This week I was asked to give a summary of the War of 1812. I would like to share why the war began, what happened in the war, and what was the outcome.
Why did the war begin? After the American War for Independence, the British were very upset. They treated the nation as a little brother and not as an independent nation. They impressed American sailors into the British Navy to help them fight Napoleon. They also armed the Indians, so that the Americans would not expand. The British went so far as to restrict the Americans from trading with French, whom the Brits were fighting in the Napoleonic Wars. The Americans officially declared war on June 18, 18 12.
What happened in the War of 1812? The Americans army tried to conquer Canada; however their campaign was a failure. The American’s decided to seize the Great Lakes. At the Battle of Lake Eire, the Americans, led by Oliver Perry, defeated the English in a fierce battle. However they were never successful in taking Canada. The British Navy and the American Navy clashed many times in the war. Most notably was the USS Constitution victory over the HMS Guerriere.
In August of 1814 the British began their march on Washington D.C.
They reached the Capitol and set it on fire, thankfully the President had escaped. The next day, though, a great storm swept through the city and the fires were extinguished. The British moved on to the port city of Baltimore. However one thing stood in their way, a small fort named Fort McHenry. After bombing the fort, and inflicting very small damage, they decided to take the fort by land. The land attempt was a complete failure and Baltimore was safe. After many battles the British decided to make peace. On December 27, 1814 the Treaty of Ghent was signed, the British had surrendered. How ever before the news reached the Americans, the greatest battle was to take place. The British wanted to capture the rich port city of New Orleans. Andrew Jackson and his men stood in the British’s Way. At the Battle of New Orleans, the British lost 1,971 men compared to the Americans thirteen killed. The War of 1812 was over.
What was the outcome of the war? The land returned to Status quo ante bellum, as in the Seven Years War. This means the nations in the conflict lost nor gained any land. The Indians were pushed further and further back, they also lost all hope in driving the Americans back. At the Battle fort McHenry, Francis Scoot Key wrote ‘The Star Spangled Banner’. the Americans came out at the top of the war and they put a stronger hold to becoming a very important country
The War of 1812 is interesting and fun to study. I hoped you’ve enjoyed this essay and have learned a lot.
Samuel Duarte JM