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HIS311Y1 - Lecture 3

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P Rutherford

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HIS 311 25/05/2011 09:58:00
British North America, 1783-1812
The Loyalist Influx
Constitutional Act, 1791
Upper and Lower Canada
The “Late Loyalists”
For English speaking settlers in Upper Canada, there was not much to
distinguish them from Americans … because they were Americans
The conclusion of the American Revolutionary War
Treaty of Paris
oBrits conceded independence of the US
Confined to colonies in the Northern part of the continent
Quebec, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick until
oUS felt independent from 1776
Many who had fought for the British Crown were the “Loyalists”
oSome went to Britain, with about 50,000 came to BNA
oThe bulk went to the Maritimes, with the minority coming to Western
The Loyalists wanted out of Quebec, and a colony for their own

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Allowed the French language, seigniorial land ownership system and Roman
Catholic faith
Constitutional Act
oSplit Quebec into Lower Canada (Bigger) and Upper Canada (Smaller)
Both colonies had a British appointed governor, represented the King
oAssemblies were also installed, with limited authority and could be
over-ruled by the governor
oThis was a concession to the Loyalists, who wined about how they
were to be governed
There was little to unite these two colonies
Upper Canada (1791-1812)
Population increase from 10,000 (1791) to 75,000 (1812)
The Loyalists (United Empire Loyalists) formed nucleus of Upper Canada
oFavorites of the governor
Majority of the settlers by 1812 were the Late Loyalists”
oThese were not loyalists at all, but were Americans who had come in
search of cheap land
John Simcoe
oFirst Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada
oEncouraged this immigration from the Americans
oSimcoe believed that British culture and institutions were superior to
those of the US, and settlers would embrace this life

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Reasons for the War of 1812
This was a war between the US and Great Britain
oThis stemmed from tensions that had not been resolved since the
Revolutionary War
oBoarding US vessels to find stowaways from the Navy to force them
back to service
Gun battle, sinking of the USS Chesapeake
The Brits were acting in an unfriendly way towards the US
oRefusal to respect US sovereignty if it meant winning the war against
Manifest Destiny
John OSullivan coined the phrase in the 1840s
The US would rule all the North American continent
The War of 1812
Presence of the Late Loyalists in Upper Canada, made it seem that winning
the war would be easy
Seemed unlikely that the Late Loyalists would take up arms against the
Britain was also distracted with war overseas (Napoleon)
Thomas Jefferson
oThe conquest of the Canadas will be a mere matter of marching
It was believed that the soldiers would be welcomed as
Major General Isaac Brock (1769-1812)
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