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Old 09-25-2012, 09:57 AM
 
Location: Somewhere flat in Mississippi
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Are the Rebellions of 1837-8 considered a civil war in Canada?
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Old 09-25-2012, 10:31 AM
 
Location: Hillsboro, OR
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No. Canada had the War of 1812 which is the only war in their history which they can consider the defining battle for the establishment of a country.
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Old 09-25-2012, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psulions2007 View Post
No. Canada had the War of 1812 which is the only war in their history which they can consider the defining battle for the establishment of a country.
Nah, Vimy Ridge in World War One more aptly fits that bill then the War of 1812 does. As for 1838, I feel like I would classify it as a civil war (as I would also classify 1776 in the US), but the textbooks and popular history always refers to it as a rebellion. I think the reason for this is that unlike the American Civil War it wasn't region against region, but a widely distributed uprising through both Upper and Lower Canada against the government in demand of responsible government. So it was less an inter-ethnic Canadian between the colonial peoples so much as a grass roots, populist fight against the corrupt local administration in demand of responsible government. So, it was a civil war in that it was fight between factions in Canada, for sure, but it was a sort of an uneven fight between the angry people and a the small power elite and their military. It did bring needed reforms, in the end, despite it being so brutally put down.
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Old 09-25-2012, 12:37 PM
 
Location: Lethbridge, AB
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That's a hard question to answer, as you'll have to differentiate between rebellions and civil wars, and I'm not sure that's an easy distinction to make.

Personally, I wouldn't call the 1837-8 Upper and Lower Canada rebellions civil wars, as my understanding is that it was an armed resistance, with state reform in mind, rather than two distinct factions fighting within one state's territory.

The Northwest Rebellion (1885) has a stronger case for being called a civil war, though a case could also be made for calling it a war of conquest. It did involve two distinct factions, divided by racial and geographic lines (both with more or less functional governments), but it wasn't sustained or popular enough for me to be comfortable calling it a civil war.
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