As we celebrate the bicentennial of the War of 1812, we wonder how things would have been different if they had the internet in 1812.
First the name itself "the War of 1812" is pretty boring. With Twitter coverage and Facebook pages covering the war, there would have been a more colorful name.
What would they call this second war of independence? How about the "Revenge of the British?" or perhaps at the very least "The American Revolution Part II."
A different National Anthem?
The Battle of Baltimore in 1814 inspired the lyrics to the United States national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner" and produced a sense of euphoria over a second victory by the United States over Britain.
What if Francis Scott Key had looked to glow from his smart phone rather than the bombs bursting in air?
"Oh say can you see by the dawn's early light" would be replaced with, "I've just received this tweet from my home boys down the street."
Who knew the War was over?
Think about this, you are on a ship half way around the world, and telecommunications as we know it today has not yet been invented. So how do you get the message that the war is over?
The Treaty of Ghent was the peace treaty that ended the War of 1812 between the United States and Great Britain. Although the treaty was officially ratified by the United States Senate on February 16, 1815, the sides had agreed to end the war by the treaty that was signed on December 24, 1814.
The Battle of New Orleans took place on January 8, 1815. If the British ships had cell phones and satellite communications they would have celebrated The Treaty of Ghent and not have wasted their time attacking New Orleans on January 8, 1815.
Who would be president?
Without Wikipedia or Google to promote his legacy, we wonder how Andrew Jackson rose to fame after the war and went on to become president.
If Andrew Jackson were around in a world with modern media, he would not have made it to the presidency with his support of slavery and forced relocation of Native Americans.
My personal spin
Yea, these are the thought's I have on the drive to work... how things would have been different if they had the internet in 1812. Wow, how much the world has changed in the past two centuries.
Stretch your brain a bit. Check out my website American Philosopher.US where I have some reflections on the world.
I hope to add some more content on the War of 1812 in the months ahead such as this article on The Story behind the Star Spangled Banner.
Photo of painting "The Signing of the Treaty of Ghent, Christmas Eve, 1814"
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C.