The significance of the war of 1812

Essay by minocheHigh School, 11th gradeA, May 2004

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The War of 1812 is of great historical and cultural significance to Canada. The war of 1812 was declared on the 18th of June, 1812, by James Madison, who was at that time the President of the United States of America. He declared war on Britain, and unfortunately that included Canada. There were many reasons that declared the war of 1812.There were conflicts between the United States and Britain that began in 1812 and lasted until early 1815. President James Madison requested a declaration of war to protect American ships on the high seas and to stop the British from impressing or seizing U.S. sailors. U.S. ships were being stopped and searched by both Great Britain and France, who were fighting each other in Europe. President Madison also wanted to prevent Britain from forming alliances with Native Americans on the American frontier. His decision was influenced by Americans in the West and South, who hoped to expand the United States by seizing control of both Canada and Florida.

Critics called the War of 1812 "Mr. Madison's War," but others saw it as a "second war of independence," an opportunity for Americans to defend their freedom and honor in the face of European disrespect. Neither Britain nor the United States was particularly well prepared to fight this war, and the conflict eventually ended in a stalemate. Soon after the war began, American leaders began to worry about the exposed Western fort of Detroit, a strategic settlement in the Michigan Territory. The U.S. hastily dispatched Brigadier General William Hull with reinforcements to the fort. In July General Hull decided to cross the Detroit River into Upper Canada. Hull's men, many of whom came from the Ohio militia, were poorly equipped, and, except for one small regiment, proved insubordinate...