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What allowed the British to be able to burn Washington D.C. in the war of 1812?

What allowed the British to be able to burn Washington D.C. in the war of 1812?

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The reason I'm asking is because of Washington D.C.'s location. It wasn't easily accessible by land and it wasn't easily traveled to by waterways. In what battles were the British able to get to Washington D.C. to burn down the White House?

British Major General Robert Ross landed his brigade on 18 August 1814 at Benedict, Maryland, less than 40 miles (65 km) from Washington DC. The Royal Navy had blockaded Chesapeake Bay since spring 1813, and the US had built the Chesapeake Bay Flotilla for protection; this was trapped in the Patuxent River, enabling the British to land.

The only significant battle was on 24 August at Bladensburg, about 9 miles from Washington DC, where Ross defeated a larger force of US militia under Brigadier General William H. Winder.

He then immediately proceeded to Washington DC and burnt the White House, Capitol, Navy Yards and other public buildings that night in retaliation for the earlier burning of Toronto (then called York) and other Canadian towns.

Ross then joined the wider British attack on Baltimore, but died in the Battle of North Point on 12 September.

@Henry covered the tactical angle, there's also a strategic one.

The War of 1812, lasting from 1812 to 1815, happened at the tail end of Britain fighting France and Napoleon since 1792. Until 1814 it was a side show for the British, particularly the bulk of the British Navy was preoccupied blockading France and French occupied territory.

But in April 1814 Napoleon was finally defeated and sent into exile by the Sixth Coalition; he'd be back in a year, but the British didn't know that at the time. With the apparent end of the Napoleonic Wars, the British were free to turn their full attention to the war with the US.

The bulk of these forces went to Canada to invade New York, they were defeated in the Battle of Plattsburgh. Some, including a brigade of Duke Wellington's veterans, joined the forces blockading the US Atlantic coast. With these additional forces the British planned two raids, one against Baltimore and one against Washington DC, to divert forces away from the Canadian border.

The US Secretary Of War did not think the British would attack Washington DC as it had little strategic value, choosing to concentrate on defending the important seaport of Baltimore, and so Washington DC was left lightly defended.

11g. The Battle of Saratoga

British general John Burgoyne earned the nickname "Gentleman Johnny" for his love of leisure and his tendency to throw parties between battles. His surrender to American forces at the Battle of Saratoga marked a turning point in the Revolutionary War.

The Battle of Saratoga was the turning point of the Revolutionary War.

The scope of the victory is made clear by a few key facts: On October 17, 1777, 5,895 British and Hessian troops surrendered their arms. General John Burgoyne had lost 86 percent of his expeditionary force that had triumphantly marched into New York from Canada in the early summer of 1777.

Divide and Conquer

The divide-and-conquer strategy that Burgoyne presented to British ministers in London was to invade America from Canada by advancing down the Hudson Valley to Albany. There, he would be joined by other British troops under the command of Sir William Howe. Howe would be bringing his troops north from New Jersey and New York City.

Burgoyne believed that this bold stroke would not only isolate New England from the other American colonies, but achieve command of the Hudson River and demoralize Americans and their would-be allies, such as the French.

Some historians today are unsure if her death came at Native American hands or by other means, but the murder of Jane McCrea united Americans against the British and their Native American allies.

In June 1777, Burgoyne's army of over 7,000 men (half of whom were British troops and the other half Hessian troops from Brunswick and Hesse-Hanau) departed from St. Johns on Lake Champlain, bound for Fort Ticonderoga, at the southern end of the lake.

As the army proceeded southward, Burgoyne drafted and had his men distribute a proclamation that, among other things, included the statement "I have but to give stretch to the Indian forces under my direction, and they amount to thousands," which implied that Britain's enemies would suffer attacks from Native Americans allied to the British.

More than any other act during the campaign, this threat and subsequent widely reported atrocities such as the scalping of Jane McCrea stiffened the resolve of the Americans to do whatever it took to assure that the threat did not become reality.

Round One to the British

The American forces at Fort Ticonderoga recognized that once the British mounted artillery on high ground near the fort, Ticonderoga would be indefensible. A retreat from the Fort was ordered, and the Americans floated troops, cannon, and supplies across Lake Champlain to Mount Independence.

From there the army set out for Hubbardton where the British and German troops caught up with them and gave battle. Round one to the British.

Burgoyne continued his march towards Albany, but miles to the south a disturbing event occurred. Sir William Howe decided to attack the Rebel capital at Philadelphia rather than deploying his army to meet up with Burgoyne and cut off New England from the other Colonies. Meanwhile, as Burgoyne marched south, his supply lines from Canada were becoming longer and less reliable.

I have the honor to inform your Lordship that the enemy [were] dislodged from Ticonderoga and Mount Independent, on the 6th instant, and were driven on the same day, beyond Skenesborough on the right, and the Humerton [Hubbardton] on the left with the loss of 128 pieces of cannon, all their armed vessels and bateaux, the greatest part of their baggage and ammunition, provision and military stores .

&ndash General John Burgoyne, letter to Lord George Germain (1777)

Bennington: "the compleatest Victory gain'd this War"

As Burgoyne and his troops marched down from Canada, the British managed to win several successful campaigns as well as infuriate the colonists. By the time the Burgoyne reached Saratoga, Americans had successfully rallied support to beat him.

In early August, word came that a substantial supply depot at Bennington , Vermont, was alleged to be lightly guarded, and Burgoyne dispatched German troops to take the depot and return with the supplies. This time, however, stiff resistance was encountered, and American general John Stark surrounded and captured almost 500 German soldiers. One observer reported Bennington as "the compleatest Victory gain'd this War."

Burgoyne now realized, too late, that the Loyalists ( Tories ) who were supposed to have come to his aid by the hundreds had not appeared, and that his Native American allies were also undependable.

American general Schuyler proceed to burn supplies and crops in the line of Burgoyne's advance so that the British were forced to rely on their ever-longer and more and more unreliable supply line to Canada. On the American side, General Horatio Gates arrived in New York to take command of the American forces.

Battle of Freeman's Farm

Mask letters, invisible ink, and secret code are the tricks of the trade for any good spy. Loyalist Henry Clinton used a mask letter to communicate with Burgoyne.

By mid-September, with the fall weather reminding Burgoyne that he could not winter where he was and needed to proceed rapidly toward Albany, the British army crossed the Hudson and headed for Saratoga.

On September 19 the two forces met at Freeman's Farm north of Albany . While the British were left as "masters of the field," they sustained heavy human losses. Years later, American Henry Dearborn expressed the sentiment that "we had something more at stake than fighting for six Pence pr Day."

Battle of Saratoga

In late September and during the first week of October 1777, Gate's American army was positioned between Burgoyne's army and Albany. On October 7, Burgoyne took the offensive. The troops crashed together south of the town of Saratoga, and Burgoyne's army was broken. In mop-up operations 86 percent of Burgoyne's command was captured.

The victory gave new life to the American cause at a critical time. Americans had just suffered a major setback the Battle of the Brandywine along with news of the fall of Philadelphia to the British.

One American soldier declared, "It was a glorious sight to see the haughty Brittons march out & surrender their arms to an army which but a little before they despised and called paltroons."

A stupendous American victory in October 1777, the success at Saratoga gave France the confidence in the American cause to enter the war as an American ally . Later American successes owed a great deal to French aid in the form of financial and military assistance.

A Word about Spies

Spies worked for both British and American armies. Secret messages and battle plans were passed in a variety of creative ways, including being sewn into buttons. Patriots and loyalists penned these secret letters either in code, with invisible ink, or as mask letters.

Here is an example of Loyalist Sir Henry Clinton's mask letter. The first letter is the mask letter with the secret message decoded the second is an excerpt of the full letter.

Sir. W. Howe / is gone to the / Chesapeak bay with / the greatest part of the / army. I hear he is / landed but am not / certain. I am / left to command / here with / too small a force / to make any effectual / diversion in your favour. / I shall try something / at any rate. It may be of use / to you. I own to you I think / Sr W's move just at this time / the worst he could take. / Much joy on your success.

&ndash Henry Clinton, letter to John Burgoyne (August 10, 1777)

I shall try some thing certainly/ towards the close / of the year, not till then at any rate. It may be of use to inform you that / report says all yields to you. I own to you that I think the business will / quickly be over now. Sr. W's move just at this time has been capital. / Washingtons have been the worst he could take in every respect. / sincerely give you much joy on your success and am with / great Sincerity your [ ] / HC

&ndash Henry Clinton, letter to John Burgoyne (August 10, 1777)

Benedict Arnold

Benedict Arnold is best remembered as a traitor an American patriot who spied for the British during the American Revolution. But there is more to his story than this sad event.

Arnold was a fierce patriot during the Stamp Act crisis and the early years of the American Revolution. During the battles of Lexington and Concord, Arnold worked with Ethan Allen to capture Fort Ticonderoga and was named a colonel.

As a member of George Washington's Continental Army, he led a failed attack on Quebec, but was nonetheless named brigadier general in 1776.

His next big moment came at the Battle of Saratoga. Here, Benedict Arnold was instrumental in stopping the advance of the British and in obtaining the surrender of British General John Burgoyne.

During the Battle of Freeman's Farm, Arnold's leg was severely wounded when pinned beneath his horse. (Both Arnold and his leg survived, there is a monument to his leg at Saratoga National Historic Park.)

Over the next two years, Benedict Arnold remained a patriot, but was upset and embittered at what he felt was a lack of his recognition and contribution to the war. In 1778, following British evacuation of Philadelphia, George Washington appointed Arnold military commander of the city.

This is where the story gets interesting.

In Philadelphia, Benedict Arnold was introduced to and fell in love with Margaret (Peggy) Shippen , a young, well-to-do loyalist who was half his age. Ms. Shippen had previously been friendly with John André , a British spy who had been in Philadelphia during the occupation as the adjutant to the British commander in chief, Sir Henry Clinton. It is believed that Peggy introduced Arnold to André.

Meanwhile, Benedict Arnold's reputation while in Philadelphia was beginning to tarnish. He was accused of using public wagons for private profit and of being friendly to Loyalists. Faced with a court-martial for corruption, he resigned his post on March 19, 1779.

Following his resignation, Arnold began a correspondence with John André, now chief of British intelligence services. But Arnold had also maintained his close relationship with George Washington and still had access to important information. Over the next few months Benedict Arnold continued his talks with André and agreed to hand over key information to the British. Specifically, Arnold offered to hand over the most strategic fortress in America: West Point .

Arnold and André finally met in person, and Arnold handed over information to the British spy. But, unfortunately for both men, André was caught and Arnold's letter was found. Arnold's friend, George Washington, was heartbroken over the news, but was forced to deal with the treacherous act. While Benedict Arnold escaped to British-occupied New York, where he was protected from punishment.

John André was executed for spying.

Benedict Arnold was named brigadier general by the British government and sent on raids to Virginia. Following Cornwallis's surrender at Yorktown in 1781, Arnold and his family sailed to Britain with his family. He died in London in 1801.


Various tribes of the Algonquian-speaking Piscataway people (also known as the Conoy) inhabited the lands around the Potomac River when Europeans first visited the area in the early 17th century. One group known as the Nacotchtank (also called the Nacostines by Catholic missionaries) maintained settlements around the Anacostia River within the present-day District of Columbia. Conflicts with European colonists and neighboring tribes forced the relocation of the Piscataway people, some of whom established a new settlement in 1699 near Point of Rocks, Maryland. Α]

In his Federalist No. 43, published January 23, 1788, James Madison argued that the new federal government would need authority over a national capital to provide for its own maintenance and safety. Β] Five years earlier, a band of unpaid soldiers besieged Congress while its members were meeting in Philadelphia. Known as the Pennsylvania Mutiny of 1783, the event emphasized the need for the national government not to rely on any state for its own security. Γ]

Article One, Section Eight, of the Constitution permits the establishment of a "District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States". Δ] However, the Constitution does not specify a location for the capital. In what is now known as the Compromise of 1790, Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and Thomas Jefferson came to an agreement that the federal government would pay each state's remaining Revolutionary War debts in exchange for establishing the new national capital in the Southern United States. Ε] [lower-alpha 1]


On July 9, 1790, Congress passed the Residence Act, which approved the creation of a national capital on the Potomac River. The exact location was to be selected by President George Washington, who signed the bill into law on July 16. Formed from land donated by the states of Maryland and Virginia, the initial shape of the federal district was a square measuring 10 miles (16 km) on each side, totaling 100 square miles (259 km 2 ). Ζ] [lower-alpha 2]

Two pre-existing settlements were included in the territory: the port of Georgetown, Maryland, founded in 1751, Η] and the city of Alexandria, Virginia, founded in 1749. ⎖] During 1791–92, Andrew Ellicott and several assistants, including a free African American astronomer named Benjamin Banneker, surveyed the borders of the federal district and placed boundary stones at every mile point. ⎗] Many of the stones are still standing. ⎘]

A new federal city was then constructed on the north bank of the Potomac, to the east of Georgetown. On September 9, 1791, the three commissioners overseeing the capital's construction named the city in honor of President Washington. The federal district was named Columbia, which was a poetic name for the United States commonly in use at that time. ⎙] ⎚] Congress held its first session in Washington on November 17, 1800. ⎛]

Congress passed the Organic Act of 1801, which officially organized the District and placed the entire territory under the exclusive control of the federal government. Further, the unincorporated area within the District was organized into two counties: the County of Washington to the east of the Potomac and the County of Alexandria to the west. ⎜] After the passage of this Act, citizens living in the District were no longer considered residents of Maryland or Virginia, which therefore ended their representation in Congress. ⎝]

On August 24–25, 1814, in a raid known as the Burning of Washington, British forces invaded the capital during the War of 1812. The Capitol, Treasury, and White House were burned and gutted during the attack. ⎞] Most government buildings were repaired quickly however, the Capitol was largely under construction at the time and was not completed in its current form until 1868. ⎟]

Retrocession and the Civil War

In the 1830s, the District's southern territory of Alexandria went into economic decline partly due to neglect by Congress. ⎠] The city of Alexandria was a major market in the American slave trade, and pro-slavery residents feared that abolitionists in Congress would end slavery in the District, further depressing the economy. Alexandria's citizens petitioned Virginia to take back the land it had donated to form the District, through a process known as retrocession. ⎡]

The Virginia General Assembly voted in February 1846 to accept the return of Alexandria and on July 9, 1846, Congress agreed to return all the territory that had been ceded by Virginia. Therefore, the District's current area consists only of the land originally donated by Maryland. ⎠] Confirming the fears of pro-slavery Alexandrians, the Compromise of 1850 outlawed the slave trade in the District, although not slavery itself. ⎢]

The outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861 led to expansion of the federal government and notable growth in the District's population, including a large influx of freed slaves. ⎣] President Abraham Lincoln signed the Compensated Emancipation Act in 1862, which ended slavery in the District of Columbia and freed about 3,100 enslaved persons, nine months prior to the Emancipation Proclamation. ⎤] In 1868, Congress granted the District's African American male residents the right to vote in municipal elections. ⎣]

Growth and redevelopment

By 1870, the District's population had grown 75% from the previous census to nearly 132,000 residents. ⎥] Despite the city's growth, Washington still had dirt roads and lacked basic sanitation. Some members of Congress suggested moving the capital further west, but President Ulysses S. Grant refused to consider such a proposal. ⎦]

Congress passed the Organic Act of 1871, which repealed the individual charters of the cities of Washington and Georgetown, and created a new territorial government for the whole District of Columbia. ⎧] President Grant appointed Alexander Robey Shepherd to the position of governor in 1873. Shepherd authorized large-scale projects that greatly modernized Washington, but ultimately bankrupted the District government. In 1874, Congress replaced the territorial government with an appointed three-member Board of Commissioners. ⎨]

The city's first motorized streetcars began service in 1888 and generated growth in areas of the District beyond the City of Washington's original boundaries. Washington's urban plan was expanded throughout the District in the following decades. ⎩] Georgetown was formally annexed by the City of Washington in 1895. ⎪] However, the city had poor housing conditions and strained public works. Washington was the first city in the nation to undergo urban renewal projects as part of the "City Beautiful movement" in the early 1900s. ⎫]

Increased federal spending as a result of the New Deal in the 1930s led to the construction of new government buildings, memorials, and museums in Washington. ⎬] World War II further increased government activity, adding to the number of federal employees in the capital ⎭] by 1950, the District's population reached its peak of 802,178 residents. ⎥]

Civil rights and home rule era

The Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified in 1961, granting the District three votes in the Electoral College for the election of president and vice president, but still no voting representation in Congress. ⎮]

After the assassination of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on April 4, 1968, riots broke out in the District, primarily in the U Street, 14th Street, 7th Street, and H Street corridors, centers of black residential and commercial areas. The riots raged for three days until more than 13,600 federal troops stopped the violence. Many stores and other buildings were burned rebuilding was not completed until the late 1990s. ⎯]

In 1973, Congress enacted the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, providing for an elected mayor and 13-member council for the District. ⎰] In 1975, Walter Washington became the first elected and first black mayor of the District. ⎱]

On September 11, 2001, terrorists hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 and deliberately crashed the plane into the Pentagon in nearby Arlington, Virginia. United Airlines Flight 93, believed to be destined for Washington, D.C., crashed in Pennsylvania when passengers tried to recover control of the plane from hijackers. ⎲] ⎳]

Horseshoe Bend

The Battle of Horseshoe Bend, fought on March 27, 1814 effectively ended Creek resistance to American advances into the southeast, opening up the Mississippi Territory for pioneer settlement.

By 1812, internal hostilities engulfed the Creek nation, dividing a once strong tribe into two stratified factions, the Lower Creek, who were generally pro-American, and the Upper Creek, who resisted American interference with their traditional way of life. By adopting a quasi-European lifestyle consisting of agriculture, religion and diplomacy, Lower Creeks endeavored to preserve their tribal autonomy by following a precedent set by Cherokees in neighboring Georgia.

On the other hand, traditionalists from the Upper Creek nation strongly opposed the new American-backed National Council, which served as a medium between the Creek and the United States government. Although a derivative of traditional tribal decision making structures, the National Council was detested by Upper Creeks because of its expansion of U.S. power. The resultant rift is known today as the Creek Civil War.

By the summer of 1813, the violence had grown from minor infighting amongst the Creeks, into all-out civil war. In reaction to the chaos, Colonel James Caller of the Mississippi territorial militia mustered 180 men to ambush a band of Upper Creek sympathizing Red Sticks returning from Pensacola with British firearms and ammunition. The ensuing conflict came to be known as the Battle of Burnt Corn Creek. The event sparked a tinder box of retaliatory attacks by the Upper Creeks, triggering large-scale American involvement in the war and eventually the battle of Horseshoe Bend.

On the night of March 26, 1814, Major General Andrew Jackson and a contingent of 3,300 regulars, militiamen, Cherokees and Lower Creek camped six miles north of Horseshoe Bend. The Red Sticks, under direction of Chief Menawa, had fortified their village, Tehopeka, located on the peninsula created by the bend. The daunting log and mud breastwork at the neck of the peninsula made a frontal assault on Tehopeka virtually impossible. An impressed Jackson later described the fortification favorably, “It is impossible to conceive a situation more eligible for defense than the one they had chosen and the skill which they manifested in their breastwork was really astonishing.”

In the morning Jackson launched a two-pronged attack on Tehopeka. Knowing that he couldn’t assault the breastwork head on, he divided his force, sending his second in command General John Coffee and 1,300 militiamen, Lower Creeks and Cherokee on a wide flanking maneuver that would cross the Tallapoosa and surround the Red Sticks. Jackson commenced an ineffective artillery barrage at 10:30 a.m. while Coffee’s men positioned themselves across from Tehopeka.

Once organized on the adjacent banks of the river, Coffee ordered a small contingent to swim across the Tallapoosa and steal the Red Stick’s canoes. Once the canoes were secured, Coffee ordered Colonel Gideon Morgan’s Cherokee Regiment to traverse the river and attack the town itself.

Jackson, who was bombarding the breastwork on the opposite side of the bend, began hearing small arms fire and seeing smoke rising from Tehopeka. Coffee’s men had served as the diversion Jackson needed. Without hesitation he ordered the 39th U.S. Infantry, his most elite unit, to initiate a bayonet charge. Colonel John Williams led the assault accompanied by a young Sam Houston, the future patriarch of Texas. As soon as the 39th scaled the fortification the violence turned from a battle into a slaughter. Women and children were not exempt from the carnage and more than 200 fleeing Red Stick warriors were killed while swimming across the Tallapoosa to safety.

The battle of Horseshoe Bend was a disaster for the Red Sticks, with more than 800 of their 1,000 warriors killed in the fray. Even more significant, the Upper Creek nation had lost its last substantial fighting force. Chief Menawa was wounded seven times during the battle but miraculously escaped after playing dead until nightfall, crawling into a canoe and floating away on the Tallapoosa.

Following the defeat at Horseshoe Bend, the remaining warriors signed the Treaty of Fort Jackson, which ended hostilities and forced the Upper Creeks to cede over 20 million acres to the United States government, virtually half of what is today Alabama. Over the next 15 years, Alabama’s population exploded, growing from a sparsely populated wilderness with under 10,000 inhabitants in 1810, to one of the South’s most vital economic engines by 1830 with a population over 300,000. The Creek would never be able to regain their tribal autonomy and in 1830 with the signing of the “Indian Removal Act” by President Andrew Jackson, the remaining Creeks were forced onto reservations in Oklahoma on the “Trail of Tears.”

The General Becomes a Hero

Word of Jackson’s victory ignited a wave of celebration and national pride in the young United States and a newly earned respect from European powers. On December 24, 1814, American and British negotiators in Belgium agreed to a peace treaty between the two nations. However, by January 8, 1815, word of the treaty had not reached American shores, so neither of the armies, nor the President or Congress, were aware of it. In fact, the Treaty of Ghent was not ratified by Congress and President Madison until February 16, 1815, thus officially ending the War of 1812.

Jackson’s string of military success, despite the obstacles he faced, the poor results of other military leaders during the War of 1812 and his stunning victory at New Orleans made him a celebrated national hero, revered above all others except George Washington.

What allowed the British to be able to burn Washington D.C. in the war of 1812? - History

I. Second Continental Congress -- May 10, 1775
A. All 13 colonies present -- delegates still not interested in independence but rather
redressing of grievances (conservative position).
B. Most significant act of Congress: Selected George Washington to head of the
Continental Army.
-- Selection largely political – Northerns wanted to bring Virginia into the war.
C. Declaration of the Causes & Necessity of Taking Up Arms (Jefferson & Dickinson)
1. Drafted 2nd set of appeals to the king and British people for redress of American
2. Seen as intermediate step towards the Declaration of Independence
-- (Declaration & Resolves frrom 1st Continental Congress was earlier step.)
3. Adopted measures to raise money and to create an army and a navy.
D. Olive Branch Petition (written largely by John Dickinson)
1. Last ditch effort by moderates in the Continental Congress to prevent an all-out war.
2. Once again, professed loyalty to the crown sought to restore peace
3. Appealed to the king to intercede with Parliament to reconsider the “Intolerable Acts”
4. King refused to recognize Congress and the war raged on

II. Early Battles
A. Ticonderoga and Crown Point -- May 1775
1. Tiny forces under Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys of Vermont & Benedict
Arnold of Connecticut surprised & captured Br. garrisons.
B. Bunker Hill – June 17, 1775
1. Colonials seized Breed's Hill -- commanded a strong position overlooking Boston.
2. Over 1,000 oncoming redcoats in ill-conceived frontal assault were mowed down by
1,500 American sharpshooters.
-- Americans had 140 killed and 441 wounnded.
3. American supply of gunpowder ran out and were forced to abandon the hill in disorder.
4. Viewed as an American victory for the frightful British casualties inflicted.
5. Bloodiest battle of the War for Independence
6. British Army left Boston to conduct the war from New York.
C. Following Bunker Hill, King formally proclaimed the colonies in rebellion (Aug. 23, 1775).
1. This was tantamount to a declaration of war against the colonies..
2. 18,000 Hessians (German mercenary soldiers) hired by King to support British forces
-- Colonials shocked that the king wouldd hire forces known as butchers for the war
between Anglo-Saxon cousins.
D. Americans failed to successfully invade Canada in Oct. 1775
-- Yet, invasion postponed large British offensive which eventually contributed to American
victory at Saratoga.

IV. Declaration of Independence
A. Most Americans did not desire independence proud to be British citizens
B. Reasons for shift of loyalty
1. Hiring of Hessians
2. Burning of Falmouth & Norfolk
3. Governor of Virginia promised slaves who would fight for the British would be freed.
-- Impact: persuaded many southern elitee to join New England in the war effort.
C. Thomas Paine’s Common Sense (published early 1776)
1. Became an instant best-seller in the colonies effective propaganda
2. Main ideas:
a. Colonial policy was inconsistent independence was the only course
b. Nowhere in the physical universe did a smaller heavenly body control
a larger one. Why should tiny England control huge North America?
c. King was nothing more than the "Royal Brute of Great Britain."
d. America had a sacred mission moral obligation to the world to set up an
independent, democratic republic, untainted by association with corrupt
monarchical Britain.
3. Persuaded Congress to go all the way for independence
a. Could not hope for aid from France unless they declared independence
b. France not interested in colonial reconstruction under Britain

D. June 7, 1776, Philadelphia Congress, Richard Henry Lee moved for independence.
1. "These United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states. "
2. Motion was adopted on July 2, 1776
3. Yet, formal explanation was needed to rally resistance at home and invite foreign
nations to aid the American cause, especially France.

E. Congress appointed Committee on Independence to prepare an appropriate statement
shortly after Lee's speech on June 7.
1. Task fell to a committee that chose Thomas Jefferson—33-year old Virginia attorney.
--Other members: B. Franklin, J. Adams, Roger Sherman, & Robert Livingston
2. Some debate and amendment had preceded its adoption especially slavery clause
which was heavily modified with some portions being excised.
a. Jefferson had blamed England for continuing the slave trade despite colonial
wishes (despite his owning slaves).
b. Yet, southerners in particular still favored slavery and dismissed the clause.
3. Declaration not addressed to England, nor did signers expect any response from the king.
4. Declaration of Independence formally approved on July 4, 1776

F. Declaration of Independence had three major parts:
1. Preamble (heavily influenced by John Locke)
a. Stated the rights of colonists to break away if natural rights were not protected: Life,
liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (property)
b. All men are created equal
2. List of 27 grievances of the colonies (seen by Congress as most important part)
a. Underwent the most changes from the original draft -- 24 changes
b. Charged the King with imposing taxes w/o consent, eliminating trial by jury, abolishing
valued laws, establishing a military dictatorship, maintaining standing armies in peacetime,
cutting off trade, burning towns, hiring mercenaries, inciting Indian violence upon colonies
3. Formal declaration of independence
a. Officially broke ties with England
b. "United States" officially an independent country

G. Result: Foreign aid could now be successfully solicited

V. Patriots & Loyalists
A. "Tories" (loyalists) = about 20% of the American people
1. Colonists who fought for return to colonial rule loyal to the king.
2. Usually conservative: educated and wealthy fearful of “mob rule.”
3. Older generation apt to be loyalists younger generation more revolutionary
4. King's officers and other beneficiaries of the crown
5. Anglican clergy and a large portion of their followers most numerous of the
loyalists (except in Virginia)
6. Well entrenched in aristocratic NY, Charleston, Quaker PA, and NJ.
7. Least numerous in New England
8. Ineffective at gaining allegiance of neutral colonists
B. Patriots
1. Sometimes called "whigs" after British opposition party
2. American rebels who fought both British soldiers and loyalists
3. Most numerous in New England
4. Constituted a minority movement
5. More adept at gaining support from colonials
6. Financing: Robert Morris, “the financier of the Revolution” helped Congress finance
the war.
C. The Loyalist Exodus
1. Loyalists regarded by Patriots as traitors.
2. About 80,000 loyalists were driven out or fled the colonies
-- Estates confiscated and sold helped finance the war
3. 50,000 fought for the British

VIII. The War in 1776-1777: Britain changed its focus to the former Middle Colonies.
A. Battle of Long Island (Summer & Fall 1776)
1. Washington’s army allowed to escape from Long Island to Manhattan and then NJ.
2. British lost a great opportunity to crush the Americans early.
B. Battle of Trenton (Dec. 1776)
1. Washington crossed the ice-clogged Delaware River on Dec. 26, 1776
2. At Trenton, surprised and captured about 1,000 Hessians who were
sleeping off their Christmas partying.
C. Battle of Princeton (Jan. 1777)
1. One week after Trenton, Washington defeated a smaller British force at Princeton
2. British forced to pull his outposts back to New York
3. Trenton and Princeton was a gamble by Washington to achieve quick victories to revive
the dissintegrating Continental Army.
D. Battle of Saratoga (most important battle of the American Revolution.
1. British sought to capture New York and sever New England from rest of the Colonies
2. Benedict Arnold saved New England by slowing down British invasion of New York
3. General Burgoyne surrendered entire command at Saratoga on Oct. 17,1777
to American General Horatio Gates.
4. Saratoga one of history's most decisive battles
a. Made possible French aid which ultimately ensured American independence.
b. Spanish and Dutch eventually entered and England was faced with world war.
c. Revived the faltering colonial cause
E. Washington retired to Valley Forge for winter of 1777-78
1. Supplies were scarce: food, clothing
2. Army whipped into shape by the Prussian drillmaster Baron von Steuben.
3. Episode demonstrated American resolve despite horrible conditions.
F. Benedict Arnold becomes a traitor in 1780 -- tremdendous blow to American morale
1. Arnold frustrated with his treatment by his superiors despite his heroic service
2. Persuaded Washington to make him head of West Point
3. Plotted with the British to sell out the key stronghold of West Point commanding
the Hudson River
4. Plot accidentally discovered by Washington

IX. Articles of Confederation adopted in 1777 (Drafted by John Dickinson)
A. Set up by 2nd Continental Congress in light of exigencies: need to organize a nation and
an army maintain civil order and establish international recognition and credit defend its
territory from the British and resolve internal quarrels and competition.)
B. Did not go into effect until 1781.
C. First constitution in U.S. history lasted until 1789 when the Constitution was adopted
D. Congress had power to: conduct war, handle foreign relations & secure loans, borrow
E. No power to: regulate trade, conscript troops, levy taxes.

X. France Becomes an Ally
A. French eager to exact revenge on the British for the Seven Years War.
1. Saw Revolutionary war as an opportunity to stab England in the back.
2. New World colonies were England's most valuable overseas possessions
B. Secret supply to the Americans
1. France worried open aid to America might provoke British attacks on French interests.
2. Americans Silas Deane and Benjamin Franklin arranged for significant amounts of
munitions and military supplies to be shipped to America.
-- Helped forge the Franco-American Alliance.
3. Marquis de Lafayette significant in helping Americans gain financial aid from France.
C. Declaration of Independence a turning point for French aid
1. Showed Americans meant business
2. Victory at Saratoga displayed an excellent chance for defeating England
D. Franco-American Alliance, 1778: France offers U.S. a treaty of alliance.
1. Promised Americans recognition of independence.
2. Both sides bound themselves to wage war until the US won its freedom or until
both agreed to terms with Britain.
3. Many Americans reluctantly accepted the treaty.
a. France a strong Roman Catholic country
b. Hitherto a traditional enemy of Britain for centuries.
E. American Revolution turned into a world war that put severe stress on Britain’s resources.
1. Spain and Holland entered in 1779.
2. Catherine the Great of Russia organized the League of Armed Neutrality
-- Lined up almost all remaining European neutrals in an attitude of passive
hostility toward England as a result of England disturbing Baltic shipping.
3. War raged in Europe, N.A., South America, the Caribbean, and Asia.

XI. Land Frontier & Sea Frontier
A. West raged throughout most of the war
1. Indian allies of Britain attacked American frontier positions
2. 1777 known as "the Bloody Year" on the frontier
-- Joseph Brant (“Monster Brant”)>, Mohawk Chief, and leader of the Iroquois
Six Nations, led Indian raids in Backcountry PA and NY.
-- Forced to sign Treaty of Ft. Stanwyk -- 1st treaty bet. U.S. & Indians.
-- Indians lost most of their lands.
B. Westward movement continued despite treacherous war conditions (especially Kentucky)
C. Illinois country taken from the British
1. George Rogers Clark, a frontiersman, seized several British ports along the Ohio
River by surprise: Kaskaskia, Cahokia (St. Louis), and Vincennes, Indiana.
2. Helped quiet Indian involvement
3. His admirers' credit him for forcing the British to cede the whole Ohio region in
the peace treaty of Paris after the war. This is still a debate.
D. The American Navy
1. John Paul Jones most famous American naval leader (Scottish born)
2. Chief contribution was destroying British merchant shipping and carrying war
into the waters around the British Isles.
3. Did not affect Britain's navy
E. American Privateers were more effective than the American navy
1. Privately owned ships authorized by Congress to attack enemy ships.
2. 600 British ships captured British captured as many American merchantmen &
3. Brought in gold, harassed the British, and increased American morale by providing
American victories.
F. Major naval battles between British, French, & other European powers
1. Mostly in the West Indies
2. British overcome by French, Spanish and Dutch.
-- War continued until 1785 when British won last battle near India.

XII. In 1778, Britain again changed its strategy: focused on former Southern Colonies
A. Savannah, Georgia taken in late 1778-early 1779
B. Charleston, SC, fell in 1780 (4th largest city in America)
1. Devastating loss to American war-effort
2. Heavier loss to the Americans than Saratoga was to the British
C. Nathanael Greene eventually succeeded in clearing Georgia and S.C. of most British
-- Cornwallis forced to abandon the Southern strategy fell back to Chesapeake Bay at
D. Battle of Yorktown: last major battle of the war
1. French Admiral de Grasse, head of powerful fleet in W. Indies, advised Americans
that he would join them in an assault on Cornwallis at Yorktown.
2. Washington made 300-mile+ march to Chesapeake from NY.
3. Accompanied by Rochambeau's French army, Washington attacked British by land as
de Grasse blockaded them by sea after beating off the British fleet.
4. Oct. 19, 1781, General Cornwallis surrendered entire force of 7,000 men
5. War continued one more year (especially in the South)
E. Newburgh “Conspiracy” (1783)
1. Cause: Soldiers in the Continental Army were not paid regularly throughout the war
and the money they did receive was often worthless due to inflation.
2. Several officers, Congressional nationalists, sought to impose an impost on the states
for back-pay by threatening to take over the American government.
-- Horatio Gates was consulted about the possibility of using the army to force the states
to surrender more power to the national government.
3. Washington appealed to the officers to end the conspiracy they acquiesced.

XIII. Peace at Paris
A. British ready to come to terms afer losses in India, West Indies, and Mediterranean
1. Lord North's ministry collapsed in March 1782, temporarily ending the personal
rule of George III.
2. Whig ministry (more sympathetic to Americans) replaced the Tory regime.
B. French attempt to create a weak U.S.
1. American diplomats Ben Franklin, John Adams, and John Jay sent by Congress to
make no separate peace and to consult with France at all stages of negotiations.
a. Disregarded the directive as they were highly suspicious of France & Spain.
b. John Jay believed France wanted to keep US east of the Allegheny
mountains and give western territories to its ally Spain for its help in the war.
2. U.S.turns to Great Britain
a. Britain eager to separate U.S. from anti-British alliance.
b. Preliminary Treaty signed in 1782
C. Treaty of Paris of 1783: Britain formally recognized US independence
1. Granted US generous boundaries stretching to the Mississippi on the west, the Great
Lakes in the north, and to Spanish Florida in the south (Spain had rewon Florida)
a. Americans allowed to retain a share in the valuable Newfoundland fisheries.
b. British promised troops would not take slaves from America.
2. American concessions:
a. Loyalists could not be further persecuted
b. Congress was to recommend to state legislatures that confiscated Loyalist
property be restored
c. American states were bound to pay British creditors for debts long owed.
d. U.S. did not comply with many of these concessions and it became partial cause of
another war with Britain in 1812.
3. France formally approved the British-American terms (officially, no separate Franco-
American peace)
4. America alone gained from the war
a. Britain lost colonies and other territories
b. France got revenge but became bankrupt which caused French Revolution.
c. Spain gained little

XIV. American society during the war
A. Over 250,000 American soldiers fought
-- 10% who fought died largest % of any American war in history (Civil War = 2%)
B. British captured and occupied most major cities including Boston, NYC, and Philadelphia.
C. War Economy: all of society became involved in the war.
1. State and national governments created.
2. Men with military experience volunteered for positions in the army.
3. Some merchants loaned money to the army and to Congress. Others made fortunes
from wartime contracts.
4. Most of the fighting was done by the poorest Americans
-- Young city laborers, farm boys, indenntured servants, and sometimes slaves.
5. African Americans fought on both sides.
-- 5,000 in the Continental army and neaarly 30,000 in the British army in
return for promises of freedom.
6. Native Americas also fought with the British since they hoped to keep land-hungry
Americans out of their territories.
-- Bitter feelings remained long after tthe war ended.
D. Women in the War
1. Women managed farms and businesses while men served in the army
2. Other women traveled with the Army as cooks and nurses.
3. Women became more politically active and expressed their thoughts more freely.

A. Many conservative Loyalists no longer in America paved way for more democratic
reforms in state governments.
B. Slavery issue
1. Rise of anti-slavery societies in all the northern states (plus Virginia)
-- Quakers the first to found such socieeties.
2. Slavery eradicated in most northern states by 1800
-- Quok Walker case in Massachuseetts (1781) effectively ended slavery there.
3. Slavery not allowed above Ohio River in the Northwest Ordinance of 1787
4. Slave trade to be abolished in 1808 according to Constitution.
5. By 1860, 250,000 free blacks lived in the North, but were disliked and discriminated
-- Several states forbade entrance of bllacks, most blacks denied right to vote, and some
states barred blacks from public schools.
6. Thousands of slaves in the South were freed after the Revolution and became free blacks
7. Yet, slavery remained strong in the South, especially after 1793 (cotton gin)
C. Stronger emphasis on equality: public hatred of Cincinnati Society
1. However, equality did not triumph until much later due to tenant farming, poor rights for
women and children, slavery, and land requirements for voting and office holding (although
reduced) were not eliminated.
2. Further reduction of land-holding requirements for voting began to occur in 1820s.
3. End of primogeniture and entail before 1800.
a. Primogeniture: eldest son inherits father's estate.
b. Entail: Estates could not be sold off in pieces guaranteed large landholdings to a
family and meant less land available for purchase to the public.
D. Separation of Church & State: Jefferson’s Virginia Statute on Religious Freedom, 1786
1. Anglican Church replaced by a disestablished Episcopal church in much of the South.
2. Congregational churches in New England slower to disestablish (CT in 1818, MA in 1833)
E. State governments:
1. Three branches: weak governors, strong legislatures, judicial branch
2. sovereignty of states, republicanism
F. Indians no longer enjoyed British protection and became subject to U.S. expansion
-- Iroquois suffered significant losses after the war
G. Women did not enjoy increased rights idea of “Republican Motherhood” took hold.

XVI. Gordon S. Wood -- The Radicalism of the American Revolution
Thesis: Revolution was the most radical and far-reaching event in American history
A. Made the interests and prosperity of ordinary people -- the pursuit of happiness -- the goal
of government.
B. Changed the personal and social relationships of people.
1. Destroyed aristocracy as it had been understood for nearly two millennia
2. Made possible egalitarian thinking: subsequent anti-slavery and women's rights
C. Brought respectability and even dominance to ordinary people long held in contempt
-- Gave dignity to their menial labor in a manner unprecedented in history
D. Brought about an entirely new kind of popular politics and a new kind of democratic
E. Released powerful popular entrepreneurial and commercial energies that few realized existed
-- Transformation occurred without the industrial revolution, urbanization, & railroads

Atlantic Campaign of the War of 1812

The War of 1812 as it was fought on the high seas included a variety of activities related to sea power, including clashes between ships, naval blockades, coastal raids, joint operations with the army and a commerce war involving privateers and letters of marque.

The maritime war was conducted in three phases, each corresponding to a calendar year. In 1812, the advantages lay with the Americans, who won several spectacular single-ship actions. In 1813, the British naval presence in North America increased as additional ships were sent to Halifax and a blockade of the American coast was implemented. By 1814 the Atlantic seaboard was dominated by the Royal Navy and American trade had dwindled to a fraction of pre-war levels.

Naval Power Before the War of 1812

The United States Navy was formed in 1794 and entered the conflict as the best prepared of the two American services. In 1812, the navy had 7200 sailors and marines its officers were professional and the volunteer seamen were experienced. Many of the men had seen action during the Quasi-War with France (1798-1800) and in the Barbary Wars of North Africa (1801-1805). However, the navy also suffered from inadequate funding and uncertain doctrine in the pre-war years. Dockyard facilities were limited. In 1812, the ocean-going fleet included 13 vessels. Three of them were the "super frigates," and three were regular frigates the other vessels included five sloops and two brigs. There were also 165 coastal vessels, 62 of which were in commission.

The Royal Navy was the most powerful naval force of the time. In 1812, it had 145 000 men and 978 ships, of which about 70% were in commission. Despite the decisive victory at Trafalgar in 1805, France continued to challenge Britain's domination of the seas, which kept the Royal Navy in European waters and prevented it from reinforcing the western Atlantic. The number of French ships-of-the-line increased from 34 in 1807 to 80 by 1813, with another 35 under construction. In contrast, the equivalent vessels in the Royal Navy dropped from 113 in 1807 to 98 in 1813. The world-wide commitments of the Royal Navy also dissipated its strength and expertise, resulting in the navy sending many poorly constructed vessels with ill-trained crews to sea. Given these challenges, the sheer weight of the navy could not be employed against the United States until the war in Europe ended.

The Royal Navy maintained two squadrons in North American waters. The North American Squadron was based at Halifax, while the other squadron was based at Newfoundland. Both were considered backwaters. In 1812, the North American Squadron had 27 ships, including one ship-of-the-line, eight frigates and seven sloops.

Before the declaration of war, the United States deployed its warships in the Atlantic. They were to protect their merchantmen, while attempting to seize British commercial vessels and engage naval ships. Between 1812 and 1815, there were 26 encounters between individual ships or combinations of vessels from both fleets. While much is made of the success of the American super frigates against smaller, less well armed British vessels, the total victories were equally divided between the two navies. British losses represented less than one percent of their fleet, while the American navy lost 20% of their men-of-war.

Naval Blockade

The naval blockade of the United States began informally in 1812 and expanded to cut off more ports as the war progressed. Twenty ships were on station in 1812 and 135 were in place by the end of the conflict. In February 1813, the blockade extended from the Delaware and Chesapeake Bays. New England was originally exempted from the blockade as the British hoped to foment anti-war sentiment in that region, while enjoying merchants' willingness to sell grain and foodstuffs to the British for use by their army in the Iberian Peninsula. In March 1813, the blockade was expanded to include Savannah, Port Royal, Charleston and New York. In-mid November, it was broadened again to include the entire coast south of Narragansett Bay. In May 1814, following the abdication of Napoleon, and the end of the supply problems with Wellington's army, New England was blockaded.

The blockade made it difficult for American naval vessels to sortie. The blockade also devastated the American economy. Between 1811 and 1814, the value of exports and imports fell from $114 million to $20 million, while custom rates used to finance the war were more than halved from $13 million to $6 million. Many American merchant vessels did not risk leaving port. British trade on the other hand increased significantly, from £91 million in 1811 to £152 million by 1814.

The Royal Navy also damaged American shipping, commerce and communities by staging raids with marines, colonial marines, regular troops, and foreign troops in British service. Campaigns were undertaken in the Chesapeake Bay between March and September 1813 and April and September 1814. The Admiralty was not altogether certain these attacks aided the war effort and the 1814 attacks were designed to support offensives based from the Canadas. The results of the 1814 coastal attacks were mixed: Washington was occupied and its public buildings destroyed, while an attack on Baltimore failed. The Gulf Coast campaign occurred between May 1814 and February 1815 and included four actions near New Orleans and the capture of Fort Bowyer. Between July 1814 and April 1815, much of the Maine coast was occupied by British forces from Halifax.


A final activity undertaken by both Britain and the US during the war also sought to diminish each other's trade through the employment of privateers, which were private vessels that were outfitted with guns and given state sanction to raid and capture the opponent's merchantmen. Initially considered as a dubious, sometimes lawless activity, Privateering emerged from the War of 1812 and Napoleonic Wars as a respectable, legitimate and effective means of maritime defence. This activity was a business venture, in which a successful captain could, following a cruise, sell the vessels he had seized for money, which was then shared by the crew. This was different from the "letter of marque," which allowed merchants to arm their vessels for self defence or to take aggressive action to avoid capture.

Privateering was already underway before the War of 1812 began and included a number of participants. British captures were made by the Royal Navy and British, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia privateers. By 1810, the British had taken nearly 1000 American ships, while France had taken 500 another 300 fell to Danish, Neapolitan, Spanish and Dutch flags. Between 1812 and 1815, Britain captured another 500 American vessels. The loss of 2500 vessels over a ten-year period was proportionally more damaging to American trade than the 10 000 British vessels lost over the same period 2000 of these alone were taken between 1812 and 1815. The Royal Navy recaptured at least 750 prizes, while others were handed back to neutrals or lost at sea.

Compulsory Convoys

One means of reducing losses was the adoption of compulsory convoy, which made it more difficult to locate merchantmen and which also provided protection from escorting warships. By 1808, all shipping leaving Nova Scotia was subject to the Compulsory Convoy Act, which was further improved in 1813.

Naval Goals Met

The maritime War of 1812 on the high seas is difficult to isolate from the larger activity of the war in Europe. It was played in a vast theatre and demonstrated the importance of sea power in achieving war aims. Despite several setbacks, the Royal Navy was able to dominate the high seas and had free range over the American coastline through most of the war. Nonetheless, the United States Navy demonstrated that it had a professional officers' corps, excellent sailors, an aggressive doctrine and good ship designs.

Drzewiecki Design - Washington Landmarks MSFS

Washington Landmarks MSFS is a package of Washington D.C. landmarks. It includes roughly 1500 custom-made buildings and other points of interest like monuments, bridges, trains, stadiums. Explore custom-modeled areas such as The Mall, West End, East End, Waterfront, U.S.G., Crystal City, and Rosslyn - all in full PBR and with epic night textures. Have you ever been to the Oval Office in the White House? This is your chance! Additionally, an optional enhancement pack for 4 airports around Washington is provided (KADW, KCGS, KVKX, W32) as well as a dozen of landable helipads.

Washington, D.C. was founded in 1791 to serve as the new national capital. In 1791, President Washington commissioned Pierre (Peter) Charles L'Enfant, a French-born architect, and city planner, to design the new capital. He based his design on plans of cities such as Paris, Amsterdam, Karlsruhe, and Milan that Thomas Jefferson had sent to him. L'Enfant's design also envisioned a garden-lined "grand avenue" approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) in length and 400 feet (120 m) wide in the area that is now the National Mall. On August 24–25, 1814, in a raid known as the Burning of Washington, British forces invaded the capital during the War of 1812. The Capitol, Treasury, and White House were burned and gutted during the attack. Most government buildings were repaired quickly however, the Capitol was largely under construction at the time and was not completed in its current form until 1868.

Washington had an estimated population of over 700.000, making it the 20th most populous city in the United States. Commuters from the surrounding Maryland and Virginia suburbs raise the city's daytime population to more than one million during the workweek. Washington's metropolitan area, the country's sixth largest (including parts of Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia), had a 2017 estimated population of 6.2 million residents.

The three branches of the U.S. federal government are centered in the district: Congress (legislative), the president (executive), and the Supreme Court (judicial). Washington is home to many national monuments and museums, primarily situated on or around the National Mall. The city hosts 177 foreign embassies as well as the headquarters of many international organizations, trade unions, non-profits, lobbying groups, and professional associations, including the World Bank Group, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organization of American States, AARP, the National Geographic Society, the Human Rights Campaign, the International Finance Corporation, and the American Red Cross.

  • A high-quality model of Washington D.C.
  • Over 1500 custom-made buildings incl. the whole downtown, bridges, stadiums, harbors/marinas, trains, memorials, and other objects all FPS-friendly, with night textures and PBR effects
  • Airport enhancement package including KADW Joint Base Andrews, KCGS College Park Airport, KVKX Potomac Airfield, and W32 Washington Executive Airport with custom-made airport buildings, custom ground layouts and static aircraft
  • A dozen of heliports with custom objects

The product will be automatically added to Microsoft Flight Simulator. Our installer provides you additional optional features during install. To select different options, simply run the installer again.

This product is compatible with all Drzewiecki Design products.

What allowed the British to be able to burn Washington D.C. in the war of 1812? - History

I. Lincoln’s early presidency
A. Inaugural
1. Vowed to preserve the Union to "hold, occupy, and possess" Federal property in the
South -- "Physically speaking, we cannot separate"
-- Ambiguous on how he would do so careful not to offend border slave states
2. Republicans & Democratic unionists agreed with speech’s firmness & moderation
3. Lower South regarded it tantamount to declaration of war.
B. Cabinet
1. William H. Seward, one of America’s best secretaries of state
2. Salmon P. Chase, treasury sec. -- A leading abolitionist presidential hopes
-- Eventually appointed by Lincoln as Chief Justice to the Supreme Court
3. Edwin M. Stanton: "War Democrat" later appointed as secreatry of war. 4. Cabinet
frequently feuded and intrigue often plagued it added pressure to Lincoln
C. Lincoln an able leader
1. Developed a genius for interpreting and leading a fickle public opinion.
2. Showed charitableness toward South and patience toward backbiting colleagues
3. Succeeded in placating both Negrophobes and abolitionists in his bid for the presidency.

II. Attack on Fort Sumter begins the Civil War
A. Located at the mouth of Charleston Harbor, Ft. Sumter was one of two last remaining
federal strongholds in the South (the other Ft. Pickering in Florida)
1. The day after inauguration, Lincoln notified by Major Robert Anderson that
supplies to the fort would soon run out and he would be forced to surrender.
2. Lincoln faced with choices that were all bad
a. No supplies would mean surrender would ruin his credibility to "hold,
possess, and occupy"
b. Reinforcements would surely lead to an armed clash which would begin
the Civil War with the North seen as the provocateur.
-- Also, Union detachments not available on such short notice.
c. Solution: Notified South Carolinians of an expedition to provision the
garrison, not to reinforce it.
-- Lincoln would let the South start the war if it wished
3. April 9, 1861 -- A ship carrying supplies for Fort Sumter sailed from New York.
-- Seen by S.C. as an act of aggression "reinforcement"
B. April 12: Fort Sumter bombarded by more than 70 Confederate canon
1. Anderson’s garrison held for 34 hours until 2:30 p.m. on April 13, when he
2. Anderson’s men allowed to return North.
3. No loss of life during bombardment fort heavily damaged
C. Lincoln calls for volunteers
1. Before the attack , many northerners felt that if the South wanted to go, they
should not be forced to stay.
2. Attack on Sumter provoked the North to fight for their honor & the Union.
-- Lincoln’s strategy paid off South seen as the aggressors -- North as benign
3. April 15, Lincoln issued call to the states for 75,000 militiamen 90 day service
4. April 19, Lincoln proclaimed a blockade of Southern seaports
-- Initially ineffective eventually strangled the South.
5. May 3, Lincoln issued a call for 3-year volunteers militia would not meet need
6. Until April 25, Washington D.C. was virtually under siege and a Confederate
assault on the capital was expected at any time.
D. 4 more states secede from the Union: VA, AK, TN, NC
1. Northern calls for troops aroused South viewed Lincoln as waging war.
2. Richmond replaced Montgomery as the Confederate capitol.

III. The Border Slave States (MO, KY, MD, later WV)
A. Remained in the Union since the North did not start the war
1. Crucial to Union cause sent 300,000 soldiers to the Union Army
a. "Mountain white" pop. in South sent 50,000 soldiers to the North.
b. Lincoln: Hoped to have God on his side but he had to "have Kentucky."
2. West Virginia left Virginia in mid-1861 to join the Union "mountain white" pop.
3. War began with slaveholders on both sides not free-soil vs. slavery
-- Brothers and family members often split and fought on opposite sides
B. Contained over 50% of the South’s white population fewest number of slaves
C. Lincoln used force at times to keep these states in check.
1. Declared martial law in Maryland in certain areas and sent troops since it
threatened to cut off Washington DC from the North.
2. Troops also sent to W. Virginia and Missouri where a mini-Civil War raged.
D. Politically, Lincoln had to keep border states in mind when making public statements
1. Declared the primary purpose of the war was to preserve the Union at all costs.
2. Declared the North was not fighting to free the slaves.
a. Antislavery declaration would have driven the border states to the South.
b. Lincoln heavily criticized by abolitionists who saw him as a sell-out.
-- Lincoln in Aug. 22, 1862 to Horace Greeley: "My paramount object is to save
the Union, and is not either to save or destroy slavery. If I could
save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by
freeing all the slaves I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing some and
leaving others alone, I would also do that."
E. Indian Territory: most of the Five Civilized Tribes sided with the Confederacy
including Cherokees (who owned slaves), Creeks, Choctaws, Chickasaws, and Seminoles.

IV. Confederate Assets
A. Only had to fight defensively behind interior lines and tie or stalemate needed fewer troops
-- North had to invade, conquer, occupy, & forcibly return vast Southern territory to Union.
B. Until emancipation proclamations of 1862 & 1863, many felt South had superior moral
cause, slavery notwithstanding.
-- Fighting for self-determination, self-gov’t, its social structure, homes, and fundamental
freedoms (for whites)
C. Had talented military officers
1. Robert E. Lee -- one of greatest military leaders in American history
a. Opposed to slavery and spoke against secession in Jan. 1861
b. Lincoln had offered Lee command of the Union armies but Lee felt compelled to side
with his native Virginia after she seceded.
2. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson
-- Lee’s chief lieutenant and premier cavalry officer.
3. Top Union generals were inept during first three years of the war until replaced
D. Southern men of fighting stock and self-confident
1. Accustomed to hard life and management of horses and bearing arms.
2. Made excellent cavalry and foot soldiers.

V. Confederate chances
A. Lack of significant industrial capacity a crucial disadvantage South primarily agrarian
B. As the war dragged on, severe shortages of shoes, uniforms, and blankets.
C. Breakdown of transportation, esp. when railroads were cut or destroyed by the North.
D. A number of scenarios might have given the Confederates victory
1. Border state secession
2. Upper Mississippi Valley states turning against the Union
3. Northern defeatism leading to an armistice ("Copperheads")
4. England & France breaking the blockade.
E. South did not get foreign intervention which usually helps revolutions to succeed.

VI. Northern Advantages
A. Population of 22 million (including border states) 800,000 immigrants between 1861-63
1. South only 9 million including 3.5 million slaves
2. Manpower advantages over Lee were 3 to 2 or even 3 to 1
3. Earlier immigrants also enlisted 20% of army foreign-born.
B. Had 3/4 of the nation’s wealth
C. Overwhelming superiority in manufacturing, shipping, and banking.
D. 3/4 of nation’s railroads: large capacity for repair and replacement that the South lacked.
E. Controlled the sea through its blockade of Southern ports.
F. Ideal of Union
1. Devotion to Union aroused North against South "Union Forever"
2. Significant in keeping border states and upper Mississippi states from seceding.
3. Cry for Union gave North strong moral issue until slavery was added to it later.
G. Much better logistical planning in the army and weaponry

VII. The Confederacy
A. Constitution largely copied from the Union.
-- Fatal flaw: Created by secession, it could not deny future secession to the states.
B. Jefferson Davis’ idea of a strong central gov’t was bitterly opposed states’ righters
-- Some states didn’t want their troops to fight outside their borders.
C. Davis often at odds with his Congress: in danger of being impeached at one point.
D. Davis lacked Lincoln’s political saavy.


Primary Sources

Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918–1945, from the Archives of the German Foreign Ministry. Washington, D.C., 1949–.

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Bourke, Joanna. An Intimate History of Killing: Face-to-Face Killing in Twentieth-Century Warfare. London, 1999.

Förster, Jürgen. "Operation Barbarossa as a War of Conquest and Annihilation." In Germany and the Second World War, Vol. 4: The Attack on the Soviet Union, edited by the Militärgeschichtliches Forschungsamt, 481–521. Oxford, U.K., 1998a.

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Gerlach, Christian. Kalkulierte Morde: Die deutsche Wirtschaftsund Vernichtungspolitik in Weißrußland, 1941 bis 1944. Hamburg, Germany, 1999.

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