The Cost of 1812
The War of 1812 was an interesting war. The United States was not quite ready to fight but declared war anyway. The British were busy against Napoleon in Europe, so fought the first half as an afterthought. The Natives involved pretty much knew that no matter who won they would be the losers.
When the war started in June 1812 the land forces of the United States numbered approximately 7,000 men that would face off against 5,200 British soldiers in the New World. By the end of the war, the US would field over 35,000 men including close to half a million militiamen. The British would put over 48,000 men in the field, another ten thousand Provincial regulars and four thousand militia. As far as Natives, the American allies provided at least 125 Choctaw Indians and scores from other tribes, the British could count on over ten thousand warriors.
In almost two and half years of fighting the Americans invaded Canada, the British invaded the United States. Both sides won and lost at sea but neither gained much ground. With the “final” defeat of Napoleon in 1814, the British found themselves in a position to put their full weight into the war. Not long after both sides had enough fighting and a treaty was agreed on.
Almost 15,000 US soldiers died from combat and disease. The British lost about 7,000. In the end, no borders changed, no grievances were resolved and things went back to pretty much the way it was before the war.
Oh and the natives? They continued to fight the Americans and without the support of the British, did not fare well. The last hope for the Natives pretty much ended with the end of the War of 1812. Now they were all that stood between the people of the United States and their Manifest Destiny.