Few wars are so heatedly debated as to their outcome centuries after they were fought, but the War of 1812 is one of them. Ask a Briton and he will tell you that it was a minor skirmish and British priorities were elsewhere. Ask a Canadian and he will beam with pride as if it were Canada's finest hour. Ask an American and he will say that his country faced off against Britain for the second time and lived to tell the tale. In fact the American take on it is the most succinct and correct. Yes, Britain was engaged elsewhere, but that doesn't excuse her shoddy performance. Yes, Canada repelled the Americans, but with British help and leadership. And yes, the Americans once more took on the British, the premier fighting force in the world, and fought them to a draw. Most Britons know practically nothing about it. Canadian history isn't very exciting, so the war tends to receive far more attention there. The Battle of New Orleans was a total rout. But in short, it was a boring campaign.
· 9 months ago