Foundational American War Wars are the root and core of american identity and its foundation. The war of 1812, also known as the second war of independence, is when the united states took on the world’s biggest naval force, and at that time the worlds biggest naval force was Great Britain. It comes to no surprise that this event of course had a significant impact on the united states seeing how the U.S. Navy was only 18 years old with 12 ships under its belt.
Great Britain took immense pride in its Navy force due to the fact that they have been around for centuries having 500+ ships under its belt, but you see, the war of 1812 was not about who had the most ships, but more so about the politics of territory and resources; because back then who ever had the most territory and resources, had supreme power. Great Britain was at war with France, and at the time, the U.S. was supplying both France and Britain. In an attempt to cut off supplies from one another both France and Britain blocked off the United states from sending supplies. This escalated further when Britain passed orders stating that any neutral country must obtain a license from Britain’s authorities in order to trade with France.
The British had this custom called Impressment, which refers to men being captured and forced into naval forces. During the war of 1812, the key element that got the U.S. involved besides the trading of goods, was the simple fact that the british were impressing American sailors.
This along with the orders passed caused the U.S./ America to declare war on Great Britain June 12, 1812.This all began with a group of delegates who made all the final executive decisions.
This group was known as the War Hawks. The War Hawks were militants in Madison’s Democratic-Republican party, who wanted more aggressive policies toward the hostile British and French. The young councils name speaks for itself and hints that these group of men are all about war.
The leader of this council was Henry Clay. Before the war broke out and was declared, the war chief were pressuring the president which happened to be James Madison at the time, go to war. Thomas jefferson and James Madison both did not agree with the war hawks on engaging into war, but the pressure from the war hawks enevidably led to the war of 1812 as well. The war took place in many different settings, but it started in Canada. Land always the center reason why war broke out in the development of america. Taking Canada was just to gain land, but also cut off British supply lines to Tecumseh’s indian confederation.
Unfortunately, the battle was lost for the U.S. over Canada, and they were pushed back. Many battles suffered the same fate, but in 1813 the U.S. did manage to kill Tecumseh in the battle of Thames. Meanwhile, another battle broke out that following year. This battle is one in which many people remember and know of when speaking of the war of 1812.
British soldiers landed on Chesapeake Bay in 1814. These soldier marched their way towards Washington. In the midst of this, they were met by U.
S. general William Winder and his troops. William and his troops tried to stop the British forces commanded by general Robert Ross, but were rerouted.
The city of Washington was then evacuated, the British then burned the capitol to the ground, along with the white house. Admiral Cochrane pushed forward and wanted to take Baltimore. Along the way general Robert Ross was killed and the movement was stalled. Fort Mchenry guarded Baltimore’s harbor and so the Admiral charged it, but was unable to take it.
This was a very important historical event, because the lost of that charged battle led by Admiral Cochrane, inspired Francis Key Scott to produce what is now america’s national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner. Cochrane and his damaged men fled to jamaica to recover only to later attempt to take New Orleans hoping to cut off american use of the Mississippi river. In 1814, the treaty of Ghent was signed.
In the Belgian city of Ghent, American negotiator Henry Clay and British diplomats signed the treaty of Ghent December 24, 1814 finally ending the war of 1812. Unfortunately, impressment was not addressed in the negotiation process, and so it went unaddressed. Although the war was over, there was still the matter of new Orleans. Admiral Cochrane had just landed his men on new Orleans in January, 8 1815. The British, after suffering the lost of their general Robert Ross, were waiting for his replacement general Packenham. January, 8 1815, Andrew Jackson and his army soundly defeated the British at the battle of new Orleans.
Despite the fact that the battle for new Orleans was unnecessary seeing how the war was over, after Andrew Jackson defeated the british and won the battle, the US celebrated ,manifesting an upsurge in American nationalism. Now, there is no war, now there are no battles, the world had reached an era of peace and stability. Economic growth along with diplomatic relations all improved and prospered. This era was even granted a nickname, The Era Of Good Feelings. This later trickled down to the 19th century providing a sense of self confidence to nation which characterized the western expansion of the new century. Subjegated by its colonial past, the war of 1812 allowed the nation of america to break free of its roots and foster in a new era.
The era of expansion. This action alone also was a open statement which reached europe saying that a new player has emerged on the world stage. As British diplomat Augustus J. Foster acknowledged at war’s end, “The Americans . .
. have brought us to speak of them with respect.”