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HIS311 Oct 8 Dividing the continent, 1815-1867

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Robert Bothwell

October 8 2013 Key Words Notes  American Presidents: - Madison - Jefferson - Monroe - John Quincy Adams II  American Land acquisitions: - Florida - Adams-Onis Agreement - 1818 Convention (Oregon Condominium) - 1846- Oregon resolved  European Conflicts: - Spain-Peninsula war - 1812: Russian Campaign - 1813: Leipzig - 1814 April: Boney Ubdicates - 100 Days 1815 - Waterloo  European Leaders: - Wellington - Castlereagh - Alexander I  US vs. Spain vs. Mexico: - Bolívar – Spanish America - Dom Pedro – Brazil - Mexico - Texas  Take Canada from W of 1812 to the final definition of boundaries in North America in 1867.  American NW passed out of American control during the war not exactly into B hands. With the capture of Detroit and the entrance of Lake Huron (Michimakimac or whatever). Then similarly Chicago, Fort Dearborn (?) fell and burned down. No American posts left to the west of Lake Erie. The Americans considered a no brainer to take Canada. - Canada although impressive on a map in the 1810s was about 10 miles wide. - Canada is a long line that has Quebec, Montreal, Kingston and some of it is along the American border. Dependent on supplies coming along that line, all they required (A) was to break it. St Lawrence between Cornwall and Kingston is very close to A. Madison, the president and his cabinet reasoned similarly. .  What the Americans proposed to do in 1812 therefore doesn’t entirely make sense. - They divided their effort. Continued to try to take Upper Canada which they believed correctly was largely populated by people born in the US and they simultaneously tried to strike at Montreal which was intelligent because that was the hub of british defensive efforts in interior NA. - They failed in both. - Second invasion of Canada, October 1812  Combination of American forces and militia, citizen soldiers who are military for money. This force tries to cross the Niagara river at Queenston. To cross the rivers you had to go through cliffs and mountainous terrain.  In the battle of Queenston heights the A were defeated by General Brock, even though he was killed. The remaining British troops were able to capture those Americans and make them cross the river. The NY militia discovering stayed in the American side. The BoQH is doubly an American defeat, - Firstly at the hands of B troops and - secondly at their own hands. Fundamental problem for the US during the war, the hearts and minds of Americans were not entirely behind it..  Partisan war, fought by president Madison, republicans, and opposed by the federalists  In the NY the feds had strength. You could never be sure that the people immediately behind the lines in the N states were necessarily going to support you. Curiously enough parts of the front had no war. These tended to be feds. In VT they were federalists and merchants, discovered that a good market was the B army in Montreal. Montreal fairly supported by VT. B troops enjoyed A goods. Brock’s death was a blow to the B cause. His successors as commanders in UC were not as good as he was. In 1813 the A enjoy more success. They recapture Detroit, drive the B and Tecumseh to now S Ontario in the Battle of the Tens. Tecumseh is killed and the B is defeated. The effect is that that part of present day ON along the St Clair Detroit rivers and the N shore of Lake Erie pass into A hands or become no mans land. The war in this part of the province is conducted as a guerrilla war. Nastiest, neighbour against neighbours. Terrorized their neighbours in that part of UC. The A crossed the Niagara and advanced into UC towards Hamilton but were turned back in a series of minor battles in the middle of 1813. This part of the war is characterized by arson, refugees, brutality. In the fall of 1813 the B drove the A back to the Niagara river. The A burned Niagara on the Lake (Newark). This sets up B retaliation along the Niagara river. Lewiston and Buffalo are burned, Fort Niagara captured by the B. This section of the US enjoys the same kind of atrocities like the C side did. Many aspects to the war are extremely unpleasant. York was attacked by an A naval fleet April 1813. The B had no troops to defend it, evacuated York, some of it was burnt. This sets a precedent that justified retaliation by the B side against the A. One interesting event was General Pike being blown up by the B magazines. The A tried to attack Montreal from two directions in one case they got lost and in the other case they were defeated by militia, so an attempt once again to break the B supply line around Montreal also failed. So the A do not break the B supply line, great strategic defeat and means that the B army in UC can be supplied and reinforced. When we get down to the Maritimes the war of 1812 was an exceptionally good time. The economies of NB and NS to some extent resembled NH and ME. Trees, ships building, timber, carrying trade. Prosperous time. Supply of the B army and navy and taking the place of the A who had been driven from the seas. War at sea. It was interesting. A navy had about ten ships, and the B comparable ships were around 200. B navy was busy blockading Napoleon and initially don’t have the ships to deal with the A. Some single naval battles some of which go to A and some to B, the ones that tend to be remembered about the war. What really mattered however were numbers. The B navy in halifax, Bermuda and the Bahamas shuts down the US. The US in 1812 still faces out to the Atlantic, trade, maritime interested. Revenues on customs bc is the easiest tax to collect. If the B strike at A trade they are also undermining the economic foundations of port cities, unemployment, poverty. Also of course they are hitting at Madison’s tax collectors. So the B initially asked the A if they wouldn’t like to reconsider all this. In 1812 the B refrained from offensive action in order to see if Madison really meant war, and when he assured them that he had, the B implemented plan B: blockading the US in the same way they did in Europe. Starts in the south, Savannah, NC, VA. The southern states had been powerful during the war, and political
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