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Sunday, May 19, 2013

America and Canada: Revolutionary Pipedreams

     The Americans invaded Canada after the Canadians, on at least three occasions,  turned down or ignored overtures to join the Revolution.  Their rationale was the pretext of "protecting" people who never asked for, needed or wanted American help.  General Phillip Schuyler, in charge of the northern theater of operations, had intended to lead the expedition to Montreal, but due to illness, ceded that command to General Richard Montgomery.  Montgomery arrived with some 1200 troops, against a garrison of only 150 defenders, and the city surrendered on November 13, 1775.  On December 31, Montgomery was killed in the joint attack on Quebec City by him and Benedict Arnold.

     The heart of the city is Place d'Armes.  In 1775. where the statue of Paul de Chomeday (founder of Montreal) stands, was a statute of King George, that Montgomery's troops defaced.

     Following World War I, the United States actually developed another plan for invading Canada, formulated in 1935 and reported by Richard Preston in 1977 in The Defence of the Undefended Border: Planning for War in North America 1867-1939.  Interestingly, Toronto was considered irrelevant; the most important Canadian cities in 1935 as seen by the United States were Quebec City and Halifax.  The report concluded that "That the critical areas of Canada are: (1) The Halifax-Monkton-St.John Area (The Maritime Provinces); (2) The St.Lawrence Area (Quebec and Montreal); (3) The Great Lakes Area; (4) The Winnipeg Area; and (5) The Vancouver Area (Vancouver and Victoria).

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