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The battle of New Orleans, end of Anglo-American war

Publié le par JoSeseSeko

The battle of New Orleans, end of Anglo-American war

A lambda person, whatever the nationality, could say that English and American only fought during the Independance war (1775-1783). But there was a war between the USA and the UK, included in the context of the Napoleonic wars (1804-1815).

In France, this year corresponds to remember historic events (battles of Azincourt, Marignan, Waterloo, death of Louis XIV) but one forgets events in other countries, even if France is indirectly concerned. From my part, I should have red this article about the battle of New Orleans on January 8th, but French news, with the attack of Charlie Hebdo, were too important at that time.

A Napoleonic war

This battle was the epilogue of the Anglo-American war, begun in 1812, as Napoleone Buonaparte (forgiveness, Napoleon Bonaparte), left in his crazy campaign of Russia. You need to know he indirectly caused this war, because of the Continental System. This blockade forbade any nation to trade with the United Kingdom, and in reaction, the British navy blocked the French ports. Yet, the United States wanted to trade with both nations at war and decided, in particular under James Madison's presidency to make an embargo on the French and English products, as reports the British historian Richard Holmes in his book The Napoleonic Wars Experience, on 2006. According to him, although both countries accepted the conditions of Washington, London inspected every American ship to verify if deserters of Albion would not have hidden inside. Then, the Americans declared the war on this pretext in June, 1812.

An inopportune war for the English people, who preferred to concentrate their efforts on Spain, where Arthur Wellesley, duke of Wellington, manhandled the French troops taken in this Spanish pool of mud since 1808, and where he needed all the same reinforcements, to push away them towards Pyrenees. And the war turned until August 1814 rather to the advantage of the Americans, with ground victories in the North of the country and in Canada, the sacking of York (current Toronto), more maritime successes. Nevertheless, Royal Navy picked up, because of the peace in Europe with the Napoleon's 1st abdication further to the campaign of France, and allowed the soldiers of Albion to set on fire Washington, August 24th, 1814. Moreover, during summer, 2014, the British embassy in Washington was anxious to call back, in a awkward way, the fire of the White House, what was worth to it numerous comments across the Atlantic.

A status quo

The rebalancing operated in 1814 urged both countries to initiate negotiations in Ghent (current Belgium), which aimed towards a status quo. But like that took time, Albion wanted to launch a decisive attack to negotiate in favorable position. Then the troops commanded by Edward Pakenham, born Irishman, as Wellington, his brother-in-law whose he had to serve under his orders in Spain. In the face of him, American troops organized by general Andrew Jackson, which were twice less numerous. Two weeks of oppositions got organized around New Orleans, in the bayous of Louisiana, underestimated English people, who sank into these landscapes, not being able to use their numeric superiority. On the other hand, the Americans so saved time, to strengthen the defenses of the city. Well took it to them because on January 8th, 1815, Pakenham launched the assault against the American fortifications, which was a resounding failure. The British had underestimated the fire power of the Americans, then pirates come come to help and had to beat a retreat. More than 2.000 deaths (whose Pakenham himself) and hurt British side, against hundred deaths and injuries for the Yankees.

This battle had been able to turn in US thanks to the pirates installed in bayous. Pirates who were essentially French-speaking. The most famous of them, Jean Lafitte, was a soldier of the French army before leaving her, at the end of the slave expedition in Santo Domingo where the Haitian freedom fighters overcame French troops to Vertières, on November 18th, 1803. What authorizes me to call back a thing which we never say, in particular on behalf of the right-thinking historians. The first people to have overcome Napoleon's Bonaparte France were the black ex-slaves whom "the Corsican ogre" wanted to put back in slavery, further to the law of May 20th, 1802. The fact remains that the battle of New Orleans stopped the war because during the fights, British and United States diplomats found a peace agreement, ratified by London in January and by Washington in February, 1815, establishing a status quo. A convenient agreement for the English people because a little time after, Napoleon escaped from the Elba Island and took back the power in France. Albion could then prepare a new coalition, the 7th and last, against France.

Concerning the Yankees, this battle served Andrew Jackson's prestige, which thanks to this feat of arm, became president of the United States from 1828 till 1836.

The French version of this article is here.

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