WI timely revocation of offending Orders in Council (impressment) prevents War of 1812?

Consequences of no War of 1812

  • Maine remains part of Massachusetts perpetually

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Maine still separates from Massachusetts by 1820ish

    Votes: 11 68.8%
  • US declares war on UK over something else after Napoleon Wars but before 1860

    Votes: 4 25.0%
  • US avoids war with UK through 1860 and possibly whole 19th century

    Votes: 7 43.8%
  • Lack of a war enables a Federalist Party comeback

    Votes: 4 25.0%
  • Federalists still give way to Republican 1 party rule & then a replacement like Whigs

    Votes: 4 25.0%
  • Territorial matters with Spain, Florida cession & Transcontental Treaty settled peacefully as in OTL

    Votes: 9 56.3%
  • Territorial matters with Spain settled differently from OTL

    Votes: 3 18.8%
  • Early US industrial history diverges substantially from OTL

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Early US industrial history converges basically with OTL

    Votes: 10 62.5%
  • Features of Jacksonian era politics- expanded suffrage, glorification of common man happen anyway

    Votes: 10 62.5%
  • Expanded suffrage, glorification of common man by 1820s1839s do not happen

    Votes: 3 18.8%
  • Canadian internal politics are largely unaffected

    Votes: 4 25.0%
  • Canadian internal politics are effected, but not leading to any separation from UK

    Votes: 9 56.3%
  • Canadian politics are altered in ways that ultimately encourage union with US

    Votes: 1 6.3%

  • Total voters
    16

raharris1973

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OK- I am asking about the effects of no War of 1812. The PoD is right there in the title.
To elaborate, the news that the British Admiralty has changed its Orders in Council to address American grievances in the ATL arrives prior to any Declaration of War, preventing any declaration of war.

Moving right along, I am interesting in discussing the impact of the *lack* of this war on several "baskets" of mainly North American topics in the postwar years and decades. I hadn't thought about short term impacts on the Napoleonic Wars or Amerindian Wars and am not focused on them, but if you think of something specific you want to mention, go nuts.

I organized my "baskets" of North American issues into a poll. These are actually more like a series of binary polls in one, so voters have unlimited choices. Basically the first 12 selections are pairs of responses to distinct binary questions. The last three selections are alternative responses about the consequences for Canadian politics.

I'll lay them out here, and share my views, although my views aren't that strong on most of them:

Maine remains part of Massachusetts perpetually
  • Maine still separates from Massachusetts by 1820ish - I think Maine probably still separates, even though 1812 is cited as a catalyst
  • US declares war on UK over something else after Napoleon Wars but before 1860
  • US avoids war with UK through 1860 and possibly whole 19th century. ------------- despite how fun it might be to think about the US taking on an undistracted Britain and getting smashed against the wall, and despite US rhetoric from the time, I think US leaders would have better judgment than to go over the brink.
  • Lack of a war enables a Federalist Party comeback - maybe
  • Federalists still give way to Republican 1 party rule & then a replacement like Whigs - maybe not
  • Territorial matters with Spain, Florida cession & Transcontental Treaty settled peacefully as in OTL - maybe
  • Territorial matters with Spain settled differently from OTL - maybe not
  • Early US industrial history diverges substantially from OTL
  • Early US industrial history converges basically with OTL - probably converges over the long term
  • Features of Jacksonian era politics- expanded suffrage, glorification of common man happen anyway - probably converges over the long term
  • Expanded suffrage, glorification of common man by 1820s1830s do not happen
  • Canadian internal politics are largely unaffected
  • Canadian internal politics are effected, but not leading to any separation from UK - I am not deeply informed, think it couldn't fail to have an effect significant to Canadians, but doubt any of the alterations would lead in the direction of popular support or political circumstances wherein Canadian provinces have a broad, successful rebellion against Britain, or join the US. That's my hunch.
  • Canadian politics are altered in ways that ultimately encourage union with US
 
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My very very brief thoughts:
  • Maine remains part of Massachusetts perpetually
  • Maine still separates from Massachusetts by 1820ish - I think Maine probably still separates, even though 1812 is cited as a catalyst
Yeah, the reasons for Maine separatism would still remain.
  • US declares war on UK over something else after Napoleon Wars but before 1860
  • US avoids war with UK through 1860 and possibly whole 19th century. ------------- despite how fun it might be to think about the US taking on an undistracted Britain and getting smashed against the wall, and despite US rhetoric from the time, I think US leaders would have better judgment than to go over the brink.
I think this depends if a lack of the war increases the odds that U.S. politicians will war when the Empire is next distracted, and if it's more likely to be distracted.
  • Lack of a war enables a Federalist Party comeback - maybe
  • Federalists still give way to Republican 1 party rule & then a replacement like Whigs - maybe not
I don't know enough about party politics of that era to ascertain.
  • Territorial matters with Spain, Florida cession & Transcontental Treaty settled peacefully as in OTL - maybe
  • Territorial matters with Spain settled differently from OTL - maybe not
Depends if warhawks are more influential or not I think.
  • Early US industrial history diverges substantially from OTL
  • Early US industrial history converges basically with OTL - probably converges over the long term
Early U.S. industrial history had a lot of British investment. Does that change? Will the U.S. government add to or replace this?
  • Features of Jacksonian era politics- expanded suffrage, glorification of common man happen anyway - probably converges over the long term
  • Expanded suffrage, glorification of common man by 1820s1830s do not happen
Suffrage has a tendency to self reinforce expansion to match the definition of legal adult persons. Will reactionary politicians intervene against this though? And what reaction does that prompt?
  • Canadian internal politics are largely unaffected
  • Canadian internal politics are effected, but not leading to any separation from UK - I am not deeply informed, think it couldn't fail to have an effect significant to Canadians, but doubt any of the alterations would lead in the direction of popular support or political circumstances wherein Canadian provinces have a broad, successful rebellion against Britain, or join the US. That's my hunch.
  • Canadian politics are altered in ways that ultimately encourage union with US
I agree that I can't see a majority of Canadians wanting to exchange a distant U.K. governance for a nearby U.S. one if they're already gaining Canadian governance.
 

raharris1973

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The topics I mentioned and polled on were just those that I had seen talked about as having been influenced by the war of 1812, or brainstormed might have been influenced.

Early U.S. industrial history had a lot of British investment. Does that change? Will the U.S. government add to or replace this?
Interesting. When I asked the question, I wasn't thinking about British investment, although I recognize that as a factor, especially in the later, railroad age. I was actually thinking of stuff I heard about the war of 1812 being a boon for American manufacturing while being bad for the economy and international commerce because of: a) domestically filled military orders (Eli Whitney supplying alot of weapons with interchangeable parts), b) import substitution manufacturing in a time of blockade. I had heard New England and New York obviously hated the war because of its detriment to commerce and shipping, but it redirected some of the investment and focus of the region to manufacturing.

Suffrage has a tendency to self reinforce expansion to match the definition of legal adult persons. Will reactionary politicians intervene against this though? And what reaction does that prompt?


This was something off the top of my head. If one wants to say that the war of 1812 made Andy Jackson's political career, and if his rise to political power encouraged the trend toward universal white manhood suffrage, maybe not having the war changes something.

I agree that I can't see a majority of Canadians wanting to exchange a distant U.K. governance for a nearby U.S. one if they're already gaining Canadian governance.
This I turned into a poll question just based off the idea that the burning of York and then driving out the American invaders were formative national experience for Canadians, especially many of the Upper Canada residents who formerly were Americans and casually migrated rather than being UEL refugees.
 
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raharris1973

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Yeah, the reasons for Maine separatism would still remain.
I posed this as a question simply because the most common explanation for Maine dissatisfaction with being governed by Massachusetts is they felt Springfield refused to provide for their defense during the war of 1812.
 
Canada was a bit of a problem for US/UK relations. Mainly because a lot of Americans thought that Canadians were just aching to throw off the UK and join the US. From what I can tell, it seems to have been a 'merchants talking to merchants' thing, because there were quite a few Canadians of the merchant class who did indeed want Canada to join the US. Also, Americans and Canadians generally regarded the border between them as more theoretical than real, and people passed back and forth between them at will, and took up citizenship on either side as they pleased. The War did a lot to both solidify the border as a real thing and cause the US to give up the idea of annexing Canada. While there were some hard feelings at times between the US and UK, they never went to war again, and both sides sought diplomacy as much as possible to resolve their differences. So, with no War of 1812, the question naturally arises as to just what happens to the US's Canadian annexation obsession....
 
Canadian friends and neighbors, how does this change the evolution of your country?
That depends on whether or not America attempts to invade and occupy Canada at a later date. If they do, and they do so before 1860, the chance of them actually claiming Canadian territory is low - so the later war might end up providing an alternative version of the same foundation myth. Others have pointed out that the pre-war border was poorly defined and frequently ignored. A majority of the inhabitants of Upper Canada/Ontario came from the United States, but most of the inhabitants regardless of their origins were disinterested in national politics. You had a small core of Loyalist families that dominated the province's political and social life. Eventually that's going to cause an eruption like the Rebellion of 1837, but with no War of 1812 the people involved are potentially going to be very different. The tension could easily kick off a war between the UK and US over Canada's future. In general, I think a conflict between the UK and the US before 1860 is more likely than not.

The effect of no war on Canada's economic development, political development and social development would have been vast. Worry over losing control the St. Lawrence if America attacked again motivated the construction of the Rideau Canal). The vulnerability of the routes between Montreal and Kingston to American attacks helped to motivate Ottawa as the national capital. Canada's early disdain for republicanism and it's national values of peace, order and good government all owe plenty to the war. A later conflict could have germinated similar trends, but probably not identical ones.

It wasn't only the major strategic outcomes of the war that had long-term consequences. To take just one example, thousands of escaped slaves settled in Nova Scotia during and after the War of 1812, forming the community that would later give rise to Viola Desmond (whose stand against segregation helped start Canada's civil rights movement) and to Africville, the later destruction of which is another important part of Black Canadian history and identity. No War of 1812 means different settlement patterns, and later that will mean a different civil rights movement in Canada. Tracing those long-term changes is difficult, but it's fair to assume that Canadian history would have been a lot different.
 

raharris1973

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The War did a lot to both solidify the border as a real thing and cause the US to give up the idea of annexing Canada. While there were some hard feelings at times between the US and UK, they never went to war again, and both sides sought diplomacy as much as possible to resolve their differences. So, with no War of 1812, the question naturally arises as to just what happens to the US's Canadian annexation obsession....
I'm not sure how much the War of 1812 really closed the door on the idea for Americans however. It was still casually discussed for the rest of the 19th century and through the early 20th during reciprocity treaty negotiations.

I know consensus here is that the US went on invading Canada with a cocky attitude in 1812, and got decisively thrown back. From our vantage point it seems plausible the Americans would have 'learned their lesson' that they were trying to 'punch above their weight' and failing. But is there any contemporary written evidence from the first half of the 19th century indicating American military and statesman looked at the war of 1812 and admitted to themselves and each other, "Holy shit, that was a nasty surprise we weren't ready for. We better a) get better at the business of war, and b) tread super carefully around Britain and her interests, or else". I don't know if Americans at any level 'admitted' to themselves they 'lost'. I think they tended to put a braver face on the situation and thought they did good fighting number one, and coming out of it one piece.

In other words, and this is a reason I get at it in my poll questions, I'm not certain the post-ARW USA needs to invade Canada once and fail, in order to learn to stop doing it.

But I suppose, that means I would vote for the selection: US avoids war with UK through 1860 and possibly whole 19th century
and you might more likely vote for: US declares war on UK over something else after Napoleon Wars but before 1860

-----

A majority of the inhabitants of Upper Canada/Ontario came from the United States, but most of the inhabitants regardless of their origins were disinterested in national politics. You had a small core of Loyalist families that dominated the province's political and social life. Eventually that's going to cause an eruption like the Rebellion of 1837, but with no War of 1812 the people involved are potentially going to be very different. The tension could easily kick off a war between the UK and US over Canada's future. In general, I think a conflict between the UK and the US before 1860 is more likely than not.
...and you also would tend to vote for: you might more likely vote for: US declares war on UK over something else after Napoleon Wars but before 1860

The difference in that case is that the core issue of the war actually *is* Canada, instead of OTL, where maritime issues were the driver, and Canada was the pressure point where the US could act.

And as others have said in other threads, the war can go really badly for the US, as bad as Britain wants it to be, if Britain isn't distracted by another war at the same time.

-----I could go either way I guess. I was just annoyed at the glee in a recent thread with which posters were trying to contrive the US attack and undistracted Britain, so that the US could get thrown against the wall and smashed up. I mean, Britain would have the power to do that in a bilateral matchup, but Americans leaders often knew when to stop bluffing, or when to draw the line at bluffing and go no further over into actual war. They weren't recklessly dumb, even if a miscalculation is possible.
 
I could go either way I guess. I was just annoyed at the glee in a recent thread with which posters were trying to contrive the US attack and undistracted Britain, so that the US could get thrown against the wall and smashed up. I mean, Britain would have the power to do that in a bilateral matchup, but Americans leaders often knew when to stop bluffing, or when to draw the line at bluffing and go no further over into actual war. They weren't recklessly dumb, even if a miscalculation is possible.
The danger for America, particularly in the early 19th century, was that they greatly overestimated their relative strength when it came to conflict with the UK. They went into the War of 1812 with absolute confidence in their ability to prevail, notwithstanding an almost total lack of military preparedness or effective leadership. Some of those problems would have solved themselves with time with or without the War of 1812. As the generation that fought the revolution die or retire from public life, the army could shed itself of some of its dead weight like Dearborn and Hull. On the other hand, American overconfidence in the ability of militias and the country's neglect of its military preparations would probably continue without some kind of wake-up call.

The war hawks in congress might have considered the Orders in Council to be the most egregious offense to their country's honour by the UK, but that was far from their only grievance. Many openly welcomed the excuse for war, and they would have welcomed others if the Orders in Council hadn't been available.

The UK, for its part, showed its share of contempt for American sovereignty and was represented at the time in Washington by diplomats who didn't bother to hide that contempt - it isn't just a case of America blundering into a war it couldn't win, there's a good chance that the UK will diplomatically blunder their way toward provoking such a conflict. After the Chesapeake incident, many British officials became convinced that America wouldn't fight no matter their bluster. If America backs down from conflict in 1812 because they learn the Orders in Council have been repealed, that would only reinforce those attitudes. This could lead to the UK taking a dangerously careless attitude toward further incidents between the two countries.

But there's a reason why I said I thought a conflict was more likely than no conflict, rather than saying a conflict was guaranteed. I agree with you that both an alternative war or peace throughout the 19th century are possible. In any case, I think it's fairly unlikely that a war would lead to the UK truly endeavoring to utterly crush the US. More likely provocations lead to a relatively short and minor conflict. The under-prepared and over-ambitious US gets a similar wake-up call to the War of 1812 (if they haven't already been shown the deficiencies in their military organization by a fight with Mexico or some other power), and the UK learns to stop taking such a high-handed approach in dealing with its former colonies. The later in the century we get, and the greater the economic ties and more settled the border becomes, the less likely there is to be a war.
 
I'm not sure how much the War of 1812 really closed the door on the idea for Americans however. It was still casually discussed for the rest of the 19th century and through the early 20th during reciprocity treaty negotiations.
it was... but the war also showed just how divided the US was over the issue. The NE was against invading Canada because of economic ties to the UK, wanted no war at all, and mostly wanted business to resume; in this ATL, where the impressment issue is over with, the NE is going to be even more unhappy about irking the UK and disrupting business. The south was against invading Canada because they feared it would be successful and a bunch of free states would be added to the union. As slavery got even more contentious, the idea of invading Canada would be even more aggravating to them. The main ones who wanted the invasion were the states of the Old Northwest, who were suffering the raiding from UK backed natives. One side affect of the war was putting an end to UK backed efforts to establish a native buffer state, so in this ATL, that issue would be sharp.
Actually, one thing I hadn't considered is that with no war, the US can put more effort into defeating Tecumseh's native alliance. If the US can put an end to the UK/native alignment sooner and the impressment issue is done with, then the US has no real grudge with the UK anymore. As the US sectionalism became more pronounced and the slavery issue got more rancorous, invading Canada might move waaaaay on the back burner...
 
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