Chapter 12 - The Second War for Independence and the Upsurge of Nationalism
I. On to Canada Over Land and Lakes
I. Due to widespread disunity, the War of 1812 ranks as one of America’s worst fought wars.
II. There was not a burning national anger, like there was after the
Chesapeake outrage; the regular army was very bad and scattered and had
old, senile generals, and the offensive strategy against Canada was
especially poorly conceived.
III. Had the Americans captured Montreal, everything west would have
wilted like a tree after its trunk has been severed, but the Americans
instead focused a three-pronged attack that set out from Detroit,
Niagara, and Lake Champlain, all of which were beaten back.
IV. In contrast, the British and Canadians displayed enthusiasm early
on in the war and captured the American fort of Michilimackinac, which
commanded the upper Great Lakes area (the battle was led by British
General Isaac Brock).
V. After more land invasions were hurled back in 1813, the Americans,
led by Oliver Hazard Perry, built a fleet of green-timbered ships
manned by inexperienced men, but still managed to capture a British
fleet. His victory, coupled with General William Henry Harrison’s
defeat of the British during the Battle of the Thames, helped bring
more enthusiasm and increased morale for the war.
VI. In 1814, 10,000 British troops prepared for a crushing blow to the
Americans along the Lake Champlain route, but on September 11, 1814,
Capt. Thomas MacDonough challenged the British and snatched victory
from the fangs of defeat and forced the British to retreat.
II. Washington Burned and New Orleans Defended
I. In August 1814, British troops landed in the Chesapeake Bay area,
dispersed 6,000 panicked Americans at Bladensburg, and proceeded to
enter Washington D.C. and burn most of the buildings there.
II. At Baltimore, another British fleet arrived but was beaten back by
the privateer defenders of Fort McHenry, where...