Specialist290: The rebellions weren't that dangerous, its just an event IG not even a single rebel stack to fight. But yea, its very much a cannery in the coal mines.
Crimson Lionheart: Welcome aboard.
Stnylan: Indeed, and one that London will take seriously.
RossN: I admit also to not knowing all that much on Canadian History, but I am learning as well. But it is a fun region. I do plan to also get to more social history chapters later on as we move into the second half of the 19th century. Aka when Canada exists and I can play as them instead of as the whole British empire.
While Upper and Lower Canada was dealing with internal conflict, the colony of New Brunswick was dealing with a more external issue. Ever since the end of the American war of independence, their was a border dispute between the State of Massachusetts and the colony of New Brunswick. Still despite the tensions that arose in the 1830s the governments of Britain and America would be able to negotiate a treaty that would settle the eastern borders of British North America.
[A map showing the disputed territory]
The treaty of Paris that ended the American war of Independence did not specify the exact border between the United States and the British maritime colonies. Thus both countries would claim competing claims to the region with drastically different borders. The British would claim all the land to the Aroostook River while the Americans would claim almost up to the Saint Lawrence River.
The root of the claim was due to the Timber trade, due to the Napoleonic wars the British were cut off from the European continental trade. This in turn brought economic prosperity to the Maritime colonies and as the Timber trade grew this brought more of a need to support the British navy and thus the timber exports in New Brunswick skyrocketed, and represented around two-thirds of the colonies total exports in 1825. As the trade in timber boomed this in turn fueled the conflict over the territorial claim. This would escalate as both would issue land permits in the disputed region.
The War begins
[A satirical cartoon about the Aroostook War]
While the tension was always there it really picked up steam in the 1830s. There are several reasons for this, first in 1820 Maine would break off from Massachusetts and become its own state thus making it wish to have more growth. Thus in 1831 the King of the Netherlands, William the first, was brought in to help be a neutral third party and decided that the Saint John River should be the boundary. While the British and American governments accepted the treaty it was outright rejected by the State of Maine that sought to incorporate all of the disputed territory into its state. They thus began to incorporate towns into the state of Maine.
The election of Governor John Fairfield to the Governorship of Maine in 1838 brought the crisis to a fever pitch as he sought to push the claims of the state of Maine. He feared that people from New Brunswick were illegally trespassing logging on Maine’s territory and thus sent a group lead by Rufus McIntyre to the region. The colonial government in New Brunswick for their part saw this as a potential invasion by the Americans and thus dispatched troops. Local loggers would quickly capture McIntyre and his group and bring them to the colonial authorities. Fairfield responded by calling in the state Militia and thus a stand off insured.
To prevent violence from breaking out in the disputed region, the American Secretary of State John Forsyth and the British Minister in Washington, Henry S. Fox came up with an agreement. New Brunswick would be allowed to keep the british regulars in Saint John’s valley while Maine would be allowed to maintain an ‘armed posse’ but critically not a militia in the Aroostook river valley. The main reason for the no militia part of the deal was as mentioned above Maine was the most interested in expanding its territory and they were trying to avoid a war. Both would build several blockhouses and military stations and preparing for a standoff.
Both would also begin new surveys of the region to try and make sure that their claim was correct. Yet still their was fear that the local tension could become violent.
The Webster-Ashburton Treaty
[The new borders of the Canadian Colonies]
Thus to avoid any further escalation the two governments would sign the Webster Ashburton Treaty, named after US Secretary of State Daniel Webster and Alexander Baring, the first Baron of Ashburton. Signed on August the 10th 1842 the treaty would finally end the Aroostook war. Though it should be mentioned that no lives were lost in the ‘war’.
The treaty would solve several boundary disputes, from the dispute between New Brunswick and Maine and the more western disputes. It also outlined that the Great Lakes would be shared between the British and American governments. It also called for the end of slavery on the high seas. Finally, it defined seven crimes that would lead to extradition. This last issue was to prevent Americans or British authorities from sending men into arrest one another during the whole ‘war’.
The treaty was generally well accepted by most within the respective governments. Though Maine would still remain stubborn. To help sell the notion of the new treaty, the US government produced a copy of a map produced by Benjamin Franklin that aligned in the same general region as the new borders. This would mollify the opposition to the treaty, though some would regard such a map as a forgery.
In New Brunswick the treaty was met with more relief than anything else. It should be noted that New Brunswick had more territory now then if they had accepted the Netherlands treaty which did help things. Most of the ire though was reserved for Lord Ashburton, whose father was Sir Francis Baring of the Baring Family Bank. The Barings had bailed out William Bingham who was one of the biggest investors in Maine Lumber lands. Though it was partially these connections and Ashburton’s relationship with Daniel Webster that got him the job. The physician and natural historian Abraham Gesner would describe the reaction in New Brunswick as:
"From a humane desire to preserve peace, the treaty was received in the Province with silent coolness, which has been mistaken for satisfaction; and whatever may be the claims of Lord Ashburton to the praise of an enlightened statesman and politicians, the above treaty reflects no credit upon his ability, and is disgraceful to the country that invested him with the powers of reconciliation.”
The government of New Brunswick quickly found an additional benefit with the treaty. The treaty allowed the Americans to employ the down-river facilities of the St. John on the same terms as British subjects. Thus the government of New Brunswick passed a tax on timber exports. As the treaty implied this fell on both the British subjects and the American Citizens equally. Naturally this irritated the Americans which protested this, but the British government pointed out the strong legal position of the colony of New Brunswick and this policy was successfully implemented.
It should also be noted that the Indigenous people of the region were not consulted and thus they had the greatest bitterness towards the treaty. The lands of the Maliseet people were now divided even more between the United States and the British North American Colonies and thus many had to decide which side of the border to move to.
And so the Aroostook border is settled without any serious incidents on either side -- just in time for the Oregon-Columbian border dispute to start heating up
But seriously, reaching a peaceful resolution on the matter must have been quite the accomplishment for both sides, especially considering the War of 1812 and the bad blood it stirred up was less than a generation removed from this period.
Stnylan: Yup a peaceful resolution. You can actually do this decision in 1836 but I waited till the historical date to make sense.
OtakuStrategy: yup more history
Specialist290: yea, it was an accomplishment especially since Maine was like "give me all of it. I want it all!"
Also as a teaser, the Oregon-Columbian dispute is not going to follow history. Not going to say what yet, but the event played out a differently then in OTL. I shall leave you in suspense for now.
RossN: Yea. It is actually possible for the AI to reject the treaty, but it is like a 5% chance IIRC. While that doesn't cause a war outright it does make it far more likely that war can happen. Thankfully though for everyone, the AI didn't choose that option.
John George Lambton, the Lord of Durham would be sent to the Canadian Colonies following the Rebellions of 1837 and 1838 in order to assess the colonies and make sure that the colony was in working condition. While the Rebellions were put down without much effort, their was concern within the British colonial government that if it wasn’t dealt with in a timely manner then British North America Could be lost. Especially if the Americans tried to claim more of it.
John Lambton, 1st Earl of Durham, was a prominent British Politician having served as the Lord Privy Seal from 1830 to 1833. More importantly though, especially in context of this report, was that he was a whig and that he was a reformer. While not all of his suggestions would be accepted, it lay the groundwork for much that was to come.
Report on the Affairs of British North America
When Lord Durham came to Lower Canada with its french population, Lord Durham would blame the French Canadians for their issues. He would find Two nations warring in the bosom of a single state. In regards to the French Canadians he would describe them as a people with no literature and no history. To that end he encouraged uniting Lower and Upper Canada into one colony, as well as encourage Immigration of British colonists to assimilate the Lower Canadians into a British colonists. This would allow the largely anglophone merchants could pursue a strong St. Lawrence economy to ensure future prosperity.
Furthermore Lord Durham proposed the creation of municipal governments and also a supreme court in the BNA colonies, as well as a resolution of the land question in Prince Edward Island. He also sought to create a union of all British North America but this was dropped as both Nova Scotia and new Brunswick were uninterested in joining such a proposal at this time.
Like many Whigs he saw that capitalism would bring about peace and prosperity to British North America if combined with Political Reforms. In Upper Canada he put the blame on the Family compact, describing them as a Petty, corrupt, insolent Tory Clique. The Family Compact had blocked both economic and political reform, and with their ties to conservative politicians he placed the blame of the rebellion in Upper Canada at their feet.
Durham's solution was a system in which colonial governments, at least in domestic matters, were made responsible to the electorate rather than to the governor and the Crown. This would be possible if the executive (or in modern terms, the Cabinet) was drawn from and held the support of the majority in the elected assembly. Such a reform would reduce the power of the Family Compact, stimulate colonial development, strengthen the imperial connection with Britain, and minimize American influences in the colony.
Reactions to the Report
In Upper Canada, the Tory elite condemned the report, which was no surprise since Lord Durham blamed them for the fault of the Rebellions. However this view was not shared by the Tories in Lower Canada who supported the report as a way to strengthen the economic development of the colony and reduce the power of the French Canadians who opposed them.
The French Canadians were opposed to the plan of a united colony with Upper Canada and a policy of immigration and looked to methods to preserve their culture and identity. Lord Durham would become a figure to loathe and despise for his policies and statement that they had neither history nor conflict. Louis-Joseph Papineau in particular would pen the book ‘Histoire de la résistance du Canada au gouvernement anglais’ (History of the resistance of Canada to the English government) where he would describe his outrage at the report.
The Effects of the Report
The decision to unite the two colonies was approved by the British government in the Act of Union as well as a policy of encouraging Immigration. However, Responsible Government was seen as too much for the imperial government. It was believed that tight administrative control in the colonies was seen as necessary to maintain the allegiance to Britain.
However the impact would start to be felt after the 1847 General election in Britain when Edward Smith-Stanley, the 14th Earl of Derby became the new British Prime Minister. In order to streamline the colonial budget, the British government would agree to support initiatives of local self Government. In 1848, reformers in Nova Scotia lead by Joseph Howe would establish the first Responsible Government in the British Empire. Later on Reformers in the new United Province of Canada such as Robert Baldwin and Louis H. LaFontaine would form a Responsible Ministry for a similar project.
Such efforts would be supported in other British Colonies, and not just in British North America. For those immigrating to Australia and New Zealand would look to this report for their own inspiration. It should be noted that the Australian politician Richard Hanson accompanied Lord Durham on his investigations of British North America before he would immigrate to Australia.
One of the more obvious impacts for British North America would be a policy of encouraging people from the British Isles to settle in the various colonies of British North america. This would be the high mark of the Great Migration to Canada which start before the the rebellions when Britain passed the Act to Regulate the Carrying of Passengers in Merchant Vessels. The act regulated space for passengers travelling on British ships, and the number of Passengers who could be carried on a ship. Furthermore the Act required that the passengers be supplied with adequate food during the voyage. It would serve as the foundation of British colonial emigration legislation that all other laws and acts would build off from.
However, the period after the publication of Durham's report would lead to a further support of British Immigration for several factors. Chief among them being the Irish famine. The Irish famine would force countless Irish families to leave Ireland. Many would seek a new life in British North America, particularly in Newfoundland and the Maritime colonies.
The British government following the report would push several acts in British North America to encourage English families, particularly in the Maritimes and what was Lower Canada. The British government would agree with Durham’s assessment on the French Canadians and sought to encourage an assimilation into English culture. This would lead to many English families seeking to relocate to the now United Province of Canada, though the Maritime colonies would also see the share of English families immigrating to them.
Every time I read about Canada's early history, it always fascinates me how much of that history was shaped by Britain's previous (ill-fated) experiences with the former Thirteen Colonies. One wonders how the mutual history of all three nations might have been different had there been some sort of figure like Lord Durham in the 1760s or 1770s -- but by the same token, would they have been taken seriously had there not already been a successful rebellion?
Specialist290: The thing about the whole revolutionary war was that there were quite a number of times that both sides could have resolved things peacefully. But alas that did not occur and thus the Americans fought and won their war for independence. The ironic thing was that if these tensions were able to have been delayed a generation then IMO it would have been rather likely that the Americans got their wish. Since in 1832 was the Great Reform Act, well the first one anyways, and that was being spured on by a big reform movement and IMO it would have been rather likely that many of their issues could have been addressed here if they remained part of the empire. But we will never know.
However, you are right that a lot of Canada's and tbh other British Colonies were shaped greatly buy the American war for independence. That war humiliated the British and the British sought to never repeat that mistake.
Stnylan: One step closer to confederation and to democracy for the Canadians.
While most of the attention of the 1830s and the first half of the 1840s was focused on the East coast of British North America, in the second half of the 1840s a more pressing concern would arise that of the dispute with the Americans over the border of the Columbia District. The conflict would lead to the signing of the Columbia treaty and establishing the borders of British North America and would end the vast majority of Border conflicts between the United States and British North America.
Prince Rupert Land
In 1670 the Hudson Bay Company would be formed to run the day to day business of running Prince Rupert Land, as well as to get into the fur trading business. The region of Prince Rupert land, so named for Prince Rupert of Bavaria, was mostly wilderness with a number of indigenous people living there. As their primary purpose in North America was to trade, the HBC was far more willing to engage in trade with the indigenous people of the regions they operated in. Their need to work with them in order to get the various furs they desired lead to the made beaver currency being issued to help keep track of the book keeping.
Following the Treaty of Utrecht where the French gave up their claims in what would become Canada, this would expand Prince Rupert’s Land’s well land exponentially. The vast teeming wilderness would stretch from the Hudson to the Pacific. The HBC managed this region on behalf of the British.
Lead up to the conflict
In 1818, the London Convention was signed between the British and the Americans that would set up Columbia territory to be jointly administered by the British and American Authorities for ten years. Despite this joint administration, the British and Americans set up their own forts throughout the area in order to stake claims to it.
As time began to expire in the treaty over joint administration, a number of failed attempts at reaching a settlement were attempted, including one at the 49th parallel and one at the snake and columbia rivers. But despite that the British and Americans refused to budge on their claims.
During this period the main reason for it not increasing tensions further was due to the fact that this was rather isolated. Mostly populated by native tribes and various forts. Moreover other attentions had demanded the attention of the Americans and British. Thus the claims lay unresolved and the forts kept being built and the claims kept being unresolved.
Fifty Four - Forty or fight!
Two things in the 1840s would change the conflict and exasperate the tensions between the British and the Americans. Those being the first Opium War and the election of James K. Polk.
While at first, it would seem like The First Opium war had little to do with this particular dispute, it did reveal to the British several factors. First as the conflict was in the pacific, it brought the need to have additional ports in the Pacific. First for military purposes, especially if war was ever to break out with a more civilized power in the region. But also for commercial activity ports in the Columbia district would give the the British more influence in China. The Port of Victoria in particular would be principal hub of the Opium trade in British North America and the gateway to the orient.
Though it would be decades off, some started to think of the possibility if there was railroad that connected the pacific coast to the east coast of British North america, though at the time it was clear that the current trains were not suitable for the task, the rail mania that had gripped the nation helped factor this into the British.
However, just as important as future economic plans for the region was the election of James K. Polk to the office of Presidency of the United States of America. President Polk was a firm believer in manifest destiny and sought to expand America across the continent. After taking Texas and Mexican land, Polk set his sights on British North America and specifically the Columbia district. The slogan Fifty-Four forty or fight was thrown around to express America’s interest in taking all of their claims in Oregon. Famously he stated in his inaugural address that:
Nor will it become in a less degree my duty to assert and maintain by all constitutional means the right of the United States to that portion of our territory which lies beyond the Rocky Mountains. Our title to the country of the Oregon is "clear and unquestionable," and already are our people preparing to perfect that title by occupying it with their wives and children.
Thus with the interest of the British in keeping their claims to the territory and the Americans doing likewise there was a great deal of concern both in London and in Washington that this will spill out to war. The Governor-in-chief of the HBC during this time, George Simpson, was instructed to draw up war plans including defensive works and making deals with indigenous people in case of war. Furthermore, several Royal navy ships would arrive in the pacific as a sign that the British were interested in this territory.
The Columbia Treaty
However, both nations ultimately did not wish to go to war. A number of American politicians, foremost among them being Daniel Webster, realized the folly of war with the British. If war broke out that could very well end the economic relationship between the United States and the British. Moreover, the might of the British empire was to much for the Americans. The Royal navy had a presence in both the Atlantic and Pacific, among other parts of the globe. Likewise the British did not want a fight. Though they sought to protect their interests in the region, their primary goal was economic.
To that end to avoid war, after a number of attempts at peace, the Columbia treaty would be signed. The Columbia treaty used the Columbia River as the border but to avoid any future disputes they would draw a line at the 117th longitude. This allowed the British to keep the regions they had their settlements and the Americans to do likewise.
It also stipulated the border between the United States and British North America between Columbia and the Great lakes would be the 49th Parallel as well as protecting the commercial and property rights of both Americans and British subject in the region.
Effects of the Columbia treaty
The most obvious effect was that with the signing of the treaty, war was avoided and relations improved. With the Columbia treaty being designed to avoid future conflicts over such territory, it meant that relations between Britain and the United States could increase and that war would become far less likely.
Very shortly after signing the treaty, the territory was organized by the United States into the Oregon Territory and it would not be long after in 1859 would Oregon achieve statehood for Oregon as a free state.
Likewise for the British, the territory would be organized not long after into two colonies: the colony of Vancouver Island and the Colony of Columbia. However while both would be colonies, the British still left the day to day affairs to the Hudson bay company to run. It did help that the colonial governors happened to also be leaders within the company to help smooth things over.
Though the HBC was not interested in colonizing the land, the British were. They wanted to increase Victoria’s population to make that city the key city in the region. To that end, like in eastern British North America, the British supported immigration to the region. More over, many Americans that had migrated to the region would assimilate themselves to British culture.
The various indigenous tribes of the regions were faced with different realities depending on what side of the border they found themselves. Those that found themselves on the American side found themselves rather quickly at war with the United States as the Americans sought to take their land and wipe them out in pursuit of Manifest Destiny.
Those who found themselves on the British side were much more lucky. The HBC was the ones administering the region and they were far more interested in turning a profit then taking land from the tribes that lived there, especially if it was more profitable just to trade with them. That is not to say conflict did not break out, it certainly did. It is more that the British policy was to make money over to settle the land, even with the increased push for immigration to Columbia their policy remained to make money.