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The Napoleonic Wars 1792-1815

The burning of the White House

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The burning of the White House

Postby FBC-Elvas, Portugal » September 13th, 2014, 12:25 pm

This is a short video of the re-enactment of the burning of the White House in 1812
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LgV6KIDtoE

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Re: The burning of the White House

Postby Mark » September 13th, 2014, 9:38 pm

Thanks for sharing, Sarah!

Seems this event is all but forgotten in the UK, yet well remembered in the US and Canada.

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Re: The burning of the White House

Postby USM » September 16th, 2014, 3:48 pm

The British embassy has already apologized :lol:
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Re: The burning of the White House

Postby FBC-Elvas, Portugal » September 17th, 2014, 6:40 am

And the BBC published this: http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-magazine-monitor-28833238

Scroll to the bottom to see that part of the White House has been preserved from that time.

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Re: The burning of the White House

Postby Josh&Historyland » September 17th, 2014, 10:52 am

Leatherneck Gunner wrote:The British embassy has already apologized :lol:


I really didn't understand the necessity of that, but I don't know much about it, I take it the joke was not taken in the right spirit?

FBC-Elvas, Portugal wrote:And the BBC published this: http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-magazine-monitor-28833238

Scroll to the bottom to see that part of the White House has been preserved from that time.

Sarah


I think the burn marks are a big part of any Whitehouse tour!

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Re: The burning of the White House

Postby FBC-Elvas, Portugal » September 17th, 2014, 2:46 pm

Josh&Historyland wrote:
Leatherneck Gunner wrote:The British embassy has already apologized :lol:


I really didn't understand the necessity of that, but I don't know much about it, I take it the joke was not taken in the right spirit?

I think the burn marks are a big part of any Whitehouse tour!

Josh


I haven't read anything in American publications about a British apology. The American Civil War is of more interest to most.

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Re: The burning of the White House

Postby Josh&Historyland » September 17th, 2014, 3:27 pm

It started on twitter. In the US it must have been confined to social media, over here the apology seemed needless. It really boils down to a storm in a teacup, an former American service woman I know through the great pigeon post was disgusted at the American reaction to to the Embassy's rather harmless joke.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-28929626

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Re: The burning of the White House

Postby FBC-Elvas, Portugal » September 17th, 2014, 3:44 pm

Oh dear. Most Americans I know would agree with the American service woman.

Thanks Josh.

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Re: The burning of the White House

Postby USM » September 20th, 2014, 1:23 am

Any time you ritualistically or symbolically tarnish or burn another nation's symbols and colors you will get an uproar. Period.
Imagine the implications if the German army used targets resembling British Tommies on the centennial of the Somme or if an Arab nation made an effigy of a red double decker bus and put firecrackers inside it on 7/7 every year. It invokes the same old feelings but with a perverted twist.
This is the reason the film Master and Commander did not include an American frigate as the adversary.
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Re: The burning of the White House

Postby Josh&Historyland » September 20th, 2014, 11:09 am

That much maybe true.

However unless the Americans consider the British of a different generation, or indeed this one, as evil as an Islamic terrorist organisation then it doesn't stand. Also it has allot to do with context. Britain and Germany do not have the same, I hate to say the oft repeated word that the politicians all say but, relationship as Britain and America does. But it also has allot to do with who won doesn't it?

The victor is free to say whatever they want to the defeated even if it was over 100 years ago after all they won. Though in some cases that's not true because the Battle of Trafalgar commemoration event had to be renamed for fear of upsetting the French. But the defeated is less free to laugh it off, sometimes for good reason. The British do it to the Germans and sometimes the French all the time though the latter less so, and the Amerians do it to the British, and sometimes the Spanish, the list goes on. But baking a cake and sticking sparklers in it is hardly an annual celbratory ritualistic rite that one does every year.

Anyway it's not so much the apology that confuses me as the hooha that grew up around it. I've said most American's I've run across also thought it was a needless apology, and when you reflect that it all happened on twitter, it becomes all that much more silly that so much fuss was caused.

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