War of 1812 Bicentennial
June 18, 1812: A deeply divided United States declares war on Great Britain. War is declared for many reasons: continuing violations of American neutrality, forced enlistment of American sailors in the Royal Navy, rumors of British alliances with American Indian tribes, and a desire by some Americans to annex British Canada.
Although the War of 1812 officially ended with the stroke of a pen in Washington, D.C., the men and women of 1815 saw the American victory on a field in Chalmette as the war's true end. It was also the beginning of a true American identity: no longer would Americans think of their country as a collection of states with different interests, but rather as a nation which drew its strength from its differences. E pluribus unum---"Out of many, one."
From now through 2015, Chalmette Battlefield and other sites of Jean Lafitte will commemorate the 200th anniversary of the war that united the United States. Mark your calendar now for January 8-10, 2015, and the 200th anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans. If you have ideas for commemorating the bicentennial, click here to find out how to share them. Information about other War of 1812 events and programs is at the Chalmette Battlefield web page.
From muskets to tactics, from upcoming events to historical people and places, you can find out more about the War of 1812 at the links below.