War Of 1812

February 13, 2012 by staff 

War Of 1812, The War of 1812 may be one of the world’s oddest conflicts, if only because both sides are confident they won.  A  new survey suggests Canadians and Americans have vastly divergent attitudes towards the border war that broke out in 1812 and bumbled along for three years.

Americans see it as a war that produced their national anthem. Canadians see it as a war which saved them from American assimilation and preserved them from American politics, gun laws and shared citizenship with Snooki of “Jersey Shore.”

During the course of the war, the Americans repeatedly tried to invade and were repeatedly repulsed, by often-outnumbered mixes of British redcoats, Canadian militia and aboriginal allies.

The Ipsos Reid poll conducted for the Historica Dominion Institute for the bicentennial of the war found that 54 per cent of Canadians felt the most significant outcome was that the invaders were turned back.

Given a list of things which might define Canadian identity, 53 per cent of respondents picked universal health care, but winning the War of 1812 and squelching the American invasion was ranked second, with 25 per cent support.

Americans had a dramatically different take. For a third of them, the key outcome of the war was their national anthem. Francis Scott Key wrote the words to the Star Spangled Banner after watching a British naval bombardment of Baltimore’s Fort McHenry in September 1814. A plurality of 36 per cent saw no significant outcome at all.

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