Week 7: War of 1812


Thought Provoker

Perhaps the most famous cultural artifact of the War of 1812 is the Star-Spangled Banner, which doesn’t actually become the national anthem for a long time after the War of 1812. Have you ever read the entire text of the Star-Spangled Banner? Go find the full text of it somewhere on the Internet and read it. Then listen to this short podcast episode about how this song can be transformed.

Finally, I KNOW that some of you are into songwriting or poetry, so I challenge you to write a new verse or two to the Star-Spangled Banner to match our national anthem to the ideals that you think that our country should be upholding, or the challenges we’ve overcome (or are working to overcome). You can either share them in your group, or, if you’re embarrassed (though you shouldn’t be), you can share your new version with me.

If you’re not into poetry, you can also propose an entirely new anthem for the United States–what other existing song should we be singing instead of the Star-Spangled Banner? Tell us in your group.


Read the subchapter about the War of 1812 from the American Yawp.

Listen to this podcast about the War of 1812 or read the transcript (access both audio and transcript at this link), and then respond to the reading and the podcast, specifically thinking about the difference between the war on a local level and the war on a national level. (Response options: blog post, audio)

On Wednesday, after your colleagues in your group have written their responses, it’s finally your time to respond by commenting on your groupmates’ blog posts! Pick two of your groupmates to respond to. Your response should be more than just “Good job, good thoughts, this is good.” Really engage with the meat of what your colleagues have said. Challenge! Expand! Inquire! Get a conversation going.


Listen to this podcast about some of the naval aspects of the War of 1812.

Then, in your groups, discuss what the War of 1812 means for African-Americans and Indigenous people.