America In the Early 19th Century

Topic: War of 1812
Table of Contents
Vocabulary Terms and Identifications
Important Maps
Biographies of Key Historical Figures

Overview: WAR OF 1812

The war of 1812 was fought between the Us and Great Britain from June 1812 to the spring of 1814. An event of that pushed the US toward war with Great Britain was in 1810, when Napoleon declared that France would end its attacks on American ships. Then president Madison cut off trade with Britain, but the British continued to take over American ships and impress their sailors. So Madison was thinking that war was the only way to make Britain stop and respect American rights. In June 1812 the War Hawks convinced Congress to declare war on Britain the same month Britain agreed to stop attacking American ships.

Vocabulary and Identifications

1) Impressment: the action of taking US sailors and forcing them into service on British ships. The freedom of the seas is called "maritime" rights because it has to do with the sea.

2) "War Hawks": the part of Congress, led by Henry Clay and John C. Calhoun, who called for war with Great Britain. 

3) James Madison: President who asked Congress to declare war on Britain. The War of 1812 was often called "Madison's war." he had to flee the White House when it was burned by the British in 1814.

Important Maps

A clickable map with explanations of each of the major battles of the War of 1812 can be found at the Andrews University website in Battle Creek Michigan.

Biographies of Important People
Andrew Jackson

A major General in the Tennessee militia. He was ordered to march against the pro-British faction of the Creek Indians. Assisted by pro-American Indian allies, he crushed Creek resistance to at Horseshoe Bend in March, 1814. He then forced all the Indians of the region, friends and foes alike, to surrender enormous chunks of land in both Oklahoma and Georgia. Impressed by his stunning victory, the federal government placed Jackson in command of the defense of New Orleans. The Battle for New Orleans actually took place after the Treaty of Ghent was signed because of the time it took for news to travel from Europe to the US.

Oliver Perry

An American naval officer, he was hero of Lake Erie during the war of 1812. On February 1813 he was given the command of the US naval focus on Lake Erie. On September 10, 1813, Perry set sail from Put-in-Bay Ohio, to meet an attacking British navy. Fighting from the Laurence until the Carnage necessitated transferring his flag to the Niagara, Perry held out until the British surrendered. His victory made the Ohio Valley immune to British and opened part of upper Canada to US invasion.


War of 1812 Quiz

1. What US President declared war on Great Britain in 1812?
A. Thomas Jefferson
B. Andrew Jackson
C. James Madison
D. John Adams

2. What place did the United States and Great Britain sign the Peace Treaty ending the War of 1812?
A. Ghent
B. The Hague
C. Paris
D. Antwerp

3. On what date was the Peace treaty signed?
A. November 27, 1814
B. December 24, 1814
C. December 31, 1814
D. January 3, 1815

4. How many states made up the US in 1812?

5. When the declaration of war was voted on in the US House of Representative, how
many states had the majority of their representatives vote "NO"?
A. None
B. 1
C. 3
D. 6

6. The burning of the public buildings in Washington D.C. by the British was in retaliation
A. US army's burning of Newark, Upper Canada
B. the killing of the Indian Chief Tecumseh
C. the US army's looting of York (capital of Upper Canada)
D. nothing

7. At what battle was the British general Sir Isaac Brock killed at?
A. Queenstown Heights
B. Detroit
C. Fort George
D. Chippewa

8. What was the major naval station on Lake Ontario for the British?
A. Kingston
B. York
C. Burlington
D. Niagara

9. What was the name of the British fort on the Detroit River?
A. Fort Malden
B. Fort Sandwich
C. Fort Windsor
D. Fort Amherstburg

10. What motivated the US to go to war with Great Britain?
A. Support of the Indians by the British
B. Maritime Rights
C. Growth of US borders by conquering Canada
D. all the above



1. James Madison
2. Ghent
3. December 24, 1814
4. 17
5. 6
6. The US army's looting of York
7. Queenstown Heights
8. Kingston
9. Fort Amerstburg
10. All of the above

Student authors:

Tatania O.
Thomas M.
Joey R.


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