Signing the Treaty of Ghent

The Treaty of Ghent marked the end of the 1812 War between Britain and America. It was something of an embarrassment to the United States which had found the invasion of Canada to be far more unproductive than expected. The British may well have been distracted by the War with France but the loyalist reinforced Canadian provinces fought far more determinedly than the Americans had expected. Even more of a surprise was the fact that the French Canadians also fought to remain in the British Empire rather than be subsumed into an America. It had been expected that these would rise up against the British, but many French Canadians were Royalists and so saw Britain as their natural ally.

The British were far more concerned with events in Europe in which the war with Napoleon was ending at the same time. British delegates to Ghent were instructed to settle quickly on terms that restored the geo-political situation to the pre-war status quo. This meant that the borders were restored, the British did not pay any compensation for seizing American mariners pre-war and nor was any compensation paid for the destruction of American cities and public buildings like the White House.

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by Stephen Luscombe