war and the treaty that ended it addressed the original points of contention—and yet it changed much between the United States and Britain. The Treaty of Ghent established the ''status quo ante bellum''. The issue of impressment became irrelevant when the Royal Navy no longer needed sailors and stopped impressing them. The long-term results of the war were generally satisfactory to the United States and Britain. Except for occasional border disputes and some tensions during and after the American Civil War, relations between the United States and Britain remained peaceful for the rest of the 19th century and the two countries became Special Relationship, close allies in the 20th century. Historian Troy Bickham argues that each participant defined success in a different way. The new American republic could claim victory in that its independence from London was assured, and the Indian nation opposition to westward expansion was removed. The memory of the conflict played a major role in helping to consolidate a Canadian national identity after 1867. The British retained Canada, but their attention was overwhelmingly devoted to celebrating the defeat of Napoleon. The consensus is that the tribes were the big losers. The Rush–Bagot Treaty between the United States and Britain was enacted in 1817. 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. It remains in effect to this day. Britain defeated the American invasions of Canada and its own invasion of the United States was defeated in Maryland, New York and New Orleans. After two decades of intense warfare against France, Britain was in no mood for more conflicts with the United States and focused on expanding the British Empire into India. Border adjustments between the United States and British North America were made in the Treaty of 1818.


Bermuda

Bermuda had been largely left to the defences of its own militia and privateers before American independence, but the Royal Navy had begun buying up land and operating from there beginning in 1795. As construction work progressed through the first half of the 19th century, Bermuda became the permanent naval headquarters in Western waters, housing the Admiralty House, Bermuda, Admiralty and serving as a base and Royal Naval Dockyard, Bermuda, dockyard. Defence infrastructure remained the central leg of Bermuda's economy until after World War II.


Canadas

After the war, pro-British leaders in Upper Canada demonstrated a strong hostility to American influences, including republicanism, which shaped its policies. Immigration from the United States was discouraged and favour was shown to the Anglican Church as opposed to the more Americanized Methodist Church. The Battle of York showed the vulnerability of Upper and Lower Canada. In the decades following the war, several projects were undertaken to improve the defence of the colonies against the United States. They included work on La Citadelle at Quebec City, Fort Henry National Historic Site, Fort Henry at Kingston, and rebuilding Fort York at York. Additionally, work began on the Halifax Citadel to defend the port against foreign navies. Akin to the American view that it was "Second War of Independence" for the United States, the war was also somewhat of a war of independence for Canada. Before the war Canada was a mix of French Canadians, native-born British subjects, loyalists and Americans who migrated there. Historian Donal Hickey maintains that the war that threatened Canada greatly helped to cement these disparate groups into a unified nation.


Indigenous nations

The Indian tribes allied to the British lost their cause. The Americans rejected the British proposal to create an "Indian barrier state" in the American West at the Ghent peace conference and it never resurfaced. Donald Fixico argues that "[a]fter the War of 1812, the U.S. negotiated over two hundred Indian treaties that involved the ceding of Indian lands and 99 of these agreements resulted in the creation of reservations west of the Mississippi River". The indigenous nations lost most of their fur-trapping territory. Indigenous nations were displaced in Alabama, Georgia (US state), Georgia, New York (state), New York and Oklahoma, losing most of what is now Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin within the
Northwest Territory The Northwest Territory, also known as the Old Northwest and formally known as the Territory Northwest of the River Ohio, was formed from unorganized western territory of the United States after the . Established in 1787 by the through the , ...

Northwest Territory
as well as in New York (state), New York and the Southern United States, South. They came to be seen as an undesirable burden by British policymakers, who now looked to the United States for markets and raw materials. Everyone, including British fur traders were prohibited from entering in the United States for purposes of trade. British Indian agents however continued to meet regularly with their former allies among the tribes of the Old Northwest, but refused to supply them with arms or help them resist American attempts to displace them. The American government rapidly built a network of forts throughout the Old Northwest, thus establishing firm military control. It also sponsored American fur traders, who outcompeted the British fur traders. Meanwhile, Euro-American settlers rapidly migrated into the Old Northwest, into the lands occupied by the tribes who were previously allied with the British. of the region, many of whom fought with the British during the war. After the decisive defeat of the Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814, some Creek warriors escaped to join the Seminole in Florida. The remaining Creek chiefs signed away about half their lands, comprising 23,000,000 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. After much confrontation between settlers and tribes, and failed attempts to assimilate Indians to a life of farming and ranching, they were ultimately sent to various reservations. The War of 1812 marked a turning point in the history of the Old Northwest because it established United States authority over the British and Indians of that border region.


Great Britain

The war is seldom remembered in Great Britain. The massive ongoing conflict in Europe against the French Empire under
Napoleon Napoléon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French military and political leader. He rose to prominence during the French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) refers to the period that began with the Estates General o ...

Napoleon
ensured that the British did not consider the War of 1812 against the United States as more than a sideshow. Britain's blockade of French trade had been entirely successful, and the Royal Navy was the world's dominant nautical power (and remained so for another century). While the land campaigns had contributed to saving Canada, the Royal Navy had shut down American commerce, bottled up the United States 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 United States. The peace was generally welcomed by the British, although there was disquiet about the rapid growth of the United States. However, the two nations quickly resumed trade after the end of the war and a growing friendship over time. Historian Donald R. Hickey maintains that for Britain, "the best way to defend Canada was to accommodate the United States. 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".


United States

The nation gained a strong sense of complete independence as people celebrated their "second war of independence". Nationalism soared after the victory at the Battle of New Orleans. The opposition
Federalist Party The Federalist Party was the first political party in the United States American electoral politics has been dominated by two major political parties since shortly after the founding of the republic. Since the 1850s, they have been the Histo ...
collapsed and the Era of Good Feelings ensued. No longer questioning the need for a strong Navy, the United States built three new 74-gun ships of the line and two new 44-gun frigates shortly after the end of the war. Another frigate had been destroyed to prevent its capture on the stocks when Washington had been burned. In 1816, the United States Congress passed into law an "Act for the gradual increase of the Navy" at a cost of $1,000,000 a year for eight years, authorizing nine ships of the line and 12 heavy frigates. The captains and commodores of the Navy became the heroes of their generation in the United States. Decorated plates and pitchers of Decatur, Hull, Bainbridge, Lawrence, Perry, and Macdonough were made in Staffordshire, England, and found a ready market in the United States. Several war heroes used their fame to win elections to national office. Andrew Jackson and William Henry Harrison both benefited from their military successes to win the presidency, while representative Richard Mentor Johnson's role during the war helped him attain the vice presidency. During the war, New England states became increasingly frustrated over how the war was being conducted and how the conflict affected them. They complained that the United States government was not investing enough militarily and financially in the states' defences and that the states should have more control over their militias. Increased taxes, the British blockade, and the occupation of some of New England by enemy forces also agitated public opinion in the states. At the
Hartford Convention The Hartford Convention was a series of meetings from December 15, 1814 to January 5, 1815, in Hartford, Connecticut, United States, in which the New England Federalist Party met to discuss their grievances concerning the ongoing War of 1812 and t ...
held between December 1814 and January 1815, Federalist delegates deprecated the war effort and sought more autonomy for the New England states. They did not call for secession but word of the angry anti-war resolutions appeared as 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 freedom, despite the difficulties. The British helped numerous Black Refugees resettle in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, where Black Loyalists had also been granted land after the American Revolutionary War. Jackson invaded Florida in 1818, demonstrating to Spain that it could no longer control that territory with a small force. Spain sold Florida to the United States in 1819 under the Adams–Onís Treaty following the First Seminole War. Pratt concludes that "[t]hus indirectly the War of 1812 brought about the acquisition of Florida. ..To both the Northwest and the South, therefore, the War of 1812 brought substantial benefits. It broke the power of the Creek Confederacy and opened to settlement a great province of the future Cotton Kingdom".


Historiography


See also

* Timeline of the War of 1812 * Bibliography of early United States naval history * Bibliography of the War of 1812 * Elgin Military Museum * Indiana in the War of 1812 * Kentucky in the War of 1812 * List of War of 1812 battles * Sixty Years' War * War of 1812 campaigns


Notes


References


Bibliography

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''Canadian Encyclopedia''
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Further reading

* Benn, Carl, ed. ''A Mohawk Memoir from the War of 1812: John Norton-Teyoninhokarawen'' (U of Toronto Press, 2019) * * * * * * * * * * Historiography. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * John William Ward (professor), Ward, John William 1955. ''Andrew Jackson, Symbol for an Age''. New York: Oxford University Press. * * * * * * * * * * * * *


External links


The War of 1812
Government of Canada website.
The War of 1812
Department of National Defence (Canada) website.
Library of Congress Guide to the War of 1812
Kenneth Drexler.

The William C. Cook Collection, The Williams Research Center, The Historic New Orleans Collection.

Office of the Chief of Military History, United States Army, 1989.
War of 1812 collection
William L. Clements Library. * *

chart by Greg D. Feldmeth, Polytechnic School (Pasadena, California), 1998. * *

David Omahen, New York State Military Museum and Veteran Research Center, 2006.
President Madison's War Message
lesson plan with extensive list of documents, EDSitement.com (National Endowment for the Humanities).
PBS Documentary The War of 1812
. *
Indexed eLibrary of War of 1812 Resources
at Fire Along the Frontier Resource Site.
Illustrated War of 1812 Timelines
at Fire Along the Frontier Resource Site.




BBC Radio 4: In Our Time. The War of 1812, 31 January 2013

Indiana University Lilly Library Digital Collection of War of 1812

The War: A War of 1812 Newspaper
Brock University Library Digital Repository.
War of 1812 Collection
Brock University Library Digital Repository. {{DEFAULTSORT:War Of 1812 War of 1812, First Nations history Foreign relations of the United Kingdom History of indigenous peoples of the Americas History of United States expansionism Imperialism Invasions of Canada Invasions of the United States Resistance movements Slavery in the United States Sovereignty Trade wars Wars between the United Kingdom and the United States Wars involving Canada, 1812 Wars involving the United Kingdom, 1812 Wars involving the United States, 1812 Fur trade North West Company Canada in the War of 1812 British Indian Department Canadian Militia