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Date > 1800 > 1840-1849

Subject > Armed Forces > Military Command and Administration

Reluctant Canadian Politicians

Type: Document

In 1849, responsible government came to Canada, and Canadian politicians now made many decisions, instead of the British Governor-General. The Canadians preferred to leave the cost of defence up to Britain, but did appoint a commission to study militia reform in 1854.

Site: National Defence

Saint-Louis Forts and Châteaux National Historic Site of Canada: Roles and Functiions of Colonial Governors-Three Spheres of Influence

Type: Document

The governor’s influence extended locally, regionally and across the continent.

Site: Parks Canada

Lieutenant-Colonel William D. Otter (1843-1929) - South African War

Type: Document

Lieutenant-Colonel William D. Otter became the first Canadian-born officer to command this country’s military. As commanding officer of the 2nd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment of Infantry in South Africa, his no nonsense, no frills approach to soldiering brought him into conflict with the less disciplined ways of his officers and men, but his austere professionalism got results.

Site: Canadian War Museum

Lieutenant-Colonel Samuel B. Steele (1849-1919) - South African War

Type: Document

Recommended as the best man in Canada to lead a unit in South Africa by the North West Mounted Police, Samuel B. Steele took command of Strathcona’s Horse in 1899. After taking the unit back to Canada early in 1901, Steele returned to South Africa that same year to command a division of the South African Constabulary until 1906. He later commanded Canadian formations in England during the First World War.

Site: Canadian War Museum

Attempts to Revive a French-speaking Militia

Type: Document

The 1846 Militia Act led to a genuine effort to revive the militia as an institution amongst the Francophone population of Canada East. For the first time since the 1820s, efforts were made to appoint French-speaking officers in militia units where most of the men spoke French.

Site: National Defence

The Royal Navy

Type: Document

As an island state, Britain gave priority to its navy. The Admiralty (the appointed committee of admirals which made all strategic decisions) governed hundreds of ships worldwide. The Royal Navy used its bases in Canada to help control the Northern Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

Site: National Defence

Oregon Crisis Prompts Action

Type: Document

It took yet another American border crisis in 1845 to prompt Canadian politicians to try to reform the militia. Terrified by news of United States expansionism in Texas and Mexico, the politicians created a new Militia Act in 1846, promoting the concept of volunteer military units.

Site: National Defence

Saint-Louis Forts and Châteaux National Historic Site of Canada: Roles and Functiions of Colonial Governors-British Administration

Type: Document

In 1763, France lost Canada to England. Henceforth, British governors presided over the colony on behalf of the English king

Site: Parks Canada

New Brunswick and PEI

Type: Document

New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island lacked a strong British garrison during the mid-19th century to inspire their militia. Still, especially in New Brunswick, efforts were made to keep the institution viable, and volunteer companies were supported by the government after 1859.

Site: National Defence

Saint-Louis Forts and Châteaux National Historic Site of Canada: Location and Recognition- Background; Timeline

Type: Document

Founded in 1608 by Samuel de Champlain, Quebec City was the capital of the French colony until 1759, when British troops conquered it. The city and the colony were brought into the British empire in 1763 by the treatise of Paris. Canada and the city of Quebec remained an English colony until the confederation of Canada in 1867

Site: Parks Canada