The War of 1812 is often overlooked. It seems it accomplished very little. (Both Britain and America considered themselves winners.) The biggest battle occurred after the peace treaty was signed. But, because of the War, America was finally recognized as it’s own nation. The flag became a symbol of patriotism, and we received the national anthem.The War of 1812 helped the fledgling United States prove that it was here to stay, despite the burning of Washington D.C.

Learning about James Madison and the War of 1812

Lesson Objective: Since Britain never officially recognized the new U.S.A. after the Revolutionary War, American ships faced trouble on the seas, Britain refused to allow American trade ships, and Britain set up forts in the American frontier. The U.S. declared war on Britain when “war hawks” convinced the majority in congress that the only way to stop the issues with Britain was to fight it.  The War of 1812 did not have official winners or loser. But in the end Britain recognized the United States, and the United States survived this first major international issue. (Copywork sentence: The U.S.A. fought Britain in the War of 1812.)

The War of 1812 helped the fledgling United States prove that it was here to stay, despite the burning of Washington D.C.

The most fascinating facts to me were the ways in which sailors were those of “impressment” (when American sailors were essentially kidnapped by British ships and put into the army without their permission). Dolley Madison’s heroic rescue of George Washington’s portrait is delightful, despite the fact that Washington, D.C., and the White House burned down! I also loved the fact that there were everyday people who became heroes. Some great picture books share their stories.

The Star-Spangled Banner

Lesson Objective: During the war of 1812, many wondered if the infant U.S. could survive. If Fort McHenry at Baltimore fell, the survival of the nation was in danger. Francis Scott Key watched the flag flying the early morning hours after a long battle, confident that it meant the nation would last. We got the National Anthem out of this story. (Copywork sentence: Francis Scott Key wrote The Star-Spangled Banner.)

The War of 1812 helped the fledgling United States prove that it was here to stay, despite the burning of Washington D.C. The American flag became a symbol for the Nation's resilience and survival.

I love this patriotic story. Although in the history of America the event is not hugely significant, learning about the origins of our national anthem seems appropriate for the early elementary crowd. Learn about the huge flag, do flag crafts, and learn the verses of the song. Here are the activities and books to check out.

This was the last day of the Early American History Series! I hope you have enjoyed it. See the 10 Days of Early American History for Elementary to find the other lessons!

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