Truly one of the most pointless wars ever fought. This is largely in part due to the Americans claiming the impressment of American sailors into the Royal Navy as their main reason to go to war. Thanks to the communications of the period, it would be months before Americans learned the British Parliament had voted to cease Impressment a day prior to the invocation of the declaration of war.
When the treaty of Ghent was signed at the end of 1814, all conquered land was returned to its previous owner, a declaration of status-quo. This meant that the British would be returned the far south of Upper Canada, while the Americans would be returned Fort Niagara, New York, the northern half of the state of Maine, the Northwest Territories, and Fort Astoria (in modern day Oregon).
Although the Americans won no territory immediately after the conflict, for many years the British would cede territory to them, and the threat of the northwest Indians had ended.
According to British documents, officially 1600 British soldiers died in battle. According to American documents, officially 2200 Americans died in combat. However, the militia fighting for both sides had a tendency to keep poor records, the indians known to keep none oncesoever, so combat deaths are likely higher. Moreover, the American military, after a string of disasters early in the war, often delibrately under-reported it's losses, while inconsistences in British dispatches and regimental accounts of casualties may offer a similar result. Furthermore, losses from exposure and disease ran high, formost in the American military. It is estimated that at any given time, 33% of British troops would be unavailable for action due to sickness, while 50% of American soldiers could be expected to be unable to fight.
All in all, the war's greatest results were a sense of patriotism in both the Canadians and Americans, and the final screwing over of the northwest indian peoples.
Teacher: "Who won the War of 1812?"
Student: "Not the Indian peoples."
Bob: "The American army fought bravely during the War of 1812"
Ray: "Too bad they were largely lead by incompetent louts until 1814."
Prices shown in USD.
Type your email address below to get our free Urban Word of the Day every morning!
Emails are sent from email@example.com. We'll never spam you.