The War of 1812 is sometimes called the Second War of Independence. The reason for this is that the war was fought because the British did various things that showed that they did not yet accept the idea that the US was a sovereign country. The war, which ended in a draw, led Britain to see the US as more of an independent country.
The war started because of three main things that the British were doing. First, the British were keeping forts on American territory in what was then called the Northwest. Second, from these forts, the British were arming Native Americans and encouraging them to attack white American settlers. In other words, the British were fomenting attacks on the US from within its own territory. Finally, the British were stopping American ships in international waters. They were doing this partly to stop the US from trading with France (there was a war between Britain and France). In addition, they were doing this to allow them to “impress” American sailors and force them into the British navy.
The war did not have a lot of really big events. It was a rather short war without a huge amount of fighting. There are three main events that are well-remembered. First, this was the war in which the British attacked Washington, D.C. and burned the White House. Second, it was the war in which Francis Scott Key wrote “The Star-Spangled Banner” while watching a battle. Finally, it was the war in which Andrew Jackson led American forces that defeated the British at the Battle of New Orleans.