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1812: The War Nobody Won Book Report

Autor:   •  March 18, 2016  •  Research Paper  •  2,014 Words (9 Pages)  •  1,185 Views

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1812: The War Nobody Won Book Report

1812: The War Nobody Won was written by Albert Marrin in May of 1985 in an attempt to create a very short and concise novel that conveyed the major events leading up to and during the conflict. Albert Marrin is a historian and the author of more than twenty nonfiction books for young people. He has won various awards for his writing, including the 2005 James Madison Book Award and the 2008 National Endowment for Humanities Medal. 1812: The War Nobody Won was Marrin’s ninth book and being non-fiction looked at the three major fronts of the war: the naval conflict on the coast, the U.S. campaign in Canada and the Battle of New Orleans and Jackson’s dealings with the British in Louisiana.

In this book Marrin discusses many real people and their actions during the course of the War of 1812. One of the more prominent figures is Thomas Jefferson. Marrin portrays Jefferson as the solid rock in a turbulent sea. Thomas Jefferson did his best to get the British to respect Americans while also fending off the angry warhawks wanting to make them pay for impressing U.S. seamen. Another leading man was the Shawnee Chief Tecumseh whom is shown as an honorable leader among what would otherwise be savages. I probably found this the most interesting because he would actually use lethal force in defense of prisoners of war. In the book it states that “At a time when it was Indian custom to torture war prisoners, he treated them with kindness and respect,” (16) and “Whites admired him and listened when he spoke,” (16) truly showing how great of a man he was.

The first chapter of this book sets the scene for war beginning with Captain James Barron and the Chesapeake being chased down by a British warship forcing her surrender. The Chesapeake was then boarded and four “deserters” were taken forcibly by the British even though one of them was a free African American and had no ties to the British. This event showed what life was like for the U.S. merchant fleet and its sailors. Many men were impressed several times and all hated the British for the practice. Not only did the practice cause contempt for the British from the merchant fleet, but the impressment of sailors also infuriated the general public and the first warhawks started calling for war. On the frontier the British were selling weapons to Tecumseh who had hopes of creating a united Indian people and stopping America’s westward expansion. The state’s militia men were kept very busy fending off numerous Indian attacks on settlements. When the Americans discovered British weapons at the Battle of Tippecanoe their anger was strengthened and the warhawks numbers grew. Shortly thereafter President Madison signed a declaration of war because “ of Great Britain’s impressment of seamen, its Orders in Council, and its encouragement of Indian uprisings on the frontier,” (19).


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