The Civil War of 1812

The Civil War of 1812

American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Rebels, & Indian Allies

Book - 2011
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In the early nineteenth century, Britons and Americans renewed their struggle over the legacy of the American Revolution, leading to a second confrontation that redefined North America. Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Alan Taylor's vivid narrative tells the riveting story of the soldiers, immigrants, settlers, and Indians who fought to determine the fate of a continent. Would revolutionary republicanism sweep the British from Canada? Or would the British contain, divide, and ruin the shaky republic?

In a world of double identities, slippery allegiances, and porous boundaries, the leaders of the republic and of the empire struggled to control their own diverse peoples. The border divided Americans--former Loyalists and Patriots--who fought on both sides in the new war, as did native peoples defending their homelands. And dissident Americans flirted with secession while aiding the British as smugglers and spies.

During the war, both sides struggled to sustain armies in a northern land of immense forests, vast lakes, and stark seasonal swings in the weather. After fighting each other to a standstill, the Americans and the British concluded that they could safely share the continent along a border that favored the United States at the expense of Canadians and Indians.

Moving beyond national histories to examine the lives of common men and women, The Civil War of 1812 reveals an often brutal (sometimes comic) war and illuminates the tangled origins of the United States and Canada.

Moving beyond national histories to examine the lives of common men and women, The Civil War of 1812 reveals an often brutal (sometimes comic) war and illuminates the tangled origins of the United States and Canada.

Publisher: New York : Vintage Books, 2011
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780679776734
Branch Call Number: ANF 973.52 TAY
Characteristics: vii, 620 p. : ill., maps ; 21 cm

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Norman C. Smith
Dec 08, 2011

This is a well-written and well-balanced history of the War of 1812, dealing primarily with the war in Upper Canada. The author's thesis is that the war was essentially a civil war because the people on all sides were divided by the war. He identifies at least three sides - British, American, and native - with the natives being the one unequivally losing side in the conflict.

Though Taylor is an American author, he writes about the origins of Upper Canada with a great deal of insight, perhaps being able to see the forest more clearly for not beeing within it.

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