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The War Of 1812 Essay

1156 words - 5 pages

The War of 1812
In the War of 1812, the United States took on the greatest naval power in the world: Great Britain. The War of 1812 played a very important role in the molding of America as a nation, consisting of many battles, courageous leaders, and victory.
The War of 1812 had an immense impact on the young nation’s future and was celebrated in the United States as “the second war of independence”. (“War of 1812” 1) The starting of this war had multiple causes. One of the causes of the war was that the Royal Navy outraged Americans by its practice of impressment, or removing seamen from U.S. merchant vessels and forcing them to serve on behalf of the British. Form 1803 to ...view middle of the document...

He led a victorious charge of U.S. troops in the Battle of Tippecanoe. The defeat convinced the Indians in the Northwest Territory that they were going to need help from the British if they wanted to stop white settlers from pushing them farther and farther away from their homeland. By late 1811, the War Hawks in congress were putting great amounts of pressure on President Madison to declare war against Britain. On June 18, 1812, the president finally signed a declaration of war against Britain. Though Congress ultimately voted for war, both House and Senate were bitterly divided on the issue.

In order to strike at Great Britain, U.S. forces almost immediately attacked Canada, then a British colony. American officials were exuberant about the invasion's success, especially since at the time the U.S. troops were so underprepared. On the other side, they faced a well-managed defense coordinated by Sir Isaac Brock, the British soldier and administrator in charge in Upper Canada. On August 16, 1812, the United States suffered a humiliating defeat after Brock and Tecumseh's forces chased those led by Michigan William Hull across the Canadian border, scaring Hull into surrendering Detroit without any shots fired. (“War of 1812” 2)

Although things were rough for the troops up North, things were going fairly well in the West. Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry's brilliant success in the Battle of Lake Erie in September 1813 placed the Northwest Territory firmly under American control. Another important battle was the Battle of Thames. This was the battle in which William Harrison led his troops against the Shawnee natives and their leader Tecumseh. This battle was a decisive U.S. victory that helped the U.S. to retake Detroit and led to the defeat of the Shawnees and the death of their infamous leader, Tecumseh. (“War of 1812” 2) During the early months of the war, the U.S. naval forces had scored several victories over the Royal Navy. But after Britain had defeated Napoleon’s army, they turned their full attention to their war with America. With this new focus, loads of British troops poured into America on August 24, 1814, and raided the Chesapeake Bay and took over the capital, Washington D.C., subsequently burning the Capitol building and the White House to the...

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