• Image of swamp, bayou, and marsh

    Jean Lafitte

    National Historical Park and Preserve Louisiana

War of 1812 Bicentennial

Men in 1815 uniforms raise an American flag

Soldiers of the US 7th Infantry salute as an 1815 American flag is raised over Chalmette Battlefield

A.J. Sisco

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.

  • National Park Service War of 1812 website - information about events, stories about people and places, essays about important issues. Connect here to NPS War of 1812 Facebook and Twitter and follow events throughout the country live!
  • Visit 1812 website - news, events, and War of 1812 locations throughout Canada and the United States
  • the War of 1812 website - articles and information from a Canadian viewpoint
  • Canadian national parks and the War of 1812
  • Discover 1812 - Niagara Legacy Council's War of 1812 website
  • The War of 1812 - a public television documentary with a website that has information about War of 1812, ideas for classroom projects, excerpts from journals of participants, and more.
  • the state of Louisiana's Battle of New Orleans bicentennial commemorations.
  • Chalmette Battlefield and the annual Battle of New Orleans commemoration were featured as a National Park Getaway in December 2011. Follow the link to learn how history comes alive in January each year for the battle's anniversary. Please note that the dates mentioned in the Getaway are for 2012.
  • Discover the Battle of New Orleans through the eyes of high school students who participate in Recognizing Our Roots, which turns students into 1815 soldiers and camp followers through an intensive living history study program.
Image of ranger and young boy at computer

Deciding whether or not to declare war if a difficult decision, even if the war was fought 200 years ago.

Cast your vote! Should the United States declare war on Great Britain? Listen to the arguments, make your choice, and cast your vote at a special interactive website created by Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine. Click here to see how Chalmette Battlefield commemorated the beginning of the War of 1812 in June 2012.

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