War of 1812 - US-Britain, Causes, Outcome (2024)

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Jeanne T. Heidler Jeanne T. Heidler is an award-winning historian who has written or edited numerous articles and books on the Early American Republic, the Antebellum period, and the America Civil War, including Old...

Jeanne T. Heidler,

David S. Heidler David S. Heidler is an award-winning historian who has written or edited numerous articles and books on the Early American Republic, the Antebellum period, and the America Civil War, including Old...

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Neither the British in Canada nor the United States were prepared for war. Americans were inordinately optimistic in 1812. William Eustis, the U.S. secretary of war, stated, “We can take the Canadas without soldiers, we have only to send officers into the province and the people…will rally round our standard.” Henry Clay said that “the militia of Kentucky are alone competent to place Montreal and Upper Canada at your feet.” And Thomas Jefferson famously wrote

The acquisition of Canada this year, as far as the neighborhood of Quebec, will be a mere matter of marching, and will give us experience for the attack of Halifax the next, and the final expulsion of England from the American continent.

The British government, preoccupied with the European conflict, saw American hostilities as a bothersome distraction, resulting in a paucity of resources in men, supplies, and naval presence until late in the event. As the British in Canada conducted operations under the shadow of scarcity, their only consolation was an American military malaise. Michigan territorial governor William Hull led U.S. forces into Canada from Detroit, but Isaac Brock and Tec*mseh’s warriors chased Hull back across the border and frightened him into surrendering Detroit on August 16, 1812, without firing a shot—behaviour that Americans and even Brock’s officers found disgraceful. The Northwest subsequently fell prey to Indian raids and British incursions led by Maj. Gen. Henry Procter. Hull’s replacement, William Henry Harrison, could barely defend a few scattered outposts. On the northeastern border, U.S. Brig. Gen. Henry Dearborn could not attack Montreal because of uncooperative New England militias. U.S. forces under Stephen van Rensselaer crossed the Niagara River to attack Queenston on October 13, 1812, but ultimately were defeated by a stiff British defense organized by Brock, who was killed during the fight. U.S. Gen. Alexander Smyth’s subsequent invasion attempts on the Niagara were abortive fiascoes.

In 1813, Madison replaced Dearborn with Maj. Gens. James Wilkinson and Wade Hampton, an awkward arrangement made worse by a complicated invasion plan against Montreal. The generals refused to coordinate their efforts, and neither came close to Montreal. To the west, however, American Oliver Hazard Perry’s Lake Erie squadron won a great victory off Put-in-Bay on September 10, 1813, against Capt. Robert Barclay. The battle opened the way for Harrison to retake Detroit and defeat Procter’s British and Indian forces at the Battle of the Thames (October 5). Tec*mseh was killed during the battle, shattering his confederation and the Anglo-Indian alliance. Indian anger continued elsewhere, however, especially in the southeast where the Creek War erupted in 1813 between Creek Indian nativists (known as Red Sticks) and U.S. forces. The war also took an ugly turn late in the year, when U.S. forces evacuating the Niagara Peninsula razed the Canadian village of Newark, prompting the British commander, Gordon Drummond, to retaliate along the New York frontier, leaving communities such as Buffalo in smoldering ruins.

War of 1812 events

Battle of Queenston HeightsOctober 13, 1812 Battle of Lake ErieSeptember 10, 1813 Battle of the ThamesOctober 5, 1813 Battle of ChâteauguayOctober 26, 1813 Battle of Crysler’s FarmNovember 11, 1813 Battle of ChippewaJuly 5, 1814 Battle of Lundy’s LaneJuly 25, 1814 Battle of BaltimoreSeptember 12, 1814 - September 14, 1814 Battle of New OrleansJanuary 8, 1815

Early in the war, the small U.S. navy boosted sagging American morale as officers such as Isaac Hull, Stephen Decatur, and William Bainbridge commanded heavy frigates in impressive single-ship actions. The British Admiralty responded by instructing captains to avoid individual contests with Americans, and within a year the Royal Navy had blockaded important American ports, bottling up U.S. frigates. British Adm. George co*ckburn also conducted raids on the shores of Chesapeake Bay. In 1814, Britain extended its blockade from New England to Georgia, and forces under John Sherbrooke occupied parts of Maine.

By 1814, capable American officers, such as Jacob Brown, Winfield Scott, and Andrew Jackson, had replaced ineffective veterans from the American Revolution. On March 27, 1814, Jackson defeated the Red Stick Creeks at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in Alabama, ending the Creek War. That spring, after Brown crossed the Niagara River and took Fort Erie, Brig. Gen. Phineas Riall advanced to challenge the American invasion, but American regulars commanded by Scott repulsed him at the Battle of Chippewa (July 5, 1814). In turn, Brown retreated when Commodore Isaac Chauncey’s Lake Ontario squadron failed to rendezvous with the army, and during this retrograde the war’s costliest engagement occurred at the Battle of Lundy’s Lane (July 25). Riall, reinforced by Drummond, fought the Americans to a bloody stalemate in which each side suffered more than 800 casualties before Brown’s army withdrew to Fort Erie.

In 1814, Napoleon’s defeat allowed sizable British forces to come to America. That summer, veterans under Canadian governor-general George Prevost marched south along the shores of Lake Champlain into New York, but they returned to Canada after Thomas Macdonough defeated a British squadron under Capt. George Downie at the Battle of Plattsburgh Bay (see Plattsburgh), New York (September 11, 1814). British raids in Chesapeake Bay directed by Adm. Alexander Cochrane were more successful. British Gen. Robert Ross captured Washington (August 24) and burned government buildings, including the United States Capitol and the Executive Mansion (now known as the White House). The British justified this action as retaliation for the American destruction of York (modern Toronto), the capital of Upper Canada, the previous year. The British assault on Baltimore (September 12–14) foundered when Americans fended off an attack at Northpoint and withstood the naval bombardment of Fort McHenry, an action that inspired Francis Scott Key’s “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Ross was killed at Baltimore, and the British left Chesapeake Bay to plan an offensive against New Orleans.

Meanwhile, New England Federalists, angry about the war’s effect on commerce, gathered at Hartford, Connecticut, to propose ways of redressing their grievances. Convening from December 15, 1814 to January 5, 1815, the Hartford Convention adopted moderate resolutions, but its mere existence prompted other parts of the country to question New England’s patriotism and Federalist loyalty, spelling eventual doom to the party.

War of 1812 - US-Britain, Causes, Outcome (2024)

FAQs

What was the outcome of the British American War of 1812? ›

Ultimately, the War of 1812 ended in a draw on the battlefield, and the peace treaty reflected this. The Treaty of Ghent was signed in modern-day Belgium on December 24, 1814, and went into effect on February 17, 1815, after both sides had ratified it.

What were 3 reasons why the US went to war with Britain in 1812? ›

As the Ghent negotiations suggested, the real causes of the war of 1812, were not merely commerce and neutral rights, but also western expansion, relations with American Indians, and territorial control of North America.

Which is the most significant outcome of the War of 1812? ›

Perhaps most importantly, the war's outcome boosted national self-confidence and encouraged the growing spirit of American expansionism that would shape the better part of the 19th century.

What was an outcome of the War of 1812 quizlet? ›

What were the effects of the War of 1812? The effects of this war were the decrease in Native American resistance, increased American Patriotism, strengthened the nation, increased manufacturing and, decreased political party divisions.. Ushers in the era of good feelings.

Why did the British end the War of 1812? ›

But news of their losses at places like Plattsburgh, New York, and Baltimore, Maryland, paired with the duke of Wellington's counsel against continuing the war, convinced the British to pursue peace more genuinely, and both sides signed the Treaty of Ghent in December 1814.

What was one major effect of the War of 1812 on the United States? ›

In the aftermath of the War of 1812, the United States experienced a new wave of nationalism. For America, this war validated its existence as an independent nation, and it proved once again they couldn't be defeated by the British. This resurgence of patriotism ushered in a period known as the Era of Good Feelings.

What were the three main results of the War of 1812 for the United States? ›

The war established clear boundaries between eastern Canada and the United States, set conditions for control of the Oregon Territory, and freed international trade from the harsh restrictions that ignited the war. Learn more about the War of 1812 and its impact on the Chesapeake Bay region below.

What did Britain gain as a result of the War? ›

Under the Treaty of Paris the French lost nearly all their land claims in North America and their trading interests in India. Great Britain gained Canada, all lands east of the Mississippi, and Florida.

What do the British call the War of 1812? ›

For roughly a century, the conflict didn't merit so much as a capital W in its name and was often called “the war of 1812.” The British were even more dismissive. They termed it “the American War of 1812,” to distinguish the conflict from the much great Napoleonic War in progress at the same time.

Which of the following was an outcome of the War of 1812? ›

Final answer: The outcomes of the War of 1812 included the boundaries of the United States remaining the same, a surge of national pride in the United States, and the negotiation of the Treaty of Ghent.

What was an outcome of the War of 1812 brainly? ›

The outcome of the War of 1812 was A, America won the war and experienced a surge of nationalism. The war ended with the Treaty of Ghent in 1814, which restored pre-war borders. Although there were no major territorial changes, the American victory boosted patriotism and contributed to a sense of national identity.

How did the War of 1812 most affect the US economy? ›

The War of 1812 provided tremendous stimulus to American manufacturing. It encouraged American manufacturers to produce goods previously imported from overseas. By 1816, 100,000 factory workers, two-thirds of them women and children, produced more than $40 million worth of manufactured goods a year.

Did the Brits win the War of 1812? ›

The war is usually seen as a draw. However, as this book demonstrates, it was in fact a British victory. The United States achieved none of its war aims, and the peace, concluded in December 1814, metBritain's long-term maritime needs.

What were the results of the War of 1812 How did the War of 1812 impact American identity? ›

Although the War of 1812 ended with no clear victor, many Americans felt they had won a second war of independence. The nation's success in holding off the British brought a surge in patriotism and a push to increase spending on national defense.

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