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178   HISTORY OF CANADA.

the scale against the United States. IIer commerce was almost completely cut off. A British army had landed upon her coast in August, and with little difficulty had marched inland and captured Washington, the American capital. In July a British fleet under Admiral Hardy captured Eastport, and in September Sir J. C. Sherbrooke sailed from Halifax, captured Castine, and received the submission of the military commandant of the Maine District. The New England States, on whose behalf the war had been begun, had never had any heart in the conflict and now threatened to secede if it were not stopped. The war, as has been said, was not a national but a political-party war, and the Peace of Ghent (December, 1814) which closed it was hailed with satisfaction by the greater part of the American people. By this treaty all captured territory was restored, and the boundaries of Canada were left as they had been before the war began.

CHAPTER XXPIII.

MATERIAL PROGRESS (1815-1810).

An Important Period.—From every point of view, the twenty-five years following the close of the war of 1812 form a most important epoch in the history of the British provinces in America. The British Isles poured out of their abundant population to fill up the vacant lands in all the older provinces, and the various elements which—with the original French—go to make up the Canadian people were firmly fixed upon the soil. Material progress was marked. The principle of religious equality was established. Finally, after a bitter struggle, the hold of the official faction upon the government of the various provinces was loosened, and Great Britain conceded to her colonies the inestimable boon of self-government.

Immigrants from the British Isles.—First, then, of growth in numbers. For more than twenty years prior to 1815 Great Britain's commercial activity had been upon a war footing. Napoleon's final overthrow upon the field of Waterloo brought peace to Europe, but it also brought on an industrial crisis of extreme severity. Those who had been engaged in the various


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