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By J. C. A. Stagg

This booklet is a story background of the numerous dimensions of the conflict of 1812 - social, diplomatic, army, and political - which areas the war's origins and behavior in transatlantic point of view. The occasions of 1812-1815 have been formed via the bigger predicament of the Napoleonic Wars in Europe. In synthesizing and reinterpreting scholarship at the struggle, Professor J. C. A. Stagg specializes in the conflict as a continental occasion, highlighting its centrality to Canadian nationalism and kingdom improvement. The publication introduces the struggle to scholars and normal readers, concluding that it ended in some ways from an rising geographical region attempting to deal with the results of rival ecu nationalisms, either in Europe itself and within the Atlantic global.

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See Sean Mills, “French Canadians and the Beginning of the War of 1812: Revisiting the Lachine Riot,” Histoire Sociale/Social History 35 (2005): 37–57. ; Toronto, 1887–1898), 8:579– 80. 14 Yet not all nineteenth-century British writers were as hostile as James. 15 Memoirs produced by veterans of the war, invariably officers, many of whom had served in both Europe and North America, also enjoyed considerable popularity. By far the bestknown example of this genre is the epistolary account of the campaigns of the British army against Washington and New Orleans in 1814–1815 by George Robert Gleig, a young ensign who had served with the Duke of Wellington in Spain before being transferred across the Atlantic.

After Trafalgar Napoleon was powerless to contend with Great Britain on the oceans, but as he gained more control over central and Eastern 30 The War of 1812 Europe in 1806 and 1807, he took what countermeasures he could. Following the defeat of Prussia at the Battle of Jena in November 1806, the French emperor inaugurated his Continental System with the Berlin Decree, a blockade in reverse that prohibited all trade by any nation with Great Britain and subjected all goods and merchandise of British origin to confiscation.

This was a prospect that inspired the British army to make far more vigorous efforts to defend Canada than its American counterpart ever made for its conquest. The responses of ordinary Canadians to the war, however, suggests that their attitudes and conduct were often ambiguous and ambivalent and that they should not, in all fairness, be described as either proBritish or anti-American. 10 In the Maritimes, the War of 1812 was far less problematic. Protected by the Royal Navy in Halifax, the provinces’ inhabitants were free either to engage in privateering or to enjoy a prosperous trade borne of wartime conditions, especially by trading, or rather smuggling, with their supposed enemies in New England.

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