Michigan became the western focus of the War of 1812 (1812-1815) between Britain and the United States. The war broke out over British aggression against neutral American shipping in the Atlantic Ocean, but the conflict was fought all along the United States-Canadian border. In Michigan, the two countries fought for possession of the forts at Detroit and on Mackinac Island and thus for control of the Great Lakes.
Before news of the declaration of war reached Michigan, a British force landed on Mackinac Island, and the American commander surrendered without firing a shot. Hull, in command of the U.S. forces at Detroit, tried unsuccessfully to capture nearby Fort Malden in Canada. Returning to Detroit, Hull could not get reinforcements because the British controlled the Great Lakes. In August 1812 Hull surrendered Detroit to the British, who were joined by the Shawnee chief Tecumseh and his Native American forces. In January 1813 a U.S. detachment sent to protect Americans living at Frenchtown (now Monroe) was surprised and defeated by the British and Native Americans. More than 1,000 people were killed in the Battle of the Raisin River, the bloodiest battle ever fought on Michigan soil. In September 1813 American naval forces defeated the British fleet in the Battle of Lake Erie, regaining control of the water routes to the East and forcing the British to evacuate Detroit. Efforts by U.S. naval and military forces to retake Mackinac Island failed in 1814. However, the fort was restored to the United States under the terms of the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the war. "Michigan" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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