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Multiple causes of the War of 1812

None of the issues which instigated war were really resolved and it would seem that for the US, the War of 1812 was just a series of failures and few triumphs that, in the end, cost the Natives more than anyone else.

When Americans talk of the War of 1812 as a victory, their greatest justification is in crushing the native armies of the Old Northwest and South, setting up the end of Spanish rule in Florida and solidifying their grasp on the bulk of North America.

An Ohio militia camp during the War of 1812 (Library of Congress)

The Niagara Peninsula was a major battleground of the war

The main target for the British is the American ships (War of 1812, 2).

New York Evening Post, April 21, 1812, quoted in James H. Ellis, A Ruinous and Unhappy War: New England and the War of 1812 (New York: Algora Publishing, 2009), p. 73.

Henry Adams, The War of 1812, (New York: First Cooper Square Press, 1999; original publication circa 1890), p. 218; and Latimer, 1812: War with America, pp. 303-304.

Hickey, The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict, p. 42.

Hickey, Don’t Give Up the Ship!, p. 123; “Privateering in the War of 1812,” War of 1812 website (Canada), ; and Arthur, How Britain Won the War of 181, pp. 210-21.

The battle of Baltimore was one of the most important battles of the war.

Donald Hickey, “Review Essay: Small War, Big Consequences: Why 1812 Still Matters,” Foreign Affairs, Vol. 91, No. 6 (Nov.-Dec. 2012), p. 150; and Bickham, The Weight of Vengeance, p. 277.

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Hickey, The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict, pp. 16-17.


Cusiak, The Other War of 1812, pp. 191-92.

“War Manifesto” House Foreign Relations Committee Report on a Declaration of War (excerpts) June 3, 1812, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, .

Stagg, The War of 1812: Conflict for a Continent, pp. 156-57.

J. I. Little, Loyalties in Conflict: A Canadian Borderland in War and Rebellion, 1812-1840 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008), pp. 37, 44.

Hickey, The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict, p. 304.

Ellis, A Ruinous and Unhappy War, p. 9; and John Lowell, Mr. Madison’s War. A Dispassionate Inquiry into the Reasons Alleged by Mr. Madison for Declaring an Offensive and Ruinous War against Great Britain. Together with Some Suggestions as to a Peaceable and Constitutional Mode of Averting that Dreadful Calamity – by a New England Farmer (Boston: Russell & Cutler, 1812), pp. 4, 5.

South West Ontario War of 1812 Project, “William Hull,” .

Jeremy Black, “A British View of the Naval War of 1812,” Naval History Magazine, Vol. 22, No. 4 (August 2008), ; and Benn, The War of 1812, p. 56.

Hickey, The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict, p. 182.

Benn, The War of 1812, pp. 55, 57; and Brian Arthur, How Britain Won the War of 1812: The Royal Navy’s Blockades of the United States, 1812-1815 (Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK: Boydell Press, 2011), p. 241.

Hickey, The War of 1812: A Short History, p. 62.

Taylor, 1812: The Civil War, pp. 385-87, 391; and Robert Leckie, The Wars of America (Edison, NJ: Castle Books, 1998), p. 284.

Hickey, The War of 1812: A Short History, p. 64.

Taylor, 1812: The Civil War, pp. 211-12, 206; Linai Taliaferro Helm, The Fort Dearborn Massacre (Chicago: Rand, McNally, 1912), pp. 9-10; and Sandy Antal, “Remember the Raisin! Anatomy of a Demon Myth,” The War of 1812 Magazine, Issue 10 (October 2008),

Hickey, The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict, pp. 212-13.

Allen, His Majesty’s Indian Allies, p. 138; Patrick T. Reardon, “It wasn’t the Fort Dearborn Massacre,” Chicago Tribune, August 15, 2012, ; and Taylor, 1812: The Civil War, p. 210.

Hickey, The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict, p. 272.

Hickey, The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict, pp. 152-53; and Robert S. Allen, His Majesty’s Indian Allies: British Indian Policy in the Defence of Canada, 1774-1815 (Toronto: Dundurn Press, 1993), p. 140.

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