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Background – 7 Years War
In North America (on the Canadian side) French settlers came an occupied the area that is now Quebec (the province of Quebec) – this area was later named New France/Lower Canada.
Later, British settlers came and settled in the area that is now Ontario, which would be called New England/Upper Canada.
In 1756, England and France started a war with each other. What started the conflict was the fact that a Virginian (lived in Virginia, US), named George Washington (later the president of the US) attacked a group of French soldiers (in the Ohio Valley, US, in 1754). This started a war between England and France. Britain sent a lot of soldiers (20,000) to America to crush the French who lived in North America. The French lost this war – at the end of the war, France gave England the area called New France in a Treaty signed in 1763 (Proclamation of 1763 says that New France now belongs to England). Now England controlled all of the territory that is now Canada but the French-speaking people were still living in Lower Canada and they were a difficulty for the English.
The area that is now Quebec was initially called “Canada” but the British called it “Quebec” after Quebec City.
Quebec Act 1774 – After the British started controlling the area of New France, they had problems with the French people living in the area. The British governors of the province wanted to make a compromise to ensure French loyalty so Britain passed the Quebec Act of 1774,
Territory: was a lot larger than today: it included parts of Ontario, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and Minnesota (it was 3 times bigger than today)
Religion: since most people in Quebec were Catholic, they were now free to be Catholic even though they had to swear loyalty to the King of England – but not to the Church of England (Protestant Church)
Structure of Government: there was no legislative assembly (no parliament elected by the people) but only a Governor which was appointed by the Crown (the King of England)
Law: the French system of law is kept in civil cases; in criminal cases, the English system applied
Land use: The seigniorial system of land distribution was restored (the French system) was put back in place, instead of the Township system that the British put in for a while
In 1812 – the US attacked New France and New England (Upper and Lower Canada) – the Americans wanted to take the whole of North America (Canada)
English and French people in Canada fought against the US and won – with the support of Britain. American expansion into Canada was stopped.
Unit 1 – A Dominion is formed
- Canada was called British North America – everything but Quebec, all the way to Alaska
- Quebec – belonged to the French until 1763; was populated by French settlers
Lower Canada = French Canada
American and European immigrants are threatening French culture
1837 – Many rebellions start across the Canadas
1840 – Britain passes the Act of Union which formally unites Upper and Lower Canada but, the Lower Canada doesn’t agree with this
- There are movements all over the country for unification and self-government – Canadian government instead of a British government
Infrastructure – the government, roads, communication system – the major connectives of a country, the structure of a country
My Boy Life – Presented in a Succession of True Stories
John Caroll – Methodist Minister – lived in Upper and wrote about life in Canada
Forebears – one’s ancestors, one’s family before his time
Paternal line – father’s side
Maternal line – on the mother’s side
Waxed end – the end of the rope used to beat prisoners
Saddler – person who makes saddles and horse equipment
Harness-maker – person who makes harnesses
***From this we learn that life in Canada meant a lot of horseback riding; people would go a lot more on horses than in carriages. His father wasn’t too good with managing his money and he couldn’t decide what he wanted to do: hunting, farming, fishing, and his own vocation. He liked to sing and tell stories and he started drinking when he was in the army – he was a soldier for seven years.
Women’s role – to stay at home, deal with the lack of food and clothing for the children; make home-made clothes, cook and all in a very rough climate.
Carded fibers = fibers that were cleaned and collected before spinning
Tanning leather – coloring leather
Currier (of leather) – treating leather – treating leather with chemicals so it will keep its color and won’t dry out
Bark – substance used to treat leather
***Alcohol is a major issue at the time: it pretty much ruined his father and by 12, the author is drinking too and he doesn’t stop until about 14, when he says “by god’s grace” I stopped a habit that could have ruined me.
At 12, he goes to work on a sugar bush farm. He learns to make sugar and to drive an ox.
Harrow – break up and smooth the soil
Chopping – cutting trees with an axe
To underbrush – to cut down the Underwood and throw it into piles
Notch – mark made on a tree by cutting into it
Planting potatoes was another job. Pulling and “topping” turnips was another job.
Parlance – a way of speaking
Chapter 1 – COLONIES IN THE WILDERNESS
Prosperous – wealthy, rich
To prosper = to grow richly
To Inhabit – to live in an area
Daring fur traders – strong, courageous fur traders
Forbidding to farmers = not good for farming
Upper Canada – “up” the St. Laurence River – the present day southern and eastern Ontario
- The population was rising, due to immigration caused by cheap land
Lower Canada – Quebec – along the St. Laurence River
The Maritimes provinces:
- Prince Edward Island
- Nova Scotia
- New Brunswick
All these had close connections with Britain and New England therefore, they grew richly as well.
*** Lower and Upper Canada develop because of immigration and relations with Great Britain, while the rest of Canada (BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan) are in the property of Northwest and Hudson Bay companies and are inhabited by Native people and fur traders.
------------------------ This is the situation in year 1825. -----------------
Relations with the United States
- Canada was invaded by the Americans during the American Revolution and during the War of 1812.
Relations with Great Britain were very strong in an attempt to protect themselves from the Americans.
- There was lot of trade going on with the Americans and also, many people from the States would come to settle in Canada.
Loyalists – Americans who did not support the American Revolution and remained supporters of England; as well as retired English officers that settled in Canada.
*** This fear of United States meant that Canadians saw themselves as different – which lead to the development of a National Identity.
British life style is in opposition with the desire for an equalitarian way of life supported by the Americans.
Canada: The Land
“Canada has too much geography” …and not enough history.
Location = between 50 and 70 degrees latitude
Total land area – almost 10 million square km
The Group of Seven – a Canadian group of painters that focused on painting Canada landscape (paintings of places – no people in them)
Cosmopolitan = modern and international
The Land of Yesterday
1800’s – 16.000 lived along the coast of Newfoundland out of fishing – most of them Natives.
HBC – claims all lands drained by rivers flowing into Hudson Bay.
North West Company – claimed some of the Canadian land and set up trading posts everywhere they could.
The coast of British Columbia was claimed by Russians, Americans and the Spanish.
*** Everybody wants to live close to the waters in order to make agriculture – it was hard to travel inland, therefore everything that was more than 100km away from the water was considered isolated. So, everybody coming to settle in Canada would go east of the Great Lakes because the west (BC, Alberta, and Saskatchewan) was reserved for the fur trade. The land was owned by HBC and later in competition with North Western Company, and they would not encourage settlement because they didn’t want interference on the hunting land.
- 2 Groups are being formed:
HBC and Northwest Company employees – fur traders + the Metis + Native peoples
All the new immigrants wanting land for agriculture
Métis = people with both French and Native ancestry
Monopoly – one company has the right to do business in one place (one company only)
Upper Canada – capital is the village of York
- was the least developed region in British North America
very few roads
occupied by Natives mostly
heavy wooded areas
clearing the land took a long time – one hectare/year
Landmark – an important point in the landscape ( in Vancouver, a landmark is the Tower; in Canada a landmark are the Rocky Mountains)
Physical map – a map that shows the different geographic features of the land – the darker the color, the higher the mountain (green = land, blue = water, light brown to dark brown = hills, small mountains to high mountains)
Clergy = priest class
To mortgage = to use a security on a loan
A Barter Economy
Money economy – to exchange goods for money; money is the most important currency
Barter economy = to exchange products and services for other products and services, not for cash
The Importance of Social Class
Many children from English aristocracies or children of retired army officers came to settle in Upper Canada and discovered a world without servants, where they had to work and maintain their farms by themselves.
Many people didn’t think of themselves as Canadians but as English people settling a new colony, still in Upper Canada there was a lot of class mixing.
The Problem of Land
- People would come to Upper Canada thinking they can get good, cheap land for farming, and they would discover that this wasn’t the case: most land was already bought and the one left was hard to work on and far from towns and markets.
- Speculators (rich people who bought the best land cheaply and sold it expensively) owned most of the good land and sold it at high prices
- Reserve land
Crown – land put aside for the Queen and for Crown Corporation – HBC
Clergy – land put aside or given by the Queen to the Church
- Hard to develop roads and infrastructure having these lands practically deserted and unaccounted for
- The Role of the British Government
Republican = democratic; don’t believe in or want a monarchy
The British Government tries to copy the English system into Canada – want to maintain seigniorial system.
Emigrants are considered the lowest class in society – Britain tries to prevent an American Revolution in Canada.
Often, getting land was like a job interview – if the land owner or speculator liked you, you would get a chance to buy good land.
Land speculators = people who bought a lot of land at a small price and were selling it at a big price
To romanticize = to make something look good on paper
Lye – liquid used to make soap
Commodity – product or service – something that people usually need
The law of supply and demand = when the supply is low, the demand is great, therefore the price goes up
The Immigrant Experience
The Eastern Townships = south-central Quebec, between Montreal and Quebec City
After 1812 – a huge wave of immigrants come to Canada
- First Nations people have to sign treaties and prevent their land from being taken by the whites
- Before the settlers come, land surveyors are sent to map out and outline townships and future roads organization
- People were attracted from a poor life in Europe to a rich, beautifully pictured life in Canada
- Many immigrants came because their lives in Europe were desperate – they had to leave their families, elders back in Europe, knowing that they may never see them again
Coffin ships = death ships – poor people dying in dirty ships and being thrown overboard
Tenant farmer – farmer who works the land of another; he doesn’t have his own land
Steerage – cargo, luggage space in a ship
The Multiculturalism of Pioneer Canada
Gaelic = the language of the Celtic highlanders of Scotland
Celtic – the early Indo-Europeans of the British Isles – Scottish and Irish
History is written by “educated” classes – people from England aristocracy – they chose to write about the English role in building Canada and ignore the other first settlers
Some Black people in Canada came as slaves of British citizens and even French people. But, also, many Black people came from the United States, trying to escape slavery, so those were recognized as free people by the courts of Lower and Upper Canada.
Black Militia – supportive of the British Government – fought against the rebellion of 1837, lead by Mackenzie King.
The Underground Railroad – a secret network of trails and pathways leading from the US to Canada; Quakers and Methodists offered help to slaves
Harriet Tubman – Black activist who helped many black people escape slavery in United States and come to Canada
Some Blacks were not accepted in Canada, many formed small communities, isolated from big communities and many didn’t find positions in the government until recent years.
Slaves were severely punished or killed if caught.
Why would Black people come to Canada?
- Freedom – right to become citizens
- Right to buy land – better life
Problems: Racism and discrimination / isolation (they lived in small communities) / lack of opportunities for leadership roles (in government)
Women in Upper Canada
Women mostly defined themselves according to the class in which they belonged: aristocracy or lower class – this was something they inherited from their British ancestry.
Spinster – old word for unmarried woman of older age
Women tended to define themselves in terms of their husband’s status: women were expected to marry early, make the best match possible in terms of wealth not love and their families were there to help them get married.
Mary O’Brien – a woman of higher class, with a lot of connections, but who worked just as hard as a servant to maintain the farming process
Women were expected to have many children, because there was a need for help on the farm and many were getting sick or even dying in childbirth because of poor medical conditions and hygiene. Also, birth rate was high – many kids were born – but infant death was high too – many kids would die young because of disease and lack of proper care.
Women’s work: Housework, planting, harvesting, make candles/soap, raise many kids
Dangers during childbirth: No proper medical care; no hygiene; poor sanitation – caused infections; only the rich could afford midwives and servants who helped make childbirth safer
1. In 1825, most people in Upper Canada chose to live near which type of natural feature?
Close to water – rivers or on lakes because most people lived out of agriculture and, if they wanted to travel, they could do so by boat
2. How did many early settlers in Upper Canada get financing for their purchases? Were the Upper Classes able to avoid manual labor?
They got it from richer people. No, the upper classes had to do most of the back-breaking labor of building and maintaining a farm themselves – there weren’t enough people around for them to have servants.
3. What was the name given to the ruling elite in Upper Canada? What types of people made up this group? Could new immigrants join?
The ruling elite was called the Family Compact – a small group of officials who helped run Upper Canada. These people were loyalists from England – they believed they were English living in another land; they were snobbish and controlled all the government money and appointments. Not everyone could join; they acted like a private club and only those rich enough or holding nobility title could join.
4. Why was dissatisfaction in Upper Canada widespread?
Because most immigrants came expecting to buy some cheap farm land and run their own farms. But, when they came, they realized that most of the good land was taken by either owners who were not there or using the land and speculators who were selling the land but at very high prices. Most speculators were rich people from the upper classes who just came, bought land and they waited for the prices to go up as most and more immigrants came and wanted to buy some land.
5. What were the clergy reserves? Combined with the Crown reserves, how much land did they occupy? How did the reserves cause problems?
The clergy reserves were pieces of land put aside for the Anglican Church – this land was meant to bring income (money) to the church through sale or rent. The Crown reserves was land put aside for the King or Queen. In total the clergy and crown reserves took up 2/7 of all the land. These pieces of land were not all in one spot – they were scattered and they were not used. They blocked road development through townships which angered the settlers.
6. What social group did the British government consider to be the best to control most of the land in Upper Canada?
The British government wanted to copy the British system of landowning in Canada. The British thought the aristocrats were the best suited to rule the country. Britain didn’t want Canada to become like the United States; they wanted the colonies to remain loyal to Britain.
7. By 1815, how much land was owned by land speculators?
Almost 50% of the land; all good land because it was level, fertile and not rocky, was held by speculators such as Canada Company (and members of the Family Compact)
8. From where did most immigrants to BNA in the early 1800’s come? After the war of 1812, where did most settle?
Most immigrants came from Britain. After the war of 1812, they settled in Upper Canada, some in Lower Canada’s Eastern Townships, between Quebec and Montreal. First immigrants came from Great Britain and the United States. Then, some came from other European countries, like Ireland and Scotland.
9. Why were immigrant ships often called coffin ships? In what part of the ships did most immigrants to BNA in the early 19th century travel? What were the conditions like?
They were called coffin ships because many people died during the journey and their bodies would be thrown overboard. Most immigrants were poor and desperate so they travelled in the steerage, where the conditions were terrible. If one person was sick, all the other people could get infected and die. There were rats and the surroundings were very dirty and weaker people couldn’t survive. Diseases such as cholera (a lung disease) were running rampant.
10. BNA attracted most immigrants with what promise? By today’s standards, what would we call the 19th century Canadian view towards immigrants and blacks?
The main promise was economic success (become free farmers) and equality. There was not slavery and people were promised an opportunity for a better life. But, according to today’s standards, Canadians were discriminatory and racist. The class system was keeping most people in a lower social class. Ideas about the supremacy of the Anglo-Saxon race was constantly thought in schools and everyone else was considered inferior.
11. What was the underground railway?
Many Black Americans ran from the United States to escape slavery. When running from the United States, the slaves used secret trails and pathways called the “underground railroad.” They found safety in anti-slavery homes of people whose religion stopped them from accepting slavery (Quakers and Methodists).
12. What were the duties of upper-class women in Upper Canada? How were unmarried women viewed in pioneer society?
Women in Upper Canada defined themselves according to their social class. Still, upper-class women also had to work around the home. Women from upper classes had to work alongside women from lower classes. They had to take part in running of the farm, cook and clean and preserve food for the winter. They also had to care for the children and many of them had many children because people valued large families.
Spinsters, or unmarried women were often pitied – they had to rely on their relatives for support because women didn’t usually outside the home and they didn’t own property. If a woman wasn’t married she didn’t have any status because the husbands gave the women status.
Colonial government and the need for reform
British North America government
- Not representative – it didn’t represent the will of the people but the power of the British Empire
- Not responsible – it didn’t have to answer to the people for the actions they were taking.
Oligarchy – a form of government where a small number of rich men control all the power
Government of Upper Canada – established in 1791 – Constitutional Act
Divided Upper Canada from Lower Canada
Established a Legislative Assembly – this had very little power, because the Governor and his councils could veto any legislation proposed by the assembly
- Representative government – one whose representatives are elected by people to make laws in their behalf
- Responsible government – can be voted out if elected representatives fail to please a majority of the people who elected them.
- Veto – to stop a law with a higher authority
A List of Grievances
Land = biggest issue – because of speculators and land owners who didn’t live in Canada – they delayed construction of roads and other developments.
Robert Gourlay – a Scot – he made up the first list of grievances against the government and the first petition. He was sent out of the country by the government.
William Lyon Mackenzie – leader of the Reform Movement
– Reform radical – often disagreed with other, moderate reformers.
– Bought a newspaper – The Colonial Advocate – published articles against the government and the Family Compact
– He formed a group that wanted a more American style government that would still be loyal to England
Egerton Ryerson and Robert Baldwin – moderate reformers; wanted to bring about change through debate and negotiations.
Stirrings in Lower Canada
- French population in Lower Canada did not completely adjust to the British rule – the French had an old, traditional culture which was just as strong as the British one
- They believed in democratic values of the French and American revolutions - these principle did not exist in their colony
- Found the British government to be undemocratic – it didn’t listen to the problems of French people
- The government was also and oligarchy – made up of English-speaking people who only dealt with the wealthy seigneurs (landowners) and the Church officials
- Seigniorial system – the old system of New France where seigneurs or lords were given land by France (peasants worked on lands/farms that were not theirs)
- Not too many land problems; however many other grievances:
French people felt like the seigneurs and the Church “sold out” to English interest – although there were only about 80.000 English-speaking people and more than 420.000 French-speaking people, the French were treated like a minority and were discriminated against
French culture was under attack and was going to be destroyed by the English culture
The French felt like a minority within a large English culture
Feelings of nationalism
- The British encouraged immigration into Lower Canada (the British government sold land at affordable prices in the Eastern Townships – between Montreal and Quebec City) so now the French people felt like the British were trying to transform them in a minority
- When ships full of Irish people sick with cholera came to settle there, the French felt like the British government was trying to kill them with disease
- The Chateau clique – Castle gang (Lower Canada) was the leading force in government
Discrimination against the French culture and language
“permanent civil list” = guaranteed high salaries for the government council members – people in politics got very high salaries even though they didn’t represent the lower classes’ interests
Peasants hated the land tax – unequal taxation – the taxes on businesses were not raised but the land taxes were raised
The French population wanted an American-style republic
Louis-Joseph Papineau – leader of a French revolution in Lower Canada – he was rich, a lawyer, and a powerful public speaker; his followers were called “Patriotes;” he also had supporters who were not French (Wolfred Nelson & Edmund O’Callaghan) – they all wanted the Legislative Assembly (the elected body) to control the government’s budget and an American-style republic)
1810 – James Craig becomes new governor of Lower Canada – he is anti-French and because of his attitude the situation in Lower Canada becomes really tense:
- Craig arrested the critics of the government
- Closed the Canadien – a reformist newspaper
- He called in the army to intimidate the population
1822 – Proposal to unite Upper and Lower Canada – this would make the French a minority in a huge English colony – the Rebellion was now sure to happen
1832 – Papineau and other reformers write the “Ninety-two Resolutions” – they want more power for the Assembly
- They are rejected by the British government’s “Ten Resolutions” and the Rebellions of 1837 begin
The Rebellions of 1837
- Mackenzie and Papineau talked to each other
They quickly realized that, if one system of government would change in one colony, the other one would change too
They also realized that simply asking the government for change was not going to lead to any results – the Family Compact and the Chateau Clique both wanted the same thing: power and wealth
They decided that armed attacks on the government (open rebellions) were the only way
- 1st went Lower Canada – the group of Patriotes was known as: “Fils de la Liberte” – Sons of Liberty
Church leaders strongly advised the people to not support the revolution and to stay loyal to England – many people listened and they did not help the revolution
St. Dennis, St. Charles and St. Eustache – many patriots were killed or wounded and the British won
1837 – The Rebellion ended and most of the leaders were arrested – Papineau ran to the US
Rebellion in Upper Canada
1836 – Sir Francis Bond Head – new governor
- He would strongly favor the Family Compact
Mackenzie planned an attack – Montgomery’s Tavern on Yonge St (Toronto)
- Lack of military expertise made for an easy defeat of the rebels by Militia led by Colonel Alan MacNab.
*** The rebellions of 1837 were a failure-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Punishing the Rebels
Insurrection – revolution against the established government
Major leaders were publicly hanged. Others were transported to Bermuda or Australia for 7 years – here they were used as slave labor working on plantations or government projects.
Lord Durham’s Report
After the rebellions, the British government established a commission to investigate what was happening in Canada. It was led by the Earl of Durham, who was made Governor-in-Chief of Canadas (so, the Governors of both Upper and Lower Canada would have to answer to this person)
He first travelled to the US and made sure the rebels who were hiding there would not get support from the American government. He didn’t mingle with the Family Compact or the Chateau Clique members – he looked at Lower and Upper Canada as a superior authority.
He had new ideas, so he treated rebels as easy as he could – he pardoned most of them. But, he had a lot of criticism against him, so he decided to go home. There he finished his report:
- Recommended that Upper and Lower Canada be united and given Responsible Government
- Recommended that all British North America be united in time – this was the root of Confederation
- Wanted to see the French culture assimilated into the English one – this angered the French
Union and Beyond
- Durham said that peace will not be found in Canada without democracy – the colonies would always want an American –style government
- Proposed that Upper and Lower Canada unite and be given control over their internal affairs – like taxation; the British government would continue to control foreign affairs and military
- Proposed that the Executive (cabinet) and the Legislative Council (later the Senate) change substantially
- Durham’s ideas were not put in place right away – since the constitution of Lower Canada was suspended in the wake of the revolution – French Canadians did not have a voice in government until 1843
- Syndeham – followed Durham and he pressed for a Union – but, meanwhile, the French weren’t allowed any participation in the government at all
1840 – “Act of Union” (passed by Britain) united Lower and Upper Canada
1841 – United Canada – capital in Montreal
The French did not participate nor agreed to this
Short Answer Questions
Why did most immigrants come to Canada in the early 1800’s?
Poverty – some people that came to Canada were really poor in their country of origin.
Running from slavery in the United States – many Black Americans came to Canada because there was no slavery in Canada.
The attraction of cheap land – many people came from Britain/Scotland/Ireland because they were excited about colonizing a new territory and they had the promise of buying cheap land.
What made life in Canada quite difficult at this time?
Canada was not a developed country, so most of the people were doing agriculture. Doing farming meant that many people had to cut down the forest by themselves, make the land good for planting and then plant.
There were no developed means of transportation – no railroads – so everybody who lived further than 100 miles from a city or town was terribly isolated.
There were no schools and very few teachers – everybody who lived in a small village had no way of sending their kids to school.
Very few hospitals or clinics (doctors only found in the bigger cities) so if people got sick, they had no one to take care of them.
There was a seigniorial system (Lower Canada) and the difference between social classes was significant – poor people and rich people did not mix.
Give 3 reasons why settlers felt rebellion was necessary in Upper Canada:
The Family Compact was in charge of all decision-making processes in the government – only the interests of the rich nobles and businessmen were taken into consideration when making decisions
The Legislative Assembly (the elected body) had no power to represent the poor people
There were a lot of grievances against the Church who had the best land reserved for them
Grievances against unfair taxation
Grievances against land speculators – people who were buying cheap land and sold it very expensive
Give three reasons why the reformers were upset with the Chateau Clique in Lower Canada
Discrimination against the French culture and language – the British were trying to assimilate the French in the British culture
The arrival of many Irish immigrants who were sick with cholera, made the French people believe that the English government wanted to extinct them
There was a “permanent civil list” = guaranteed salaries for the government councils who worked only against the people who paid the most taxes
Peasants hated the land tax – unequal taxation – there was unequal taxation for the poor peasants
Wanted an American-style republic; not loyalty to England
Chateau Clique was in charge of the decision-making process
Explain how the class system continued to be a problem for immigrants moving to Canada in the early 1800’s.
- Many immigrants left Europe to escape the strict class system – in England for example, unless you came
from a rich family, you were nothing – you couldn’t go above your class. When people came to Canada they hoped that
class didn’t matter and they could become rich on their own and everyone would be treated equally. But this was not
true. In the US, people were supposed to be equal and everyone who worked hard could get rich – in Canada was not
like that. Important, rich families controlled everything, even the government so poor people could not advance. The
rich people try to keep the poor people poor by taxation and stayed away from interacting with the poor.
Compare and contrast the Rebellions of 1837 in Upper and Lower Canada. identify 2 ways in which they were similar and 2 ways in which they were different.
- Both had similar goals – they were both led by revolutionaries against the oligarchy (upper class – agains
the Family Compact and Chateau Clique)
- They were both poorly organized – the leaders were more politicians than army strategists so they didn’t know how to organize the troops and fight the battles
- In Lower Canada, the biggest issue was language and culture – the French Canadians felt that they were
being killed slowly; in Upper Canada it was mostly about economics and government representation
- In Lower Canada the rebellion was organized a little better and there were 3 major battles in which quite a few people were killed; in Lower Canada it was one fight, which was more like a brawl