Tuesday, 15 May 2012


Last week I attended a fascinating talk on the war of 1812. Professor Alan S Taylor from the University of California at Davis, spoke of this often forgotten war. Certainly in the UK, little attention was given to it. (We were more concerned with Napoleon on the European Continent). We were reminded that it was the US who declared war. The war was mainly fought in the zone between Detroit and Montreal. [Though the Battle of New Orleans is perhaps better known to history – and those who listened to and remember Lonnie Donegan].

Professor Taylor stressed how much this war – fought mainly on the boundary between Canada and the United States – resembled a civil war. In particular many of the soldiers on both sides were Irish – some were refugees who had fled to the US – others were voluntary (and involuntary) members of the British forces.

Also, many of the settlers in Upper Canada had, mainly for economic reasons – though some for political – come from the United States.

A very interesting evening – and I’ll be adding Professor Taylor’s book to my wish list (to read after I’ve completed the doctorate).

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