This essay offers a critical overview of War of 1812 commemoration activities during the first year of the war’s bicentennial. Canada and the United States remember the war differently—when they remember it at all. This essay explores the reasons for the conflict’s marginalization, as well as the sharp contrast in interpretation. These include history, geography, nationalism, and politics. Finally, the essay suggests ways in which public history interpretation might be improved in the future.
Now You See It, Now You Don’t: The War Of 1812 In Canada And The United States In 2012
Karim M. Tiro is chair of the Department of History at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is the author of The People of the Standing Stone: The Oneida Nation from the Revolution through the Era of Removal (Massachusetts, 2011) and co-editor of Along the Hudson and Mohawk: The 1790 Journey of Count Paolo Andreani (Pennsylvania, 2006). In 2011-12, he was visiting professor of history at the Université du Québec à Montréal. He is currently researching the history of the Lake Ontario salmon fishery.
This essay benefitted from the comments of Carl Benn, the anonymous reviewer for The Public Historian, and colleagues in the history department at Xavier University. The research was supported by a grant from the Department of Foreign Affairs, Government of Canada.
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Karim M. Tiro; Now You See It, Now You Don’t: The War Of 1812 In Canada And The United States In 2012. The Public Historian 1 February 2013; 35 (1): 87–97. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/tph.2013.35.1.87
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