In the War of 1812, the United States took on the greatest naval power in the world, Great Britain, in a conflict that would have an immense impact on the young country’s future.
war in the west
At the outset of the 19th century, Great Britain was locked in a long and bitter conflict with Napoleon Bonaparte’s France. In an attempt to cut off supplies from reaching the enemy, both sides attempted to block the United States from trading with the other.
war in the south
On August 24, 1814, the British raided the Chesapeake Bay and invaded Washington D.C. The British burned the Capitol building, the White House, and a collection of other buildings. The first lady, Dolly Madison, is remembered for escaping the White House while it was set ablaze, carrying the original painting made of President George Washington.
effects of the war
On September 10, 1813, the Battle of Lake Erie was fought off the northern coast of Ohio. Nine British vessels battled six vessels of the United States. While the British navy had far more ships than the Americans, most were involved in Britain’s full-scale against France back in Europe.
On January 8, 1815, the final battle of the War of 1812 took place. The Battle of New Orleans is often regarded as the greatest American land victory of the war.
The largest impact the war had on the United States was the boost it gave to the country’s manufacturing production. Early in the war Great Britain imposed a blockade on the American coast.