Books on the War of 1812

Books on the War of 1812


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Books - War of 1812

US Soldier versus British Soldier – War of 1812, Gregg Adams.A look at three battles on the Canadian front of the war of 1812, showing how the US infantry learnt from its defeats in the first two years of the war to become an effective fighting force, more than capable of hold its own against the small British army in Canada, although not capable of actually conquering Canada (Read Full Review)

The Thames 1813 - The War of 1812 on the Northwest Frontier, John F. Winkler.A rather biased account of the campaign that led to the battle of the Thames of 1813, seen from a rather old fashioned American perspective, especially towards the Native Americans. The campaign and battle accounts are the best part of the book, although still rather unbalanced in the amount of space given to each side, with the bulk of the text looking at the American campaign. On the plus side it gives a very good idea of how difficult it was to campaign in what was then a very remote area, and covers the entire campaign in the area in 1812-13 (especially good as the battle itself isn’t terribly interesting)(Read Full Review)

Tippecanoe 1811 - The Prophet's battle, John F Winkler.Follows the campaign from the pressures on Indian land that helped trigger the fighting, through the rise of the Prophet, and the split that he caused in Indian society, and on to the actual fighting itself, looking at Harrison's careful efforts to reach Prophetstown with his army intact and the battle itself, a night attack on the American camp that failed to achieve its objectives, and ended the rule of the Prophet, but opened the way to the brief dominance of Tecumseh(Read Full Review)

Mad for Glory - A Heart of Darkness in the War of 1812, Robert Booth.Looks at the voyage of Captain David Porter of the US Navy into the Pacific, and his eventual defeat at the hands of Captain James Hillyar of the Royal Navy in the battle of Valparaiso, an isolated naval action on the coast of Chile, that came at the end of a remarkable but controversial voyage. Includes fascinating material on the Chilean revolution, Porter's adventurous if rather misguided voyage across the Pacific, the battle itself and its aftermath [read full review]

In Pursuit of the Essex - Heroism and Hubris on the High Seas in the War of 1812, Ben Hughes.Follows two main participants in one of the more unusual naval duals of the War of 1812, the clash between the Essex and the Phoebe at Valparaiso on the coast of Chile. Follows both of the main participants on their long voyages from home ports into the Pacific, their attempts to find each other, the standoff after they met at Valparaiso and the eventual battle, triggered by an unsuccessful attempt by Porter to escape out to sea [read full review]

Death of an Empire - The Rise and Murderous Fall of Salem, America's Richest City, Robert Booth .Looks at the decline and fall of the wealthy merchant port of Salem, a city that became rich through International Trade, in particular during the long Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, but then like other American ports suffered from the self inflicted wounds of the War of 1812 and the tariffs that followed, before eventually murder and scandal finished off the ports decline. Not directly military history, but a fascinating story, and one that is related to the events of the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812 [read full review]

Broke of the Shannon and the War of 1812, ed. Tim Voelcker .Looks at a wide range of topics related to the battle between the Shannon and the Chesapeake, a naval clash that ended the early string of American victories and restored damaged morale in Britain. Looks at the battle itself, the background to the war, and the long term impact of both the battle and the conflict. [read full review]

The Jeffersonian Vision, 1801-1815, William Nestor. Looks at the Presidential terms of Thomas Jefferson and his successor and political ally James Madison, a period best known for the Louisiana Purchase and the War of 1812. Focuses on the failure of Jefferson's political theories to adapt to the reality of American power, and Madison's drift to war in 1812. [read full review]

When Washington Burned: An Illustrated History of the War of 1812, Arnold Blumberg. A good attempt to make some sense of this rather disjoined conflict, well organised and gives some idea of how the many campaigns related to each other (when they did). The text is supported by a good selection of contemporary art works and some useful modern maps, and portrays both the American and British points of view. [read full review]

Niagara, 1814: The Final Invasion, Jon Latimer. This entry in Osprey's campaign series looks at the largely forgotten Niagara campaign of 1814, the last American offensive during the War of 1812. The campaign is notable for involving the first significant victory of the US army over British regulars during the War of 1812, and the battles are described in some detail [see more].

The Incredible War of 1812, J. Mackay Hitsman. This is a revised edition of a classic work on the War of 1812, one of the more neglected corners of military history. The author writes from a Canadian perspective, but without distorting his material, and the American side of the war is well represented. This is a good clear account of what can be a somewhat confusing conflict. [see more]

The Line upon a Wind, Noel Mostert. This is an excellent account of the greatest naval war of the age of sail. Mostert covers a wider range of topics than most books on this subject, while always remaining readable. There is a good section on the rise of American naval power and the War of 1812 [see more]

The United States Army 1812-1815, James L Kochan. A detailed look at the uniform and equipment of the United States Army during the War of 1812. Supported by some good quality colour plates and a nice selection of pictures of surviving equipment from the period. [see more]

The American War 1812-1814, Philip Katcher. One of the older entries in the Men at Arms Series, this book starts with a brief history of the war. It then moves on to look at the equipment used by the regular troops of both sides before finishing with a brief look at the militia. As ever the text is supported by a series of full colour plates that illustrate the uniforms worn during the war, in this case eight pages of plates showing twenty four uniforms [see more]


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The War of 1812, A Short History

This abridged edition of Donald R. Hickey's comprehensive and authoritative The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict has been thoroughly revised for the 200th anniversary of the historic conflict. A myth-shattering study that will inform and entertain students and general readers alike, The War of 1812: A Short History explores the military, diplomatic, and domestic history of our second war with Great Britain, bringing the study up to date with recent scholarship on all aspects of the war, from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada.

With new information on military operations, logistics, and the use and capabilities of weaponry, The War of 1812: A Short History explains how the war promoted American nationalism, reinforced the notion of manifest destiny, stimulated peacetime defense spending, and enhanced America's reputation abroad. Hickey also concludes that the war sparked bloody conflicts between pro-war Republican and anti-war Federalist neighbors, dealt a crippling blow to the independence and treaty rights of American Indians, and solidified the United States' antipathy toward the British. Ideal for students and history buffs, this special edition includes selected illustrations, maps, a chronology of major events during the war, and a list of suggested further reading.


University of Illinois Press

This comprehensive and authoritative history of the War of 1812, thoroughly revised for the 200th anniversary of the historic conflict, is a myth-shattering study that will inform and entertain students, historians, and general readers alike. Donald R. Hickey explores the military, diplomatic, and domestic history of our second war with Great Britain, bringing the study up to date with recent scholarship on all aspects of the war, from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada.

The newly expanded The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict, Bicentennial Edition includes additional information on the British forces, American Indians, and military operations such as the importance of logistics and the use and capabilities of weaponry. Hickey explains how the war promoted American nationalism and manifest destiny, stimulated peacetime defense spending, and enhanced America's reputation abroad. He also shows that the war sparked bloody conflicts between pro-war Republican and anti-war Federalist neighbors, dealt a crippling blow to American Indians, and solidified the United States's antipathy toward the British.

"A well-researched and extensively documented overview of the causes and consequences of the War of 1812. In a penetrating analysis of prewar society, the author accumulates evidence suggesting that the war was ultimately unnecessary and unpopular. . . . Highly recommended as an inclusive political, military, and social treatment of a customarily neglected war."--American Library Association Booklist

"Despite being forgotten and overlooked, the War of 1812 was a significant milestone in the development of the United States. [Hickey] was accurate when he wrote, 'Although looking to the past, the war was fraught with consequences for the future, and for this reason it is worth studying today.' And there is no better place to start than with The War of 1812."--Civil War News

"The definitive study."--Journal of American History

"Donald Hickey took a decade and a half's worth of research and teaching on America's most obscure war to write a monograph accessible to general readers and useful to historians who wanted more than strickly military history. Hickey has provided an excellent, almost encyclopedic, yet engaging narrative of the War of 1812. . .a mature historian's life's work. . . .This is the best single volume on the War of 1812."--Fides Et Historia

"A finely crafted narrative that provides an excellent introduction to the multiple causes and political upheavals (among elite whites in the United States)."--N-Net Reviews - H-War

Donald R. Hickey is a professor of history at Wayne State College in Wayne, Nebraska. He is the author of seven books, including Don't Give Up the Ship! Myths of the War of 1812, and numerous articles.

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The War of 1812: A Short History

I recently heard a very respected scholar in a lecture say the following, "No matter what you&aposve heard, history doesn&apost repeat itself - ideas do." That is no more evident than in the study of this war!

And I do mean SHORT. It&aposs a fantastic little introduction. My theory with this book was to read it as an introduction to The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict by Mr. Hickey, as well. From what I&aposve read on Amazon and heard, that is precisely the primary purpose of the author in this "Short History I recently heard a very respected scholar in a lecture say the following, "No matter what you've heard, history doesn't repeat itself - ideas do." That is no more evident than in the study of this war!

And I do mean SHORT. It's a fantastic little introduction. My theory with this book was to read it as an introduction to The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict by Mr. Hickey, as well. From what I've read on Amazon and heard, that is precisely the primary purpose of the author in this "Short History."

I am currently enrolled in college as a B.A. in History. I haven't chosen my concentration yet, but I could easily jump on this horse! This is such a complex war with tons and tons of variables and caveats. It becomes extremely clear as modernity presses forward and after looking at the history of warfare in general, that most men and women die in and around combat completely out of lack of communication, more than anything else.

This book takes you from the early Jefferson administration and some of his challenges which he faced in dealing with international trade with such a young country. At the end of the day, this war isn't fought over impressment nearly to the degree as it is fought over Orders in Council, which basically interfered with America's, or anybody's for that matter, ability to do trade with France, of whom Britain was at war. There's no telling how many ships were confiscated, soldiers lost, and cargo lost.

This war was a war which literally bankrupted the United States to the point whereas the money was worthless and the banks had no way of loaning money or storing money. We here about an impending "insolvent government" today, but it really happened in 1815 and it wasn't a pretty picture. The government had defaulted on all of its loans and could not borrow a "red cent." If you wanted something your neighbor had, you better have something to trade with other than money.

Americans hold conventions when crisis arise. Between 1763 and 1783 we held six or seven conventions New England held the Hartford Convention, and if it were not for the level minded in the room they would have ceded from the Union, with Britain's help!

Get this book, buy more books to come behind it! I also have on my shelf waiting for me to finish the other book by Hickey another 1812 jewel: The Civil War of 1812: American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Rebels, & Indian Allies - get this book, too. It is written by the UC at Berkeley Dept of American History Chair & the same man is the Dept of Canadian History Chair. This gives him incredibly valuable insite where Mr. Taylor calls the War of 1812 "The War of Four Civil Wars", ie., American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Rebels, & Indian Allies. I intend on delving into Taylor's book immediately after Hickey's authoritative book. . more


The War of 1812, A Short History

This abridged edition of Donald R. Hickey's comprehensive and authoritative The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict has been thoroughly revised for the 200th anniversary of the historic conflict. A myth-shattering study that will inform and entertain students and general readers alike, The War of 1812: A Short History explores the military, diplomatic, and domestic history of our second war with Great Britain, bringing the study up to date with recent scholarship on all aspects of the war, from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada.

With new information on military operations, logistics, and the use and capabilities of weaponry, The War of 1812: A Short History explains how the war promoted American nationalism, reinforced the notion of manifest destiny, stimulated peacetime defense spending, and enhanced America's reputation abroad. Hickey also concludes that the war sparked bloody conflicts between pro-war Republican and anti-war Federalist neighbors, dealt a crippling blow to the independence and treaty rights of American Indians, and solidified the United States' antipathy toward the British. Ideal for students and history buffs, this special edition includes selected illustrations, maps, a chronology of major events during the war, and a list of suggested further reading.


The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict

Like all nations, Americans remember the parts of our history that we want to remember, the stuff that makes us look like we’re number one. Because there was very little to want to remember about the War of 1812, we chose to forget most of it.

Hickey covers all aspects of this conflict, at least from the American side. He begins with the disputes which led to the conflict. The divisions within the United States, both geographical and political, receive good treatment.The war created a division be Like all nations, Americans remember the parts of our history that we want to remember, the stuff that makes us look like we’re number one. Because there was very little to want to remember about the War of 1812, we chose to forget most of it.

Hickey covers all aspects of this conflict, at least from the American side. He begins with the disputes which led to the conflict. The divisions within the United States, both geographical and political, receive good treatment.The war created a division between commercial, Federalist New England and the agricultural, Democratic-Republican south and west. The hardships of the war provided a boost for the declining Federalist Party, but with the return of peace, its decline toward oblivion resumed at a rapid pace. The economic interests of the various sections are also given good coverage.

This was, in fact, probably America's most unpopular war, Vietnam notwithstanding. The British impressment of seamen, American lust for Canada and resentment resulting from British incitement of Indians, combined to put together a political majority for war. Some of the maritime issues had led to a series of economic responses over several years prior to the commencement of hostilities. The initial efforts to resolve the issues were a series of shifting and conflicting economic measures, including boycotts and trade restrictions which began before and continued during the war.

The portrait of President Madison as a relatively weak, unsuccessful wartime leader is skillfully painted. As is the case with other some American leaders, Madison appears to be one whose greatest days occurred before he achieved the office for which he is best remembered. Madison's role in the drafting and adoption of the Constitution provided major contributions to his country, while his service as Chief Executive was one of the more lackluster performances in that office.

America's greatest success in the war occurred, not in the field, but at the peace conference. This is the exception to Will Rogers' statement that America has never lost a war or won a conference. Despite representing a government with a smoldering capitol and much of Maine in enemy hands, the negotiators emerged with a return to the prewar borders and a settlement (sort of) of the maritime issues which had led to the war.

After reading this book, one is left with the conclusion that the War of 1812 was probably an unprofitable war for the U.S. At its end the borders were unchanged and the maritime issues which were resolved would probably have been resolved with the advent of peace in Europe without the necessity of American involvement in the war. The reader is left with the feeling that the war left America with no lasting collateral benefits to compensate for the loss of life and treasure occasioned by the struggle. The war was sort of about grabbing land and westward expansion, but not really. Manifest Destiny didn’t cause the war. Canada was not the end, but the means. The end was to force the british to cave on their position on impressment.

One of the myths of the War of 1812 is that the British were mounting a second American revolution, trying to get back what they'd lost in 1776. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the British were largely distracted with a much more pressing conflict against Napoleon's armies on the continent of Europe and America chose this moment to prosecute some fairly minor grievances, in effect yanking their tail while they were in a fierce dog fight with France. The fact that they didn't turn around and rip us to pieces, particularly after the war in Europe ended and they could devote all their attention to us, speaks well of their restraint - as well as their national exhaustion after years of fighting. Also, the British did not assign much priority to the peace conference in Ghent, being at the time concerned with the far more pressing matter of carving up post-Napoleonic Europe.

In all, this is probably the best history of the whole war that you will find. See also Alan Taylor's and Stephen Budiansky's books on the war as well for a good all-around picture. . more


3 books on the War of 1812

As we commemorate the 200th anniversary of the first major war waged by the new United States, what happened starting in 1812 remains poorly understood. This was a conflict, after all, in which the greatest battle was by definition not decisive because, unbeknownst to the armies fighting it, it occurred in remote New Orleans in January of 1815, after peace had been declared. Here are three books to help us see through the murk left by the cannonfire .

1In 1812: The Navy’s War (Basic, $32.50), George C. Daughan observes that “there was a certain inevitability about the War of 1812.” Its origins lay in a lingering Yankee belief that Great Britain had never accepted the loss of its American colonies, a suspicion that was confirmed when the British adopted the high-handed policy of impressing — or drafting into service — seamen from U.S. vessels during the naval portion of Britain’s wars with Napoleon. The British were supposed to impress only their own citizens, but sometimes they nabbed Americans as well. As Daughan succinctly puts it, “Nothing rankled Americans more than the issue of impressment.” The impressers, however, considered the practice “essential to the Royal Navy and thus to British security. Calling the practice into question was, in their view, tantamount to asking the country to abandon the main weapon in her life-and-death struggle with Napoleon.”

2 The War of 1812 seems to have had more than its fair share of spectacle. There were those bombs bursting in air about which Francis Scott Key waxed so lyrical. And there was the battle chronicled in Knights of the Sea: The True Story of the Boxer and the Enterprise and the War of 1812 , by David Hanna (Caliber, $25.95). The fight, which took place on Sept. 5, 1813, became a show by virtue of taking place within sight of land, namely Pemaquid Point, Maine, residents of which, Hanna writes, “ ‘strained their necks’ to determine who the victor was” — the brig USS Enterprise.

Battle of New Orleans and death of Maj. Gen. Packenham. (Library of Congress)

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Top 10 Books on The War of 1812

The War of 1812 was a war between the United States, The United Kingdom, and their allies. Since the outbreak of the war, Britain enforced a naval blockade to block the neutral trade. After the outbreak of the Napoleonic war, Britain impressed the Merchant sailors of America to join their Navy. In 1811, the British were furious by the Little Belt affair in which 11 of the sailors died. The British Indians conducted various raids on the settlers of the frontier which stopped American expansion.

With the majority of American army fighting against Napoleon, the British we witty enough to adopt a defensive strategy which prosecuted the Americans and suffered from Unpopularity. America was defeated in the at the Siege of Detroit and the battle proved to be a threat to seize back upper Canada. It went on for 2 years 8 months and a treaty was formed which was unanimously approved by the American States in the year 1815.


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