why was the war of 1812 significant
The obscurity of this war, however, should not blind us to its significance, for it was an
important turning point, a great watershed, in the history of the young republic. PPIt concluded almost a quarter of a century of troubled diplomacy and partisan politics and ushered in the Era of Good Feelings. PPIt marked the end of the Federalist party but the vindication of Federalist policies, many of which were adopted by Republicans during or after the war. PPThe war also broke the power of American Indians and reinforced the powerful undercurrent of Anglophobia that had been spawned by the Revolution a generation before. PPIn addition, it promoted national self-confidence and encouraged the heady expansionism that lay at the heart of American foreign policy for the rest of the century. PPFinally, the war gave the fledgling republic a host of sayings, symbols, and songs that helped Americans define who they were and where their young republic was headed. PPAlthough looking to the past, the war was fraught with consequences for the future, and for this reason it is worth studying today. The war also produced its share of heroes people whose reputations were enhanced by military or government service. PPThe war helped catapult four men into the presidency Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams, James Monroe, and William Henry Harrison and three men into the vice-presidency Daniel D. Tompkins, John C. Calhoun, and Richard M. Johnson. PPThe war also gave a significant boost to the political or military careers of other men. PPIndeed, for many young men on the make, the war offered an excellent launching pad for a career.
An American Perspective on the War of 1812 by Donald Hickey P Though the War of 1812 is remembered as a relatively minor conflict in the United States and Britain, it looms large for Canadians and forPNative Americans, who see it as a decisive turning point in their losing struggle to govern themselves. In fact, the war had a far-reaching impact in the United States, as the Treaty of Ghent ended decades of bitter partisan infighting in government and ushered in the so-called Era of Good Feelings. The war also marked the demise of the Federalist Party, which had been accused of being unpatriotic for its antiwar stance, and reinforced a tradition of Anglophobia that had begun during thePRevolutionary War. Perhaps most importantly, the war s outcome boosted national self-confidence and encouraged the growing spirit of American expansionism that would shape the better part of the 19th century. Taft s note noticePanyPinteresting connections between the first two pieces? Phmmm. same author, or maybe some un-cited sources The History Channel P The War of 1812 was important to the U. S. Navy for several reasons. The war demonstrated to the American public the vital importance of an effective naval force for national defense. It validated early policy decisions to implement cutting-edge technology for our warships. And it established a heritage of competence, heroism, and victory. Dr. Michael Crawford,PNaval History and Heritage Command, PUnited States Navy P As I said, first of all, it assures people that the Republic can stand the stress, and the Constitution will not be suborned.
And the other thing is that, prior to that, we were still emotionally a little branch of Europe insignificant edge of the European world. We seem to have broken the knot with that survival. In other words, what was in essence a no-win, no-lose agreement [the treaty of Ghent] for us meant that we had stayed in the ring with the greatest power in the world and we d at least survived. And so the Republic is vindicated, that s one. And almost as a man, Americans put their backs to the Atlantic, focused on the Rocky Mountains, and for a century devoted themselves to the exploitation, good or bad, of the continent. We didn t really kind of go back into being an international player until the war with Spain at the end of the century. That I think is the most direct result on the American side. It was part of that shakedown I mentioned of the Constitution, and most Americans would say we passed the test, now let s get on with it. Joe Whitehorn, American Historian,P Although often treated as a minor footnote to the bloody European war between France and Britain, the War of 1812 was crucial for the United States. First, it effectively destroyed the Indians' ability to resist American expansion east of the Mississippi River. General Andrew Jackson crushed the Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in Alabama, while General William Henry Harrison defeated Indians in the Old Northwest at the Battle of the Thames. Abandoned by their British allies, the Indians reluctantly ceded most of their lands north of the Ohio River and in southern and western Alabama to the U. S. government.
Second, the war allowed the United States to rewrite its boundaries with Spain and solidify control over the lower Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. Although the United States did not defeat the British Empire, it had fought the world's strongest power to a draw. Spain recognized the significance of this fact, and in 1819 Spanish leaders abandoned Florida and agreed to an American boundary running clear to the Pacific Ocean. Third, the Federalist Party never recovered from its opposition to the war. Many Federalists believed that the War of 1812 was fought to help Napoleon in his struggle against Britain, and they opposed the war by refusing to pay taxes, boycotting war loans, and refusing to furnish troops. In December 1814, delegates from New England gathered in Hartford, Connecticut, where they recommended a series of constitutional amendments to restrict the power of Congress to wage war, regulate commerce, and admit new states. The delegates also supported a one-term president (in order to break the grip of Virginians on the presidency) and abolition of the Three-fifths clause in the Constitution (which increased the political clout of the South), and talked of seceding if they did not get their way. The proposals of the Hartford Convention became public knowledge at the same time as the terms of the Treaty of Ghent and the American victory in the Battle of New Orleans. Euphoria over the war's end led many people to brand the Federalists as traitors. The party never recovered from this stigma and disappeared from national politics.
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