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Old September 20th, 2017, 06:21 PM   #1
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US really won the war of 1812


History books generally say the war had no winners. The Brits took Washington (which wasn't really defended), but failed to take Baltimore, which was the real objective. I say the winner of the last battle is the winner of the war. The US won the Battle of New Orleans. It was fought after a treaty was signed because of a delay in communications. But does anyone believe that the Brits would have given the vital port of New Orleans back if they won? No way.

In fact most Americans felt they had won at that time. Andrew Jackson was a national hero. The good feeling led to the non partisan Era of Good Feeling. It never happened again.

So who thinks the US didn't win the War of 1812.
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Old September 20th, 2017, 07:12 PM   #2
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To say whether you won or lost you have have to ask what the objectives of the war were.

In the US

a. Get the British to stop impressing US sailors - achieved.

b. To get the British to honor the previous terns that Britain always had agreed to from the end of the American Revolution, but hadn't always honored - achieved.

c. To conquer Canada? not achieved.

d. To hold their own against the world's greatest power on their own - achieved.

British

a. To reconquer America? - not achieved.

b. To recover land already ceded to the US? - not achieved.

c. To stop expansion of the US on the continent? - not achieved

d. Prevent the US from conquering Canada. - achieved

e. To defend the right to impress US sailors? - British gave up that right, rather I don't think the British ever needed to impress sailors after the end of the Napoleonic Wars, so they no longer needed to impress sailors anyways.

f. Get the Americsns to stop trading with the French? A moot point by the time the war was over, Napoleon was out, but I don't think the British could get the Americans to stop trading with France if they wanted to.

So, it seems America, other than conquering Canada, achieved what it wanted, and it got respect from the British somewhat lacking before.

Britain retained Canada, but if had any hopes of the US Britain, it had to give them up. If it had any hopes of stopping the growth of the US, it failed in that too. But I am not sure what Britain's goal was. If it was merely to defend their existing possesion in North America, they succeeded, so in that sense it was a draw, and both countries succeeded in doing what they set out to do. more or less. If the British had any more hopes from the war, then they lost.
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Old September 20th, 2017, 07:47 PM   #3

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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevev View Post
History books generally say the war had no winners. The Brits took Washington (which wasn't really defended), but failed to take Baltimore, which was the real objective. I say the winner of the last battle is the winner of the war. The US won the Battle of New Orleans. It was fought after a treaty was signed because of a delay in communications. But does anyone believe that the Brits would have given the vital port of New Orleans back if they won? No way.

In fact most Americans felt they had won at that time. Andrew Jackson was a national hero. The good feeling led to the non partisan Era of Good Feeling. It never happened again.

So who thinks the US didn't win the War of 1812.
The last battle was the British victory at Fort Mobile. Alabama.
So by your own rules they lost.
If Britain had taken New Orleans they would have returned as it was impossible to hold it forever with out spending crazy amounts of cash. It would have been returned in exchange for territorial concessions elsewhere.

It was also counted as a victory by the British and Canadians at the time. And Canadians still do.

Fact is, the US started the war, failed in its aim, lost its capital, was under blockade and most of its ocean privateers sunk or captured.
If telling yourself you won because the British failed to capture a city in the 3rd from final action in the war makes you feel better feel free. It never happened again because both sides learnt it best to leave each other alone.
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Old September 20th, 2017, 07:49 PM   #4

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British war aims
Primary.
- defend Canada. Achieved.
Secondary
- achieve concessions for Indians maybe even create and Indian state - failed.

Britain agreed to stop searching US ships just prior to the conflict so it's a bit of a fallacy to say it was a war aim. If it was the war would never had stared. GB conceded this.

US primary war aim....
conquer Canada - failed.

The "reconquer The US" never a military goal at all.
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Old September 20th, 2017, 08:20 PM   #5

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The war was declared by the US (aggressor) the defender (GB) was embroiled in a war against France on multiple fronts and had barely any troops to spare to even consider a war.
The US can dress it up. It's primary, even sole war aim was the conquest of Canada at which it was comprehensively beaten.

It's excuse to start the war was impressment but as stated a change in government in GB meant the British actually agreed to stop impressment and stop harrasing US ships trading with France. It did not matter to the US whose only true aim was Canada.
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Old September 20th, 2017, 09:13 PM   #6
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I thought the war devastated the US merchant marine and the US economy.
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Old September 20th, 2017, 10:28 PM   #7
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The U.S. did not win, Great Britain won. Mobile, Alabama is almost always overlooked, but it was a more valuable city then compared to New Orleans at the time. Also if you look at the War of 1812 as a Resource War, then by far Great Britain is the clear winner.
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Old September 20th, 2017, 10:58 PM   #8
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The U.S. did not win, Great Britain won. Mobile, Alabama is almost always overlooked, but it was a more valuable city then compared to New Orleans.
No it wasn't. New Orleans was critical to US trade. The Lousiana Purchase was concluded over a decade earlier. As the outlet to the entire Ohio, Mississippi- Missouri watershed it's hard to overestimate its value to the present and future development of the US. You're comparing that to the Mobile River and its watershed?

Last edited by stevev; September 21st, 2017 at 12:10 AM.
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Old September 21st, 2017, 01:23 AM   #9

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Straudenbecker View Post
The U.S. did not win, Great Britain won. Mobile, Alabama is almost always overlooked, but it was a more valuable city then compared to New Orleans at the time. Also if you look at the War of 1812 as a Resource War, then by far Great Britain is the clear winner.
No one won the War of 1812.
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Old September 21st, 2017, 01:25 AM   #10

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The 1814 Treaty of Ghent, which ended the war, merely affirmed the situation prevailing before the war began (the status quo antebellum). The treaty was silent on the issues of commercial rights that had led to war. It wasn't until the war between Britain and France ended in 1815, that British interference with American shipping ceased.
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