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My daughter was recently studying this in high school, and somehow I had always assumed that it had only lasted a year. Apparently it ran on for at least a couple of years, but her textbook only touched on key points. It didn't actually identify the final date on which hostilities ceased. Does anyone know the date and terms that were agreed upon by both sides?

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up vote 16 down vote accepted

There were actually TWO endings to the War of 1812.

The first, and "official" ending, was the signing of the peace Treaty of Ghent, December 24, 1814, which would have made a nice Christmas present. It called for a cessation of hostilities, the exchange of lands and prisoners, and the appointment of a joint commission to study U.S. Canadian boundary issues.

The ACTUAL ending of the war was the Battle of New Orleans, January 8, 1815 (news traveled slowly in those days, so neither side knew that the war had ended). It was a complete, lopsided victory for the defending American forces, under General Andrew Jackson that helped catapult him to the Presidency. The British suffered some 2000 casualties (one fourth of their total), including the commanding general Edward Pakenham.

This battle was regarded as "sealing the peace." Even the "Iron Duke" of Wellington didn't want to fight the Americans after this.

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Actually, according to Wikipedia the Treaty of Ghent wasn't ratified by the US before February 18, 1815 which would make that date the actual ending of the war. –  Wladimir Palant Oct 12 '11 at 15:27
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The Americans also surely realized that as the Napoleonic War was winding down, the British would be able to spare capacity to focus on the Americas, something the fledgling country would have been ill-equipped to handle. In both the Revolution and the War of 1812, we outlasted the British - we didn't really "defeat" them. –  Affable Geek Feb 29 '12 at 14:08
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It appears that Wladimir is almost correct. The treaty was ratified on February 16, 1815, according to the Library of Congress which cites an original source document. loc.gov/rr/program/bib/ourdocs/Ghent.html –  called2voyage Mar 13 at 21:26
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