War of 1812 complete disaster for Britain

Through blundering incompetence the Poms find that they've accidentally reconquered the entire United States.

How is this an absolute disaster?

They've got the ungrateful colonials back.
:openedeyewink:
You jest, but a result that sees the UK gain territory, only to get bogged down in the North American continent through an intensified rivalry with the United States, and lose out elsewhere in the world, has the potential to be a complete disaster in the longer run. French New Zealand, anybody?
 
...The USA had preserving it's independence and sovereignty as a primary goal; annexation of the British colonies on mainland North America was a secondary goal.
Britain had preserving its hold over its remaining colonies in North America as it's primary goal and a secondary goal of suzerainty over the USA (including territorial concessions). If the British goal had been solely to get the USA to negotiate and resume trade, impressment would have stopped after the Chesapeake Affair (including the release of the sailors long before the declaration of war in 1812)...
The Americans certainly saw impressment and the Orders in Council as attacks on their sovereignty, but that wasn't how the British saw either, nor was the policy of impressing American sailors motivated by a desire to enforce control over their former colonies. The Napoleonic wars had massively increased the size of the Royal Navy well beyond what the British could fill with volunteers (the shortage of skilled crews was one of the reasons, although not the main reason, that American frigates performed so well against British ones). American merchant ships did have a considerable number of crewmen who had deserted from the Royal Navy because serving in the Royal Navy was absolutely miserable. The British considered themselves fully justified in boarding American ships and taking back deserters, the Americans were justly furious that the British didn't particularly care if the men they snatched were actual deserters or not.

The UK certainly had no interest in fighting a war with the US in 1812, but once the war began, there were plenty of British officers and politicians who would happily have used the conflict as an excuse to punish what they saw as an upstart nation and to secure more territory. But it would be an enormous stretch to say that the British went to war with an aim of territorial expansion - the British didn't want to go to war with the US at all. The Americans (at least the Southern states, New England had much the same attitude as the British) were much more motivated to fight, and annexing Canada was definitely on their mind, but even in their case it wasn't a reason to go to war.

None of this is to say that you're wrong that the UK scoffed at American sovereignty and trampled all over it snatching up sailors, they absolutely did, but that didn't mean that there was a serious desire to fight a war of any kind to actually conquer US territory. You're also quite correct that the American people were more ready for war in 1807 than they were in 1812, particularly where New England was concerned. A war that began then would have a much more united American public behind it, although all of the existing problems of military organization and efficiency would still plague the war effort.
 
The difficulty with any strategy that relies upon New England is that you don't just need to change America's preparations for the war, you need to change the entire country's attitude toward the conflict. The New England states were loudly and stridently opposed to war, which is one of the reasons that Dearborn had such difficulty finding volunteers in Boston as the preparations for war began. Throughout the conflict, New Englanders preferred to continue trading with the British rather than fight them, and early on did their best to pretend the war wasn't happening at all. There are also huge hurdles toward improving the professionalism of the militias, and with the reliability of the militias period.

The US in 1812 was not the military nation it would become later. Its people and its politicians were suspicious of standing armies and professional armies. What military tradition they did have largely consisted of frontier skirmishes with Indigenous groups and remembered glories of the revolution.

Militia service was greatly preferred to joining the regular army, the officers were usually politicians in their civilian life and accepted their ranks because they hoped to advance their political careers. Because American militia officers were often elected by their own men, they were politicians first and soldiers second in their army life as well. The officers of the regular army and the militias were jealous of each other and often worked poorly together. Both were plagued by poor leadership, and petty squabbles that led to blunders and disasters like Queenston. Finding competent leaders who were willing to serve wasn't easy, which was why the early campaigns were saddled with the likes of Hull, Dearborn and Eustis. It wasn't so much that America's strategy was flawed... it just required good leadership, skilled organization, and a committed and eager population, and it didn't have any of the three.

As far as your proposed peace terms go, it's worth noting that the British moved to repeal the Orders in Council two days before the Americans declared war, but because of the slow pace of communications at the time, there was no way that the Americans could have learned of it until it was too late. America might have settled for the repeal, the British dismissing some of its Indian agents and changing its policies toward the Indigenous peoples of the west, perhaps some small financial compensation. They had bigger issues to worry about in 1813.

After the humiliation at Detroit, I don't know if the Americans would have been willing to accept a treaty that only gave them what they ostensibly went to war to get. More than any stated goal, the rhetoric of the Americans leading up to the war make's it pretty clear that national pride was a major motivation behind the conflict, and Detroit was a terrible blow to the nation's pride. That said, Detroit could have been prevented, either by a better leader than Hull leading the Americans or by having Brock get the transfer out of North America that he requested before the war.

The result would be a short, small-scale war in which the Americans won a number of victories on land, and a few meaningless but high-profile frigate actions at sea. America's politicians would be able to congratulate themselves on satisfying their country's honour and proving that the US couldn't be pushed around. The British could wash their hands of the whole thing and go back to the war they actually cared about. However, the war wouldn't have been a complete disaster for the British as much as it would have been a complete waste of time. Actually progressing to the point that the war seriously harms Britain's interest or standing is a much more difficult challenge.
Can't disagree with anything you wrote. I was suggesting what could've been done from 1807 on. I think the regular army had an authorized strength of 8,000 men in 1812, 10,000 doesn't seem unreasonable. Yes more professional officers might be a sticking point, but modest increases might have been possible. Political officers were a problem at least till the Spanish American War. You might be right that any major improvement might not have been possible without the failures of the War of 1812 showed the obvious flaws of the militia system.

I thought you would say the Bank was the biggest sticking point, that was just a stupid piece of Jeffersonian Orthodoxy, that it took the war to shake loose of, at least for 20 years. The embargo of 1807 poisoned relations between the Republicans, and New England long before the war. Just maybe if the mindset of the Federalists wasn't already so rightly hostile to Madison's policies NE might have been a little more supportive. It's not like NE wasn't upset about the Orders in Council, it was mostly their ships being stopped.

The naval aspect of my post I thought would be actually popular in NE, many of the new warships would be built, and based in their States. The tariff would also make them happy. The fleet action would be interesting. The British reaction to losing a fleet action, even a small one would be unpredictable. They might be out for blood, or it might make them want to end the war faster. It could go ether way. Thanks for your thoughtful reply.
 
Actually New England had a lot of trade with the British. Apparently most of Wellington's army in Spain was supplied by New England based shipping.
 
Also the war was not a draw. We kicked the American out of Canada. The British actions after that was solely done to force the US to negotiate and trade to resume.
Those that say the British failed unfortunately don’t understand what the British were trying to accomplish.

invade and occupy BNA and the British have a huge incentive to force the US to relinquish BNA
The Americans were still holding Canadian territory north of Lake Erie, and between Detroit, and the Niagara River. Both sides withdrew to their prewar territory. The causes of the war had been removed when the Napoleonic Wars ended. No more impressment, or orders in council, no more Indian wars with British support. Those issues never arose again. Eventually the Canada Boundary issue was settled, Canada & USA became big trading partners, and allies. I think one could say things worked out pretty well for both sides, wouldn't you say?
 
Last edited:
The difficulty with any strategy that relies upon New England is that you don't just need to change America's preparations for the war, you need to change the entire country's attitude toward the conflict. The New England states were loudly and stridently opposed to war, which is one of the reasons that Dearborn had such difficulty finding volunteers in Boston as the preparations for war began. Throughout the conflict, New Englanders preferred to continue trading with the British rather than fight them, and early on did their best to pretend the war wasn't happening at all. There are also huge hurdles toward improving the professionalism of the militias, and with the reliability of the militias period.

The US in 1812 was not the military nation it would become later. Its people and its politicians were suspicious of standing armies and professional armies. What military tradition they did have largely consisted of frontier skirmishes with Indigenous groups and remembered glories of the revolution.

Militia service was greatly preferred to joining the regular army, the officers were usually politicians in their civilian life and accepted their ranks because they hoped to advance their political careers. Because American militia officers were often elected by their own men, they were politicians first and soldiers second in their army life as well. The officers of the regular army and the militias were jealous of each other and often worked poorly together. Both were plagued by poor leadership, and petty squabbles that led to blunders and disasters like Queenston. Finding competent leaders who were willing to serve wasn't easy, which was why the early campaigns were saddled with the likes of Hull, Dearborn and Eustis. It wasn't so much that America's strategy was flawed... it just required good leadership, skilled organization, and a committed and eager population, and it didn't have any of the three.

As far as your proposed peace terms go, it's worth noting that the British moved to repeal the Orders in Council two days before the Americans declared war, but because of the slow pace of communications at the time, there was no way that the Americans could have learned of it until it was too late. America might have settled for the repeal, the British dismissing some of its Indian agents and changing its policies toward the Indigenous peoples of the west, perhaps some small financial compensation. They had bigger issues to worry about in 1813.

After the humiliation at Detroit, I don't know if the Americans would have been willing to accept a treaty that only gave them what they ostensibly went to war to get. More than any stated goal, the rhetoric of the Americans leading up to the war make's it pretty clear that national pride was a major motivation behind the conflict, and Detroit was a terrible blow to the nation's pride. That said, Detroit could have been prevented, either by a better leader than Hull leading the Americans or by having Brock get the transfer out of North America that he requested before the war.

The result would be a short, small-scale war in which the Americans won a number of victories on land, and a few meaningless but high-profile frigate actions at sea. America's politicians would be able to congratulate themselves on satisfying their country's honour and proving that the US couldn't be pushed around. The British could wash their hands of the whole thing and go back to the war they actually cared about. However, the war wouldn't have been a complete disaster for the British as much as it would have been a complete waste of time. Actually progressing to the point that the war seriously harms Britain's interest or standing is a much more difficult challenge.
Even if we stretched the bounds of plausibility with say a hawkish federalist (federalists were both more opposed to war and more militaristic as paradoxical as that sounds) administration and the USA conquering all British possessions on mainland North America, I don't see the British not having access to the resources of Canada. Trade would be in both countries' best interest. The Mexican-American war may or may not happen. Slavery would probably be abolished sooner. Britain's pride would be wounded, but they'd still build up the rest of their empire elsewhere much as happened in OTL. If there is a World War, chances are pretty good that trade would eventually bring the USA in on the British side. I guess the USA could go to war with Britain at that point over Belize/British Honduras, British Guiana, or the British West Indies, but even if the USA didn't become determined to avoid another war with Britain, Britain would have remained determined to avoid one (and probably later have wanted to court American public opinion as in OTL).
The Americans certainly saw impressment and the Orders in Council as attacks on their sovereignty, but that wasn't how the British saw either, nor was the policy of impressing American sailors motivated by a desire to enforce control over their former colonies. The Napoleonic wars had massively increased the size of the Royal Navy well beyond what the British could fill with volunteers (the shortage of skilled crews was one of the reasons, although not the main reason, that American frigates performed so well against British ones). American merchant ships did have a considerable number of crewmen who had deserted from the Royal Navy because serving in the Royal Navy was absolutely miserable. The British considered themselves fully justified in boarding American ships and taking back deserters, the Americans were justly furious that the British didn't particularly care if the men they snatched were actual deserters or not.

The UK certainly had no interest in fighting a war with the US in 1812, but once the war began, there were plenty of British officers and politicians who would happily have used the conflict as an excuse to punish what they saw as an upstart nation and to secure more territory. But it would be an enormous stretch to say that the British went to war with an aim of territorial expansion - the British didn't want to go to war with the US at all. The Americans (at least the Southern states, New England had much the same attitude as the British) were much more motivated to fight, and annexing Canada was definitely on their mind, but even in their case it wasn't a reason to go to war.

None of this is to say that you're wrong that the UK scoffed at American sovereignty and trampled all over it snatching up sailors, they absolutely did, but that didn't mean that there was a serious desire to fight a war of any kind to actually conquer US territory. You're also quite correct that the American people were more ready for war in 1807 than they were in 1812, particularly where New England was concerned. A war that began then would have a much more united American public behind it, although all of the existing problems of military organization and efficiency would still plague the war effort.
They may not have had the goal of starting a war, but they did have goal of an American puppet state. They just expected the USA to go along with it rather than ultimately declare war. I was saying that Lusitania's notion that all Britain wanted was to negotiate and resume trade is wrong. If that had been the case, there would have been no war. If you want to argue that the USA lost on the grounds that it was the end of the Napoleonic wars that brought about the end of impressment, that's one thing, but notion that Britain didn't have eyes on keeping the USA as a de facto albeit not de jure part of its empire before the war (and the added goal of extracting direct territorial concessions if not outright reannexation once war broke out) is nationalist revisionism. Also Lusitania's comment implied the primary goal of the USA was annexing Canada; that was seen as a nice potential bonus (what I called a secondary goal) but it was most definitely not the casus belli. That is what I was pointing out. We can argue until we're blue in the face about who actually "won" the war of 1812, but the war goals of each side are much less debatable. That's also why I usually say "outright win" if I want to refer to an ATL where one side or the other does better than in OTL. If the British had done much better than in OTL they would have extracted territorial concessions. Vice versa if the USA had done much better. Although Britain didn't want the war to break out, they certainly did not just want negotiations and trade; if that had been the British goal, they would have reached a deal if not right after the Chesapeake Affair, then certainly in response to the subsequent embargo. Given the USA's problems of reliance on untrained militias and the logistical issues the British faced waging war across an ocean to say nothing of also fighting Napoleon, OTL really does seem like the most plausible outcome without a pre-war POD, with the possible exception of cannonballs bouncing off of the USS Constitution. Not say decisive win either way is ASB. It isn't, just not likely. Britain could have extracted territorial concessions had they chosen to fight on in 1815, but the decision not to do so had more to do with the economic impact of continuing the war. Resuming trade boosted the economy. Continuing the war would not only have meant not gaining that benefit, but also spending in order to project sufficient force to secure a stronger bargaining position. So they did eventually place economic concerns above territorial ones, but say that those were their only goals is wrong, because as I said before, had that been the case, there never would have been a War of 1812.
 

Lusitania

Donor
The Americans were still holding Canadian territory north of Lake Erie, and between Detroit, and the Niagara River. Both sides withdrew to their prewar territory. The causes of the war had been removed when the Napoleonic Wars ended. No more impressment, or orders in council, no more Indian wars with British support. Those issues never arose again. Eventually the Canada Boundary issue was settled, Canada & USA became big trading partners, and allies. I think one could say things worked out pretty well for both sides, wouldn't you say?
We in Canada say living next to the US is like sleeping next to an elephant. They completely ignorant of our existence and you feel every turn and shake. Plus got to be careful you not get flatten.
 
As mentioned above you need to change the US from 1783 for it to have more federal government and a national army. But the states after ARW were not going to go along with that. It was state power over federal power.

the war of 1812 actually showed the Americans the drawbacks and limitations of their existing militia system and started making changes to a national force.

the confederate states hampered their own war effort by states not allowing their state armies to fight in the neighboring state. This led to their forces being defeated by a national Yankee army.

At the very least you need a POD in the late 1790s that would for cause the states to support a federal army and larger navy.If not as many have stated even if Napoleon is victorious in Europe it would not mean the US will win

remember the butterflies, if the war in a Europe is going differently from an earlier time and the british navy not able to blockade Europe there no reason it would antagonize the US. It would be much more reliant on trade with the US to finance it’s war. So the very fact British fighting on the high seas and not control oceans means US might loose it’s major complain with Britain.

also we can’t consider a more early victorious Napoleon being interested in selling French Louisiana. For he wanted it as French settler colony. Also a more militant US would of resulted in larger British troops and militia in BNA.

In conclusion you can’t just change things for the US without expecting different reaction from its adversaries that includes France, Spain and Britain.

but if you want you can get a magic wand and make all the british citizens suddenly rebel against the British and join US. While at it concert all French Catholics to Protestants and have them all speak English.
I disagree that you need to back to 1783. The Constitution came into effect in 1789. The United States Army was formed by the Confederacy Congress in 1784. In the OTL the U.S. Army had 8,000 men in 1812. Your right about the military lessons of the War of 1812, the Militia System needed shall we say improvements. Navies never had the reputation for military coups, so the Founders didn't seem to have much fear of a navy, it was just the cost they had a problem with. Actually a more successful Napoleon might push the Americans into the arms of the British, if he tries to hold the Louisiana Territory. If that happens no War of 1812 at all.
 

Lusitania

Donor
Even if we stretched the bounds of plausibility with say a hawkish federalist (federalists were both more opposed to war and more militaristic as paradoxical as that sounds) administration and the USA conquering all British possessions on mainland North America, I don't see the British not having access to the resources of Canada. Trade would be in both countries' best interest. The Mexican-American war may or may not happen. Slavery would probably be abolished sooner. Britain's pride would be wounded, but they'd still build up the rest of their empire elsewhere much as happened in OTL. If there is a World War, chances are pretty good that trade would eventually bring the USA in on the British side. I guess the USA could go to war with Britain at that point over Belize/British Honduras, British Guiana, or the British West Indies, but even if the USA didn't become determined to avoid another war with Britain, Britain would have remained determined to avoid one (and probably later have wanted to court American public opinion as in OTL).

They may not have had the goal of starting a war, but they did have goal of an American puppet state. They just expected the USA to go along with it rather than ultimately declare war. I was saying that Lusitania's notion that all Britain wanted was to negotiate and resume trade is wrong. If that had been the case, there would have been no war. If you want to argue that the USA lost on the grounds that it was the end of the Napoleonic wars that brought about the end of impressment, that's one thing, but notion that Britain didn't have eyes on keeping the USA as a de facto albeit not de jure part of its empire before the war (and the added goal of extracting direct territorial concessions if not outright reannexation once war broke out) is nationalist revisionism. Also Lusitania's comment implied the primary goal of the USA was annexing Canada; that was seen as a nice potential bonus (what I called a secondary goal) but it was most definitely not the casus belli. That is what I was pointing out. We can argue until we're blue in the face about who actually "won" the war of 1812, but the war goals of each side are much less debatable. That's also why I usually say "outright win" if I want to refer to an ATL where one side or the other does better than in OTL. If the British had done much better than in OTL they would have extracted territorial concessions. Vice versa if the USA had done much better. Although Britain didn't want the war to break out, they certainly did not just want negotiations and trade; if that had been the British goal, they would have reached a deal if not right after the Chesapeake Affair, then certainly in response to the subsequent embargo. Given the USA's problems of reliance on untrained militias and the logistical issues the British faced waging war across an ocean to say nothing of also fighting Napoleon, OTL really does seem like the most plausible outcome without a pre-war POD, with the possible exception of cannonballs bouncing off of the USS Constitution. Not say decisive win either way is ASB. It isn't, just not likely. Britain could have extracted territorial concessions had they chosen to fight on in 1815, but the decision not to do so had more to do with the economic impact of continuing the war. Resuming trade boosted the economy. Continuing the war would not only have meant not gaining that benefit, but also spending in order to project sufficient force to secure a stronger bargaining position. So they did eventually place economic concerns above territorial ones, but say that those were their only goals is wrong, because as I said before, had that been the case, there never would have been a War of 1812.
First even a more hawkish US administration would still be up against British nationalism where they fine letting colonist become independent they be hell bent on reclaiming British territory from invaders. They be embarrassed that would be upstart little nation go and steal their territory. What next loose India and rest of the union. No British government would allow for that.

now in regards to this feeling thAt British looked down of the US and trastes it like a secound rare country. Of course they did. Winning the war not really change that. It would be only years later that British would respect it. But that due to continued economic growth. Not military or diplomatic respect. Not till the 1850-1860s and evening then the Trenton Affair showed how little regard they still had for the US.
 

Lusitania

Donor
I disagree that you need to back to 1783. The Constitution came into effect in 1789. The United States Army was formed by the Confederacy Congress in 1784. In the OTL the U.S. Army had 8,000 men in 1812. Your right about the military lessons of the War of 1812, the Militia System needed shall we say improvements. Navies never had the reputation for military coups, so the Founders didn't seem to have much fear of a navy, it was just the cost they had a problem with. Actually a more successful Napoleon might push the Americans into the arms of the British, if he tries to hold the Louisiana Territory. If that happens no War of 1812 at all.
Yes a more successful Napoleon would be a problem for the US. All he needed was recapture Haiti and he have the income to finance the settler colony in French Louisiana. What would US do with 20-50,000 French troops in French Louisiana to keep it french and remind Americans they on French soil.
 
Actually New England had a lot of trade with the British. Apparently most of Wellington's army in Spain was supplied by New England based shipping.
Not just in Spain. American farmers and merchants happily supplied the British fighting against their country in North America. On more than one occasion American troops went hungry while the British and Canadians on the other side of the lines ate American beef and bread baked with American grain. When you look at the behaviour of the men and women on the ground during the War of 1812, it often looks more like a civil war than a war between two nations. American and British commercial and social interests along the border were deeply tied together, many combatants had family members or financial interests on the other side. America was coming into its own as a country, but that process takes time, and the people living on the border often had more loyalty to their neighbours than to their nation.
 
Even if we stretched the bounds of plausibility with say a hawkish federalist (federalists were both more opposed to war and more militaristic as paradoxical as that sounds) administration and the USA conquering all British possessions on mainland North America, I don't see the British not having access to the resources of Canada. Trade would be in both countries' best interest. The Mexican-American war may or may not happen. Slavery would probably be abolished sooner. Britain's pride would be wounded, but they'd still build up the rest of their empire elsewhere much as happened in OTL. If there is a World War, chances are pretty good that trade would eventually bring the USA in on the British side. I guess the USA could go to war with Britain at that point over Belize/British Honduras, British Guiana, or the British West Indies, but even if the USA didn't become determined to avoid another war with Britain, Britain would have remained determined to avoid one (and probably later have wanted to court American public opinion as in OTL).

They may not have had the goal of starting a war, but they did have goal of an American puppet state. They just expected the USA to go along with it rather than ultimately declare war. I was saying that Lusitania's notion that all Britain wanted was to negotiate and resume trade is wrong. If that had been the case, there would have been no war. If you want to argue that the USA lost on the grounds that it was the end of the Napoleonic wars that brought about the end of impressment, that's one thing, but notion that Britain didn't have eyes on keeping the USA as a de facto albeit not de jure part of its empire before the war (and the added goal of extracting direct territorial concessions if not outright reannexation once war broke out) is nationalist revisionism. Also Lusitania's comment implied the primary goal of the USA was annexing Canada; that was seen as a nice potential bonus (what I called a secondary goal) but it was most definitely not the casus belli. That is what I was pointing out. We can argue until we're blue in the face about who actually "won" the war of 1812, but the war goals of each side are much less debatable. That's also why I usually say "outright win" if I want to refer to an ATL where one side or the other does better than in OTL. If the British had done much better than in OTL they would have extracted territorial concessions. Vice versa if the USA had done much better. Although Britain didn't want the war to break out, they certainly did not just want negotiations and trade; if that had been the British goal, they would have reached a deal if not right after the Chesapeake Affair, then certainly in response to the subsequent embargo. Given the USA's problems of reliance on untrained militias and the logistical issues the British faced waging war across an ocean to say nothing of also fighting Napoleon, OTL really does seem like the most plausible outcome without a pre-war POD, with the possible exception of cannonballs bouncing off of the USS Constitution. Not say decisive win either way is ASB. It isn't, just not likely. Britain could have extracted territorial concessions had they chosen to fight on in 1815, but the decision not to do so had more to do with the economic impact of continuing the war. Resuming trade boosted the economy. Continuing the war would not only have meant not gaining that benefit, but also spending in order to project sufficient force to secure a stronger bargaining position. So they did eventually place economic concerns above territorial ones, but say that those were their only goals is wrong, because as I said before, had that been the case, there never would have been a War of 1812.
Odd as this may seem considering another thread, but I don't think the U.S. could conquer Canada in 1812, and I don't think it would've been a good idea do it. Old Ironsides. Live White Oak is much heavier, and harder then most other types of oak. I don't think the British know that at the time. At the beginning of the war the British would call the Americans Fir built frigates. There were some British frigates built from Indian Teak Wood, I wonder which made a tougher hull?
 
Yes a more successful Napoleon would be a problem for the US. All he needed was recapture Haiti and he have the income to finance the settler colony in French Louisiana. What would US do with 20-50,000 French troops in French Louisiana to keep it french and remind Americans they on French soil.
Where would they get the settlers from? The population of Louisiana was very small in 1803, how would they feed 20-50,000 troops. That's when the USA would ally with the British, and arm up. The Americans could never accept another major power trying to settle the middle of North America, and have control of the mouth of the Mississippi River. It would block the Westward Movement, which was the U.S. primary national strategic objective in the 19th Century.
 
Not just in Spain. American farmers and merchants happily supplied the British fighting against their country in North America. On more than one occasion American troops went hungry while the British and Canadians on the other side of the lines ate American beef and bread baked with American grain. When you look at the behaviour of the men and women on the ground during the War of 1812, it often looks more like a civil war than a war between two nations. American and British commercial and social interests along the border were deeply tied together, many combatants had family members or financial interests on the other side. America was coming into its own as a country, but that process takes time, and the people living on the border often had more loyalty to their neighbours than to their nation.
Money makes people do things that makes them ashamed of themselves later. The Federalist Party received it death blow in the War of 1812. Hello Whigs.
 

Lusitania

Donor
Where would they get the settlers from? The population of Louisiana was very small in 1803, how would they feed 20-50,000 troops. That's when the USA would ally with the British, and arm up. The Americans could never accept another major power trying to settle the middle of North America, and have control of the mouth of the Mississippi River. It would block the Westward Movement, which was the U.S. primary national strategic objective in the 19th Century.
The French idea was to send to Louisiana French citizens They wanted to create a French settler colony like BNA.
 
We in Canada say living next to the US is like sleeping next to an elephant. They completely ignorant of our existence and you feel every turn and shake. Plus got to be careful you not get flatten.
Not in 1812. In fact back then the reverse was closer to the truth. An upstart country highly dependent on maritime trade next to the mighty British Empire.
I disagree that you need to back to 1783. The Constitution came into effect in 1789. The United States Army was formed by the Confederacy Congress in 1784. In the OTL the U.S. Army had 8,000 men in 1812. Your right about the military lessons of the War of 1812, the Militia System needed shall we say improvements. Navies never had the reputation for military coups, so the Founders didn't seem to have much fear of a navy, it was just the cost they had a problem with. Actually a more successful Napoleon might push the Americans into the arms of the British, if he tries to hold the Louisiana Territory. If that happens no War of 1812 at all.
True but we must also remember that that was a very British way of thinking. When you control an island, you can afford to think like that. As long as you have a strong navy and no major (potential) enemies sharing your landmass, that makes sense. Britain (although not its colonies) was in that position. The USA was not.
Yes a more successful Napoleon would be a problem for the US. All he needed was recapture Haiti and he have the income to finance the settler colony in French Louisiana. What would US do with 20-50,000 French troops in French Louisiana to keep it french and remind Americans they on French soil.
That depends on how much more successful he is and when he has his successes. If he somehow wins before the Louisiana Purchase goes through, definitely. If he wins afterwards, maybe. If he simply does better but doesn't have a huge victory over the Brits by 1807 or 1812 or whenever the alternate war of 182 breaks out, I doubt it. He was ambitious and imperialistic, which is not the same thing as stupid. Although he certainly wasn't pro-American, and there were instances of him not being terribly respectful of American sovereignty, he was shrewd enough not to push the USA into the arms of the British. I don't see him picking a fight with the USA while he's still busy fighting Britain.
Odd as this may seem considering another thread, but I don't think the U.S. could conquer Canada in 1812, and I don't think it would've been a good idea do it. Old Ironsides. Live White Oak is much heavier, and harder then most other types of oak. I don't think the British know that at the time. At the beginning of the war the British would call the Americans Fir built frigates. There were some British frigates built from Indian Teak Wood, I wonder which made a tougher hull?
Oh it would definitely require a POD earlier than that. Maybe not 1783, but certainly before 1812. The only thing I see the USA really gaining if Canada were conquered (and that is a big if) is a possible earlier abolition of slavery and a more one-sided civil war. Canada has abundant natural resources, but so does the USA, and the USA and Canada got pretty good access to each others resources by trade. The only change would be that that international trade would be domestic, but I doubt that change would be much more than a difference in label.
First even a more hawkish US administration would still be up against British nationalism where they fine letting colonist become independent they be hell bent on reclaiming British territory from invaders. They be embarrassed that would be upstart little nation go and steal their territory. What next loose India and rest of the union. No British government would allow for that.
Oh I don't consider it plausible for the USA to conquer Canada in 1812, at least not without a POD before that, and even then it doesn't seem likely. That's why I said it was stretching plausibility. With that being said, if it somehow happened, to say it would portend the loss of India or the collapse of the UK is an exaggeration. The Americans certainly aren't going to be projecting power that far, and I can't see any anti-colonial movement drawing inspiration from it that didn't draw inspiration from the ARW in OTL.
 
Yeah the US army had closed it's Quartermaster and commissary departments in 1808 I believe and contracted it out to private citizens and only reformed them in early 1812. The army might have had as few as 3'000 men before the war as well.
 

Lusitania

Donor
Not in 1812. In fact back then the reverse was closer to the truth. An upstart country highly dependent on maritime trade next to the mighty British Empire.

True but we must also remember that that was a very British way of thinking. When you control an island, you can afford to think like that. As long as you have a strong navy and no major (potential) enemies sharing your landmass, that makes sense. Britain (although not its colonies) was in that position. The USA was not.

That depends on how much more successful he is and when he has his successes. If he somehow wins before the Louisiana Purchase goes through, definitely. If he wins afterwards, maybe. If he simply does better but doesn't have a huge victory over the Brits by 1807 or 1812 or whenever the alternate war of 182 breaks out, I doubt it. He was ambitious and imperialistic, which is not the same thing as stupid. Although he certainly wasn't pro-American, and there were instances of him not being terribly respectful of American sovereignty, he was shrewd enough not to push the USA into the arms of the British. I don't see him picking a fight with the USA while he's still busy fighting Britain.

Oh it would definitely require a POD earlier than that. Maybe not 1783, but certainly before 1812. The only thing I see the USA really gaining if Canada were conquered (and that is a big if) is a possible earlier abolition of slavery and a more one-sided civil war. Canada has abundant natural resources, but so does the USA, and the USA and Canada got pretty good access to each others resources by trade. The only change would be that that international trade would be domestic, but I doubt that change would be much more than a difference in label.

Oh I don't consider it plausible for the USA to conquer Canada in 1812, at least not without a POD before that, and even then it doesn't seem likely. That's why I said it was stretching plausibility. With that being said, if it somehow happened, to say it would portend the loss of India or the collapse of the UK is an exaggeration. The Americans certainly aren't going to be projecting power that far, and I can't see any anti-colonial movement drawing inspiration from it that didn't draw inspiration from the ARW in OTL.
As for Napoleon his plan was to use the sugar colonies in the Caribbean to finance French Louisiana settler colony. The loss of Haiti the largest of these colonies both bolstered French Louisiana population but killed Napoleon idea of settler colony.

therefore if his victory is before 1807 and France keeps Haiti Then French Louisiana stay French and he would send both settlers and troops to the colony. If after 1807 then I can see him claiming Spanish American empire and leading France-Spain in direct collision with expansionist USA.

As for my point about India and such you missed my point completely. The perception that Britain was weak and not capable of protecting its empire is what I was getting it. People would start questioning if it could hold or protect it other colonies or even the British isles not that US was going to attack those places
 
The French idea was to send to Louisiana French citizens They wanted to create a French settler colony like BNA.
Which was never going to happen. Nappy had a devil of a time just convincing Britain that his OTL expedition wasn’t aimed at Jamaica. There’s no realistic way he’s getting an additional 50,000 men to Louisiana, let alone a bunch of settlers.
 
Top