The War of 1808 was a military conflict between the allied nations of the United States and Quebec against the United Kingdom and her Canadian colonies, with both sides aided by various Native American forces. The war was the result of a decade of tension between Britain and her former colonies. Initial tensions between Quebec and America over ownership of the Midwest was surpassed by the anger at British support of Native Americans in the Ohio and Illinois, with Britain attempting to form a neutral "Indian Confederacy" to prevent American and Quebec expansion west. Other reasons behind the conflict were the trade restrictions put in place by Britain, impressment of American and Quebec sailors, national honor in the new nations, and expansionism.
The war began with American president James Madison declaring war on Britain in 1812, with Quebec coming to their support weeks later. With their main focus being the Napoleonic Wars in Europe, Britain adopted a defensive strategy, which initially worked.