Brittany is a cultural region in the northwest of France, covering the western part of what was known as Armorica during the period of Roman occupation. It became an independent kingdom and a duchy before being united with the Kingdom of France in 1532 as a province governed as if it were a separate nation under the crown. Brittany has been referred to as Less, Lesser or Little Britain, it is bordered by the English Channel to the north, the Celtic Sea and the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Bay of Biscay to the south. Its land area is 34,023 km². Brittany is the site of some of the world's oldest standing architecture, home to the Barnenez, the Tumulus Saint-Michel and others, which date to the early 5th millennium BC. Today, the historical province of Brittany is split among five French departments: Finistère in the west, Côtes-d'Armor in the north, Ille-et-Vilaine in the north east, Loire-Atlantique in the south east and Morbihan in the south on the Bay of Biscay. Since reorganisation in 1956, the modern administrative region of Brittany comprises only four of the five Breton departments, or 80% of historical Brittany.
The remaining area of old Brittany, the Loire-Atlantique department around Nantes, now forms part of the Pays de la Loire region. At the 2010 census, the population of historic Brittany was estimated to be 4,475,295. Of these, 71 % lived in the region of Brittany. In 2012, the largest metropolitan areas were Nantes and Brest. Brittany is the traditional homeland of the Breton people and is recognised by the Celtic League as one of the six Celtic nations, retaining a distinct cultural identity that reflects its history. A nationalist movement seeks greater autonomy within the French Republic; the word Brittany, along with its French and Gallo equivalents Bretagne and Bertaèyn, derive from the Latin Britannia, which means "Britons' land". This word had been used by the Romans since the 1st century to refer to Great Britain, more the Roman province of Britain; this word derives from a Greek word, Πρεττανικη or Βρεττανίαι, used by Pytheas, an explorer from Massalia who visited the British Islands around 320 BC.
The Greek word itself comes from the common Brythonic ethnonym reconstructed as *Pritanī, itself from Proto-Celtic *kʷritanoi. The Romans called Brittany Armorica, together with a quite indefinite region that extended along the English Channel coast from the Seine estuary to the Loire estuary, according to several sources, maybe along the Atlantic coast to the Garonne estuary; this term comes from a Gallic word, which means "close to the sea". Another name, was used until the 12th century, it means "wide and flat" or "to expand" and it gave the Welsh name for Brittany: Llydaw. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, many Britons settled in western Armorica, the region started to be called Britannia, although this name only replaced Armorica in the sixth century or by the end of the fifth. Authors like Geoffrey of Monmouth used the terms Britannia minor and Britannia major to distinguish Brittany from Britain. Breton-speaking people may pronounce the word Breizh in two different ways, according to their region of origin.
Breton can be divided into the dialect of Vannes. KLT speakers pronounce it and would write it Breiz, while the Vannetais speakers pronounce it and would write it Breih; the official spelling is a compromise with a z and an h together. In 1941, efforts to unify the dialects led to the creation of the so-called Breton zh, a standard which has never been accepted. On its side, Gallo language has never had a accepted writing system and several ones coexist. For instance, the name of the region in that language can be written Bertaèyn in ELG script, or Bertègn in MOGA, a couple of other scripts exist. Brittany has been inhabited by humans since the Lower Paleolithic; the first settlers were Neanderthals. This population was scarce and similar to the other Neanderthals found in the whole of Western Europe, their only original feature was a distinct culture, called "Colombanian". One of the oldest hearths in the world has been found in Finistère, it is 450,000 years old. Homo sapiens settled in Brittany around 35,000 years ago.
They replaced or absorbed the Neanderthals and developed local industries, similar to the Châtelperronian or to the Magdalenian. After the last glacial period, the warmer climate allowed the area to become wooded. At that time, Brittany was populated by large communities who started to change their lifestyles from a life of hunting and gathering, to become settled farmers. Agriculture was introduced during the 5th millennium BC by migrants from the east. However, the Neolithic Revolution in Brittany did not happen due to a radical change of population, but by slow immigration and exchange of skills. Neolithic Brittany is characterised by important megalithic production, it is sometimes designated as the "core area" of megalithic culture; the oldest monuments, were followed by princely tombs and stone rows. The Morbihan département, on the southern coast, comprises a large share of these structures, including the Carnac stones and the Broken Menhir of Er Grah in the Locmariaquer megaliths, the largest single stone erected by Neoli
In the Middle Ages, the term bezant was used in Western Europe to describe several gold coins of the east, all derived from the Roman solidus. The word itself comes from the Greek Byzantion, ancient name of Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire; the original "bezants" were the gold coins produced by the government of the Byzantine Empire, first the nomisma and from the 11th century the hyperpyron. The term was used to cover the gold dinars produced by Islamic governments. In turn, the gold coins minted in the Kingdom of Jerusalem and County of Tripoli were termed "Saracen bezants", since they were modelled on the gold dinar. A different electrum coin based on Byzantine trachea was minted in the Kingdom of Cyprus and called the "white bezant"; the term "bezant" in reference to coins is common in sources from the 10th through 13th centuries. Thereafter, it is employed as a money of account and in literary and heraldic contexts. Gold coins were minted in early medieval Western Europe, up until the 13th century.
Gold coins were continually produced by the Byzantines and medieval Arabs. These circulated in Western European trade in smallish numbers, originating from the coinage mints of the Eastern Mediterranean. In Western Europe, the gold coins of Byzantine currency were prized; these gold coins were called bezants. The first "bezants" were the Byzantine solidi coins; the name hyperpyron was used by the late medieval Greeks, while the name bezant was used by the late medieval Latin merchants for the same coin. The Italians used the name perpero or pipero for the same coin. Medievally from the 12th century onward, the Western European term bezant meant the gold dinar coins minted by Islamic governments; the Islamic coins were modelled on the Byzantine solidus during the early years after the onset of Islam. The term bezant was used in the late medieval Republic of Venice to refer to the Egyptian gold dinar. Marco Polo used the term bezant in the account of his travels to East Asia when describing the currencies of the Yuan Empire around the year 1300.
An Italian merchant's handbook dated about 1340, Pratica della mercatura by Pegolotti, used the term bisant for coins of North Africa, Cyprus and Tabriz, whereas it used the term perpero / pipero for the Byzantine bizant. Although the medieval "bezant" was a gold coin, medieval Latin texts have silver coin bezants; the silver bezants were called "white bezants". In Latin they were called "miliaresion bezants" / "miliarense bezants". Like the gold bezants, the silver bezants by definition were issuances by the Byzantine government or by an Arabic government, not by a Latin government, the usage of the term was confined to the Latin West. In heraldry, a roundel of a gold colour is referred to in reference to the coin. Like many heraldic charges, the bezant originated during the crusading era, when Western European knights first came into contact with Byzantine gold coins, were struck with their fine quality and purity. During the Fourth Crusade the city of Constantinople was sacked by Western forces.
During this sacking of the richest city of Europe, the gold bezant would have been much in evidence, many of the knights no doubt having helped themselves liberally to the booty. This event took place at the dawn of the widespread adoption of arms by the knightly class, thus it may have been an obvious symbol for many returned crusaders to use in their new arms; when arms are strewn with bezants, the term bezantée or bezanty is used
Baron Zouche is a title, created three times in the Peerage of England. The la Zouche family descended from Alan la Zouche, lord of the manor of North Molton in North Devon, England called Alain de Porhoët or Ceoche, a Breton nobleman who settled in England during the reign of King Henry II, he was the son of Hawise of Brittany. He married Adeline de Belmeis, daughter of Phillip de Belmeis and Maud la Meschine and died at North Molton in 1150. By his marriage he obtained the manor of Ashby in Leicestershire, his son was Roger la Zouche, the father of Alan la Zouche and Eudo la Zouche. Alan was justice of Chester and justice of Ireland under King Henry III, he was loyal to the king during his struggle with the barons, fought at the Battle of Lewes and helped to arrange the Peace of Kenilworth. As the result of a quarrel over some lands with John de Warenne, 6th Earl of Surrey, he was injured in Westminster Hall by the earl and his retainers, died on 10 August 1270. Alan's grandson from the marriage of his son Roger to Ela Longespée, namely Alan la Zouche, was summoned by writ to Parliament on 6 February 1299 as Baron la Zouche of Ashby.
He was Governor of Rockingham Steward of Rockingham Forest. However, this barony fell into abeyance on his death in 1314 without male progeny. Eudo was a professional soldier, their elder son William la Zouche was summoned by writ to Parliament as Baron Zouche of Haryngworth, on 16 August 1308. His great-great-great-grandson, the fifth Baron, married Alice Seymour, 6th Baroness St Maur, assumed that peerage in her right, their son succeeded to both titles. The seventh Baron was attainted in 1485 for loyalty to King Richard III but was restored to his title and a part of his lands. On the death in 1625 of Edward la Zouche, 11th Baron Zouche, 12th Baron St Maur, the peerages fell into abeyance between his two daughters and Mary. In 1815 the Barony of Zouche was called out of abeyance in favour of Sir Cecil Bishopp, 8th Baronet, of Parham Park, who became the 12th Baron Zouche. Through his mother he was a descendant of the Elizabeth la Zouche; the Barony of St Maur, remains in abeyance to this day.
His eldest son Lieutenant-Colonel Cecil Bisshopp pre-deceased his father in 1813 at age 30 in Ontario, from wounds received in action against the Americans in the War of 1812. With his two sons having died before him, on his death in 1828 the Barony of Zouche once again fell into abeyance. In 1829 the abeyance was terminated in favour of his elder daughter, Harriet-Anne Curzon, who became the 13th Baroness, she was the wife of younger son of Assheton Curzon, 1st Viscount Curzon. Her son was the 14th Baron. On his death the title passed to his son, the 15th Baron, to the latter's sister, the 16th Baroness, she never married and was succeeded by her second cousin, the 17th Baroness, the granddaughter of a younger son of the 13th Baroness. She was succeeded by her grandson, the 18th and present Baron, who in 1944 had succeeded his father as the 12th Frankland Baronet. A granddaughter of the original Alan la Zouche, Joyce la Zouche, married Robert Mortimer of Richard's Castle. On 26 December 1323, he was created by Baron Zouche of Mortimer.
This peerage became abeyant in 1406. Alan la Zouche, 1st Baron la Zouche of Ashby Barons Zouche of Haryngworth: William la Zouche, 1st Baron Zouche William la Zouche, 2nd Baron Zouche William la Zouche, 3rd Baron Zouche William la Zouche, 4th Baron Zouche William la Zouche, 5th Baron Zouche William la Zouche, 6th Baron Zouche, 7th Baron St Maur John la Zouche, 7th Baron Zouche, 8th Baron St Maur John la Zouche, 8th Baron Zouche, 9th Baron St Maur Richard la Zouche, 9th Baron Zouche, 10th Baron St Maur George la Zouche, 10th Baron Zouche, 11th Baron St Maur Edward la Zouche, 11th Baron Zouche, 12th Baron St Maur Cecil Bisshopp, 12th Baron Zouche Harriet-Anne Curzon, 13th Baroness Zouche Robert Curzon, 14th Baron Zouche son of 13th Baroness Robert Nathaniel Cecil George Curzon, 15th Baron Zouche son of 14th Baron Darea Curzon, 16th Baroness Zouche sister of 15th Baron Mary Cecil Frankland, 17th Baroness Zouche second cousin of 16th Baroness James Assheton Frankland, 18th Baron Zouche and 12th Baronet Frankland grandson of 17th BaronessThe heir apparent is the present holder's son Hon. William Thomas Assheton Frankland.
William la Zouche, 1st Baron Zouche of Mortimer Alan la Zouche, 2nd Baron Zouche of Mortimer Hugh la Zouche, 3rd Baron Zouche of Mortimer Robert l
Devon known as Devonshire, its common and official name, is a county of England, reaching from the Bristol Channel in the north to the English Channel in the south. It is part of South West England, bounded by Cornwall to the west, Somerset to the north east, Dorset to the east; the city of Exeter is the county town. The county includes the districts of East Devon, Mid Devon, North Devon, South Hams, Teignbridge and West Devon. Plymouth and Torbay are each geographically part of Devon, but are administered as unitary authorities. Combined as a ceremonial county, Devon's area is 6,707 km2 and its population is about 1.1 million. Devon derives its name from Dumnonia. During the British Iron Age, Roman Britain, the early Middle Ages, this was the homeland of the Dumnonii Brittonic Celts; the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain resulted in the partial assimilation of Dumnonia into the Kingdom of Wessex during the eighth and ninth centuries. The western boundary with Cornwall was set at the River Tamar by King Æthelstan in 936.
Devon was constituted as a shire of the Kingdom of England. The north and south coasts of Devon each have both cliffs and sandy shores, the county's bays contain seaside resorts, fishing towns, ports; the inland terrain is rural and hilly, has a lower population density than many other parts of England. Dartmoor is the largest open space in southern England, at 954 km2. To the north of Dartmoor are the Culm Measures and Exmoor. In the valleys and lowlands of south and east Devon the soil is more fertile, drained by rivers including the Exe, the Culm, the Teign, the Dart, the Otter; as well as agriculture, much of the economy of Devon is based on tourism. The comparatively mild climate and landscape make Devon a destination for recreation and leisure in England, with visitors attracted to the Dartmoor and Exmoor national parks; the name Devon derives from the name of the Britons who inhabited the southwestern peninsula of Britain at the time of the Roman conquest of Britain known as the Dumnonii, thought to mean "deep valley dwellers" from proto Celtic *dubnos'deep'.
In the Brittonic, Devon is known as Welsh: Dyfnaint, Breton: Devnent and Cornish: Dewnens, each meaning "deep valleys." Among the most common Devon placenames is -combe which derives from Brittonic cwm meaning'valley' prefixed by the name of the possessor. William Camden, in his 1607 edition of Britannia, described Devon as being one part of an older, wider country that once included Cornwall: THAT region which, according to the Geographers, is the first of all Britaine, growing straiter still and narrower, shooteth out farthest into the West, was in antient time inhabited by those Britans whom Solinus called Dumnonii, Ptolomee Damnonii For their habitation all over this Countrey is somewhat low and in valleys, which manner of dwelling is called in the British tongue Dan-munith, in which sense the Province next adjoyning in like respect is at this day named by the Britans Duffneit, to say, Low valleys, but the Country of this nation is at this day divided into two parts, knowen by names of Cornwall and Denshire, The term "Devon" is used for everyday purposes e.g. "Devon County Council" but "Devonshire" continues to be used in the names of the "Devonshire and Dorset Regiment" and "The Devonshire Association".
One erroneous theory is that the "shire" suffix is due to a mistake in the making of the original letters patent for the Duke of Devonshire, resident in Derbyshire. However, there are references to "Defenascire" in Anglo-Saxon texts from before 1000 AD, which translates to modern English as "Devonshire"; the term Devonshire may have originated around the 8th century, when it changed from Dumnonia to Defenascir. Kents Cavern in Torquay had produced. Dartmoor is thought to have been occupied by Mesolithic hunter-gatherer peoples from about 6000 BC; the Romans held the area under military occupation for around 350 years. The area began to experience Saxon incursions from the east around 600 AD, firstly as small bands of settlers along the coasts of Lyme Bay and southern estuaries and as more organised bands pushing in from the east. Devon became a frontier between Brittonic and Anglo-Saxon Wessex, it was absorbed into Wessex by the mid 9th century. A genetic study carried out by the University of Oxford & University College London discovered separate genetic groups in Cornwall and Devon, not only were there differences on either side of the Tamar, with a division exactly along the modern county boundary dating back to the 6th Century but between Devon and the rest of Southern England, similarities with the modern northern France, including Brittany.
This suggests the Anglo-Saxon migration into Devon was limited rather than a mass movement of people. The border with Cornwall was set by King Æthelstan on the east bank of the River Tamar in 936 AD. Danish raids occurred sporadically along many coastal parts of Devon between around 800AD and just before the time of the Norman conquest, including the silver mint at Hlidaforda Lydford in 997 and Taintona in 1001. Devon has featured in most of th
Battle of Lewes
The Battle of Lewes was one of two main battles of the conflict known as the Second Barons' War. It took place at Lewes in Sussex, on 14 May 1264, it marked the high point of the career of Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester, made him the "uncrowned King of England". Henry III left the safety of Lewes Castle and St. Pancras Priory to engage the Barons in battle and was successful, his son Prince Edward routing part of the baronial army with a cavalry charge; however Edward left Henry's men exposed. Henry was forced to launch an infantry attack up Offham Hill where he was defeated by the barons' men, defending the hilltop; the royalists fled back to the castle and priory and the King was forced to sign the Mise of Lewes, ceding many of his powers to Montfort. Henry III was an unpopular monarch due to his autocratic style, displays of favouritism and his refusal to negotiate with his barons; the barons imposed a constitutional reform known as the Provisions of Oxford upon Henry that called for a thrice-yearly meeting led by Simon de Montfort to discuss matters of government.
Henry sought to escape the restrictions of the provisions and applied to Louis IX of France to arbitrate in the dispute. Louis annulled the provisions. Montfort was angered by this and rebelled against the King along with other barons in the Second Barons' War; the war was not openly fought, each side toured the country to raise support for their army. A series of massacres of Jews in Worcester, London and other cities were conducted by Montfort's allies. By May the King's force had reached Lewes where they intended to halt for a while to allow reinforcements to reach them; the King encamped at St. Pancras Priory with a force of infantry, but his son, Prince Edward, commanded the cavalry at Lewes Castle 500 yards to the north. De Montfort approached the King with the intention of negotiating a truce or failing that to draw him into open battle; the King rejected the negotiations and de Montfort moved his men from Fletching to Offham Hill, a mile to the north-west of Lewes, in a night march that surprised the royalist forces.
The royalist army was up to twice the size of de Montfort's. Henry held command of the centre, with Prince Edward, William de Valence, 1st Earl of Pembroke, John de Warenne, 6th Earl of Surrey, on the right; the barons held the higher ground, overlooking Lewes and had ordered their men to wear white crosses as a distinguishing emblem. De Montfort split his forces into four parts, giving his son, Henry de Montfort command of one quarter; the baronial forces commenced the battle with a surprise dawn attack on foragers sent out from the royalist forces. The King made his move. Edward led a cavalry charge against Seagrave's Londoners, placed on the left of the baronial line, that caused them to break and run to the village of Offham. Edward pursued his foe for some four miles. Henry was forced to launch an attack with his centre and right divisions straight up Offham Hill into the baronial line which awaited them at the defensive. Cornwall's division faltered immediately but Henry's men fought on until compelled to retreat by the arrival of de Montfort's men, held as the baronial reserve.
The King's men were forced down the hill and into Lewes where they engaged in a fighting retreat to the castle and priory. Edward returned with his weary cavalrymen and launched a counterattack but upon locating his father was persuaded that, with the town ablaze and many of the King's supporters having fled, it was time to accept de Montfort's renewed offer of negotiations; the Earl of Cornwall was captured by the barons when he was unable to reach the safety of the priory and, being discovered in a windmill, was taunted with cries of "Come down, come down, thou wicked miller." The King was forced to sign the so-called Mise of Lewes. Though the document has not survived, it is clear that Henry was forced to accept the Provisions of Oxford, while Prince Edward remained a hostage of the barons; this put Montfort in a position of ultimate power, which would last until Prince Edward's escape, Montfort's subsequent defeat at the Battle of Evesham in August 1265. Following the battle, debts to Jews were cancelled, the records destroyed.
In 1994, an archaeological survey of the cemetery of St Nicholas Hospital, in Lewes, revealed the remains of bodies that were thought to be combatants from the battle of Lewes. However, in 2014 it was revealed that some of the skeletons may be much older, with a skeleton known as "skeleton 180" being contemporary with the Norman invasion. There remains some uncertainty over the location of the battle with Offham Hill's eastern and lower slopes covered by modern housing; the top and southern slopes remain accessible by footpaths through agricultural land and the ruins of the priory and castle are open to visitors. The Song of Lewes Barber, Luke, ed.. "The Medieval hospital of St Nicholas, East Sussex: excavations 1994". Lewes, Sussex: Sussex Archaeological Collections Volume 148. ISSN 0143-8204. Brooks, Richard Lewes and Evesham 1264-65. Osprey Campaign Series #285. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978 1-4728-1150-9 Burne, A. H; the Battlefields of England London: Penguin ISBN 0-14-139077-8 Carpenter, D. A.
The reign of Henry III, London: Hambledon ISBN
Edward II of England
Edward II called Edward of Carnarvon, was King of England from 1307 until he was deposed in January 1327. The fourth son of Edward I, Edward became the heir apparent to the throne following the death of his elder brother Alphonso. Beginning in 1300, Edward accompanied his father on campaigns to pacify Scotland, in 1306 was knighted in a grand ceremony at Westminster Abbey. Following his father's death, Edward succeeded to the throne in 1307, he married Isabella, the daughter of the powerful King Philip IV of France, in 1308, as part of a long-running effort to resolve tensions between the English and French crowns. Edward had a close and controversial relationship with Piers Gaveston, who had joined his household in 1300; the precise nature of his and Gaveston's relationship is uncertain. Gaveston's arrogance and power as Edward's favourite provoked discontent among both the barons and the French royal family, Edward was forced to exile him. On Gaveston's return, the barons pressured the king into agreeing to wide-ranging reforms, called the Ordinances of 1311.
The newly empowered barons banished Gaveston, to which Edward responded by revoking the reforms and recalling his favourite. Led by Edward's cousin, the Earl of Lancaster, a group of the barons seized and executed Gaveston in 1312, beginning several years of armed confrontation. English forces were pushed back in Scotland, where Edward was decisively defeated by Robert the Bruce at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. Widespread famine followed, criticism of the king's reign mounted; the Despenser family, in particular Hugh Despenser the Younger, became close friends and advisers to Edward, but Lancaster and many of the barons seized the Despensers' lands in 1321, forced the King to exile them. In response, Edward led a short military campaign and executing Lancaster. Edward and the Despensers strengthened their grip on power, formally revoking the 1311 reforms, executing their enemies and confiscating estates. Unable to make progress in Scotland, Edward signed a truce with Robert. Opposition to the regime grew, when Isabella was sent to France to negotiate a peace treaty in 1325, she turned against Edward and refused to return.
Instead, she allied herself with the exiled Roger Mortimer, invaded England with a small army in 1326. Edward's regime collapsed and he fled to Wales, where he was captured in November; the king was forced to relinquish his crown in January 1327 in favour of his 14-year-old son, Edward III, he died in Berkeley Castle on 21 September murdered on the orders of the new regime. Edward's relationship with Gaveston inspired Christopher Marlowe's 1592 play Edward II, along with other plays, films and media. Many of these have focused on the possible sexual relationship between the two men. Edward's contemporaries criticised his performance as king, noting his failures in Scotland and the oppressive regime of his years, although 19th-century academics argued that the growth of parliamentary institutions during his reign was a positive development for England over the longer term. Debate has continued into the 21st century as to whether Edward was a lazy and incompetent king, or a reluctant and unsuccessful ruler.
Edward II was his first wife, Eleanor of Castile. His father was the king of England and had inherited Gascony in south-western France, which he held as the feudal vassal of the King of France, the Lordship of Ireland, his mother was from the Castilian royal family, held the County of Ponthieu in northern France. Edward I proved a successful military leader, leading the suppression of the baronial revolts in the 1260s and joining the Ninth Crusade. During the 1280s he conquered North Wales, removing the native Welsh princes from power and, in the 1290s, he intervened in Scotland's civil war, claiming suzerainty over the country, he was considered an successful ruler by his contemporaries able to control the powerful earls that formed the senior ranks of the English nobility. The historian Michael Prestwich describes Edward I as "a king to inspire fear and respect", while John Gillingham characterises him as an efficient bully. Despite Edward I's successes, when he died in 1307 he left a range of challenges for his son to resolve.
One of the most critical was the problem of English rule in Scotland, where Edward's long but inconclusive military campaign was ongoing when he died. Edward's control of Gascony created tension with the French kings, they insisted. Edward I faced increasing opposition from his barons over the taxation and requisitions required to resource his wars, left his son debts of around £200,000 on his death. Edward II was born in Caernarfon Castle in north Wales on 25 April 1284, less than a year after Edward I had conquered the region, as a result is sometimes called Edward of Caernarfon; the king chose the castle deliberately as the location for Edward's birth as it was an important symbolic location for the native Welsh, associated with Roman imperial history, it formed the centre of the new royal administration of North Wales. Edward's birth brought predictions of greatness from contemporary prophets, who believed that the Last Days of the world were imminent, declaring him a new King Arthur, who would lead England to glory.
David Powel, a 16th-century clergyman, suggested that the baby was offered to the Welsh as a prince "that was borne in Wales and could speake never a word of English", but there is no evidence to support this account. Edward's n
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a conflict fought between the United States, the United Kingdom, their respective allies from June 1812 to February 1815. Historians in Britain see it as a minor theater of the Napoleonic Wars. From the outbreak of war with Napoleonic France, Britain had enforced a naval blockade to choke off neutral trade to France, which the US contested as illegal under international law. To man the blockade, Britain impressed American merchant sailors into the Royal Navy. Incidents such as the Chesapeake–Leopard affair, which happened five years before the war, inflamed anti-British sentiment in the US. In 1811, the British were in turn outraged by the Little Belt affair, in which 11 British sailors died. Britain supplied Native Americans who raided American settlers on the frontier, hindering American expansion and provoking resentment. Historians debate whether the desire to annex some or all of British North America contributed to the American decision to go to war. On June 18, 1812, US President James Madison, after heavy pressure from the War Hawks in Congress, signed the American declaration of war into law.
With most of its army in Europe fighting Napoleon, Britain adopted a defensive strategy, with offensive operations limited to the border, the western frontier. American prosecution of the war effort suffered from its unpopularity in New England, where it was derogatorily referred to as "Mr. Madison's War". American defeats at the Siege of Detroit and the Battle of Queenston Heights thwarted attempts to seize Upper Canada, improving British morale. American attempts to invade Lower Canada and capture Montreal failed. In 1813, the Americans won the Battle of Lake Erie, gaining control of the lake, at the Battle of the Thames defeated Tecumseh's Confederacy, securing a primary war goal. A final American attempt to invade Canada was fought to a draw at the Battle of Lundy's Lane during the summer of 1814. At sea, the powerful Royal Navy blockaded American ports, cutting off trade and allowing the British to raid the coast at will. In 1814, one of these raids burned the capital, but the Americans repulsed British attempts to invade New York and Maryland, ending invasions of the northern and mid-Atlantic United States from Canada.
Fighting took place overseas in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. In neighbouring Spanish Florida, a two-day battle for the city of Pensacola ended in Spanish surrender. In Britain, there was mounting opposition to wartime taxation. With the abdication of Napoleon, the war with France ended and Britain ceased impressment, rendering the issue of the impressment of American sailors moot; the British were able to increase the strength of the blockade on the United States coast, annihilating American maritime trade, but attempts to invade the U. S. ended unsuccessfully. Peace negotiations began in August 1814, the Treaty of Ghent was signed on December 24. News of the peace did not reach America for some time. Unaware of the treaty, British forces invaded Louisiana and were defeated at the Battle of New Orleans in January 1815; these late victories were viewed by Americans as having restored national honour, leading to the collapse of anti-war sentiment and the beginning of the Era of Good Feelings, a period of national unity.
News of the treaty arrived shortly thereafter. The treaty was unanimously ratified by the US Senate on February 17, 1815, ending the war with no boundary changes. Historians have long debated the relative weight of the multiple reasons underlying the origins of the War of 1812; this section summarizes several contributing factors which resulted in the declaration of war by the United States. As Risjord notes, a powerful motivation for the Americans was the desire to uphold national honour in the face of what they considered to be British insults such as the Chesapeake–Leopard affair. H. W. Brands says, "The other war hawks spoke of the struggle with Britain as a second war of independence; the approaching conflict was about violations of American rights, but it was about vindication of American identity." Americans at the time and historians since have called it the United States' "Second War of Independence". The British were offended by what they considered insults such as the Little Belt affair.
This gave the British a particular interest in capturing the United States flagship President, which they succeeded in doing in 1815. In 1807, Britain introduced a series of trade restrictions via the Orders in Council to impede neutral trade with France, which Britain was fighting in the Napoleonic Wars; the United States contested these restrictions as illegal under international law. Historian Reginald Horsman states, "a large section of influential British opinion, both in the government and in the country, thought that America presented a threat to British maritime supremacy."The American merchant marine had nearly doubled between 1802 and 1810, making it by far the largest neutral fleet. Britain was the largest trading partner, receiving 80% of U. S. cotton and 50% of other U. S. exports. The British public and press were resentful of commercial competition; the United States' view was. During the Napoleonic Wars, the Royal Navy expanded to 176 ships of the line and 600 ships overall, requiring 140,000 sailors to man.
While the Royal Navy could man its ships with volunteers in peacetime, it competed in wartime with merchant shi