The Land of the Free and Home of the Brave

by Andrew P. Napolitano

When Francis Scott Key wrote the words “the land of the free and the home of the brave” in 1814, he did so in a poem called “The Defense of Fort McHenry.” The battle of Fort McHenry in Baltimore was a decisive one in which Americans truly demonstrated bravery and fought for freedom.

This was the War of 1812, the origins of which are lost to history. The British government claimed that President James Madison had designs on the British king’s lands in Canada, and so it attacked the U.S. The Americans argued that the British government’s stated reason for its attack was a pretense, as its real goal was to re-capture what many Britons still considered to be their colonies.

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