Who Won the War of 1812?

I like to say a draw too for the official participants. American plans to conquer Canada and sailors' rights were humiliated and forgotten respectively as the conflict went on. England considered it a sideshow but failed in its own regional goals of holding the old Northwest and/or propping up a Shawnee Amerindian Confederacy. Not to mention Washington's burning embarrassed America while the US naval victories and privateer swarms were a humiliation in the beginning of England's golden sailing age, when it could sweep rival European navies from the sea with ease.

Canada probably won out, since it drove many Canadians from being ambilvent of whatever flag they were under at the time to the British one and their their own nationalism awakening.
 

CalBear

Moderator
Donor
Monthly Donor
Everybody(almost).

Brits got about 90% of what they wanted, the U.S. got about 70% of what they wanted, and the merchants got to keep their markets on both sides of the Atlantic.

Only real losers were the poor bastards to got killed or crippled.

Like always.
 
Every time this subject comes up I think the same thing.

It was a pointless avoidable little war that had no advantageous outcome for either side whatsoever.

America claims victory because they managed to gain control of the Great Lakes and won the last battle of the War. Canada claims victory because every invasion attempt by the US failed and the British Empire forces occupied a large portion of New England and burnt the White House. Britain claims neither victory not concedes defeat because the War didn't matter to us at all when you consider we had Napoleon to worry about.

The only clear outcome of the American War of 1812 is that the Indians lost.
 

ninebucks

Banned
No winner. I guess you could say we did, if you think that the British wanted to reconquer us completley. But really, nothing changed as a result=no winner
No.

The USA's aim was to conquer Canada, the British aim was to stop them from doing so. The USA failed in that aim embarressingly and the British succeeded in theirs.

There may not have been a winner, but the Americans definitely lost.
 
Why do people forget that conquering Canada was not the only aim? What of British impressment of sailors and the lack of respect of American neutrality/trade?

I still never see most British or Canadians address that or the naval defeats...
 

MrP

Banned
Why do people forget that conquering Canada was not the only aim? What of British impressment of sailors and the lack of respect of American neutrality/trade?

I still never see most British or Canadians address that or the naval defeats...
You're right that it's generally glossed over. I think 67th addressed that last time the topic came up with summat about the RN having put the policy of reclaiming deserters* on hold. But I could be wrong about him having done so.

* Given the way any military or navy of the period acquired recruits, don't assume I'm saying people had no reason to desert.
 
Why do people forget that conquering Canada was not the only aim? What of British impressment of sailors and the lack of respect of American neutrality/trade?

I still never see most British or Canadians address that or the naval defeats...
It's because it was an excuse. Nobody gave a damn about the sailors - the brits agreed to stop before the war even started. The whole point of the thing was to (a) grab Canada and (b) beat the living hell out of Tecumseh.
 
The British won all of the starting goals but didn't achieve any of the later puntive goals, due to being more concerned about Europe and having already cleaned up out of the Napoleonic Wars.

So the British won a clear victory but one ended by a settlement rather than a diktat. Largely because London wasn't really bent on a diktat.

Canada not only survived but was strengthened and didn't lose an inch of territory. Decisive victory.

The US gained nothing at Canada's expense and the issue of respecting US neutrality and the impressment of seamen weren't even mentioned in the settlement. Having failed to achieve any of the goals the US lost.



Zyzzyva, actually the British decision was made too late to avert war because they concluded(correctly) that the French would not honor their agreement with the US but didn't bother to rush their own proposal over because apparently they never realized that the US might not realize this.



Umbric, since the US abandoned all interest in the impressment of seamen or the ability to trade freely through blockades in time of war, both of which were irrelevant once Napoleon was beaten, why would anyone else need to talk about those subjects? As for naval battles, the British hunted down or trapped the entire US Navy and the British blockade threatened to divide the nation so a few brave ship to ship actions, invariably involving American ships against inferior British ships, doesn't really matter much.




It's true, by the way. Five of the seven American frigates were specially designed and built to be bigger, better armed and much sturdier than the British frigates and did well in action accordingly. The other two were a captured French frigate(!) and the Chesapeake, the sixth frigate which a fool resenting the designer of the other five frigates deliberately built to normal standards, which is to say standards inferior to the other five. As a result USS Chesapeake was lost in its first action of the war.

As an interesting note it may not have been size nor armament but structural design and strength which made the American frigates so much stronger relative to their size.
 
America won, we forced the British to start treating us like a real country and not just some pushovers. Plus, it got them to recognize our claims on Louisiana, which were debated prior to the war.

But then again, the British held onto Canada. I don't know if that's necessarily a positive, but if they want to call it a draw, I'm not picky.
 
Didn't the British plan to return the Louisiana Purchase to Spain? Overall it seems everyone kept what they wanted, but didn't get anything else, so it seems like a draw to me, although not everyone wanted additional land.

Personally I think we need to focus on determining if the US won other more recent wars, like Vietnam.
 

Philip

Donor
I think someone here commented that Tchaikovsky was the only winner.

Yes, I know it was another theater of the war
 
Top