Department Chair

Andrew D. Nicholls, Ph.D.

Date of Award


Access Control

Open Access

Degree Name

History, M.A.


History and Social Studies Education Department


David Carson, Ph.D.

Department Home page

First Reader

David Carson, Ph.D.

Second Reader

Andrew D. Nicholls, Ph.D.


This thesis examines a selection of literature concerning the causes of the War of 1812. While named America’s “forgotten” war, many historians have attempted to examine the political landscape that led to the newly formed United States to declare war on England in 1812. While maritime concerns have primarily been seen as the cause, this thesis will examine how that historiography has changed throughout the past two hundred years.

Chapter one, entitled “Early Interpretations: Maritime Grievances” examines the works of Alexander James Dallas, Henry Marie Brackenridge, Richard Hildreth, Gilbert Auchinleck, and Henry Adams. Chapter two, entitled “Changing Interpretations” looks at the works of Theodore Roosevelt, Howard T. Lewis, Julius Pratt, George Rodgers Taylor, Warren H. Goodman, and A.L. Burt. The Third Chapter, entitled: “The Sixties Renews interest” looks at the works of Bradford Perkins, Reginald Horsman, Roger Brown, Harry Coles, Clifford Egan, J.C.A. Stagg, and Donald Hickey. Chapter four, entitled “Bicentennial Anniversary Renews Interest” examines some of the most recent studies on the War of 1812 by Jeremy Black, Paul Gilje, Noah Feldman, and Richard Maass.