War of 1812

The War of 1812 (18 June 1812 – 17 February 1815) was fought by the United States of America and its indigenous allies against the United Kingdom and its allies in British North America, with limited participation by Spain in Florida. It began when the US declared war on 18 June 1812 and, although peace terms were agreed upon in the December 1814 Treaty of Ghent, did not officially end until the peace treaty was ratified by Congress on 17 February 1815.[16][17]

War of 1812
Part of the Sixty Years' War

Clockwise from top:
Date18 June 1812 – 17 February 1815
(2 years, 7 months, 4 weeks and 2 days)

Inconclusive, military draw

  • Treaty of Ghent
  • British/allied victory of halting United States invasion of Canada
  • American victory against British invasions of the Old Northwest,[1] Mid-Atlantic,[2] New England,[3] and Southern[4] regions
  • American victory against Tecumseh's confederacy
  • American victory against the Red Stick Creeks and the Treaty of Fort Jackson
  • American victory against British forces in Florida. British forces are driven out of Florida.
  • American victory against Spain. Spain's influence is severely weakened and diminished in Florida.
For its aftermath, see Historiography of the War of 1812 and Results of the War of 1812
 United States

 United Kingdom

Commanders and leaders

James Madison
Paul Hamilton[lower-alpha 1]
Henry Dearborn
John Rodgers
Stephen Decatur
Jacob Brown
James Monroe
Winfield Scott
Andrew Jackson
William Henry Harrison
Wade Hampton I
William Hull

Red Jacket[5]

Robert Jenkinson
Philip Broke
George Prévost
Isaac Brock 
Robert Ross 
Edward Pakenham 
Edward Codrington
Cecil Bisshopp 
Peter Parker 
John Macdonell 
George Downie 
Charles de Salaberry
Gordon Drummond
Black Hawk

Mateo González Manrique


  • 125 Choctaw
  • Unknown number of other tribes and nations[7]


  • Native American allies: 10,000–15,000[8][6]
Casualties and losses
  •  United States:
    • 2,200 killed in action [9]
    • 5,200 died of disease [10]
    • Up to 15,000 deaths from all causes [11] [10]
    • 4,505 wounded [12]
    • 20,000 captured[13][14]
    • 8 frigates captured or burned
    • 1,400 merchant ships captured
    • 278 privateers captured
    • 4,000 slaves escaped or freed[15]
[dead link]


  • Indigenous allies:
  • Spain:
    • <20 casualties
  •  * Some militias operated only in their own regions
  •   Killed in action
  •  ‡ A locally raised coastal protection and semi-naval force on the Great Lakes

Tensions originated in long-standing differences over territorial expansion in North America and British support for Native American tribes who opposed US colonial settlement in the Northwest Territory. These escalated in 1807 after the Royal Navy began enforcing tighter restrictions on American trade with France, exacerbated by the impressment of men claimed as British subjects, even those with American citizenship certificates.[18] Opinion was split on how to respond, and although majorities in both the House and Senate voted for war, they divided along strict party lines, with the Democratic-Republican Party in favour and the Federalist Party against.[lower-alpha 4][19] News of British concessions made in an attempt to avoid war did not reach the US until late July, by which time the conflict was already underway.

At sea, the far larger Royal Navy imposed an effective blockade on US maritime trade, while between 1812 to 1814 British regulars and colonial militia defeated a series of American attacks on Upper Canada.[20] This was balanced by the US winning control of the Northwest Territory with victories at Lake Erie and the Thames in 1813. The abdication of Napoleon in early 1814 allowed the British to send additional troops to North America and the Royal Navy to reinforce their blockade, crippling the American economy.[21] In August 1814, negotiations began in Ghent, with both sides wanting peace; the British economy had been severely impacted by the trade embargo, while the Federalists convened the Hartford Convention in December to formalise their opposition to the war.

In August 1814, British troops burned Washington, before American victories at Baltimore and Plattsburgh in September ended fighting in the north. Fighting continued in the Southeastern United States, where in late 1813 a civil war had broken out between a Creek faction supported by Spanish and British traders and those backed by the US. Supported by US militia under General Andrew Jackson, the American backed Creeks won a series of victories, culminating in the capture of Pensacola in November 1814.[22] In early 1815, Jackson defeated a British attack on New Orleans, catapulting him to national celebrity and later victory in the 1828 United States presidential election.[23] News of this success arrived in Washington at the same time as that of the signing of the Treaty of Ghent, which essentially restored the position to that prevailing before the war. While Britain insisted this included lands belonging to their Native American allies prior to 1811, Congress did not recognize them as independent nations and neither side sought to enforce this requirement.

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