It's the bicentenial of one of the United States' most poorly understood conflicts, the War of 1812, in which foreign troops sacked the federal capital, burned the White House, and occupied a good portion of my native state. Americans suffer from historical amnesia and unlike, say, Hungarians or Serbs, tend to especially forget those conflicts that didn't go so well.
That's a pity for Mainers because the conflict played a central role in our reemergence as a separate polity after a century and a half spent as an internal colony of Massachusetts. The British invasion of eastern Maine -- and the Bay State's tepid reaction to it -- fueled the drive for statehood, a story I tell in this feature in today's Maine Sunday Telegram.
For more context on Maine' historical relationship with Massachusetts, may I suggest my second book, The Lobster Coast: Rebels, Rusticators, and the Struggle for a Forgotten Frontier.
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