War of 1812

The War of 1812 was a defining, if not gruelling, struggle in Canada’s history that carved out the identity of a young nation divided by its Anglo, French and Aboriginal population. At the outset of an impending American invasion, the call to arms was not unanimous. French Canada’s population was indignant to the idea of defending the interests of the elite, British merchant class—a class that suppressed French institutions and the habitants economy. Garnering support from the French population was a slow process, aided by bilingual Sir George Prevost who recognized and encouraged French participation in politics and the military. As the war progressed, the atmosphere of disloyalty and apathy amongst the French populace shifted to a feeling of concern over sovereignty and land. The War of 1812 planted the seeds of a new sense of Canadian Nationalism, free from colonial influence and rich with French Canadian interests that would grow into the Rebellions of 1837 and 1838.