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Old November 7th, 2017, 04:18 PM   #1

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Why did the Americans fail so badly invading Quebec?


Expecting victory, the Americans lost out. Why?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invasion_of_Quebec_(1775)
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Old November 7th, 2017, 04:34 PM   #2

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The expedition set off using boats made of green wood. They went up the river a way and then fell apart. The supplies they had were drenched. When they emerged from the woods, there were no supplies waiting for them. Benedict Arnold was forced to use his own personal credit with the local merchants to buy supplies.

The American troops did not sway the local French Canadians to their side. It seems that New England Yankees had been there before and the locals did not like a bunch of Protestant invaders. The second invasion force that showed up did not bring supplies either!

Then Smallpox hit!

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Old November 7th, 2017, 07:05 PM   #3
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The 13 colonies south of the St Lawrence seriously underestimated the loyalty of Quebec to the British crown. The Americans assumed Quebec was a 14th unhappy colony eager to throw off the yoke of British oppression. All Quebec needed was a little help. As it turned out, the Quebecers were fairly satisfied with British rule. Much of the population was French and did not perceive any insult to traditional British liberties that the 13 southern colonies saw. British liberties were a foreign concept to the French Canadians who had lived under British rule only about 15 years and had not yet learned to appreciate British liberties. There was also a Protestant component to the American Revolution that Catholic French Canadians just were not going to respond to.
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Old November 8th, 2017, 05:05 AM   #4

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chlodio View Post
The 13 colonies south of the St Lawrence seriously underestimated the loyalty of Quebec to the British crown. The Americans assumed Quebec was a 14th unhappy colony eager to throw off the yoke of British oppression. All Quebec needed was a little help. As it turned out, the Quebecers were fairly satisfied with British rule. Much of the population was French and did not perceive any insult to traditional British liberties that the 13 southern colonies saw. British liberties were a foreign concept to the French Canadians who had lived under British rule only about 15 years and had not yet learned to appreciate British liberties. There was also a Protestant component to the American Revolution that Catholic French Canadians just were not going to respond to.
There wasn't much loyalty on the part of Quebec towards Britain. They were an ethnic minority in Canada, and they saw an American takeover as a threat because it would have made them an even smaller group among English speakers. That was why they fought so hard against it.
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Old November 8th, 2017, 06:10 AM   #5

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Also partly because the US at the time was a military and naval minnow compared to the British whale.
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Old November 8th, 2017, 06:44 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Jake10 View Post
There wasn't much loyalty on the part of Quebec towards Britain. They were an ethnic minority in Canada, and they saw an American takeover as a threat because it would have made them an even smaller group among English speakers. That was why they fought so hard against it.

In other words, when the French Canadians had to choose between loyalty to Britain or to welcome the Americans, they chose loyalty to Britain. Don't confuse the psychological factors like sympathy with behavioral factors. It matters less why the French Canadians remained loyal to Britain. It matters more that they did remain loyal.
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Old November 8th, 2017, 07:23 AM   #7

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In other words, when the French Canadians had to choose between loyalty to Britain or to welcome the Americans, they chose loyalty to Britain. Don't confuse the psychological factors like sympathy with behavioral factors. It matters less why the French Canadians remained loyal to Britain. It matters more that they did remain loyal.
I'm not confusing anything. You made an incorrect assessment and I pointed it out. Quebec had been forced to accept British rule, despite every effort to combat it. If they had had the choice, they would not have had British rule there, and to this day there are many in Quebec who want to break away. The term loyalty means faithfulness by choice. The people in Quebec defended their land against an invader who would have made things worse than they already were. When you say things like:

Quote:
As it turned out, the Quebecers were fairly satisfied with British rule.
and
Quote:
The 13 colonies south of the St Lawrence seriously underestimated the loyalty of Quebec to the British crown.
You're saying that Quebec fought because they wanted British rule, and that's just not true.
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Old November 8th, 2017, 07:58 AM   #8
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What did Quebec want? Were they going to get it? Given that there were only two choices in 1775, join the Americans or remain British, which choice was the most rational choice for Quebec to make?

It's not about what would make the Quebecers completely happy. Complete happiness was not going to happen. It's about what was the best choice for Quebec to make at that time and in those circumstances. Quebecers chose to remain British. Even if it was only the lesser of two evils, they still chose to remain British.

When I said Quebecers were fairly satisfied with British rule, it was a relative statement. They were not so dissatisfied as to throw off British rule and join the Americans, which is what the Americans had assumed would happen. The American invasion failed because they over-estimated Canadian discontent/under-estimated Canadian loyalty which are opposite sides of the same coin.
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Old November 8th, 2017, 08:14 AM   #9
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When I was visiting Quebec in the early 70s for the first time, a young French-Canadian told me about his frustration with the Anglo-Canadians and lamented, “Why oh why didn’t we join the Americans when we had the chance?”

I heard this and thought to myself, “Be careful what you wish for”.
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Old November 8th, 2017, 09:10 AM   #10

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Originally Posted by royal744 View Post
When I was visiting Quebec in the early 70s for the first time, a young French-Canadian told me about his frustration with the Anglo-Canadians and lamented, “Why oh why didn’t we join the Americans when we had the chance?”

I heard this and thought to myself, “Be careful what you wish for”.
I've heard the same thing. The early 70s is about the time that a lot of industry moved from Montreal to Toronto due to talk of separating. The result was that Montreal stopped being the industrial capital of Canada.
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