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War of 1812 Causes, Timeline, and Summary


The War of 1812 is sometimes called the “Second War of Independence” or the “forgotten war.” The war took placed from June 18, 1812 – Feb. 18, 1815 in Eastern and Central North America, Atlantic and Pacific. This conflict was caused mainly by the US resentment of British naval harassment. They seized American ships and took seamen from them, some who were US citizens. The British also attempted to keep US ships from reaching French ports. The war of 1812 was fought between the United States and Great Britain and resulted in the Treaty of Ghent.

Causes of the War of 1812

President James Madison argued for war against Britain and thus making The War of 1812 the first war “sold” to the American public via popular appeal. On June 1, 1812 he gave a speech to the U.S. Congress, giving several reasons for war which are listed below:

  1. Ongoing impressment of American sailors into service on British Navy ships, an insulting breach of American sovereignty;
  2. Britain’s navy “violating the rights and the peace of our coasts”
  3. Britain’s blockade of U.S. ports
  4. Britain’s refusal to repeal its Order-In-Council forbidding neutral countries to trade with European countries
  5. Britain’s incitement of Native Americans to violence against the Americans.

Timeline of the War of 1812

June 18, 1812 : The conflict formally began with the American declaration of war on June 18. This was the first time that the United States

had declared war on another nation. Critics of the war in the United States referred to it as “Mr. Madison’s War.”

July 1, 1812 : United States doubles Customs Duties

July 12, 1812 : General William Hull enters Canada

July 17, 1812 : Fort Michilimackinac surrenders to the British

August 15, 1812 Fort Dearborn massacre

August 16, 1812 : General William Hull surrenders to General Isaac Brock at Detroit

August 19, 1812 : The Constitution defeats HMS Guerrière

October 13, 1812 : General Isaac Brock is killed at the Battle of Queenston Heights

October 25, 1812 : The United States defeats HMS Macedonian

November 1812 : James Madison wins reelection

November 1812 : British blockade South Carolina and Georgia

November 23, 1812 : Americans retreat from eastern Canada

November 27, 1812 : Americans attack outlying positions at Fort Erie

December 3, 1812 : William Eustis resigns as Secretary of War

December 3, 1812 – February 5, 1813: Monroe serves as Secretary of War

December 29, 1812 : The Constitution defeats HMS Java

December 29, 1812 : Paul Hamilton resigns as Secretary of the Navy

December 26, 1812 Great Britain proclaims blockade of Chesapeake and Delaware Bay

December 29, 1812 : Paul Hamilton resigns as Secretary of the Navy

January 12, 1813 : William Jones assumes his duties as Secretary of the Navy

January 22, 1813 : Battle of Frenchtown

January 23, 1813 : River Raisin massacre

February 5, 1813 : John Armstrong becomes Secretary of War

February 24, 1813 : The Hornet defeats HMS Peacock

March 1813 : Captain David Porter of the Essex rounds Cape Horn and sails into the Pacific to prey upon British whaling ships

March 27, 1813 : Oliver Hazard Perry arrives at Presque Isle, Pennsylvania, to assume responsibility for constructing a fleet on Lake Erie

March to December 1813 : British naval forces raid in the Chesapeake Bay area

March 30, 1813 : British blockade extended from Long Island to the Mississippi

April 15, 1813 : Americans occupy part of west Florida

April 15, 1813 : Wilkinson occupies Mobile

April 27, 1813 : Americans capture York

May 3, 1813 : British burn Havre de Grace

May 1, 1813 : and ends on May 5 Siege of Fort Meigs

May 26, 1813 : British blockade additional middle and southern states

May 27, 1813 : Americans capture Fort George

May 29, 1813 : British forces repulsed at Sackett’s Harbor

June 1, 1813 : HMS Shannon defeats the Chesapeake

June 6, 1813 : Detachment of Americans defeated at Stoney Creek

June 22, 1813 : Battle of Norfolk

June 24, 1813 : Battle of Beaver Dams

June 26, 1813 : British attack Hampton

July 27, 1813 : Battle of Burnt Corn

August 1, 1813 : Major Croghan successfully defends Fort Stephenson against British attack

August 2, 1813 : Battle of Fort Stephenson

August 4, 1813 : Admiral Perry gets his fleet over the bar at Presque Isle and into Lake Erie

August 30, 1813 : Fort Mims massacre

September 10, 1813 : Battle of Lake Erie

September 27, 1813 : Harrison lands in Canada

October 5, 1813 : Battle of the Thames

October 16-19, 1813 : Battle of Leipzig

October 25-26, 1813 : Battle of Chateaugay

November 3, 1813 : Battle of Tallushatchee

November 4, 1813 : Great Britain offers United States direct peace negotiations

November 9, 1813 : Battle of Talladega

November 11, 1813 : Battle of Chrysler’s Farm

November 16, 1813 : British extend blockade to all middle and southern states

December 10, 1813 : Fort George evacuated and Newark burned by Americans

December 18, 1813 : Fort Niagara occupied by British

December 19-31, 1813 : Lewiston, Fort Schlosser, Black Rock, and Buffalo destroyed by the British

January 22, 1814 : Battle of Emuckfau

January 24, 1814 : Battle of Enotachopco

March 27-28, 1814 : Battle of Horseshoe Bend

March 28, 1814 : HMS Phoebe and HMS Cherub defeat the Essex

April 11, 1814 : Napoleon abdicates French throne

April 14, 1814 : United States repeals Embargo and Nonimportation Law

April 20, 1814 : HMS Orpheus defeats the Frolic

April 25, 1814 : May 30 British extend blockade to New England

April 29, 1814 : The Peacock defeats HMS Epervier

June 28, 1814 : The Wasp II defeats HMS Reindeer

July, 1814 : September British occupy eastern Maine

July 3, 1814 : Americans capture Fort Erie

July 5, 1814 : Battle of Chippewa

July 25, 1814 : Battle of Lundy’s Lane

August 1814 : U.S. banks suspend specie payments

August 8, 1814 : Peace negotiations begin in Ghent

August 8, 1814 : Great Britain outlines initial peace terms

August 9, 1814 : The Creeks sign a treaty at Fort Jackson ceding much of their land

August 13, 1814 : and ends September 21 Siege of Fort Erie begins

August 14, 1814 : British occupy Pensacola

August 15, 1814 : Battle of Fort Erie

August 19, 1814 : British land near Benedict, Maryland

August 24, 1814 : Battle of Bladensburg

August 24-25, 1814 : British burn Washington

August 28, 1814 : British capture Alexandria, Virginia

August 28, 1814 : Nantucket declares Neutrality

September 1, 1814 : General George Prevost moves south toward Plattsburgh

September 4, 1814 : Armstrong resigns and Monroe takes over as Secretary of War

September 11, 1814 : Battle of Plattsburgh

September 12-16, 1814 : British repulsed at Mobile

September 12-14, 1814 : Battle of North Point, near Baltimore

September13-14, 1814 : British bombard Fort McHenry, near Baltimore

September 13, 1814 Francis Scott Key writes the Star Spangled Banner

September 14, 1814 : British abandon attempt to take Baltimore

September 17, 1814 : Americans sortie from Fort Erie

September 26, 1814 : British squadron captures General Armstrong

October 21, 1814 : Great Britain offers peace on basis of uti possidetis

November 5, 1814 : Americans evacuate Fort Erie

November 7, 1814 : Jackson seizes Pensacola

November 11, 1814 : Jackson returns to Mobile

November 22, 1814 : Jackson leaves for New Orleans

November 25, 1814 : British fleet sails from Jamaica for New Orleans

November 27, 1814 : Great Britain drops the uti possidetis

December 14, 1814 : British overwhelm American gunboats on Lake Borgne

December 15, 1814 : January 5 Hartford Convention

December 15, 1814 : February 27, 1815 United States adopts additional internal taxes

December 23, 1814 : British land their troops below New Orleans

December 23, 1814 : General Andrew Jackson attacks in a surprise night battle

December 23, 1814 : January 1 Preliminary battles around New Orleans

December 24, 1814 : The Treaty of Ghent is signed ending the War of 1812.

December 28, 1814 : United States rejects conscription proposal

January 8, 1815 : Americans defeat British in the Battle of New Orleans

February 4, 1815 : United States adopts second enemy trade law

February 17, 1815 : United States rejects National Bank proposal

February 17, 1815 : Ratifications of the Peace Treaty exchanged and President James Madison declares the war at an end

Commanders in the War of 1812

United States 
James Madison
Henry Dearborn
Jacob Brown
Winfield Scott
Andrew Jackson
William Henry Harrison
William Hull

United Kingdom 
Lord Liverpool
George Prévost
Isaac Brock
Roger Hale Sheaffe
Gordon Drummond
Robert Ross
Edward Pakenham
Charles de Salaberry

How Many People Died in the War of 1812

United States 
2,260 killed in action
4,505 wounded
17,000 (est.) died from disease

United Kingdom 
1,600 killed in action
3,679 wounded
3,321 died from disease

List of Battles of the War of 1812

The Battle of Tippecanoe 1811
President vs. Belvidera
The Battles for Michilimackinac Island & Fort Dearborn
Raid on Gananoque
The Battle of Brownstown
The Battle of Maguaga
The Battle of Detroit
Constitution vs. Guerriere
The Battle of Queenston Heights
U.S.S. United States captures H.M.S. Macedonian
The Battle of Lacolle Mills
The Caledonia and the Detroit
Wasp vs Frolic
Search and Destroy Mission against the Tribes
The Battle of Frenchman’s Creek
The Battle of Raison River or Frenchtown
The Battle of Ogdensburg
The Seige of Fort Meigs
The Battle of Fort Stephenson
The Capture of Fort George
Skirmish at Butler’s Farm
Chesapeake vs. Shannon
The Battle of Stoney Creek
Battle of Forty Mile Creek
The Battle of Craney Island
The Battle of Beaverdams
Argus vs. Pelican
The “Hamilton” and the “Scourge”
The Capture of the “Julia” and the “Growler”
Enterprise vs. Boxer
The Battle of Lake Erie
The Battle of the Thames
The Battle of Sackets Harbour
The Burlington Races
The Battle of Chateauguay
Action at French Creek
The Battle of Crysler’s Farm
The Burning of Newark
The Capture of Fort Niagara
The Burning of Buffalo
The Battle of Lacolle Mills
The Raid on Fort Oswego
The Battle of Sandy Creek
The Raids into Western Upper Canada
The Battle of Longwoods
The Capture of Fort Erie
The Battle of Chippawa
The Burning of St. David’s
The Battle of Prairie du Chien
The Battle of Lundy’s Lane
The Battle of Fort Mackinac
The Battle on the Nottawasaga
Capture of the Somers and Ohio
The Battle of Bladensburg
The Battle of Washington D.C.
The Battle of Baltimore
The Battle of Lake Champlain
The Seige at Fort Erie
The Capitulation of Maine
The Battle of Cook’s Mills
The Battle of New Orleans
The Surrender of Fort Boyer
Capture of the U.S.S. President
The Green Tiger & the Bloody Boys
104th Regiment