Four Wars of 1812 – BONUS POST

The Bonus Book of the Week is “Four Wars of 1812” by D. Peter MacLeod, published in 2012. This was a multi-faceted, brief account of conflicts among the U.S., Britain, Canada and Native Americans between 1812 and 1815, that simultaneously showcased the art of that era.

Britain was interfering with America’s commercial and military shipping– including embargoing the country’s eastern seaboard and Shanghaiing sailors for the Royal Navy– and interfering with America’s imperialistic activities against Native Americans in its western states. America’s anger reached a boiling point in June 1812, when it declared war. True to their stereotype, the Canadians didn’t really hate anyone, but the closest place the Americans’ enemy (Britain) happened to be, was in Canada.

Late summer 1812 saw the then-United States invade Canada, the Great Lakes, Quebec and later, Halifax to fight the British, who retreated from Lake Erie.

Britain’s goal was to defend Canada without hindering its ability to fight France. Having the same enemy (the U.S.), Britain and the Native Americans helped each other capture Detroit in 1812.

The author neglected to mention the number of military and civilian deaths caused by the wars. The artwork mostly avoided gruesome battle scenes, but portrayed or consisted of: weaponry, ships, people, and patriotic artifacts such as commemorative coins.

In October 1814, a poem penned by Francis Scott Key was set to music. It became the Star-Spangled Banner.

Read the book to learn more details of which battles occurred when, and how the fighting was stopped.