The War of 1812 was the battle between the United States of America and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
The colonies at that time like Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Bermuda were also involved in the conflict.
The war started in 1812 and ended in 1815 through a peace treaty. The treaty was signed in 1814.The rage of war engulfed, 1,600 British and 2,260 American soldiers. Large number of slaves escaped to British because of their offer of freedom. Some also fled in the commotion of war.
The war was initiated when Britain imposed a number of trade restrictions. U.S. disputed those restrictions as illegal under international law. Consequently, the United States declared war on Britain on June 18, 1812. The reasons of dispute were many including outrage at the recruitment of American sailors into the British navy, aggravation at British restraints on neutral trade, and resentment towards British military support for American Indians who were hostile to the United States.
The outbreak of the war in early years was a fuming diplomatic dispute. The UK was occupied by the Napoleonic War. Most of the British Army was engaged in the War in Spain. So, the Royal Navy was compelled to barricade most of the coast of Europe. The large number of British troops was engaged in Canada in 1812. It was estimated that almost 6,034, British troops were employed with Canadian militia.During the war, the British Secretary of State for War and the Colonies was the Earl of Bathurst. In the first two years of the war, only few troops were available to reinforce North America.In the last year of the War, large numbers of British soldiers were obtainable after the resignation of Napoleon Bonaparte. The British lost the Battle of Plattsburgh in 1812.
The United States was not prepared to fight a war. The President Madison thought that the armed forces would easily capture Canada and then they can negotiate. But the regular army was only 12,000 men in total. So, the expansion of the army was suggested. The army strength raised to to 35,000 men, but the service was not satisfactory. The authority paid poorly to the personals. Moreover, only very few were trained and experienced officers. The militia was not interested in serving outside their home states. So, performed poorly against enemy when outside of their home state. The U.S. also faced problems in financing its war. It had dispersed its national bank and private bankers were not in favor of war.
There were three frontiers of war :
Britain was the most equipped naval powering the world. This was proved by its historic win over the French and the Spanish at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The Royal Navy employed eighty-five vessels in American waters in the war of 1812. In comparison the United States Navy, which was not even twenty years old, had only twenty-two commissioned vessels. The capture of the three British frigates made enthused the British to more and more exertions.
By 1814 both sides were exhausted due to an expensive war. They realized that it would offer nothing but mass destruction. So, they fumble their way to a settlement. The American war on the whole added around £25 million to the national debt. By the year 1814 the American economy was brought to a standstill. The credit goes to the Royal Navy's blockade. Finally, the US government faced ruin. On December 24, 1814 the diplomats from both the countries met in Ghent and signed a treaty called the Treaty of Ghent. The treaty was endorsed by the Americans on February 16, 1815.
The The Duke of Wellington sent the following letter to the British army in North America:
“I confess that I think you have no right, from the state of war, to demand any concession of territory from America... You have not been able to carry it into the enemy's territory, notwithstanding your military success and now undoubted military superiority, and have not even cleared your own territory on the point of attack. You can not on any principle of equality in negotiation claim a cessation of territory except in exchange for other advantages which you have in your power... Then if this reasoning be true, why stipulate for the uti possidetis? You can get no territory: indeed, the state of your military operations, however creditable, does not entitle you to demand any.”