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Old 09-10-2009, 02:33 PM
 
Location: MichOhioigan
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September 13th will mark the 250th anniversary of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham just outside Quebec City in 1759. Here the British under General James Wolfe defeated the French under General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm. Wolfe died on the battlefield, Montcalm the next day from wounds sustained in the battle. This engagement and defeat, as part of the Seven Years' War, led to France ceding its possessions in North America to the British through the Treaty of Paris in 1763.

I have pondered how things could have been different had Montcalm won (and survived) this pivotal battle.
1) Would France have held on to her possessions? (see map on link below)
2) Would Britain have come back and dislodged the French?
3) Would the American revolution still have occurred?
4) Would there have been a great nation in the form of New France on the American Continent?
5) How would the West have been colonized and developed?
6) Would France have been more of a dominant power in Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries because of this alteration in history?
File:Nouvelle-France map-en.svg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I welcome any thoughts or insights on this topic. Please have at it.
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Old 09-10-2009, 02:43 PM
 
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I'm pretty much a follower of Mahan in my answer to this question. The British, as the ascendant naval power in Western Europe, would have eventually prevailed, even if it was two or three years later. I don't think that it would have thrown the timetable of the American Revolution off by very much at all. Just my two cents.

To me, the more intriguing question is "What if the Americans had managed to capture Quebec in 1775 during the opening stages of the American Revolution?" With a more competent leader, the expedition could have severed British Canada in one stroke, and provided French-speaking Quebec a powerful incentive to join the fray. Perhaps the British could have recaptured Canada, but it would have reshaped the course of the rest of the war, and temporarily denied the British a major staging ground for their assaults from the north.

Last edited by cpg35223; 09-10-2009 at 02:53 PM..
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Old 09-10-2009, 06:25 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
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Like CPG said, British naval power would've kept the French in Canada weak until the Brits could prepare another expedition against Quebec. And there were probably enough British regulars and provincial troops already in America to make another go.

As for the Americans conquering Canada during the Revolution; I think even had we grabbed the St. Lawrence Valley we probably could never have held it; the Habitants disliked New England Protestants more than the disliked the Brits who with the Quebec Act had assuaged many of the Habitant's fears about British rule.

Note that French Canadians were participants in the British raids against the Frontier that were based in Canada and Detroit.
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Old 09-11-2009, 02:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Irishtom29 View Post
Like CPG said, British naval power would've kept the French in Canada weak until the Brits could prepare another expedition against Quebec. And there were probably enough British regulars and provincial troops already in America to make another go.

As for the Americans conquering Canada during the Revolution; I think even had we grabbed the St. Lawrence Valley we probably could never have held it; the Habitants disliked New England Protestants more than the disliked the Brits who with the Quebec Act had assuaged many of the Habitant's fears about British rule.

Note that French Canadians were participants in the British raids against the Frontier that were based in Canada and Detroit.
The French at the time were divided on the issue, just the same as the American colonists. For example, while there were any number of French participating on the British side, the First Canadian Regiment in the Colonial order of battle was recruited exclusively from Quebec and took part in the battle. What's more, the Second Canadian Regiment was also raised in Quebec in the month after the battle. Both regiments service with the Continental Army was long-term, lasting until 1781 and 1783, respectively. And, after the Americans retreated, reprisals took place against many French who had openly abetted the Colonials cause.

That being said, I never said it was a certainty that the Continental Army could have held Canada. However, a longer occupation of Canada would have certainly changed the character of British strategy, making it much more difficult for the British to have mounted northern offensives. What's more, who is to say that, assuming Colonial success in the Quebec campaign in 1776, the French wouldn't have thrown in with the rebellion in hopes of securing their own independence?
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Old 09-14-2009, 01:31 PM
 
Location: MichOhioigan
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Thank you both for your thoughts and comments.
I had never really entertained what would have happened if the American Colonists had been successful in taking QC. I suppose it is just as well they were not. The Quebecois have probably fared better being part of Britain and in turn Canada than they would have had they been part of the U.S. We only have to look at how the Spanish in Santa Fe and the Hawaiians were subjugated by the Americans as examples. But of course it is all speculation.
Thanks again.
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Old 07-01-2019, 01:32 AM
 
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France would hold on to it's North American colony New France and the parts of New France like Canada and Louisiana and probably demand Acadia and Newfoundland back from Britain as well as demanding Rupert's Land in Western Canada. Since France won so many times in North America in our timeline it is likely the British would of likely of given up in the near future after the Seven Years War. Quebec was protected extremely well and James Wolfe in our timeline almost gave up on capturing Quebec before he made his final attempt at the Plains Of Abraham and was successful. I would say yes because it would be extremely difficult for France to hold the Thirteen British colonies so Britain would just keep them and the Seven Years War was an economic disaster for Britain because of the debts. I say yes and no because every European power decided to give almost all of their colonies independence at some point and I say no because New France would be culturally influenced by France and they wouldn't be no reason to rebel against French rule. France would likely be the dominant colonial power rather than the British because of their influence. I would say France would be a more dominant power in Europe because it controlled and dominated North America and that is a reason why Britain in our timeline is one of the world powers.
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Old 07-01-2019, 06:07 AM
 
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Way to bring back a thread that has been dead for 10 years.
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Old 07-02-2019, 09:35 AM
 
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Originally Posted by joe from dayton View Post
Way to bring back a thread that has been dead for 10 years.
interesting thread though...……...
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Old 07-02-2019, 06:29 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
With a more competent leader, the expedition could have severed British Canada in one stroke, and provided French-speaking Quebec a powerful incentive to join the fray.
The leadership seemed competent enough. Montgomery was successful in taking Montreal on his way north, managed the link-up with Arnold, and got himself killed leading the attack on Quebec. Arnold endured a staggeringly difficult approach march, overcame severe winter hardships, and managed the link up with Montgomery. Arnold was then wounded and knocked out of the battle early when leading the other wing's assault on Quebec.

The defeat was a consequence of not having the logistics to get there in the first place. Half of the American army never arrived at Quebec, disease, desertion and expiring enlistments generating the shrinkage. Further, they were not supported by the Continental Congress which had neither supplies nor the means to get them where they were needed. A successful attack on a fortified position generally requires a 3-1 manpower advantage, the Americans were attacking a defending force which was twice its size.

Better generalship might have been to have called off the attack entirely, but that wouldn't have "severed British Canada in one stroke."
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Old 07-06-2019, 09:10 PM
 
Location: Independent Republic of Ballard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
I'm pretty much a follower of Mahan in my answer to this question. The British, as the ascendant naval power in Western Europe, would have eventually prevailed, even if it was two or three years later. I don't think that it would have thrown the timetable of the American Revolution off by very much at all. Just my two cents.

To me, the more intriguing question is "What if the Americans had managed to capture Quebec in 1775 during the opening stages of the American Revolution?" With a more competent leader, the expedition could have severed British Canada in one stroke, and provided French-speaking Quebec a powerful incentive to join the fray. Perhaps the British could have recaptured Canada, but it would have reshaped the course of the rest of the war, and temporarily denied the British a major staging ground for their assaults from the north.
And Nova Scotia came close to joining the American side.
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