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The War of 1812

Our national anthem began as a poem celebrating a battle during the War of 1812. The song is better known than the war. What was the fight about? Why would a country as young as ours become involved in another war against Britain?

Visit http://www.gatewayno.com/History/War1812.html.

  • Why was the United States irritated with the British?

  • Why did the War Hawks want to go to war?

  • How did the war go for America in 1812–1813?

  • What happened to Washington, D.C., in 1814?

  • Describe Andrew Jackson's victory in New Orleans.

  • Explain the practice of impressment.

  • What did Thomas Jefferson hope to accomplish by passing the Embargo Act?

Now go to http://www.usflag.org/francis.scott.key.html. It tells about the writer of "The Star-Spangled Banner."

  • Who was Francis Scott Key and why did he go to Baltimore?

  • What inspired him to write "and the flag was still there"?

  • When was Key's poem adopted as our national anthem?

Visit one more site: http://www.socialstudiesforkids.com/articles/ushistory/oldironsides.htm.

  • Why can the USS Constitution be called a national ship?

  • Why was she important to the War of 1812?

  • Why was she nicknamed "Old Ironsides"?

Extension Activity
Make an illustration of the Star-Spangled Banner on the back of this sheet.

War of 1812 Teacher's Notes

Grade Levels: 5–8

Learning Objectives:

Time Required: 1–2 class periods