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Social Studies Rebellion Essay

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Open protest, conflicting interests, lives changed forever. This is a rebellion. You’re willing to fight the authorities to be heard. Armed rebellion is only justifiable if nothing else works. The Rebellions of Upper and Lower Canada, Red River Rebellion, and Northwest Rebellion are all part of Canadian history. They show us that people can go against the government which usually results in a large loss of life, but more importantly change.

The Rebellion of Upper and Lower Canada mainly occurred because of land issues, government inequality, and irresponsibility to the people. Power was held by a small group of noble elites, they can veto any law that hurts their status. Mainly controlled by wealthy English aristocrats / businessmen, the government only serves for their purpose. Land speculators overpriced or tied up prime land, while Crown and Clergy reserves hindered road development. French Canadians also faced discrimination, unequal taxation, and lack of power within government. Petitions were signed, negotiation started, newspapers were produced, and public speech were made, but they all failed. People were arrested, newspaper companies were shut down, and protesters were even shot. With such limitation of free speech and freedom of press, they had no choice but to go for armed rebellion. Although the Rebellion ended in failure with serious consequences for major leaders (imprisoned to slave labour and hung), Britain realized that change was necessary to maintain peace. This eventually led to responsible government and Confederation. The Rebellion of Upper and Lower Canada may be the most important rebellion in Canadian history, but it wasn’t the only one.

The Red River Rebellion occurred because the Metis and their la...


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... and outgunned. Defeated with major loss of life, Louis Riel was brought to court. He argued that the Metis has been mistreated and goaded into rebellion, and described the deprivation and poor living conditions of his people. Ultimately, he was executed and any national unity the Metis felt was forever ended.

For the Rebellions of Upper/Lower Canada and Northwest, their armed resistance was justifiable. Neither had any other choice for their petitions to be heard. As for the Red River Rebellion, they had other more peaceful choices. Executing Thomas Scott unquestionably tarnished Louis Riel’s reputation. He was blatantly viewed as a villain, but that is changing as more of our history is uncovered. Nowadays, Louis Riel is widely regarded as a hero for what he’s done, fighting for Metis rights. All in all, armed rebellion is only justifiable if nothing else works.


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