The War of 1812

If you have followed me for a while you now that the War of 1812 was passed by a long time ago. Well this essay’s topic is an event that occurred during the 19th century, so I chose the War. This war was fought by the same two sides who fought in the American Revolution, Britain and America. The war was sparked by the Chesapeake Affair, when the British captured an American vessel and executed a sailor who had deserted the British navy before. The battles to follow would go down in history.

A group of men known as the “War Hawks”, led by Henry Clay, hoped to respond to this injustice through war. Soon enough, War was declared in 1812 by the U.S. Later the Native Americans were being armed by the British in order to stop them from moving westward, when the War Hawks saw Florida as expansion targets. But sadly, in order for one of the two sides to control Canada they needed control over the Great Lakes. Britain had the Lakes but in the September of 1814 the U.S. gained control of Lake Champlain.

The fighting went on for both sides with no major battles until 1814. At this time the British defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo, and were now finally able to turn all of their attention to the war in America. The British had burned down many historical buildings and were now moving North to Baltimore to an important ship building and repair port known as Fort McHenry. This was where the odds looked slim but the fort remained in tact and operational despite the constant rain of artillery. This is where the iconic National Anthem was born, the “Rocket’s red glare” and bombs were the British trying to take Fort McHenry.

But soon both sides grew tired of the fighting and arranged for terms of peace which led to the Treaty of Ghent in 1814. Went into full effect after ratification in February 1815. What the Treaty did was basically set everything back to the way it was before, which means that the 3 years that both sides spent fighting was all for nothing. But when the fighting stopped, the American Flag was still waving in the Fort, inspiring Francis Scott Key to write down the National Anthem.

It’s a very sad fact that after many years of fighting the 24,000 American and British lives that were taken during the War were all for nothing. This just goes to show that war is a terrible thing and even when one side wins it cost the lives of many many people. The president who over saw the War was none other that Thomas Jefferson, his vice was James Monroe. Monroe would later become president in 1816. But in the end, the War of 1812 was a war that would go down in history, but not entirely for the right reasons.

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