The War of 1812: Who Won the War?

Students will learn about the causes, course and consequences of the War of 1812. The causes section will help students understand the geographical location and importance of Upper Canada to the Americans and British, the spark which led to the declaration of war and the role of the First Nations before the war. The course section will focus on the stories of key individuals (British, American, First Nations) and the lack of any decisive military victory. The consequences section will show how very little changed for all sides as is evident in the peace treaty in Ghent in 1814.

Teacher

Introduction - Lesson 1

Introduce the topic of the War of 1812.

Does anyone have prior knowledge of this war?

Watch the video clip of  the Rick Mercer Report on the War of 1812.

Pose two key related questions:

What makes people want to fight? What makes countries want to enter a war?

Distribute the Student Activity Sheet and ask students to write down the general causes of war in the first section of the sheet.  Explain that this activity will provide the framework for understanding the War of 1812 by studying the causes, course and consequences.

Lesson Development - Lesson 1

Causes of the War of 1812

Provide some background information on the Napoleonic Wars. Send students to the Canadian Atlas Online War of 1812 theme to find the causes of the War of 1812.

Ask students to look for three causes, fill in their Student Activity Sheet and see how similar the “general” causes of war are to the War of 1812 causes.

(Approx. 20 minutes)

Course of the War of 1812

Explain that to fully understand what happened in a past event, students need to be like historical detectives and sift through evidence to find important clues and identify patterns.

They will be required to operate in small groups to determine the significance of a variety of individuals (or battles) in the war.  Explain the meaning of “notable” (famous/distinguished) and “significance” (meaning/importance) for the students.

Distribute the List of References and ask each group to choose and research one British individual, one First Nations individual, one American individual and one key battle from the War of 1812.

Ask students to write down the “notable actions” and “significance” for each of their choices in the Student Activity Sheet.

(approx. 30 minutes)

Conclusion - Lesson 1

Discuss responses from students at the end of the lesson. Ask questions like:

What characteristics have been seen?

What are some of the notable actions so far?

How might these actions affect the significance of the war?

Review the causes of the War of 1812 and the course of the war so far.

Conclude the lesson with the question:  Who would most likely win the War?

Introduction - Lesson 2

Review material from the last lesson.

Consider the following questions:

Are there common threads between individuals’ actions?

Is there a pattern here during the course of the war?

Who is winning the war? How can we tell?

(approx. 10 minutes)

Lesson Development - Lesson 2

Consequences of the War of 1812

Topic question: Who won the War of 1812 and why?

Send students to the Canadian Atlas Online War of 1812 theme (Overview – Who Won or Lost the War of 1812?).  Examine the findings from different perspectives.

Ask students to complete the Student Activity sheet section on the Consequences of the War of 1812, including the section on the Effects of the War of 1812.

Conclusion - Lesson 2

Ask students to write a final summary paragraph that examines the cause, course and consequences of the War of 1812.

Student

Introduction - Lesson 1

Possible responses…

Respond in pairs, then as a class.

As a class, write down the causes of war on the Student Activity Sheet.

Lesson Development - Lesson 1

Visit the Canadian Atlas Online War of 1812 theme and look for three causes.

Write the three causes of the War of 1812 on the Student Activity Sheet. Discuss as a class how close they are to the “general” causes of war.

Form a group.

Use the List of References (primary and secondary sources) to find the “notable actions” and the “significance” of the individuals and battles to the war.  Write findings in the Student Activity Sheet.

Conclusion - Lesson 1

Participate in the discussion.

Introduction - Lesson 2

Participate in the class discussion.

Lesson Development - Lesson 2

Complete the Consequences of the War of 1812 section, including the section on the Effects of the War of 1812.

Conclusion - Lesson 2

Write and submit the summary paragraph.