Washington D.C. and the War of 1812 by Mark Ozer


Who? What? When? and Why? are the questions one wants to ask about Washington D.C. during the time of the War of 1812. It was the new national capital striving to find its rationale in its few public buildings. It was a Seat of Government where a weak executive failed to control a fractious legislature even while fighting at its distant borders a war against the world's Great Power. It then became itself a Seat of War. After its destruction and a peace snatched out of the depths of defeat, there was a renewal of national feeling. The more emphatic restatement of the city's significance and reinstatement of its Public Buildings have continued to reverberate in the history of the city and in our national life. The outcomes of the war of 1812 have been unclear to most. The impact of this "Second War of Independence", has been particularly overlooked in the narrative of Washington’s development into today's flourishing city. Mark N. Ozer’s new book seeks to right that oversight. He argues compellingly that one of the important outcomes of that war was to accentuate the role of Washington, D.C. as the capital of the nation. Not only because of the commitment by national leaders; the citizenry of the city united to ensure the city’s resurrection “like a Phoenix from the ashes” as an invigorated capital.
- Donald Kennon, Vice-President for Scholarship and Education, U.S. Capitol Historical Associatio

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