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Customer Discussions > History forum

The 200th Anniversary Of The War of 1812

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Showing 1-25 of 39 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 15, 2012 7:31:30 PM PDT
L. King says:

Laura Secord is an iconic Canadian hero, possibly a bit mythic, who overheard the plans of the American invaders and warned the British.

Are the details of this war still taught in American schools? Are there any memorials going on south of the Canadian border?

Posted on May 20, 2012 1:13:33 PM PDT
Iowa Reader says:
I don't remember learning anything about the war of 1812 in my public school K-12 curriculum. Somewhere along the way I learned that the British attacked and set fire to D.C., and that FLOTUS Dolly Madison rescued a portrait of George Washington as she fled the White House.

Otherwise I recall reading Archie comic books, and an episode in which the teacher, Miss Grundy, gives Jughead an F on a history test for failing to correctly answer questions such as "when was the war of 1812?"

President Obama mentioned the war a few months ago when he welcomed the British PM, David Cameron, to the White House-- he said something to the effect that when the PM's countrymen visited the White House 200 years ago, "they really lit the place up".

I am now reading the Oxford series on the History of the US-- currently reading Middlekauf's volume on the Revolutionary War The Glorious Cause : The American Revolution, 1763-1789 (Oxford History of the United States). After that will read the next in the series, Gordon Wood's Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815 (Oxford History of the United States), which should remedy my personal ignorance on this topic.

Posted on May 20, 2012 7:47:46 PM PDT
D. Robinson says:
The connection to "The Star-Spangled Banner" is mentioned in school if one has a good teacher but by and large, not much is taught about the War of 1812.

Pretty much all I know about it is based on the popular ballad, "The Battle of New Orleans."

In reply to an earlier post on May 20, 2012 9:06:22 PM PDT
'Till their foes fled dismayed from the war's desolation:
And pale beamed the Crescent, its splendor obscured
By the light of the Star Spangled flag of our nation.
Where each radiant star gleamed a meteor of war,
And the turbaned heads bowed to its terrible glare,

In reply to an earlier post on May 20, 2012 9:21:10 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 20, 2012 9:28:22 PM PDT
D. Robinson says:
Is that from one of the middle verses that nobody knows, or are you trying to be clever?

Edit: just looked it up, those lines appear nowhere in the song. Considering its based on "The Defense of Fort McHenry," which had nothing to do with Islam, I'm not surprised.

Posted on May 20, 2012 11:52:20 PM PDT
Yog-Sothoth says:
Bookish is quoting a DIFFERENT poem, of similar metre (and was sung to the same melody, 'Anacreon in Heaven'), that F.S. Key wrote to commemorate the defeat of the Barbary Pirates, published in 1805, 9 years before he wrote the "Star-Spangled Banner".

The "Marine's Hymn" (evolved more-or-less to the present form in the 1870's, sung to an 1859 aria tune) also refers to the Barbary Wars: "to the shores of Tripoli".

In reply to an earlier post on May 21, 2012 4:40:48 PM PDT
John M. Lane says:
Thanks for the heads-up there, Yog-Sothoth. "Anacreon in Heaven" was a popular old drinking song.

Perhaps Bookish is an old drunk aspiring for popularity?

In reply to an earlier post on May 21, 2012 5:58:22 PM PDT
The War of 1812 is pretty much a non-historical event in the U.S. as our involvement in many other wars - War of Philippine Independence, Mexican-American War, Korean War, most of the Indian wars, and others too numerous to name. Unfortunate. But the focus is on what we call the American Revolution, Civil War, and World Wars 1 and 2.

In reply to an earlier post on May 22, 2012 11:18:58 AM PDT
hmm... the lines even inspired an academic book

The Crescent Obscured: The United States and the Muslim World, 1776-1815

In reply to an earlier post on May 22, 2012 11:42:47 AM PDT
S. Kessler says:
There was a really good 2-part PBS series on the War of 1812 earlier this fall. I learned a lot about the conflict that I never knew, especially about how the war played out on the Canadian side. No, I think this is only very rarely taught in American schools, if at all, any more. We had a bit of it back in my day, over 40 years ago.

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2012 2:34:30 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 24, 2012 3:40:03 PM PDT
Suet says:
< Pretty much all I know about it is based on the popular ballad, "The Battle of New Orleans." >

Hey, that was the battle you guys won! Unfortunately it was after the final bell.

1812 was one of the most pointless wars ever fought. It was settled on the basis of the status quo ante, and hardly anyone outside America now remembers it.

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2012 3:06:16 PM PDT
Yes, but we still feel pretty good about it. They made a movie about it with Charlton Heston, I think. Felt bad about the Scottish regiment getting nailed. Brave soldiers; poor leadership. About the only thing we can feel good about from that war. Pretty embarrassing to get the White House smoked.

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2012 3:36:24 PM PDT
Suet says:


In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2012 8:54:38 PM PDT
D. Robinson says:
True it was after the war ended, but nobody in New Orleans knew that, on either side. Downside of 19th century communication.

In reply to an earlier post on May 26, 2012 9:26:26 PM PDT
Agree to all.

In reply to an earlier post on May 27, 2012 1:44:32 PM PDT
I've been doing some articles lately about the War of 1812. I grew up in Maryland and never realized how much of the war took place there. I only ever remember being taught about the Star-Spangled Banner and Fort McHenry, but there was so much else going on.

BTW, there's an old song called "The Battle of New Orleans" that's about the War of 1812 in Louisiana. I forget who sang it, but it begins "In 1814, we took a little trip along Col. Jackson down the mighty Mississip..."

James Rada, Jr.
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In reply to an earlier post on May 27, 2012 3:49:22 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 27, 2012 3:54:42 PM PDT
Suet says:
Pay attention! :)

In reply to an earlier post on May 27, 2012 4:00:51 PM PDT
Sorry, I didn't play the link the first time I read through this. That's the song. My dad played it when I was little. I used to like the part about the gator. I wonder what inspired who lyricist to come up with a fun song about the War of 1812? I'm guessing that it probably came out around the 150th anniversary of the war.

In reply to an earlier post on May 27, 2012 5:10:45 PM PDT
Suet says:
Here's another one from Johnny Horton:

In reply to an earlier post on May 27, 2012 5:22:37 PM PDT
I hadn't heard that song before. Maybe Johnny Horton should have been a history teacher. The two songs reminded me of this song, though. I had a 45 of "Snoopy's Christmas" when I was a kid.

Posted on May 27, 2012 6:47:11 PM PDT
Yog-Sothoth says:
Johnny Horton recorded many historical "story songs"/"historical ballads" in the late 1950's:
Sink the Bismark
North To Alaska
Johnny Reb
Battle of Bull Run
Comanche (the Brave Horse)
Johnny Freedom
Jim Bridger
The Sinking of Reuben James
O'Leary's Cow
(several more)
Horton died in 1960, in an auto accident with a drunk truck driver on a bridge. He was 35 years old.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 11, 2012 6:19:55 PM PDT
On Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT, PBS will broadcast a special program on the War of 1812.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 12, 2012 2:23:05 PM PDT
Thanks for the heads up.

Posted on Sep 18, 2012 12:02:27 PM PDT
I learned about the War of 1812 in public school. We spent about a week on it. But what most children remember is a blur between the Constitutionion and 1860: White House burns, beat the British, Andrew Jackson and the big block of cheese, Dred Scott, something about Missouri, Abe Lincoln, then Civil War or War of Northern Aggression, depending on latitude and longitude. :)

I was reared in a house of history buffs, so I knew a lot about it.

FWIW, Eric Flint wrote 2 alternate histories, 1812 and 1824, which are excellent. They both had me buying a lot of early 19th century history. Election of 1824 is fascinating (IRL as well as in this alternate history.)

The POD is that Sam Houston's wound at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend is not serious. IIRC, Flint says in an author's note that his goal was to see how small a POD could prevent The Trail of Tears. He had Houston stumble on a rock such that the arrow wound was off an inch (or so).

Do go read about the US Presidential Election of 1824 if you have the time. It was finally resolved in the House of Representatives, the only election to be so decided and the only one in which the candidate with the most electoral college votes didn't win.

Posted on Oct 21, 2012 6:45:09 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 21, 2012 6:45:35 PM PDT
Debunker says:
There are many excellent books that cover the War of 1812. Two of my favorites are by Pierre Berten: "The Invasion of Canada" and "Flames Across the Border".
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Discussion in:  History forum
Participants:  15
Total posts:  39
Initial post:  May 15, 2012
Latest post:  Nov 7, 2012

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