As we approach the start of 2012, remember that the coming year, besides bringing a presidential election and continued recognition of the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War, willmalso be the Bicentennial of the War of 1812. I don’t expect many commemorative activities locally since mostmof New England vehemently opposed the war, but the conflict still has some local connections.
For instance, the USS Constitution – more familiarly known as “Old Ironsides” – gained much of it’s fame from victories over British ships during this conflict. Indeed, the amazing accomplishments of a handful of frigates like Constitution against the most powerful navy in the world, set the United States and it’s navy on a course of global maritime dominance that continues today.
Closer to home, the war’s disruption of imports of cotton cloth created a market for domestically produced textiles that was fulfilled by Francis Cabot Lowell and his Boston Associates’ mill in Waltham. It was the incredible demand for domestically produced textiles that flowed from the war’s shortages that led Lowell’s companions to the Pawtucket Falls as the site for a larger, more powerful manufacturing center that quickly became the most important manufacturing city in America which was names for their late inspirational friend, Francis Cabot Lowell