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The War of 1812
If at First You Don't Succeed...The Invasion(s) of Canada



If at First You Don't Succeed...The Invasion(s) of Canada
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 9 to 12
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.78

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    cowardice, hard-won, ill-equipped, indignation, militiamen, proverbial, undisciplined, virtually, disdain, court-martialed, fanned, amok, doorstep, vulnerable, looming, burning
     content words:    Great Britain, Some Americans, Royal Navy, North America, But U. S., While British, Thomas Jefferson, General William Hull, Upper Canada, British Major General Isaac Brock


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If at First You Don't Succeed...The Invasion(s) of Canada
By Toni Lee Robinson
  

1     June 18, 1812, the U.S. Congress declared war on Great Britain. Some Americans called this "the second war of independence." Britain's disdain for hard-won U.S. liberty had angered Americans. The impressment of U.S. citizens into the Royal Navy and the harassment of U.S. ships on the high seas had caused great indignation. Reports that the British had armed and incited native tribes to attack U.S. frontier settlements had fanned the flames of conflict.
 
2     Besides that, in the event of a war, a U.S. triumph could bring other kinds of benefits. Why shouldn't all the rich farmlands and forests of North America belong to the U.S.? Looming on America's northern border were the vast expanses of Canada. British presence there was both a worry and an irritant. With the colonial outpost providing a staging area for British troops, King George's armies were sitting virtually on America's back doorstep.
 
3     The long frontier border would be hard to defend. But U.S. troops had handled the problem before. Great Britain's long, costly war with France could work to U.S. advantage. While British military might was focused elsewhere, the Canadian colony seemed like candy in the hands of the proverbial baby. Swiping it could be a matter of "mere marching," as Thomas Jefferson had mused. Britain had been forced to give up its American colonies. Surely the old enemy could be kicked out of Canada as well.
 
4     In July of 1812, General William Hull was sent to Detroit to man the fort there on America's vulnerable northern border. Hull reached Detroit with his troops, mostly ill-equipped Ohio militiamen. He decided the prize was ripe for the taking and marched on into Upper Canada. To Hull's dismay, he discovered that a force of 1,300 men led by British Major General Isaac Brock was headed his way. Brock's unit of British troops, Canadians, and Native American fighters chased Hull back across the border.

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