Thursday, February 16, 2006

Revolution Rejected: Canada and the American Revolution

Revolution Rejected: Canada and the American Revolution. This has details on a new permanent exhibit in the Canadian War museum dealing with the Canadian reaction to the American Revolution.

The site contains both exhibit highlights and an essay on the historical background and subsequent events that occurred including the movement of a large number of American loyalists to New Brunswick. There is also a short reading list in both French and English.

Interestingly, the First Continental Congress openly tried to tempt Quebec to join the American Revolution. In 1774, Quebec was invited to send delegates to join the Continental Congress. Pamphlets were distributed in French carrying the rebel message. However, the invitation failed to prompt Quebec to rebellion.

In particular, the exhibit concentrates on the failed American invasion of Quebec in 1775-76. Peter Macleod notes, "The American invasion of 1775-76 was one of the most important campaigns in Canadian history. Had the invaders succeeded, Canada would now in all likelihood be part of the United States. Instead, Canada remained British and eventually evolved into a self-governing Dominion and independent nation."

From the site:

Revolution Rejected: Canada and the American Revolution, curated by staff historian Peter MacLeod, uses artifacts, a scale-model diorama, audio-visual material, maps, images and personal accounts to tell the story of the American invasion of Canada in 1775-1776 and the migration of American Loyalists to Canada after 1783.

When the American Revolution broke out in 1775, George Washington sent two armies north to besiege Quebec City and conquer Canada. In the early morning of December 31, American generals Richard Montgomery and Benedict Arnold launched a desperate assault on Quebec.

In Revolution Rejected, a detailed diorama freezes the action at a crucial moment in Canadian history. Montgomery has been killed and Arnold wounded, but Arnold's troops have fought their way into Quebec's Lower Town. They begin to scale the barricade that forms Lower Town's last line of defence.

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