Britain takes territory during the war of 1812?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by KarachiEagle, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. KarachiEagle Active Member

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    So Britain ended up taking no territory in the peace settlement during the war of 1812, what would it take for Britain to extract territorial (and other) concessions from the Americans in 1812?
     
  2. The Gunslinger NQLA agent

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    Some combination of Plattsburgh, Baltimore and winning in the old Northwest.
     
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  3. Captain Seafort Well-Known Member

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    Or just keeping the blockade on and thereby crushing the US economy. This would require either an extremely pissed off UK, for whatever reason, or an extended war with France.
     
  4. Alternator Devil's Advocate

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    France losing more quickly.

    By the time Napoleon was twice-defeated, the British were sick of war; they could have kept the War of 1812 going, they almost assuredly could have eventually 'won' to the point of claiming territory, but there was absolutely no interest in doing so. The British public just wanted to go back to making money hand over fist through trade, and the issues cheesing the Americans off were mostly already resolved, so they took the white peace.

    Of course, the flip side is that if France is defeated more quickly, the War of 1812 might not even happen.
     
  5. Analytical Engine Monarchist Collectivist Federalist

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    The War of 1812 lasted into 1815. That's enough time to beat France sooner.
     
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  6. The Gunslinger NQLA agent

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    But this requires something additionally. Britain isn't going to twiddle its thumbs and drag the war out for another year, and America isn't going to sit there and watch their economy implode unless they've got something to show for it.
     
  7. HB of CJ Well-Known Member

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    Winning conclusively the Battle Of New Orleans.
     
  8. FillyofDelphi Banned

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    Um... you do know the peace treaty had already been signed by the time of the battle, right?
     
  9. HB of CJ Well-Known Member

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    Yep. The question remains would have England given it all back? Unlikely.
     
  10. Bear Flag Oligarch Well-Known Member

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    Why would one victory be enough to ignore a treaty they'd just signed? How much would they even get that'd be worth the damage to their international reputation?
     
  11. Analytical Engine Monarchist Collectivist Federalist

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    Technically, Britain would have "gained" territory just by having the disputed border settled in its favour, rather than a compromise. Maybe shaving off a bit more from the northernmost bit Illinois Territory - the bit just to the west of the area disputed between the US and Rupert's Land:

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. HB of CJ Well-Known Member

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    Yep again. The Western Boarder of the USA may have stopped at the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. Let's not forget the British Navy still had the transport capacity to sail thousands of troops up the Mississippi. Well worth ignoring a side show treaty with the Colonials. And ... what could the USA have done about it?
     
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  13. FillyofDelphi Banned

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    Do you have any knowledge of the basics of early 19th century political culture at all. Firstly, by the time the news reaches London and discussions even try to take place (And any debate would be FIERCE and almost certainly result in the current government falling to No Confidence) the wheels are spinning to take Britain off her extended war footing. You're going to create major rifts inside the British government, throw the passive expectation of the validity of compromises made on treaties related to Europe into question (If YOU aren't going to honor your treaties....) necessitating the continued projection of military pressure and the resulting expenses to make them stick, and have gained the enmity of the US and the cost/headache of garrisons against their efforts to undermine your position which further splits your attention from maintaing order on the Continent. These are huge long terms costs for dubious gains that may not even last.
     
  14. Dr. Doom Well-Known Member

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    The most that was possible was the Ohio River Valley...which would have required considerably better British performance than in OTL. A more reasonable gain would be resolution of a few border disputes...which honestly for the British is a lot of work expended for very little gain. And that gain would be overbalanced by long-standing American ill-will.

    For Britain, America's friendship is worth more than bit of remote land.
     
  15. Bear Flag Oligarch Well-Known Member

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    Wasn't the British position at the beginning of the war that Louisiana still belonged to Spain? So if they tried to take any territory west of the Mississippi they'd be stealing land from the Spanish by breaking a treaty with the USA.
     
  16. marathag Well-Known Member

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    Actually, the Royal Navy had very little for riverine combat, after all, they got whipped multiple times on the Great Lakes.

    Their massive advantage in Ships of the Line and Frigates are of zero use on 1810 era Mississippi River control
     
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  17. HB of CJ Well-Known Member

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    Transport vessels. Not rare not used ship of the line 74 gun warships. British Frigates and Sloops escorting transports would have had no problems navigating the Mississippi. The commanding General, (or likely Admiral) of the British invasion fleet would probably have acted on his own authority. The prize is worth the risk. England knew the USA had bought the Louisiana Purchase from the French. England wanted to stop USA western expansion. Had the British conclusively won the Battle of New Orleans there was practically nothing standing in their way to push north. England had the ships. England had the army. Very interesting question and thank you.
     
  18. SeaCambrian Well-Known Member

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    Indeed. The US was a massive trading partner with the UK to the extent that actually grabbing land would be of little use.

    Here is a map of the volume of 19th century shipping routes to demonstrate:
    [​IMG]
    https://io9.gizmodo.com/a-map-of-19th-century-shipping-routes-and-nothing-else-1495012998
    http://sappingattention.blogspot.com/2012/11/reading-digital-sources-case-study-in.html#more
     
  19. Bear Flag Oligarch Well-Known Member

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    What risk? The issue isn't whether they'd succeed or not, but if some territorial gain is worth the stain on Britain's diplomatic reputation. And once they take the land how are they going to keep America settlers out of it?
     
  20. The Gunslinger NQLA agent

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    The old fashioned way, by telling them their land title doesn't mean anything and that they won't protect them from those Indians over yonder. The Canadians were very choosy about the Americans they let settle there, there won't just be flood of settlers instantaneously. Besides which, all of the territory that Britain was likely to get wouldn't get settled by Americans for decades to come anyways, there was better land available elsewhere.
     
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