Friday, January 18, 2013

War of 1812: Perspectives in Video

See also War of 1812 Maps and Educational Resources from the Canadian Perspective and the United States versus Canada

The War of 1812 is a Rorschach test for Americans, British, and Canadians.  Each side has their own version of what happened.  The below three videos sum up the views of this war well.


The American point-of-view comes in stages:

What, there was a second war against England?
Well, we did beat the British twice (most commonly held view)
Wait, they burned down the White House?  What did we do to deserve that?
It all ended well when we won the Battle of New Orleans
*Reads a history book on the war* Oh..... (least held view)

Many Americans cannot state why the war happened   Some will claim the British want to recolonize us while others state is was to expand west.  Only a few know that the United States officially started the war in response to the impressment of American sailors into the Royal Navy and to conquer Canada.  College Humor has a funny take on American's ignorance of the war.


The War of 1812 was an annoying side show to the 20-plus year long war against France.  The British were forced to hold back the Americans, which was fairly easy to do with Canadian militia-support, lack of will among many Americans to fight, and incompetent American generals.  However, British history has mostly over looked the war.

The British ambassador to Canada made one of the only British-perspective videos on the internet.


Canada is enjoying the 200 year anniversary of the war.  Canada's official propaganda (I do not mean that word in a bad way) has Canada's Anglos, French, and First Peoples (Indians) uniting together to successfully defeat the American invasion.

This story is great for unity purposes and is mostly true.  However, it ignores the fact that as the war progressed most militia returned home and British regulars defeated the last invasions of Canada.  It also overlooks Canadian renegades that joined the Americans.  These renegades were responsible for a great deal of the pillaging which took place along the Niagara frontier.

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