• In the seas, American shipping was often raided by French and British privateers and increasingly by the British Navy itself.• Eventually the United States came to terms with the French after the United States Navy stepped in.
• However, the British continued their pillaging of ships, taking thousands of American citizens capture, and conscripting them into the British military for use in the ongoing Napoleonic Wars raging in Europe.
• With that, an occurrence of the British overstepping their bounds in a raid on an American ship over a few deserters, plus an American lust for more land caused the United States, with President Madison at the helm, to declare war on the United Kingdom on June 18, 1812.
• Both sides started the war ill-prepared. The British had to focus most of their troops and ships on the European battlefield, so few reinforcements came at the commencement of hostilities. They paid dearly for that once the Americans started their Canadian incursions. The Americans, though quick in their recruitments, had only 7,000 troops at the start, and most were poorly trained. Their only advantage was their superior naval force on their northern border.
• With the closing of 1814, the United States had lost hope of capturing Canada, and the English attempts at capturing cities in the US had failed. With this in mind they came together and signed the Treaty of Ghent on December 24, 1814.• This treaty caused Britain to remove its blockade, and resume trade with America. It was stated in the treaty that the native Americans in the area of the lower great lakes would make peace with America and end all hostilities.
Conclusion• The War of 1812 was a played just a small part in the long history of the United States, but it proved that we were now in charge of our own destinies, and that we wouldn’t be pushed around by old powers any longer. It also provided us with a new anthem, and gave us the opportunity to move further to the west because of the loss of British forts after the war.