CANADA HISTORY - DOCUMENTS COLONIAL

1840 On the Canada Bill by John Beverley Robinson, former Attorney-General of Upper Canada.


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Again, if we admit, as I think we must, that the circumstance of the older colonies having severed the connexion at so early a date, has been in fact the means of saving the present British provinces to the mother-country, it is scarcely less certain that the war of 1812, which was engaged in by the United States, mainly for the purpose of subjugating the Canadas, has had the effect of binding them, as well as Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, much more strongly to the crown.

Before that war the United were scarcely looked upon by the subjects of the British Empire as a foreign country; the probability of hostilities was not anticipated, and of course not guarded against; the citizens of the republic came in numbers to settle, especially in Upper Canada, and, but for the war, in a few years thousands of those fertile acres, which have since afforded a home to loyal and grateful emigrants from England, Ireland, and Scotland, would have been occupied in a manner much less conducive to the maintenance of British connexion. The war was happily undertaken at a time when the adjoining states of America were but thinly inhabited, and when the invasion of Canada was, in consequence, attended with many difficulties which time has removed. It has had the effect of calling the attention of England to the danger which Lord Selkirk, in his very able book on emigration, pointed out to the government so early as the year 1805; it has produced in the British colonists a national character and feeling, and has taught both countries to appreciate their position more correctly.


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Source: John Beverley Robinson, Canada and the Canada Bill (London: 1840) p. 15



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