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"Alexander Cochrane and the Enduring Myths of the War of 1812" Topic


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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP03 Aug 2018 9:06 p.m. PST

"The War of 1812, often called "the forgotten conflict," is probably the least understood American war. Just as frequently, it is described as the Second War of American Independence. This is because of a persistent fallacy that Americans fought two separate wars of independence. In fact, Americans endured one unremitting fifty-year-long struggle for economic independence from Britain that overlapped two armed conflicts linked by an unacknowledged global struggle. Throughout this perilous period, the struggle was largely about free trade, what Winston Churchill described in his monumental History of the English Speaking Peoples as an "unofficial trade war."

Neither Washington or Jefferson nor any other Founding Father could divine that the Revolutionary Period of 1763 to 1783 had concluded only one part, the first phase of their ordeal. The Treaty of Paris of 1783, which ended the Revolutionary War, halted overt combat but it achieved only partial autonomy from Britain. By not guaranteeing American economic independence and agency, Britain continued to deny American sovereignty. It would take a second armed conflict between 1812 and 1815 before the U. S. finally secured its complete independence. The recent observance of the bicentennial of the War of 1812 did little to reevaluate the final act of a dramatic fifty-year-long American Revolution…."
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