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FENIAN AND OTHER RAIDS   225

its appeal to mob passion, or its alluring alliteration. However, what we are concerned with at present is its effect on Canadian public opinion. Undoubtedly, it was largely responsible for the adoption of the important Militia Act of 1846. This act consolidated the old Acts of Upper and Lower Canada, and made provision for an Active Militia. In case of war or invasion all able-bodied men between eighteen and sixty might be called out. The old idea of the Sedentary Militia was gradually giving place to the new system of a regularly organized Active Militia force. For once, the Opposition joined the Government of the day in carrying the measure through Parliament. Popular interest did not, however, outlast the enthusiasm bred of American threats.

In 1854 the Crimean War was responsible for an important agreement between the Canadian and Imperial Governments. Canada agreed to establish and maintain for defensive purposes a small active force, which in case of war or invasion would act as an auxiliary to the regular troops. At the same time Canada took over all military works and lands except the posts at Quebec, Montreal, Kingston, Niagara, and Sorel. This was the first step in the withdrawal of all the Imperial garrisons from Canada.

The Crimean War, or the military spirit aroused in Canada by that war, also brought about the passage of the Militia Act of 1855. By this measure the country was divided into military districts, and the militia divided into two classes, "Sedentary" and "Active;" the former consisting of all male inhabitants, with the usual exceptions, between eighteen and sixty; the latter, of an organized force to be trained and equipped at the expense of the country. The Active Militia was to consist of 16 troops of cavalry, 7 field batteries, 5 foot companies of artillery, and 50 companies of riflemen, with engineer and marine companies; about 5,000 of all ranks. In 1856, the full number of corps authorised were raised, in some cases the officers and men furnishing their own equipment.


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