The War of 1812

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What were the significant outcomes of the War of 1812 for the United States?

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There were significant outcomes for the United States as a result of the War of 1812. One major impact was that it showed that the United States could hold its own if it fought against a major world power. While there was no land that changed hands as a result of the war, the perception of many Americans was that the country had defeated Great Britain, especially after the crushing victory at New Orleans. The war showed that the United States would stand up for its beliefs and fight for them if necessary. The United States was upset that the British interfered with its trade and impressed its sailors.

Another outcome was that it brought a period of political harmony and a sense of national pride to the United States. The Federalist Party disappeared at the end of the war, in part because they were opposed to the war, and people in the country began to believe they could accomplish many things that they might have doubted before. The Era of Good Feelings arrived with the election of 1816. There was only one political party, the Democratic-Republican Party, so most people were on the same page politically. The development of the American System helped American industries to grow and led to improvements in American transportation with the building of new roads, canals, and railroads. The United States became more active in foreign affairs as Florida became American controlled land (a result of a treaty with Spain). The United States also issued the Monroe Doctrine, which told European countries to stay out of the Americas.

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The War of 1812 is considered a forgotten war in American history because no property changed hands between the United States and Britain.  The most important thing to come out of the War of 1812 was an increased sense of American nationalism.  Having defeated the most powerful empire during the war, Americans were proud of their nation.  There were more open displays of patriotism after the war.  When word leaked that the Federalists wished to take the Northeast out of the Union in the secessionist movement during the Hartford Convention, most of America turned against the party, signaling its end.  This led to the dominance of the Democratic-Republicans.  While the party did not speak with one voice, there was little of the political fighting that took place during the election of 1800.  

Another key aspect of the war was that the British hold over the Great Lakes region was finally broken.  British forts were used as resupply stations for Native Americans who harassed settlements in the region, though British meddling was a clear violation of the Treaty of Paris of 1783.  After the war, the British left, and the native tribes were left to the mercy of an onrush of Americans.  Within twenty years of the war ending, Native American resistance in the Midwest had largely been broken.  Americans also dropped any serious plans to invade Canada, especially since they were so soundly defeated in this endeavor during the early stages of the war.  

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