A new nation, in peril
Thirty years after the American Revolution, the young nation faced more questions than answers. What did it mean to be an American? Could a government built on democracy survive?
Library and Archives of Canada, © Canada Post Corporation, Maryland Historical Society
In 1812, Americans pondered fundamentals questions of national identity and destiny that resonate today.
Conflict between the United States and Great Britain boiled over, left unresolved following independence. Angered by British interference in its commerce and the capture of American sailors, the United States declared war and invaded British Canada. The war lasted three years, with combatants on both sides representing the great diversity of the North American continent: Europeans, Americans, Native Americans, and Americans of African descent -- both enslaved and free.
The War of 1812 is among the least known wars in American history. It was a small war, fought for obscure reasons along the fledgling republic's frontiers, but its consequences were far-reaching. The conflict helped to shape American identity, yet served not as an end, but as a harbinger for much greater change to come.
Tribal Ethnography Project
The National Park Service is partnering with native nations to amplify their voices in celebrating the role of American Indians in the War of 1812Read More
Preserving the War of 1812
Learn how the National Park Service cares for War of 1812 resources so that they will endure for future generationsRead More
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Stepping back in time doesn't mean disconnecting. Discover 1812 like it's 2014.Read More
Network to Freedom
Many slaves capitalized on the chaos of war to escape bondage. Learn about Tangier Island, a site in the Chesapeake where nearly 1,000 became freeRead More