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Posted on April 27th, 2014, by

Hickey Donald R. in his book “The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict”¯ calls this war as “the most obscure”¯. He names several reasons for that. The first reason the author says is that no great president was associated with the war, and President Madison was not such a good leader as Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Woodrow Wilson or Franklin Roosevelt. If we take a closer look at the Madison’s biography, we will see that he was a wealthy planter from Virginia, a prominent political figure of the war for independence and the main author of the U.S. Constitution. But Turner Wesley B. in his book “The War of 1812: The War That Both Sides Won”¯ calls the War of 1812 the “Incredible War”¯, first of all because of the fact that it happened, as the USA and Britain had more reasons to remain at peace that to fight . Both authors Hickey Donald R. and Turner, Wesley B consider in detail the course of the war, paying special attention to the objectives of the countries and their forces. Both authors argue that the causes of the war are unclear, and so are the consequences. The United States has won most of its wars, and always with significant concessions from the enemy, but the War of 1812 was different. Despite much mismanagement in its course, the war hadn’t brought any significant results to the countries. But it is possible to say that the War of 1812-1814 was very unfortunate for the United States, in some sense because of the lack of unity in the American camp: for instance, many circles of the bourgeoisie, mainly commercial bourgeoisie of New England, demanded to put an end to the war. During the war, the Americans managed to win only one great victory over the British ”“ in New Orleans, where General Jackson assembled a strong army, supported by regular American troops, which on January 8, 1815 defeated the British. But the only major victory came after the signing of the peace treaty, news of which had not got to Jackson . On December 24, 1814, after two and a half years of war, between the U.S. and Britain was signed a peace Treaty of Ghent. In fact that the peace treaty did not bring any important results, and only returned the countries to the pre-war position. Nevertheless, the fact of signing the contract, together with Jackson’s victory, meant a lot to American public opinion: people believed that the War of 1812 in its objective was the continuation of the Revolutionary War of 1776 – 1783, and struggle to defend the country against the English invasion and defend its territorial integrity . Hickey Donald R. argues that the Treaty of Ghent had no evidence that the aims of the war were achieved. The results of the armed conflict should be considered in more detail. Under the agreement, the parties stopped hostilities, returned prisoners and captured during the war territories. United States gained back about 40,000 square kilometers of land near Lake Michigan, as well as in other places, including the Pacific Coast. In turn, the Americans left the area occupied by them in the Ontario, giving Britain the opportunity to retain control over its Canadian colonies. It is important to mention that at the beginning of the negotiations at Ghent, England demanded that Canada got a large part of the U.S. territories and, in addition, establishment of the “buffer” Indian government, formed from the Indian tribes of North America. It meant for the United States loss of about one-third of their territory. To conclude the peace treaty on the terms of restoration of the situation before the war helped American diplomats the victory of American troops at Lake Champlain, which delayed invasion of the British in New York and showed growth of American resistance. Along with the war ended the British blockade of U.S. shipping in the Atlantic, as well as other obstacles to the economy and international trade of the United States made by a powerful British fleet. The essential elements of war and peace treaty were the fate of black slaves and Indians. The British supported both, using them against the States. Under the terms of the Treaty the United States got back thousands of blacks who sought refuge in Canada. But in the end they remained in Canada, and London paid a ransom for them ”“ 350 thousand dollars, which was great sum at that times. As for the Indians, one of the articles of the treaty provided for the establishment of an Indian state, which was to serve as a buffer between the U.S. and Canada. However, due to the collapse of the coalition of the Indian tribes, this idea was never implemented. As for Canada, it won the war more than anyone else: the colony, which still was uncertain about its course in the future, got a sense of national unity . Most Canadians are still considered themselves part of the British Empire and the supporters of the monarchy. Since then, the inhabitants of the British colonies in North America gradually began to see the metropolis as an ally and partner. Thus, the War in 1812 gave considerable impetus to the establishment of the state of Canada, which half a century later, in 1867, led to the creation of the Canadian confederation. Conclusion War of 1812 was one of the most controversial in U.S. history. The first controversy concerned preconditions and causes of the war, and the goals of the warring countries. However, no less controversial are the outcomes of the war, according to which historians could assess and determine the winner. In this paper we have considered the views of three historians on the War of 1812: Hickey Donald R., Turner Wesley B. and Marrin A. On the basis of this we can conclude that the War of 1812 left no winners or losers, as essential goals of the countries were not achieved. That is why the authors agree that it was “the War That Both Sides Won”¯ or “the War Nobody Won”¯. Confirmation of this may be the results of the War of 1812. Under the peace agreement, the parties returned to the prewar borders and returned the occupied territories. As a result, the U.S. did not get Canada, but they got opportunity to expand their territory to the west by lands of Indians, who formerly were regarded as allies of the British Crown. In fact for Britain the war was relatively small episode in its history. Far greater importance it had for Canada and the USA: each of these countries remained in full confidence of their victory. It is possible to make a conclusion that although the Americans were not defeated, but still the Canadians came out of the war more as winners, while maintaining their national independence and the ability to build their own sovereign state.

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