Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Revolution and Contemporary Secession

I've talked in other posts about the Patriot invasion of Canada during the Revolution, and the taking of Montreal and the assault on Quebec.  Here is a view of the St. Louis Gate that saw some action during the Battle of Quebec on December 31, 1775.

General George Washington, placed in overall command of the American forces after Lexington and Concord, attempted a direct outreach to the Canadian citizenry.  By letter dated September 6, 1775, he attempted to vilify the British and justify American action.  He minced no words, and indulged in his own inflamed rhetoric.  He told them that "the Great American Congress have sent an Army into your Province . . . not to plunder but to protect you." Ironically, the Southern slaveowner wrote to the Canadians that "[t]he cause of America and of liberty is the cause of every virtuous American Citizen Whatever may be his Religion or his descent, the United Colonies know no distinction, but such as Slavery, Corruption and Arbitrary Domination may create."

We of course then invaded Canada in an attempt to seize Canadian territory and make it part of America, as the fourteenth colony.

There is a pending election in Quebec that will determine if a referendum on Quebec separation will be held, as well as in the United Kingdom, a pending referendum in Scotland on secession.   One wonders if the Patriots under Benedict Arnold and Richard Montgomery had succeeded in capturing and holding Quebec if "Canada" would have remained as part of colonies that signed the Articles of Confederation and then the Constitution, and if so, how the United States would react to such referendums.  We of course fought a civil war to preserve the union.  We now also have had some states that were independent nations, however briefly.  And there are certain counties in certain places that are seeking to establish themselves as separate states within the U.S.  Not necessarily new or unique thoughts to think about, but made topical as we watch Scotland and Quebec.

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