The War of 1812 was held between the British Empire and the U.S. The declaration of the War followed a request by President James Madison. The main aim of President Madison was to safeguard the American ships on the high seas and stop the British from capturing the U.S. sailors (Elting 5). The relationship between the British and the Native Americans influenced the decision made by Madison as well. Most critics argue that the War of 1812 was a Madison’s War. However, others see it as the American second war for independence.
The War of 1812 was ignited by the failure to restore the French Monarchy during the French revolution. The war erupted when Britain had captured the American sailors.
Important personalities behind the war included Quincy Adams, a leading personality of the American diplomatic relations, Henry Clay, who was a speaker of the House of Representatives and a leading war hawk, Isaac Brock, who commanded the British forces in Canada, Thomas Cochrane, who was a commander of the British Royal Navy, Andrew Jackson, who won a stunning victory over the British forces, Thomas Macdonough, whose contribution to victory in 1814, Robert Ross, a British general who controlled land forces, William Winder, who commanded a disorganized American force at Bladensburg, and President Madison (Stagg 26).
The events that occurred during the War of 1812 included the refusal of Chesapeake that forced the British to open fire violating the international laws, and the Bladensburg race in which the British routed the Americans leading their way to Washington which they burned. The end of the War of1812 was marked with an agreement signed in 1815; it known as the Treaty of Ghent. Another important event during the conflict was the Hartford Convention used by the New England Federalists to discuss their grievances (Stagg 32).
The impacts of the War of 1812 were felt by the slaveholders in the South. Most of the slaves ran away to take part in the conflict (Goldfield, et. al. 65). The Native Americans were the key losers because they were on par with the blacks because the British withdrew their financial and military support. They were left to face increasing white settlement without a unifying leadership (Elting 9).
In conclusion, the War of 1812 provided an opportunity to the Americans to grow stronger and wealthier. In the long run, none of the fighting countries were prepared to engage in the conflict (Elting 9).
Elting, John R. Amateurs, to Arms! A Military History of the War of 1812, New York: Da Capo Press, 1995. Print.
Goldfield, David, et al. The American Journey: The History of the United States. Second edition, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2001. Print.
Stagg, James C. Mr. Madison’s War: Politics, Diplomacy, and Warfare in the Early American Republic, USA: Oxford University Press, 1989. Print.