The War of 1812 between American and British forces began on June 18, 1812. It is one of the largest and most pivotal wars in American history. The United States declared war on Britain in response to the impressment of American seamen, wherein they were forced to work for the British Navy, and the economic blockades imposed on France by the British. The British supported the hostile Indian tribes at the Great Lakes Frontier. American forces launched three unsuccessful three-point invasions of Canada with the hopes of expanding their territory. This was months after president Madison had declared the state of war to be in effect. As the French empire was collapsing under Napoleon Bonaparte, the British were able to put more resources in the American war. This eventually resulted in the capture of Washington, D.C. by the British army and the burning down of public buildings and the White House. The burning down of Washington was in retaliation for the American invasion of the Canadian government buildings.The result was a series of major battles fought between the two forces.
5. Battle of Plattsburgh -
The Battle of Plattsburgh, also known as the Battle of Lake Champlain, took place on September 11, 1814. The British army under the command of George Prevost entered the United States from Canada through the New York state and advanced towards Plattsburgh. A British naval squadron was also advancing via Plattsburgh Bay on Lake Champlain under the command of Captain George Downie. At the lake’s edge, a smaller United States naval force was waiting and the battle began immediately. The British naval commander was killed and the British surrendered. Prevost on the other hand called off the land battle and the army retreated to Canada.
4. Battle of Bladensburg and Burning of Washington -
The British forces under General Robert Ross overcame American forces at the Battle of Bladensburg, Maryland, on August 24, 1814, and from there marched unopposed towards the U.S. national capital of Washington, D.C. They occupied Washington and set on fire public buildings including the White House, then known as the Presidential Mansion, and several federal buildings. The attack was a retaliation for the previous American attack on Canadian government buildings by American troops. On August 26, General Ross ordered a withdrawal and President Madison returned to Washington and vowed to rebuild the city.
3. Battle of Lake Erie -
The Battle of Lake Erie, also known as the Battle of Put-In-Bay, was a naval engagement between British forces and American forces during the War of 1812. It was fought on the 10th of September in 1813 and involved nine vessels of the United States Navy. The United States Navy defeated and captured six British vessels of the Royal Navy. The battle was pivotal to the control and recovery of Detroit and also enabled the Americans to win the Battle of Thames. The Battle of Lake Erie was one of the biggest naval engagements in the War of 1812.
2. Battle of New Orleans -
The Battle of New Orleans was the final major battle waged in the War of 1812, and was fought between January 8th and January 18th in 1815. The American combatants were led by Major General Andrew Jackson against the British forces led by Admiral Alexander Cochrane. The battle was one of the biggest and most decisive engagements that prevented the British from seizing New Orleans and other territory acquired through the Louisiana Purchase agreement. This was despite the signing of the Treaty of Ghent (signed in the city in Belgium of the same name) which was not yet ratified by the United States government until February of 1815. The warring parties continued with hostilities without knowledge of the treaty. The war came to an end when the British retreated on January 18.
1. Battle of Baltimore and Siege of Fort McHenry -
The Battle of Baltimore and the British siege of Fort McHenry took place on September 13th and 14th in 1814 amid the larger War of 1812. The war was between the United States and the British forces. The United States under Major General Samuel Smith comprised of 1000 men at Fort McHenry who had 20 guns, against the British forces under Vice Admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane. The British were more well equipped with 19 ships and about 5,000 men. The British advanced to attack Baltimore, a vital port city which they believed was the base of many American privateers that were preying on their shipping. Baltimore's residents and defenders had declared their firm stance against the British by seizing their merchant ships and transporting limited cargoes to foreign ports. Baltimore had accounted for about 30% of all merchant ships captured by U.S forces hence earning the nickname ‘nest of pirates’. The war ended with a successful defense of Baltimore and restoration of American pride especially after the burning of Washington, D.C.