How Much Do You Know About the War of 1812?

By: John Miller
Estimated Completion Time
3 min
How Much Do You Know About the War of 1812?
Image: wikipedia

About This Quiz

The American Revolution was not the end of armed conflict between the former colonies and the Motherland. Battle raged again in the new century -- how much do you know about the War of 1812?
What year did the War of 1812 begin?
1712
1812
We're going to assume you got this one correct. The War of 1812 did, as its name implies, kick off in 1812. It was the beginning of a fraught period in New World history.
1912

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The War of 1812 pitted the United States against which country?
Mexico
Great Britain
Just a couple of decades following the American Revolution, the British and Americans were at it again. As the bombs began bursting, America's sovereignty was anything but guaranteed.
Greenland

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As hostilities commenced with the U.S., many of Britain's forces were already busy fighting the ______.
Sudanese
Australians
French
The Napoleonic Wars were in full swing and Britain was very much occupied fighting France. Renewed hostilities with American meant that Britain's forces would become even more strained.

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At the time of the war, what aspect of Britain's military was extraordinarily strong?
British Air Force
British Navy
During the war, Britain still boasted the world's most powerful navy. Even with its sailors strewn about the globe, America had a steep challenge in facing off with Britain and its allies.
British Nuclear Warfare Team

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What was NOT really a cause of the War of 1812?
Britain's trade blockade
Britain forcing American sailors into service
America taunting the king
America taunted the king a lot during the Revolution, but that wasn’t a cause of the War of 1812. The reasons for the conflict ranged from Britain's trade blockade to America's desire for territorial expansion in North America.

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Who was president during the War of 1812?
James Madison
James Madison was the fourth president of the United States, and he was in office during the conflict. His choices helped lead America into a deadly war.
George Washington
Gerald Ford

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The British angered America with "impressment," which is what?
They forced Americans to get cool British flag tattoos.
They forced American seamen to serve on British ships.
Before the war, the British routinely captured American merchant sailors and "impressed" them into service on British ships. Americans were outraged by the unjust audacity of the British.
They forced American sailors to watch an "impressive" display of British naval firepower.

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How did Congress respond to Madison's request for a declaration of war?
Congress was bitterly divided.
Congress was very divided on Madison's ideas for war. It ultimately issued the declaration … but it did so with a lot of reluctance.
Congress would do anything for the opportunity to use more bombs.
Congress was enthusiastic about war.

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President Madison, angry at British intrusions on American interests, decided to capture which British-controlled country?
Russia
Canada
Madison estimated that with Britain distracted by the French in Europe, it would be easy for America to drive the British out of Canada, capture the country and expand U.S. territory. Turns out, he was wrong.
Brazil

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How did Canadians respond to American incursions on Canadian soil?
They were too busy ice fishing to care.
They united to fight the invaders.
Canadians were strongly allied with the British and none too happy about American aggression. They dropped their ice-fishing poles and banded together to fight the invaders.
They invited them to tea.

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How did the first American attacks on Canada fare?
American troops got lost in the woods.
America immediately took control of Canada.
The Americans were driven back.
America's troops were woefully underprepared for an offensive. Local forces led by savvy British officers immediately repelled the attacks.

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British forces chased retreating American forces back across the border. Then what did the British do?
They had a tea party on the Great Lakes.
They captured Detroit.
Following the short-lived American incursion, the British chased the enemy back into the United States … and then captured Detroit. Madison's war was not going quite the way he'd expected.
They called it a day and went home.

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True or false: Was the battle for Detroit a deadly bloodbath?
TRUE
FALSE
American leader William Hull was so spooked by his brief experiences in combat that he was anxious about facing off with the British again. He opted to surrender Detroit without so much as a single shot fired.

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How did the American public feel about the war?
They thought of it as a nice party.
They were not excited for war.
The American public wasn't enthusiastic about the war, and men didn't want to serve in the undermanned and unprepared army. There also weren't enough officers to properly coordinate the existing forces.
They wanted to eat the British.

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Which famous American song emerged from the War of 1812?
"The Star-Spangled Banner"
During the British bombardment of Fort McHenry, an American lawyer named Francis Scott Key witnessed American bravery in action. He then wrote a poem that eventually became "The Star-Spangled Banner," and was ultimately adopted as the national anthem.
"God Bless the U.S.A."
"Riders on the Storm"

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At the beginning of the war, British troops stationed in Canada were short on supplies. How did they stock up?
They called FedEx.
They bought supplies from the Americans.
British troops near the American-Canadian border actually got their supplies from American sources. In effect, American goods were fueling the fight against the United States.
They raided Indian villages.

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American officials initially expected Canadian civilians to see U.S. troops as _____.
Murderers
Liberators
American government officials figured that Canadians would view U.S. troops as liberators. Instead, the Canadians took up arms, in part because the U.S. had strong anti-Catholic leanings, a fact that didn't sit well with devout Catholic population north of the border.
Sissies

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What did New England states consider doing during the war?
Surrendering to the Canadians
Seceding
New England states were adamantly opposed to the war. They seriously considered seceding from the country to form their own entity.
Assassinating Britain's king

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What were American "privateers"?
Weapons manufacturers
Men who secured war funding
Merchant captains who engaged in war with the British
During the war, American merchant vessels were authorized to attack British ships … and they did, in great numbers. These "privateers" caused the British Navy more trouble than U.S. Navy ships.

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How many British ships did American privateers seize during the war?
Around 50
Around 1,000
American privateers were an enterprising bunch, capturing British vessels by the hundreds. The British may have lost around 1,000 ships to the privateers during the war.
More than 15,000

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True or false: Did the British capture Washington, D.C., during the war?
TRUE
In a testament to the seriousness of the conflict, Britain did indeed capture and occupy America's capital during the war. It's the only time in U.S. history that an enemy force has occupied Washington.
FALSE

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Before the British withdrew from Washington, D.C., what did they do?
They opted to become American citizens.
They decided to surrender.
They set fire to the city.
The British had no intention of going peacefully. They set fire to many public buildings in the city … and even burned what is now known as the White House.

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As fires raged through Washington, what strange event unfolded?
The Rapture
An enormous thunderstorm doused the fires.
As fires scorched the capital, a powerful thunderstorm (perhaps fueled by a hurricane) extinguished many fires. A tornado also ripped through the middle of the city, killing British and Americans alike.
A sudden windstorm miraculously blew out the flames.

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How long did the British occupy Washington?
About a day
Following the epic storm, the British fled to their ships, many of which were severely damaged in the storm. The city was only occupied for about a day.
12 minutes
12 years

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True or false: Was the large storm responsible for driving the British out of Washington?
TRUE
FALSE
This one is likely false. The British wanted to raze Washington as retribution for American actions in other areas of the war. They weren't authorized to hold and occupy enemy territory.

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As the war dragged on, the British decided to try and capture which important American city?
New Orleans
The British decided to capture the important port city of New Orleans. Doing so would give them vital control over much of the South.
Phoenix
Denver

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In 1814, what action did Britain take against the United States?
A major blockade
By 1814, the British had had enough. They implemented a major naval blockade, grinding the American economy to a halt and forcing the country to survive on huge loans from other nations.
Attempted to assassinate President Madison
It nuked Seattle.

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At the Battle of New Orleans, roughly 15,000 troops tried to invade the city. How many American defenders were present?
About 5,000
General Andrew Jackson's men numbered only around 5,000 but they defended New Orleans with ferocity, driving off the larger British force. It became known as the most amazing American victory of the war.
About 50,000
About 500,000

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When was a peace treaty signed between America and Britain?
In 1811
A few weeks before the Battle of New Orleans
Unbeknownst to the combatants at New Orleans, American and British politicians had already signed a peace treaty in Europe … so when the Battle of New Orleans raged, the war was essentially already over.
A treaty was never signed and they are still at war.

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Who won the War of 1812?
Britain
The United States
It was a draw.
In the end, both sides were worn down by the expensive fighting. Many historians essentially view the outcome as a draw.

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You Got:
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