The Second War for Independence and the Upsurge of Nationalism 1.
On to Canada Over Land and Lakes
The War of 1812 was very divisive to America. Sections were staunchly for it or against it. Generally, the West and South were for the war, the Northeast was hotly against it. 2.
In many ways, the war was very disorganized.
Loaded with naive ambition of easily gaining lands, the Americans attacked "On to Canada!" The attack was poorly planned and poorly executed by poor generals. The Americans lost. 1.
In hindsight, taking Montreal would have made the rest of the cities wither away. 2.
Instead, the Americans attacked Detroit, Niagara, and Lake Champlain, losing each battle. 3.
The Canadians did quite well. They defended their lands and even took the American fort at Michilimackinac on the northern area of the Great Lakes. 3.
After these eye-opening defeats, the Americans had some successes… 1.
Oliver Hazard Perry built a fleet of ships on the shores of Lake Erie. He then won a battle there and reported, "We have met they enemy and they are ours." This forced the Brits out of Detroit. 2.
As they evacuated Detroit, William Henry Harrison's forces engaged and defeated the British at the Battle of the Thames. This is where Tecumseh was killed. 3.
The British still planned to attack New York City via the Lake Champlain/Hudson River route. They assembled a sizeable force and headed down the lake. Young American Cpt. Thomas MacDonough engaged the British and, just before being defeated, turned his ship with cables to broadside and defeat the British. MacDonough's victory forced the British to halt their plan and thus saved New York and prevented New England from being severed from the nation. 2.
Washington Burned and New Orleans Defended
The war then turned to the Chesapeake Bay area.
The British landed and ran off 6,000 Americans at Bladensburg and then marched to Washington D.C. The British burnt the new capital to the ground (including the White House and Congress). 2.
The British then sailed to Baltimore but were stopped at Ft. McHenry. During the battle, Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner describing the battle and how the American flag stood throughout the night. 2.
The war also moved into the South.
The British targeted New Orleans—this put the entire Mississippi Valley in jeopardy. 2.
Andrew Jackson had just won against Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in Alabama. He assembled a 7,000 man mosaic of an army—sailors, soldiers, pirates, Frenchmen, militiamen, and black troops (this was unheard of at the time). 3.
The British had 8,000 regular troops and were over-confident. At the Battle of New Orleans, Jackson scored the victory in January of 1815—the largest battle of the war. 4.
News hit Washington D.C. the same time as news of the Treaty of Ghent ending the war. Oddly, the treaty had ended the war two weeks before the Battle of New Orleans. Still, Jackson was given credit for winning the war and instantly became a national hero. 3.
The British navy was roused. It blockaded the American coast, landed and raided at will, and fouled up American fishing. 3.
The Treaty of Ghent
Delegates from both side met in Ghent, Belgium to work out a peace deal. 2.
Bucked-up from victories, the British made bold demands. The British wanted an Indian buffer zone created, control of the Great Lakes, and part of Maine. 1.
The Americans rejected this proposal.
Military failures made the British more acceptable to bargain. 4.
The Treaty of Ghent (Dec. 1814) was an armistice (a cease-fire) that ended the War of 1812. 1.
Both sides simply agreed to lay down their arms. No land or booty was given or taken. The main issue of the war, impressment, was even left unmentioned. 4.
Federalist Grievances and the Hartford Convention
Just prior to the end of the war, New England took action against the war itself. New Englanders had long been hurt by the trade restrictions and feuding with...
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