Thursday, June 21, 2012

It's the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812

Test your knowledge of this event here

I'm not sure if it is getting much attention in the US, but loads of it where I get my news:


  1. "I'm not sure if it is getting much attention in the US, but loads of it where I get my news"

    My siblings and I were discussing this just last night. Sad that history is largely lost on America.

    Our gggggrandfather was a veteran of the War of 1812.

  2. I only got five of nine, missing the esoteric questions.

    I live about a mile from Fort Ontario (formerly Fort Oswego). The Fort was beseiged at various times by both the french and the british, dating back to the early 1700's.

    There was a 1812 symposium here, in late April of this year but, as you say, the major celebration is taking place in Canada.

    I feel that the root cause of the war was actually the fact that certain factions within the U.S. government and populace wanted to invade and annex Canada. U.S. historians tend not to beat on that one too hard.


    "In the War of 1812, the United States militia were routed by British regulars, and it was determined that militia were not adequate for the national defense. Military budgets were greatly increased at this time, and a standing federal army rather than States' militias was deemed better for the national defense.'

    is from Wiki but there are primary sources that back it up (they're footnoted).


    "The myth of the militia resulted in our trying to fight battles that were really above our level of competence. The American militia, which had comprised most of troops, was absolutely no match for the British regulars or possibly for the Canadian Glengarries and York Volunteers. The tactics that one uses to live on the frontier are far different from the tactics one uses in an army. On the frontier, survival is your objective; running away is quite an acceptable tactic to use when things get too hot for you.

    But you can't run an army that way. The commander's got to be able to count on people who will stay and perform missions, that are far outside their own personal self-interest. So that takes discipline, and the Americans weren't up to it. Also, you know, our constitution specifies what the militia's to be used for... to repel invaders and to stem local riots and things like that. But it says nothing about being used to cross the border. So that's what happened at Queenston. The militia decided that it was a little too hot for them over there, and they heard those Indian war whoops, and they decided the constitution prevailed over everything. They didn't have to cross that Niagara River. So... it was very harmful."

    is from here (

    The author of the quote is John Eisenhower, son of former president and U.S. commander of U.S. and allied forces in WWII. Mr. Eisenhower is also a former Brigadier General and military historian.

    George Washington was also not fond of the notion that various militias could prosecute war in a satisfactory manner, per the opinions he presents here (

    This is not an indictment of citizen militias. It is an indictment of the attitude that the gunzloonz were/are capable of defeating a professional and properly led and provisioned army.

  3. There are a lot of reasons people in the US don't want to remember this war.