Today in History: December 24

On this day in 1814, a peace treaty was signed between the United States and Great Britain in Ghent, Belgium. The treaty brought to an end the war of 1812. However, news didn’t reach the United States until two weeks later. During the war, the United States engaged 35,000 soldiers and suffered 15,000 casualties (2,200 battle deaths). While, the British Empire engaged 48,000 soldiers and suffered 5,000 casualties (1,600 battle deaths). No side emerged victorious at the end of the war.

Also on this day in 1166, King John of England was born. John was the youngest and favourite son of Henry II. He’s most famous for signing the Magna Carta- which was the first formal document, stating that the monarch was as much under the law as his subjects, and that the rights of individuals were to be upheld even against the wishes of the sovereign. John later claimed he signed the document under duress. Most historians see him as the worst king, ever to sit on England’s throne. His offences are too numerous to list.

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