The War of 1812: Another American Victory

More of this Feature

• Part 2: Trade, Shipping, and War
Part 3: The War Hawks Win
Part 4: Highs and Lows
Part 5: The Final Peace and the Final Battle

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War of 1812 Glossary
American History Glossary
War of 1812 Links
The Revolutionary War

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Chart: Key Events and Causes of the War
Historical Maps of the War
War of 1812 Timeline

Part 1: A Balancing Act

The War of 1812 has often been called the Revolutionary War Part II. And in many ways, it was just that:

  • It was a war between America and Great Britain
  • It was caused in part by disagreements over shipping and trade on the high seas
  • It involved fighting in America and in Canada
  • It ended in an American victory

Overall, however, it was a war to decide how much influence the United States would have in foreign affairs.

President Thomas Jefferson was looking to keep American goods flowing overseas and, at the same time, keep America out of foreign wars. It was a balancing act, and the U.S. was bound to lose its balance sooner or later.

Britain and France were at war with each other, as was much of the rest of Europe. Both sides thought that American ships were supplying the other with food and weapons. Both British ships and French ships routinely stopped American ships on the high seas and demanded to search the cargo holds. Sometimes, these encounters were violent.

Next page > Trade, Shipping, and War > Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

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