What Was the War of 1812?

  • Military ships at sea
Military ships at sea
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The Korean War is nicknamed “the Forgotten War,” but the War of 1812 — fought between the United States and Great Britain just a few decades after America won its independence — certainly rivals it in terms of its lack of place in the collective national memory. Maybe it’s because the war took place two centuries ago; maybe it’s the placement between two major American wars that largely overshadow it (the Revolutionary War and Civil War). Maybe it’s the relatively nondescript name. Whatever the reason, asking the average American for details about the War of 1812 is likely to be met with a shrug. Let’s make some sense of this obscure yet formative conflict.

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