The Weight of Vengeance: The United States, the British Empire, and the War of 1812

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9780190217815: The Weight of Vengeance: The United States, the British Empire, and the War of 1812
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In early 1815, Secretary of State James Monroe reviewed the treaty with Britain that would end the War of 1812. The United States Navy was blockaded in port; much of the army had not been paid for nearly a year; the capital had been burned. The treaty offered an unexpected escape from disaster. Yet it incensed Monroe, for the name of Great Britain and its negotiators consistently appeared before those of the United States. "The United States have acquired a certain rank amongst nations, which is due to their population and political importance," he brazenly scolded the British diplomat who conveyed the treaty, "and they do not stand in the same situation as at former periods."

Monroe had a point, writes Troy Bickham. In The Weight of Vengeance, Bickham provides a provocative new account of America's forgotten war, underscoring its significance for both sides by placing it in global context. The Napoleonic Wars profoundly disrupted the global order, from India to Haiti to New Orleans. Spain's power slipped, allowing the United States to target the Floridas; the Haitian slave revolt contributed to the Louisiana Purchase; fears that Britain would ally with Tecumseh and disrupt the American northwest led to a pre-emptive strike on his people in 1811. This shifting balance of power provided the United States with the opportunity to challenge Britain's dominance of the Atlantic world. And it was an important conflict for Britain as well. Powerful elements in the British Empire so feared the rise of its former colonies that the British government sought to use the War of 1812 to curtail America's increasing maritime power and its aggressive territorial expansion. And by late 1814, Britain had more men under arms in North America than it had in the Peninsular War against Napoleon, with the war with America costing about as much as its huge subsidies to European allies.

Troy Bickham has given us an authoritative, lucidly written global account that transforms our understanding of this pivotal war.

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Review:

A well-researched work, Bickham's book places the conflict in a transatlantic framework, comparing and contrasting British and American motivations, attitudes, and perceptions. (Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History)

Bickham accomplishes a lot in this volume...Well written and occasionally provocative. Highly recommended. (CHOICE)

A provocative, behind-the-scenes look at the machinations of empires, this excellent history will appeal to all interested readers. (Library Journal)

[Bickham] argues rightly that the war involved a commercial struggle within the Atlantic world as well as a struggle to dominate North America. Behind the ostensible casus belli - e.g., the impressment of sailors from American ships by the Royal Navy - was a clash between America's expansion and Britain's efforts to avenge an earlier defeat by making a former colony a client state. (The Wall Street Journal)

Authoritative, up-to-date, and readable... Modern scholarship at its very best. (The Weekly Standard)

Densely-researched and fascinating ... If the American Revolution was fought for a national existence, the War of 1812 was fought for a national validity - the "certain rank" James Monroe invoked in dealings with the fractious British diplomats who sought to codify the new nation as a permanent junior partner on the world stage. The fight for that rank was carried out far more importantly in the press of the day than on the limited battlefields of the war itself, and Bickham, by exploring that fight, has made an invaluable contribution to our understanding of Mr. Madison's War. (Open Letters Monthly)

Through eight chapters of lively narrative that alternate between the perspectives of Britain and those of the United States, Bickham stays true to his central premise that the United States fought the War of 1812 to force Britain to respect American national sovereignty, while the British fought to maintain the right to ignore it . Bickham spins a good yarn. (Nicole Eustace, Journal of American History)

Well-researched... Bickham's deft juggling of imperial and national complexities is certain to make The Weight of Vengeance an important contribution to the historiography of the War of 1812. (Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History)

Bickham's account of the peace negotiations [is] the best I have read. (American Historical Review)

An interesting and well-written book that throws light on one of the most complex wars in America's history, at once the last stage of the rejection of British power and the first major war of American imperialism. (Jeremy Black, author of The War of 1812)

About the Author:

Troy Bickham is an Associate Professor of History and a Ray A. Rothrock Fellow in the College of Liberal Arts at Texas A&M University. He is the author of Making Headlines: The American Revolution as Seen Through the British Press and Savages within the Empire.

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2017. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English. Brand new Book. In early 1815, Secretary of State James Monroe reviewed the treaty with Britain that would end the War of 1812. The United States Navy was blockaded in port; much of the army had not been paid for nearly a year; the capital had been burned. The treaty offered an unexpected escape from disaster. Yet it incensed Monroe, for the name of Great Britain and its negotiators consistently appeared before those of the United States. "The United States have acquired a certainrank amongst nations, which is due to their population and political importance," he brazenly scolded the British diplomat who conveyed the treaty, "and they do not stand in the same situation as at former periods." Monroe had a point, writes Troy Bickham. In The Weight of Vengeance, Bickham provides a provocative new account of America's forgotten war, underscoring its significance for both sides by placing it in global context. The Napoleonic Wars profoundly disrupted the global order, from India to Haiti to New Orleans. Spain's power slipped, allowing the United States to target the Floridas; the Haitian slave revolt contributed to the Louisiana Purchase; fears that Britain would ally withTecumseh and disrupt the American northwest led to a pre-emptive strike on his people in 1811. This shifting balance of power provided the United States with the opportunity to challenge Britain's dominance of the Atlantic world. And it was an important conflict for Britain as well. Powerful elements in theBritish Empire so feared the rise of its former colonies that the British government sought to use the War of 1812 to curtail America's increasing maritime power and its aggressive territorial expansion. And by late 1814, Britain had more men under arms in North America than it had in the Peninsular War against Napoleon, with the war with America costing about as much as its huge subsidies to European allies. Troy Bickham has given us an authoritative, lucidly written global account that transforms our understanding of this pivotal war. Seller Inventory # BTA9780190217815

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