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Old December 17th, 2017, 11:47 AM   #51

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Originally Posted by Knarly Dan View Post

Thing is, the place wasn't worth keeping.
That implies they managed to take it in the first place, which they didn't.
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Old December 17th, 2017, 02:09 PM   #52
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A fine job of contextomy. Top notch, in fact. Click the image to open in full size.
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Old December 18th, 2017, 10:38 AM   #53

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1. Timmy Hortons

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Old December 18th, 2017, 12:33 PM   #54

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Originally Posted by Harry View Post
Keep in mind that my statement was about your claim that: "Wellington had very little influence as he was commander in Spain!!!" Wellington was not the commander in Spain at that time, but the British ambassador to France in Paris. He was asked by Prime Minister Liverpool to accept either the command in North America or to go to Vienna as Britain's representative. I believe the predominant historical opinion is that his comments to Liverpool were very significant..
Yes in 1812 he was commander in Spain and so had little influence on British aims at the start of the war.

He subsequently become (as did his brothers) became more influential but was still not in 'command' of Britain. He went to Vienna simply because that's where the important of the time were being made.

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I don't believe that Britain's original aim in 1812 was a reconquest of the United States. They just wanted go back to status quo ante bellum. .
And that was pretty much what they got and wanted at the end of the war.

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However, in 1814 it is absolutely clear that Britain had changed its aims. As others have stated they demanded a huge amount of territory for their Indian allies (a sine quo non of the treaty), complete military control of the Great Lakes, part of what is now Maine, denial of US fishing rights off Newfoundland, and control of Forts Niagara and Michilimackinac..
What you begin negotiations asking for and what you get (or want) at the end are different.

None of what you say the British wanted constitutes an attempt to reconquer the USA and the fact that the British didn't push for them and were not in a position of military weakness-- far from it-- would imply that these were not top priorities.




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Undoubtedly there was some arrogance on both sides but that is not the important point. The facts are that Britain acted aggressively toward the US and the US declared war. Both sides were to blame for the war even if nationalists on both sides don't want to admit it. ..

But they didn't react in the heat of the moment to ,what I agree is 'high handed' British actions but waited until it was convenient? an opportune moment? or simply used 'Sailors Rights' as an excuse?

So important was the issue it wasn't even mentioned in the treaty.

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As for the subject of slavery neither Britain nor the US has clean hands. There were over 600,000 slaves in the British slave colonies while Britain was fighting its "existential" war for freedom from Napoleon..
Never claimed Britain had 'clean hands' as regard to slavery -- they were the biggest slavers (they had the biggest merchant fleet so hardly surprising) --- but one of the major beneficiaries of the war were American slavers.

You could claim an American victory in that the British did 'respect' the American flag (it could be argued so did the Americans in reverse and thus Canada survived) and avoided conflict.

American slavers therefore (and slavers from other countries) used their 'American' status to continue in that trade (illegal in the USA) because the American did little to stop the trade but turned a blind eye to slaving which the RN could not --or had difficulty stopping.



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On a raid there is no intention of a prolonged occupation. It is an attack followed by a short stay with whatever dirty work they intend, and then they leave. The British attack on Washington and the US attack on York are examples of raids. The British attack on New Orleans was clearly different. In addition to the civilian officials to administer the city during their prolonged stay they also brought the usual group of wives, girlfriends, and whores. The latter is not surprising except as an indication they intended to stay for some time. What is more significant according British historian Robin Reilly is that they brought a large number of their children. Needless to say, a raid does not include the bringing of children..
A raid can have many forms but it still does not show an attempt to reconquer the USA and since the treaty was signed before New Orleans this would imply it wasn't a central to British policy.


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The signing of the Treaty of Ghent changed what the British would have done had the attack been successful. The British would have emptied the warehouses of cotton, sugar, etc. as per the rules of war at that time. The war was not officially over until February 16 1815 when the US ratified the treaty. Within days of the British ratifying the treaty both the British army and navy sent instructions to North America that they were to begin withdrawing forces as soon as they heard the US had ratified the treaty. The Treaty of Ghent changed British intentions and they would not continue the war to hold on to New Orleans.
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Old December 18th, 2017, 06:44 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by Kevinmeath View Post
Yes in 1812 he was commander in Spain and so had little influence on British aims at the start of the war.

He subsequently become (as did his brothers) became more influential but was still not in 'command' of Britain. He went to Vienna simply because that's where the important of the time were being made.
The comments that I and Ajax-Minoan made have nothing to do with Wellington when he was in command in Spain.

You quoted Ajax_Minoan where he stated:
Quote:
The desire to return to the status quo was the British desire at the end largely because of the advice of Wellington.
You replied:
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sorry no-- Wellington had very little influence as he was commander in Spain!!!
The comment by Ajax_Minoan referred to the Ghent negotiations that took place from August 8, 1814 to December 24, 1814. Wellington was not in Spain as the war there was over and he had been appointed British ambassador to France. As I stated before, I believe historians are of the opinion that Wellington's statements to Prime Minister Liverpool were influential.



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And that was pretty much what they got and wanted at the end of the war.
They wanted status quo ante bellum in 1812, but not in August, 1814. Sorry, but we will just have to agree to disagree.



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What you begin negotiations asking for and what you get (or want) at the end are different.

None of what you say the British wanted constitutes an attempt to reconquer the USA and the fact that the British didn't push for them and were not in a position of military weakness-- far from it-- would imply that these were not top priorities.
I believe it's obvious what happened. The British government knew it was in a dominant position following the fall of Napoleon. That's why they were slow in sending their delegates to Ghent, while sending thousands of troops across the Atlantic. They expected the Americans to cave-in to their demands and to their shock it did not happen. Even before the negotiation began two of the Americans, Albert Galatin and James Bayard, who were in London, informed the Madison administration that the best they could get was status quo ante bellum. In other words, the Americans had already accepted that maritime issues, including impressment, were not attainable.

The Liverpool government did push for their demands. When the negotiations started both sides made some general statements, but the British made it clear that there would be no negotiations on any other issue until the Americans agreed to the British demand for a guarantee of Indian territory. They even made it a sine quo non of the treaty. It is not the usual practice in negotiations to issue a sine quo non merely as a negotiating tactic. That one issue took about five weeks to settle.

The British did not accept status quo ante bellum until the second half of November. That happened after Wellington had encourage a settlement that did not involve taking territory from the United States.The US had also proposed that status quo ante bellum be the basis for the treaty, although they did not use those exact words.

The problem faced by the Liverpool government was that it was running out of time to make a settlement. The British public expected the fall of Napoleon and the ending of the war would mean an end to high taxes. If there was no settlement the Liverpool government was going to have to ask Parliament to continue the taxes and that would not have been popular. A second issue was the Vienna Congress showed divisions among the allies particularly with the Russians. A third issue was the growing instability in France. A fourth issue was that US privateers were still operating around Britain and insurance rates were still high with British shippers complaining to the government. A fifth issue was the news from the United States where the government had publicly printed the initial demands of the British at Ghent. This arrived in Britain in early November and showed that it was the British who were demanding territory. The opposition in Parliament used this to attack the Liverpool government.


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But they didn't react in the heat of the moment to ,what I agree is 'high handed' British actions but waited until it was convenient? an opportune moment? or simply used 'Sailors Rights' as an excuse?

So important was the issue it wasn't even mentioned in the treaty.
If you were knowledgeable of the reaction in the US to the attack on the Chesapeake by the Leopard, then you would know there was a reaction "in the heat of the moment" in the US. Jefferson understood the weakness of the US and he did not call Congress back into session as that may have led to a declaration of war. Instead he let the anger cool off and supported the ill fated embargo.

The US was in no position to insist on including impressment and other maritime issues in the Treaty of Ghent not because it was not important.



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Never claimed Britain had 'clean hands' as regard to slavery -- they were the biggest slavers (they had the biggest merchant fleet so hardly surprising) --- but one of the major beneficiaries of the war were American slavers.

You could claim an American victory in that the British did 'respect' the American flag (it could be argued so did the Americans in reverse and thus Canada survived) and avoided conflict.

American slavers therefore (and slavers from other countries) used their 'American' status to continue in that trade (illegal in the USA) because the American did little to stop the trade but turned a blind eye to slaving which the RN could not --or had difficulty stopping.
I never said you claimed Britain had clean hands. The only reason I said that neither country had clean hands when it came to slavery is because you chose to bring up the issue of slavery:
Quote:
...but you could also claim that equally that Americans were arrogant with an very opinion of themselves-- a slaver who complains about freedom?
I'm just pointing out that is foolish comment when Britain continued to have slavery while fighting its "existential" war of freedom from Napoleon.


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A raid can have many forms but it still does not show an attempt to reconquer the USA and since the treaty was signed before New Orleans this would imply it wasn't a central to British policy.
The British planned their attack on New Orleans as part of their overall strategy of obtaining a treaty on their terms. Since the US delegates were not going to cave-in to their demands it is really unknown what would have happened had the British not withdrawn their demands and no treaty was signed on December 24. Under those circumstances the result of a British victory at New Orleans with a long term occupation could have had unpredictable results. At that point it is all speculation. We do know that the British delegates at Ghent told the Americans that the US acquisition of Louisiana was illegal.
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Old December 19th, 2017, 07:03 AM   #56

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Under those circumstances the result of a British victory at New Orleans with a long term occupation could have had unpredictable results. At that point it is all speculation. We do know that the British delegates at Ghent told the Americans that the US acquisition of Louisiana was illegal.
The force of that complaint (the status of Louisiana under strict reading of 1763 Peace treaty) was undercut by the reality that the British crown (in a period of peace between the Second and Third Coalition Wars) permitted London banks to underwrite the bonds that were instrumental to the purchase of Louisiana?
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Old December 19th, 2017, 01:06 PM   #57

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The force of that complaint (the status of Louisiana under strict reading of 1763 Peace treaty) was undercut by the reality that the British crown (in a period of peace between the Second and Third Coalition Wars) permitted London banks to underwrite the bonds that were instrumental to the purchase of Louisiana?
Since when have banks let little things like legality get in the way of making a handsome profit.
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Old December 19th, 2017, 04:29 PM   #58

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Since when have banks let little things like legality get in the way of making a handsome profit.
Maybe I am guilty of romanticizing that era if that is the best point you have to make, then?

No, while you understand the politics in Parliament than I could, it seems that no tears were shed in London for the abuse of the 1763 treaty that was inherent in the transaction between Boney and Madison/Jefferson in 1803.
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Old December 20th, 2017, 11:56 PM   #59
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The British had an overwhelming position at the time the treaty was signed, due primarily to the totally unexpected defeat of the US's unofficial ally. However, they didn't occupy much US territory.

The main reason for the status quo treaty was that the British were more eager to end the war than the US was and the issues in the negotiation were more important to the US. So Britain agreed to a relatively unfavorable treaty considering the situation.

The British were arrogant in committing close to acts of war, boarding US ships and so on. The US commanders in the invasions of Canada were incompetent. Apparently, they had not learned from the loss of most of St. Clair's force in 1793 that political appointees, such as territorial governors and militia commanders, usually were not effective commanders.

It is interesting that the British lost so many commanders killed, Brock, Tecumseh, Ross, and Peckenham.
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Old January 3rd, 2018, 08:43 AM   #60
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Canada won the War of 1812 like it won WWI and WWII, with a little help from the UK. They were not independent at the time and had their own revolt in 1837. Later Queen Victoria had to tell them where to put their capital.

Last edited by stevev; January 3rd, 2018 at 08:49 AM.
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