February 2, 2013

"When the British evacuated New York City in 1783, they took many Loyalist refugees to Nova Scotia..."

"... while other Loyalists went to southwestern Quebec. So many Loyalists arrived on the shores of the St. John River that a separate colony — New Brunswick — was created in 1784..."
... followed in 1791 by the division of Quebec into the largely French-speaking Lower Canada (French Canada) along the St. Lawrence River and Gaspé Peninsula and an anglophone Loyalist Upper Canada, with its capital settled by 1796 in York, in present-day Toronto. After 1790 most of the new settlers were American farmers searching for new lands; although generally favorable to republicanism, they were relatively non-political and stayed neutral in the War of 1812....

"[English Canada] inherited, not the benefits, but the bitterness of the Revolution. It got no shining scriptures out of it. It got little release of energy and no new horizons of the spirit were opened up. It had been a calamity, pure and simple. And to take the place of the internal fire that was urging Americans westward across the continent there was only melancholy contemplation of things as they might have been and dingy reflection of that ineffably glorious world across the stormy Atlantic. English Canada started its life with as powerful a nostalgic shove backward into the past as the Conquest had given to French Canada: two little peoples officially devoted to counter-revolution, to lost causes, to the tawdry ideals of a society of men and masters, not to the self-reliant freedom alongside of them."
Today's "History of" country is Canada.


Baron Zemo said...

When I went on a Princess Cruise to Canada the first stop was in St. John's in New Brunswick. The ship stops at the pier and you can get off to wander the port. There is a shopping district a few blocks away.

They are very proud of their Tory past. There are several monuments and memorial including a huge granite stone with a plaque in a park right off of the landing.

There is also a funky little bookshop called Loyalist Book and Coin where the propreitor really dislikes Americans. I mean it seems like he gets the bulk of his business from the cruise ships but he was really nasty.

So I wandered in and bought a big pile of books to read on the trip. And he was pretty nasty. Putting down America and Americans. His biggest zinger was "Did you see the Loyalist monument to honor the loyal subjects of the King." I told him "I certainly did and it was very impressive. It is huge. It took a lot of effort to piss all over it. But I had a couple of pints and I was up to the task."

Canada sucks.

EMD said...

The area in Auschwitz where they sorted the cargo stolen from the jews shipped in was referred to as "Canada." Canada represented a 'land of plenty' to the prisoners.

Sorun said...

Everything I know about Canada and Canadians I learned from watching South Park.

chickelit said...

Canadian men have a love/hate relationship with American Woman

Sim said...

Amazed to see arrogance and ignorance at the same time, but i like the comments nonetheless.

Bill Jones said...

What beautiful writing, so different from the ordinary wiki fare. There was a time when, if one wanted to, one could confine oneself solely to good writing. Now with the internet 99% of what we read is utilitarian crap.

Thank you for the 1%.

Paul S said...

Well, that is one 'history' of Canada, but not the one I nor my ancestors have experienced.

For over 200 years, Canada has been a land of endless opportunity for my family and myself. We have enjoyed ever increasing freedoms and prosperity.

We are hardly a bitter or backward looking people as Canucks tend to be some of the most optimistic people around.

edutcher said...

The Canucks may be proud of their Loyalist roots, but it's estimated 90% of the 60% of Tories who moved to Canada eventually came back.

Sim said...

Amazed to see arrogance and ignorance at the same time, but i like the comments nonetheless.

You have to remember Canada isn't a real country. It's the 10 states Barry never got to visit.

PS Loyalists were outnumbered by Continentals about 2 to 1 in the American Revolution, although some colonies, New York, as an example, were more Loyalist than others; apparently, the further south you went, the more Revolutionary the sentiment.

From what I can tell of my ancestors, whether your forebears were English or not (Dutch, in my case) was also a determinant.

PPS When British North America was first proposed as a country, it didn't have a name, so the man chosen to be the first PM suggested letters be drawn from a hat and a name created from them.

So, as the letters came out, the PM said, "C, eh". "N, eh". "D, eh".

(I'm here all week...)

YoungHegelian said...

My brother got his PhD at University of Toronto, and he took a damn long time to do it, so I ended visiting Ontario/Toronto many times between 1974 & 1991.

Ontario very much has a love/hate relationship with the US. The Quebecois have, for better or worse, their sense of being Ur-Canadians (aside from the "First Nations"). The western provinces share a plains culture with the Americans across the border. But, Ontaronians live in the middle of the "Not" --- not American, not British.

My primary memories of Toronto --- clean, lots of immigrants, and oh-my-God expensive.

Tim said...

Canada isn't a nation.

It is simply an address.

Titus said...

I love Canada.

Montreal is an amazing Gay Mecca.

I have done some of my best work and had some of the most amazing trade in Montreal.

Thanks Canada.

Titus said...

Ogunquit Maine is filled with frenchies from Montreal.

You can't tell if Montreal guys are straight or gay because they all look gay-like euros.

They wear thong swimming suits too.

There is your Canada history bitches.

Ann Althouse said...

"What beautiful writing, so different from the ordinary wiki fare. There was a time when, if one wanted to, one could confine oneself solely to good writing. Now with the internet 99% of what we read is utilitarian crap."

The part with an additional set of quotation marks -- indented and with quotes -- is written by a historian and quoted at Wikipedia. It's obviously way too opinionated for Wikipedia writing.

Cedarford said...

The evacuated and deported Loyalists gained a fair measure of revenge when the regular forces of British Canada thoroughly kicked the asses of the Armed Hero citizen militias of America and sent "the rabble" fleeing back to Ohio and Albany.

Following the ass-kicking...The Americans determined that the part in their Sacred Parchment about "no standing armies" was a singularly dumb idea and proceeded to ignore it henceforth.

Ann Althouse said...

The book is "Canadians in the Making: A Social History of Canada," by Arthur R. M. Lower.

Ann Althouse said...

"There was a time when, if one wanted to, one could confine oneself solely to good writing."

Never possible for a law professor!

Seeing Red said...

Canada was allowed to become a state in the Articles of Confederation, I think. The only country allowed to, everyone else has to jump thru hoops.

YoungHegelian said...

Toward the end of his long sojourn in Canada, my brother was really looking forward to getting back to the States.

In the later years he was in Canada, he was often asked why he didn't become a Canadian citizen. He responded "Because I'm afraid of the surgery." "What surgery?" "The operation where they put the pole up your ass."

He really knew how to make friends, he did.

edutcher said...

If Cedar is blathering about Dan Morgan, Benedict Arnold, and Richard Montgomery on New Year's Eve, 1775, he might want to remember that the continentals assumed (wrongly) that the poor, benighted Canucks would jump at the chance to throw off their red-coated masters (Charlie made a similar mistake at Tet and paid a similar price).

He might also want to remember that Private Murphy was an enlistee in that campaign (after all, we're talking neophytes here), which concluded in a blinding snowstorm.

It was Harmar's defeat by the Indians on the Ohio that prompted calls for a Regular army.

Christopher said...

Well written excerpt but I want to give a righteous WTF to the sentiment.

I strongly recommend Liberty's Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary War, which I recently finished. It focuses on what happened to this group after American independence was established and it is an amazing and, for Americans, neglected story. Nova Scotia, the hell of Jamaica, the futility of the Bahamas, loyalists twice exiled from South Carolina and elsewhere down to Florida and then forced out again when the Brits signed it over to Spain--it is just an amazing cavalcade including free blacks, slaves and wandering Tories. You had people who in one life started out as American Brits and before it was all done had migrated to Nova Scotia, the British Caribbean and India.

However, as to the point of the excerpt, my basic impression having read this and other books of the period is that the War of 1812, having more or less successfully concluded with the British Empire turning back what some naive Americans thought would be a cakewalk conquest of Canada, sustained at least many of the Anglo Brits with the identity of what they saw as a much more stable form of government compared to the riot of republicanism--something the French revolution did not per se contradict. I'm an American and grateful things turned out the way they did, but in the context of the times the British monarchists, if you want to put it that way, were not completely insane.

As an aside one of the funny things about that book is reading about the exiled loyalists constantly annoying London and their local rulers by insisting on much the same kind of redress, for various ills, that started the American revolution in the first place.

Astro said...

I used to travel to Ottowa frequently on engineering business and I liked the people I worked with a lot. I thought it was weird, though, that the big shopping mall closed so early (like maybe 6 PM, IIRC). When I asked about it I was told 'nobody had any money to spend at night'. [???]

Sometimes I'd have to change planes in Montreal. The Montreal women all looked like Parisian model wannabes, both in clothing and attitude.

Harold said...

I have ancestors on one side of my family that left NY in the 1770's, and returned in the 1790's. And I have ancestors on the other side from VA that were on the revolutionary side. That branceh led to family on both sides of the Civil War, or War Between the States, dependent on whom you're talking to. The ancestors that came back from Canada didn't contribute any memebes to either sides army in the Civil War. Just an aside in the discussion. I'm sure a lot of Americans have ancestors on both sides of both conflicts. Thugh I find most people aware of their ancestry only refer to ancestors on the side they like.

kentuckyliz said...

I am a defector from the PRK.

Paul S said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul S said...

I'm glad to see there's so much 'love' for Canada on this blog. :P

But in spite of the differences between Canada and the US, I think we can all agree that Canada is superior in the two following areas:

1) Canadians brew a better beer

2) Canadian women are the most beautiful in all of North America, especially those from the western provinces

Baron Zemo said...

Canada sucks.

What do get from Canada?

Bad weather, hockey, Mike Myers and Kim Cattrall.

Who the hell needs Canada?

Ann Althouse said...

"What do get from Canada?"

There are lots of Canadians in American pop culture. They just don't call attention to their nationality.

traditionalguy said...

on many summer trips into Ontario. We witnessed it evolve fast with an International City of Toronto having several million immigrants from all over all living a multi-culti heaven. Toronto is only an hours drive along Lake Ontario's shores from Buffalo and its dynamic industrialization during the 1800s as the Erie Canal created American commercial prosperity all the way to a formerly backwards Atlantic ocean seaport called Manhattan.

Toronto on the east side of Ontario is attended to the west by spaced out cities of half of million each where manufacturing is done, and in turn all are surrounded by great plains like flat farmland with Amish communities and members of the United Covenant Church of Canada(a/k/a Presbyterians).

Canada come from being as governed by the Hudson Bay Company as India was by The East India Company.

Two thirds of Canadian population is in Ontario. That leaves about 15% in Quebec, 10% in Edmonton on the west coast, with the rest scattered across the middle as sparsely settled as North Dakota.

Canada is much like Wisconsin...great summer weather and fierce winter weather.

Ann Althouse said...

Here's a list of popular movie/TV-related people born in Canada.

James Cameron, Ryan Gosling, William Shatner... there are lots more than you think.

Anonymous said...

Not much point in giving one of my snowfall reports. Except in the negative: the only part of Canada not typically snow-covered all winter is the coastal regions of British Columbia. Occasionally there is bare ground in parts of the Prairie Provinces, caused by aridity rather than mild climate, and in southern Nova Scotia.


Alex said...

Canada, our skiing and natural resources backyard.

Alex said...

tradguy - you forgot British Columbia. Vancouver, Langley, etc...

AEH said...

I recently learned from a Parisian that Quebec was to France as Australia was to England. I haven't fact checked it, but it kind of explains why the Québécois are so bitter.

kentuckyliz said...

The Canadian Embassy in London UK was willing to hire me...then realized I can't speak fluent French.

Damn the Quebecois.

kentuckyliz said...

Vote Oui!

Cedarford said...

Edutcher - " edutcher said...
If Cedar is blathering about Dan Morgan, Benedict Arnold, and Richard Montgomery on New Year's Eve, 1775"

No, what you mention was pre Sacred Parchment.
I was referring to the War of 1812.

Where the former Loyalists, Canadian subjects, and regular British Army handed the poorly organized and poor fighting and badly led American militiamen their heads when they tried invading and annexing Canada.

The British Commonwealth of Canada has the distinction of being the only country that has defeated us in war.

In America, where we were not under Rule of Law(yers) nor particularly prone to worship and venerate the Holy Founders and their Sacred Parchment - the conclusion, in the ashes of Washington DC, was that not having a standing Army was a singularly stupid idea. And resolved to just ignore that junk from then on.

It comes up from time to time with Leftists or Isolationists claiming having an Army (plus AF these days) defiles the Holy Founders and the Sacred words. And we are being "Unconstitutional!" by having any military other than a Navy "standing".
And for the last 200 years, people just shrug and say The People simply resolved the stupidity in the Constitution on that matter after the War of 1812 by ignoring it.

Third Coast said...

I'd trade Obama for Harper in a heartbeat.

YoungHegelian said...

As a tribute to our most-worthy northern neighbors, here's the unofficial Canadian national anthem.

(I posted it before under the "Ice Flowers" post, but it's called for here, too)

Jules Aimé said...

" So many Loyalists arrived on the shores of the St. John River that a separate colony — New Brunswick — was created in 1784..."

Well, that's technically correct but not quite the whole story. Nova Scotia at the time included what is now New Brunswick just as Massachusetts used to include what is now Maine. The split came about not because of the increase of population but because of political tensions created by the Loyalists (aka Tories). Or, to put it less charitably, the split happened because the Loyalists were so damned hard to get along with.

Baron Zemo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Baron Zemo said...


I don't think listing William Shatner does what you think it does.

Unless you are a fan of talentless hacks.

Wait a minute. You love Dylan.


Baron Zemo said...

When was the last time they said something like "a tropical warm front is coming down from Canada so get out your sun glasses and sun block."


Never I say!!!!!!!!!!!!11

Baron Zemo said...


One more thing.

Ryan Gosling?


The Godfather said...

I think Edutcher is wrong about the ratio of Loyalists to Patriots. At the beginning, it was about 1/3 (patriot) 1/3 (loyalist) 1/3 ("leave me alone!"). There were so many Loyalists in the south that the war in the Carolinas was essentially a civil war. But the Loyalists too often waited around for the British to tell them what to do and when to fight, whereas the Patriots ("Whigs") developed their own political and military leadership structure.

When I visited Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in 1990, the guide books said that you could tell which towns had been settled by Loyalist American refugees by the personalities of the current-day residents, and in fact that was true. The people in the Loyalist towns were more dynamic, more hustling, more open (i.e., less "Canadian") than the people in the other towns. Amazing that cultural differences can last for 200 years, but that seemed to be the case.

BTW, I love Canadians and mean no disrespect, but they ARE different from Americans (or USAians, if you prefer).

In one town, St. Andrews, NB, we were told that the Loyalists settled just north of the river they thought would be the border between the US and Canada, but when the Treaty of Paris was signed, the border was set one river farther north. So the inhabitants packed their belongings, dismantled their houses, and moved north to where the town now is, and rebuilt there.

YoungHegelian said...




Baron Zemo said...

Nobody likes Canadians.

Or Hegel for that matter.

Wasn't he a goalie for Edmonton?

YoungHegelian said...


Wasn't he a goalie for Edmonton?

No, he played for the Moose Jaw Maniacs.

Aintcha got no learnin' atall?

Bryan Townsend said...

I used to make this joke around the time Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers went down in flames and the mortgage credit market was collapsing, that the CMAC (Canadian Mortgage Acceptance Corporation--sort of like a more sane Fannie Mae) and the Royal Bank of Canada were going to put together a team, send 'em down to New York and tell you guys how to fix your financial system.

But nobody ever laughed...

Americans just don't have a sense of humor.

edutcher said...

Hate to tell you, Cedar, but the regular Army predates the War of 1812.

The Godfather said...

I think Edutcher is wrong about the ratio of Loyalists to Patriots. At the beginning, it was about 1/3 (patriot) 1/3 (loyalist) 1/3 ("leave me alone!").

you're thinking of the old history prof who estimated the Continental cause at best could only count on the support of 1/3 of the people.

I'm getting my figure from Wiki (I know...), so it's a tad suspect, but, until, somebody can find a more accurate figure, I'll stick with it.

Baron Zemo said...

Canada is the tapioca of nations.

Paul S said...

Wow. Some folks should travel a little bit.

=="Two thirds of Canadian population is in Ontario."==


=="That leaves about 15% in Quebec, 10% in Edmonton on the west coast,"==

LOL @ Edmonton on the west coast.

=="Canada is much like Wisconsin...great summer weather and fierce winter weather."==

You've never experienced a 'chinook' then. Most beautiful winter weather anywhere right next to the Rockies.

I love Ann's blog here, but reading comments about Canada makes me think folks could be talking about a country like North Korea.

Baron Zemo said...

If Canada was a condiment it would be mayonnaise.

The Drill SGT said...

The 1763 Cajun story is more interesting

Bruce Hayden said...

I think that it is time to rethink annexing Canada, or at least the central and western portions of it. They have huge natural resources, and we can exploit them far better than they can. And, if there actually is AGW, there would be a lot of new farmland too. Not really all that interested in the NE provinces, or all the French speakers who are tied up in the romanticism of a dying language and society. We have enough problems with Spanish speakers already.

If we need a justification, maybe we could use that we are protecting them from the Ruskies across the Arctic Ocean. This isn't like 1812 - we have the better army now, or, at least the more experienced and larger one. And, how are the Brits going to bail them out this time? We own all the NATO air tankers, and our Navy is a bit bigger now than theirs. And, guess what? The Canadians don't have a Second Amendment.

Now, I don't expect all the Canadians that we annex to greet us with open arms (but, thanks to their gun laws, many few will be bearing arms). But, I have little doubt that once President Obama has instructed them about the advantages of ObamaCare (ACA), over their government health care, they will come around fairly quickly. At least the English speaking Canadians. We can ship the French speaking ones back to France, if they would prefer.

Baron Zemo said...

If Canada were a soda pop it would be a frozen Mountain Dew.

Bruce Hayden said...

I was born and raised around mountains (in Colorado), grew up skiing, and have done so now for over 50 years. I love our mountains, but there is nothing, really, in the Continental United States like the Canadian Rockies, esp. for me. Spectacular, and I think some of the best skiing on the continent.

For a number of years, we have gone up to SE BC (often through Calgary and Banff) every couple of years, where we then get choppered in to a cabin for a week, with a cook and a couple of guides. And, then we hike up and ski down, when lucky, getting to ski deep, untracked, light powder. Utah can sometimes compete. Barely. Of course, if we were rich, we could afford the choppers for all our skiing. On occasion, have gotten to ride up front flying in or out, and that is unforgettable. Yes, Alaska is even grander, but we are talking here maybe a two or three hour drive north of where I have been spending my summers in NW Montana (just follow US 95 up to the border, and then north another hour or so).

Paul S said...

=="If Canada were a soda pop it would be a frozen Mountain Dew."==
- Baron Zemo

My ribs Baron! My ribs! You are TOOO funny! Stop your hilarity!

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Three vignettes, as a dual citizen who lived for more than two decades of my adult life in Canada and speaks french with near-native fluency.

Québec City, on a snowy Tuesday in February: at 21h30 the streets are still full of people. I find a local restaurant in an old home from the early 18th century. After a remarkable appetiser of smoked local eel, dinner is lapin au pommes (rabbit roasted with apples and maple syrup) and roasted root veggies from regional farms.

Edmonton, on a different snowy February evening: the political debate is hot and heavy in the pub. Suddenly a $50 note flies onto the bar and the guy who did it hollers "Switch!" The entire place falls silent, and for the next 15 minutes the two debaters go at it hammer and tongs ... from the positions they were just attacking. Finally the guy who dropped McKenzie King onto the bar stands up and says "Ladies and Gentlemen, by your applause ..." and the fifty is handed to the best defender of a political position he does not hold. I still miss that. American political discourse just plain sucks. On a good day.

Finally, here's to the Canadian forces who for many years punched far above their weight, sustaining a casualty rate well over 150% that of the Americans.

Specifically, here's to the Princess Pats, the Royal Canadian Regiment, les Vingt-Deux, and the Royal Newfies -- you folks did great, under terrible conditions. Thank you, even if most of us Yanks don't have the first idea of what you did. Each Remembrance day, I remember.

Thank you, Canada. Merci bien, mes amis.

Lawcruiter said...

Wayne Gretzky once related that one of the best parts of being Canadian was the associations it raised in Europeans he would encounter in his travels. To say you were "American" immediately raised the usual leftist nonsense about "Amerikan imperialism. Nuclear Missiles, etc". To say you were Canadian would invariably get the reaction, "Ah! Hockey!"

Go Habs Go!

Paul S said...

Kudos to you Bart Hall, you're the first poster on this thread who 'gets' Canada (and who realizes Edmonton isn't on the coast. :O

EMD said...

Justin. Beiber.

If that's not enough to make you hate Canada, I'll only add ...

Anne. Murray.

David said...

That's a pretty harsh take on Canada and the Empire Loyalists. My fourth great grandfather was an Empire Loyalist. He was a third generation German immigrant to upstate New York who leased a small farm near Albany. He was a private in Burgoyne's army and was captured by the Americans in 1781. After the war ended all of his property was confiscated and he was told he would be tried for treason if he remained in New York.

Basically my grandfather was a peasant. When Burgoyne came by and was looking for more troops, my grandfather likely had no choice but to march with the British.

Along with about 1000 other refugees he went to a wilderness in what was then called Upper Canada. He was granted title to 300 acres of scrub forest between an Indian Reservation and Lake Ontario. It was not prime land, and the best of this bad lot ended up in the hands of officials in Quebec anyway. The homesteaders cleared the land by hand and lived a precarious existence in a harsh and remote place.

Three generations later one of his landless and impoverished descendants came back to the United States, settling in Detroit. That was my great-grandfather.

I have read extensively about United Empire Loyalists and their descendants. Few became wealthy or influential in Canada. They were not especially political nor were most reactionaries of any kind. Mostly they had the bad luck to be on the wrong side in a war.

Then, when the War of 1812 came around, they were suspected by the Canadian-British government of disloyalty to Britain.

Perhaps the group in New Brunswick were different in their outlook. The passage quoted by Althouse sounds like a pile of crap to me, if you are talking about the homesteaders who were sent to Upper Canada.

traditionalguy said...

Don't forget Anne Murray.

traditionalguy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cokaygne said...

Some thoughts about Canada, our neighbor to the east: Bart Hall is quite right about the valor of Canada's troops; Canada's politicians have not screwed up its economy the way ours have; Canada is thriving despite its climate because they welcome immigrants; About the only TV channel many Americans watch is HGTV and its roster of Canadian home improvement programs; On the other hand, the parking lots of our malls here in Maine are choked with Canadian cars on Canadian holidays and Canadian tour buses fill the motels near the malls with shoppers looking for quality merchandise at reasonable prices; Drive through Quebec and you will see no Canadian flags except on federal government buildings; Ontarians take pride in nothing but the fact that they are not Americans and are eager to tell this to the world; on the other hand, who could blame them; the only problem is that maritimers and westerners depend on the US and the Quebeckers wish the rest of Canada would just go away.

Mitch H. said...

I am descended from Long Island Quakers, the Thorns, the patriarch of which was kicked out of the Bay Colony while he was still an Antinomian follower of the Hutchinsons. Over the next century and a half, like many Quaker clans, about half of them gave up on the whole Inner Light thing, and went Anglican; from what I can see, this included the rich and slave-owning scions of that original Thorn. Of those who returned to the Church of England, a significant majority of them stayed Loyalist, some fought for the British, and that entire branch of the family evacuated to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick at the conclusion of the war. There are still a significant number of Thorns and our mutual cousins scattered throughout the Maritimes.

The quietist branch of the family didn't pick sides, along with the small minority of Fighting Thorns who went Patriot, got to become Americans, and the American Thorns are broadcast across the American Midlands, the West Coast, and a Mormon branch in Deseret. Apparently the family has a tendency towards innovative heresies.

Oh, Canada? I spent five minutes on Canadian soil once - took a walk across the bridge at Niagara just to say I'd done it. I'm not much for travel I'm afraid.

I recently learned from a Parisian that Quebec was to France as Australia was to England. I haven't fact checked it, but it kind of explains why the Québécois are so bitter.

I have no idea what he means by this. It suggests, from context, that Quebec was settled by French convicts, which is a base calumny.

James Laverance said...

During the revolutionary war in 1783 just before British soldiers fled to Canada they played a primitive version of ice hockey called Irish Hurley on skates on collect pond in new York city.