||October 27, 2011
The War of 1812 Bicentennial
The bicentennial of this war on
Canadian soil is going to be celebrated widely next year with extensive support
from the Federal Government and other organizations.
In May Prime Minister Harper was in
where significant battles were fought in the area in the 30 month war. He opened
a new federally supported expansion of thei
The provincial government matched the 3.2 million federal
grant for the project. Another 9 million 50-50 grant has gone to Niagara
Parks to upgrade old
and the Laura Secord Homestead.
is putting 5 million into a new visitors centre at
Tecumseh meets General Brock – National Archives, C.W.
The Americans are doing very little
as compared to their celebration in the past of the American Revolution. In the
War of 1812 the
had a few naval victories and minimal success otherwise. The U.S. Navy will have
some old and new ships on display along the east coast of the
They did not gain any permanent Canadian ground.
Ken Burns the famous
docimentart film maker is making a 2 hour War of
1812 special. The Canada People’s History made in 2000 has a good section on the
War in Volume 5 available at the North Bay Library for those interested in
reviewing the war. PBS ran “The War of 1812” special on October 10.
My favourite book is Pierre
Berton’s The Invasion of Canada 1812 – 1813. It
makes the point that other sources don’t that many
participants were forced into serving under terrible conditions and that many
were recent Americans who came to
for free land and had friends in the
Books of interest in libraries include one on Laura Secord
which includes a chapter on debunkers who said she was not really the heroine
often depicted. I grew up in the
peninsula and know
Chippewa, Lundy’s Lane etc. and enjoyed the book Red Coats & Grey jackets.
Canadians were beat up at Chippewa but soon won at Lundy’s Lane. Gilbert
Collins has an excellent book on the hundreds of historical sites of the war.
Post Laura Secord Stamp (1992)
Other losers were the native people
including many American Indians under Tecumseh who joined
to fend off the aggressive
advances on native territory in the US.Tecumseh’s
people were critical to
I will write on some favourite
aspects on the war over the next while. In the meantime look for dozens of
historical re-enactments, a new 1812 memorial in
new 1812 stamps, a high school essay contest
and an 1812 program for smart phones, etc. October 2012 has been designated as a
month for celebrating the lives and key battles of the war.
Check the “Discover1812.com”
website and the “warof1812.ca” and the “1812history.com” websites for further
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