War of 1812

Week 9: War of 1812


READ K – 5: The Battle for Saint Michaels by Emily McCully & Read “Note” below

6 – 8:  The War of 1812 by Rebecca Stefoff & Read “Note” below


Note: The Revolutionary War ended in 1783.  The United States was free of Great Britain’s control, but peace didn’t last.  Great Britain continued to frustrate the United States for many reasons:

  1. British soldiers refused to leave forts on U.S. soil.
  2. They armed Native Americans and encouraged them to attack American frontier settlements.   They allied with Indian chief Tecumseh and his brother.   Tecumseh’s aim was to unite all Native Americans against Americans.  (Native Americans were angry because their land was steadily being taken away by Americans.)
  3. British sea captains seized U.S. sailors and forced them to become sailors on their own ships.
  4. Both Britain and France tried to block American ships from reaching their rival’s ports.   They hoped to prevent each other from receiving American products.

 Congress declared war on Great Britain in 1812.  James Madison was President at the time.  The U.S. had many weaknesses:

  1. Untrained, new soldiers
  2. Old generals (out of practice)
  3. Small navy
  4. Many Americans were against the war

 Many of the battles were fought in Canada.  British soldiers had the help of Tecumseh and his Native American followers.  Many battles were fought at sea.  Great Britain blocked the East Coast with their ships.  They also burned the government buildings in Washington D.C.    However, U.S. forces were very successful during battles in Canada and Baltimore.  Its navy was small, but some of its ships were among the fastest at the time and were successful in sea battles.  Finally British and American government officials decided to try to end the war by written agreement rather than victory.  It was becoming too costly.  The Treaty of Ghent was signed in December 1814 ending the war, but because information traveled so slowly back then, word did not reach the soldiers until a few months later.  Meanwhile soldiers on both sides continued to battle.  The Americans won a major battle in New Orleans in January of 1815.  Congress did not approve the Treaty of Ghent until February of 1815.


 Neither country earned more land from the Treaty, although the British stopped impressing sailors.  British in Canada stopped supporting Native Americans, who lost more land, great leaders, and many lives.  Two American generals, William Henry Harrison, and Andrew Jackson, played important parts in the War of 1812 and eventually became U.S. Presidents.  The U.S. lost many American lives but won respect worldwide as a powerful nation.



  • In what year did the War of 1812 begin? (1812)
  • Why did America declare War on Great Britain? (Britain was arming Native Americans and encouraging them to attack Americans, they wouldn’t leave old forts, they were impressing American sailors into service, they were blocking our ships from trading.)
  • Who was President during the War of 1812? (Madison)
  • What great American city had many of its buildings burned? (Washington D.C.)
  • T/F All the battles were fought on U.S. soil.  (False, many fought in Canada and at sea)
  • What great Indian leader fought against the U.S? (Tecumseh)
  • What were some of the U.S.’s weaknesses? (untrained new soldiers, old generals, small navy, not all Americans supported the war)
  • T/F The war ended because the U.S. won all the major battles. (False; leaders got together and peacefully planned to end the war)
  • Why were battles still fought after the Peace Treaty was signed? (information travelled very slowly back then)
  • Who was hurt the most during the war? (Native Americans – lost many lives and more land)
  • What two American generals of the War of 1812 later became president? (William Henry Harrison & Andrew Jackson)


ACTIVITIES: K – 3: Click Here: http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/images/h74000/h74523.jpg and print this picture. It is an image of the USS Hornet battling the British ship, the HMS Penguin during the War of 1812.  Have fun coloring the picture.

4 – 5:  Print out this map:  http://filebox.vt.edu/users/bgilkers/digitaltimeline/war1812.htm

It lists the major battles of the War of 1812.   Use it to complete the War of 1812 Worksheet by clicking here: worksheet war of 1812(word doc) or here:  worksheet war of 1812 (pdf) Answers to the worksheet questions are listed below in parentheses.

  1. In what year(s) were most of the major battles fought? (1813; 1814)
  2. Where were most of the major battles fought? (northern states; southern Canada)
  3. Near what lakes were most the major battles fought? (Great Lakes)
  4. Name three forts listed on the map. (Ft. Dearborn, Ft. McHenry, Ft. Michilimackinac)
  5. What major battle was fought in the South? (New Orleans)
  6. In what year was the last major battle fought? (1815)

6 – 8: Click on this link and print out pages 3 – 5 of this lesson plan.  http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/en/education/pdf/Gr7_1812_Advantage.pdf

Cut out the fact cards on pages 3 and 4.  Then, arrange each fact card under the appropriate column on the page 5 “Who Has the Advantage?” chart.


Copyright February 28th, 2014 by Gwen Fredette


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Filed under Charlotte Mason, Westward Expansion

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