War of 1812 Timeline of Major Events


1803 - 1811

1803: British begin to impress American sailors and force them to work on British Ships.

January 1806: James Madison delivers a report regarding British interference and impressment of sailors.

June, 1807: The American ship Chesapeake is fired upon by the British ship Leopard causing an international incident.

Dec., 1807: Thomas Jefferson imposes an embargo on Great Britain but it results in economic disaster for American merchants and is discontinued in 1809.

March, 1809: James Madison is inaugurated President of the United States.

Nov., 1811:

  • War Congress convenes.
  • The Battle of Tippecanoe (in present-day Indiana), considered the first battle of the War of 1812, takes place between Tecumseh's brother, The Prophet, and William Henry Harrison's army.


June, 1812: America declares war on Great Britain.

June – August 1812: Riots break out in Baltimore in protest of the war.

July, 1812:

  • General William Hull enters Canada. This is the first of three failed attempts made by the U.S. to invade Canada.
  • The British force the surrender of Fort Michilimackinac (in present-day Michigan).

August, 1812: General William Hull surrenders to General Isaac Brock at Detroit.

October, 1812: General Isaac Brock is killed at the Battle of Queenston Heights (Canada).


January, 1813: British and Indian allies repel American troops at the Battle of Frenchtown (present-day Michigan). American survivors are killed the following day in the Raisin River Massacre (present-day Michigan).

April, 1813: U.S. troops capture and burn the city of York (present-day Toronto).

May, 1813: The siege of Fort Meigs (present-day Ohio).

Sept., 1813: Captain Perry defeats the British at the Battle of Lake Erie.

October, 1813: The warrior Tecumseh is killed at the Battle of the Thames (Canada).

Nov., 1813: The Battle of Crysler's Farm (Canada).


July, 1814:

  • The Battle of Chippawa (Canada).
  • The Battle of Lundy's Lane (present-day Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada).

Aug., 1814: Peace negotiations begin in Ghent.

Aug. 24-25, 1814: The British burn Washington, DC in retaliation for the burning of York. President James Madison flees the Capital.

Sept., 1814: The Battle of Plattsburg on Lake Champlain is a major American victory, securing its northern border. The Battle of Baltimore takes place at Fort McHenry, where Francis Scott Key wrote The Star Spangled Banner.

Dec., 1814: The Treaty of Ghent: Americans and British diplomats agree to the terms of a treaty and return to the status quo from before the war.



January, 1815: Andrew Jackson defeats the British at the Battle of New Orleans.

February, 1815: The Peace Treaty is ratified and President Madison declares the war over.



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