Sample of Reading Quizzes
Summary & Analysis
Questions1. Why is the War of 1812 considered America's "forgotten war"?
2. Why do some historians think that the War of 1812 was not just a complete waste of time and resources, but actually unnecessary?
3. Why do some historians think that the War of 1812 was caused by a burgeoning form of new nationalism?
4. What role did the New England federalists play in shaping the War of 1812?
5. How is the War of 1812 also considered "James Madison's war"?
Answers1. Few people remember what caused it, any of the important battles (besides possibly the Battle of New Orleans), or what any of the consequences were (aside from Andrew Jackson and the Star-Spangled Banner).
2. The reason why Congress declared war on Britain in the first place was because Britain refused to revoke the Order in Council which would intercept and seize American commercial vessels -- but Britain suspended that order within a week of Congress declaring war, so there was no reason to continue the conflict for more than two years. Besides, the treaty at the end of the war solved nothing and the arguments between the nations continued for another two years.
3. Starting in 1810, many young, first-term Congressmen had been elected to Congress: many of them were from either the West or the South, and they had a different, more belligerent attitude towards Britain and its maritime policies. They tended to desire faster western expansion of America, as well as needed vindication of its honor on a national stage.
4. The Federalists were opposed to any kind of war with Britain, evaded laws meant to stop trade to the British, and continued trading with the British even during the war: this continued disloyalty was a slap in the face of Madison, and meant that the war took even longer to end.
5. As Thomas Jefferson's secretary of state and as president, James Madison was largely responsible for America's foreign policy, which led them directly into conflict with Great Britain.