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Thread: The Bicentennial of the War of 1812

  1. #1
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    The Bicentennial of the War of 1812

    Today marks the Bicentennial of the War of 1812....18 June 1812.

    In the coming weeks I hope to start posting some recommended reading. But first off here are a few observation of your's truly on that long forgotten war.

    Winners.

    1. British Canada, particulalry the Enlglish of Upper Canada. The success of the Provincial Regulars with a leavening of the British Regualr regiments in defeating American invasions established Canada as a nation....it just took half a century for the paperwork to catch up.

    2. The US Navy. Yes, I know by mid-war it was bottled up in east coast ports. But it showed it was the one professional NATIONAL security force and its prestige grew in this war, especially with its success on the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain.

    3. The Westerners. Called Warhawks for pushing the war, the western states and territories of the US grew politically more powerful and pulled America's vision westward and away from the Eastern Seaboard and Europe. It laid the groundwork for Henry Clay and the American System.

    4. The US Army Regulars. Despite an abysmal opening the Regulars learned and and applied those hard lessons. Training and tactics were improved. The curriculum at West Point was dramatically improved as a result. A small but professional corps was established which fought well in the wars of American Expansion up to the Civil War.

    5. Southerners & Slavery. The clearing of the threat to Mississippi and expansion westward across the deep south and opened the Mississippi River to navigation. This allowed cotton to explode along with the slave population needed to work it.

    Losers.

    People of the First Nations. They bargained on the British being able to defeat the Americans and keep the expansion in check. What had previously been treaties to keep whites out of their lands became treaties of removal. The success of the Warhawks gave rise to political leaders (Harrison, Jackson, Tyler, etc) who wanted to increase white populations so territories could become states.

    The Natives lost bigtime.

    Draw

    1. New Englanders. The war had been disasterous to the New England shipping industry since the RN bottled up or destroyed merchant fleets. The war was extremely unpopular, so much so that most states had real problems meeting enlistment quotas, municipalities would charge servicemen for nonpayment of taxes while away fighting, etc. Commerce was disrupted and many New Englanders openly traded with the British. And the talk of seccssion at the Hartford Convention hurt the area politically for decades. However, with the adoption of the American System and growth of the industry New England and the north would become the manufacturing center of quality goods which were traded to the south and west.


    2. The British. While the British secured the eastern border with the US they lost their influence and control in the upper Mississippi watershed. They lost some of the markets for their manufactured goods to the North but made up for it with the import of Southern cotton over the decades to come.

    So those are my first thoughts going forward.

    I encourage all Wabbits to join in and perhaps if enough care we can get the War of 1812 its own subcategory if the interest is there.

    Enjoy,

    AR
    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
    Mark Twain

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    What's your view on the opinion that the War of 1812 was just an extension of the Napoleonic Wars? Did the fact that Britain was at war already mean that the British Army was stronger, since it had learned lessons that it could implement on the battlefield in the US, or did it mean that the British Army was weaker because they were fighting a battle in two entirely separate theaters, two entirely separate logistics chains, chains of command, etc....?
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    BR,

    Did the fact that Britain was at war already mean that the British Army was stronger, since it had learned lessons that it could implement on the battlefield in the US, or did it mean that the British Army was weaker because they were fighting a battle in two entirely separate theaters, two entirely separate logistics chains, chains of command, etc....?
    NA was a backwater for the british. it was only after napoleon receded as a threat that the british really tried dealing with the americans. even then they didn't really try very hard, although the power imbalance was such that it took the americans several lucky breaks to fight the british to a draw.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    But the question still stands, was the campaign against Napoleon a benefit or detractor to the British Army? Were they strong and the US truly had some lucky breaks, or they were weak, which allowed the US the successes it did.
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    the war started as a by-product of the Napoleonic Wars, which worsened outstanding american grievances against the british.

    from the american POV napoleon was a great distractor for the british. while the continental war was going, the Brits sent only their B or C team over to fight the americans. afterwards, they were exhausted enough where they didn't really try very hard to beat the americans. which made sense, because their war goals were a hastily-cobbled together grab-bag of small desires, and were thrown out the window when they realized the amount of work that would be needed in actually decisively beating the americans. so napoleon was definitely bad for the british; little benefit/lessons learned there that was applicable for fighting the americans.

    for your second question: both.

    the outstretched pinkie of the british fist was more than enough to cause america a lot of problems. it was a combination of lucky breaks, skillful use of what power the americans did have (well, except for the whole canada thing), and most of all, napoleon that allowed the americans to fight to a stalemate.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    Luck on our part too. We had two real strategic thinkers, Brock and Tecumseh, on our side who dealt crippling blows to American initiatives. Brock with less than a company of men took the Michigan territories and Tecumseh turned the First Nations into a real force to be reckoned with. Without these two men, I can't see us standing to against American numbers for long. We would have won our share of battles but Brock and Tecumseh denied the Americans staging grounds.

    It was by no accident that the tide of war turned against us when we lost Brock and the First Nations were on the ropes when they lost Tecumseh.

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    Dirty Kiwi Senior Contributor
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    Could we have one of those re-enactments you guys are so good at? Sack Washington and burn down the White House?

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    i'd prefer if "bal-mer" was bombarded instead, might improve its look.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    Hey, hey, hey, York. York. York. Make sure you get Maple Leaf Gardens.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Parihaka View Post
    Could we have one of those re-enactments you guys are so good at? Sack Washington and burn down the White House?
    Only if we get to shoot more Brits in a turkey shoot in Louisiana!
    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
    Mark Twain

  11. #11
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    What's wrong with York?

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    And now for the economic fallout...

    Though full-throated calls for war could be heard up and down the country, President Jefferson demurred. To begin with, the country was in no position to fight. Upon taking office, Jefferson had pared the military down to a bare-bones army and a navy of just a handful of ships ready for service. Aside from insufficient military might, Jefferson believed that wars and the armies and navies needed to fight them brought nothing but debt, taxes, more wars, and the destruction of republics. Better, he said, to bring the British to heel through a total embargo—a form of what he called “peaceable coercion” that would achieve the same ends as war at a fraction of the cost. The policy failed miserably, choking the economy and fanning an already intense opposition to Jefferson and his party among New Englanders that would carry into the war itself. War of 1812 Bicentennial: Why does no one remember the war that made Andrew Jackson famous? - Slate Magazine
    To be Truly ignorant, Man requires an Education - Plato

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    Albany:

    I heard on the radio that there were actually two Wars of 1812, one having something to do with east Florida and the Spanish.
    To be Truly ignorant, Man requires an Education - Plato

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    So much for the jokes about the Americans always saving French butts.
    Those who know don't speak
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    What's wrong with York?
    Yeah, it burned almost as well as the White House!
    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
    Mark Twain

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