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The War of 1812 as the Conclusion of the American Revolution

For a long time in American historiography, the war of 1812 was considered nothing less than the second war of the United States for independence. Patriotic historians argued that conflict was inevitable between the republican United States and monarchical Britain, which could never forgive declarations of independence. There was no room for contradictions or doubts within the framework of their logical and straightforward concept. The United States had more than enough reasons for dissatisfaction with the actions of England, the vast majority of the American people loudly demanded to resort to arms. Accordingly, Congress had no choice but to adopt a declaration of war. However, while the War of 1812 undoubtedly continued the American Revolution, it certainly did not conclude it.

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Indeed, the war with Britain promoted patriotism and the American national idea. As Locke and Wright (2019) note, “Because the war mostly cut off America’s trade with Europe, it also encouraged Americans to see themselves as different and separate.” However, the Treaty of Ghent did not change anything structurally and systemically, returning the agreements between the United States and Britain to pre-war status, ​​thus, undermining initial claims regarding independence.

It is important to recognize that the very fact that the treaty was signed, coupled with Jackson’s victory, meant a lot to American public opinion. In the United States, the national industry was firmly entrenched, the Federalist party finally disintegrated, and the separatism of New England was put to an end. However, the “era of good feelings” was still far away because despite the outlines of unity among diverse people and nations, “political limits continued along with class, gender, and racial and ethnic lines” (Locke & Wright, 2019). The American people still had to pursue their revolutionary line in order to carry out industrialization and development and overcome social fragmentation and division into “true” Americans and “others” within the country.

Though the 1812 war was far not as popular as the Revolutionary War or Civil War, it had immense effects on the United States becoming a strong independent nation. For instance, after the war of 1812, the United States relied on strengthening the navy and the army: the war showed that the militias were not capable of conducting severe long-term campaigns and professionally handling artillery.

Reference

Locke, J. L., & Wright, B. (2019). The New Republic. In The American Yawp (pp. 171–197). Amsterdam University Press.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "The War of 1812 as the Conclusion of the American Revolution." December 2, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/the-war-of-1812-as-the-conclusion-of-the-american-revolution/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'The War of 1812 as the Conclusion of the American Revolution'. 2 December.

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