Explore stories about the participants, motives, actions, causes and consequences of this misunderstood conflict through the works of 10 scholars.
Showing results 1-5 of 10
Thomas Jefferson was never more wrong. In late June 1812 he wrote to his friend Thaddeus Kosciuszko that no war had been "entered into under more favorable auspices" and that "[o]ur present enemy will have the seas to herself, while we shall be equally predominant at land, and shall strip her of all her possessions on this continent." The American army quickly experienced a series of horrendous reverses, while the navy gained triumph after triumph. Read more
Horseshoe Bend National Military Park
Kathryn Braund of Auburn University examines the American Indian experience in the War of 1812. The Indian war which broke out in the Ohio country in 1811 and the Red Stick or Creek War of 1813 are commonly viewed as part of the War of 1812, but in reality, the Indian wars were concurrent conflicts that had their origins in long-standing grievances over land and the right of Indian peoples to self-determination. Read more
Historian Doug Kiel explores the dramatic changes to Indian Country following the War of 1812. If Native aspirations were to maintain their land base and relative autonomy, then the war was most of all a loss for Native peoples throughout eastern North America. Read more
In June 1807, the United States and Great Britain appeared on the verge of conflict: after the frigate Leopard fired on the US warship Chesapeake, British sailors boarded the American vessel, mustered the crew, and impressed four seamen -- Jenkins Ratford, William Ware, Daniel Martin, and John Strachan -- whom they claimed were deserters. The damaged Chesapeake limped back to Norfolk with three dead and 18 wounded. Historian Gene Allen Smith examines the inauspicious beginnings to the war. Read more
Alan Taylor of the University of Virginia examines the early origins of the War of 1812. In many ways it served as the final act of the American Revolution. During the revolution, the American patriots risked their new nation on a republic, then a risky and radical form of government where sovereignty derived from a broad electorate. In a second great gamble, they sought to sustain that new republic on a vast and unprecedented scale: the eastern third of a continent. Read more