Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 decade ago

Who do you think won the war of 1812?Canada or America?

12 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Perhaps one of the most pointless wars in history, there was no discernable victor although it can be stated that the British probably shaded it.

    In terms of war aims the British, (who didn't want to fight being fully occupied with Napoleon and his European 'allies',) merely wished to preserve the status quo in this area. This was not only achieved but if anything Britain emerged from the conflict slightly stronger.

    America on the other hand had two main stated aims. To occupy Canada and to stop American sailors being impressed into the British navy. At wars end the Canadians and British had totally eradicated the American threat and held vast swathes of American territory including much of the Eastern seaboard, Washington had been burned to the ground (the White House supposedly gets its name from the white paint used to cover the black burn marks it incurred) and more American sailors were impressed into the Royal Navy than before. New Orleans would not have altered the strategic situation. It was a British attempt to win the war by outflanking the Americans which in some respects can be compared to Arnhem in conception and result) It is a good example of the fact that the British were only playing their 2nd or 3rd team. (The lack of elemenary prererations such as not agreeing on the meaning of signals and not providing ladders when it was clear an escalade on the American positions was necessary is indicative of the fact that the best British leadership was on the continent. Imagine Wellington or Uxbridge making such blunders). Wellington was offered command of the British Army in the field in America. an offer he turned down on the basis that the main enemy was France and that to accept command of a side show was in fact a demotion. Strategically he was also aware that holding on to the British occupied states would represent an unacceptable strain on the economy and on the Royal Navy who (also fielding its 3rd team) were supplying the army in America. These states were never reconquered but were abandoned for economic reasons. Certainly the Americans scored some astonishing tactical victories and the American Navy acquitted itself well against the best trained seamen in the world, (In the RN's case it was the ships NOT the men that were of 3rd team standard) If the USN had come across a British flotilla of ships of the line in open waters it is certain that they would have fought exceedingly well but also certain that they would have been defeated. This more or less explains why the American Navy never attempted a sortie with its fleet into the Atlantic, or tried to seek a decisive battle. For both sides the treaty of Paris could not come quickly enough. The US was beleaguered, blockaded and besieged and the 'war party' had long since lost political control. The British had long since generally abandoned any notion of a western empire preferring to look South and East and whilst by 1814 the chances of a French attack on the home islands had gone the men, ships and other materiel were still thought to be badly needed for offensive and defensive operations. (Although when the overall situation became clear many men were discharged and many officers retained on half-pay). If Britain had not been embroiled with France the US would very probably not have initiated the war. However the thought of Wellington not being at Waterloo but rampaging through America instead is a bit of a nightmare for British and Americans alike. If America had won, we could be sure that Hollywood would have treated us to a vast collection of epics by now.

    Source(s): Offhand I really can't think of anything more specific than to reccommend the histories of the Harvard University press and the Cambridge (UK) University press. Katcher 'The American War 1812-14 is a good little precis and Henry Adams is very good. The British sources are thin on the ground as the conflict from the British perspective is merely a very minor part of the Napoleonic Wars. The Times newspaper for this and many other periods is available on the net for a small fee.
  • 1 decade ago

    First of all it was between Canada and the US. The United States wanted to invade Canada while the British were busy with the Napoleonic war. Yes Isaac Brock, an Englishmen, lead the fight. Yes except for a Canadian Militia, all his men were from the British Army. But first of all the way the system worked is Canada was part of Britain. They sent people overseas to be in the British Army, Canada didn't have its own army; Canada's army was Britain's army. Second of all Brock was only half of Canada's side, or have you all forgotten about Tecumseh who lead the eastern woodland Indians. Or do aboriginals living in Canada not count as Canadians?

    I say Canada won because it's still here. The United States went in to invade, didn't invade, therefore they could not have won. You can argue a stalemate I suppose, but only because Britain negotiated and didn't really care so long as the fighting stopped. By the end of the war though Canada had taken Detroit and occupied Washington DC. The war also ended with Canada taking ground, not the United States (I mean during the war, not after).

    In the negotiations England did give Main over as a peace offering, which is what most people use to argue that the US won the war, but if you look through Canadian History, England's favourite way of making the United States happy is just by giving random pieces of land. For example, look up the Ohio Valley.

    I guess you could say that Canada won the war and the United States won the negotiations, but by just looking at the battles, it's hard to say the United States won, what with some of them surrendering before the fighting even started in some cases, with the United States not building a proper army because they assumed Canada would want to become part of the United States and welcome their army as liberators and of course the occupation of Washington DC.

  • 1 decade ago

    Well, both won something out of the war. Britain, because they wanted to check American expansion, issued the Dominion of Canada, which essentially gave Canada independence, although I suppose they were loosely under the control of Britain. However, this was a huge step in Canadian independence. And the best part is, they never had to raise a rifle. The U.S., although they didn't technically win anything, really proved to the world that their republican experiment was strong enough to contend with the monarchial powers of Europe. This proved essential in the future, such as when the Monroe Doctorine was issued, because it displayed the strength of America's army.

    Source(s): Mr. Doolan's top AP student
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The War of 1812 was won by the British Empire. After all, they checked the Canadians in the Niagara Penisula despite fighting Napoleon in Europe. The Americans managed to fight a minute percentage of the Empire's force. Imagine if Britain wasn't fighting Napoleon at the time!

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  • 1 decade ago

    Canada remained a British colony, didn't it? Canada, as a free country today, won.

    The British could have crushed the Americans, but they were more interested in defeating Napoleon. They proved this by burning the American capital. The War of 1812 was a side show for Britain.

  • 1 decade ago

    The War of 1812 was a war between the US and the British. While Canada was a part of Britian, the US wasn't fighting Canada as a country.

    The US was fighting against Britian because they had failed to follow through with many of the articles from the Treaty that ended the Revolutionary War. They were also attacking American shipping and stealing our sailors and forcing them serve in the Royal Navy.

    While the British did attack and burn much of Washington, we did score some victories. Andrew Jackson absolutely destroyed the British in New Orleans. Unfortunately, it was a few days after the Treaty of Ghent had been signed and the war was over!

    Still, the US showed the British that they were not a push over nation that would just sit around and let Britian rule everything. They showed that if necessary, the US would defend itself and had the power and ability to defeat the British. The Battle of New Orleans was a major defeat for the British. There were 8000 british troops in the battle and 4000 americans. In the end, the british lost 2200 men, the americans lost 307. An overwhelming defeat for sure.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Canada, obviously. The US invaded us and tried to take us over. We whupped them, chased them back across the border and burned Washington.

    if the US had won, Canada would not exist.

  • 4 years ago

    America didn't win the Second World War? I think there are many veterans from a number of nations that will be very shocked to discover that. You want to ask my wife's grandfather (who faught against the US as a rifleman in the Japanese army) whether he feels like they won or lost? Somehow I don't see the residents of Nagasaki holding a yearly celebration of their victory over America.

  • 1 decade ago

    Canada wasnt in the war of 1812, it was America v. Britain

    i can see where you are confused though because Canada was still a British controlled territory, they kept garrisons there. personally i think that The USA won it because they thwarted the British invasion however the British burnt the capital to the ground, so there were bright spots for both campaigns but im still going to say the USA won

  • 1 decade ago

    Nobody won and nobody lost it was a Stalemate or tie.

    Canada definitely didn't win because the was was between America and Britain for control of Canada.

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