Who won the war of 1812?

Who won the war of 1812? Was it Canada, Britain or the US? It seems Canadian and British books say they won, and the US history books say the US won, or it was a draw?

21 Answers

  • The US had three objectives:

    To stop Impressment

    To stop the American Indians

    To conquer Canadian land

    They only got one of these.

    The Brits and Canadians had one objective, to defend Canada against the US invasion. Which they did, defeating the US invasion.

    So as the British and Canadian side got their objective, and the US failed in most of theirs, Canada and Britain was the winner.

    Overall, the US military did not achieve its primary goal of conquering Canada, and Britain would not agree to stopping Impressment.

    The British military did achieve its primary goal of repelling the US invasion.

  • Technically it was a draw. However, you could say the US won, since the intent of the British invasion was to resubjegate the "colonies". Something they failed to do. Although they gained no territory, the US maintained its sovereignty. The war also marked the decline of European influence in the western hemisphere. Canada didnt exist as a Nation in 1812, so anyone saying that Canada won would be incorrect. The intent of the American incursion into what would become Canada was to drive British influence out of North America and seize key stragic settlements. That didnt happen, the march outpaced the supply lines and the garrisons were to well fortified to be routed. The Americans won some key victories in the battles around Boston and the Port of New Orleans, driving out or stoping the British advances cold. However, they lost other battles on the frontier and in DC, for example. Most of the battles actually took place after the end of hostilities, due to slow communications across the Atlantic.

  • Though the battles of early 1814 provided the US with no further opportunities to renew their attacks against Canada, they stopped the British advance and, on a larger level.

    Before the Treaty of Ghent was signed by President Madison on February 16, 1815, Britain insisted that America turn a large part of the Northwest Territory into an Indian reservation that would serve as a barrier state between the U.S. and Canada. The U.S. rejected the demands and there was an impasse. American public opinion was so outraged when Madison published the demands that even the Federalists were willing to fight on.

    After Napoleon abdicated on April 6, 1814, the British adopted a more aggressive strategy, sending in three large invasion armies, but by then the immature, undisciplined American troops of 1812 and 1813 were, by 1814, suddenly transformed into a fighting force capable of holding ground against British veterans.

    British General Prevost launched a major invasion of New York State with 10,000 veteran soldiers, but the American fleet under Thomas Macdonough gained control of Lake Champlain and the British lost the Battle of Plattsburgh in September 1814.

    The British victory at the Battle of Bladensburg in August 1814 allowed them to capture and burn Washington, D.C, but they were repulsed in an attempt to take Baltimore.

    American forces, commanded by Major General Andrew Jackson, defeated the invading British Army, intent on seizing New Orleans and the vast territory the United States had acquired with the Louisiana Purchase. After the Battle of New Orleans, Britain’s bargaining position was weakened and could make no such demands.

    At the end of the war, Britain's American Indian allies had largely been defeated, and the American's controlled a strip of Western Ontario centered on Fort Malden. However, Britain held much of Maine.

    Both sides signed the Treaty of Ghent and all parties returned occupied land to its pre-war owner.

  • U.S. Objectives of the War of 1812 were as follows:

    Get the British to repeal their Orders in Council, which placed severe trade restrictions on the Americans.

    Get the British to stop the impressment of American sailors into the Royal Navy.

    Assert Americans' rights to freedom of the Seas.

    The Treaty of Ghent, signed on Christmas Eve 1814, ended the deadlock of war with no major concessions granted by either side. A belated American victory at the Battle of New Orleans led to a widespread conception that the United States had won the War of 1812. After the American victory at Plattsburg, the English government decided to end the war without addressing any of the problems that had started it.

  • There was no clear victor, both sides define factors defining the victory after the fact. Saying the Americans won because the British were trying to recolonize the US is nonsense the Americans were the ones to declare war ( after considerable British provocation) and the British were fighting Napoleon on Europe at that point leaving them only a small part of their forces to deal with the North American conflict. The American forces after initial set backs (ie the loss of Fort Detroit etc) won control of Lake Erie and had decisive victory at the Battle of New Orleans. The Brit's had some successes such as the Burning of Washinton DC which included burning of the White House, Senate buildings etc.

    The absence of any clear winner can be seen in the terms of the treaty of ghent that ended the War, the Brit's gave no ground on the issues that started the War like impressment, and interference in trade, the prewar boundaries between US and Canada remained the same, the Americans were given clear fishing rights in the Gullf of St Lawrence. It was a morale building exercise for the American Military, their first real test as a nation against a major world power, in such a situation a draw would feel like a victory but the British/Canadians lost nothing, I guess the aborginal people of the mid-West were the real losers bearing the brunt of the American assaults and then essentially being abandoned by the British.

    By the way to one of the respondents Quebec was a british colony a this point, had been since 1756

  • To be true the British won.

    Some facts.

    The British took American citezens to be sailors in the royal fleet.

    They controlled and blocked all the ports.

    They also had all the forts.

    They took money from American citezens.

    these where British objectives.

    But the Americans did kick the British out so basicly a draw

  • Nobody won the war. Both America and British lost important people. It was the Brits victory because they held the most land. But the treaty of Ghent was the reason of no victory in either sides.

  • The losers were the Native Americans who became the next target for expansionism and had been a pretext for US starting the war in the first place. Among the “victors” the people who gained most were the tens of thousands of slaves who escaped to British North America. The Royal Navy, having defeated any French aspirations to invade, stopped impressment and pursuit of deserters in 1815 as a policy because the extra sailors were no longer required and the navy was downsizing – it was not a point resolved in the Treaty of Ghent.

    war was about the British trying to re-colonize the US

    Can even the most biased history books claim that with a straight face?

    except liberation of Canada

    Surely, invasion of Canada, who were the people requesting liberation, certainly not the French Catholics who feared the anti-Catholic stance of the US at the time?

  • The Americans lost Fact It was Not a Draw

    a draw is when neither side gain anything a win is where on side gains at the time of the signing of the treaty the British controlled

    Fact the Military asked Congress to Declare war on the British in what is now known as Canada

    the US Hoped the Indians and the French would join them but they chose to remain British

    you must have achieved something you were aiming for to win and that only happened for the British the USA gained No real estate won No Battles up to the signing of the Treaty in Gent and got no concessions from the British but the USA did agree on Canada's Sovereignty and its Borders

    the Americans Attacked the Province Yes The American Army Attacked the Province in an attempt to make the province part of the USA

    after we had defeated Napoleon with the help of Our Allies we sent 10000 hardened troops from the Napoleonic wars to stop the US Army

    the Reasons for the war are Numerous the Blockading of US Ports the Removal of sailors from american ships etc

    the Canadians and the British burnt down only Government buildings in washington the argument was with the US government not its people and took Millions of acres of land and proceeded to ransack southern towns

    but before the british had the opportunity to Proceed further.

    The USA 3 month earlier had signed a treaty ending the war the British who gave back all the Real estate taken and Confirmed Canada's Borders

    the Causes of the war were never resolved as the British refused to take notice of any US complaints.

    The Treaty of Ghent, which was promptly ratified by the Senate in 1815, ignored the grievances that led to war. Britain made no concessions concerning impressment, blockades, or other maritime differences; the treaty proved to be merely an expedient to end the fighting. Mobile and parts of western Florida remained permanently in American possession

    and that was the start of the USA being a Bully trying to use its Military to take over and since 1812 have failed everywhere

  • The war was primarily about trade and America taking an opportunist attitude to grabbing land off Canada while the British had their hands full in Europe fighting the French.

    Much has been made of the Royal Navy stopping American ships and impressing the American sailors into the Royal navy, however the situation was that the men they took were in fact British deserters from the Royal Navy in the first place. RN ships would dock in a port and if an American ship was there, they would desert their Royal Navy ship and join the crew of the American ship. Royal Navy crew were wanted by ships captains as they were considered the best trained and most experienced and as such were offered high rates of pay and better working conditions. Once a Royal navy deserter had signed his name on the Captains book and become a crewman on an American ship, he was automatically given American citizenship. this lead to claims the navy was kidnapping US citizens to work for the Royal Navy when in fact all the Navy was doing was taking back their own runaway staff. (Although knowing the navy they almost certainly took a few proper americans with them)

    The reason for the war and the reason the Navy were stopping American ships in the first place was actually because the British Royal navy was blockading most of mainland Europe to stop French trading internationally. (much like the period of time between the two Iraq wars when nato ships stopped ships coming in and out of Iraq and inspected them for weapons etc) The Americans still traded with France and the rest of mainland europe (at this time america relied massivly on trade as was not yet self sufficent and needed to import and exports huge amounts of stuff to keep solvent) and as such their ships were often stopped and the contents inspected. while the navy was onboard the American crew would be checked to see if there were any ex-Royal navy men there (The Royal Navy men were usually easy to find as they would have many tattoos and often scars on their backs from being flogged, flogging did not happen in the US navy and the American crewmen did not have the British crewmens superstisions about Tattoos so usually didn't have any)

    The fact that the Americans were being stopped from trading with Europe by the British was the main cause of the war, the Americans in the North East were still trading with Britain and really did not want any war in an ironic twist of fate the Rebels of the Revolution turned into the Loyalists of 1812. During the war the towns along the new england coast still maintained a steady trade with England, even selling them timber for their ships and supplies for their crews, Even after the Royal Navy arrived and blockaded the ports English ships were still allowed though and continued to trade The southern states were more pro-war due in part to the fact they had the new recently purchased non-English states/colonies in their ranks (The battle of New Orleans being a prime example with much of the American Militia being made up of Former French colonists from Lousiana)

    There is no mistaking the fact that the war was close to becoming becoming a major victory for the anglo canadians, the peace terms imposed on the Americans could have been very harse, at the end of the war british and Canadian forces held large parts of north east America, their navy had arrived in massive force and could block any port in america and land large armies anywhere they pleased along the eastern seaboard. While the Americans had an excellent navy with superbly made ships, crewed by very competent and couragous men, their navy was tiny compared to the British one, the largest American Ships had 40-50 guns the largest British ships would have 90-100, and they had over a hundred of these monsters plus a further 500 ships of smaller sizes.

    Thankfully for all concerned the British had just finished an 18 year war with the French and were more concerned with getting out of America and using the hard won peace to expand their empire. also with the defeat of france the need to stop anyone trading with europe was removed, as such the peace terms were very generous to the USA, all sides finally sat down and agreed a border between the USA and Canada, which still remains to this day, and as a thank you for the support of the people of the ports of the north eastern sea board they allowed them fishing rights in the st lawerence river which was a great help as at the time fishing stocks of the coast of New England were shrinking.

    The main thing for America was the fact that this was a lesson learnt, thanks to the confidence gained from the war of Independance the US had been thinking it was strong enough to deal as equals with the European super powers of the time and that it could rely on France or Spain to help them, the War was a wake up call for them, (they could not take on the British alone and no other European country was willing or able to help them) they were simpl

  • Probably the US, since we got the White House rebuilt after the war and the President moved back in within a short time; not the British Monarch. No British monarch was there until King George visited in 1939.

    Canada was British territory, except Quebec, I don't think they could have 'won' the war, it would have been Britain.

    Frankly, I don't remember learning exactly the outcome or how we won, except we were not conquered by the British again.

    Many Southerners will contend they won the "war between the States", but most in the US know the North won the "Civil War'.

    I have always wondered what the British thought not so much about the War of 1812, but the Revolutionary War.

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