The World at War 1812-1815

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In 1812, the United States of America declared war on Great Britain, a country already at full stretch with war against France.  It was a total war, from which only one side would emerge intact. During the war years, 1812-14, Great Britain’s highest priority, therefore, was not the enemy across the Atlantic Ocean, but the one across the English Channel.

How did the demands of other theatres of the Napoleonic wars affect British military strategy and operations in America?  To what degree was the War of 1812 a sideshow? What was the context of coalition and world war in the Napoleonic age?

Lieutenant-General Jonathon Riley CB DSO PhD MA, Director-General and Master of the Royal Armouries, will discuss these and other questions by putting the War of 1812 in a global context.  Lieutenant-General Riley is one of Britain's most senior generals having held military commands of British operations in the Balkans as a battalion and brigade commander, in Sierra Leone as Joint Task Force Commander, in Iraq as Divisional Commander, and in Afghanistan as Deputy Commander of all NATO forces. He is a military historian with an MA and a PhD in history and has published fourteen books on military history, most recently the biography of Sir Isaac Brock, the British Field Commander in Canada in 1812: A Matter of Honour. In 2009, General Riley became the Director General and Master of the Royal Armouries (, the award winning home of Britain's national collections of arms and armour.

USS Constitution Museum, Charlestown Navy Yard, Building 22
Boston, Suffolk County, MA (Greater Boston)

phone: (617) 426-1812
cost: Free, discounted parking available at Nautica Garage.