WellesleyWeston Magazine


Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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Page 69 of 195

History Is Us lessly, commanders who were able to combine advanced military strat- egy with tremendous sailing skills, and, of course, "honor, courage, and commitment," the qualities that are reflected in the motto of the modern US Navy. Despite Old Ironsides' remarkable performance, historians debate the ultimate outcome of the War of 1812 as it ended on the basis of status quo ante bellum. Some argue that the British were victorious, others argue in favor of the United States. (They all agree that the American Indians drew the shortest straw, loosing claim to their land, power, and any hope of a semi-autonomous state in the West.) Looking back 200 years later, it is clear that the war was a critical event for the United States, regardless of its conclusion. "The war reaffirmed the young nation's sovereignty," explains Jim Stokes, Wellesley resident, former Marine, and Chairman of the Board of the USS ConstitutionMuseum in Charlestown, which serves as the memory and educational voice of the ship. Recalling an evening that the Museum hosted at which author and historian David McCullough 68 spoke of the significance of the War of 1812, Stokes said that, from McCullough's perspective, the conflict was actually the final stage of the Revolutionary War; it brought an end to the rather constant stream of challenges to the United States' authority by other nations that had continued since the War of Independence. The war also fos- tered development of a world class Navy, protected valuable shipping lines, allowed for westward expansion, and ushered in 200 years of peace between Britain, Canada, and the United States. WellesleyWeston Magazine | summer 2012

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