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Madison, in his war message to Congress, gave several reasons for war:
Ongoing impressment of American sailors into service on British Navy ships, an insulting breach of American sovereignty; see Chesapeake/Leopard Affair
Britain's navy "violating the rights and the peace of our coasts";
Britain's blockade of U.S. ports ("our commerce has been plundered in every sea");
Britain's refusal to repeal its Order-In-Council forbidding neutral countries to trade with European countries, and the British Navy's enforcement of this order;
Britain's incitement of Native American nations (referred to as "savages") to violence against the Americans.
Many Canadians consider the War of 1812 to have been an American defeat. From their point of view, the American invasions of 1813 and 1814 were repulsed. Further supporting this point of view is that the British occupied some American territory at the end of the war; however, the Americans did not occupy any British territory. However, from the American point of view, the war was a successful defense of American rights, which they claimed culminated in the victory at New Orleans. Because New Orleans was successfully defended, American expansion into the Southwest was possible.
Originally posted by cryptorsa1001
We gained what we wanted from the war, to get Britain finally off our backs and let us trade with other Nations.