Skip to comments.Tallying the winners and losers of the War of 1812
Posted on 12/12/2012 4:08:05 PM PST by Squawk 8888
The human cost of the War of 1812 was dramatic. Some 35,000 people were killed, wounded or missing at the end of the war. York (now Toronto), Niagara (now Niagara-on-the-Lake) and Washington, D.C. were torched. Elsewhere, homes and properties were looted and damaged and family lives were thrown into chaos.
The borders between British North America and the United States might not have changed when the fighting stopped the old lines were reconfirmed in the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the war on December 24, 1814. But once the treaty was signed, there wasnt simply a return to the prewar status quo. There were wins and losses on both sides, and a new world order to navigate not least for the continents native people.
For Canadians, the War of 1812 is the story of American invasions of Canada and the successful defence of British America by British regulars, Canadian regulars and militia, and First Peoples warriors, says Peter Macleod, pre-Confederation historian and curator of the Canadian War Museums 1812 exhibition. In short, we won because we repelled the invaders. The shared experience of standing up to the United States in terms of resources and manpower, a Goliath to British North Americas David united formerly separate British colonists and recent American immigrants. It forged the beginnings of a distinctly Canadian identity, even if it was negatively defined as not American.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.nationalpost.com ...
They returned to status quo ante, i.e. no winners and losers. Have they read the treaty??
No real winners, but American Indians lost big time when the British withdrew their support.
Well, after reading the article as presented I’d say the author missed the big point - the “First Peoples” picked the wrong side.
The article doesn’t mention the biggest losers of the war, the Shawnees and their allies who were decisively beaten at Horseshoe Bend. That victory opened up all of what was then the Southwest (Alabama, Mississippi and beyond) to settlement. Also, the plan of the British to forge an anti-American alliance between the Indians in the old Northwest and old Southwest was foiled.
200 years later we think of the "War of 1812" as a military conflict between the U.S. and Great Britain, but at the time there were many U.S. state governments -- especially in the South -- that considered it a local conflict between the State of New York (for example) and the British colony of Upper Canada (now Ontario).
My view is a bit different. The Brits unsuccessfully attacked a sovereign country and were repelled.
A small fleet on Lake Champlain and sunk or captured the invading British naval forces near Plattsburg. The tactics are still studied at the US Naval Academy.
Remember the River Raisin!
Good post. Thanks
They didn't have much choice in the matter- the Americans refused to honour the treaties they made with Britain prior to the Revolution, so their only chance to keep their land in Canada was to side with the British. Their support was critical to keeping the Americans out of Upper Canada.
The US declared war on Britain (which didn’t want to fight the war), tried to seize Canada, failed, and then spent most of the rest of the war mostly on their own territory trying to fend off the vengeful blows from the British before a treaty returning to the status quo ante bellum (which is what the British wanted all along).
How is that an American victory? How is it even a draw?
Correction, it was the Creeks who lost at Horseshoe Bend.
Come on Man !
Had they been able to, we’d have a few more northern states.
does it really matter?
(Ok - it does ;-)
The war of 1812 was about pushing the Brits back across the St.Lawrence River and keeping them north of the river and north of the Great Lakes. It’s much easier to defend a natural barrier like that than the land border we have with Canookistan now.
The Brits did not respect US independence. A war was inevitable. The final decisive US victory at New Orleans earned the US respect and British acceptance of the Louisiana Purchase. If the British had captured New Orleans, the outcome could have been very different.
One of our mistakes (I believe) was in letting the Brits occupy Forts Niagara and Ontario on Lake Ontario until 1796....well after the 1783 Treaty.
I have a copy of the Treaty of Ghent in my files...someplace.
How do you reckon that? It is well known that the treaty of Ghent was signed before the Battle of New Orleans, and you are saying they would have said ‘Oh, on second thoughts....’
In any case, a few days after the Battle of New Orleans the same British force (under more effective new leadership) successfully captured Fort Bowyer and were within an ace of capturing Mobile, Alabama when news of the treaty arrived, whereupon they immediately vacated the field and the fort, the same would have happened had they received the message had they successfully captured New Orleans.
IMHO the spectacularly one-sided nature of the Battle of New Orleans has been seized and contorted by biased historians as being more significant than it actually was, and is used as a distraction from the fact that the US did not achieve it initial aim of conquering Canada and ended up having to spend the rest of the war on the defence trying to stop the British rampaging through the US...