Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 decade ago

War of 1812? Why do Yanks Think They Won?

In the war of 1812 President Madison of the USA started a war with Britain, his aim to conquer Canada. Basically the British drove the Americans out of Canada, went on to take over Washington and burn the White House, and also sacked New York and Boston (or did they). Esentially the USA got stuffed! Americans seem to portray themselves as Victors, probably because of the battle of New Orleans, when an idiotic British commander tried to attack the city through a swamp, and his troops got cut down! However, this happened months AFTER the war finished!


ALSO, Britains aim wasnt to reclaim the USA. The USA STARTED the war, and Britains aim was to kick them out of Canada, and give them a good hiding so they didnt try it again..

Update 2:

PLEASE NOTE: Im Talking About the War of 1812, NOT The American War of Independence In 1776-1783

20 Answers

  • Favorite Answer

    Because the war ended with the Treaty of Ghent where in the British agreed to leave American Shipping and American sailors alone, the impressment of American sailors by the royal navy was a prime reason for the start of the war. The British did burn Washington during a raid but they lacked the strength to hold it for more than a day and they never even came close to taking either New York or Boston.

    Taking Canada was an aim of the US military after war was declared but it wasn't the prime reason for the war. The impressment of American seamen and restriction of American commerce was. The Canadian attack failed but American warships proved to be so far superior to the British warships that the royal navy took to sailing their frigates in pairs to provide protection from the American "monsters". Virtually all the battles at sea went to the Americans and only the sheer size of the royal navy was its salvation. Biritish commerece was ruined on the high seas due to American merchant raiders and it took years for the crown to recover. In the English Parliment the cry for the crown to give up this new American war reached a fever pitch due to fears that the Biritsh economy might be completely destroyed due to the deteriorating naval situation and Parliment, ever fearful of revolution among the working classes, decided the war wasn't in Britian's best interest to continue. Some Englishmen had thoughts of regaining the colonies at the wars start just as Canada was a powerful lure for the Americans but both objectives proved to be beyond the means of the combatants.

    The War of 1812 is sometimes refered to as a draw because after the war things, aside from the impressment situation, returned to basically as they were before the war. All that aside the Battle of New Orleans WAS important because the Biritish delegation at Ghnet refused to sign the treaty ending the war until they learned the fate of their southern invasion force, thinking that a major Biritish victory might allow them to demand favorable terms of the Americans. When news of England's forces being crushed reached them they knew the game was up and they went ahead and signed.

    The upstart nation of America had stood up to the mighty British Empire and thereafter would be treated as an equal on the world stage. Remember what the Duke of Wellington said upon being asked what terms the crown should demand of the Americans in order to restore peace, "We have no right to demand anything".

  • 1 decade ago

    From what I can gather the war of 1812 was declared a draw...(after the yanks lost it)

    The Macanaw Island Fort (Macanaw Island) Michigan was taken by the British without a shot being fired.

    Detroit was surrended by the Americans to British forces.

    50 Highland regiment soldiers captured 500 American soldiers.

    The war lasted about 3 years...all the borders with Canada remained mostly as they were before the war.

    The cause of the war.

    The British were at war with Napoleon at the time and they did not want the Americans to send aid to France, so this skirmish was an off shoot of that.

    The Americans were not very happy about the 'draw' and hassled the Canadians for years afterwards.

  • 1 decade ago

    The relationship between Britain and the United States had been frigid since the latter gained their independence from the former. Trade had been substantial but diplomatic relations consisted of each party ignoring the other’s existence.

    In 1793, Britain went to war against France in what became known as the Napoleonic Wars. The United States was neutral during this conflict but hostilities between the two belligerents interfered with its trade. The Royal Navy blockaded French ports and obliged all neutral shipping, especially American vessels, bound for France, to call first at a British port and pay duties on its cargo before being allowed to proceed. Furthermore the Royal Navy frequently stopped United States ships and pressed into service those seamen who had either deserted from the Royal Navy or were vaguely suspected of having deserted. This policy so incensed United States officials, that on 18th June 1812, President James Maddison declared war on Great Britain.

    The Americans were ill prepared for war. An initial incursion into Canada was easily rebuffed. There were some minor naval skirmishes particularly involving the USS Constitution, which sank several Royal Navy vessels. The British army was too involved in Europe to send troops to fight, but British interests were preserved by supplying the Shawnee tribe with armaments to attack wagon trains, heading for Oregon. The Americans sent an expeditionary force into Canada, which burnt the city of York, now Toronto, and hurriedly retreated.

    By 1814, after a series of victories in Europe, Britain had available resources to mount an offensive. An amphibious British force landed at Chesapeake Bay and after defeating the American army at the battle of Blandensberg, captured the city of Washington, destroyed the Capitol building and burnt down the president’s house. This residence was rebuilt soon after but had to be painted white in order to hide the burn marks, hence the name of the White House.

    After such a disturbing and humiliating defeat, the Americans called a truce and signed a peace treaty, the Treaty of Ghent, which restored matters to the state they were in before the war.

  • 1 decade ago

    I'm with you on this one, Britain was fighting France at the time (peninsula war), for Britain to fight a war across the Atlantic at that time was an extremely difficult thing to do, America called for french military aid (again), despite small naval successes they could not possibly match the royal navy on the high seas, so i think America can only claim it as a victory in the sense that they survived the war.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    the yanks think they can win everything, but i don't know of any major conflict they have ever won on their own even the war of independence they had help off the french,came into ww11 at the last minute, korea,Britain was there,Vietnam what a disaster that was for them, Iraq1&2 says it all.p.s.where do they get the notion that us Brits bow to the queen every morning from,what a load of morons.p.p.s i have some very good american freinds who also hold these views.,

  • 1 decade ago

    Don't worry, the Americans have no comprehension of history. They're so insular that they have little concept of the outside world. They frequently try to re-write history through second-rate films but any delving into the facts exposes their "artistic license". If I was a film director I'd make a film about the American Civil War putting Ray Winston and Jude Law in the starring roles and setting it in Dorset.

  • 1 decade ago

    The major issue was the British habit of kidnapping Americans and forcing them to serve in the British Navy. The Canadian border issue was ancillary.

    I guess Americans think we won because the entire old "Northwest" is now made up of American states instead of Canadian provinces and British press gangs no longer roam the high seas.

  • 1 decade ago

    the yanks think that they won, because america has become so big and powerful on the world theatre that it cannot possibly admit that it ever lost anything.

    However, i used to be a member of the british parachute regiment, and i have done several exercises against the us rangers and the us marines and i can confidently tell you that they were crap.

    The war in iraq now, theyve lost over two thousand men - we have lost over 150 - MASSIVE difference! America has won all of its battles via overwhelming firepower, and numbers en masse. The skilfull units around the world are and have been plain to see in the past. I e the royal navy at trafalgar defeating an enemy twice its size. america has and always will win by its gung ho confidence(false) numerical superiority, and overwhelming firepower.

  • 1 decade ago

    1812 did not end in defeat for anyone it ended in an agreement that britain would not pressgang american sailors and ships into british service. IF britain had won the US would now be part of the commonwealth me thinks your a wee bit muddled on this subject ? The battle of New Orleans was fought in the war of independance 10 days after that war offically ended NOT the 1812 WAR and certainly NOT months after!

    I'm scottish btw and unfortunatly your lack of actual knowledge on the subject is embarrassing

    • wayne5 years agoReport

      American won 1 battle the Canadians and British won all the other America made no gain in to Canada and the White house was burnt to the ground. How is that a victory

  • 1 decade ago

    Why do you care?

    I hear that many in England think that "they" won world War II, with little mention of the fact that London was burning and that the weapons and support of the US helped keep them going until the time the US entered the war.

    We all have our cultural blind spots and the simple fact is that most people here know Nothing about the war of 1812. We don't care. It was nearly 200 years ago, and we are allies with Great Brittain now.

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