After burning Washington D.C., the British sailed on to Baltimore, Maryland in hopes to capture the city. The city was guarded by Fort McHenry. For 25 hours, gunfire blazed and, finally, the British chose to retreat instead of continuing to fight. Aboard one of the British warships was an American lawyer by the name of Francis Scott Key. Key boarded the British ship to negotiate the release of American prisoners when he found himself entangled in and watching the Battle of Fort McHenry. He watched the bombardment of the American fort, desperate to see which nation’s flag would fly high at the end of the battle. Having been witness to such a display of American perseverance, Key drafted a poem of what he saw. The first verse of this poem became our national anthem -- the Star-Spangled Banner. It depicts the great perseverance, dedication, loyalty, and courage of the American citizens and shows what a proud, beautiful country we are.
On December 24, 1814, the Treaty of Ghent was signed between the United States and Great Britain, ending the war of 1812. However, news of the treaty had not yet reached America and, two weeks after the treaty was signed, British troops landed in Louisiana, intending to take control of New Orleans. The Battle of New Orleans was a great victory for the American troops who, led by Andrew Jackson, crushed the British and inflicted casualties of 20 to 1. Regardless, the war was over -- but neither side had won.
Since the War of 1812 was one of status, the real benefits from the war were related to this as well. From now on, Britain and America would become more like siblings and less like a parent and child. This relationship would prove to be vital and truly special in future foreign affairs. Furthermore, the war helped America prove that they too were a powerful nation that was here to stay and that they deserved to be acknowledged as such. America finally earned recognition from the other countries that they were a permanent, powerful country, thus increasing America's status. Now, America just wanted peace and strong alliances to help them secure and expand their borders and settle long-standing disputes. Our future was set and looking bright.