War Of 1812 Argument Essay

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American forces suffered a devastating defeat during the War of 1812 attempting to annex Canada by ignoring various strategic principles. Many Americans believed the assault would be a cakewalk due to Britain being so distracted by the Napoleonic Wars in Europe. President Thomas Jefferson stated “The acquisition of Canada this year, as far as the neighborhood of Quebec, will be a mere matter of marching.” The overconfidence of Jefferson and his generals violated the principles of mass, security, and economy of force.

What went wrong?
A number of realities were overlooked; terrain, weather, and the general overall physical vastness of Canada. In addition, several factors were either over or underestimated with assumption being the prime antagonist of the Americans defeat. As noted by historian Jesse Greenspan:

“…A number of other factors also favored Canada at the war’s outset. For one thing, the British controlled the Great Lakes and were therefore better able to move troops and supplies. Moreover, they received support from Canadians, who many Americans falsely believed would welcome them as liberators, and from Native American
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The uniqueness of this war stemmed in that it was a stalemate and the last of the North American colonial wars; strangely enough, it has been considered a success by Americans today. Overconfidence and assumption were stemmed from the success of the American Revolutionary War causing politicians to underestimate the ‘enemy’. These ideological flaws lead to the breakdown of a few of what are now known as the nine core principle of warfare. A lesson sorely learned was a lasting appreciation for military strength in preserving the freedom of the country and liberty of its citizens. 6 As the Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin (1816)
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