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  • Fenian Raids On Canada

    Just recently reread something about these events and here's the link for Wiki's article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fenian_raids

    Okay my question would be: Would this have been considered terrorism in it's day? And if so, what was the US official policy concerning these men? Alot of them had served the Union during the Civil War, so did some officials turn a blind eye? And to bring a modern day analogy into this, if the government turned a blind eye to the Fenians' activities, would England and Canada been justified in invading suspected Fenian bases in the US? I've also read that this poisoned American-Canadian relations for years.

    And what happened to the Fenians? Were they the forerunners of the IRA?
    Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

  • #2
    In Canada the feeling is that the Fenian Raids were a thinly veiled attempt by the US to bring about the collapse of the governments of British North America as part of the US policy of Manifest Destiny. If successful, an invasion of US forces would follow or some other attempt to annex BNA would follow. If, as historically happened, the raids failed, then the US had 'plausible deniability'.

    The raids were a major factor in the formation of Canada in 1867. It was felt that the government in the UK had done little to help, especially by not forcefully demanding the US government take strong action to prevent the raids from origninating from US soil. And of course the US was believed to be culpable.

    The confederation of the four orginal provinces of Canada (Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick) allowed them to formally combine their militia and military structures to help repulse the raids and any other threats from the south.
    Amateurs study tactics, Professionals study logistics.

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    • #3
      With the trouble the British government has had with the Irish Revolutionary movements like the IRA, what do you think the US government could have done to stop the Fenians? It was not illegal for Irish patriots to scheme for a Free Ireland. On the other hand US government officials were able to mess up the Fenians when they started trying to cross the border. I think the Fenian problem was handled about as well as could have been expected.

      In 1867 if the US government had wanted Canada, they could have taken it. Even the rump of the Union Army would have been enough to seize the major towns and ports.

      Pruitt
      Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

      Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

      by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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      • #4
        In 1867 if the US government had wanted Canada, they could have taken it. Even the rump of the Union Army would have been enough to seize the major towns and ports.
        Don't be silly! The USA was no serious threat to Canada until the 1890s. The USA could have taken upper and lower Canada but it would have been an effort and they had no chance of getting the Maritimes. Then the fun starts, in the event of war the RN would have turned the cities of the East Coast to cinders in a few weeks and had California and the goldfields occupied in less than 6 months. The USA would have had to give Canada back or face complete desolation and poverty.

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        • #5
          Who said anything about wanting the Maritimes? Who would have fed the Maritimes if they lost their supply from Canada? The biggest problem would have been supply as the railroads in Canada were not well developed yet. You have been reading too much Turtledove if you think the Royal Navy could have just sailed in and done what it pleased. Once the Invasion of Canada commenced, the Coastal Forts covering the Eastern Seaboard and the Pacific Coast would have been looking for any RN vessels.

          The US could have held Upper and Lower Canada with no danger of desolation or poverty. While the RN was looking for a place to attack, Commerce Raiders from the US could have targeted UK shipping around the world. The Yankees in New England would have been really appreciative for a chance to pay back Her Majesty's Government for those Confederate Raiders built in the UK.

          Only the Irish wanted a piece of Canada and they were willing to swap it back quickly.

          Pruitt
          Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

          Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

          by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
            Who said anything about wanting the Maritimes? Who would have fed the Maritimes if they lost their supply from Canada? The biggest problem would have been supply as the railroads in Canada were not well developed yet. You have been reading too much Turtledove if you think the Royal Navy could have just sailed in and done what it pleased. Once the Invasion of Canada commenced, the Coastal Forts covering the Eastern Seaboard and the Pacific Coast would have been looking for any RN vessels.

            The US could have held Upper and Lower Canada with no danger of desolation or poverty. While the RN was looking for a place to attack, Commerce Raiders from the US could have targeted UK shipping around the world. The Yankees in New England would have been really appreciative for a chance to pay back Her Majesty's Government for those Confederate Raiders built in the UK.

            Only the Irish wanted a piece of Canada and they were willing to swap it back quickly.

            Pruitt
            Added to this is the fact that in 1867 as well as today the only Canadian Railroad running from New Brunswick to the West has to cross into the state of Maine and I don't believe that would be possible should a state of war be in effect between the two powers.

            Also, by 1867, all of the Northern Armaments Industries were in a recessionary slump as to what to do with all of the war surplus weaponry ranging from pistols to heavy artillery. Nothing like a war to get rid of all of your surplus war materials, while putting unemployed mill workers and ex-soldiers gainfully back to work.
            "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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            • #7
              Originally posted by R. Evans View Post
              Just recently reread something about these events and here's the link for Wiki's article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fenian_raids

              Okay my question would be: Would this have been considered terrorism in it's day? And if so, what was the US official policy concerning these men? Alot of them had served the Union during the Civil War, so did some officials turn a blind eye? And to bring a modern day analogy into this, if the government turned a blind eye to the Fenians' activities, would England and Canada been justified in invading suspected Fenian bases in the US? I've also read that this poisoned American-Canadian relations for years.

              And what happened to the Fenians? Were they the forerunners of the IRA?
              The Irishmen involved in this were not Terrorists as they were not out to terrorize innocent civilians.

              The Fenian Invasions of Canada were fought by men in uniform who fought openly.

              Mind you while the Cause was good it was a hare brained scheme as it should have been obvious the US autorities would close them down pronto as soon as sparks began to fly.

              It also split the Irish Republican Movement in the USA as many thought all efforts should be directed to launching a Revolution in Ireland rather than wasting limited resources in invading Canada...
              http://www.irelandinhistory.blogspot.ie/

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Wolfe Tone View Post
                The Irishmen involved in this were not Terrorists as they were not out to terrorize innocent civilians.

                The Fenian Invasions of Canada were fought by men in uniform who fought openly.

                Mind you while the Cause was good it was a hare brained scheme as it should have been obvious the US autorities would close them down pronto as soon as sparks began to fly.

                It also split the Irish Republican Movement in the USA as many thought all efforts should be directed to launching a Revolution in Ireland rather than wasting limited resources in invading Canada...
                What was done to any of the Fenians captured by the Canadians or English? If this was an open and uniformed raid or invasion, were they put to death and wouldn't that have been against the rules of war? And did any of the Fenians return to Ireland?
                Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Wolfe Tone View Post
                  The Irishmen involved in this were not Terrorists as they were not out to terrorize innocent civilians.

                  The Fenian Invasions of Canada were fought by men in uniform who fought openly.

                  Mind you while the Cause was good it was a hare brained scheme as it should have been obvious the US autorities would close them down pronto as soon as sparks began to fly.

                  It also split the Irish Republican Movement in the USA as many thought all efforts should be directed to launching a Revolution in Ireland rather than wasting limited resources in invading Canada...
                  Great Britain and Canada behaved quite rationally throughout the Fenian Troubles, because had they acted otherwise, the massive, post-war Union Army would have simply deployed along the Canadian Border rather than the Mexican Border.
                  "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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