The night the British burned the White House

Today, the United States of America and the United Kingdom have a very good relationship.

But things wasn’t always that way between the two countries. First the American Revoluted against the crown and formed an independent nation, but in 1812, the two countries went to war.

Interestingly enough, the war that took place is actually titled the war of 1812 and it was America’s first declared war. 


Without going into too much detail on the causes of the war, one of the main reasons for it, was the British impressment of American sailors. Whereby American sailors would be kidnapped and forced into British service.

However, over the span of the war the British advanced into the nations capitol and after setting fire to the capitol building, British generals and 150 red coats, marched to the White House. 

The British marched through the gates and right through the front door. When they got inside, they found a feast, catered to feed 40 people. The British dined in the White House dining room, before burning the mansion down.


The walls survived the fire, but little remains of what was originally inside. 

During the seige of Washington, The American Army had abandoned the city and servants of the White House were told to remove all paintings and as quick as they could in order to save them. But a lot of personal belongs of President Madison and his wife were left behind. However, the British did not loot the mansion. 

After burning the White House, the British went on to burn other buildings including The Treasury building and flew the Union Jack over the city. Thus, ending one of the darkest times in American history.

But the British occupation of Washington only lasted 24 hours, but the war would continue for another six months. 

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