Speed Reads

The British Invasion

British Embassy tweets 200th anniversary of the burning of Washington in War of 1812

The "special relationship" sure has come a long way. The British Embassy in the United States posted a special commemoration Sunday on Twitter, recognizing the 200th anniversary of the day that the British burned Washington during the War of 1812.

The War of 1812 was a curious piece of military history, ending in a virtual stalemate between the United States and Britain. Furthermore, many of its significant events were in fact huge mistakes brought about by the primitive communications technology of the era. The most notable example of this would come several months after the burning of Washington, with the Battle of New Orleans — which was the greatest American battlefield victory in that conflict. However, this later battle occurred two weeks after the two countries had officially negotiated the Treaty of Ghent to end the war, but the combatants on the ground hadn't actually gotten the news yet. --Eric Kleefeld