Theme: The nearly disastrous American effort in the War of 1812 suffered from poor strategy, political divisions, and increasingly aggressive British power. Nevertheless, the United States emerged with a stalemated peace settlement, a “postwar” victory in the Battle of New Orleans, and a sense of national self-confidence. As Europe reverted to a reactionary imperialism, an isolationist America turned its back to the Atlantic European world and its face toward the West.
Theme: The aftermath of the War of 1812 produced a strong surge of American nationalism that was reflected in economics, law, and foreign policy. The rising nationalistic spirit and sense of political unity was, however, threatened by the first severe sectional dispute over slavery.