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The Civil War of 1812: American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Rebels, & Indian Allies Hardcover – Deckle Edge, October 12, 2010
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Taylor's turn of phrasing and his writing style is marvelous, it is almost a forgotten art. He does build blocks of understanding, giving the background of social-political feelings pre 1812, explaining the feelings that were remnants of the revolution of 1776. He does well, also in presenting the Canadian view of the barbarous actions of some of the US patriots. International events that always add to the avalanche of wars, the French Revolution and British seizures of merchant ships and impressments of sailors are well described.
Part of the reasons for calling this a civil war were the elements of former Irish citizens fighting and the conflict of Anglican versus Catholic faith.Read more ›
In the years before the War of 1812, British policy in Canada encouraged American migration to its underpopulated provinces, as Britain actively sought to create an alternate vision of North America that would appeal to residents in what many thought would be a short lived republican expermiment in the United States. Britain offered free land to American settlers of Upper Canada, but offered a more restricted press and more tightly controlled government. When war came, many of the newest settlers actively rebelled against the British government, contrary to later popular Canadian myth. The United States eventually cold-heartedly sacrificed these rebels to their fate.
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. The author presents lots of evidence of local Federalist betrayal of the war effort and slip shod management by the governing Republicans.Read more ›
The author takes pains to develop the ethnic divisions between Canadians and Americans, or lack thereof, before and during the war. Surprisingly, the author identifies the immigrants from Ireland all as "Irish", mostly adherents to the "United Irishmen", calling them a "mixture of Protestants and Catholics." In actually, they were almost all Presbyterian Irish, more commonly called Scotch-Irish, of mixed Irish and Scot ancestry. He is correct in his depiction of many settlers having become somewhat disillusioned with the nascent United States government, being forced to pretty much provide for their own security against the Indians with the Whiskey Rebellion fresh in their minds. The group that had emigrated to Upper Canada was up for grabs in respect to their loyalty, but the American forces, particularly through their reliance on militia and with incompetent leadership, squandered their chances to bring Upper Canada into the United States. Of course, there was never any chance of gaining the loyalty of Catholic Lower Canada that was steeped in Civil Law and adherence to a crown.
For the American reader, this conflict takes on a dreary litany of defeats, mistakes, heavy casualties, much suffering, and woeful leadership. Seen from the Canadian side, however, it is not much better.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Can't seem to get into this one, not sure why. Very detailed accounts of events.Published 3 days ago by Gary F. Adams
Some years back, I set out to rediscover American history through the best single books I could find to cover each era. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Stan Prager
Comprehensive, perhaps too much so. Too many players to keep track of and tedious at times. More a textbook than casual reading. Summary section helps bring it together.Published 10 months ago by C. Carter
Wonderfully balanced among all 4 sides in conflict: Americans, British, (incipient) Canadians, and aboriginal.Published 11 months ago by RGS-HLS
I couldn't get past the first 100 or so pages. Very dry history and found it to be very one sided. Basically it was all about pointing out the wonderfulness of Canada and it's... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Paul Gregorwich
Alan Taylor's history of the War of 1812 is narrow in scope, focusing almost exclusively on the campaigns in northern New York and along Lake Erie. Read morePublished 16 months ago by doc peterson