The War of 1812 didn't gain America much, as a country. It didn't address the complaints that led the Americans to declare war in the first place. We didn't conquer Canada. But we did gain a certain amount of what can be called our "national identity" after the war. Right at the heart of this was a new patriotic (and popular) song.
Needless to say, we've put the events of August 1814 far behind us. So much so, in fact, that when the British prime minister, David Cameron, visited the White House two years ago, he and President Obama, fresh from watching a March Madness basketball game together, traded wisecracks about the burning.
February 16 marks the anniversary of the ratification of the Treaty of Ghent by the U.S. Senate, officially ending the War of 1812. Looking back, it seems that the year 2012 managed to pass by without any significant reference to it having been the bicentennial anniversary of that conflict with Great Britain.
When I worked at IBM and when things seemed stuck -- we reorganized! Why can't North America do the same? Take the United States and Canada, combine the various provinces, states and territories, shake vigorously, and then pour them off into three distinct vessels: one Red, one Blue, and one White. The new Red nation would correspond to the U.S. Republican states of America's heartland and Deep South, combined with the oil, gas and grain-rich provinces of Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Let's call it "Heartlandia." The Queen would be Head of State and Newt Gingrich would be the prime minister