tv Unshackling America CSPAN August 12, 2017 4:32pm-5:33pm EDT
facebook, and we want to hear from you. tweet us, twitter.com/booktv. or post a comment on our facebook page, facebook.com/booktv. [inaudible conversations] >> good afternoon, everyone. my name is liz, i work with the events here, and i would like to welcome you this afternoon to politics & prose. today we'll be hosting willard stern randall for his new book, "unshackling america: how the war of 1812 truly ended the american revolution." just a couple of quick things, now would be a great time to turn off your cell phones. we have c-span booktv here with us, and you don't want to be the person whose phone rings in the recording. when we get to the question and
answer period, please step up to the microphone next to the podium so they can get your question on the recording. please make sure that it is, in fact, a question. normally, when we finish an event, we ask you to fold up your chairs and put them against a book shelf. please leave them where we are, as we have three more events this afternoon. as mr. randall is finished talking and finished with the question and answer, he'd be happy to answer questions. the line will start to the right of the podium. mr. randall details the 50 years and persistent attempts by the british to control american trade waters and how in spite of in the united states ultimately becomes the world's largest independent maritime power. publishers weekly said of the book: revisiting such famous events as the chesapeake affair in which a british ship fired on and mustered an american crew, randall brings to life the violent skirmishes that played out in the name of trade on sea, lake and land. his account helps elucidate the complex international entanglements that shaped both
the revolutionary period and aftermath. mr. randall is a journalist and author of six biographies of the founding fathers. he is a distinguished scholar in history and professor emeritus at champlain college. please help me in welcoming willard stern randall. [applause] >> goodafternoon. it's always a pleasure to come back here. i say come back here because it's happened several times since the first time in 1993. so i'm happy to still be able to get up out of that chair. [laughter] when i was this high school, if we learned anything about the war of 1812, it was usually just three things. it was caused by impressment, the impressment of sailors by british. whatever that meant.
i was never really clear at the time. and i've never heard the word connected with anything else, impressment. and that it was won by andrew jackson at the battle of new orleans. but then what really flummox me was that that supposedly happened after the war was over. after the treaty of g with ent was -- gent was signed, wherever gent was, because that was never explained. it made no sense. in the recent bicentennial of the war of 1812, a lot of which took place here in washington, it was still or portrayed as the second american revolution. and we were told that there was still no winner, no loser. it was something that was really only important to the canadians. it was a mere hiccup in the united states' history.
well, i've devoted six years to trying to find out what really happened because i wasn't really sure. still after all those years after writing about founding fathers for years and teaching american history, i couldn't even get a textbook that got it right. i remember one had the duke of wellington being killed before the battle of new orleans. so what happened to napoleon and waterloo? i stopped using that book. but our textbooks really didn't -- and there was only half a page out of 600 pages in the textbook on the war of 1812. and i think it's more important than that. i'd like to argue that the american revolution was not two wars of independence, but an unremitting, 50-year-long struggle for complete
independence from britain overlapping two armed conflicts, linked by an unacknowledged global struggle. what winston churchill, in his history of the english-speaking peoples, called an unofficial trade war. none of the founding fathers could possibly divine that the revolutionary war was only the first phase of a far longer ordeal. traditionally, we're taught that the revolution, revolutionary war was the entire american revolution. after american colonists helped the british oust the french from north america, the british began taxing everything without representation. so we rebelled. and we won our independence at saratoga and at yorktown.
john adams summed up the american revolution this way: the people of america had been educated in the habitual affection for england as their mother country. and while they thought her a kind and tender parent, no affection could be more sincere. but when americans discovered that the mother country was willing, like lady mcbeth, to dash out their brains, it was no wonder that their affection ceased and changed into indignation and horror. supposedly, that all ended with the treaty of paris in 1783 negotiated by franklin, john adams, john jay, a treaty guaranteeing our independence. or did it? we had gained political autonomy, but were we truly independent?
did we have true economic independence? it turns out we did not. immediately after the treaty was signed, britain reimposed the colonial era navigation act of 1756. this cut off the united states from its natural, longstanding trade with all of our neighbors. from canada and from the british colonies in the caribbean. the act forbade direct trade between the united states and england except aboard british ships, the doctrine of english goods in english bottoms. which had represented 80 president of our -- 80% of our trade before the revolution. britain also demanded that her treaty allies, spain and portugal, bar american shipping as well. since we were no longer british colonies, britain no longer paid
tribute money to cover our ships in the mediterranean, and so north african states began to stop and seize our ships and hold our sailors for ransom. primarily algeria where 1.5 million sailors from different countries were enslaved between 1500 and 1800. so we joined that long line. george washington, our first president, witnessed the reign of terror and the outbreak of the that poll januaryic -- napoleonic wars n. the united states, an internal power struggle began. if you sided with the french whr were sympathetic to the french like jefferson and madison, you
opposed washington's policies and hamilton, his secretary of the treasury, who made up a federalist party. there were no political parties in the constitution. that's amazing. we talk about what's constitutional and what isn't. political parties themselves are not in the constitution. but they formed over the rivalry between hamilton and jefferson and over the question of which side you took in the napoleonic wars. newspapers were formed which was the beginning of political parties. vitriolic news stories began to appear. leaks -- [laughter] from the capitol. jefferson was publishing the diplomatic mail to washington before washington got to read it. you could get three times a week a newspaper full of what they called billingsgate after a section in london where the really shoddy newspapers were published.
and you could choose between the united states gazette or the gazette of the united states, just to confuse things further. as war in europe metastasized globally and britain blockaded france and the countries france had conquered in europe, the united states absorbed much of the french overseas trade. between 1790 and 1800, american carrying trade multipie plied -- multiplied five time the. as if in revenge, warships and privateers captured 400 american merchant ships to keep them from trading with britain. president john adams, succeeding washington, fought back. he built a squadron of six state-of to-the-art frigates, that means the largest small fighting ship, 38-44 guns, that
staved off the french in the caribbean. in a war that is so obscure that it's called the quasi-war. it never even got a real came -t a real name. napoleon backed off, but he never compensate american ship owners. it was 35 years before andrew jackson forced the issue, and france paid up war reparations. as americans continued to clear their, try to clear their debts with british merchants year after year with depreciated american currency, the british retaliated by refusing to leave their forts around the great lakes and on the canadian frontier. in the summer of 1791, secretary of -- then-secretary of state jefferson and james madison who had just written the bill of rights took a summer vacation.
well, a summer vacation, we would call it a junket today, although no one was paying for it, to the new state of vermont. and while they were there, they learned that the british had built a new fort on an island in the middle of a lake below the canadian border. in other words, in u.s. territory. 1791. the war had been over for almost ten years. so jefferson hurried back to philadelphia to confer with washington about what they could do. if you haven't sensed this already, in many ways the 30-year period between the revolutionary war and the war of 1812 has a lot in common with the issues of our own times. toxic internal politics still struggling over ideology, persistent refugee crises,
foreign powers suspected of manipulating american affairs, constant tensions over free trade, the demonizing of ethnic groups at that time the indians, by some the french, by others the irish. as early as the 1790s we had our first and second refugee crises. the reign of terror drove thousands of french to our shores. 25,000, as best i can count, came to baltimore and philadelphia at a time when the combined population of those two cities was only about 70,000 people. on top of that, there was a slave revolt in the caribbean which drove even more french to our shores. and then in 1798 most of all,
the british suppressed an irish revolt and thousands who survived came to america, especially to baltimore, boston and philadelphia. so we were crowded with refugees. adams responded with the alien and sedition acts. now, this gets left out of such things as mccullough's biography of john adams. it goes by real fast. but what the sedition act means is that anyone who criticized the government in any form could be arrested and imprisoned. and so our supreme court associate justices rode around in carriages reading newspapers and arresting and locking up the printers. the alien part of that made it so uncomfortable for french refugees who included the future
king of france and quite a few dukes who were holed up and rented digs in philadelphia and urged them to leave. when one former french government official who ran a bookstore which was the hub of the french community in live philadelphia was forced out, someone asked president adams why he had to go. he wasn't even active in politics. john adams' answer was, he is too french. now, hamilton -- who's had a revival of fame, as we all know, in the last few years -- was a bad boy at the time. barred from presidential politics by his own confession of an illicit affair, probably that's unparalleled in american
history where a high government official prints his own confession, making it impossible for him to ever be elected to anything again. and ask and so he -- and so he split with adams and made it impossible for adams to become reelected to the presidency. and so someone who was on the other side of the ideological aisle, jefferson, was elected by very few votes on the 35th ballot of the electoral college. jefferson was a pacifist. but as with everything else with jefferson, he was conflicted. he founded west point, but then he sent the united states navy to the mediterranean tofight the corsairs of the algerians. he final he made -- he finally made peace with the algiers by sending a shipload of silver dollars, twenty barrels of
silver dollars on a merchant ship to make the first payment. then he dismantled the navy. he put it in dry dock. but at the same time, america's merchant fleet was burgeoning. our carrying trade doubles again between 1800 and 1812. britain increasingly was getting nervous and began to tighten its grip over american waters as if we were still colonists. exacting customs duties in england 25% and blockading our ports, britain's navy carried out 400 illegal searches and seizures of american merchant ships. their justification was to stop contraband to france but also to find deserters from the british
navy which was known for harsh discipline. as it turns out, my research shows that of 55,000 merchant seamen on american ships, 40% had been born in england or ireland. but britain scoffed at this new idea we had call naturalization. if you were born english, you die english. you died gish. and so they came aboard our ships. i open the book with two brothers bringing a cargo of produce from delaware all the way to new york harbor for the new york market. as they near the harbor, a british ship fire a cannon. a cannonball in front of them, and they did what they were supposed to do, come to stay there until the search party came. the harbor was full of people waiting. if you had a shipload of fresh
produce, it wasn't going to be worth very much as you sat there and saw the day go away with. but then another cannonball came at them and took off the head of one of the brothers. somehow he -- his brother managed to get this boat into harbor where an angry crowd formed as he carried the rest of his brother's body to the coffee house, our first stock market, and put it on the sidewalk. so you had days of rioting. the british consulled had to barricade himself in his house. the city's mayor, clinton, ordered a public funeral. men commandeered ships and chased after the british and overtook them and brought back some of the ships that had been seized that day. and it's, this is the first violent confrontation in an american port.
but it was followed soon after by the chesapeake fair. the chesapeake was one of those six frigates built as part of our first navy. and it was going to take its turn coming out of jefferson's dry dock to go to the mediterranean the relieve another ship on station. the dcs were create -- the decks were cluttered with gear. nobody could even find the matches for the cannon, and a british ship fire the warning shot and said we're coming aboard. they were looking for four sailors that had jumped ship literally, taken the british ship's commanders private dinghy and escape to shore. they were looking for them as deserters. but the american commander refused to let them aboard. and he instead passed the word to clear for action. they couldn't find anything. the decks were still littered with everything.
and so british opened fire, sweeping the american deck with cannon fire. five americans would die from that episode. it was the first time an american ship had surrendered, and the captain was disgraced. the ship then became a prize of the commanding officer of the british ship that had captured it, and so we're down to five frigates. but that was too much even for jefferson whose diplomatic effortses continued to fail. efforts continued to fail. and so 1807 became the year of the american embargo. that's one of those words right up there with impressment that you get in high school and you really don't understand it. what does that mean? well, at the time it was so hated that people made a pal indream out of it and called it the oh grab me. and basically, what it meant was that all american maritime
commerce with foreign countries was prohibited by congress. that brilliant isolationist experiment proved an instant catastrophe. in one year it destroyed 80% of america's vital import/export trade. causing the worst depression since the revolutionary war. the tonnage of foreign vessels entering u.s. ports dropped 50% which meant that 50% of customs duties were not collected, and customs duties were the principal form of revenue for the united states. so it was a catastrophe. soup lines formed in portland and boston. docks were deserted. and many of those recent irish refugees move west, flocking west especially to kentucky
where the population went from several thousand to 400,000 in a decade. the land was free. there they encountered tecumseh. he's one of the more fascinating figures, i think, in american history. he and his people had been push around by the american military and by land acquisitions and treaties from alabama to the great lakes and had actually set up a capital in a place. another one of those high school names that you wonder about. i guess we can all remember tip a canoe. but i thought that was something from some other time. i mean, that's how we learned our history. because our history's so young, we almost have to have nursery
rhymes to remember it. unfortunately, he had a mad brother, and so while tecumseh was out recrewing other indians -- recruiting other indians to join the confederacy to stop the new americans from spreading across the continent, his brother led an attack on an american army. that didn't work, and tip a canoe was wipe out and burned. the result of that is that tecumseh turned to british at a time when we had 3,000 men in our army. tecumseh had 10,000 warriors. so you can understand why panic spread along the western frontier after tip a canoe. a war faction developed in congress. remember war hawks? that term has stuck. if you're pro-military, you're
still call a hawk. the war hawk faction captured the off-year congressional elections. their spokesman, henry clay of kentucky, became speaker of the house, and he packed all the key committees with the war hawks. the upshot was the declaration of war against britain on june 18th, 1812. it's easy to remember, 18-18. the senate was sharply divide along sectional lines by this time. the south, agricultural, and the west predominated in congress by now. and commercial new england and new york dissented from the war. the senate split 19-13 in the closest war vote in american history. the american army, as i said, was a little on the thin side.
feeble may be the word. 3,000 regular army. madison, the president, had no military experience, but he was an astute politician. so basically, he turned to his governors who then appointed their relatives and friends as our officer corps. but he also turned to veterans of the revolution who had been young soldiers 35 years before. but now some of them were too old to sit on a horse. for example, henry dearborn was put in charge of the american army. he really wanted to stay in boston because he loved to buy supplies. he'd burn up the appropriations happily. he was reluctant to go to the front. but when he did and he had his first review of the american army, first his hat fell off, then he lost the grip on the
pummel on his saddle, and henry dear item born fell -- dearborn pell off, and the horse ran away in front of the american army. [laughter] well, that's only embarrassing. madison also appointed someone name william hall who'd been a major in the revolution and gave him our northwestern army and charge of the entire what we call the midwest. hall had to, a couple of problems. one, a little inebriated, and two, to his new duty station in detroit he took his daughter and his grandchildren to be out on the frontier right near tecumseh. so when tecumseh and the british attack detroit, he hunkered in a corner weeping and surrendered without even conferring with his officers. william hull became the first and only american general ever to be court-martialed and
sentenced to death. the sentence was not carried out. a year later, madison commuted the sentence because of hull's war record in the revolution. which really embarrass his adopted son, i.c.e. am hull, who -- isaac hull, who at that time scores the only american victory in the war. isaac hull was captain of the uss constitution better known as old ironsides. and in a ship-to-ship battle soon after the declaration of war, old ironsides, which got its name because it was made of such thick chunks of oak that the british shells bounced off. old ironsides defeated a british frigate. ..
we could win and pretty soon the u.s. navy ships were all bottled up in the port bid a hugh block -- huge blockade treat from britain. we wanted to take over canada. they wanted canada so wouldn't be so much trouble to smuggle everything across the border because a third of vermonters made their living from smuggling for years. in maine and boston, we went across the border to the extent that the british never had to
bug money for their army in canada because we -- were feeding their army. still, americans from the west and south wanted to take canada, to annex it. thomas jefferson wrote it would be a mere matter of marching to take canada. very untrue. three invasions would fail. but first american invasion of canada was an amphibious operation against york. what we now call toronto. the provincial territorial. it's next to lower canada, but toronto. it was the death of the infantry leader to the american forces
attacking york that cautioned so much trouble. he was someone you have heard of in another context. pike. he was a the youngest brigadier gené american army in the war of 1812. prom the corps of exploration, all over the west, he had seen pike's peak but never climbed it. he climbed long peak right next door but it would be name after him. and at this point he had the first regiment of riflemen and they landed in york in the spring of 1813, and were attacking a nearly defenseless provincial capital. the british had one cannon that belonged to crimebell in 1650, but how had gone from war to war to war to canada, where it could only shoot straight. it was permanently mounted, you can't raise is, lower it or turn
it. so, york wasn't very well-defended. pike and his regiment quickly took the outer defenses and they were resting up before taking the last part of the fort. pike was sitting on a tree staunches interrogating a prisoner, surrounded by 200 british prisoners and 2000 some american soldiers leaning on their muskets. rifles. when the british commander decided to give the order to light a match underneath the powder magazine directly under pike which contained 500-barrels of highly explosive begun powered, so the man whose name is on pike's peak was killed bay boulder falling on his head. and most of the american casualties from that attack were from that explosion. once pike was killed, the american sailors and soldiers
went on a three-day rampage. they quickly emptied all the taverns in a provincial capital there numerous. and after that, they went to the government buildings. they mistake the league of the speaker of the house of upper canada for an indian scalp and used that for justification to burn the government buildings. then the went from house to house and when people did come back when it was all, they had bare walls. they erein to angry clan church and someone flattened the alter into it would fit in his back peak. the commander of the american navy, commander khansy, took all the book out of the library. the next time he invadessed hi took them back. guess he felt badly. it's not the kind of war we usually read about but it was savage.
it was savage, it was war of raiding, burning, and plunder. british officers could make fors but getting a cot of anything they took, especially ships. the commander of the british station in halifax, which meant north american waters, wanted to retire but didn't have enough my until the war of 1812 but so many ships were captured around the chesapeake and off virginia and sold as prizes at auction, that his cut of 10% amounted to 100,000 pounds sterling. if you work that out it's in the millions in our money. so rooting and plundering, but very targeted, because we burned york, the british government in canada asked the british
invaders in virginia to burn washington, dc in retaliation. they were ready. early in 1814, napoleon, after failing to take egypt, india, russia, was down to returning alone to paris and capitulating. that was a snag for the british, who felt hey that been stabbed in the back by their american cousins to send huge reinforcements to america. so they began by extending their blockade all the way from maine to new orleans. especially trying to stop privateers. this is another one of those war of 1812 words. that you don't hear very minute. we would call them the merchant marine. we even have a merchant marine academy, not called the privateers academy. it meant merchants financed,
built, often served as the captains, recruited the crews, and they went out and attacked british shipping, warships and commerce. in fact, they captured five times as many ships as the american navy in the war of 1812. american merchants built 2,000 armed privateers ships. they captured 1,500 british vessels. and a third of those ships cam out of baltimore. so it was especially galling to the british that no matter what their blockade did not keep whole squadrons of american privateers ships from coming out of the chesapeake and going and having the audacity to attack british ships in the english channel where they captured many of them. or as far as argentina. so, they were especially annoyed
at one captain, one american captain, john rogers who had escaped a british fleet by using something new to the british, they called it's yankee trick. new england sailors knew this thing about having small anchors as well as large one, called a kedge after -- anchor, and you throw that out ahead of your ship and have your men turn the cap capstan, the wheel on the deck that raised and lowered the anchor, and have the kedge anchor pull the shipforward so when a british flow tillly chased captain roger and his ship, he sent people ahead and escaped the british fleet in a 36, hour race. that was a yankee trick. when the british invaded the chesapeake in 1814, a particularly target was the home
town of captain rogers. you snowy it, it's in maryland at the top of the chesapeake, beautiful little town now, but there, vice admiral coburn and his raising ships burnt the tavern and the home of rogers' father, then looted rogers' house. there's a wonderful water color in the maryland historical society that shows coburn himself picking up things he wants to take with him when he leaves. what he couldn't have picked up he took. a carriage and a hallway harpischord. had his wife play the harpischord. the british officers were taking cows so they could have fresh milk on the ships.
anything they could loot. and this was deliberate. it was policy of punishing the -- the word they used was punish the americans for the stabbing in the back of the english at the same time they were fighting napoleon. as more and more british troops came over, more and more ships came over, finally an armada arrived in the chesapeake. 50 warships. and with it 4,400 seasoned -- battled seasons soldiers from fighting napoleon in europe, and they marched from benedict, maryland, on opposed to the outskirtses of washington, dc, where you have an infamous battle called the brazen'sburg races because the american militia ran so fast that it has become known as the bladens burg -- that might not have happened if james madison had not been the only american from
go into battle with his troops. he inside experience, and his mere presence meant that his generals did not know what to do or overcome. so it was a maryland politician's nephew, general winder, who spread she troops around, had them where they might have resisted the british, and then secretary of state, james monroe, who had been in a revolutionary war, came out and rearranged everything so the cavalry couldn't see the british coming, the infantry didn't like in. it was a disaster. the bladesburg races. washington was totally undefended. now, that reprisal for york came in the form of fire because the british brought with them paper mache globes full of incendiary liquid that could not be put out. with special tools, slings,
something like you use in jalai, to throw the globe's liquid through the windows of the white house, every government tarring you could see. the british gave strict order not to take anything from civilians. that meant they went strategy for the white house. all the item dolly madison was the on roach of the white house with a telescope. she was one of the last to leave washington. you know the famous story, also what you get in high school, she went to cut out george washington's picture from the frame. unfortunately the picture was glued to the roll and she had her slave boy to cut it out and rolled it up and handed it to a citizen who was there and told
them to take it to safety. she rescued madison's government papers, the family silver, and the original copy of the declaration of independence. and then she fled. one of the last to leave. when the british did come, the only place that was resistance was from a privateering captain and his ship's gunners who tried to keep them away from the capitol building and failed. inside the capitol building they tried to blow it up. it wouldn't blow up. it wouldn't catch fire. they fired their rockets. they had new rockets which were more danger to the person firing it than the target. but the ceiling was steel. the capitol could not be easily burned. but they kept working at it, emptied the rockets' fuel until the made a big enough fire to destroy the capitol. they spared only bun government building, the post office. that's because william thornton, who had designed washington,
dc, was the manager of the patent office who organized this is private property. these models are private property. they're not property of the government. so, one gentleman to another gentleman, the british went up the street to the white house and finished off the dinner that dolly madison had prepared for the american officers. washington was on fire by the time they left. the navyyards, with ships on the weighs, blew up because the head of the navy yard has filled a well with cannonballs and gun powder and as the british tried to drop something into it, there's a terrific explosion so almost all the british casualties were from that blast in the navyyard. the british took a month off, as they often do after battle, and the meantime in baltimore, samuel smith, who had been an officer in the revolution and
knew how to fight against the british and to hold off a siege, put 11,000 baltimore people to work, white and black, round the clock, volunteers, in shifts, and they built basically two mountains, one they call federal hill, that protected the harbor, which was the particular target of the british because 524 privateers ships hat come out of that harbor and there were still quite a few in there again the commanders were looking for their cut of the loot. the best description, of course, of the battle for baltimore is from an eye witness, francis scott key. the original is in the maryland historical society. read the send stanza. maybe you can't sing it. it's 150th good-15en in century english drinking song and that's what would take to be able to sing for most people. but francis cot key was there
negotiating a prisoner exchange, saw the battle and described it accurately. he put it in the local newspaper. it was prisoned afterward and eventually became our national anthem but describes the bombs burstingy air, the rockets' red glare. this factes the bombs were bursting in air because they weren't hitting fort mchenry because the french had lend it cannon with longer range than the british and the british lad to stay out of cannon range until the tired of this. with dawn's early light they could see an enormous flag, some 42 feet long, made by local flagmakers and a slave that was the signal that they had survived, that you could see from baltimore. so the british navy and army sailed away to another prize port, new orleans. now, what we don't hear about is that the crucial battle was on lake champlain because it was that time that the british
launched their other invasion from the north, with veterans of the napoleonic wars, marching down the york shire, and 'vetters built a fleet in six weeks. men cutting down 100 white pine trees a day in shifts so that in a matter of a few weeks they had enough tim for build a fleet to stop the british fleet coming down lake champlain so this terrific battle that lasted two hours and 20 minutes but decided the outcome of the war 189 1812 because the british lost the battle to a 28-year-old come door named mcdonough and because they had no ship thursday supportshire army, the british army marked back to california. when the word reached bell jump, john quincy adam and henry clay, our negotiatears, sound down for
the umpteen anytime a year of negotiations and decide on a stale matte. both side were broke. the british par him did not want to appropriate anymore money to find the americans. the duke of wellington didn't want the command. he was offered it in america help said he didn't want to be killed. her said i must not die. he had this idea that napoleon was not going to stay on elba and would still around. by that time every american, every british general who fought the americans had been killed by sharpshooters. so he stayed in york. but both side were really broke. in october of 1814, we could not pay the interest on our war bonds. we could not any of our debts. we were bankrupt. when we put the order in for the 1815 penny, the supplier of copper refused credit to the united states.
so there was no 1815 penny. the diplomats in gant were deeply indebt, including dolly madison's son, who kept throwing parties, putting her mother and stepfather deeper in debt. he was one of the assistants to the delegates there. the dutch and the french refused anymore detroit the american peace negotiators so we have status quo antebellum. the technical term. nothing happened historically, it was a hiccup. give it all back. 20,000 americans had been killed. 10,000 of them american indians. the indians basically lost alabama, georgia, and much of the south, 0 andrew jackson's arms ys and when the british could not call back their army and navy after the treaty of gant, and instead wellingtop, who had sent his brother-in-law to lead an army into new orleans
when he and 2,000 red coats were killed, the war was really over ex post facto. what was all about? what do we take away from this? well, for one thing, we now had our independence. the british were no longer imposing their rules or their laws or their boycotts or their blockades on us. in fact right from the treaty of gant general quincy adams and henry clay went to london and signed a treaty of trade and they have been our trading partners ever since. 20,000 americans dead. who really won? the canadians because for the first time french and english canadians worked together to resist the three invasions of the americans of canada. who really lost? the indians. tecumseh was killed,
confederation collapsed, the frontier was open, and our immigrants and our farmers poured west. but the revolution was finally over. we were now completely independent. we came out of it as the leading independent maritime power in the world, and from the beginning, that's what it had always been about, free trade. thank you very much. [applause] >> that was trick. >> thank you-d-that was trick and awe the textbooks need be rewritten. why did it take so long? it sounds like it had a huge impact and the history that you talked about was precisely the history i learned growing up outside boston.
>> yes. why did it take so long for us to find this out or why did it take -- >> why was so it completely overlooked? >> we overlook a lot in our history. hamilton can crowd theaterred now but nobody wrote anything about him for more than 50 years after he died. his party had been destroyed. he had been killed. jefferson's party had won. scholarships didn't even do any research on hamilton until the civil war, when the north discovered that their system worked because of hamilton and so he got put on the two dollar bill, and because of the play now he stays on the ten dollar billing. that's strange, the symbolism and power. this war of 1812 we didn't win. andrew jackson won and so the attention was on andrew jackson, the big winner.
john quincy adams was booed out of the movie athlete temperatures by jackson and his supporters because we came out of it -- henry clay said we need three more years as war to uphold our honor and americans that hat attitude when it was ol', holding our honor, our honor is warlike. from that time on we fight the indians, facts the mexicans, fight -- the soldiers of the war of 1812 were the generals of the mexican war, and the civil war. so i think the country changed once it got its true independence. it became measure more, i would say, like the british, military, commercial, and on the make. >> so one more question. how could we become the a leading naval maritime power in 1815 when the brits are being -- they till had their whole empire.
>> but that it were dead broke. forth napoleon' and the french for 25 years and didn't keep their navy up. didn't even fix their ships. they lit it rot. they had lost their first empire twice, first to us, and then in our war of 1812. basically they wanted to settle down business on both sides. it was an exciting time that came after that, time of invention, railroads, canals. you could now go up a river as well as down. you could cross the atlantic by ship. and so the interests of both countries was in trade more than anything else. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> hello. because we're in washington, washington is the center of the universe, i'd like to discuss he'll of the war on the
acceptance of washington as a capital city. it had been greatly repeal and they were about to end -- send it back to philadelphia and everyone was very dissatisfied. following the assault on washington, i think the americans so unanimously said, how dare they dare they attack our capital. >> i think that's exactly right. they went from revialing washington as this swamp with unpaved streets and just odd buildings scattered around, et cetera to how dare they. those barbarian, how dare that? we have to be clobbered before we pull together. i hate to say it but look at the history. look at pearl harbor, for example. so americans rallied because of this insult. that's how they saw it. and they went from trying to get their money out of the united states and into canadian banks,
to actually giving it to defend baltimore. writing out the content offered bank accounts to last-minute fights against the british. but washington basically had to be a sacrificial fire, and the idea that our whole government was in a post office building, that where is the cabinet was meeting, where all of -- we were down to just having a post office. we should enshrine that, think. keep your post offices. you never know. >> one quick question about dr. torn ton's involvement in the burn offering washington. you made remark the designed washington. he did execute the winning design for the capitol building and then enter feared as best he could as the actual construction as long as he could but there's a very famous sort of quote about him standing before --
placing himself between the british cannon and the actual -- and the patent office saying don't you -- this is the repositoriy of american knowledge and blah blah and he there bysaved the patent offers. >> we always have those myths going. one was going to burn maryland and a woman leaning out the window situation, you can't burn it. have mythology. there dismiss truth. he did speak up. he did not flee. he maded the arguments these patent, these mod. s private and the british officer had orders not destroy private property. >> many otherbuildings were saved using that same -- >> people who stayed in their homes, very courageously. also afraid of looters. the british didn't do looting.
it was lot of washingtonians who were disgusted they had been leather un -- left undefended. >> i hauled out my 1955 edition of the diplomatic history of the united states before i came here and he has a section in there where he talks about the french directory propaganda effort against george washington as being the only instance in which foreign infliction was brought to bear in an american election ever. do you talk about that in your book. >> unfortunately beamus' book isn't use in classes the only incidence of foreign influence? i would argue that prince albert, the consort of queen victoria, openly expressed sympathy nor confederacy and encourages the confederates to trade with the british. ...
>> you are happily opposed to the treaty. >> the french were opposed to anything like that. but the jays treaty was because were stiffing the british on their debts. until we started paying their debts with real money, they were not good to take the troops away. thank you. >> you mentioned of how the 50 year struggle left the british
broke unless them, lord north who was the prime minister during the 1776 revolution was considered the most unsuccessful, failed prime minister. i wonder, what was the long-term impact on the english government of the suit year struggle? i'm thinking of their attitude toward the other colonies like the great mutiny of 1857. you see that was the wrong lesson. >> that was much later. the duke of wellington was a reformer. and when you begin to become my ministry had the reform act of 1830. he's an exception to a lot of things. so, it depends on when you're looking. if you're looking between 1815 and 1830, things are getting better because the british are broken. they have to try something else. many leave and come to the united states between 1820 and 30 and even more to canada. england have been beaten into
the ground. after 1830, they begin to go further afield. so, you do have the 1857 mutiny in india which was a bloodied slaughter. is because they kept in the same things, they would pick a minority party or minority ruler aback him against the majority. that has been their policy again and again to kashmir, india, africa, et cetera. you can change governments but can you change attitudes? >> thank you very much for your attention. [applause] [inaudible]