1812: America's True Fight for Independence

Declaring War

At the beginning of the 19th century, the United States was a developing nation. Although twenty years had passed since the end of the American Revolution, the country had not yet achieved economic independence. The French Empire controlled most of mainland Europe. Great Britain was among the few nations free from French domination. With trade suspended between the warring countries, neutral America had a commercial advantage: her merchants could supply both sides.

Closely entwined with the questions about the rights of neutrals to trade with European belligerents, the British practice of impressing American merchant sailors stands as one of the central grievances leading up to the War of 1812. By 1811, the British Royal Navy had impressed at least 6,000 mariners who claimed to be citizens of the United States. In addition to impressments, Americans were dismayed by British agitation of the native population on the western frontier. Congress declared war on June 18, 1812.

This video explains the War of 1812 through the perspective of the Canadians, and the plans of Americans throughout the battle of New Orleans.

Documents:
http://www.thewarof1812.com/Warof1812documents/declarationofwar.htm

Military Engagements & Inspiration of Nationalism

A few of the battles were the "Battle of New Orleans" and the "Defense of Baltimore." These invasions were unsuccessful. At the end of the war, both sides occupied parts of the other's territory, but these areas were restored by the Treaty of Ghent.

After the end of the War of 1812, America had confirmed complete independence from British control. This made nationalism known in that Americans had finally been unified as one nation.

The Comical Past

The political cartoon above emphasizes the naval losses suffered by England In the War of 1812; in particular the defeat of the warship "Boxer" by the American frigate "Enterprise" in September of 1813.

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