Happy New Year, 200 Years Ago

The War of 1812  between Great Britain and the United States broke out because of Britain’s seizure of American ships, impressment of American sailors into the British navy and restriction of trade between the United States and France.

The lyrics of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the U.S. national anthem, are another important legacy of the War of 1812. They were penned by the amateur poet Francis Scott Key after he watched American forces withstand the British siege of Fort McHenry.

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