Canadian History Question

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    Jan 05, 2008 4:33 AM GMT

    In 1861, in order to defend Canada against possible american attack, England dispatched 10,000 troops to Canada.

    How were these troops transported to the interior of Canada, and why?
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    Jan 05, 2008 5:45 AM GMT
    I'll take a stab... they portaged by canoe because that's the only transportation system that was available... (and it was the quickest way to get to the new Tim Hortons that opened up in Thunder Bay)
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    Jan 05, 2008 3:00 PM GMT
    It was winter time and all the rivers were frozen over. So portaging wasn't an option. Good try, tho.
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    Jan 05, 2008 3:18 PM GMT
    I guess that means that neither black helicopters nor the U.N. had been invented yet?
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    Jan 05, 2008 3:26 PM GMT
    You are correct. ... icon_rolleyes.gif
  • art_smass

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    Jan 05, 2008 3:39 PM GMT
    I imagine that the "interior" of Canada means Ontario. I also suppose that they came up the Rideau Canal. Look that up. If I remember my Canadian history, it played an important role in transporting troops.
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    Jan 05, 2008 4:34 PM GMT
    It was WINTER the canals and rivers were frozen. ... icon_rolleyes.gif

    besides that wouldnt make much of an answer to the question..."they came up the river" "they came up the canal" BFD!

    also dont forget to explain why they were transported that way
  • art_smass

    Posts: 960

    Jan 05, 2008 5:30 PM GMT
    When in winter did they come? There was also a huge railway boom in Canada through the 1840s and 1850s. Also, I'm not sure how long it takes the rivers and canals to freeze in Ontario. It happens in November over here, but I'm in the frigid west.
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    Jan 05, 2008 5:42 PM GMT
    My source says "...the St Lawrence was already frozen over."

    take the hint

    but dont forget to explain why...and "cuz it was winter" isnt the answer why
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    Jan 05, 2008 6:12 PM GMT
    The American Civil War had started and Britain feared the American North would invade. Rumours of war circulated throughout 1861. 14,436 troops were sent during the year. Some were sent in the summer. The largest contingent was sent in November during the Trent affair. The Yankees committed a hostile act by intercepting the British ship "Trent" en route from Havana to London in November to remove 2 confederate "diplomats" en route to Europe to drum up support for the Confederate cause.

    Further troops were despatched in December. Some arrived on Boxing Day (December 26th) at Bic, Canada East (modern Quebec)as it was not yet frozen, aboard the Persia. They were taken by horse-cart the 50 miles to Riviere du Loup, the end of the railway line, so they could move further west by rail. Ships arriving after the Persia on New Years Day were redirected to Halifax and Saint John to beef up local garrisons, and to be moved further west by cariole (horse drawn carts and sleds ) down the Saint John River Valley to Riviere du Loup.
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    Jan 05, 2008 6:19 PM GMT
    Excellent, Edgey!

    And the reason they had to be transported by sled, sleighs and carts to the railroad was because the east end of the canadian railroad used tracks thru the state of Maine to get to the Atlantic...the british couldnt exactly transport troops thru the country they were being sent to oppose.

    "....when the british troops arrived, the St Lawrence was already frozen over, and the only railway link to Canada was on American soil through Portland, Maine... The need to undertake a winter trek overland in sleighs through New Brunswick demonstrated the strategic value of the proposed intercolonial railway and prompted the British government to reconsider its commitment to colonial defense."

    p. 171, A Brief History of Canada, by Roger Riendeau

    The reason England feared american attacks on Canada is the answer to the other question.
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    Jan 05, 2008 6:29 PM GMT
    did the railroad actualyl run through the american territory? i thought it was just like, a few miles away which weas equally as pointless.
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    Jan 05, 2008 6:33 PM GMT
    I have added a citation from my source.
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    Jan 05, 2008 6:53 PM GMT
    Canada East and West (modern Southern Ontario and Quebec)had an extensive rail system at the time. But it was not connected to the Maritimes. There were competing rail interests looking for government subsidies: one looking to build a railway from Montreal to Portland in Maine, and another from Riviere du Loup down the Saint John River Valley to Saint John. Obviously it was in the economic interest of the Riviere du Loup to Saint John interests to contribute to the whipping up the "war hysteria" to promote their cause. Don't forget, railroads at the time had tremendous power and influence. There was also an election in Canada in 1861, always a good time to get the population excited!
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    Jan 05, 2008 7:00 PM GMT
    Building a viable rail system in Canada was quite a problem. And I would almost say that it is because of the railroads that Canada pulled together.
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    Jan 05, 2008 7:13 PM GMT
    Absolutely. One of the conditions of British Columbia joining Canada in 1871 was that a transcontinental railway be started within 2 years and completed withing 10. Pierre Berton wrote a couple of books on this in th 70s called The National Dream and The Last Spike. A TV miniseries was even produced.
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    Jan 05, 2008 8:15 PM GMT
    They flew on the backs of magical winged mooses to take their communion of sanctified pot and poutine from Ann Murry before riding bravely into battle against the heathens from the south lands.
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    Jan 06, 2008 12:16 AM GMT
    RBY71, your shrinks wants you to call him right away.