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1812 FAQ

Find out more about key aspects of the war in five questions.

War of 1812 World Map

War of 1812 World Map

When did it happen?

  • It began in June 1812 and ended in February 1815.

Where did it happen?

  • The Canadian–American frontier and the Great Lakes region
  • The Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts of North America
  • The Atlantic Ocean

Who was involved?

  • Americans
    Citizens and residents of what is now the United States.
  • British
    British subjects living in Great Britain, or serving in the British Army or Royal Navy.
  • Canadians
    Francophones and Anglophones (who were British subjects), and First Peoples (who were independent allies of the Crown), living in the colonies of Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Cape Breton Island, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Lower Canada (Quebec), and Upper Canada (Ontario).
  • Native Americans
    Indigenous peoples living in what is now the United States who fought for, or against, the American government. Some were from nations such as the Anishnaabe, whose traditional territory was divided by the American–Canadian border.

What happened during the war?

  • American armies invaded Canada.
  • British armies invaded the United States.
  • United States Navy frigates defeated British frigates.
  • The Royal Navy blockaded the United States, which crippled the American economy, and launched raids from the sea that included attacks on Washington, Baltimore, and New Orleans.
  • Native Americans contributed to the defence of Upper Canada but could not win their own war against the United States.
  • First Peoples warriors, as well as French- and English-speaking militia and colonial regulars, supported British regulars in the defence of Canada.

How did it end?

  • Neither Britain nor the United States could defeat the other.
  • The two governments decided to negotiate a peace.
  • The Treaty of Ghent ended the war in February 1815 but left Native American territory exposed to further American encroachment.