American Wars

Lecture 2: American Military History Paths of British North America and the United States


Pontiacs Rebellion

1763 - 1766

Didn't like British policies. The French had been nicer. Short brutal warfare. Aboriginal rebellion.

Simmering Resentment

Approx. 1763 - Approx. 1775

British victory in French and Indian war.
Was expensive. Thought colonists should help repay through taxes. Colonists didn't like this, especially because they had no representation in British Parliament. Were also expected to support the soldiers now residing in the colony

Pontiac Rebellion: British, Jeff Amherst, Fort Pitt

Approx. 1763

Bacteriological warfare.
Intentionally gave native's small pox infested blankets.
-Don't know for sure if this caused outbreak, or already was one before.
Eventually won out against rebellions

Quebec Act: Guy Carleton


Secured future of French Quebec. Maintained French values, social, religion...
Also a source of resentment.
Inhibited British expansion into territories (Ohio Valley?)
French were Catholic, and British didn't like that.

Richard Montgomery


Expedition to take Quebec

Battle of Quebec

December 31, 1775

Desperate attempt led to take Quebec
Time Crunch was on the Americans
Militia? contract almost up
Sat outside for a while, caused friction with the residents
-Met with Heavy fire. Montgomery DIES
Americans squat for a while. But then forced to withdraw when river thaws and British make it down first

British Loyalists


Treaty of Paris doesn't do much to protect them. Many flee, and migrate into Canada
Creates new demographics between Brit and French in Canada

Treaty of Paris


End of American Revolution
British suing for peace
Wanted safety for loyalists, and ability to reintegrate
Superficially secured

Global Tension

1789 - Approx. 1814

French Revolution, Napoleon, French and British war back in Europe.

Constitutional Act


Canada. Act to divide territory into 2 different provinces
Upper and Lower Canada. Based on river locations.

Battle of Fallen Timbers


USA in constant struggle with First nations
Americans think the the British are supporting/encouraging the native tribes.
"In league" with them.

Jay Treaty

Approx. 1795

British to withdrawal to Upper Canada
Temporary peace between Canada and America

Chesapeake Affair


British fire on an American vessel, looking for deserters. Breach of American sovereignty and diplomatic protocol. U.S pissed off.
Big cause of war.

Battle of Tippecanoe

November, 1811

U.S in war against Tecumseh
Defeated by William Henry Harrison.
Tecumseh flees to British holding in SW Ontario, looking for British partnership

Outbreak of War


Mad at Britain. Takes it out on Canada.
Vague plans to how this will hold leverage against Britain. Land hostage?

Surrender of Detroit

August 1812

Brock deceives true numbers. Sends in note demanding surrender, promises safety. Hull weary of native savagery and thinking they are outnumbered, surrenders. Brocks gains cannons and muskets.
Canada gains confidence, feels like they have a chance now.

Battle of Queenston Heights

October 1812

Americans sneak up Niagara Peninsula, sailing in
Ends up in cliff area. Surprises village. Brock wakes up to gunfire, rides to battle with hastily organized British Regulars.
Sniped down.
Force of Militia, regulars, and first nations grows.
Roger Sheaffe, 2nd in command takes over. British win.
*British regulars are good fighters. Stand ground.
-Myth/legend of great Canadian Militia?

River Raisn Massacre*

Jan 1813

Battle of French town, 30-100 American prisoners murdered and scalped by first nation warriors. Tecumseh not there, but probably would have stopped it?
-British in Stronger position now than before. But only enough to hold ground, not push forward.
Meanwhile, America is approving army expansion.

War on Lake Ontario


Control of lake important for control of upper Canada. Warships all had to be built on site
-'arms race' to build biggest ship
hide from each other. Skirmishing.
-Neither fleets go to battle.

Battle of York

April 1813

Abrupt raid defeats British forces in York.
Americans burn parliament buildings and civilian homes.
-Sheaffe pulls back. Takes good regulars with him, leaves militia behind to try and hold off.
*Departure from honorable conventions of war. Destructive warfare. Resentful Canadians.

Capture of Fort George

May 1813

Swift seizure of Niagara River mouth
British don't have a large force. Stand on river bank and try to shoot down oncoming.
British forced to evacuate Fort George.
Both sit to catch breath. Brit regroup and creep up on Americans at night and bayonet them. Confusing dark battle. Some kill their own :(
-Farthest point of American invasion up to now

HMS Shannon vs USS Chesapeake

June 1813

Off Shores of Boston Harbor
Am- Lawrence
Br- Broke
Broke sends invitation. Americans take it.
Chesapeake taken. Lawrence supposedly dies saying don't give up the ship. They give up the ship.

Battle of Beaver Dams*

June 1813

Laura Secord runs and warns of American raid (loyalist)
Advancing Americans come under native fire.
Fitzgibbon uses similar bluff as Brock.
Entire American force surrenders to the British.
Stalemate in Niagra Peninsula.

"Old Iron Sides"

August 1813

USS Constitution
Defeats 4 royal navy warships (One is HMS Guerriere.)
British are shocked, Americans are proud
-Royal Navy begins a blockade of American ports.

Battle of Lake Erie**

September 1813

Us under Oliver Perry defeat and capture the British fleet (technical problems).
Decisive American victory. Gains control for duration of war.
Proctor retreats. Tecumseh wants to face the Americans

Battle of Chateauguay

October 1813

British repel American attack on Kingston and Montreal.
Small forces lead by Lieutenant Colonel De Salaberry and Canadian Voltiguers. Both have good knowledge of the land, and well trained soldiers.
**Force by men exclusively from Canada
Americans ordered to remain in lower Canada and continue pushing forward to kingston

Battle of Moraviantown

October 1813

Harrison's army overwhelms the British
Tecumseh killed.
Harrison signs ceasefire with first nations
Americans practically in sole control of upper Canada now.

Battle of Crysler's Farm

November 1813

Force of Brit. regulars sent to intercept attack on Kingston. Crushes the Americans. Invasion ends.

Niagra in Flames!

December 1813

Americans withdrawal from fort George. American commander orders burning of Newark. Local inhabitants driven out, homes destroyed.
(America disowns jerk general.)
Canada wants revenge
**War is getting more brutal. Civilians becoming increasing targets.
Division between countries grows deeper.

At this point in war, neither has material advantage.

1814 Changes


Napoleon out for now. Frees up tens of thousands of British soldiers. Sends to Americas.

Chippawa Triumph


Winfield Scott. British soldiers tricked by grey uniforms. Think untrained foes.

Battle of Lundy's Lane/ Niagara

June 1814

Shot at point blank range.
Americans forced to withdraw. Tired.
British didn't pursue. Tired too.
**One of most deadly battles on Canadian soil.

Seige of Fort Erie

August 1814 - September 1814

Lieutenant General Drummond launches costly frontal attacks. Both have severe losses.
No change in Niagara control. 100s die.
Drummond blames soldiers for not trying harder.
**End of fighting on the Niagara frontier

Burning of Washington

August 1814

British troops unexpectedly make their way into Washington D.C. Set ablaze government buildings and eats the presidents dinner.
Retaliation for the burning of York.
Same troops move on to bombard Baltimore and Fort Henry.