Canadian Rebellions

Partitioning the North Pacific

the Arctic 1837.1123

Canadian Rebellions

Alaska Purchase, Rupert's Land Act, Amur, Opening of Japan (23 November 1837)

Historical Map of the Arctic & the Far North

By the 1830s, the British colonies of Upper and Lower Canada were growing in population but still found themselves dominated by local trading oligarchies. Increasing dissatisfaction led to calls for government reform and rebellions in 1837. Although the first revolts were quickly suppressed, many rebels fled to the US border and continued the fight from there.

Main Events

Parry's Farthest North

The British Naval North Polar Expedition under William Parry left London on 25 March 1827 aboard the HMS Hecla in an attempt to reach the North Pole. They depart from Svalbard on 23 June using boats fitted with sledgerunners, but are eventually forced to give up due to the strong southward drift of the ice. Nonetheless their furthest point north (82°40’23’N, reached on 27 July) will remain the highest latitude attained for the next 49 years.

Republic of Madawaska

American settlers in the Madawaska River region, disputed between the British colony of New Brunswick and the US state of Maine, announced their intention to declare the Republic of Madawaska. That same day British authorities confiscated their flag and in the following month arrested their leader, John Baker.

Belgian Revolution

Starting with riots in Brussels, uprisings spread across the southern provinces of the United Kingdom of Netherlands. The Dutch King William appealed to the Great Powers, but the resulting London Conference recognized Belgian independence. Refusing to accept the conference's decision, the Dutch made a belated effort to reconquer Belgium in 1831, only to be forced to back down by French intervention.

Lower Canada Rebellion

Quebec Patriotes rose up in the countryside around Montreal in the British colony of Lower Canada, resulting in an armed conflict with British authorities. The initial rebellion was defeated by British and loyalist forces at Saint-Charles and Saint-Eustache in late 1837, but the Patriote leaders fled across the US border from where they continued to raid Lower Canada. A second revolt was then defeated at Beauharnois in November 1838.

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