Well, we’ve reached another bicentennial. This weekend marks 200 years since the War of 1812 started. Never mind what the media said a few years back about Korea; the War of 1812 is the strangest, least understood conflict in US history. For a start, it means something different to each participant. For Canadians it helped give them a national identity, because they successfully defended themselves from a US invasion. The British see it as a minor victory in the Napoleonic Wars, because they taught the US a lesson by burning Washington, D.C. The Americans also feel they taught the British a lesson, by winning the war’s final battle at New Orleans. The Indians, unlike the other groups, see the war as a defeat, because their leader Tecumseh was killed in the middle of it, and Andrew Jackson gave the Creek tribe a sound thrashing. Last year, CollegeHumor.com made this video about the war, and the characters in it look just as confused as most of us:
Luckily for me, I have a brother who is an expert on this period in American history. For everyone else, I recommend this article:
And here is a website dedicated to the War of 1812:
Finally, you can check out what I wrote about the war, in Chapter 3 of my North American history.