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Corruption Causes Hardship

Type: Document

In 1756, the graft of Canadian-born François Bigot, Intendant (and chief financial minister of New France) made a bad situation worse. His theft and corruption led to rampant inflation in New France, which impoverished many officers, particularly the French-born ones without local incomes.

Site: National Defence

Canadians Presume Continued British Garrison

Type: Document

Canada became an independent state within the British Empire in 1867, but Canadian politicians assumed that Britain would continue to keep military forces in Canada, and pay for them as well. Britain, on the other hand, wanted the Canadians to pay for any troops.

Site: National Defence

A New Monetary System

Type: Document

Official currency in France and its colonies consisted of 'livres' (pounds), 'sous' (shillings) and 'deniers' (pence), but the shortage of coins led to common use of Spanish silver pieces in New France. The first recorded use of paper money in the modern sense was also in New France.

Site: National Defence

The French And British Navies

Type: Document

Both Britain and France needed strong navies to protect their coasts, fishing fleets and colonies. The peak of French naval power was during the 1690s, when it dominated the coasts of England. Defeated in 1692, the French navy declined in quality and strength from that point on.

Site: National Defence

Cold War Defence

Type: Document

The emergence of the Cold War in 1951 changed the downward slide of Canadian military budgets. Spending and recruiting of the regular force exceeded the strength of the reserves for the first time in Canadian history.

Site: National Defence

Reduction and Restructuring

Type: Document

As fears of rebellion faded in the early 1840s, the garrison in Canada was reduced. Canadian units were disbanded, and the British presence shrank each year. A unit of British veterans, the Royal Canadian Rifle Regiment, was raised to help prevent desertions to the United States.

Site: National Defence

Military Planing Between the Wars

Type: Document

Canadian forces raised in the First World War were disbanded and military affairs resumed their pre-war status. The National Defence Act of 1923 rationalized the three services into one organization that was poorly funded until rearmament began in 1936. The financial crises of the 1920’and 30’s severely restricted budgets and military planning.

Site: National Defence

An Army for Lower Canada

Type: Document

Faced with a threat of war in 1812, the British authorities raised a small army of troops in Lower Canada. A volunteer regiment of Light Infantry, the famous Canadian Voltigeurs, was backed by four conscripted battalions of Lower Canada Select Embodied Militia.

Site: National Defence

Canada Unwilling To Pay Its Share

Type: Document

In 1863, while Britain was discovering how expensive it would be to defend Canada against an American attack, Canadian politicians made it clear that they were unwilling to do their part. A bill to expand the Volunteer Militia was defeated, bringing down the Conservative government.

Site: National Defence

A Phenomenally Expensive Canal

Type: Document

The most expensive part of the British defence works built in Canada during the 1820s and 1830s was the Rideau Canal, which connected the Ottawa River with Lake Ontario. The huge engineering project cost more than £1.000,000 instead of the £169,000 budgeted at the start.

Site: National Defence