Human Geography, Canada’s Trade Choices 2

Napoleon Bonaparte - Portrait




Britain conquered New France in 1759, but lost it’s Thirteen Colonies to the south by 1776. This meant that most of the north eastern part of North America was under British rule and competing for Territory to the west,  just like the U.S.

The war between Britain and France between 1793 and 1814 did very much to effect North American political alignment. The lands west of the Mississippi were owned by the French. The French leader, Napoleon, feared that the British would win the war and he sold all of his Territory to the United States in the year 1803.  In addition, following the defeat of the French in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, Napoleon ordered Russia, Prussia and other countries of Europe to stop trading with Britain. For revenge, Britain blocked all the ports of Europe. This greatly angered the United States, who did much trade with France. The embargo act of 1807 had forbidden any American ship to bargain with any British ship. This eventually led to the war of 1812, Which the Americans tried but failed to capture British North America (Tait, George E. One Dominion, Ryerson press Toronto, 1962).

The War of 1812 did have some benefits for British North America who felt a sense of pride at having defended their lands, a bonding between French and English, and much increased prosperity due to British spending of firearms in the colonies (Laxor, J p.29-30 The Political Economy of Canada, Canada Ltd).

As was said earlier mercantilism under a total free market economy would have in North America created more of the political forces just mentioned, but the mercantile class in Canada were middlemen in the British Imperial Empire.  They were loyal to Britain and dominated the fur trade and timber scene since the time of the Conquest. Canada because of this became economically based on east-west trading after the American War of Independence and especially after the war of 1812 which further strengthened colonial unity (Laxor p.29-30).