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Why did the US attack Canada instead of England in the war 1812?

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2010-10-17 00:54:29
2010-10-17 00:54:29

Canada is geographically much closer to the US than Britain is, and therefore Canada would be easier for the US to attack. Likewise, because of the distance, it would be more difficult for Britain to defend Canada. The Atlantic Ocean is a large body of water, and the War of 1812 occurred well before the steam engine. Crossing the Atlantic was a major undertaking that often took months. American troops could march to Canada in a matter of a few weeks.

Britain was already fighting a major war in Europe against Napoleon and France. The US knew that Britain could spare very few troops to defend Canada.

One of the objectives of the US in starting the war of 1812 was to acquire Upper Canada and Lower Canada and annex them into the US. There was no interest in crossing the Atlantic to attack Britain, and there was little to be gained by doing so.

Also, it was common knowledge that a large number of Americans had settled in the southwest peninsula of Upper Canada (the area between Georgian Bay and Lake Erie). The US assumed that at the very least those settlers would not resist, and would probably support the invasion.

The US assumed that Upper Canada would fall in a few weeks, and then Lower Canada would follow suit. The US assumed that Lower Canada, a French colony that had been conquered by Britain only 50 years beforehand, would welcome being 'liberated' by the US.

What the US did not know was that Upper Canada was more prepared and better organized than the US, and was ready to defend itself.

Caanada won the war and burned the White House.

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