War of 1812
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British Dictionary definitions for war of 1812
Cultural definitions for war of 1812
A war between Britain and the United States, fought between 1812 and 1815. The War of 1812 has also been called the second American war for independence. It began over alleged British violations of American shipping rights, such as the impressment of seamen — the forcing of American merchant sailors to serve on British ships. American soldiers attacked Canada unsuccessfully in the war, and the British retaliated by burning the White House and other buildings in Washington, D.C. American warships frequently prevailed over British vessels (see “We have met the enemy, and they are ours”). The greatest victory for the Americans came in the Battle of New Orleans, in which Andrew Jackson was the commanding general — a battle fought, ironically, two weeks after the peace treaty ending the war had been signed, but before the armies could be informed. (See also “The Star-Spangled Banner.”)