The War of 1812
The eighteenth and nineteenth century was a period of constant war within North America, there was the Seven Years War of 1754, the American Revolution of 1775 and the War of 1812. This paper will focus on the War of 1812 and its impact on the North American community. The War of 1812 did not have a single winner or loser; it was a war that was fought till it ended with a peace treaty in December 1814. This war can be simply described as a war between people still loyal to the British crown and people fighting for freedom and their own identity. The War of 1812 has been described as a civil war that pitted members of a North American community against each other; yet this is a false statement since the North American community was already pitted against each other. Before we can consider the War of 1812 a civil war, we need to have an understanding of what the North American community was made up of. North America was full of people from all over Europe and people born in North America. One similarity among the North American community was that the peoples spoke the same language and conducted themselves in a manner similar to each other. In British North America, which is present day Canada, there was roughly half a million people. There were approximately two hundred and seventy thousand people, eighty thousand people in the Maritimes who were pro-British and another sixty to eighty thousand people in Upper Canada who were basically Americans by birth or descent, and that did not include the native peoples. The population of America was somewhere around seven and a half million people. The Americans had freed themselves from British ties by winning the American Revolution, thus making them their own American community. Even though the Americans were their own country, Britain still controlled the seas and made laws not allowing the Americans to trade with France or any country Britain was at war with. In British North America the community was made up of a mixture of nationalities, such as French and British loyalists. Even in Canada, the country was divided. Upper Canada was primarily English speaking people and Lower Canada was primarily French speaking people. There also was a native community that was divided and fought for both sides during the War of 1812. These three different communities of people had been fighting against each other since the beginning of colonization of North America. It began with the British, French and Natives fight for control of the land and during 1812 it had moved to the British and Canadians fighting against the Americans. For the War of 1812 to be considered a civil war it would have to follow this definition of a civil war, “a war between opposing groups of citizens of the same country.” By this definition the War of 1812 does not fit into the category of a civil war since there were two different countries, the Britain and its colony of British North America against the Americans. The North American community was not united under one flag. With the North American community, they were already pitted against each other following the Seven Years War of 1754 and then again following the American Revolution of 1775. The Revolution was the American colonies push to become their own country and have no more ties to Britain. They were successful in winning this war that would later make the British loyalist migrate to British North America. These immigrants were from all classes and helped strengthen the population of British North America. Following the American Revolution, the “British Empire and the American Republic remained uneasy neighbors in North America.” This war had a major impact on Canadians and Americans, “the War of 1812 changed the lives of many Canadians and Americans.” It was during this war that helped forged both countries into two separate individual countries and develop a better sense of nationalism. It brought the people of British North...
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