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The War of 1812
Breakfast on the Farm The Invasion of Baltimore, Part 1



Breakfast on the Farm The Invasion of Baltimore, Part 1
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 9 to 12
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.28

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    billeted, contentious, counterattack, courtly, cupola, leisurely, militiamen, prophetic, resplendent, retribution, riffraff, termination, unintentionally, violation, tranquil, grudge
     content words:    North America, United States, Washington D. C., Using Baltimore, Royal Navy, Fort McHenry, British Empire, American General Sam Smith, On September, Federal Hill


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Breakfast on the Farm The Invasion of Baltimore, Part 1
By Toni Lee Robinson
  

1     In late summer of 1814, a major British force arrived in North America. The termination of Britain's war with France had released the troops to be deployed in England's second conflict with the United States. As they approached the shores of the contentious former colony, the British officers and their men had a sizeable chip on their shoulders. In fact, they were carrying more than one. The invasion and burning of Washington D.C. had resulted in a quite satisfactory settling of one score. It was just retribution for the burning of York (modern-day Toronto) by riffraff American militia a year earlier.
 
2     Now the British headed for Baltimore, motivated by another grudge. The Maryland city, referred to by Britain as "that nest of pirates," was a hotbed of American privateering. The privateers were the owners and crews of ships that roamed the seas seizing British merchant ships. Using Baltimore as a base, the wretched bandits had stolen some 825 ships in 1814. Now the British aimed to stop the pirates and punish the city that harbored them. They planned a two-pronged attack.
 
3     First, the Royal Navy would overpower the fort that guarded the harbor. The British guns had a far greater range than the fort's cannon. The British fleet could pound the fort from a mile or more out in the bay, and there was little the Yanks could do about it. The destruction of the harbor fort, which the Yankees called Fort McHenry, would leave the city defenseless. British ground forces would land well ahead of time, prepared to march in and take the city as soon as they received news that the fort had been conquered. Then the city of the privateers would suffer the wrath of the mighty British Empire.

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