By 1812, the British Empire consisted of commonwealths, countries, kingdoms and protectorates spanning six continents. The conflict with the United States was seen as little more than a sideshow compared to greater wars, including a war against Napoleon, which threatened England directly. For most British and Canadians especially, this was an unwanted war. It was seen in Canada as the product and prerogative of rulers in a distant capital with little interest in the needs or well-being of the colonies. The people of Great Britain ignored it entirely. Indeed, many of the British commanders sent to North America perceived the assignment as a slight, preferring to fight for the homeland against the French Empire than put down American aggressors yet again to defend one of many colonies.
With all of these forces in opposition to their success, the British and Canadian forces and the Canadian homefront came to embody the pugnacious spirit of a people eager to prove their mettle as commanders in a distant land, driven to preserve their home in spite of a lack of regard from the King, and determined to drive back land-hungry and arrogant American neighbors once and for all.