The Treaty of Ghent and the Battle of New Orleans

Authored by: Steven L. Danver

The Routledge Handbook of American Military and Diplomatic History

Print publication date:  August  2014
Online publication date:  September  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415533805
eBook ISBN: 9781315817347
Adobe ISBN: 9781317813354


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The end of the War of 1812, which has been called (usually by those who favored American expansion) a “second War of Independence,” brought about an opening of opportunity for the new United States, which was, at the war’s end, still less than 40 years old. 1 New opportunities in terms of land: now the promise of the Louisiana Purchase, which had nearly doubled the nation’s territorial reach, could be fulfilled, with no other colonial powers with which to contend. New opportunities in terms of the sea: with the port of New Orleans now firmly in American hands, the reach of the Mississippi River became global. New opportunities in terms of leadership: with Andrew Jackson becoming one of the nation’s foremost heroes; a status he would parlay into a presidency. Each of these factors—American expansion across the land, a desire for greater power over their ports and seas, and the particular proclivities of Andrew Jackson’s leadership style in achieving these goals, would culminate in the Battle of New Orleans. The battle—which actually took place after the Treaty of Ghent was concluded, as word of the treaty would not reach America for a number of weeks—would have immense ramifications for the future of the continent.

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