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The War of 1812

 
 

The famous war of 1812 was fought primarily between the United States and Great Britain.  The war began when the Americans declared war on Britain on June 18th 1812, and lasted until the beginning of 1815. The war of 1812 was officially over, after the signing of the treaty of ghent on December 24th 1814, and was ratified by the US president on Febuary 17th 1815. 

Many of the battles of the war of 1812, were very unorganized.  The war had been preceded for years of angry diplomatic dispute, and the United States war arguably not ready for the war of 1812 to begin.  Great Britain was also hard pressed by the hostility of Napoleon, and was compelled to retain the greater part of the countries best forces and crews in European waters, until the ruin of the Grande Armee in Russia and the rising of Germany, left her free to send an overwhelming force of ships to American waters.

The forces actually available on the American side when the war of 1812 began, consisted of a small squadron of very fine frigates and sloops in an efficient state. Twenty-two was the extreme limit of the naval force the States were able to commission. The official strength of the army  during the war of 1812 was 35,000, but the service was voluntary and unpopular, and there was a strong need for experienced forces during the war.  The available strength was a bare third of the nominal. The militia, called in to aid the regulars, proved untrustworthy. They did not want to serve outside the boundries of the US State they lived in, were difficult to discipline, and often behaved poorly when confronted by the enemy.  Making the war of 1812 difficult to fight for the American side.  

On the British side during the war, the naval force in American waters under Sir John Borlase Warren, who took up the general command on the 26th of September 1812, consisted of ninety-seven vessels in all, of which eleven were of the line and thirty-four were frigates, a power much greater than the national navy of America, but inadequate to the blockade of the long coast from New Brunswick to Florida during the war of 1812. The total number of British troops present in Canada in July, during the war of 1812 was officially stated to be 5004, consisting in part of Canadians.

  


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