The War of 1812Book - 2002
Entangled in the Napoleonic conflicts on the European continent, the reasons for fighting the War of 1812 are far from clear. Once the conflict got underway, both the United States and Great Britain waged it in great confusion and finally concluded it inconclusively. Meanwhile, the war deeply divided American sentiment, possibly more than did any other war, including Vietnam. With an overview essay providing historical background, seven essays on specific topics related to the war, biographies of the major players, ten important primary documents, and a timeline, this book will serve as an introduction to these events, both to provide a clear understanding of them and to supply the student with major historical interpretations of the war's causes, progress, and consequences.
Renowned historians David S. Heidler and Jeanne T. Heidler put the War of 1812 in historical and social context. In addition to a general overview, other essays examine Jefferson's ineffective use of sanctions as a diplomatic tool, the difficulties a young nation had in fighting and paying for a war against a major power, U.S.-Indian relations, and the Treaty of Ghent which ended the conflict but left many issues unresolved. Detailed biographies of key players enrich the reader's understanding of the time period, and promary source documents, ranging from Madison's recommendation for war to a British soldier's description of the burning of Washington DC, and to General Andrew Jackson's account of his great victory at New Orleans bring to life the controversial and destructive nature of the War, and a selection of portraits and cartoons add a valuable visual component to this all-in-one resource guide to this forgotten war.