HIS263Y1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Status Quo Ante Bellum, Lower Canada, Indian Department

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6 Apr 2012
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The War of 1812
Preparing for War
Britain vs the US - fought mostly in Upper Canada
The US wanted to take over Canada
Last major war of the 60 Years War over the Great Lakes
The Indigenous peoples are still fighting to protect their land - 2 wars in one
England vs France - Napoleonic Wars
Who won the War of 1812
The Whitehouse was burned - Americans teach that the Americans won
Difference between the events of the war and how it's interpreted
The Natives did not succeed in getting a buffer state or getting recognition
It was the last time the US invaded Canada
Changing settler patterns changed wartime preparations - initially Loyalists half aboriginal allies
from the 6 Nations - another group under John Norton has Mohawk Natives - moving onto
Mississauga land
Intermarried from New York and moved to Mississauga
Lieutenant-Governor Simcoe's Plans
War preparations moved capital from Niagara on the Lake to Toronto
Any boat larger than a canoe, you had to build in the Great Lakes
Queen's Regiment - his own infantry unit
Men age 16-50 ------- had to own a firearm but it wasn't too strenuous work...not very effective
5000 men in the militia though
1796 Simcoe is gone
Indigenous Allies & The British Indian Department
Keep Native allies through any means
Keep forts they were supposed to give back to the Americans
Frontier tension - 1791 US tried to invade Ohio Valley and Natives destroyed them and stuffed
their mouths with dirt ------ Mad Anthony Wade led a second US army in the Battle of Fallen
Timbers...didn't want to upset the Americans at their Fort, so they closed the gate on their Native
allies...
Isaac Brock's Plans
3/5 of the 75,000 people were recent American arrivals (were they going to be loyal?)
Brock allies with Tecumseh noted warleader who has influence over most of the first nations East
of the Mississippi --- between the two of them it was a significant factor against the Americans
Tecumseh's Goals
British only known allies who can help them keep any land at all
Casus Belli
"cause of war" --- U.S. declared war officially on June 18th 1812
Some Americans wanted to take over all of Canada "Manifest Destiny"
Naval Blockades & the War in Europe
US wanted to be neutral in Napoleonic Wars to sell goods to both sides with non-war
items...made the European countries angry…
Britain imposes a Navy Blockage against them coming to Europe
Impressment & The Chesapeake Affair
British picked up random men to force them into the Navy
British start stopping and searching American ships..supposedly looking for deserters, but
didn't view the Americans as Americans
Chesapeake was attacked by the British while still in American waters
American Expansion and Indigenous Resistance
War Hawks in Congress
Republican men in congress usually from the southern states who want Florida (still a
British State) etc etc….decide to attack Canada since it was closest part of Britain
2 days before the war, Britain decided America could have her neutrality but since contact
wasn't instantaneous America still declared war
Campaigns and Casualties
A very Civil War
o Americans and "Canadians" were very close - family ties etc so almost like a civil war
o Fort Niagara people were having dinner with Fort George and were bombing each
other the next week
o People literally split between families
o 2/3 of the soldiers fighting for "Canada" were eating American Beef
Winning on Land, Losing By Sea
o British troops win the first two battles - Queenston Heights, Kentucky...British wins
too
o Americans gain control of the Great Lakes
York Burning!
o Toronto is attacked
o John Strachan is awesome - go Trinity College!!!!
o Tecumseh dies
o 1814 it is clear there will be no easy winner
o Treaty of Ghent ends the war - one more Battle of New Orleans 2 weeks after the
Treaty
1812 Mythologies
o Secord
She did tip off the British troops about the American plans while they were
quartering in their house
50 years later in 1860 petitioning her 19 mile trek recognition she did...but
when you look at it, most colonial militia weren't particularly loyal, and key
battles were won by British troops with Aboriginal allies
Aftermath of War
Negotiations at the Treaty of Ghent
o Status quo ante bellum
"as if the war didn't happen"
o Buffer States and Betrayal
Natives didn't get any legal or land recognition
And until 1830, many Native warriors were still on reserve half-pay
Average soldier pay 25 cents a day….million dollar debt needed for
compensation for land and assets lost through battle
o Loyalists and Loyalism
Sense of something forged after the war - suffering together
Idea to be anti-American the way you couldn't form before
Define ourselves by who we are not "American"
Trace the anti-American after war of 1812
Changing attitude about Republicanism
Loyalism spreads not as strongly in Lower Canada in the East Coast - - strongest
in York, John Strachan helped redefine the War of 1812 "we defeated them"
US as the enemy