The Bicentennial of the War of 1812: How Baltimore Built its Legacy

Observation Baltimore

This year marks the Bicentennial of the War of 1812, one of the most historically important wars in our nation’s history. And as the United States commemorates the 200th anniversary of this war and the penning of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” our national anthem, the city of Baltimore takes center stage.

How the War of 1812 Began

With tensions still riding relatively high between the United States and Great Britain following both the Revolutionary War and the Napoleonic Wars, President James Madison finally had enough when the British Navy made it policy to stop American vessels and seize American soldiers to serve in His Majesty’s Navy. In the spring of 1812, President Madison submitted a declaration of war to Congress, pitting the upstart United States against the largest naval power in the world.

Baltimore’s Involvement in the War of 1812

Since President Madison’s declaration of war, privateers sailing out of Baltimore had been constantly harassing British merchant ships. Because of this, the people of Baltimore were well aware that one day the British would come for them.

That fateful day finally came on September 12, 1814, when the British fleet landed at North Point and began the march to Baltimore. Meanwhile, British Admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane and his 50 war ships assaulted Fort McHenry. 25 hours later, after constant bombardment and with the people of Baltimore gazing upon the fort anxiously waiting to learn the fate of the fort and the entire city, witnesses observed the lowering of the 17-by-25-foot storm flag that had flown over the fort throughout the terrible night. In its place an American flag was raised, a flag 30 feet wide by 42 feet long.

It was just a routine flag ceremony, but to the city of Baltimore and the entire nation, it announced to the world that the fort and the city had survived the 25-hour bombardment.

In the distance, aboard an American flag-of-truce vessel with the British fleet was Francis Scott Key, who was trying to negotiate the release of Dr. William Beanes, a resident of Upper Marlboro whom the British had taken prisoner. Witnessing the bombardment and the eventual raising of the American flag over Fort McHenry, Key was inspired to jot down his thoughts. Two days later, he finally finished his poem, which he titled “The Defense of Fort McHenry.” This poem was later put to music and renamed “The Star-Spangled Banner.” In 1931 it was officially made the national anthem.

Since this time, Baltimore has grown into a bustling city, a microcosm of our nation.

Today, not only does Baltimore have a diverse consumer population residing in the 5 counties surrounding the city, but Baltimore is also rich with economic growth and charmed with history. It is because of this that Baltimore is the perfect test market to conduct research.

It is no wonder why large corporation like Chick-fil-a, Spot On Energy™, Virgin Cola, Polaroid, and Disney choose Baltimore as their test market!

To learn more about The War of 1812 and Baltimore as a Test Market, please contact Barbara Gassaway and the market research specialists at Observation Baltimore today by calling 410-332-0400 or click here! And if you are interested in participating in a future focus group, sign up at www.observationbaltimore/getpaid.

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