The War of 1812; The War Nobody Won; The War Nobody Lost and The War Nobody Remembers
November 5th, 2012
Judith · Staff Recommendations
Over two hundred years ago on June 18, 1812 the young republic of the United States of America declared war on Great Britain, then the World’s greatest power. Congress had declared war at the request of President James Madison. His reasons for going to war were the impressment of American sailors by the British and the interference in American trade by the British. Impressment was the removal of American citizens of British birth serving in the American navy. However, there was another reason why Congress declared war on Great Britain and that was the Conquest of Canada. These members of Congress were called the War Hawks and they were mostly from the South and the West. Interestingly, the states that border on Canada such as New York were not interested in conquering Canada and indeed had good relations with their Canadian neighbors.
The War of 1812 ended on December 24, 1814 when both sides signed a peace treaty in Ghent, Belgium. By the terms of the treaty everything was to be just as it was before the War of 1812 began and for over two hundred years, Great Britain (and of course, Canada) and the United States have been at peace and indeed, have become very close allies. Ironically the only battle from the War of 1812 that most Americans know of is the Battle of New Orleans which was won by American soldiers on January 8, 1815 after the peace treaty had been signed.
Some books on the War of 1812 are: