The War of 1812

By Hannah Chock

What prompted the war?

The British navy captured U.S. sailors through the act of impressment. Britain accused the sailors of deserting the British military and forced the men to serve in the British navy. This was an outrage to American leaders.

Also, America wanted land, specifically Canada. To go along with this, Britain made alliances with Native Americans, promising to return U.S. land to them in exchange for help in the war effort.

The United States congress was home to several supporters of a war with Britain. These men called themselves War Hawks, and were outraged by the Impressment of U.S. sailors. Among these men were Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, and John C. Calhoun. They pushed for war with Britain for fear that the young America would seem weak if they let the country be pushed around.

Author of Our Anthem

Upon the dawn of September 14, 1814, poet and diplomat Francis Scott Key stoods captive on a British ship. Across the waters, the Battle of Fort McHenry is coming to a close. As Key gazed into the darkness, he saw the American flag flying proudly among the battlefield. Overcome with emotion, Key scribbled his thoughts into verse.

The song was originally written to the tune of "To Anacreon in Heaven," and entitled "The Defence of Fort McHenry." Later, it became America's National Anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner," and serves as a reminder of the blood shed for America throughout history.

How did the war change America?

Through the treaty of Ghent, the War of 1812 ended in a tie.

Even though the United States didn't gain the much-coveted Canadian territories, the war did push America to become more independent from Britain. During the war, Trade between the two nations ceased. Therefore, America had to produce their own manufactured goods. This brought factories to America and sparked the Industrial Revolution.

In addition, the war created debt, leading to taxes, which birthed the second national bank.

The Federalist party's support dwindled because of their lack of enthusiasm for the War, leaving America united under one political party. This gave way to the Era of Good feelings. U.S. citizens rallied together, proud they survived the nation's second war against Britain. With the country united politically and growing economically, the nation prospered.