Richard V. Barbuto

Mar 23, 2021

New York's War of 1812

Politics, Society, and Combat

University of Oklahoma Press 2021

From its use as a staging ground for invasions of Canada to the blockading of its ports, New York found itself at the forefront of America’s war with Great Britain in 1812. In New York’s War of 1812: Politics, Society, and Combat (University of Oklahoma Press, 2021), Richard V. Barbuto describes both the Empire State’s role in the war and the impact of the fighting upon her citizens. Central to Barbuto’s narrative is Daniel D. Tompkins, who as New York’s governor in the years prior to the war’s outbreak spent considerable effort preparing the state for possible conflict. When war broke out, Tompkins coped with both inadequate support from the federal government and the resistance of antiwar Federalist state legislators as he sought to provision state militia and defend New York’s extensive northern border with Canada. The region became the site of a series of land and naval clashes over the two and a half years of the conflict, with the periodic battles the two sides supplemented by raids and reprisals. Yet as Barbuto demonstrates New York successfully coped with the threats it faced, defending New York City and preserving its northern borders thanks to the unflagging efforts of thousands of New Yorkers, both in uniform and in civilian life.

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