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The War of 1812 was a two and a half year conflict between Great Britain and her native American allies against the United States of America. The war was with mixed results at first, Britain distracted in Europe, but in 1814 they got the upper hand and beat the Americans at major battles such as Plattsburgh, Baltimore, and the conquest of Maine. Finally by December the Americans were forced to surrender, and on January 8 the war was over.
Although the USA did survive defeat, unlike what many had thought, it was severely crippled. Its land had been taken, its Manifest Destiny destroyed, Native Americans were protected and many riots broke out in anger against the US government. This would quickly be seen in the soon to come Template:New England War of Independence.
The Shawnee Confederacy became the first Native Americans to be recognized as an independent nation by the civilized world, and this inspired hope amongst the Natives Americans farther west, who now believed independence was achievable. Further wars by Native Americans would lead to greater success, as the already weakened Union simply could not defeat any other opponents.
Canada was quite happy, having been united from the war. The people from Arcadia to Quebec to Toronto saw themselves as one colony ensuring their importance in the future. Canada had also proved its loyalty, even the newcomers, and they were regarded highly in the UK. and as their population grew faster, they proved they would never be conquered all at once.
As for the United Kingdom, they didn't care much about that "backwater unimportant mud fight". They had much more important things to care about. However, they did profit greatly from the extra land and the ability to control Native American Nations fleeing to them for help against the Americans. This ensured their continued dominance over North America.
The origins of the war are many and varied. The British impressment of US sailors, wishes to annex Canada, British control over America's trade and assaults from Native Americans all led up to the War of 1812. Of particular annoyance was British laws forcing Americans trade ships to dock in Britain before going to Europe.Ironically this bill, one of the main reasons for war, was repealed six months before war was declared. It was due to slow communication then, some might say, that the United States of America met its downfall.
On June 18, 1812 Congress declared war upon the United Kingdom ad mobilized its forces. The war was highly unpopular, with riots in Baltimore even. But regardless, Congress didn't listen to their people, despite the fact that their supposed to, and went to war against the most powerful nation on earth.
The US began the War of 1812 with an invasion of Canada. This was a complete failure and the Americans were forced to flee. The Canadians then went a step farther and occupied Detroit. This was humiliating for the US, particularly since they later found out they had been tricked. As a bit of revenge, the General who captured Detroit, Issac Brook, died later at the Battle of Queenton Heights.
Towards the west, the Native Americans under Tecumseh fought in fierce guerrilla warfare. They had been promised their own nation if they could win it, and now they were doing everything in their power to drive off the Americans. Every undefended farm and settlement was burned to the ground, its inhabitants killed. While the US later sent militia to secure the larger towns, most of the farms and smaller towns on the frontier were destroyed. Hundreds died and thousands fled as the Natives inflected their wrath on the genocidal white man.
On the seas the US was doing better, their navy had held up surprisingly well. Despite all odds their navy was defeating the British was, of particular humiliation to the British. Still, as 1812 drew to a close it was a draw for the Americans at best, and a defeat at worst.
The year 1813 began with a turn for the worse for the Americans. British and Native Americans captured the American's army at Frenchtown, and the following day over a hundred captured Americans were massacred at the Raisin River Massacre. This sent a shock through the USA, particularly in Kentucky, where most of the soldiers had come from. Here began a grudge of Kentucky against the Shawnee, one that would start a rivalry lasting for decades as each tried to weaken the other the most.
In revenge the Americans burn down the city of York in Canada, infuriating the British. They swear to get revenge upon the USA for their crimes. The loss at Fort Meigs didn't help any. Neither did the Battle of Lake Erie, where the pride of Britain, their navy, lost a decisive defeat to the American navy. This turned the tide of the war to the Americans.
Helping somewhat way a "victorious defeat" at Thames where the British and Natives lost, but managed to escape the Americans. Tecumseh was narrowly missed by several riflemen, but his survival sparked another series of burning and raids along the frontier. This alone prevents the latter part of 1813 from going to the Americans, along with Chrysler's farm.
By 1814 Napoleon had been mostly defeated, and the British could get rid of this pesky war once and for all. July sees an American victory at Chippewa but a British one at Lundy's Lane. However now the British have begun shipping mass number of troops to the front, and the tide is about to turn. A four point strike is planned, invading Maine, New York, New Orleans, and Baltimore.
In August the British capture and burn parts of to the ground Washington D.C., satisfying their revenge for York. The British soon leave however, as the capital of America small with little value other than crushing moral. Of much more importance is Baltimore, which th British fight a long, bloody battle on Fort McHenry before winning. From there they proceed to take Baltimore, and unlike DC keep it.
In Maryland the British continue to march forward and capture DC again, burning the entire city to the ground this time. And Maryland is not the only place they are doing well. In New York the Battle of Plattsburgh is a major British victory, leading to huge portions of upper New York to fall under British control. And to the east the Invasion of Maine continues as hoped, with all but a few small bits under British control by the end of 1814. Combine that with several British acquisitions along the Mississippi, and the Native Americans under Tecumseh having driven out about all the settlers in the west, the US is doomed.
On December 2, 1814, the Americans surrender. Fighting continues west until early January. The Battle of New Orleans never happens as the British no longer need additional victories. The war is over.
On January 8, 1815 the Treaty of Ghent is signed. Under the treaty several major lands are taken from the US. Maine, Rupert's land, and parts of Louisiana are all given to the British. The Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan territories are given to form the Shawnee Confederacy, a Native American nation. The Americans also pay war reparations, give the British naval access along the Mississippi, and promise not to expand without British permission.
This peace is devastating to the Americans, but none more so than those of New England. New England was already disappointed in the US, and the loss of its own land led to riots and secession. Just two months later, the New England War for Independence would begin.
United States of America
The United States of America was devastated by the war. Already many had questioned the stability of the USA, now it was seen as rotten. Public approval of the government dropped to an all time low and riots broke out across the nation. The economy crashed as the US was forced to hand over large sums of money to Britain and the Shawnee, and they suffered from intense inflation (although not hyperinflation). Many became jobless or even homeless as the jobs closed, and with no money left over the USA couldn't import much.
This led to hunger amongst non-farmers which in turn led to many farmers being attacked by angry mobs. In some places it got so bad the USA was forced to put them under temporary military control. Not that this helped. It merely inflamed hatred at the government, and as there was no military they couldn't enforce these rules effectively.
In short, the US was a mess.
New England was by far the worst off in the war. Before it they had been the most important and richest part of the US. Now they were crippled, their trade that mattered so much destroyed and half of former New England gone. Outrage at the Americans here was so common that in just a few months the states of New England would secede in order o prevent devastation from hitting their lands.
To the United Kingdom, the war was hardly noticed when it ended. Although there was some morale lifting from the gains and beating a nation who had won 30 years back, with the Napoleonic War recent they had far more pressing concerns, such as rebuilding their nation after nearly 60 years of war. And so the UK saw the War of 1812 solely as a minor front in a much bigger war, who's gains where barely worth the price.
To Canada, it was far more important. They had been a group of divided colonies before, and now they were a united people. They were seen as "them Yankees who didn't rebel in time" and now have proven their fierce loyalty. And they had increased their borders and placed a buffer state between them and the US. All in all, the War of 1812 can easily be considered Canada's most important war.
Maine was split on the result. Before they had been a part of Maine, in the US. Now they were part of Canada, in the British Empire. While they had less rights, the British were better at economy and were the most powerful nation on Earth. Many people, particularly in the north, welcomed the British annexation. Others were deeply hateful of the British and tried to get them out through pretest and failed coups.
When they were offered the right to be an anonymous colony, instead of being split between Quebec and New Brunswick, they quickly accepted. Now an independent colony, they could govern as they pleased within the limits of the British law.
The Shawnee Confederacy profited the most from the conflict. It had begun to seem as if the Native Americans sere doomed, with no hope for preservation. But now the Native Americans of the mid-west were free! Admittedly they had no idea how to live, (Like white men or the old ways?) but were now protected by law, and the white settlers could approach upon their lands. This proved to be particularly important as the white settlers wiped out the rest of the Natives east of the Mississippi River.
The Shawnee's only main problem were the remaining white settlers. While they numbered less than 50,000, it was too many for the Confederacy to survive as a Native American nation. And so began the Massacre, where over 10,000 non-natives were murdered. More than 30,000 fled and stopped all newcomers from arriving. But a few thousand survived the first year, and that number would shrink to a few dozen in the next few. The Americans were horrified, with Kentucky leading a series of attacks, but they didn't approach upon their land again.
Like most wars of the time, the vast majority of deaths were due to disease and attrition. This was most obvious on the American side, where four times as many had died from non-combat related causes. The British had done much better, taking only about two-thirds to disease. The natives had fared best in this area, although since their numbers were unreported it is uncertain the exact number.
A large number had also been civilians killed in Native American attacks. Even the military suffered large casualties to Native American guerrilla warfare. The British had taken 4600 dead and 3500 wounded total. The Americans had taken 21,800 dead and 5000 wounded. The Native American casualties are once again unknown.