Understanding the Rebellions of 1837-1838 in Lower Canada

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As it has been noticed, not all rebellions and revolutions throughout history go as planned; not all of them succeed, at least immediately. Currently, there are prime examples of uprisings in the Middle East that may or may not reach full potential, and their impacts will carry out across a global scale because of the international interdependence of our prevailing economic systems. However, centuries ago, revolution was a new idea. Not many people would agree with the idea of protesting against those in power, let alone rising against them in arms. Like the Americans and the French, some nations were successful in their struggles against colonial or monarchical rule. The Lower Canada Rebellions of 1837-1838 were failed mutinies against British rule, much like the Irish Rebellion of 1798. Whether or not the path was set for further action is a whole other issue. To understand the Rebellions, it is important to look at their fundamental causes, as well as the reasons for their eventual failure. At the outset, let us briefly summarize the insurgences. After the British rejection of the Patriote Party’s (led by Louis-Joseph Papineau) request for change in government – which will all be outlined in detail later on – political protest began to turn into armed conflict in 1837. From May through September, the Patriotes gathered many times to find solutions to the core problems within government in their country. Finally, on 23-24 October 1837, thousands gathered in St-Charles, where the more radical section of the revolutionaries (Wolfred Nelson, Ovide Perreault, and Edmund O’Callaghan) rallied them and ignited a more violent approach to British rule. In the following months, many battles were fought between Patriots and British loyali... ... middle of paper ... ...r Canada. Ottawa: Canadian Historical Association, 1996. Print. Boileau, Gilles. « Le 14 décembre 1837 à Saint-Eustache. » Les cahiers du Musée des Patriotes de Saint-Eustache (1994). “Constitutional Act, 1791.” The Canadian Encyclopaedia, 28 March 2011 http://www.the canadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0001872. Web. Greer, Allan. The Patriots and the People: The Rebellion of 1837 in Rural Lower Canada. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 1993. Print. Laporte, Gilles. “Les Patriotes de 1837-1838.” 2 April 2011 http://cgi2.cvm.qc.ca/glaporte/ index.shtml. Web. “Louis-Joseph Papineau.” The Canadian Encyclopaedia, 2 April 2011http://www.thecanadian encyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0006069. Web. “Seigneurial System.” The Canadian Encyclopaedia, 30 March 2011 http://thecanadian encyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=A1SEC827922. Web.

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