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Date > 1800

Subject > Politics and Society > Industry and Commerce

The Military Art of the American Northwest

Type: Document

War in the Pacific Northwest centred around the canoe, which could be up to 20 metres long. Flotillas of canoes would attack enemy villages, hoping to capture prisoners to keep as slaves. Coastal forts of cedar logs were to be found, used to help control and tax maritime trade.

Site: National Defence

Canadians Presume Continued British Garrison

Type: Document

Canada became an independent state within the British Empire in 1867, but Canadian politicians assumed that Britain would continue to keep military forces in Canada, and pay for them as well. Britain, on the other hand, wanted the Canadians to pay for any troops.

Site: National Defence

Canadian Timber Now Vital to Britain

Type: Document

In 1806, developments in Europe made access to Canada crucial to Britain's survival. Emperor Napoleon's France blocked access to the Baltic, the traditional source of timber used in building ships for the Royal Navy. Canada was the only alternative source in British control.

Site: National Defence

First Nations: True Masters of the Plains

Type: Document

The Plains Amerindians ruled the Prairies during the first half of the 19th century. These nomadic nations, fierce fighters and skilled riders, fought the advance of American settlement. Their relations with the traders of the Hudson's Bay Company were relatively smooth.

Site: National Defence

Limited Military Presence

Type: Document

Neither the Hudson's Bay Company nor the North West Company kept a military presence in the Northwest Territories during the early nineteenth century. Although strong stone forts were built, there were no soldiers. Company employees manned the defences as necessary.

Site: National Defence

A Series of Amerindian Nations

Type: Document

During the eighteenth century, the northwest Pacific coast was home to a series of Amerindian nations, including the Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian, Nootka and Salish. These were maritime cultures - excellent sailors and fishermen who depended on the sea's resources

Site: National Defence

Gold Rush Prompts Border Survey

Type: Document

The Fraser River gold rush, starting in 1857, brought changes to the Pacific coast. The flood of American prospectors prompted the British government to take over the region from the Hudson's Bay Company. Royal Engineers were sent to survey the region, especially the border.

Site: National Defence

Reduction and Restructuring

Type: Document

As fears of rebellion faded in the early 1840s, the garrison in Canada was reduced. Canadian units were disbanded, and the British presence shrank each year. A unit of British veterans, the Royal Canadian Rifle Regiment, was raised to help prevent desertions to the United States.

Site: National Defence

An Army for Lower Canada

Type: Document

Faced with a threat of war in 1812, the British authorities raised a small army of troops in Lower Canada. A volunteer regiment of Light Infantry, the famous Canadian Voltigeurs, was backed by four conscripted battalions of Lower Canada Select Embodied Militia.

Site: National Defence

Seldom Seen Guardians

Type: Document

The Royal Navy was crucial in the defence of British North America in the 19th century, even though Canadians seldom saw warships. The threat of a naval blockade and raids by the British fleet helped American politicians to find diplomatic solutions to Anglo-American disputes.

Site: National Defence