Lack of Preparation for War; the Campaign
The UNITED STATES entered the war at a great
disadvantage. Its military was weak and unprepared.
In addition, the nation had fewer than 20 SHIPS to
battle the powerful BRITISH navy.
One of the major U.S. goals of the war was the
conquest of CANADA, Britain’s last holding in
NORTH AMERICA. The nation quickly launched
three separate invasions into CANADA. All three
In 1813, however, the Americans won several battles
in CANADA that gave the nation a much-needed
The British Invasion; New Orleans
As British troops battled the Americans in CANADA, a
regiment of British soldiers invaded the nation’s EAST COAST.
In August 1814, they captured WASHINGTON, D.C. AND SET
FIRE TO THE CITY.
The British moved on to BALTIMORE, where American troops
held them off and forced them to retreat.
In January 1815, British forces invaded the UNITED STATES
from the south at NEW ORLEANS. They met an American
force led by ANDREW JACKSON. The BATTLE OF NEW
ORLEANS was a great victory of the UNITED STATES. More
than 2,000 British soldiers were killed, while only about 20
The BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS was actually fought after the
war had ended. Due to SLOW COMMUNICATIONS, neither
side learned until after the battle that the UNITED STATES
and BRITAIN had signed a peace treaty.
The War Ends
The war divided the nation. Many people in NEW
ENGLAND opposed the war. These people, mostly
FEDERALISTS, believed that the war would ruin their
LOCAL ECONOMIES. In 1814, NEW ENGLANDERS
even met to discuss forming a SEPARATE
News of the war’s end caused them to abandon their
plans. After that, not much more was heard from the
The TREATY OF GHENT, signed on CHRISTMAS EVE
1814, ended the WAR OF 1812, but it did not end the
harassment of American ships. In addition, neither side
gained or lost territory.
However, most Americans felt proud and self-confident at
the end of the war. The young nation had GAINED NEW
RESPECT FROM OTHER NATIONS IN THE WORLD.