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James Madison: A Study in Success


Part 3: War and Prosperity

As with the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812 went badly at first for the Americans. An invasion of Canada was repulsed, the British blockade of American ports was stunningly successful, and British troops invaded Maryland and burned the White House. However, the Americans steadily turned it around. The American navy won a huge victory on Lake Erie, destroying the British fleet there and also the retreating British army. The battle for Baltimore resulted in a standoff, a technical victory for the defending Americans. Finally, Britain tired of the war and asked for peace terms.

After the war, settlement of the West continued and good times returned. Transportation systems sprang up, linking cities and towns via roads, bridges, and canals. American goods were again being bought in great numbers abroad. Madison had been re-elected just after war was declared, and he received credit both for ending the war and returning the country to prosperity.

Madison retired in 1816. He kept himself out of public life for the most part, accepting the presidency of the University of Virginia when Thomas Jefferson died in 1826. James Madison died in 1836.

First page > Political Beginnings > Page 1, 2, 3

Graphics courtesy of ArtToday


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