HIST 202 Survey: Canada to 1867
(October 31 2011)
Politics and Political Turbulence; Looking at this part of the world (north east
of north America) an area that experienced a lot of reverberations
War of 1812
Move away from the politics and focus on the people
War of 1812 was a real watershed with patterns of immigration
Post 1815 Period -> Confederation
Immigration then and today have a way of throwing up social fault
lines, conflicts, issues of identity, etc.
This period is absolutely no exception in that respect
1. 1763-1815 Before Situation
Pre 1815: most immigrants are from 13 colonies/US
3 waves of Americans
Nothing British about BNA (Lower Canada majority)
Patterns of migration at this time is largely American; coming from
the 13 colonies and then the United States of America after 1783
First movement of people largely went to Nova Scotia (about
7,000) New Englanders, replacing the Acadians whom were
Second flow was the Loyalists to Upper Canada
Third movement were post loyalist migrants of Americans by large
looking for land. Most are going to Upper Canada. Brought the
population to 75,000.
Three waves of migration mainly coming from 13 colonies and
Really not a British place
Most heavily populated area in Canada is Lower Canada with a
population of 335,000.
o Mainly rural population of small scale farmers speaking
French. No need to speak English especially in the country
o Prevailing law governing their society is still French Civil Law
Remaining population (around 200,000 people) were mostly
descendants of Americans and culturally and economically tied with
the United States of America
British North America; end of the war in 1812. Still not very British
Entering this period of really numerous migration after 1815.
Overview of change
between 1815-1870 a decrease is immigration from the united states
an act of policy; just went through an invasion by the United States
one exception to the pattern of non-US immigration during this
period; African Americans
o tens of thousands of Black Americans migrate to British
o They are discouraged from coming?
o Even during the war of 1812, 4,000 former slaves are going
to desert to the British side and some 2,000 new refugees
are going to poor into Nova Scotia
o Between 1815 and the civil war, this process will continue.
Canada gains a reputation as a place of refuge for the Black
o Notion of the underground railroad as a secretive, discreet
network that helped black migrants from town to town and
mostly to Upper Canada and the Maritimes
o This process is going to receive a boost when the US
congress in the 1850s passes the fugitive slave act
Slave owners can go outside their jurisdiction to
capture and retrieve fugitive slaves
Creates an additional incentive for people to move
further and further away from the place they were
o By mid century thousands of people are coming by steamer
by the great lakes on a great basis.
o Numbers arent huge, but definitely an exception to the end
of migration from the United States
o Estimated that 10,000 black slaves migrated. Very hard to
get distinct numbers because during the period the only
written records were of those boarding the ships, nothing
Slavery is abolished in the British empire in 1833 (double check)
Slavery is still an ongoing institution until the Civil War in America
Period in 1832 when slavery is abolished within the British empire
but still ongoing in the united states
Incentive to leave is that much greater
Even before slavery is abolished formally in the British Empire,
there is still an incentive to leave the US and get their freedom
Aside from this regular flow of African American (Some free, some recently
free), the vast majority of migrants coming to British North America after the
war of 1812 are coming from the British Isles
This is deeply consequential
We are in this imperial space; British North America is part of this
lager empire; being part of an empire becomes a space for
exporting social problems.
Happening on a very large scale; mostly going to the US. Europe
(whales, England, Ireland, etc.) exports just under 4 million to the
US at this time. Many come to British North America (1.273 million)
Starting in the 1840s, just under a million go to Australia and new
Zealand as well.
All other destinations; about 126,000
The US. Is going to be the main destination of migrants from the
British Isles up until the 1840s.
More will be going to new Zealand and Australia than to British
North America as of the 1850s.
British North America is an important destination but is not the
main one (the united states) and after the 1850s New Zealand and
Australia are getting more than British North America
With this second wave to British north America makes this much
more a British space than it was before
Far from unproblematic
Social demographic of British North America is changing, population
growth is going to increase as well
By the time of confederation, the result of all of this, plus natural
increase, is going to be a population of 3.5 million.
Nearly 7x what it had been in 1815.
Censuses become regularly institution as of 1851.
Attitude of census takers by native people is invariable. Sometimes
they are considered not part of the population and are not counted
(overlooked), but also an assimilation tendency; native