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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

A New Balance of Power?

Type: Document

With more troops available, new tactics could be used to defend Canada. Strong garrisons for the towns and new forts to block Iroquois attacks along the Richelieu River were created.

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

Independence and Isolation

Type: Document

The First World War led to Canada’s independent stance within the Empire, a position that was fully severed after the Chanak Crisis of 1922 and the passage of the 1931 Statue of Westminster granting full independence. Pacifism, a product of the terrible losses during the war, became fashionable in society and government policy followed. Prime Minister Mackenzie King sought to prevent foreign entanglements from splitting the country as had happened in 1917.

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

Officers Make a Difference

Type: Document

The officers of the Compagnies franches de la Marine made an important impact in the colony. The high proportion of officers in the companies allowed the sons of local gentlemen a military role, first as cadets and later as officers.

Site: National Defence

War in Aboriginal Society

Type: Document

War was important to Amerindian cultures, but was waged by individuals rather than nations. Most males became warriors when necessary.

Site: National Defence

Britain and Spain on the Brink of War

Type: Document

Spain mobilized its fleet in 1790, responding to the diplomatic crisis with Britain over events at Nootka on the northwest coast of America. Soon British and Spanish squadrons were at sea, sailing to intimidate the enemy. Fortunately, the opposing forces did not meet on the high seas.

Site: National Defence

A Different Situation in Acadia

Type: Document

The population of Acadia was not militarized in the way French colonists in Canada were. Relations with the local Amerindians were good, while internal social conflict and long periods of English occupation discouraged the development of a strong militia.

Site: National Defence

The Governor General's Staff

Type: Document

The fact that the staff of the Governor General of New France was almost entirely military in nature shows how strong the military character of the colony was. The only administrative officer was the Intendant, whose financial area of responsibility had strong military significance.

Site: National Defence