The War of 1812:
America's First Crisis
Robert P. Watson

COURSE DESCRIPTION: 2014 marks the bicentennial of some of the most important battles of the War of 1812. However, little is known about America's forgotten war, one Harry Truman called our "silliest damn war!" Yet, it was a fascinating period in the young nation's history and a very important and unusual war. What began as an attempt to invade Canada nearly ended with Britain conquering the United States. But, this "second war for independence" shaped the nation in profound ways. Attendees will explore the key battles, most heroic generals and inept commanders, and the surprising twists and turns of a war that played a major role in shaping the U.S. history.
1. "On to Canada!" - A look at the unusual causes of the war, the intrigue surrounding America's westward expansion, and the disastrous invasion of Canada.
2. The Best and Worst of 1813 - A look at a year that brought a reversal of fortunes in the war and some of the most decisive battles in American history.
3. The High Seas - A look at the naval heroes, villains, ships, and battles, including the important Great Lakes theater, Britain's blockade of the American coast, and the exploits of American captains on the high seas.
4. Turning Points in History - A look at the crucial turning points of the war, including the burning of the White House, defense of Baltimore, writing of the Star-Spangled Banner, and Jackson's victory at New Orleans.
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Dr. Robert P. Watson is Professor of American Studies at Lynn University and Senior Fellow at the Florida Joint Center for Citizenship. He has published 34 books and hundreds of articles, chapters, and essays on topics in American politics and history; co-convened a half-dozen national conferences on the presidency; and serves on the boards of several scholarly journals, presidential foundations, and community and professional associations. A frequent media commentator, he has given thousands of media interviews to local, national, and international print, radio, and television outlets, including CNN, BBC, USA Today, and others. He wrote a Sunday column for the Sun-Sentinel newspaper, and is the political analyst for WPTV-5 NBC. He has won several teaching awards including Professor of the Year at FAU and Lynn (twice) and FAU's Faculty Service Award (twice).

Time: 4:30 pm - 6:15 pm
Date: Tuesdays, January 7, 14, 21, 28
Location: Carole and Barry Kaye Auditorium, Boca Raton Campus
Fees: $49 member / $60 non-member