As a lawyer-poet celebrating his country’s resistance to British attack, Francis Scott Key not only wrote the words to what would later become the American national anthem. He also gave Americans a rallying cry to express their national pride.
For the Americans, the War of 1812 had great victories and terrible defeats. Most invasions of Canada were costly failures. Francis Scott Key’s short poem, jotted down upon seeing the American flag still flying over a besieged fort, became a triumphant national anthem.
The War of 1812 allowed Americans to affirm their identity and independence as a sovereign nation, one that had successfully resisted the world’s reigning superpower: Great Britain.