A Recap of the Events of the War of 1812

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First Invasion: The War of 1812 Synopsis

The War of 1812 was motivated by many different factors. The matter of conflict with Native Americans was one of them, and it was more important to face because of the growing suspicion that Britain was arming them against us. Warhawks, young Republicans, were those most strongly advocating for the war. Impressment, the kidnapping of sailors by British boats to join the British navy, was an issue that America was very pressed about due to merchants being taken and the economy being wracked, and everybody was waiting for the president and his congress to do something to stop it. Lastly, invasion of territory by Britain, either from Canada or the sea, was a factor of the war angering many Americans, and it lent itself to the first factor, the arming of hostile Native Americans. On June 18, 1812 Warhawks finally influence President Madison to sign a declaration of war against Britain.

The American troops were overly optimistic about how successful the Canadian invasion would be. The U.S. troops were underpaid as well, and the British army certainly wasn’t. Sir Isaac Brock, the British general leading the Canadian defense, and Tecumseh chased American troops back to Michigan, where William Hull surrendered Detroit without a shot fired. This was the most disastrous defeat for America in the early war. It gives us a lesson from history to think before we leap into action, and to not assume we’re all powerful. When the British invaded Washington, the commander in charge of the city’s defense, as well as the First Family, fled to safety. The British invaded Washington on August 24, 1814, burning the uncomplete White House and looting it. Stephen Pleasonton saved many important documents before the British arrived. Dolly Madison, the then first lady, is remembered in this event for having saved a portrait of George Washington. This burning was revenge against America for the burning of the parliament building in York, now Toronto, Canada. The British attacked Baltimore, the population of which were staunchly anti-Britain, after defeating Napoleon in 1814. Baltimore was known as the “nest of pirates” because of the amount of British merchant ships captured. Seeing that the British would likely attack Baltimore, preparations were made even back in 1813. Trenches were dug, gun barges were built, and the militia performed drills. The regular army also provided defensive support. The British landed 3,000 troops at North Point and marched to attack the city, after which they moved at attack Fort McHenry.

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On September 13th, the British bombarded Fort McHenry with bombs, canon balls, and rockets, as well as attacking with their infantry. This continued for 25 hours, during which only four died and 24 were left wounded. Major George Armistead and his troops fired back when the British were in range. Miraculously, powder magazine in the fort didn’t combust, or else many more lives would have been lost. The British then fled, sailing to North Point to pick up retreating soldiers. Afterwards, the young American flag was hoisted above Fort McHenry. Seeing this display of victory and patriotism, Francis Scott Key wrote “Star-Spangled Banner”, a poem which later became our national anthem. The Battle of New Orleans was a tragic mistake, taking place after the war had already ended. Future President, then Major Andrew Jackson withstood an attack by British soldiers, resulting in an extremely large amount of casualties. 10,000 British attackers launched the fight on New Orleans, led by Packennam. After this battle he gained the nickname “Old Hickory” for the toughness of his defence. Despite being an untrained and outnumbered group, Jackson’s forces conquered, with 2000 British casualties to 100 of Jackson’s men dead. In the end, the War of 1812 lasted three years. The Treaty of Ghent was signed on December 24, 1814. This treaty solved none of the original causes of the war, but opened the Great Lakes to America, and America regarded it as a victory. Due to his overwhelming success in leading the Battle of New Orleans, Andrew Jackson became a war hero and later is elected president. This war also established America as a nation that could win wars, and that wasn’t going anywhere. Manifest Destiny, the idea that America should span from shore to shore, was also borne after this war.

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A Recap of the Events of the War of 1812. (2022, Jun 10). Retrieved from


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