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Date > 1800

Subject > Armed Forces > Military Life > Recruitment and Demobilization

Demobilization and Retirement

Type: Document

Before reforms in the mid-19th century, most British soldiers left the army only when their regiment was disbanded in the aftermath of a war. When this occurred in Canada, men were offered land to encourage them to settle in the colony. Pensions were rare, and worth little.

Site: National Defence

Militia Budgets

Type: Document

The budgets allocated by Parliament often affected the size of the militia and how many men would be trained. Cycles of economic crisis and boom in the 1870's had an impact on militia activity and proficiency.

Site: National Defence

An Outnumbered Militia, Dominated by French Canadians

Type: Document

In 1812, British regulars stationed in North America matched the American regular army in numbers. However, the American state militias were much larger than their British colonial counterparts. Most of the outnumbered British militia were French Canadians.

Site: National Defence

Stalemate Leads to Peace

Type: Document

By 1802, the war against France in Europe was in stalemate. Only Britain was left in the field. The British had triumphed at sea and in the colonies, but both sides wanted a pause, and a treaty was signed. In America, the British provincial regiments were quickly disbanded.

Site: National Defence

Canadian Reinforcements Raised

Type: Document

During the year 1813, Britain's attention was focused on its fight against Napoleon's troops in Spain. There were limited reinforcements available for North America. To help strengthen the colonies' defences, many units were raised from Canadian volunteers and conscripts.

Site: National Defence

Census of Men of Eligible Age for Service, 1869-1873

Type: Document

Information on the number of men who were eligible for service in the militia during this period. The statistics are grouped according to provinces and census year.

Site: National Defence

The Volunteer Militia System

Type: Document

As established by the British North America Act of 1867, Canada's defence was to be based on an active militia system supported by British Regular troops. A Canadian Department of Militia and Defence, founded in 1868, took charge of the way the militia was organized.

Site: National Defence

Withdrawal of British Troops from Canada

Type: Document

In 1871, the last British troops left Canada, apart from a regiment guarding the Royal Navy's base at Halifax. Until the last moment, Canadian politicians refused to believe what was happening. Finally, faced with no alternative, they created the first regular units of the Canadian army.

Site: National Defence

Venezuela and Canada

Type: Document

The 1895 Anglo-American crisis over Venezuela had reverberations in Canada, including a potential confrontation with the United States. The Canadian government reacted to this situation by investing $3 million in rearmament. Modern repeating riles were introduced, a few machine guns were purchased, and a mobilization plan for the militia was developed.

Site: National Defence

A Lackluster Victory

Type: Document

The Canadian government's military campaign against the North West Rebellion exposed the weaknesses of the mobilization system and the logistics needed to support a contingent in the field.

Site: National Defence