The United States of America


The United States of America has documented evidence of the American Revolution and the conflict of 1812, which gives reasons behind the war, the cause of the war and the consequences therein. This is evident from the works of Donald R. Hickey, who elucidates the causes of conflict that led to the war of 1812, in his book titled “The War of 1812. A Forgotten Conflict”. On the other hand, Barbara W Tuchman depicts the revolutions in relations that the United States of America had with other countries like France, Canada and the United Kingdom after attaining independence.

This is from his documentation and publication of the “The First Salute: A View of the American Revolution”, which depicts the efforts by the United States to gain public recognition after attaining independence from the British. Overly, these two books synthesize the true picture of the United States in the eighteenth century spanning from social development, political stability and the economic impact of the aftermath of the American Revolution and the 1812 war. However, as much as Donald Hickey sensitizes on the 1812 forgotten war, in contrast, Barbara W Tuchman helps in the documentation of the aftermath colonization. This implies that the major difference in these literary works lies in conflict as a key factor underpinning the inspiration for documentation. For instance, as much as Donald Hickey depicts the United States as a fallen nation due to incursions in the form of war, Barbara Tuchman pictures the United States as a new nation ready for finding solutions to these conflicts, which is a positive change.

This essay compares and contrasts the literary works of Donald R. Hickey in “The War of 1812. A forgotten Conflict”, on one hand, and Barbara W Tuchman in the book, “The First Salute: A View of the American Revolution”, on the other hand. In real essence, it depicts the similarities and differences between the two historical personalities.

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Firstly, the two historical personalities are related in terms of the historical period in the context. This is from the fact that both writers give a chronology of events that took place during the eighteenth century. The first salute is the salute that De Graaf, then the governor of St. Eustatius, gave a visiting us ship in 1776 in recognition to its effort in building international relations after the revolution. Remini observed, “Outside forces and, especially, the role that the Netherlands played in revolutionary of the United States in the eighteenth century changed the status quo”. This was happening at a time when tension was grooming up between the United States and its colonizer, England, over the American Indian merchants, as documented by Donald R. Hickey. The forgotten conflict is metaphorical for the manner in which the 1812 war was depicted by the US agencies on history in that after losing the battle, there was not much to be covered, depicting discrepancy and scanty information regarding the war. Despite the fact that the enemies termed it the Madison war, it did not measure to the standards of renowned leaders like Abraham Lincoln. This obscurity in coverage prompted Donald R. Hickey to form the basis of the topic for his works as a forgotten conflict, which happened in 1812, a historic period that rhymes with the events in Tuchman works.

On the other hand, the two works are different in terms of display of diplomatic ties within the United States. As much as Tuchman stipulates the situation leading to the healing of a wounded nation in terms of revolution, Hickey’s ideas display recognition of a war, even if it were a battle that the United States lost. Here, Hickey’s work is to bring the war to the limelight and help in understanding of the past situation before the current moves to revolution. In real essence, Hickey’s work forms the genesis of the work of Tuchman. As much as the war was an international affair, it is evident that it was a battle of the Americans for the Americans. Arguably, the Republicans wanted to unite and remain strong against the Federals in a political battle marred with internal conflicts. In the real sense, it depicts the political rivalry within the United States, eroding the possibility of unity. On the other hand, Tuchman gives a picture of resurrection from political turmoil to revolution. This implies that the two books work in contradiction in terms of transitions. One focuses on a negative transition from conflict to war, while the other gives an account of the steps towards building of public relations within the United States.

It is also evident that the two books are advocacies of peace. It is apparent that, after every war, there are some treaties that bring about peace. A chronology of events leading to war up to eventual halt and its documentation is essential in revealing the source of conflict, which might give lead to move forward in similar situations. Maclaurin stated” The literary works give the true situation from the ground of the battle, which gives the reader an insight into the causes of the war and consequent enslavement of the innocent”. This is helpful in an aversion of such incidences since it surfaces generations to come with information that can help solve conflicts. For instance, the role of the Netherlands in revolution of the United States serves as an exemplary and advocate for peace. Consequently, the signing of the treaty of Ghent brought about an end to the war, although it did not give the reasons why the people fought. In the end, the literary work gives an account of events culminating in war in order to create awareness among coming generations as a step towards building of cohesion among nations since they mark the milestones that have been covered in the past.


In the synthesis of the war, Donald R. Hickey gives the true picture of the participants and the reasons that led to the unforgotten war. This spans from international aggressions to disparities in ideas amongst the rivalry of the federal government verses the democratic views. For instance, the sailors wanted to have free trade and the rights to sail their vessels without interception whatsoever. Moreover, the Republicans wanted to build strong political unity and silence the federals ahead of a political rivalry. The best method was to embrace war in order to reclaim power. Overly, the major cause for the American Revolution was from the fact that there was a need for emancipation of the practice of slavery. Hickey keeps the reader into recalling the past events by describing how the Republican Party, which was the champion for emancipation of slavery and rehabilitation of the ties in the south, had opposition from the southern leaders who wanted to seize power from the Republican candidate, Abraham Lincoln. It is essential to note that Lincoln was the tool for the abolition of the slave trade since slavery was a form of crucifixion of human justice.

Moreover, the southern territory led by the then army commander Lee wanted a cessation from the north, which prompted Lincoln to fight back in order to preserve the union. According to the northern side, this war was not to abolish the institution, but to protect the sovereignty of the union between the two conflicting sides. The end to slavery was just an added task since it was inhuman. The admission of the state of Missouri as a slave state in 1850 escalated the indicative measures against the practice as it slowly took root. Moreover, the south argued that a stop to slavery could mean an infringement to their constitutional rights while the north argued that it was a democratic evil. These conflicting sentiments widened the dispute further, prompting a vote for a war from the partisans of both parties in Kansas. This is the revelation that both the abolitionists and supporters of slavery met in Kansas in order to deliberate on the issue. The duties of the partisans were to either cast a vote for or against the practice. Moreover, they carried guns with them, which signified preparedness for war. This forms the first part of hickey’s deviation from Tuchman’s work in that the latter was inspired by a move to the revolution, which was a success for a nation, while former was inspired by war.

Hickey also wanted to depict social injustices through describing the cruelty in the trade of the slaves. The fight against slavery took a new form of boost from the declaration by the Supreme Court, which bestowed every settler with the right to own slaves even in the lands where the opponents of the practice formed the majority. However, to add insult to injury, the chief justice proclaimed that the slaves had inferior powers in comparison to the superior whites, hence had no social right or obligation for seizure of vindication as slaves. This meant that the practice would flourish contrary to the expectations of the North. The rift escalated further in 1859 in Harpers, when John Brown attempted to raid the armory. The south resisted this invasion recruiting the slaves into the military and subjecting them to forced military training. On his part, Tuchman revolves around a nation ready for change through the revelation of a nation without slave trade and other forms of human injustices like racial parity. This implies that as much as Tuchman’s work shows the revolutionaries in the US, on the contrary Hickey is the representation of a country with evil and political instability. The slaves formed the source of defense to the institution that crucified their human right through forceful fights.

In contradiction to the above disparity in ideologies of slavery, the truth that lay behind Hickey’s work and what happened on the ground show that the participants of slavery became rich to the extent that they had direct control of power including influencing constitutional mandates. This provoked the northerners, whose right of citizenship was being compromised on grounds of power dominance, by the southerners. In fact, Jefferson Davis was the source of rejection of the federal doctrine, which formed a back log to the end of the institution of slavery. This is evident since Davis openly rejected the congressional pre-eminence, a Lincoln project of 1846.

Overly, the confederacy of 1860 gave more states room for shunning the practice of the slave trade as they embraced the spirit of confederacy. Consequently, the nationalism proved by ascend to power of Lincoln saw fewer representatives of the slave states, which paved way for the weakening of the institution of slavery.


The likeness in mind over the issues culminating into peace is the last part of Hickey’s work while it forms the massive work in Tuchman’s analysis. This shows that the two works also have a resemblance in ideologies as the treaty of Paris in 1783, which is mentioned in both cases, brought to halt the war. The two literary icons have different revelations concerning the treaties and engagement of nations in these agreements, although they are both inspired by the voice of peace, which brings about the comparison. The treaty would be the source of relinquishing of the British forts in Ohio. However, the British declined to stick to the terms of agreement and went ahead to retain their forts in the state. Moreover, the British saw that America was dilly-dallying with the issue of economic absorption of the loyalists into flourishing businesses, contrary to the treaty. This meant that there was no room for removal of the forts. In fact, their erection on American soil was constitutional from the ensuing argument.

The two books are also related in ideology in terms of the internal and external aggressions that led to the rift. For instance, as much as Hickey reveals the existence of the aboriginals, Tuchman associated this phenomenon to the existence of Britons. They both synthesize the enemies of peace as the eternal aggressors, in the context that the rift was further deepened by the existence of aboriginals, armed with British ammunitions. This created a form of tension within the original inhabitants to signify looming danger. Moreover, the embargo act of 1807 saw looming economic crises, where the United States’ ships were forbidden from carrying any non-American goods. This caused a fall in the gross domestic product of participating countries, while it made an impact on the repeal of the business treaties. The climax of the fall out between the nations was evident in the duties of the abducting gangs. These gangs utilized the naval navigation, where they could cease and take control of the US vessels. Moreover, there were trade sanctions resulting from competition of superiority. France and Britain wanted to trade freely with any nation; however, there was no respect for neutrality of these nations. The rivalry competition was the source of conflict prompting a cause for war. This group was determined to bring the British existence in America to a halt. This notion of extinction of a more elite class was a causal agent for the 1812 war, which was a view of retaliation from the British rule, in the United States, which puts the literary works at par with the truth behind the scenes of the forgotten war and the last salute. This implies that the chronology of events is evident in both works, giving more emphasis to the credibility of the documented history.

The chronology of events depicted in these two literary works shows that racial discrimination should have spurred the thought of documentation of this historical work. For instance, as much as Tuchman gives a picture of a country struggling to create external links, there are evident practices of discrimination of the minority. For instance, the southern participants of slavery could use their slaves for fight in order to protect the sovereignty of the whites. Hickey also depicts the situation of the burning down of the residence of the president in Washington DC, while painting it in white colors, which is the synonym for its current name of Whitehouse. This symbolized that the rivalry was more racial than international since it was depicted by a white win.

The aftermath of the war and the signing of treaties form the principal synthesis of both Tuchman and Hickey. Their utmost force of inspiration from this excerpt for the literary works was a change as a tool underpinning their thoughts. The war came to a halt when United States withdrew due to threats of successive bombings on New York and Boston. These threats were made amid tensions and fights that had lasted for years. The acclamation by the British to bombard these ports could not be taken lightly by the US government. This prompted them to withdraw from the battle and seek a fresh mandate of reconciliation. Thus, on the eve of Christmas, in 1814, the diplomats from the British and United States met in Belgium in the city of Ghent to formalize a peace treaty. The treaty gave room for reallocation of land and formation of boundaries to separate Canadian land and restore the 1783 boundaries. However, this treaty is termed as ironical by critiques of the literary, as none of the stipulations in the treaty was in favor of the primary cause of the war. There was nothing in the treaty that addressed the reasons why the war began. It shifted its focus on the major cause, which was believed to be aggressions of the Indian American merchants by the British. This implies that both writers fall short of historic evidence over the reasons behind the signing of the treaties.

In real view, the revolution was a form of change from one game player to the other while the game remained the same. This implies that the much fought for freedom was liberation from the hands of colonizers to neocolonialism, which is a nonentity step in social development. The beneficiaries of the revolution were the slaves and women, who after fighting in the war had made their reputation and received new recognition. Moreover, most Indian- American merchants moved freely with their goods as a result of the revolution.

However, from the definition of freedom, the revolution was a source of enslavement of the minds of the people through loyalty to the king. There are evident situations when the loyalists converged against those who did not show loyalty with cases of breakage of family ties depicted from revelations of the revolution. For instance, the governor of New Jersey remained loyal to the crown of the king cutting down all his links with the native family. This is a sign of neocolonialism, which implies that the revolution did not bring with it total freedom. Paradoxically, it brought to an end the spirits for craving of trade in slaves, which is a form of emancipation of the human being.


The chronology of the events leading to the American Revolution depicts a rise and fall in the political stability of the United States and its closest allies like France and the Netherlands. The events depict a trend towards attaining political stability and building of international relations. On the other hand, the revolution in the United States was as a result of the signing of the treaty of Ghent, on the Christmas Eve in Belgium city. This treaty came as a result of a failed treaty, which was termed the treaty of Paris. The latter did not measure to its stipulations, resulting in the 1812 war. This war signified the United States as a defeated nation, where there was scanty documentation of the events leading to this war. This prompted Donald R. Hickey to synthesize the topic, “the unforgotten war” which is evident from obscurity of ideas. On the other hand, the “first salute” by Tuchman is a form of recognition of the efforts by the US to regain its international relations after the revolution.


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