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Subject > Politics and Society > Life on the Homefront > Civilian Life

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

Reconstructed earth and timber house at l’Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland

Type: Image

This house was reconstructed in the style of those built by the Vikings at l’Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland around the year 1000. (Parks Canada)

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

Twelve Hundred New Men

Type: Document

The addition of 1,200 new Frenchmen to a colony of only 3,200 made a big impact on the community. The Régiment Carignan-Salières was quickly deployed to fortifications along the Richelieu River.

Site: National Defence

Iroquois warriors lurking near French settlements during the 1650s

Type: Image

Until the 1660s, especially in the Montreal area, no one in the French settlements really felt quite safe from surprise attacks by hostile Iroquois warriors. Many Canadian settlers, including women, learned to handle firearms during the 1650s.

Site: National Defence

Typical town of the north-eastern Amerindians

Type: Image

These towns nearly always featured long bark covered houses encircled by a log stockade wall for protection. Print inspired from John White’s late 16th century renderings.

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

Warning bell, 1660s

Type: Image

Because of the constant Iroquois surprise attacks on settlers at Montreal between 1660 and 1665, the nursing nuns at the hospital also kept a lookout and would ring their bell to give the alarm whenever they spotted something suspicious.

Site: National Defence

Fort La Présentation in the 1750s

Type: Image

Established in about 1718, Fort La Présentation was rebuilt from 1748. This was an important base for French allied Indians on the upper St. Lawrence River who were much influenced by Father Piquet, a Sulpician missionary. In 1752, it was described by John Defever as having ‘a town of about forty wigwams, and have a French priest among them’ next to the fort. It was taken by the British in 1760 and is now the town of Ogdensburg, NY.

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