The war of 1812 was a military conflict between the United States and Great Britain. As a colony of Great Britain, Canada was swept up in the War of 1812 and was invaded a number of times by the Americans. Despite its name, the war lasted into 1814.
It is a defining event in Canadian history because it sowed the seeds of nationalism in Upper and Lower Canada. Washington had expected the largely American population of Upper Canada to join them and throw off the "British yoke".This did not happen. Various events and people have entered into our mythology: Laura Secord and her trek to warn the British; General Isaac Brock, a fallen hero; and of course, the burning of Washington.
The War of 1812 has a personal connection for me as the battle of Chippawa was fought on July 5, 1814 on my ancestor's land. It was a decisive victory for the Americans.
Historians are still debating who won the war and probably will continue to do so for another 200 years. Regardless, take a moment today and learn about the origins of Canadian nationalism. I am not sure that I will rename my car "The General Brock" a la "The General Lee" (I know wrong war) but I will do a little reading. If you are lucky enough to be out East - take part in some of the celebrations that are going on.
External LinksWar of 1812
The Official War of 1812 Bicentennial Website
Red Coats & Grey Jackets: The Battle of Chippawa, 5 July, 1812