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How Britain Won the War of 1812: The Royal Navy's Blockades of the United States, 1812-1815 by Brian Arthur

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How Britain Won the War of 1812: The Royal Navy's Blockades of the United States, 1812-1815 by Brian Arthur

Post by Astrodene on Tue 27 Sep 2011, 21:19

There is a new book out in November How Britain Won the War of 1812: The Royal Navy's Blockades of the United States, 1812-1815 by Brian Arthur.

Seems like a controversial title so could be interesting.

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Re: How Britain Won the War of 1812: The Royal Navy's Blockades of the United States, 1812-1815 by Brian Arthur

Post by Joefirefighter on Sun 02 Oct 2011, 06:44

Not all that controversial. As a proud yank and happy to point to the fledgling US Navy's frigate victories during that war, ultimately they failed change the outcome that the mightiest navy on the face of the sea at the time eventually bottled up the US fleet in its harbors.

Britain certainly won the naval war of 1812.

That being said, the US Navy's victories didn't help the popularity of the war on the English homefront.

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Re: How Britain Won the War of 1812: The Royal Navy's Blockades of the United States, 1812-1815 by Brian Arthur

Post by conaghan on Sun 02 Oct 2011, 23:13

Interesting book title, but I'd believe the conventional view of the war as a stalemate holds more weight.

I'd defer here to Wellington's view ( see http://www.manythings.org/voa/history/48.html):

Wellington told the government he would go to America if requested. But he refused to promise any success. He said it was not a new general that Britain needed in America, but naval control of the Great Lakes that separated the United States from Canada.

"The question is," Wellington said, "can we get this naval control? If we cannot, then I will do you no good in America. I think," said Wellington, "that you might as well sign a peace treaty with the United States now. I think you have no right to demand any territory from the United States. The failure of the British military campaigns in America gives you no right to make such demands."


Two other points: although there was no treaty article ending impressment of American sailors, the practice ceased. Second, the American political union held fast. That was no mean feat, given the fragility of the early Republic. That early period of Republic was beset by threats of breakup & succession from a variety of sources: 1800 (rumors of suspending the election result & mobilizing the state militias of Pennsylvania & Virginia, 1802 (Timothy Pickering & New England Federalists), 1805-06 (Aaron Burr's activities with the British ambassador, New England Federalists, and then later Western successionists), and 1814 (Hartford Convention).

In a stalemate, perhaps both sides can claim "victory". Sadly, we would likely agree on who lost the most: the native American population.

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