The Corner

War of 1812

Jonah: The United States did not “join Napoleon” against the British, as one of your correspondents claims. In fact, the War of 1812 was nearly fought against both countries–President Madison gave serious thought to declaring war on France, and the Senate narrowly rejected a declaration of war against the French, by a vote of 18-14. It is merely a coincidence that the United States and France fought Britain at the same time–and completely wrong to suggest that we were allies in any way. Napoleon never was a friend to America. And don’t even get me started on the Louisiana Purchase. Or at least wait until my forthcoming book is available, in October. It’s called Our Oldest Enemy: A History of America’s Disastrous Relationship with France.

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.

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