WEBQUEST – WAR of 1812


In, June, 1812, the young United States again went to war against its former mother country, Great Britain. Trouble had been rekindling for several years. The British, who were at war with France, were seizing American ships to prevent their trading with France. In fact, they had captured some 2,500 American sailors, forcing them to serve on British ships. Finally, "war hawks" in Congress pushed through a declaration of war.

The U.S. Navy had only 16 ships, too few to stop the powerful 600-ship British navy from blockading American ports. But American ships won several battles at sea. The most famous clash took place on August 19, 1812, when the USS Constitution fought the British frigate Guerriere off the coast of Newfoundland. The Americans held their fire until they came close to the enemy; then the Constitution's guns roared into action, ripping huge holes in the Guerriere and destroying both its masts. The stunned British captain soon surrendered.

Yet on land, the first six months of the war did not go well for the U.S. The British captured Fort Detroit in Michigan in mid-August, 1812. In October and November, 1812, American attempts to invade Canada and defeat the British there failed because of poor planning and inept leadership.


During this web-quest you will learn about the War of 1812, including the causes, what happened during the war and the results of this war. You will answer questions as you read and research on the given links below and you will write a fictional letter regarding the events of the war.


Document 1 – 50 points

This section has the questions you need to answer as you do the Web Quest. You will write your answers using word processing.

1. What was the War of 1812 also called?

2. What was the nickname of the ship, the Constitution?

3. Who was the wife of President Madison?

4. What disadvantages did the United States face at the beginning of the War of 1812?

5. Why did Hull's invasion of Canada fail?

6. Who wrote "The Star-Spangled Banner" during a British attack on Baltimore's Fort McHenry during the War of 1812?

7. What part did the Tecumseh play in the War of 1812?

8. What happened to Washington, DC, during the War of 1812?

9. What was unusual about when The Battle of New Orleans was fought?

10. What was the name of the agreement by Britain and the United States to return matters to the way they had been before the war?

Sites to Use

Document Two - Fictional Letter to a United States Congressman

50 Points Possible

Pretend you are living during this time period. Using a word processing program, write a fictional letter to a United States representative expressing your opinion about the War of 1812. You must include at least five things in your letter from information you found in the Web sites in the Resources section. Underline these in your letter.