The Legacy of the Rebellions

Upper Canadian Patriotism

Fort York, Toronto, August 1839

Caption: Fort York, Toronto, August 1839

View Multimedia - Changing Boundaries

Caption: View Multimedia - Changing Boundaries

This second rebellion plunged Upper Canada into an unprecedented general mobilization. On November 30 there were 19,318 active volunteers throughout the colony, not including the 2,800 men in the four battalions and one cavalry company of the Embodied Militia. Fear had overtaken much of the population. Independently of political convictions, the general perception of events wavered in the fear that there would be an influx of adventurers of all kinds. Thirteen Patriots and American sympathizers, including von Schoultz, were executed, and 86 others were deported to Australia.

In retrospect, we can see that Ontario's collective memory came to consider this rallying to the cause as a sign of patriotism. This interpretation is all the more credible given that, unlike what took place during the War of 1812, there were very few people killed and there was very little damage done in Upper Canada during the rebellions, probably because the people did not want the changes that revolution and invasion would have brought.