It has been nearly 30 years since we’ve won our Independence. But, will we see our democratic experiment survive?
The young republic’s first war pitted the United States against its old adversary Great Britain, which, by 1812, was already embroiled in a long war with Napoleon Bonaparte.
It was a conflict that encompassed the entire country as it was in the early years of the 19th century. The western frontier of the Michigan territory heard the cries of “Remember the Raisin!” and the Great Lakes saw action as American columns marched through the modern-day Canadian provinces of Ontario and Québec seeking to expand the northern border. The Baltimore-Washington corridor was the centerpiece of the British war effort in 1814, leaving the capital city in flames, and the final shots of the war were fired among the bayous of Louisiana and the Atlantic coast of Georgia, the combatants unaware that peace had been formally declared.
Though considered one of America’s “forgotten wars,” the War of 1812 is preserved in the National Park System in areas as diverse as Fort McHenry National Monument in Maryland, Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial in Ohio, George Rogers Clark National Historical Park in Indiana, as well as Gulf Islands National Seashore along the coast of Mississippi and Florida, and Cumberland Island National Seashore in Georgia. Through partnerships and a tireless commitment to history and the future, these and other places that reflect the roots of American freedom, sacrifice, and sovereignty can be saved for future generations through prompt and focused action today.
The Bicentennial is Now!
War was declared June 18, 1812. See what the National Park Service has in store 200 years later.