Maple and star-wars, the (Brit) empire strikes back!

20/05/2013

2013-05-21 17.42.30

Vancouver is actually a city divided by water and today we take the sea bus to Nord-Vancouver. A very quit, small part of the city where the clock forgot its “tick-tack”-ing.  It’s the side where we find the skyline typically for postcards.  It’s a relax day today and also Victoria Day which is a national holiday, in memory of the queen Victoria.  As Canada once was part of the British Empire they still celebrate the queen’s birthday.  Together with her “over wrinkled” 😉 face on the coins and paper money it’s practically the only thing left of the great Empire.  Here a small part of Canada’s history:

1812: American war hawks march on Canada: By the early 1800s, Britain was in a protracted war with French revolutionary Napoleon Bonaparte.  Desperate to strengthen their military, the British Royal navy began to conscript American Sailors.  Britain’s disregard for American citizenship was a bald affront to the recently independent United States. To add fuel to the fire, the British supported indigenous resistance along America’s northwest frontier.  Tensions grew between the two countries, and the “War Hawks” in Washington began to bay for British blood.  Sure enough, on june18, 1812, U.S. President James Madison declared war against Great Britain.  America turned its gaze north, to where the British colonies of Upper Canada an Lower Canada sat ready to be annexed and become the next state in the America union.

1813: Canada turned war zone:     With war underway, the British hurried to fortify the Canadian border, and formed a critical alliance with the First Nations and the Shawnee war leader Tecumseh.  The most intense fighting took place along the Niagara and Detroit frontiers, where communities were burned to the ground, looted and robbed.  For three years, Niagara was war zone, ground zero for invasions, occupation and scores of bloody battles.

1814: The Treaty of Ghent:  By mid-1814, the war of 1812 was proving more difficult than anyone had expected.  Both sides celebrated wins and suffered losses, but a clear victory eluded all.  In August 1814 the British attacked Washington and burned the White House in retaliation for the American conquest of Ford York (where Toronto is today).  At the end of 1814, British and American dignitaries met in BELGIUM to put an end to the war with a peace treaty, the Treaty of Ghent.

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