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Chapter: Canada’s History

Topic: The War of 1812: The fight for Canada

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The War of 1812: Fighting for Canada

When Napoleon Bonaparte’s fleet was defeated in 1805, Battle of Trafalgar. The British Royal Navy controlled the oceans because Canada was part of the British Empire then. They and the British fought against Bonaparte’s attempts to rule all of Europe.

It was during this time, that American resentment was stirring due to the British interfering with their shipping trade. Americans invaded Canada in June 1812 believing that conquer with ease.

But what they weren’t expecting was Canada’s defense. Led by Shawnee Chief Tecumseh, the First Nations and Canadian volunteers, supported the British troops during Canada’s defense against the Americans. In July, Sir Issac Brock, the Major-General had taken Detroit but he was killed defending Queenston Heights, near Niagara Falls. Canada’s forces defeated the invading Americans in that battle.

In 1813, the Americans set fire to and destroyed the Government House in York, which is now Toronto, as well as the Parliament Buildings. To avenge this, Major-General Robert Ross, a Nova Scotian led an expedition that burned and destroyed Washington, D.C.’s White House, along with other buildings. Unfortunately, he would be killed in a battle soon after. He was given full military honours when he was buried at Halifax.

The present-day border between Canada and the United States was partly due to the War of 1812. This border made Canada independent from the United States.