The 2012 Laughton Naval History Lecture:
Taking the President and burning the White House: the War of 1812 at the bicentenary.
Professor Andrew Lambert, Department of War Studies, King’s College London.
In June 1812 the Unites States declared war on Great Britain, invaded Canada and attacked British Shipping on the Atlantic. Despite the distractions of a far greater war being waged against Europe, Britain beat off the initial American assaults, secured command of the sea and then launched a series of counter- attacks. These were targeted at the states that had voted for war, and the Capital, which was captured and burnt in August 1814. Within weeks the American Government was bankrupt. The British Government, preoccupied by the political future of Europe, offered a peace settlement based on the status quo ante. For two hundred years the history of the war has been written by Americans and Canadians. This lecture re-examines the conflict from a British perspective.
The lecture is based on Professor Lamberts’ new book: The Challenge (Faber & Faber) due for publication in April 2012.
The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception and book signing. Books will be on sale at a discount.
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