America In the Early 19th Century

War of 1812

Table of Contents
Vocabulary Terms and Identifications
Important Maps
Biographies of Key Historical Figures

Overview: The War of 1812

 The conflict of the War of 1812 was that the U.S. was irritated by the vague U.S.- Canadian boundary and the unfulfilled promise in the treaty of 1783 that said that Britain would remove its forts from unsettled areas of the American Northwest. But the British wanted to keep control of the Indian fur trade and maintain a buffer of Indian nations between the United States and Canada, which would block the “land-hungry American settlers.”

 Great Britain allied its forces with Tecumseh, the chief of the Shawnee tribe, who wanted to unite all of the tribes that were affected into a confederation to wage war against the American frontiersmen. The British agents would supply the guns and ammunition to the Indians, who would then attack and kill the American settlers. The British and Indians were now the main targets for the United States.

James Madison signed the congressional declaration of war on June 18,1812.  The strategy for the United States was simple: annex Canada, which at the time was a British colony, rather than confront the Royal Navy, which was the worlds most powerful. The United States was suffering defeats in its attacks on Canada in 1812 and 1813 proving to the U.S. that they were a little overconfident in their assumption that the war was going to end quickly.

 In 1814, Britain sent reinforcements to Canada and committed more resources to the war, attacking Washington D.C., and burning down the President’s house.
 Over a short amount of time, the Americans gained fighting skill and materiel, handed the British defeats in Canada in 1814, ending British hopes for a quick victory.
 A peace treaty was negotiated in Ghent, Belgium, and signed on Christmas Eve in 1814, ending the war at last.

-McKinley G.

1) Nationalism - a strong feeling of pride for one’s nation.
2) Star Spangled Banner - national anthem of the United States. Written by Francis Scott Key on September 13, 1814, on a British warship that bombed Ft. McHenry. When the sun came up, he wrote a poem about the bombing and it later became the national anthem.
3) Tecumseh dies - Oct. 5, 1813, U.S. troops meet a force that was combined of British and Indian troops at Thames River. The battle ended in victory for the U.S. but was a disaster for the Indians because the Shawnee chief, Tecumseh died.
 4) Oliver Perry Victory - Sept. 1813, Perry's Navy destroyed a British fleet on Lake Erie.
 5) British Strike Back - Aug. 1814 British troops decide to take war to American troops by marching on to Washington.

Important Maps

The War of 1812

The War of 1812

Biographies of Important People
  Francis Scott Key 

 Francis Scott Key was sent  with John Skinner  to ask for the freedom of Dr. Williams Beanes. They granted the request but under some terms.  They would not be set free until after they attacked  Baltimore.  Because they did not trust that they would keep quiet about  what they have seen.  After the battle it was dark.  He had made several poems and taken many notes.  The three of them were set free and took a little boat to shore.  After the black smoke had cleared they could see the flag waving proudly.  The flag had inspired Francis to write.  He had only had an envelope so he only took notes.  But every thing that he put down was from his hart.  Once they reached land Francis wrote everything thing that had came to him and didn't stop until he was  completely done.  When he was done he named it he Star-Spangled  Banner.  Francis Scott Key didn't know this then but The Star-Spangled Banner was sold for over $24,000 dollars. 

 Oliver Perry

Oliver Perry was a man with a lot of military background. He was a great naval officer during the War of 1812.  He had requested to command forces at Lake Erie and was granted his wish.  At Lake Erie Perry challenged British troops, they  didn't have supplies for a fight so they retreated from Lake Erie and the next morning they fought. British troops had to surrender.


Multiple Choice: Circle one.

1.  The Star Spangled Banner was written by:
A.  Dr. William Beanes  B.  Francis Scott Key  C.  George Washington   D.  James Madison

2.  The president during the war was
A.  George Washington,  B.  Bill Clinton  C.  John Tyler  D.  James Madison

3.   Who was a great naval officer during the War of 1812:  
A. Patrick Henry  B.  James Monroe  
C.  Dolly Madison  D. Oliver Perry

4.   What lake did Oliver Perry command troops on at age 28?
A. Lake Winnepesakee  B.  Lake Heron  C.  Lake Erie  D . Lake Superior

5.   Francis Scott Key was sent with who to beg for Dr. Beanes’ freedom:  
A.  John Skinner  B.  General Ross   C.  Al Gore  D.  Dolly Madison


True/False Write the correct answer.

1. __  The Star Spangled Banner was sold for $24,000.

2. __   The USA lost at Lake Erie in 1813.

3. __   Britain declared war on the United States of America.

4. __  The United States won the battle at Fort McHenry.

5. __   The end of the war was in 1813.



Multiple Choice:

1) B Francis Scott Key
2) D James Madison
3) D Oliver Perry
4) C Lake Erie
5) A John Skinner


1)  True
2)  False
3)  False
4)  True
5)  False

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