Presentation on theme: "The Jefferson Era Part 5 The War of 1812. Many Americans were excited to hear about the declaration of war against Britain. Some called for an attack."— Presentation transcript:
Many Americans were excited to hear about the declaration of war against Britain. Some called for an attack on Canada. A lot of New Englanders were disgusted by the news, and referred to the conflict as “Mr. Madison’s war”. Mixed Reaction to the War
The U.S. Was Not Prepared We only had 16 ships to fight the British fleet. The army was small and ill equipped. We had to rely on volunteers.
They were offered 360 acres of land and $124 for their service – about a year’s pay. Lured by money and a chance to own land, many young men signed up. Unfortunately they weren’t trained well, and many deserted after only a few months. Some refused to even fight unless they were paid.
Fighting at Sea The British were surprised by the declaration of war. At first they couldn’t spare many troops, but they did send over ships to blockade ports. Although we did have a small navy, we did have some successes against the British navy.
These victories did cheer Americans, but they did little to actually win the war. One of the most famous ships of the war was the U.S.S. Constitution, known as “Old Ironsides”. It is still a commissioned ship of the U. S. Navy.
War in the West Americans did invade Canada, but General Isaac Brock tricked the Americans. He dressed his troops to look like well-trained Redcoats. He also let a false “secret” message fall into American hands that made it sound like thousands of Indians were fighting on the British side. The Americans retreated.
In September 1813, the Americans took control of Lake Erie. We invaded Canada again, in search of the British and the Indian leader Tecumseh. At the Battle of the Thames, Tecumseh was killed, and the Indian Confederation he had worked so hard to create, collapsed.
Indians in the South were divided on what to do. Some wanted to keep fighting the settlers. Andrew Jackson, from Tennessee, led troops against the Creek Indians. With help from the Cherokees, the Creeks were defeated at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend.
A Message of Surrender “I am in your power. Do unto me as you please…If I had an army I would yet fight, and contend to the last….But your people have destroyed my nation. *Creek Leader surrendering to Andrew Jackson.
The British Burn Washington D. C. By 1814, Britain and its allies had defeated France. Now more ships and troops could be sent here. They sailed into Chesapeake Bay just south of Washington, and scattered our trips. They marched toward the capital, and once there, began to burn some of the public buildings.
The President’s wife, Dolley Madison, was able to gather up some of the President’s important papers, and a famous portrait of George Washington. The president’s mansion was burned. Later after the war, it was covered with “whitewash” to cover the burned wood. It has been called the White House ever since.
The Bombardment of Baltimore After burning Washington, D. C., the British marched north to the key port city of Baltimore. Protecting the city in the harbor was a fort called Fort McHenry. One night, from evening to dawn of the next day, the British continually bombed the fort.
On board the ship was a young American who was being detained. Throughout the night he watched to see if a large American flag that was flying over the fort remained. As “the bombs burst in the air” he could still see the flag. “In the dawn’s early light”, the flag was still there.
Francis Scott Key, the young American, was moved by what he saw, and wrote a poem called “The Star-Spangled Banner”. The poem was set to music, and eventually became our national anthem.
The Battle of New Orleans In late 1814, the British prepared to attack New Orleans, and take control of the Mississippi River. Andrew Jackson led thousands of American troops that included frontiersmen, blacks, and even some Filipino-Americans. Jackson’s troops dug trenches to defend themselves.
That January, the British attacked. In the ensuing battle, the British kept charging, but couldn’t overcome the Americans. Over 2,000 British fell, but only 7 Americans were killed. Jackson became a national hero. The sad thing was that the battle took place AFTER a peace treaty had already been signed.
Peace At Last If news had been able to travel faster, the battle wouldn’t have taken place. An agreement to stop fighting had actually been signed on Christmas Eve, 1814. Some New Englanders who had been plotting to break away from the United States quickly gave up the idea when they heard that peace had been achieved.
The Treaty of Ghent Both sides agreed to return matters to the way they had been before the war. All conquered land was returned. The treaty said nothing about impressment or neutrality – some of the key reasons for going to war!
In later talks, the borders between Canada and the U. S. fixed. Some argued the war was worthless, but others said Europe would treat us with more respect. However, many felt the country was now more “American”.