The Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812

Tensions with the United States

American Reaction and British Response

Outraged by the hostility of the Amerindians and by what they considered a British plot to take the West away from them, the Americans took action in 1792. They passed a national militia act, established arsenals and, most importantly, recruited a regular army of 5,000 men under the command of General Anthony Wayne. This dynamic and talented officer galvanized the enthusiasm of his soldiers. On August 30, 1794, he crushed the Amerindians at Fallen Timbers (near Toledo, Ohio). Shortly afterwards, the British signed Jay's Treaty, under which they definitively recognized that the south shore of the Great Lakes belonged to the Americans. The American troops immediately moved in to take over the forts that had until then been occupied by the British. They may have given over these forts, but they moved into new forts built nearby on the Canadian side of the border. Thus the Mackinac garrison moved into Fort St. Joseph (on St. Joseph Island in Ontario), the Detroit garrison into Fort Malden (at Amherstburg, Ontario) and the Niagara garrison into Fort George (at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario).