Burning of Washington

Burning Of Washington

Military Conflict
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Burning of Washington

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Description:
The Burning of Washington was an incident of the War of 1812 between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the United States of America. On August 24, 1814, a British force occupied Washington, D.C. and set fire to many public buildings following the American defeat at the Battle of Bladensburg. The facilities of the U.S. government, including the White House and U.S. Capitol, were largely destroyed , though strict discipline and the British commander's orders to burn only public buildings are credited with preserving the city's private buildings. This has been the only time since the Revolutionary War that a foreign power has captured and occupied the United States capital.

Reasons for the attack

Historians assert that the attack was in retaliation for the American burning and looting of York (now Toronto) during the Battle of York in 1813, and the burning down of the buildings of the Legislative Assembly there. The British Army commanders said they chose to attack Washington "on account of the greater political effect likely to result".Roger Morriss, Cockburn and the British Navy in Transition: Admiral Sir George Cockburn, 1772-1853 (University of Exeter Press, 1997), P. 104

Governor-General Sir George Prevost of Canada wrote to the Admirals in Bermuda calling for a retaliation...
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