In the early nineteenth century, Britons and Americans renewed their struggle over the legacy of the American Revolution, leading to a second confrontation that redefined North America. Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Alan Taylor’s vivid narrative tells the riveting story of the soldiers, immigrants, settlers, and Indians who fought to determine the fate of a continent. Would revolutionary republicanism sweep the British from Canada? Or would the British contain, divide, and ruin the shaky republic?
In a world of double identities, slippery allegiances, and porous boundaries, the leaders of the republic and of the empire struggled to control their own diverse peoples. The border divided Americans—former Loyalists and Patriots—who fought on both sides in the new war, as did native peoples defending their homelands. And dissident Americans flirted with secession while aiding the British as smugglers and spies.
During the war, both sides struggled to sustain armies in a northern land of immense forests, vast lakes, and stark seasonal swings in the weather. After fighting each other to a standstill, the Americans and the British concluded that they could safely share the continent along a border that favored the United States at the expense of Canadians and Indians.
Moving beyond national histories to examine the lives of common men and women, The Civil War of 1812
reveals an often brutal (sometimes comic) war and illuminates the tangled origins of the United States and Canada.
Moving beyond national histories to examine the lives of common men and women, The Civil War of 1812 reveals an often brutal (sometimes comic) war and illuminates the tangled origins of the United States and Canada.
About the Author
Born and raised in Maine, Alan Taylor teaches American and Canadian history at the University of Virginia. His books include The Divided Ground, Writing Early American History, American Colonies, and William Cooper’s Town, which won the Bancroft and Pulitzer prizes for American history. He also serves as a contributing editor to The New Republic.