Leading up to the war of 1812, the British harassed the Americans through extraneous taxing, impressment, and capturing of american goods. On top of that, the native americans were found in possession of British guns, which led to the conclusion that the british were promoting the indians to revolt against the westward expanding Americans. The British navy would stop American ships, and demand a tax for passage through their waters to trade with other countries. If the Americans did not pay the taxes, they would impress the sailors and take the ships and goods with it. The British would also set up blockades around the American coastline to tax everyone traveling in and out of it. The British ended up impressing over 10,000 American sailors with only a fraction of them being released. Then, when the American ship, the chesapeake refused to let the british board them, were fired upon by the british warship. Killing three sailors and injuring more than a dozen. While the Americans were shaking with anger on the coast, a shocking discovery was found in the west. Tecumseh, an indian chief who rallied all of the tribes to make a stand against america were found in possession of british guns after their defeat in the battle of Tippecanoe creek. With this final push, congress had a war vote. 59 to 61, the war had begun.
Trouble with Native Americans and Build up to the War
When the US declared war in 1812, they thought that occupying Canada would be a piece of cake. They were wrong. Met with strong british defenses, the Americans were pushed back for three consecutive years. Although, America won a long-awaited victory when Oliver Perry captured some of Britain's navy, allowing William Harrison to lead a charge to upper canada where the british were defeated in a large battle. Chief Tecumseh was killed during that battle. But the british drove them back into america again, for the fourth time. In 1814, Britain had won the war against France, and directed its full firepower onto america. Britain attacked The Capitol, and the white house, which made president madison flee, along with Baltimore which was defended by Fort mchenry. Fort Mchenry’s battle was won by the Americans, and a famous poem was written about it which has become our national anthem.
A decisive sea victory which led to America's short term occupation of upper canada was led by Oliver Hazard Perry. Perry captured a fleet of 6 british ships on lake Erie, which allowed William Henry to lead a charge into upper canada. The American navy only had 16 ships. A meager number compared to Britain, who had the world's strongest navy at the time.
The Battle of New Orleans
The battle of New Orleans was the biggest victory for the United states, and the most meaningless as well. On January 8, 1815, over 7,500 Brits strode confidently into battle against the american troops. General Andrew Jackson of the U.S. and his ragtag army of 7000 indians pirates, african americans, and americans met the british with a wall of lead. The battle did not go well for the british to say the least. Britain took staggering amounts of casualties and wounded soldiers. Racking up a count of over 2000 compared to the americans 70. After the fighting had ended, and the dust settled, both sides got word that the battle was meaningless, since two weeks beforehand American and British diplomats met in belgium to sign a peace treaty which ended the war.
As with all wars, neither side won, though each claimed winning. The treaty signed didn’t solve any of the problems the countries went to war about. But Britain did stop seizing american sailors, ships, and goods. This caused a period of calm after the storm, which allowed each country to rebuild and refresh. Some lasting effects included the weakened indian tribes, which allowed for easier westward expansion, the Federalists opposition to war caused many people to become unpopular with their points of view, so the federalist party faded away. War heroes would be elected president, those include William Henry harrison and andrew jackson. As for the people, most thought of the war as a second independence, and pride in the country grew much greater than before.
Results of the War
Looking back on the war of 1812, it is much easier to summarize what has happened during that busy time. America declared war on England because of its trade restrictions, impressment, and taxes. This was very bold for the Americans, as the British held the greatest naval power during that time. The British on the other hand were fighting two wars at once. They were repelling napoleon, while simultaneously keeping america at bay. Both countries had victories, although the long term effects were much more substantial for america. After the war, the native american power was weakened, and they had held their ground against Britain for a second time. As for my opinion, I think that the war was just the thing the U.S. needed to prove that they weren’t insignificant, and was the water drenched on Britain to cool down their oppressiveness to other countries