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The War of 1812
The Burning of Washington



The Burning of Washington
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   high interest, readability grades 4 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.44

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    burning, resistance, refused, setting, weaken, supplies, general, attack, public, defend, order, anthem, goods, allow, damage, fuel
     content words:    United States, Attacking Washington, Robert Ross, On August, Capitol Hill, Thomas Jefferson, Dolly Madison, White House, United States Treasury, Patent Office


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The Burning of Washington
By Cathy Pearl
  

1     The War of 1812 is not talked about a lot. This war was fought early in the nation's history. Our national anthem was written during this war. The war showed other nations that the United States was strong. Britain damaged many things in the war. One of the things that Britain damaged was Washington, D.C.
 
2     Washington was not a large city in 1814. Only eight thousand people lived there. Some of these people were slaves. This did not matter to Britain. They wanted to make the American soldiers weaker. They thought attacking the capital would do this. Britain also wanted to get revenge for things that America had done to Canada.
 
3     In August of 1814, the Americans were beaten outside of the city. This opened up a clear path straight to the capital. Attacking Washington was part of a bigger plan. It was the first of three attacks. Britain thought that by attacking three important cities, it could win the war.
 
4     The British general was named Robert Ross. On August 25th, he marched his troops to Capitol Hill. There were not enough troops to stay in the city. Ross thought the best thing to do was destroy as much as they could. The soldiers met little or no resistance.
 
5     Before the soldiers arrived in Washington, the city was evacuated. The president had left days before. He thought there would be a plan to defend the city. There wasn't one. Everyone had to run away as quickly as they could. Americans who ran blew up the Navy yard before they left. They didn't want the British soldiers to get any supplies.

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The War of 1812
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