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Organization > National Defence

Subject > Politics and Society > Life on the Homefront

Resource Type > Document

Date > 1700

A Stalled Effort

Type: Document

In the late summer of 1759, time pressed on the British besiegers of Quebec - to avoid winter, they would have to raise the siege in October. After the failure at Montmorency, Wolfe's British army began a campaign of pillaging and burning Canadian homes, striking at the Canadian militia.

Site: National Defence

To the Sound of the Drummer's Beat

Type: Document

Fortified towns like Quebec, Montreal, Trois-Rivières and Louisbourg were all governed by military staffs. The lives of French soldiers and Canadian civilians alike were regulated by the different drum beatings of the garrison, from La Diane at dawn to La Retraite at sunset.

Site: National Defence

A Series of Amerindian Nations

Type: Document

During the eighteenth century, the northwest Pacific coast was home to a series of Amerindian nations, including the Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian, Nootka and Salish. These were maritime cultures - excellent sailors and fishermen who depended on the sea's resources

Site: National Defence

Social Changes

Type: Document

The new British way of defending colonies led to great social changes in Canada during the late 18th century. With no professional colonial army to join, the elite of Canadian society lost much income and influence. As well, British soldiers developed no roots in the colony.

Site: National Defence

Poor Officers and Food

Type: Document

Officers with no income beyond their military pay would have to live very frugal lives. All officers were provided with much the same rations as the common soldiers, with some extras. In some more remote posts, officers' wives were given rations as well.

Site: National Defence

Nutrition

Type: Document

When the calorie content of the basic military ration is calculated, it seems that soldiers were under-nourished. In practice, men made use of local resources (game, gardens) to obtain extra food. A Swedish traveller to Canada in 1749 found the men plump and in good health.

Site: National Defence

Table Manners

Type: Document

Officers in New France would eat with the manners of the upper classes. There were changes from the seventeenth to the eighteenth century, but every gentleman had to 'know how to behave at the table.'

Site: National Defence

Poor Canadian/American Relations

Type: Document

In the rebel-occupied Montreal of 1776, relations between the Canadians and the American invaders got worse. The rebels took hostages, and paid for supplies in worthless paper money. Friction between Roman Catholic locals and largely Protestant rebels caused trouble too.

Site: National Defence

One Big Family

Type: Document

There was a close liaison between the officers and the commercial class in New France. Marriage alliances cemented families together, and a kind of colonial military caste began to form in the colony in the eighteenth century.

Site: National Defence

General Mobilization in Canada

Type: Document

The authorities in New France, faced with impending attacks in 1759 on Quebec and Montreal, and a campaign fought in the European style, tried to make the most of their resources. Canadian militia that could be spared from farming were used to reinforce the depleted regular troops.

Site: National Defence