In the past few months I have read quite a number of negative comments offered about celebrating the War of 1812. To celebrate this pivotal event in the History of Canada is not glorifying war but marking that point in our history where Canadian nationalism was born. From that unwanted little war the colonists of Upper and Lower Canada stood proud and let the world know that we are not American.
Alan Taylor in his excellent book has referred to the war as the Civil War of 1812, perhaps in some respects it was as the majority of the populace in Upper Canada were American born. Taylor has made excellent arguments to support his claim. Personally, and perhaps to others who have read and studied the subject, I see it as nothing short of naked aggression on the part of the U.S. who at the time saw themselves as the natural masters of the North American Continent and this an opportunity to throw the British out.
Neither side won this conflict everything returned to the way it was with a few notable exceptions. The impressing of American Seamen into the Royal Navy stopped, disagreements over the border were eventually resolved, warships were banned from the Great Lakes, Britain and the U.S never went to war against each other again, and the seed was planted that would eventually germinate into Canada as an independent Nation. There was a loser in this whole mess, the Native Americans, over the course of the next one hundred years they would loose their country to the European North Americans and his insatiable lust for land.
In the Vancouver Winter Olympics the world witness a most uncharacteristic long overdue display of Canadian Pride . What harm is there in once again saying “Hey World, we whupped the Yanks in 1812 and showed them we were not and will never be Americans”. We are the “TRUE NORTH STRONG AND FREE”