War of 1812

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The War of 1812 was a war between Britain and the United States fought primarily in Upper Canada. It had many causes, few which involved British North America. The results of the war include the fact that there was no clear winner or loser among them. The only real losers in the situation were the Natives in the region. They were driven out of their lands and customs. None of the borders was changed by the war, though many attempts were made. The Treaty of Ghent, which ended the war, did nothing to advance the state of the countries. It went so far as to end the war and put things back the way that they were, but the main causes of the conflict were not addressed or dealt with. In order to evaluate the significance of this war, Canadian victories and losses, as well as overall results, must be analyzed.

Most Canadian victories came in the form of preventing American attack from being successful. This is the main Canadian reason for believing they won this war. An example of this occurred on 12 July 1812, when General Hull and his troops crossed into Canada. Their invasion was promptly met and turned away by opposing forces. This also happened in the Battle of Raisin River on 21 January 1813. American General Winchester surrendered to British Colonel Proctor, losing 500 prisoners. Perhaps the most significant of Canadian victories was the burning of Washington. When the British forces won the battle of Bladensburg, it “opened the door to Washington”. The Capitol Building and the White House were destroyed but luckily, for the Americans, torrential rains put out fires in the rest of the city. To the Canadians from 1812-1814, this was reason enough to believe that they were victorious. To Canadians now it seems a shallow way to claim triumph.

Notable role models were born out of this war for Canadians. Sir Isaac Brock was a prominent figure. He was “Commander of Forces in Upper Canada” and later added Administrator to his title. Being engulfed by politics proved too much for Brock, who left to join forces in the march upon Detroit (August 1812). He led troops to victory here, but lost his life in the Battle of Queenston Heights in October 1812. To this day, Brock is well renowned throughout Canada as a fearless leader and important to the history of the country. Another...

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