HIST 202 Survey: Canada to 1867
(October 26 2011)
Civil War of 1812
Major war in Europe between 1793-1850
Britains navy goes from 19,000 to over 120,000 sailors
French/British mutual blockades 1806-1807
Naval impressment (Chesapeake affair, 1807)
o Looking on American ships to see if there are any sailors on
them to claim as British deserters.
o Some of the sailors are trying to take refuge in American
ships as refugees.
o Naval Impressment; take by force people to serve in the
o Off the cost of Virginia, British Ship called the Leopard trying
to board an American ship called the Chesapeake.
Chesapeake refuses and is fired on by the British ship.
o Considered an act of war by the British.
British Subjects vs. Naturalized CS citizens
o 1790s up to the war of 1812
o the native groups in the area are trying on their own to take
on the conflict of Pontiac.
o Movement of prophecy that tried to get native people to
separate themselves from Europeans and European trades
British forts not evacuated
Ohio Valley Native Confederacy
o Politicalization = ideological question of political affiliation is
the heart of the conflict.
Tecumseh/Tenkswatawa/Battle of Tippecanoe 1811
o Argument for native unity and native attacks against
o Outbreaks of prophecy throughout the Ohio Valley during
o One of them continues during 1812; immerges a man named
Tenkswetawa who is preaching much the same messages
about getting rid of the whites.
o A kind of sense of having been burned; the British evacuate
their forts in 1794
o British stand back also and let the Americans gain a lot of
land in the region. A lot of important peace treaties
(Greenville in particular)
o 1810-1811; Tenkswetawa sees the British have abandoned
them and the Americans are taking over. Suggests a regroup
and a resist.
o Fruitful alliance between military warrior and spiritual leader. o Governor of Indiana territory (William Harrison) has the
authority to attack and get rid of the natives in 1811. (Battle
o People are primed for war.
What does this mean for the war of 1812
Britain will find allies in terms of a native confederacy
A reason for the Americans to go to war as well
o Are convinced the British are behind the native confederacy
and the native resist.
o Tremendous willingness to go to war at this time.
o Native frontier warfare that the Americans thing the British
are fronting. Makes Americans want to go to war
In 1812 the Americans declare war on Britain
Sense that Canada is just going to be up for the taking.
American constitution worked out in the 1780s has pre-approved
the inclusion of British/North American territories in the Republican
Doesnt turn out that way.
PDS documentary on the war of 1812; straight up military history.
Victories for British North America, and victories for the Americans
American Strategies/ Republicans: Canada For the Taking
Americans strategy is considered to be quite bundled in the sense
that they could have invaded and split lower Canada from upper
Canada and would have been a successful way to go. Instead they
largely invade Upper Canada (perhaps for ideological reasons)
o They start with an invasion of Detroit (most of the main
battles are in the Niagara reason). By large British North
Americans and Native Allies are able to repel these attacks.
o Attempt to invade lower Canada (Richelieu area). They are
defeated as well
o Americans have better luck in 1813; navel defense in the
Great Lakes (Lake Erie) that allow them to launch a second
invasion of the Niagara region, and are capable of taking
over the capital.
Nobody expects them to do well on water, but they do.
This is a total stalemate; there are no border changes in the peace
treaty in 1815.
In some sense it changes nothing.
Does have a lasting effect on upper Canada, in that what had been
a disparate collection of communities actually come together and
begins to see itself as a common identity.
Mythmaking (Isaac Brock, Queenston Heights 1812
The war is sugarcoated with the American perspective
Contributed to a lot of mythmaking about Canada as a kind of
loyalist place/defensive liberties against British conquests
Obscures the complexities of what it was really about.
Tecumseh: Death of Moraviantown, 1813; Laura Secord
USA is really split between federalist and republican visions Federalists dont want to go to war; New England is deeply opposed
to this war to the point where some new Englanders contemplate
separating themselves from Americans.
American Republic was a fragile place during this time.
o Crumbling under debt/deep financial problems
o New Englanders think its suicide to go to war because its so
Civil War; there is a great unfinished business between Aristocratic
British Imperial Vision and American Republican Vision
o Fought out on the battlefield and in some instances on either
Irish Soldiers in this War; important subplot
Biggest source of migrants to the US are Irishmen
Many of these people are disproportionally fighting on the American
A way in which these people are continuing to fight their battle
against the British Empire
The war of 1812 reveals a lot of tensions that exist on both sides
(British North American vs. American)
War of 1812 is forgotten; remembered for its National Anthem, the
siege of Fort Henry; etc.
Andrew Jackson (Battle of New Orleans; 1815)
New Orleans resists being taken over
This happens after the peace treaty has