The Aftermath

The Aftermath

After the Battle of the Thames, both the Detroit frontier and the southwestern region of present-day Ontario were in the hands of the Americans.  Although the area was frequently the target of raids by American troops, no other major battles took place in the area.

The war ended with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent on December 24, 1814.  Unfortunately, communication dispatches announcing peace took weeks to reach North America, and so American and British troops proceeded to fight the Battle of New Orleans on January 8, 1815.

Who truly won the War of 1812?  Americans recognize the war as the second War of Independence from the British who had begun to make moves to control some of the United States’ trade routes. Canadians claim that they won the War of 1812 because they were able to resist a major American takeover and attain an unprecedented level of national unity. The end of the war, however, did not signal a transfer of land or the capitulation of one country to another.

Though it is difficult to determine a clear winner, it is evident that First Nations on both sides of the border suffered the greatest losses. The death of Tecumseh signaled the end of the pan-Aboriginal confederacy and increased the marginalization of First Nations rights.

The War of 1812 was a defining moment for North America. It resulted in the formal creation of national borders and a formal recognition of two independent nations.  There has not been major conflict between Canada and the United States for the past 200 years.

This image was created by the Americans in 1814 to celebrate the Peace of Ghent, which marked the end of the war. The image shows Minerva dictating the terms of the peace, which Mercury delivers to Britannia and Hercules compels her to accept. The image makes clear that the conclusion of the war is remembered differently by both sides.

“Peace of Ghent 1814 and triumph of America” by Alexis Chataigner. Courtesy of the Library of Congress LC-USZ62-3686

Leave a Reply