What started the War
Part of my family Jacob Swackhamer (while not even British by birth), sided with the Brits during the war of 1812. These were people who had left the United States and settled in Upper Canada. They are known as the United Empire Loyalists. (UEL)
According to what is written a combination of things caused the War of 1812. British naval officers were boarding American ships and forcibly enlisting sailors in order to prevent the Americans from trading with France. As well, the Americans believed that the British were instrumental in encouraging the resistance of First Nation people in their endeavour to push westward and claim more land.
The United States planned to eventually take over both Upper (Ontario) and Lower (Québec) in one massive attack. This attack would take place at four places strategically planned in advance. Detroit, the Niagara region, Kingston and Châteauguay (south of Montréal). If they had been successful they would have gone on to capture Québec City preventing the British troops from moving up the St-Lawrence River and into the Great Lakes. This however did not happen, in large part due to the help the British received from First Nations people.
Neither side could really claim victory and the Treaty of Ghent signed on December 24th 1914 maintained the status quo. The British remained independent from the United States and would eventually, more than 50 years later, become what we now know as Canada.
This War, while costing the Americans dearly gave them their independence as a nation and severed their ties with Great Britain. The words of Francis Scott Key, an officer for the Americans, would become the American National Anthem.
The indigenous people of America were themselves a crucial part of the War as the fought alongside the British. Without them the success of British may not have been. However they were unable to protect their own territory. A key player here was Oshawana, a chief in the Ojibwa Nation, who, after the war continued to negotiate for his people with their rights.
Major-General Isaac Brock
Brock commanded the defence of Upper Canada at the beginning of the War but died at Queenston Heights in October 1812. While Brock lost his life in the battle, the outcome of the battle was successful in stopping an American invasion.
One of our most famous war heroes was none other than Laura Secord. Fiercely loyal to the British crown she made a 32 kilometre walk to warn the Brits of an attack. She also, along the way, alerted a party of Mohawk warriors. These same warriors ambushed the American troops, forcing them to surrender. The fight took place on the Niagara peninsula at Beaver Dam June 24th 1913.
Colonel de Salaberry
At the same time Colonel de Salaberry, a veteran from the war against Napoleon, commanded an army consisting of not only militia but also colonial regulars and First Nation people. This fight took place near Montréal at the battle of Châteauguay on October 26th 1913. The Americans were forced to turn back.
Again the Native American fought alongside the British, led by Tecumseh at Thames. Tecumseh led a great army of warriors alongside the British. Tecumseh had hoped for support from the British to defend their homeland. He was killed at Thames October 5th 1813 dashing the coalition for his people.