America's 'Adolescence' and the War of 1812

Monday, June 18, 2012

Two hundred years ago today, the War of 1812 began. The United States was still in its infancy when Congress declared war, but by the time the Americans and British signed the Treaty of Ghent in 1815, the U.S. had emerged from its adolescence into adulthood.

The War of 1812 gave us our national anthem, penned by Frances Scott Key as he watched the British attack Fort McHenry. Americans found their official war hero in Andrew Jackson, who brutally defeated the Creek Indians and then fought the Battle of New Orleans. Perhaps most significantly, the War of 1812 forced President James Madison to realize that for the U.S. to be considered a major world player, the country needed a trained, standing Army and Navy, as well as a national banking system. 

Historians Kenneth C. Davis and Don Hickey explore the significance and lasting impact of the War of 1812. Mr. Davis is the author of "Don't Know Much About History" and the forthcoming "Don't Know Much About the American Presidents."


Kenneth C. Davis and Don Hickey

Produced by:

Jillian Weinberger

Comments [2]

edgar hicks from Nebraska

Dr. Hickey also appears today (August 30, 2014)in a Wall Street Journal article on the state of Maryland spotlighting and funding awareness of the War of 1812 (tourist attraction?).

Aug. 30 2014 01:52 PM
Lorena Barron from Windsor, Omtario

I was interested to listen to the story of the war of 1812. I was disappointed that it wasn't mentioned that for the first time in history, the US invaded Canada. I live in the area of Canada near Detroit where this occurred. Of course they were defeated here and that is never talked about. As a side note, it is pronounced "Tek-um-see". As a Canadian I always find the varying versions of history amusing.

Jun. 18 2012 09:41 AM

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