Why US goverment did not restart fighting and did not try to conquer Canada again after Battle of New Orleans in 1814 ?

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,774
The question is why US ratified Treaty of Ghent ? Or stick to treaty after ratification. For US (back then) Britain was the hereditary enemy from Revolutionary War , they were incensed fall of Wahington and burning of White House , they had won Battle of New Orleans , they had much more disiciplined and regular army in 1814 instead of militia of 1812 and most importantly British army was being recalled from North America to Europe to deal with Napoleon's return and grab of power in France in 1815. For everyone it seemed like there would be another long Coalition Campaign against Napoleon in Europe in 1815 spring and summer (of couse Waterloo Campaign lasted only for five days) where British Army would play a more prominent role. So Canada was defenceless and up for grabbing. It would be very easy for US goverment to say "well since Treaty of Ghent did not satisfy our every national demand we want further concessions or else , oh look it would shame if we invade Canada since most of His Majesty's Army is busy elsewhere"
The US was bankrupt. The army might have done OK on defence but it had not performed on the offensive. The Canadaians had shown they were not interested in all at joining the US. Canada was nmot defencelss. There was no prospect of further gains and lack of money was hurting.
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,512
Why would the US decline favorable terms and encourage Britain to continue its invasion of the US? The Battle of New Orleans was a US victory, but the British still had 50,000 soldiers in the US, Canada, and Bahamas. Plus the British totally controlled the neighboring seas and had US ports blockaded. The British were striking up and down the coast and had taken and burnt Washington. The US was in deep trouble fighting the British alone and was lucky to get off with the treaty agreed on.
 

Edric Streona

Ad Honorem
Feb 2016
4,531
Japan
Your timeline is skewed.

The Treaty of Ghent was signed in December 1814.
US and British forces were fighting until February 12th.. peace being well known after this.

Napoleon doesn’t escape until February 26.

When the Americans signed the peace treaty in 1814 Britain had naval supremecy and a bloated army it could use. No units based in Canada were ordered back to Europe until March. Also remember barely any Americans in the border areas actually had wanted the war...

So your mistaken. At the time the Americans made peace the British were not sending troops back to Europe. They were still sending them to Canada, England or Ireland... and if the US wanted to continue... she faced the thought of more regulars and more Canadian militia.

News of napoleons escape would not have reached the US until several weeks later. By which time Britain and the US would have been at peace for 3 -4 months.

Pretty much immediately the US had began reducing its military. So the notion of the US suddenly and with no reason for it starting the war again would be bizarre.
 
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betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,512
In the US national anthem, the author sees the US flag still flying over the fort in Baltimore Harbor during the Battle of Baltimore and writes, "say does that star spangled banner yet wave oer the land of the free and the home of the brave." This implies there was a real possibility at that point that the US could be badly defeated. I don't think anyone considered restarting the war and invading Canada at that point.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,774
In the US national anthem, the author sees the US flag still flying over the fort in Baltimore Harbor during the Battle of Baltimore and writes, "say does that star spangled banner yet wave oer the land of the free and the home of the brave." This implies there was a real possibility at that point that the US could be badly defeated. I don't think anyone considered restarting the war and invading Canada at that point.
Well you klnow songs don;t have to be literally historically true. The star spangled banner is a peice of nationalist propganda.
 
Aug 2018
592
Southern Indiana
There were several strong tribes that could have allied with the British if the US attacked Canada. After the Treaty of Ghent. the US continued fighting tribes like the Sauk in the north-west (what is now Wisconsin).
 
Feb 2011
187
New Jersey
The question is why US ratified Treaty of Ghent ? Or stick to treaty after ratification. For US (back then) Britain was the hereditary enemy from Revolutionary War , they were incensed fall of Wahington and burning of White House , they had won Battle of New Orleans , they had much more disiciplined and regular army in 1814 instead of militia of 1812 and most importantly British army was being recalled from North America to Europe to deal with Napoleon's return and grab of power in France in 1815. For everyone it seemed like there would be another long Coalition Campaign against Napoleon in Europe in 1815 spring and summer (of couse Waterloo Campaign lasted only for five days) where British Army would play a more prominent role. So Canada was defenceless and up for grabbing. It would be very easy for US goverment to say "well since Treaty of Ghent did not satisfy our every national demand we want further concessions or else , oh look it would shame if we invade Canada since most of His Majesty's Army is busy elsewhere"
You've already gotten some informative replies from betgo and Edric Streona, so I will not repeat their comments. I will point out that once the Treaty of Ghent was unanimously approved by the US Senate and signed by Madison on February 16 the war with Britain was officially over. With the two countries at peace a renewal of the war would have required another declaration of war by the US and that was not going to happen. Thomas Jefferson stated in August 1812 that had the news of Britain's suspension of the orders in council been received in Washington prior to the vote on war there would not have been sufficient votes to support a declaration of war. Once the war with France was over and maritime issues disappeared, the US Congress would not have supported another war declaration.
 
May 2018
928
Michigan
In short, Canada is a large landmass that is difficult to march massive armies through. Wellington gave his opinion that control of America largely relied on control of the St.Lawrence and Mississippi rivers (an opinion somewhat prove by the ACW). He also commented that Britain simply didn't have the resources to do this in the harsh, fairly unforgiving terrain of North America (compared to Europe).

I think for the U.S. to re-initiate hostilities after the Treaty of Ghent was signed would have been a bad idea. Not only would it mean more years of dealing with the Royal Navy interfering with trade, but if the Americans did attack after New Orleans, the British would have quite a bit of legitimacy as the wronged party if America broke the Treaty of Ghent. Add to this the loss of face to American statesmanship, and the fact that Britain had a battle-hardened army under a brilliant commander who probably could have defended Canada as effectively as Lippe defended Portugal.
 
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betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,512
Technically the US wouldn't have to violate the Treaty of Ghent. It could refuse to ratify it. Since it was ratified unanimously, I don't think that was considered.

New Orleans was a defensive victory and not that big a victory. It didn't effect the fact that Britain still had an overwhelming force in the area. It wasn't practical for Britain to try to conquer to US, but there was no thought of conquering Canada at that point.

I know songs don't have to be literally true, but when Key wrote "say does that star spangled banner yet wave", he was implying that he was happy the US was surviving the war.
 

Kotromanic

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
5,037
Iowa USA
Technically the US wouldn't have to violate the Treaty of Ghent. It could refuse to ratify it. Since it was ratified unanimously, I don't think that was considered.

New Orleans was a defensive victory and not that big a victory. It didn't effect the fact that Britain still had an overwhelming force in the area. It wasn't practical for Britain to try to conquer to US, but there was no thought of conquering Canada at that point.

I know songs don't have to be literally true, but when Key wrote "say does that star spangled banner yet wave", he was implying that he was happy the US was surviving the war.
Ratification was unanimous since the terms were outstanding for the US. Notably that for the first time there was a legal commitment for all the trading companies located in Canada to recognize America's right to prevent trade of weapons with the tribes. The Western States whose representatives voted for the war had their victory with this recognition in Treaty of Ghent. (Article the Ninth...)