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The War of 1812
Say "Uncle!" The Strange End of the War of 1812



Say "Uncle!" The Strange End of the War of 1812
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.56

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    buffer, euphoria, ill-conceived, inkling, pre-war, sacked, impressment, secession, battle-hardened, budge, blockade, greatly, anti-war, assault, triumph, scuffle
     content words:    West Indies, In Canada, Native American, Great Lakes, Ohio River, Fort Erie, In September, Lake Champlain, On December, New Orleans


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Say "Uncle!" The Strange End of the War of 1812
By Toni Lee Robinson
  

1     The War of 1812 had become, in today's language, a total drag. After throwing itself into the contest, the U.S. had found that going to war may not have been the best idea. For the most part, U.S. forces were not ready for war. The American army was mostly militia. These "citizen soldiers" came from their fields and offices to face British troops. In the face of battle-hardened British regulars, some panicked U.S. militia had run away. Some had refused to support regular troops in battle.
 
2     To make matters worse, Britain was a primary American trading partner. Quarreling with your best customer is not good for business. The war brought embargos and blockades. American trade suffered greatly. It was now 1814. Two years of war had drained U.S. resources.
 
3     Britain was finding herself weary of war as well. The twenty-two year battle with France had taken its toll. Finally, in 1814, Britain won the contest. Now the full attention of the mighty British military was concentrated on the U.S. Britain began to pour troops into Canada. Naval vessels were sent to strengthen the blockade of the U.S. coast. Thousands more troops were gathered in the West Indies for an attack on the southern U.S.
 
4     It seemed obvious that Britain had the upper hand in the scuffle. In late summer of 1814, the U.S. capital had been sacked. In Canada, 20,000 British troops stood ready for a spring campaign. Surely a total British triumph was certain. The British government felt the time was ripe. The recent tide of war should have "softened up" the U.S. resistance. In peace negotiations, Britain would have an advantage.

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