Examination of the Creek War which integrates that struggle into the larger conflict that broke out in 1812 between Great Britain and the United States
Using American, British, and Spanish documents, many previously unknown, Frank Owsley’s study establishes the Creek War and the struggle to control the Gulf borderlands as integral parts of the War of 1812. The war between the United States and a large part of the Creek nation is usually studied as local or regional history. These documentary sources, however, show the larger picture. They show Spain to have been a major influence in the Creek War and indicate the extent to which the British were aiding the Indians and using them to redirect American troops. On the other hand, Andrew Jackson, in charge of the American forces on the Gulf Coast, emerged from the conflict as a first-rate military commander. His victories on the Gulf gave the West a leader and aided in shifting political power from the eastern seaboard to the South and West.
Owsley concludes that the victories in the Gulf region were of sufficient magnitude to justify the claim that the War of 1812 was not a draw but a decisive American victory and that had there been a general of Jackson's caliber on the northern frontier, the United States might have had a clear-cut victory there.
As a result of the war, the United States held its claim on Louisiana, annexed the Mobile district, forced Spain out of Florida, and broke the power of the southern Indians, thus opening vast lands for settlement from the new nation on the eastern seaboard.