Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Tags
Related Content
The War of 1812

The War of 1812 was a conflict fought between the United States of America, and the United Kingdom, from June 1812 to February 1815. Britian often views the conflict as a minor theater of the Napoleonic Wars. The United States and Canada, see it as a war in its own right.

From the outbreak of Napoleonic War (1803-1814), Britian had enforced a naval blockade to choke off neutral trade to France, which the United States contested as illegal under international law. This lead to incidents such as the Chesapeake–Leopard affair, in 1805. This inflamed anti-British sentiment in the United States. In 1811, the British were in turn outraged by the Little Belt affair, in which 11 British sailors died. The tensions came to a head on June 18, 1812, when President James Madison, signed the American declaration of war into law.