By: Derek Clouthier
Conservative Blake Richards
With 2012 marking the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, Wild Rose MP Blake Richards draws attention to the conflict as defining moment in Canada’s history.
“It was a fight for Canada even before there was a Canada,” Richards said in his weekly report.
The emergence of the bicentennial of this much-disputed war between the U.S. and Britain has thrown fuel again on the debate over who came out victorious in this near three-year war.
Several battles in various locations, both in Canada and the U.S., made up the War of 1812, with victories being won by both sides. But perhaps the most significant aspect of the war was the fact that British troops – with just over 5,000 at the beginning of the conflict and nearly 50,000 at its end – were able to defend annexation efforts from the Americans, resulting in Canada being its own country and not a part of the United States of America.
June 18, 1812 denoted the commencement of the war, and in addition to British soldiers, Richards underscored the efforts of English and French-speaking militia and Aboriginals.
“Their heroic efforts laid the foundation for Confederation,” said the MP, “and the emergence of Canada as an independent and free nation in North America.”
Other outcomes resulting from the war that Richards points out include the creation of the Canadian Armed Forces, the signing of the Treaty of Ghent (confirming the border between Canada and the U.S.) and the heroism of a Canadian icon, Laura Secord.
Secord, someone many Canadians simply associate with chocolate, was instrumental in the victory by British soldiers at the Battle of Beaver Dams in Queenston, Ont., by her warning of an impending American attack.
“She was a Canadian heroine of the War of 1812,” declared Richards.
For more information on this conflict visit 1812.gc.ca.