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HIST 202 – Atlantic Revolutions.docx

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HIST 202
Catherine Desbarats

HIST 202 – Survey: Canada to 1867 (October 17 2011) Atlantic Revolutions  Extremely turbulent period  1774-1815 International Context feeds back to North-Eastern part of North America  Two major impacts of this period o A complete change in the makeup of the local population  movements of people that are completely going to change  who is living on the ground o Bring with them a set of political problems for the British Empire that are going to be resolved by major political constitutional changes 5 Major Evens during the Period  American Revolution (1775-1783) o A civil war o Americans remember it as a triumph of liberty o Getting rid of the shackles of monarchy o Perspective of many people; many people who live in Canada; experience it was a traumatic civil war o Severed from their homeland and a series of political arrangements that made sense to them o See it as a civil war  French Revolution & Napoleonic Wars (1789-1815) o Britain is at war with France o Creation of another major republic o Execution of French King  Haitian Revolution (1791-1804) th o France‟s wealthiest colony in the 18 century o Black slaves rising up in St. Dominique against their plantation owners o Very complicated and violent resistance o Haiti is founded as a republic in 1804 o Terrifies west Americans who are just coming to terms with the Haitian revolution  Irish Rebellions o Ireland has a problematic relationship with England since the Tudors o Consolidating English power o 18 thcentury Ireland has its own (subject) parliament  controlled by England o majority of the population is Catholic o very few civil and political rights o Anglo-Protestant Ascendency o Tiny minority or Anglicans who own most of the land and control most of the positions of law (they are the judges) and they sit in the parliament. Hold all the positions of power o **Looks a lot like Quebec  England is rebelling in 1798. Catholic Majority. England is terrified that Quebec will go the same route o Catholic majority is beginning to say enough and demand more power o Go in the direction of greater reform o Results in Irish Parliament disappearing in all intensive purposes  War of 1812 (1812-1815) o Turbulent event o A sense that there is a lot of unfinished business between the newly created American republic and the British Empire o That unfinished business is going to become the forefront in yet another war o Happening in the middle of the Napoleonic Wars o Major issues being hashed out are questions about the origin or source of legitimate power (who, what?)  A king ruling by authority given from above  People constituted as a nation  Who is the people anyway?  Does it include woman?  Slaves?  Native people? o Answers are different in different places, but everywhere these questions are raised are not simply discussed in polite conversation but discussed in battle fields, involve peoples property, and are very much violent o Central thing that is very much at stake is property and what is owned  Property turns out to be a central question in the French Revolution, when universal rights of man are declared again. Does that include slaves? o Who gets to be called a citizen and who gets to have political rights? American Revolution as “Civil War”  Not unconnected to the situation created at the end of the Seven Years War  Lots of debt, paying for it requires the raise of taxes  North America was a major theatre of war, so Britain thinks they should pay  British Parliament raises taxes that affects those in the 13 Colonies o Stamp Act on paper products o Tax on tea  People in the 13 colonies begin to think this isn‟t right o “No taxation without representation”  not paying taxes without representation in parliament  Sons of Liberty o Take boat loads of tea and dump it in the Boston River o Declaring themselves as Americans, symbolizing different rights o British respond with a series of laws that are known as the Coercive Acts o Blockade American Trade o Close the port of Boston o Regarded as absolutely outrageous by the 13 colonies, and a sense of being under sieged by the British  Quebec Act o Seen as deeply offensive acts of legislation by the British parliament o Not across the ocean but right next door o Sense in which the 13 colonies immediately perceive the province of Quebec as a potentially dangerous British place o 13 colonists invite the French Canadians to partake in their rebellion o Continental Congress; created in 1774 and has delegates from all 13 colonies except Georgia.  Nova Scotia and Quebec are also invited  Neither send delegates however  No assembly in Quebec, considered a dangerous place  The governor makes all the decisions, who is a British aristocrat o Two main invasions by the Americans  Montreal is invaded in 1775 and briefly taken  Quebec is invaded in the Winter, but are much less successful  Famously, one of the American Generals (Richard Montgomery) dies o Very quickly, for the bulk of the competition (Majority farming, peasant, catholic population) don‟t feel like joining another war (because of the burn of the seven years war) o Some peasants sell grain to the Americans in the early days  As soon as they start paying with paper money the supplies dry up  The respect between British Law and the Peasants is mutual.  Mistrustful of the Americans because they know they don‟t like Catholics o ** One little change is that we start to see the beginnings of journalism  this is a place that they didn‟t have a printing press, so its via some of the supporters of the American Revolution  Benjamin Franklin comes to Quebec to see his supporters, sends along some of his network of publishers to Quebec.  Montreal Gazette founded by a man from France, however a colleague of Benjamin Franklin (Mespelet Fleury)  Theoretical Plan was to introduce Habius Corpus ; right against imprisonment o Not a reality in the province of Quebec o One of the consequences of this political turbulence is ironically a really hard imposition of executive/arbitrary power; an overriding of very basic rights o No real care for the policies of the American Revolution o Nova Scotia (not a British Colony, however strong ties to New England and many of its population by 1774 are fairly recent arrivals of New England), did not have sympathy for the American Revoluton. Few merchants that had sympathies, but by enlarged Nova Scotia is a lot like the West Indies, have very strong ties to Britain.  A lot of economic value. Don‟t want to rock their livelihood  Swept by a religious revival movement. Its version of the “great awakenin
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