“. . . an excellent resource. Scholars and lay readers interested in early American history will find the book useful for both reference and general reading. . .. The editors deserve commendation for having produced such a comprehensive and sophisticated reference work on the War of 1812.” — James Taylor Carson
In the summer of 1812, the titanic clash of the great European powers was entering its final act. Napoleon Bonaparte, emperor of the French, led a half million men into Russia even as French armies continued their four-year fight with the British on the Iberian Peninsula—the Spanish ulcer, Bonaparte had called it. The wars marked by this final, violent chapter had been going on for almost two decades, spending Europe’s resources and disrupting the peaceful commerce of the world. In June 1812, when the United States of America declared war on Great Britain, it was a gesture that seemingly had nothing to do with alliances of old Europe or the colliding egos of bemedaled marshals and proud princes. And yet it had everything to with those things—and more.
"The War of 1812: An Overview," David S. Heidler and Jeanne T. Heidler, Encyclopedia of the War of 1812.