The Second War of American Independence
The War of 1812 was a small-scale war with less than 6,000 Americans killed or wounded. This did not however, mean that it was unimportant, because it showed that America would fight back when it thought it had been wronged. Charles Beard called the War of 1812 the second war of American independence because of the huge effects that it had on the American people, government and economy.
The effect that the War of 1812 had on the American public is very significant. The War of 1812 sparked a sense of national unity. It invoked intense feelings of nationalism and patriotism because the Americans were defending themselves from England trespassing against them, just as they did in the first American Revolution. Military figures such as Andrew Jackson, William Harrison and Oliver Hazard Perry become heroes in the public eyes for their deeds during the war.
The War of 1812 strengthened bonds between people of all states and boosted American morale. The nationalism launched the beginnings of American literature with Washington Irving and James Fennimore Cooper.
The War of 1812 also had a profound effect on the American government. In fact Madison and his republican party completely change their views on a central power. Before they were advocates of states rights and a weak central government. However, after seeing how well a strong central power worked they decided to try and strengthen the central power as much as they possibly could. Nationalism and patriotism also affected the government because it gave some people a sense of manifest destiny; the right to put our views on other people because we believe we are the best. This was exhibited in incidents such as the taking of Florida from Spain by Andrew Jackson near the close of...