Two hundred years ago this month, on June 1 1812, the United States declared war on Great Britain.Just over two weeks later, the young nation went to war to stop the British from bullying them at sea, where they intercepted merchant ships, impressed US sailors and blockaded US ports, and on land, where they supported American Indian tribes.
Although the war ended in a stalemate, the US came away with newfound pride and confidence. This would also mark the beginning of a lasting alliance between the two powers.
Now relive the war of 1812 with a set of iconic images.
Later in the year, major naval battles began to heat up. The USS Constitution famously fought the HMS Guerriere in 1812, and was considered the first major naval battle of the war, taking place in August 1812, just a couple of months after the British declared war. American naval ships were outnumbered in the sea four to one.
After a year of back and forth battle along the eastern part of the U.S. and British controlled Canada, the Battle of Lake Erie saw American forces successfully fend off the British led by Oliver Hazard Perry.
Tecumseh of the Shawnee tribe led a conglomeration of tribes to war against the U.S., starting in 1811. They were supported by the British.
After the Battle of Lake Erie, there was a major battle between the Americans and American Indians in Ontario, Canada. The ensuing Battle of the Thames was won by the U.S. and Tecumesh was killed in the process, ending the major Native American threat in the war.
The war continued to rage on after a relatively quiet winter. In May of 1814, General George Drummond led the British in capturing New York's Fort Oswego. This was the calm before a three-pronged British invasion.
The British continued its offensive in August 1814 near the Chesapeake. They burned the White House and much of Washington, causing President Madison to flee. This is the aftermath of the blaze.
Meanwhile in Lake Champlain, the Americans were desperately trying to defend its northern border. On September 17, 1914, General Thomas Macdonough led the American forces to an enormous win which partially led to the end of the war.
Nearly three months later, on December 15 1814, the Hartford Convention began. A group of federalists talked about seceding from the union and proposing a set of Constitutional amendments to give more power to the northeastern states. They were tired of Virginian presidents and the war itself, and wanted to end the Three-fifths compromise, among other things.
While the Hartford Convention was going on, a peace agreement was reached between the Americans and the British. The Treaty Of Ghent was signed on Christmas Eve 1814.
Despite the treaty, battles went on as it took time for word of the agreement to cross the Atlantic. New Orleans was the last major battleground. British troops stormed the American soldiers at the Battle Of New Orleans in January 1815, but the Americans emerged victorious.
Before he became the 7th president, Andrew Jackson was a great U.S. general. He led forces that quelled Native American uprisings in the south in 1814 and fought off the British in the Battle of New Orleans. He became president 14 years later.
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