All one needs to know about who was the aggressor in 1812 can be gained from simply looking at the situation in Europe leading up to 1812.
Britain was locked in a desperate war against Napoleon and was facing the destruction of both its military defense capability and it’s entire trade-based economy. Vurtually all of Europe’s governments had collapsed under Napoleon, and all that was left were rebels in Spain and elsewhere.
The last thing Britain wanted was a war with the US. However, the fashion of the day in the US was the hate the English. The Brits almost beat the US anyway, though. Without Napoleonon at their doorstep The Brits could have mnade the Americans grovel for mercy in no time flat.
As Mencken once pointed out, the Americans have a habit of kicking foreign countries when they’re down, declaring war on them, and then declaring a heroic victory as if any courage at all had been necessary to attack a prostrate nation.7:46 am on May 21, 2008 Email Ryan McMaken