Madison’s War

Ah how times change. The More they change, the more they stay the same. I am reading up on the War of 1812, that irksome war that we all had to study in school – that gave birth to our national anthem. The not-talked-about stuff is that we were trying to take over Canada. We figured Britain was busy with Napolean and we could just go up and cut Canada off from any reinforcements sent and/or that Britain couldn’t or wouldn’t send many reinforcements and that the Canadians would joyously want to join the various States united in Washington, DC. But the Canadian populations were quite happy being British subjects off in the hinterland colonies. Life was good for them, thank you very much. Also we were expanding into the Northwest – aka Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, etc. We wanted those lands and we didn’t like the British giving or trading guns with the Indians in those places. The British knew that if they made sure the Indians had guns they would help keep the US from slowly encroaching on British territory. The “official” reasons for the war were not even resolved by the war.

To us today we would think any British ship in the Chesapeake Bay is a bit of an affront. But the U.S. of 1811 was much smaller, not as wealthy and more divided in terms of New England – South – newly expanding West (Louisiana Purchase and more).

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