The War of 1812


Grade 8 American History
Longfellow Middle School - Hill City, Kansas
Generation-Y Project by Tiffany Rohr, Caleb Burton, and Amber Wilkerson

Partner Teacher/Generation-Y Teacher: Scott Parker



In, June, 1812, the young United States again went to war against its former mother country, Great Britain. Trouble had been rekindling for several years. The British, who were at war with France, were seizing American ships to prevent their trading with France. In fact, they had captured some 2,500 American sailors, forcing them to serve on British ships. Finally, "war hawks" in Congress pushed through a declaration of war.

The U.S. Navy had only 16 ships, too few to stop the powerful 600-ship British navy from blockading American ports. But American ships won several battles at sea. The most famous clash took place on August 19, 1812, when the USS Constitution fought the British frigate Guerriere off the coast of Newfoundland. The Americans held their fire until they came close to the enemy; then the Constitution's guns roared into action, ripping huge holes in the Guerriere and destroying both its masts. The stunned British captain soon surrendered.

Yet on land, the first six months of the war did not go well for the U.S. The British captured Fort Detroit in Michigan in mid-August, 1812 . In October and November, 1812, American attempts to invade Canada and defeat the British there failed because of poor planning and inept leadership.


Our Task

We will learn more about the War of 1812 including the causes, what happened during the war, and the results of the war. You will answer questions found in the Evaluation section of the WebQuest. Also, you will write a fictional letter to a United States representative expressing your opinion about the war.


The Process

You will use the links in the Resource section to find out more about the War of 1812.

1. While using our links, you will need to find the answers to the questions found in the Evaluation section of the WebQuest.

2. Also in the Evaluation section, you will need to find information to use for your fictional letter to a representative.



The War of 1812 Web Site

The War of 1812 (Jan. 18, 1812 - Jan. 8, 1815)

The Dolley Madison Project

General William Hull

USS Constitution Official Website

The Treaty of Ghent

The Burning of Washington by Dolley Madison

Battle of New Orleans

Star Spangled Banner

Ohio Society War of 1812

War of 1812 Cemetery

Fort Erie and the War of 1812

Leading up to the War of 1812 What happened before the War of 1812

Glossary of Nautical Terms A very cool place to go!



This section has the questions you need to answer as you do the WebQuest. You will write your answers using word processing in AppleWorks. (You will need to login to the server.) Also, while using Appleworks, you will compose a fictional letter to a US representative.


Document One - War of 1812 Questions

50 Points Possible

1. What was the War of 1812 also called?

2. What was the nickname of the ship, theConstitution ?

3. Who was the wife of President Madison?

4. What disadvantages did the United States face at the beginning of the War of 1812?

5. Why did Hull's invasion of Canada fail?

6. Who wrote "The Star-Spangled Banner" during a British attack on Baltimore's Fort McHenry during the War of 1812?

7. What part did the Tecumseh play in the War of 1812?

8. What happened to Washington, DC, during the War of 1812?

9. What was unusual about when The Battle of New Orleans was fought?

10. What was the name of the agreement by Britain and the United States to return matters to the way they had been before the war?


Document Two - Fictional Letter to a United States Congressman

50 Points Possible

Pretend you are living during this time period. Using the Appleworks word processing program, write a fictional letter to a United States representative expressing your opinion about the War of 1812. You must include at least five things in your letter from information you found in the Web sites in the Resources section. Underline these in your letter.



You have studied and found out more about the War of 1812. You have also now visited Web sites about the war. Although the War of 1812 returned matters to the way they had been before the war, the War of 1812 produced a new sense of national pride. America cheered the victories of its warships. In addition, the Battle of New Orleans, the final action of the war, gave Americans a thrilling land victory and a new hero, Andrew Jackson.



The American Scene: Events - A New Nation Emerges, 1776-1828, Grolier Educational, 1999.

The American Nation, Prentice Hall, 1995.

Photo used with permission: The War of 1812 Website,, October 28, 2003.