The “War of 1812” is largely a “forgotten” war. Although a few Americans know this war was between the Great Britain and the USA, many would be surprised to learn that America declared war on Britain–the world’s only super-power of that era. Americans even invaded Canada and fought against a “United States” of Indian tribes. Few of us understand this war’s causes, personalities, or consequences.
For most of us, this war is presumed to be a minor anecdote in American history somewhat akin to our invasion of the island of Grenada in A.D. 1983. In fact, this war was often characterized by incompetent generals, cowardly militia members and idiotic choices. There’s no clear victor. The only real losers were the American Indians. This war wasn’t won by any side so much as simply discontinued when Britain finally defeated Napoleon at Waterloo..
Even so, the “War of 1812” may have been our single, most important war since it established America’s ability to fight as a nation, to survive, to defeat the world’s only super-power, and even laid the foundation for much of what later became the American “character”.
This war is strange in that at least three extraordinary events (a hurricane, a tornado, and the Battle of New Orleans wherein over 2,000 British soldiers died while Andrew Jackson’s numerically-inferior forces suffered just 13 deaths) took place that seem virtually impossible without God’s intervention. I doubt that American has God’s blessing today. I’m sure we had it in A.D. 1812.
I know you’re busy and you probably won’t take time to watch this 2.5 hour documentary on the “War of 1812”. But you should. It’s worth your time. It’s worth your kids’ time. It’s the story of heroes and fools and the Hand of God. It’s well-done, informative and sometimes inspiring. Unlike the past several administrations in Washington, DC, this video can remind you of what it means to be an American. It can even help rekindle a sense of national pride.
There was a time when America was splendid. That time now seems gone. But it might come again if we can remember and embrace the values seen in this video..