Why didn't the British try to reconquer the US after 1812?

Feb 2011
1,143
Scotland
I dont have it to hand, but I think it was Roosevelt's Naval War of 1812.

Whilst naturally one could not discount wars against other nations, Britain was a special case. It was the former colonial power, it possessed by far the most powerful Navy in the world and in Canada it was entrenched right on the US borders. The main threat must have been considered Britain and clearly thought was given to a strategy to employ against it. The successes won in 1812 did not flow from nil preparation, nor from good luck, nor from some inherent national superior ability.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,759
Do you have some basis for this claim? The US Navy had been used before against France and the Barbery pirates. There might have been a possiblity of conflict with Spain or other powers. It is possible it could have been used against privateers or pirates.

Interesting discussion. It appears the US built quality ships rather than large or many ships.
I dont agree with this claim either. there was not a real focus on the Royal navy, though the chesapeake incident was a great greivious issue with the US Navy.

The US was unable to compete directly with any of teh major Navies, just not enough reosurces. Commence protection against minor powers, commerce raiding against major ones was the thinking. As such the "super" frigates were pretty smart thinking, and they were very well built ships and the cross bracing in the hull was an innovation that would be copied by most navies going forward in large ship of the line construction. The US ships also had a variety of specialized ammo for their guns to disable rigging, their doctrine was noire about getting the rigging first, Royal navy decks, personel.

Generally the US captains and crews had a high quality, IMHO better than the average Royal navy captain or crew but the best in the Royal Navy was at least equally as good and arguably better,. The Royal Navy won all the relatively even ships duels.
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,501
The US wasn't in position to go to war against Britain when the frigates were built, only to defend if Britain attacked. It is no coincidence that it is the War of 1812. At this point French power was at its peak, so it was feasable to declare war on Britain.
 

Nemowork

Ad Honorem
Jan 2011
8,483
South of the barcodes
I dont have it to hand, but I think it was Roosevelt's Naval War of 1812.

Whilst naturally one could not discount wars against other nations, Britain was a special case. It was the former colonial power, it possessed by far the most powerful Navy in the world and in Canada it was entrenched right on the US borders. The main threat must have been considered Britain and clearly thought was given to a strategy to employ against it. The successes won in 1812 did not flow from nil preparation, nor from good luck, nor from some inherent national superior ability.
Nope.

US policy was split between a pro-British group who wanted normalised trade with Canada and access to British world trade and a pro-French group.

The Six Frigates were built due to the potential war with the French in the XYZ affair and the quasi war

 

Kevinmeath

Ad Honoris
May 2011
14,069
Navan, Ireland
As I remember, the argument Morrison made was that the US crews were volunteers, whereas the British were mostly press-ganged. Also, the British crews had bad working conditions and pay and were subject to harsh discipline.

The early US Navy did have excellent results in the American Revolutionary War as well as the Quasi-War with France. It might be partly attributed to more effective officers and crews.
Well for a start around half RN crews came from other means than the Press and how were the working conditions on a RN warship any worse than any other --infact they may well have been better than most.

The RN had inferior officers and crews who only fought because they were pressed and under the lash then its safe to assume that the RN's performance during the period would have been poor?

But infact it wasn't, indeed the RN record in this period was outstanding , they had no real technological advantages so how can this be with inferior officers and badly motivated crews?

Now American sailors and British sailors came from the same 'gene pool' often served on the same ships why would one be superior than another?

Now the Americans only had to man a much smaller navy so their crews were bigger and could have a greater proportion of able seamen so there may be some truth there but why superior officers?

And if its is true then officers and crews USS President and USS Cheasapeake but have been really the most incompetent of all -- defeated by smaller ships officered by inferior officers and manned by poorly motivated crews -- why such the variable quality in the USN?

Or could it be that the quality of the crews were much the same generally quite evenly matched on the whole and as a result the winner would be the one who had other variables on their side -- even as simple as luck.
 

Kevinmeath

Ad Honoris
May 2011
14,069
Navan, Ireland
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I think the Americans must be given credit for implementing a sensible strategy against their giant opponent.

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Actually 'American' strategy was quite muddled.

The USN is often criticised for not concentrating on a war of commerce and getting involved with spectacular but not that relevant single ship actions against the RN -- after defeating an RN frigate generally the USN frigate returned to port with its prize for the glory? but also because of the damage inflicted even in victory. Thus instead of cruising the sea lanes causing havoc they were quickly back in base-- the RN frigate had effectively done its job even in defeat.

Having said that perhaps 'America' needed the moral boosting victories -- also they impressed ,even shocked, the British public and politicians ---- the USN certainly needed the positive publicity. What should be remembered is there was never 'The American' view of the war or any other matter. The frigates were built but many opposed them and proposed an alternative strategy based on a 'militia of the sea' where big British warships -- Officered by inferior Britons and crewed by 'slave ' like impressed men, these freedom loving 'militia' men would win on the sea in small gunboats as they'd defeated the redcoats on land

Some smaller countries did effectively use gunboats but in reality the concept had many faults but was a threat to the very existence of the USN.
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,501
Aside from ship on ship engagements, the US did win the Battle of Lake Erie and capture the entire British squadron that had been controlling the lake. My understanding is the naval war before the defeat of Napoleon went strongly for the US.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,759
Aside from ship on ship engagements, the US did win the Battle of Lake Erie and capture the entire British squadron that had been controlling the lake. My understanding is the naval war before the defeat of Napoleon went strongly for the US.
well you jare ust wrong. But in what way did it go that way of the US?
 
Oct 2018
129
US
Aside from ship on ship engagements, the US did win the Battle of Lake Erie and capture the entire British squadron that had been controlling the lake. My understanding is the naval war before the defeat of Napoleon went strongly for the US.
It did.

- The Naval War of 1812, Theodore Roosevelt

-Six Frigates, Ian Toll

-1812, The Navy's War. George Daughan

Sent from my SM-J700T using Tapatalk
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,759
Aside from ship on ship engagements, the US did win the Battle of Lake Erie and capture the entire British squadron that had been controlling the lake. My understanding is the naval war before the defeat of Napoleon went strongly for the US.
well you just wrong. But in what way did it go that way of the US?
It did.

- The Naval War of 1812, Theodore Roosevelt

-Six Frigates, Ian Toll

-1812, The Navy's War. George Daughan

Sent from my SM-J700T using Tapatalk
not an argument but a book list.

Why was it going the US way? in what area of operations was there a strategic gain for the US?

Impact in US trade v British trade?

Toital tonbnage taken US v British?