"A Mere Matter of Marching” : A Look at The War of 1812 in the Old Northwest
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When one thinks of the War of 1812 they generally think of the burning of the Canadian Parliament and White House or the Star-Spangled Banner, but rarely does one think of the frontier. The frontier in the War of 1812 was made up of the American held Old Northwest and the British held Upper Canada. The northern frontier is only one of the three main theatres of the war, but it is also the most important in many ways. The major difference between the northern frontier theater and the others is the major involvement of the Native American populations. The distance from the two major powers to the frontier made the war quite different from the other theatres which were located in the eastern part of the United States and Canada. In the War of 1812’s frontier theater, the British and American governments fought primarily in the Old Northwest where their lack of information, solid planning or leadership, supply routes, and war materials, as well as their ignorance of the Native Americans’ intentions, left both American and British officials unable to prosecute the war on the frontier successfully. In exploring the frontier theatre of the war, each of these points will come up repeatedly showing why the frontier war was a disaster started by politicians who were distanced from understanding the issues on the ground that plagued the people who fought and lived in these places rather than achieving any political goals of conquest and concession.