The Republic of Canada – Canada’s 1st Civil War (1837-1838)
By the beginning of the 19th century, the North American continent was finally starting to stabilize and was in large, peaceful. The British had lost the United States through the American War of Independence but had retained the Canadas, known at that time as Upper Canada (Ontario) and Lower Canada (Quebec). The War of 1812-1814 had resulted in a draw. During that war, numerous participants were Canadians; both English and French speaking Fencible Regiments fighting under the British flag. Some of those participants would find themselves at odds with the same British flag during Canada’s 1st Civil War: The Patriot Rebellion of 1837-1838.
During the years after the War of 1812, the Canadas began to grow geographically and politically. Upper Canada was by far the least populated province and was by a large margin populated by English speaking British subjects. As for Lower Canada the population was predominantly French speaking and the province had grown to about 650,000 souls by the 1830’s. The largest cities were Toronto, Montreal and Québec and its defense was assured by British troops and local militias.
Louis Joseph Papineau (NAC/ANC/C-018454) and
General Colborne (Ontario Archives- S-406)
Lower-Canada circa 1837 (www.histori.ca)
Saint-Denis (23 November 1837)
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