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FIRST FIFTY YEARS OF BRITISH RULE 117

 

land and France, and the Royal Canadian Volunteers were disbanded in August and September, 1802.

After the Revolutionary War there had been much unpleasantness between Canadians and Americans, and this grew more marked as the relations between Britain and the United States became more and more strained over the Orders-in-Council issued in reply to Napoleon's blockade decrees, and the insistence of the British Government on the right to search for naval deserters in vessels sailing under the American flag. Many leading Americans also openly advocated war with Britain while she was straining her resources in the war with Napoleon, it being considered a favourable opportunity to conquer the Canadian provinces and annex them to the United States.

In order to demonstrate the loyal feeling of the French Canadians, Governor Dunn, in 1807, called out and organized the militia of Lower Canada. The call was promptly and cordially responded to, a strong military spirit was aroused in the provinces and a number of volunteer corps were formed at Montreal, Quebec, and elsewhere, so that any apprehension as to Canadian loyalty in case of war with the Americans was set at rest. Colonel (afterwards Sir Isaac Brock) acting Commander-in-Chief in Canada, also strengthened the defences of Quebec, but little real progress had been made with preparations for national defence when the United States declared war upon Britain, June 19th, 1812.


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