The War of 1812

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Map Code: Ax00713

The war had three main theatres: the Gulf of Mexico and American southwest; the Atlantic seaboard; and, the Canadian borders. Initially, preoccupied by the war with Napoleon, the British adopted a defensive stance, using their naval supremacy to blockade American ports, although, with the aid of their Indian allies, gains were made round the Great Lakes. Repeated American attempts to invade Canada proved abortive and, with the end of the European war in April 1814, the British were able to send 15,000 battle-hardened reinforcements to America. Turning on the offensive, the British seized and burned the American capital, Washington, in 1814, but the stout resistance, under heavy bombardment, of Baltimore, halted their advance. In the North, the war ground into a stalemate round the Great Lakes; in the South, future President Jackson repelled the siege of New Orleans and a British invasion of Georgia ceased after peace was declared. (149)

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