December 24th 1814 The Treaty Of Ghent Was Signed

The War of 1812 is an interesting and sometimes confounding conflict in American history.

From the American side the wars was fought over three things:

The English economic blockade of France was making it difficult for the US merchants to ply their trade, even though the US was a neutral party in the conflict. Often the British would stop, search and seize neutral vessels that it saw as providing support to the French. This disrespect of neutral merchants lead to much animosity between the US and Britain.

Second was the British Navy’s policy if impressment of American sailors. A better term may be kidnapping. When the American ships were stopped and searched occasionally sailors would be taken from he ships and forced to join the British navy.  So close to the end of the Revolution it was often difficult for the men to prove they were American citizens and not run away British sailors.

The third issue was based on the British continuing to support the hostile Indian tribes along the frontier, which often meant using the tribes to fight proxy wars against the United States.

After several years of fighting the war ended in what can only be called a stalemate, which for the Americans was pretty much all they could ask for. This was by far a political war that the US was not ready to fight and even though by the end it accounted itself well, had it gone on any longer the outcome may have been different.

On December 24, 1814 in the town of Ghent in Belgium the American and British commissioners signed the treaty ending the war.  All conquered land was returned to the original owners and a later commission was setup to formalize the US-Canada borders. Nowhere in the treaty were any of the original three complaints addressed.