Map of the War of 1812
Dolley Madison refused to leave Washington D.C. until a famous portrait of George Washington was saved from the executive mansion during the Burning of Washington in 1814.
In 1813 the United States wanted to break Great Britain’s control of Lake Erie, so the navy gave this task to Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry. After he built a small fleet, he sailed out to meet the British on September 10, beginning the battle of Lake Erie. He sent a message to General William Henry Harrison saying, “We have met the enemy and they are ours.” The battle ended when the British surrendered.
Tecumseh, a Shawnee chief, and other Native Americans were given military aid by the British and fought against our troops in the attack of Detroit, where the British soldiers and the Native Americans led by Tecumseh captured Fort Detroit. When the United States took control of Lake Erie, after the Battle of Lake Erie, General Harrison’s troops defeated the British and the Native Americans in the Battle of Thames, and Tecumseh died during this battle.
General William Henry Harrison, the governor of the Indiana Territory, marched his army into Canada when America gained control of Lake Erie, after the Battle of Lake Erie. At the Battle of Thames River in October 1813, he defeated a combined force of British troops and Native Americans. Harrison’s victory ended British power in the Northwest.
The Battle of Tippecanoe started shortly after Tecumseh traveled south to ask the Creek nation to join his forces, in his absence, William Henry Harrison, the governor of the Indiana Territory, attacked. Harrison raised an army and marched his troops close to Prophetstown. Fighting broke out when the Prophet ordered an attack on Harrison’s camp on November 7, 1811. During the all-day battle, Harrison’s soldiers forced the Indian warriors to retreat and then destroyed Tecumseh’s village. The U.S. forces defeated Tecumseh and his followers in this battle, and this crushing defeat destroyed Tecumseh’s dream of a great Indian confederation so he fled to Canada. This battle also led to the Native American alliance with the British and their military aid towards the Native Americans, which was one of the causes for the War of 1812.
The Creek War occurred when Creek Indians became angry at American settlers for pushing into their lands, so they took up arms in 1813. A large force attacked Fort Mims on the Alabama River, destroying the fort and killing close to 250 of its defenders. In response, the commander of the Tennessee militia, Andrew Jackson, gathered about 2,000 volunteers to move against the Creek nation. In the spring of 1814 Jackson attacked the Creek along the Tallapoosa River in Alabama. Jackson’s troops won this battle, and The Treaty of Fort Jackson, signed in late 1814, ended the Creek War and forced the Creek to give up millions of acres of their land. Since the signing of the Treaty of Fort Jackson forced the Creek to give up millions of acres of land, the Creek Indian’s land was taken and that could’ve been a reason to unite with Tecumseh and join the British.
American leaders hoped to follow up victories at sea with an overland invasion of Canada. Three attacks were planned from Detroit, from Niagara Falls, and from up the Hudson River valley toward Montreal. The attack from Detroit failed in August 1812 when British soldiers and Indians led by Tecumseh captured Fort Detroit. The other two American attacks failed when state militia troops refused to cross the Canadian border, arguing that they didn’t have to fight in a foreign country. The United States wanted to gain control over the Canadian border and thought that if they captured several areas, they would be able to invade and gain control of Canada and not Britain.
Slow communications at the time meant that neither the Federalists or Andrew Jackson knew about the Treaty of Ghent which had been signed in Ghent, Belgium on December 24, 1814. This document was a peace treaty that declared the ending of the War of 1812.
Impressment, or the practice of forcing people to serve in the army or navy, started when Britain began stopping and searching American ships for sailors who had run away from the British navy, forcing the sailors to return to British ships, and fight with them in the Napoleonic Wars against France since they needed more manpower. Impressment continued despite American protests, and in June 1807, the British ship Leopard stopped the U.S. Navy ship Chesapeake in the Chesapeake Bay, and the British took the sailors by force. This angered Americans because Britain violated our neutrality with them, and was another cause of the War of 1812.
Thomas Jefferson, supported an embargo or the banning of trade, and in late 1807, Congress, which was located in Washington D.C., passed the Embargo Act. This law essentially banned trade with all foreign countries. American ships could not sail to foreign ports, and American ports were also closed to British ships. Congress hoped that the embargo would punish Britain and France and protect American merchant ships from capture. Contrary, the embargo damaged Jefferson’s popularity and strengthened the Federalist Party. Angry merchants sent Jefferson hundreds of petitions demanding the repeal of the act because of their enormous lost in money. Even worse, the embargo had little effect on Britain and France. This law caused an interference with American shipping which was another cause for the War of 1812.
On January 8th - 18th, 1815, the British attacked New Orleans, Louisiana in hope of taking control of the Mississippi River. They used their army, marines, and navy to attack the Americans. The Americans, commanded by General Andrew Jackson had a troop of regular soldiers, two brigades of free African Americans, a group of Choctaw Indians, state militia, and pirates led by Jean Lafitte. We made a bold stand for ten days and finally beat the British and forced them out of New Orleans. This battle was the last major conflict of the War of 1812.
Since the British Impressment, Americans were very unhappy with the British. Therefore in June 1807, when the British found the USS Chesapeake, they did not allow the British to search their boat for deserters. Both ships fired at each other, but unfortunately the USS Chesapeake was overcome and forced to surrender the ship and its crew to the British. This attack shocked Americans and made them even more upset at the British for violating U.S. neutrality.
The British and the Native Americans fought against the Americans, led by Commodore Perry for control of Lake Erie and some of the surrounding area. On September 10th, 1813 the British used many ships to try and defeat the Americans. The battle ended when the British surrendered and Commodore Perry's victory forced the British to withdraw which gave the U.S. army new hope.
The Battle of Thames took place on October 5th, 1813. It was where the combined force of the British and Native Americans fought General Harrison's army in Canada. He defeated a combined force of British troops and Native Americans, and his victory ended British power in the Northwest. Not to mention, Tecumseh was killed during the battle which dealt a blow to the British alliance with Native Americans in the region.
By destroying the White House and the Capitol Building the British tried to cripple America’s control over the country. The British kept control of Washington until they were forced out by the Americans. President Madison was forced to flee the house on August 24th, 1814. Before he and his wife left, his wife managed to save George Washington’s portrait and hang it back in the new White House.
President James Madison led the United States through the War of 1812. When he felt the growing pressure of the War Hawks, in 1812 he decided that Congress must vote on war, and asked Congress to decide how the nation should respond to Great Britain’s actions. Months later, after Congress's decision to declare war, Americans elected him to serve a second term and he became the commander in chief during the War of 1812. During 1814, he was forced to flee the White House when the British broke through the U.S. defenses and burned it.
Warhawks are people who either talk about war and commence on a person or place, or they either decide whether to escalate existing war. Several young members of Congress, led by Henry Clay, John C. Calhoun, and Felix Grundy, took the lead in calling for war against Britain because they thought it was the only answer to the British insults. They also gave emotional speeches urging Americans to stand up to Great Britain.
General Andrew Jackson was the commander of the Tennessee militia and gathered 2,000 volunteers to move against the Creek nation during the Creek War. In 1814 his troops defeated the Creek Indians and won the battle. General Andrew Jackson also commanded the U.S. forces forces around New Orleans in the Battle of New Orleans.
The Star Spangled Banner was a song that was created by Scott Francis Key in 1814, while he was witnessing the attack on Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland. He wrote and sang the song during the attack, it represents the American flag and it conveys our patriotism and accomplishments as a nation.
The Hartford Convention took place through Dec. 18th, 1814 - January 15th, 1815 in Hartford, Connecticut. Before the Battle of New Orleans, a group of New England Federalists agreed to oppose the war and send delegates to meet with Congress. Before the delegates made it to Washington, there was news that the war had ended, and some critics laughed at the Federalists after hearing this. This caused the party to lose its political power. Since there was slow communication, no one knew that the Treaty of Ghent was signed during this meeting, and this document officially ended the War of 1812.
In 1797, Congress decided to create a navy to protect American merchant ships from the attacks of Barbary pirates and they chose the USS Constitution which was one of the first ships in the new U.S. navy. This ship was a key part of the navy since it was undefeated in battle. The USS Constitution became an important ship for the Americans because it was one of their strong ships that could compete with the British because of its artillery, and during the War of 1812, this ship captured merchant ships and defeated five British warships. Finally, its port is located in the Charlestown Navy Yard.
Napoleon Bonaparte was a well known military and political leader. He was the powerful ruler leader of France who unfortunately, turned his power into a dictatorship and started to take over Europe and the surrounding countries. He was also involved in the Napoleonic Wars with Britain, which led to the impressment of our American sailors.
This video explains one of the main causes for the War of 1812 which was the British military aid towards the Native Americans, and more specifically their leader Tecumseh. War of 1812
This video explains the main battles that occurred during the War of 1812, their causes, and the military leaders. On December 24, 1814, Great Britain and the United States signed a treaty in Ghent, Belgium that effectively ended the War of 1812. News was slow to cross the
After the British burned the White House, they sailed to Baltimore, Maryland, which was guarded by Fort McHenry. Throughout September 13, 1814 and September 14, 1814 they shelled the fort, but the Americans still refused to surrender Fort McHenry. The British chose to retreat instead of continuing to fight. This battle led to the song the Star-Spangled Banner, written by Francis Scott Key who was witnessing the defence of Fort McHenry.
(Exit out of the first video that appears, and click on the video that has the image of the ships). This video also explains the reasons why President Madison calls for war, but he also further explains impressment as one of the main causes for calling for war. Find out more about the history of War of 1812, including videos, interesting articles, pictures, historical features and more. Get all the facts on

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