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The Military Art of the American Northwest

Type: Document

War in the Pacific Northwest centred around the canoe, which could be up to 20 metres long. Flotillas of canoes would attack enemy villages, hoping to capture prisoners to keep as slaves. Coastal forts of cedar logs were to be found, used to help control and tax maritime trade.

Site: National Defence

Fears of French Fleets

Type: Document

France's 1778 entry into the American Revolutionary War spread fear in several places. The Maritimes worried about a French fleet disrupting shipping in the Gulf of St. Lawrence or attacking Newfoundland. In Quebec, officials worried about Canadian reaction to a French landing.

Site: National Defence

Canadian Timber Now Vital to Britain

Type: Document

In 1806, developments in Europe made access to Canada crucial to Britain's survival. Emperor Napoleon's France blocked access to the Baltic, the traditional source of timber used in building ships for the Royal Navy. Canada was the only alternative source in British control.

Site: National Defence

First Nations: True Masters of the Plains

Type: Document

The Plains Amerindians ruled the Prairies during the first half of the 19th century. These nomadic nations, fierce fighters and skilled riders, fought the advance of American settlement. Their relations with the traders of the Hudson's Bay Company were relatively smooth.

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

A Garrison at Placentia

Type: Document

A small garrison of Troupes de la Marine arrived in Newfoundland in 1687, where fortifications were gradually established. The garrison suffered from desertion, and was attacked by pirates, English privateers and the English Royal Navy.

Site: National Defence

Limited Military Presence

Type: Document

Neither the Hudson's Bay Company nor the North West Company kept a military presence in the Northwest Territories during the early nineteenth century. Although strong stone forts were built, there were no soldiers. Company employees manned the defences as necessary.

Site: National Defence

A Colonial Way of War

Type: Document

During the 18th century, France held huge inland regions in North America with a few men for two reasons. First, land was largely controlled by trade alliances with local Amerindians. Second, tactics were used that combined indigenous methods with European organization and discipline.

Site: National Defence

Other Fruitless Expeditions

Type: Document

Martin Frobisher led unsuccessful English expeditions to find the Northwest Passage. There were conflicts with the Inuit. Other English mariners also voyaged to the region around Labrador.

Site: National Defence

Gold Rush Prompts Border Survey

Type: Document

The Fraser River gold rush, starting in 1857, brought changes to the Pacific coast. The flood of American prospectors prompted the British government to take over the region from the Hudson's Bay Company. Royal Engineers were sent to survey the region, especially the border.

Site: National Defence