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What Were the Effects of the War of 1812?

By Christina Edwards
Updated May 17, 2024
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The War of 1812 was fought between the United States and the British Empire, and it is often considered a major turning point for the country. Some of the major effects of the war of 1812 were increased patriotism in the United States and increased respect for the US from other countries. The US military and manufacturing were also strengthened. There was also a decline in the power of the Federalist party, as well as less threat from Native Americans.

This war has also been called the second war for independence. Victories against British troops helped to make Americans feel more united, and patriotism strengthened after the war. This is considered to be one of the most important effects of the War of 1812.

At the time of the war, the British Empire was a major world power, and the US was a smaller and much less powerful entity. Since the United States took a stand against a major world power, other countries began to take notice. The Americans' actions caused other parts of the world to eventually gain more respect for the young nation.

In modern times, the US has one of the best military forces in the world. In part, this is another effect of the War of 1812. It was during and after this war that the country began to realize the importance of a strong, organized military. The United States began to rely less on the unorganized militia and more on trained soldiers.

Increased manufacturing ability was another of the important outcome of the war. Since the British were enforcing a blockade along the American coast, the country was unable to get some much-needed supplies, including cotton cloth. Due to this shortage, Americans were forced to manufacture the cloth on their own.

The Federalist party was the first political party in America, and it began in 1790. For various reasons, this party opposed the War of 1812. A significant American victory in New Orleans raised the morale of the people of the US, and marked the beginning of the end of the party.

Also, during the War of 1812, the British troops armed the Native Americans near the Great Lakes. After they began losing battles against US troops, the British Empire withdrew their support. This weakening of Native American power made them less of a threat, and the US was able to expand into the area formerly know as the Northwest Territory near the Great Lakes.

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Discussion Comments
By anon985859 — On Jan 20, 2015

The British needed to be taught a lesson.

By anon976071 — On Oct 30, 2014

The British land forces were a joke -- at least those in the north. It was made up mostly of militia taken from the people who lived in Canada at the time. Those were the ones who torched the White House, not regular British army redcoats, although there was a unit -- one single unit sent by the British to help defend Canada from the U.S. invasions sent through the Niagara and Windsor / Detroit regions.

By Izzy78 — On Mar 22, 2012

@jcraig - You are right and this is a subject that is open to interpretation, but there are a few things that occurred as effects due to the War of 1812 that are non-debatable.

After the War of 1812 land grants were given to soldiers out west instead of pay and this led to the settling of the Northwest territories and the establishment of many of the towns in places like Illinois.

I lived in one of these towns that was founded by veterans of the War of 1812 and it is something to note that most of these areas were still controlled by the Native Americans and the areas given to the soldiers in some cases were areas where a white man had never set foot.

I find this to be fascinating and I would like to know more about land grants due to the War of 1812.

By jcraig — On Mar 22, 2012

@kentuckycat - That is true but unfortunately the British were already seen as vulnerable as the Spanish controlled the oceans for centuries and this point in history was just Britain's turn.

The British Empire was seen as large and imposing, but was definitely not unstoppable. The United Sates was able to defeat them once and gain their independence, something a whole lot harder than defending their territory.

The fact that the British invaded simply was an attempt to re-take what they once had, as they were losing parts of their empire every year.

The British at one point controlled over one-third of the world as colonies, and by this time their influence and power was dwindling. Soon after the War of 1812 the country of Britain only owned a few colonies in Africa as well as others abroad, but in places that did not have the economic interests that the American colonies had.

In reality the War of 1812 was the dagger on the British Empire and simply showed they were not what they once were.

By kentuckycat — On Mar 21, 2012

@Emilski - Right you are. The United States did not really gain anything from winning the War of 1812, except the fact that they gained respect from the rest of the world as well as the fact they were finally able to fully beat the British a second time, completely eliminating their attempts at retaking the colonies.

The most amazing thing that I find about the War of 1812 is that the city of Washington was overtaken and the White House was burned! Despite these setbacks President Madison was able to literally lead forces into battle, he lead a small regiment shortly outside Washington, and was able to drive the British away for good.

By Driving away the mighty British Empire the United States showed that they were real powers to be dealt with and that the British were in fact vulnerable and not the unstoppable force which was the perception for centuries.

By Emilski — On Mar 21, 2012

The effects of the War of 1812 basically revolved around the fact that the United States did not really win anything, but were able to defend themselves against a mighty power such as the British Empire.

Although today people view the United States as being the number one world power, this definitely was not the case during the early days of the country.

The United States was millions in debt after the Revolutionary War, money that they did not have, and the country was slowly blossoming into an up and coming republic.

The British on the other hand were an established empire and in reality impossible to beat. That is the biggest impact on the War of 1812 as the United States was able to successfully be able to defend themselves against the onslaught of the British Empire.

Despite the fact that the British threw everything they could at the United States, the United States were able to defend themselves successfully and establish themselves as a legitimate nation.

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