Colonial | The Canadian Encyclopedia

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  • Article

    American Revolution and Canada

    In 1775 at the start of the American Revolution, rebel forces invaded Canada, occupying Montreal and attacking the town of Quebec. American privateers also raided Atlantic ports, and revolutionary sympathizers in Nova Scotia attempted a rebellion in that colony. Although the rebel forces were defeated in Canada, the 13 American colonies won their war for independence from Britain, sparking another kind of invasion – a wave of Loyalist emigration that would change the make-up of Canada.

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  • Article

    Ancaster Bloody Assize of 1814

    The Bloody Assize of Ancaster was a series of trials conducted after the War of 1812, in 1814, in which 19 men accused of supporting the American cause were officially charged with High Treason. The Ontario Archaeological and Historic Sites Board erected a memorial plaque in Ancaster to commemorate the trials.

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  • Article

    Arms and the Men of the War of 1812

    The British land forces that defended British North America during the War of 1812 were drawn from a number of organizations. The British "army" of the time consisted of the infantry, cavalry, the Royal Waggon Train and the Royal Sappers and Miners.

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  • Article

    Aroostook War

    The Aroostook War was a confrontation between British and Maine authorities in disputed territory known as Madawaska. During the Napoleonic Wars, Britain was in dire need of wood and the region’s pine forests became an important commodity. Claimed by both Maine and New Brunswick, Madawaska became fertile ground for confrontations between the two. The war peaked in 1838‒39 when the governor of Maine, John Fairfield, sent a group, led by Rufus McIntyre, to stop “provincials” from entering territory that Fairfield believed was Maine’s. McIntyre was captured and accused of invading the colony. The conflict ended in 1842 with the Webster-Ashburton Treaty, which divided the territory along the Saint John River.

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  • Article

    Atlantic Campaign of the War of 1812

    The War of 1812 as it was fought on the high seas included a variety of activities related to sea power, including clashes between ships, naval blockades, coastal raids, joint operations with the army and a commerce war involving privateers and letters of marque.

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  • Article

    Battle of Restigouche

    After the fall of Québec in 1759, an urgent appeal was sent to France for 4000 troops and food supplies. Not until Apr 19 did 5 merchant ships and a frigate leave Bordeaux with 400 troops and some supplies.

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  • Article

    Battle of Sainte-Foy

    On 28 April 1760, during the Seven Years’ War, the confrontation known as the battle of Sainte-Foy took place on the heights of Quebec City between the French and British armies. Seven thousand men under the command of French general François-Gaston de Lévis met 3,400 soldiers under the command of General James Murray in violent combat which ended with a major victory for the French. Following the battle, the French laid an unsuccessful siege to Quebec City and were eventually forced to retreat due to the arrival of British reinforcements on the St. Lawrence River.

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  • Article

    Battle of the Plains of Abraham

    The Battle of the Plains of Abraham (13 September 1759), also known as the Battle of Quebec, was a pivotal moment in the Seven Years’ War and in the history of Canada. A British invasion force led by General James Wolfe defeated French troops under the Marquis de Montcalm, leading to the surrender of Quebec to the British. Both commanding officers died from wounds sustained during the battle. The French never recaptured Quebec and effectively lost control of New France in 1760. At the end of the war in 1763 France surrendered many of its colonial possessions — including Canada — to the British. (This is the full-length entry about the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. For a plain-language summary, please see Battle of the Plains of Abraham (Plain-Language Summary).)

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  • Article

    Canadian Volunteers in the War of 1812

    A band of Americans and pro-American Canadians living in Upper Canada, the Canadian Volunteers were a company-sized regiment that fought on the American side during the WAR OF 1812.

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  • Article

    Capitulation of Montreal 1760

    The Battle of the Plains of Abraham and the capitulation of Quebec City in 1759 made the strategic situation of New France desperate. Despite a victory at the Battle of Sainte-Foy, the French forces found themselves isolated in Montreal by the British. The French commander, François-Gaston de Lévis, wanted to continue the fight. However, to avoid a pointless loss of life, the Governor of New France, Pierre-Rigaud de Vaudreuil, decided to surrender the city. With the capitulation of Montreal to the British forces on 8 September 1760, Great Britain completed its conquest of New France.

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  • Article

    Capture of Detroit, War of 1812

    On 12 July, Hull crossed the Detroit River unopposed and occupied Sandwich (Windsor). On 20 July, the general issued a bombastic proclamation to the Canadian militia to throw off their British shackles and embrace American liberty. Reconnaissance revealed that Amherstburg was weakly defended.

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  • Article

    Capture of Fort Niagara

    The capture of Fort Niagara on 18-19 December 1813 was a British victory over the US during the War of 1812. American troops had occupied Fort George and the village of Niagara (now Niagara-on-the-Lake) in Upper Canada since May 1813. As winter approached and the condition of the American troops worsened, it was discovered that British troops were approaching to retake the fort. Command of Fort George had devolved to Brigadier General George McClure. With just over 100 troops, McClure decided to withdraw across the Niagara River to Fort Niagara. Before leaving, he implemented instructions sent by secretary of war John Armstrong to destroy Niagara.

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  • Article

    Capture of the Tigress and Scorpion, War of 1812

    The two schooners of the United States Navy, the Tigress and Scorpion, were constructed during the War of 1812 at Erie, Pennsylvania, in time to take part in naval actions in the Battle of Lake Erie on 10 September 1813.

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  • Editorial

    Acadian Civil War

    The following article is an editorial written by The Canadian Encyclopedia staff. Editorials are not usually updated.

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  • Article

    Crown Point

    Crown Point is a large peninsula strategically commanding the narrow passage of the southwestern portion of Lake CHAMPLAIN in upper New York State. It was initially the site of Fort Saint-Frédéric, built by the French in 1731 to defend French territory from English colonial invasion.

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