The United States greatly disliked the British searching American ships to find sailors who deserted the British navy in search of easier life on American vessels.
Impressment, which forced Americans to join the Royal Navy, also fostered animosity between the British and America.
Another such cause of the war was the support the British had for the Native Americans who used armed resistance against the U.S to halt further expansion into the Northwest (Such as Tecumseh)
Britain was heavily engaged in the Napoleanic wars, paying little attention to the Americans
Britain maintained a defensive strategy, and could not give full attention until Napoleon's abdication
The Americans were ill-trained, ill-disciplined, and widely scattered .
American attempts in Canada
Canada became one of the most important battlegrounds, because British forces were weak there.
If the Americans would have launched a successful offensive into Canada, they might have eliminated British influence among the Indians, but they did not.
Instead, they sent a trio of invading forces from Detroit, Niagara, and Lake Champlain, but they were all forced to retreat shortly after crossing the Canadian border.
The British and Canadians, however, experienced more success when they captured the American fort of Michilimackinac, which commanded the upper Great Lakes and the Indian-inhabited area to the south and west.
The Americans established control on the Great Lakes under Oliver Hazard Perry, a superior naval officer.
When he and his men captured a British fleet in a furious engagement, he said an important slogan, “We have met the enemy and they are ours.” This slogan and success revived a drooping American cause.
Invasion of New York
While the war with Napoleon had a temporary halt, thousands of Britain’s victorious redcoats poured into Canada.
10,000 British were assembled, and prepared for a crushing blow in New York. Without roads, the British were forced to bring supplies over the Lake Champlain waterway.
The weaker American fleet challenged the British under Thomas Macdonough. The Americans snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, and forced the troops to retreat, resounding in an important victory for the Americans.
Battles in Washington
In August 1814, a force of four thousand British forces landed in Chesapeake Bay.
These invaders rapidly proceeded on Washington, and they managed to disperse the 6,000 militia-men.
These British soldiers then began to set fire to most of the public buildings, including the Capitol and White House.
While this took place, Francis Scott Key anxiously watching the battle, wrote the Star Spangled Banner, our National Anthem.
The Treaty of Ghent
This treaty, was signed on Christmas Eve of 1814, and was essentially an armistice.
Both sides agreed to stop fighting, and to return each other's land.
This, however, did not solve for the previous grievances in which the war was fought for; thus, the war was declared a draw.
The British aimed their third attack in 1814 at New Orleans.
However, Andrew Jackson and 7,000 sailors, regulars, pirates, Frenchmen, and some militiamen successfully defended New Orleans.
The British had 8,000 men, and lost near 2,000 men in thirty minutes, as compared to the defenders seventy.
This success struck Americans like a “clap of thunder,” but it was on January 8, 1815, after the date of the Treaty of Ghent.
Although the war brought few actual gains, it produced a strong sense of nationalism.
America at first may not have fought the war as one nation, but by the end, America was united.
This gave birth to a distinctive national literature, an expanded army, and a more successful navy.