|Today, the 3000 mile boundary between Canada and the United States is known as “the longest undefended boundary in the world”.
|But for three years in a row: 1812, 1813 and 1814, U.S. armies invaded Canada.
|When both sides failed to win a clear victory,
|and the costs of the war kept growing,
|the two countries decided that peace was the best policy.
|On June 18, 1812, the United States declared war on Great Britain.
|The United States had proclaimed their independence from Britain in 1776, 36 years earlier.
|There were still bad feelings between the two countries.
|Great Britain was not treating the United States as an equal independent country.
|British ships were stopping American ships from trading with Europe.
|British sailors went aboard American ships looking for deserters from the British Navy.
|If an American sailor could not prove that he was an American, he was taken to work for the British.
|At the same time, the population of the United States was expanding.
|Americans wanted to move west into lands held by various American Indian tribes.
|Some Americans felt that Britain was encouraging the Indians to fight them and was supplying guns to the Indians.
|In 1812, Canada was made up of a small number of British colonies just north of the American border.
|Americans felt it would be easy to take over Canada;
|then Canadian land would provide homes for their growing population.
|Since Americans outnumbered Canadians ten to one
|the U.S. government thought that no one in Canada would dare oppose them.
|Moreover, Britain was fighting a terrible war in Europe against Napoleon, the Emperor of France,
|and could not spare any troops to help defend Canada.
|But, in 1812, Canada had one advantage over the U.S.A., good leadership.
|British General Isaac Brock had served in Canada for ten years.
|He knew how to inspire both his own soldiers and the ordinary people of Canada to fight for their country.
|He was a bold and energetic leader who moved quickly to attack American positions before they could attack him.
|Brock found a valuable ally in the American Indian Chief Tecumseh.
|Tecumseh had been trying to unite the scattered groups of Indians to fight together against American expansion.
|He convinced the Indians that their best chance for success was to join the British and Canadians against the Americans.
|Although both Brock and Tecumseh were killed in battles,
|their example continued to inspire the defenders of Canada to fight against the American invasions.
|Before the end of 1814, all American forces had been driven out of Canada.
|By 1814, Britain had defeated the French Emperor Napoleon.
|Now it was the turn of the United States to be invaded.
|A large British force attacked the heart of the United States,
|and burned the government buildings at Washington.
|Another British force attacked the U.S.A. near the mouth of the Mississippi River,
|but it was defeated at the Battle of New Orleans.
|Both sides were tired of fighting by this time,
|and a peace treaty was signed on December 24, 1814.
|This agreement restored everything to the way it had been when the war began.
|Although this really meant that no one had won the war,
|both sides claimed victory.
|The Americans felt that they had gained full recognition of their independence.
|Britain would no longer board their ships, or encourage the Indians to fight them.
|Canadians felt that they had shown Americans
|that they wanted to develop their own country in their own way, separate from the United States.
|But the biggest result of the war was the decision by both countries never to fight each other again.