Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Tuesday's Tip: War of 1812

The War of 1812 ... You probably have heard the name, but do you know anything about the conflict? 

The War of 1812 is one of America's forgotten wars. Fought between the British and the newly formed United States, the war pitted family member against family member in debates over the role of the federal government, the states, and more. 

We love knowing what our ancestor did in a conflict, but, even more importantly, why they did it. What were their motivations? How did they understand what was happening around them? To know that we need to know more about the War itself.

 The 200th anniversary of the start of the War was in 2012.  To celebrate, a number of websites were created about this history. While most of them are designed for middle school students, they provide an excellent historical overview. Here are a few of our favorites: 

1) War of 1812 Interactives was designed for use in the classroom. It introduces War of 1812 artwork, covers the various political opinions about the war, and includes a map so that you can understand what was happening when and where. 

2) The War of 1812  is the online version of the PBS television program of the same name. You can learn about events in different sections of the country, major historic sites, and more by visiting their classroom page at http://www.pbs.org/wned/war-of-1812/historic-sites/

3) A Sailor's Life for Me introduces you to life aboard ship, particularly aboard the USS Constitution. You can explore "Old Ironsides," review the personal histories of shipmates, and even pretend to enlist.

USS Constitution, aka "Old Ironsides"

4) A Guide to the War of 1812 introduces artifacts from the War available online.

Now that you understand a little more about the War, the next step is to find your ancestors! 

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