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Patriotism and Reconstruction: Washington, DC after Conquest and Arson during the War of 1812

Patriotism and Reconstruction: Washington, DC after Conquest and Arson during the War of 1812

This video was recorded at MIT World Series: The Resilient City: Trauma, Recovery and Remembrance. The 24-hour occupation of the nation's capital by British forces during the War of 1812 was arguably the lowest point in American history. The President fled to Virginia hours before the invaders torched the White House, Capitol, State and War Departments, and the Treasury. The colossal buildings that represented the hopes and aspirations of the young Republic were now wizened and hollow in what was nothing more than a 14-year-old glorified village, with 8,000 residents. It should have doomed the infant capital to instant oblivion, with many claiming the moment was opportune to relocate to Philadelphia or elsewhere to save the cost of rebuilding. But a surge of patriotism followed the heroic... Show More
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