Thursday, August 16, 2012

How's the War going, 200 years ago?

Today marks the anniversary of the first large confrontation of British and American forces in North America -- a significant British victory: the capture of Detroit, and with it control of the north-west, securing of alliances with the First Nations, control of the fur trade and inland travel, etc.

Though I approve of historical controversy in general, I'm not very sympathetic to the argument around, notably in the book Warrior Nation by Ian McKay and Jamie Swift, that all this War of 1812 commemoration is a vast state conspiracy to turn us into tory warmongers. But after just a couple of months, I do sense a touch of 1812 fatigue: do we have to note every skirmish for another two years and a bit?

Anyway for more on the Detroit events, see the treatment at or at or There is no lack of websites keeping up more energetically than me.

Image: one of Peter Rindlisbacher's many magnificent historical paintings "Bombardment of Detroit," from the EighteenTwelve site.
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