The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire. The Americans declared war in June 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions brought about by Britain's ongoing war with France, the impressment of American merchant sailors into the Royal Navy, British support of American Indian tribes against American expansion, outrage over insults to national honor after humiliations on the high seas and possible American desire to annex Canada. Battles such as the Battle of New Orleans of 1815 and the Battle of Baltimore of 1814 (which inspired the lyrics of the United States national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner") produced a sense of euphoria over a "second war of independence" against Britain. It ushered in an "Era of Good Feelings" in which partisan animosity nearly vanished.
The official War of 1812 bicentennial website has an interactive timeline, the background of the Star Spangled Banner, events around the country, multimedia, and "learning and fun" - just a HUGE amount of information!
Visit1812.com also has information on historic places to travel during the bicentennial celebration.
Fort McHenry (where Francis Scott Key saw that "the flag was still there") is a National Park and Historic Site.
History.com has information on the war, individual battles, biographies and articles, and related topics and events.
Information on the PBS documentary "The War of 1812" includes suggested lesson plan ideas. You can watch the whole video online here.
The Smithsonian Institution has information on the war, the flag, the song, and an interactive area of the site.
Information at the Wisconsin Historical Society on the War of 1812 includes information on what Wisconsin was doing during that time and how the far-away war affected our state.
Re-enactors at Villa Louis (Wisconsin Historical site) will look at the War of 1812 in Wisconsin. Look for it in July!
The Library of Congress has A Virtual Guide to the War of 1812 with primary sources from all over the different government sites such as the National Archives, the American Memory collections, the James Madison Papers, and the Prints and Photographs Division.
The National Archives has a page dedicated to military records of the War of 1812, including genealogy information, discharge certificates, and records about impressed seamen.
Diigo list of resources on the bicentennial of the War of 1812
Please note: All links to outside resources are free to public use. Any links those sites may have to resources for purchase are not reviewed or endorsed by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.