"Encyclopedia of the War of 1812 was hailed as a desperately needed reference by libraries across the country when published in hardcover in 1997. With the introduction of this reasonably priced paperback edition, individuals can now add the popular work to their home libraries for direct access to top scholars of early American history. Rich with illustrations, maps, and primary-source documents, the encyclopedia includes more than five hundred entries from some eighty experts on the War of 1812. Written for students and general readers with an interest in the war, the entries describe key military actions, profile important participants, assess developments in military science, and discuss the social and financial impact of the war." "Appendixes offer a wealth of additional information, including the text of such important documents as the Embargo Act, the Rambouillet Decree, and President James Madison's War Message of 1812, along with a chronology of political, military, and diplomatic maneuvers and a glossary of military, diplomatic, and nautical terms. Cross-references and an index offer fast access to information. Among the many intriguing entries are accounts of the Chesapeake-Leopard incident and the British invasion of the Chesapeake Bay in 1814, which included the burning of the Capitol and the destruction of the Library of Congress, and discussions of the participation of African American slaves and freedmen in the war and Federalist politics in Massachusetts." "Although the War of 1812 achieved none of President Madison's stated goals, Americans saw it as a demonstration of the nation's ability to defy Britain's demands and to fight Napoleon's conquerors to a draw. Britons saw the war as a British victory because the United States had neither won Canada nor forced Britain to abandon its despised practice of impressments. Without question, the war was a turning point for the young country that provided proof of its resilience, marked the decline of the Federalists, and ushered in an age of expansion and optimism."--BOOK JACKET.