Indian atrocities need to be placed in the context of the times however. Soldiers, immigrants, settlers, and Indians fought in a northern borderland to determine the fate of a continent. In that environment, many soldiers panicked as they fought their own vivid imaginations, which cast Indians as bloodthirsty savages. Makes you totally re-think your opinion of the war, especially who won and who lost. During the war, both sides struggled to sustain armies in a northern land of immense forests, vast lakes, and stark seasonal swings in the weather.
The War of 1812 is often overlooked. However, the book was overlong for my more casual interest. All our jokes about making Canada the 51st state are just that: jokes. But, they also faced Irish soldiers who had joined the royal army, pitting Irishman against Irishman. Among my favorites was a chapter on the prisoners-of-war. Taylor's book then is a great tale of Republican hubris and ineptitude. While the majority supported an independent republic, a strong minority remained loyal to the union of the empire under the leadership of the king and parliament.
It is the longest undefended border on earth. It goes on and on. We underestimate the fluid uncertainty of the post-revolutionary generation, when the new republic was so precarious and so embattled. Many Indians joined British forces in the hopes of stopping further U. Alan Shaw Taylor is a historian specializing in early American history. Q: Many Americans now look back on the Revolution with the assumption that all citizens were united in their desire to break free from Britain, but this was not the case and many communities were quite divided. Rather than writing a comprehensive history of the conflict, he focuses on the borderlands between Montreal and Detroit, where much of the fighting occurred and where conflicting loyalties and agendas most vividly came to the fore.
In that environment, many soldiers panicked as they fought their own vivid imaginations, which cast Indians as bloodthirsty savages. I highly recommend the work. Because they needed to borrow money to fight the war they wouldn't raise taxes for, they invaded strategically unimportant areas of Canada rather than the areas that would have made the most sense. This book also sheds fresh light on long-neglected questions of social history. The War of 1812 ended with the Treaty of Ghent in 1815. Taylor explains the principal parties and the reasons and actions that ultimately lead to the conflict. Surprisingly, there has only been a modest increase in the publication of new academic histories.
But as Professor Taylor points out, it was much more complex than that. Taylor spends a lot of time on a fundamental difference between the Brits and the Americans of that time- the Americans claimed that a British person could choose to become an American and at that point would simply cease to be British. But Republican politicians from western New York and Kentucky successfully lobbied to make the Detroit and Niagara Rivers the primary American fronts. A vivid narrative of an often brutal and sometimes comic war that reveals much about the tangled origins of the United States and Canada. Instead their sympathies shifted to the British because they realized that the only hope for an end to the fighting was that the more competent British would win quickly. What was the impact of the settlement on them? After fighting each other to a standstill, the Americans and the British concluded that they could safely share the continent along a border that favored the United States at the expense of Canadians and Indians. Serving in both armies, Irish immigrants battled one another, reaping charges of rebellion and treason.
In other words, as a consequence of the war, Upper Canada pioneered the fear of the United States and the defensive assertion of a Canadian identity framed by that fear. What sources did you find to tell these stories? Because a very wealthy and Federalist landowner loaned them a lot of money to get them to avoid damaging his tenants and property--which happened to be where they would need to move through to get to that strategically important area of Canada. Or would the British empire contain, divide, and ruin the shaky American republic? During the early nineteenth century, Britons and Americans renewed their struggle over the legacy of the American Revolution. Moving beyond national histories to examine the lives of common men and women, The Civil War of 1812 reveals an often brutal sometimes comic war and illuminates the tangled origins of the United States and Canada. Would revolutionary republicanism sweep the British from Canada? British statesmen never again would challenge the territorial integrity of the United States. Both sides then celebrated victory by forgetting their losses and by betraying the native peoples. Description In this deeply researched and clearly written book, the Pulitzer Prize—winning historian Alan Taylor tells the riveting story of a war that redefined North America.
Something as in-depth as this subject could easily be a dry read, but Pulitzer Price winning author Alan Taylor has presented the material in a clear, easy to read manner. Even the sacking of Washington by British troops and Andrew Jackson's great victory at New Orleans have never really elevated the war in American national consciousness. Canada was first colonized by the French. And Canadians cultivate their own patriotic icons, particularly the martyr Isaac Brock and the plucky Laura Secord, their equivalent of Paul Revere. Q: How did the native Indian populations become involved in the war? Against your will, you're a soldier trapped at sea.
When the British navy began to stop American ships, both merchant and navy, and impress naturalized American sailors under the belief that once a British subject, always a British subject, the American government sent ships to fight, right? He also serves as a contributing editor to The New Republic. And that's really all they ever have to say about that. The political and social aspect that drove the war on both sides is what he investigates. To compensate for the limited geographic range, I offer greater depth in time, devoting more attention to the roots of the conflict, during the 1780s and 1790s, and to the post-war consequences during the 1820s and 1830s. This book continues his style of making historical events easy to relate to.
Or would the British empire contain, divide, and ruin the shaky American republic? The United States had many problems including severe internal political divisions between Federalists and Republicans that prevented the republic from fighting an effective war against the British. And dissident Americans flirted with secession while aiding the British as smugglers and spies. Despite later boundary controversies and even cross-border raids by private adventurers, the two nations avoided another war. As others have written, this book is not meant to be a comprehensive history of the War of 1812 though it is thoroughly documented while remaining readable. This was in part a result of the American failure to persuade Canadians that they would be better off in the United States.