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200 Years of Peace

December 24, 2014

In 1812 Henry Clay was a war hawk.  Although the United States had legitimate grievances against Great Britain, Clay also saw an opportunity to seize Canada.  President Madison eventually agreed with Clay, asked Congress for a declaration of war, and made the conquest of Canada his first objective.  He failed miserably.

The War of 1812 continued through 1813.  In August 1814 the President and Mrs. Madison fled Washington while the British burned the Capitol Building and the White House.

On Christmas Eve 1814 the war was officially ended.  Canada was not conquered, and the border was returned to its prewar status.  Among those on the American side who negotiated the Treaty of Ghent were future President John Quincy Adams and future presidential candidate and one-time war hawk Henry Clay.

One Comment
  1. Gary Crompton permalink

    There are historical markers in Ontario near the systems of locks, built to allow for transportation from lake to lake, that diplomatically state they were built in part to protect Canada from the aggressors from the south. It is hard to imagine today a war with Canada.

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