Rising from the Ashes

Washington DC and the War of 1812

Mark N. Ozer

Who? What? When? and Why? are the questions one wants to ask about Washington DC during the time of the War of 1812. It was the new national capital striving to find its rationale in its few public buildings. It was a Seat of Government where a weak executive failed to control a fractious legislature even while fighting at its distant borders a war against the world's Great Power. It then became itself a Seat of War. After its destruction and a peace snatched out of the depths of defeat, there was a renewal of national feeling. The more emphatic restatement of the city's significance and reinstatement of its Public Buildings have continued to reverberate in the history of the city and in our national life.

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“The impact of this ‘Second War of Independence’, has been particularly overlooked in the narrative of Washington’s development into today's flourishing city. Mark N. Ozer’s new book seeks to right that oversight. He argues compellingly that one of the important outcomes of that war was to accentuate the role of Washington, D.C. as the capital of the nation. Not only because of the commitment by national leaders; the citizenry of the city united to ensure the city’s resurrection ‘like a Phoenix from the ashes’ as an invigorated capital.” -- Donald Kennon, V.P. for Scholarship and Education, U.S. Capitol Historical Association

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1 The Federal Seat of Government
  • Introduction
    • 1.1. Establishing a Federal Seat of Government
    • 1.2. Selection of a Site
    • 1.3. Taking the Land
    • 1.4. Design of the Site
    • 1.4 The Public Buildings
  • Chapter 2 The Growth of the City of Washington
    • Introduction
    • 2.1. The Political Structure
    • 2.2. The Physical Structure
    • 2.3. Social Life in the City of Washington
  • Chapter 3. The Executive
    • Introduction
    • 3.1. James Madison and the U.S. Constitution
    • 3.2. James Madison and the Presidency
    • 3.3.The Presidency and the War of 1812
    • 3.3. The War Department
    • 3.4 The Navy Department
    • 3.5. The Treasury Department
    • 3.6. James Madison and Peace
  • Chapter 4 The Legislature
    • Introduction
    • 4.1 The 12th War Congress/The Election of 1810
    • 4.2 The 13th Congress/The Election of 1812
    • 4.3 The 14th Congress/Election of 1814
    • 4. 4. The Missouri Compromise
  • Chapter 5. The Judiciary
    • Introduction
    • 5.1 Justice John Marshall and Judicial Review 1800-1806
    • 5.2. John Marshall and Judicial Power 1806-1819
  • Chapter 6 Washington DC - The Seat of War
    • Introduction
    • 6.1 The Chesapeake Campaign
    • 6.2. The Attack on Washington
    • 6.3 Military Installations
    • 6.4. The U.S. Capitol
    • 6.5 The President’s House
    • 6.6. The Battle of Baltimore
  • Chapter 7 Washington DC: The Seat of Memory of the War of 1812
    • Introduction
    • 7.1 The Rebuilding of the Public Buildings
    • 7.2 The Extended U.S. Capitol
    • 7.3. Latrobe and the Rebuilding of the City of Washington
    • 7.4 Lafayette Park and Andrew Jackson
  • Chapter 8 The War of 1812 in American History
    • Introduction
    • 8.1. Henry Adams and the War of 1812
    • 8.2. West Point and Military Science
    • 8.3 The Organization of the U.S. Navy
    • 8.4. The Monroe Doctrine
    • 8.5. Admiral Mahan and the Doctrine of Naval Power
  • List of Figures
  • Bibliographic Essay
  • Works Consulted
  • Index
  • About The Author
Washington DC and the War of 1812
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