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

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
5,623
well you just wrong. But in what way did it go that way of the US?


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?
The US won most of the ship to ship engagements. It also won the Battle of Lake Erie, capturing the entire British naval force on the lake, so it was totally in US control. This had a major impact on land operations for both sides. The US naval success in both those areas was spectacular.

There were problems in that the British had huge naval resources if they wanted to devote them to this side war. Also, the US Army was not professional. The US tried to invade Canada with untrained militia and incompetent commanders and officers chosen based on political and family connections.

After Napoleon was defeated, the full force of the Royal Navy was available. The US ships generally returned to port and were blockaded in. The British raided up and down the coast, and took and burnt Washington.

The US was in a difficult situation then. However, as discussed earlier in the thread, the British were worried about conflicts with and between there allies, and about an unstable situation in France. In fact, most of the British army was in Canada and the Bahamas at the time of the battle of Waterloo, limiting the number of men who could be sent to that battle. Obviously, the US would have been in a difficult situation if the British invaded with the large army they had ready and with total naval dominance. However, it would be difficult to conquer the US, and the British were not really interested in concessions involving territory, navigation rights, protection of their native American allies, etc.
 
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pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
7,973
The US won most of the ship to ship engagements. It also won the Battle of Lake Erie, capturing the entire British naval force on the lake, so it was totally in US control. This had a major impact on land operations for both sides. The US naval success in both those areas was spectacular.

There were problems in that the British had huge naval resources if they wanted to devote them to this side war. Also, the US Army was not professional. The US tried to invade Canada with untrained militia and incompetent commanders and officers chosen based on political and family connections.

After Napoleon was defeated, the full force of the Royal Navy was available. The US ships generally returned to port and were blockaded in. The British raided up and down the coast, and took and burnt Washington.

The US was in a difficult situation then. However, as discussed earlier in the thread, the British were worried about conflicts with and between there allies, and about an unstable situation in France. In fact, most of the British army was in Canada and the Bahamas at the time of the battle of Waterloo, limiting the number of men who could be sent to that battle. Obviously, the US would have been in a difficult situation if the British invaded with the large army they had ready and with total naval dominance. However, it would be difficult to conquer the US, and the British were not really interested in concessions involving territory, navigation rights, protection of their native American allies, etc.
The US won a handful on much trumpeted ship to ship engagements. Where their lareg frigates had 50% boardside advanatgem, hardly a spectucalr feat. Dispite the propaganda.,

But what actual advantage did the US get form this other than propaganda.

The US had lost the Naval war before Napoleon was defeated. The Royal navy did not need the full weight of their fleet to win this war.,

The US was unable to impact British trade significantly.

US trade was slaughtered. The US federal government was under serve financial strain.
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
5,623
Was the Battle of Lake Erie just a propaganda victory?

The US won the naval war to the extent that it could. There was no way to defeat the Royal Navy over all. The problem was with the land war. A larger better trained force with competent commanders had a chance to take a major portion of Canada.
 
Feb 2016
4,071
Japan
I doubt a better/bigger army would have helped. Canada presents the US with the same problems GB had going the other way.

Large vast expanse, unwilling and armed populations and lack of popular support at home would make it pretty unfeasable unless Britain consented to give up a portion.

The US lost 12 single ship actions against the Royal Navy, and won 13. It was not as lopsided as made out. US and British privateers mainly ravaged each other’s trade ships, but I’ve not counted them as they were not officially part of their respective navies.
And the number of British and Canadian privateers was vast.. US privateers were ground out of existence eventually.. sunk, Captured or blockaded bar a handful of lucky ones.
 
May 2011
13,552
Navan, Ireland
Was the Battle of Lake Erie just a propaganda victory? .
No it was a significant victory in a campaign that swung back and fore.

Does it prove that the USN was superior to the RN? no.

The US won the naval war to the extent that it could. .
To the extent you mean that they actually lost.

There was no way to defeat the Royal Navy over all. .
They didn't have to defeat them 'all over' just on their own seaboard which they failed to do.


The problem was with the land war. .
No it wasn't ,not that the land war was a success, but rather that the RN moved up and down the American coast raiding at will

A larger better trained force with competent commanders had a chance to take a major portion of Canada .
But they didn't and the British didn't send more forces either.
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
5,623
I doubt a better/bigger army would have helped. Canada presents the US with the same problems GB had going the other way.

Large vast expanse, unwilling and armed populations and lack of popular support at home would make it pretty unfeasable unless Britain consented to give up a portion.
In a sense, both sides won, because the war showed the world how difficult it would be to invade the US or Canada.
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
5,623
I was being half serious. Obviously, it was a pointless war that could have been avoided. It did discourage the US from invading Canada again. It also helped convince both sides not to go to war again over the Oregon Territory border, during and after the ACW, and in the "Potato War" and "Pig War" incidents.

Hitler could have noticed the difficulties both sides had invading large territories, as well as the obvious parallel with Napoleon's Russian invasion.

The argument that US crews fought better because they were volunteers, had better conditions, and weren't whipped so much has plausibility in the US, even if it seems ridiculous to Europeans. In Europe, the US was probably viewed as an aristocratic republic, with big slave owner Presidents and an unqualified commander who was one of the biggest and richest landholders in the world. However, from the US point of view, the US was free and democratic in comparison to the monarchies of most of the world.
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
5,623
I told the story about militia General Van Rennselear and his one million acres to a friend who is a high school US history teacher. The reply was "I didn't know we invaded Canada; the book just talks about how the war was caused by the British interfering with US trade and arming the Indians."

High school US history may discuss the Battles of Lake Erie and New Orleans, but you certainly won't hear about the general sentenced to death and pardoned for surrendering Detroit to a smaller force. I read an ROTC US Military History book which goes into great detail on the failed invasions in terms of what not to do.