British Canadian Perspective Essay Research Paper
British / Canadian Perspective Essay, Research Paper
A British/Canadian Position
At the beginning of war, Upper Canada consisted of a loose aggregation of small towns scattered between Cornwall and Amherstburg. Most of the colonists were subsistence husbandmans who grew wheat, raised farm animal, and distilled whisky when they found the clip.
A significant part of the population were Loyalist refugees who had fled to Canada during the American Revolution. Many more were recent American immigrants who had been lured to Upper Canada by the promise of inexpensive land. These new reachings did non see themselves British, and every bit far as they were concerned, the term & # 8220 ; Canadian & # 8221 ; referred to their Gallic neighbors. Obviously, most Upper Canadian colonists did non experience particularly loyal towards British North America. Sir George Prevost, commanding officer of the British forces in Canada estimated that the reserves in Upper Canada had a possible strength of 11,000. It is interesting to observe that he besides warned it & # 8220 ; might non be prudent to build up more than 4000.
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Major General Isaac Brock, the political and military commanding officer of Upper Canada, was besides acutely cognizant of the American presence in this part. In February of 1812, Brock asked the Upper Canadian legislative assembly to follow certain preparative steps for war. The legislative assembly voted for some of his proposals, but a pro-American cabal sensitive to civil rights quashed Brock & # 8217 ; s petition for the power to suspend habeas principal ( detainment without test ) and a partial exercising of soldierly jurisprudence.
While most Upper Canadian colonists might non hold been enthusiastically pro-British, they surely didn & # 8217 ; t welcome an American invasion. When General William Hull stormed into Upper Canada with a announcement saying that the American forces were traveling to liberate the locals & # 8220 ; from dictatorship and subjugation & # 8221 ; , Upper Canadian colonists were amazed. After all, most colonists were comfortably ensconced in their new places and felt no demand to be liberated.
Many Upper Canadian colonists were impersonal at the beginning of the war, but as increasing Numberss of their compatriots were killed in conflict, forced from their places, or had farms pillaged by American forces, local support for the British guardians increased.
Sing the foreign beginnings of most Upper Canadians in 1812, it is non surprising that there were some treasonists in the crowd. For case, Joseph Willcocks, a former member of the Upper Canada assembly, led a group called the Canadian Volunteers around the Niagara part. They fought aboard the American encroachers, gathered information and did whatever they could to assist the U.S. cause.
The bulk of Upper Canada & # 8217 ; s population really developed a stronger committedness to their state over the degree Celsius
ourse of the struggle. These settlers-cum-soldiers were highly proud of their attempts to drive the enemy from Canada, their new place.
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A British/Canadian Position
The War of 1812 was a clip of comparative peace in Lower Canada. Faced with the possibility of an American invasion which posed a societal, political and economic menace to their society, Lower Canadians from different societal categories and political cabals chose to shut ranks.
For case, the francophone professional category temporarily suspended political spat with the English-dominated authorities for the continuance of the belligerencies. They realized that their cultural involvements were more likely to be protected under British establishments than they would be under American regulation.
The & # 8220 ; habitant & # 8221 ; husbandmans who made up the bulk of the population were besides wary of an American invasion. They believed that land-hungry American colonists would do overcrowding and worsen the land deficit job. In an attempt to continue their rural heritage, the & # 8220 ; dwellers & # 8221 ; enthusiastically joined local reserves units. & # 8220 ; Les Voltigeurs & # 8221 ; , a unit created by Charles-Michel de Salaberry, successfuly fended off the Americans at the Battle of Chateauguay.
The elect members of Lower Canadian society besides helped to further trueness to the British Crown during the war. For illustration, the new governor general, Sir George Prevost, was a bilingual British officer with a great endowment for conciliation. He successfully eased the cultural and lingual divisions within the settlement. Besides, the Roman Catholic clergy and the & # 8220 ; seigneurs & # 8221 ; ( landowners ) used their influence to advance the defence of established order over radical American forces.
Ironically, after the war ended, Lower Canada was one time once more lacerate apart by political spat. The turning tenseness between Lower Canada & # 8217 ; s English swayers and the mainly-French people erupted with the Rebellion of 1837.
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By 1812, First Nations had been combating American enlargement for more than a century. In a last-ditch attempt to protect their fatherland and their civilization, many First Nations, some of whom joined a native Confederacy led by the Shawnee warrior Tecumseh, joined forces with the British Army to contend a common enemy & # 8211 ; the Americans. In return for their services, the British promised the First Nations people they would non hold to peace without procuring an independent native district. When the British abandoned this pledge and signed the 1814 Treaty of Ghent the destiny of a First Nations fatherland was tragically sealed.