If the U.S. would've won the War of 1812, how many Americans would've moved to Canada?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
17,855
SoCal
#11
So, US lost in 1812. How come Britain didn't press their then advantage home, and try to capture America back?
Ruling over an extremely hostile population doesn't exactly sound like a smart idea. Plus, most Americans were White and thus might have been deemed more worthy of self-determination by the Brits than, say, Indians or Africans were back then.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
17,855
SoCal
#12
The period before the War Of 1812 is notable for the large number of US settlers who crossed the border to Upper Canada, encouraged by cheap land grants by the British authorities.
Do you have numbers/data for this? I'd like to see specific numbers for this, if they exist.

Also, did most of these Americans remain in Canada or eventually move back home?
 

Rodger

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,845
US
#13
Well, what exactly could Americans find in the Midwest, interior South, and West that they could not find near the east coast? Land? If so, couldn't land have been an incentive for Americans to move to Canada as well?
Land, economic opportunity (timber, furs, water power for mills, etc.) and breathing room (there have always been people who prefer this), the opportunity to start a new community (think of the Harmonists and various Amish communities that were established west of the Alleghenies) are a few reasons that come to my mind. I agree with Chlodio. Maybe part of Ontario would be somewhat temperate and fertile, but west of this is similar to the American midwest but colder. And there was plenty of space within what is now the American landscape. Outside the western coast of Canada, most of the area west of Ontario is rather sparsely populated. I don't think as part of the U.S., it would have been anymore so.
Harmony Society - Wikipedia
 
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Chlodio

Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
3,815
Dispargum
#14
The period before the War Of 1812 is notable for the large number of US settlers who crossed the border to Upper Canada, encouraged by cheap land grants by the British authorities.
So the War of 1812 and victory vs defeat had little to do with north-south migration. But the migration stopped circa 1812 and did not resume later. Were these loyalists fleeing the victorious patriots after the revolution? I know New Brunswick was mostly settled by loyalists fleeing the 13 states after the war. If the settlement of Upper Canada circa 1800 was just fleeing loyalists, then it was a finite population that was soon exhausted.
 
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Jun 2017
2,799
Connecticut
#15
If the U.S. would have won the War of 1812 (very unlikely, I know), how many Americans would have moved to Canada afterwards?

I know that the U.S. was extremely successful in settling its vast living space during the 19th and 20th centuries in real life. However, a lot of those territories were sparsely populated while Canada might not have been. Thus, I am wondering if American settlers and their descendants would have eventually been able to outnumber the existing population of Canada in this scenario.
Canada was sparsely populated(List of countries by population in 1800 - Wikipedia). Canada had less of a population relative to the US(300,000 to 5+million) than today(over 10% there it's about 5%). So it seems like a very realistic goal, Canada had only been British for about 50 years at this point, before that they had been French so this would simply be another change. Like with the French-Indian War while the people certainly preferred being British like they'd preferred being French, the main obstacle here was the UK both in terms of actual support and holding the US down on other fronts and if the UK is totally expunged the US would have no problem asserting control over such a relatively small population with a quite shallow connection to being British. Also seizure of Canada, land to the far north not hospitable to slavery changes absolutely everything in relation to the slavery debate which in 1820 became centered on the balance between Northern and southern states that while swinging more south in our timeline due to the annexation of Texas and the Kansas-Nebraska act might have swung in the other direction here(ironic given that abolitionist new england were the ones who most heavily opposed the war).

Could be negative for the US thougth in other ways. Would be no need to negotiate with the UK over the Oregon territory and US manifest destiny bug might be sated without annexing Texas and going to war with Mexico and politicians might have been elected accordingly unlike in our timeline. In the long term most of Canada still wouldn't have been developed it would largely be the same southern belt and the land the US took from Mexico, both Texas and the cession from the war ended up being far more valuable than Canada would have been as the US despite being larger geographically than it is today would still be missing it's two most important modern states(Texas's economy is basically the same size as Canada's and California is considerably larger than Canada's and that's just them as individuals not the other group of other states we likely wouldn't have), we'd probably end up losing much more than we'd have gained) making this a net negative for the US. The California gold rush also led to the development of a second coast so rapidly and early which in turn led to a movement to connect the whole continent of the US and if we had Canada instead, the development of the remaining US might proceed at a considerably slower pace(and to be fair that's exactly what did happen in our timeline to the land between California and the Mississippi even with that infrastructure) . So winning here could be a blessing in disguise though yes we'd be easily able to absorb Canada and assimilate Canada this early on. Quebec speaks French but we were just coming off seizing Louisiana(which had about 70,000 French people when we purchased it largely in New Orleans) so we would have been experienced with that sort of thing already.
 
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Aug 2014
218
New York, USA
#18
Is there anything in Canada that 19th century Americans couldn't find in the US? (Besides a colder Canandian climate?). I suspect most Americans (99%) would have been content to remain south of the Great Lakes and 49 degrees N latitude.
1. Annexing Canada would permanently kick the hostile British out of northern North America, who represented a geopolitical threat to the US, securing the northern flank and the need to have costly garrisons of troops there.
2. It would also keep the balance of power between the North vs South, as the South was annexing Florida from the Spanish at the time.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
17,855
SoCal
#19
Some settlers and fur trappers would move north but just like modern Canada, these population centers would not be very far from the lower 48
Would southern Canada still be home to a lot of large cities in this scenario?

Canada was sparsely populated(List of countries by population in 1800 - Wikipedia). Canada had less of a population relative to the US(300,000 to 5+million) than today(over 10% there it's about 5%). So it seems like a very realistic goal, Canada had only been British for about 50 years at this point, before that they had been French so this would simply be another change. Like with the French-Indian War while the people certainly preferred being British like they'd preferred being French, the main obstacle here was the UK both in terms of actual support and holding the US down on other fronts and if the UK is totally expunged the US would have no problem asserting control over such a relatively small population with a quite shallow connection to being British. Also seizure of Canada, land to the far north not hospitable to slavery changes absolutely everything in relation to the slavery debate which in 1820 became centered on the balance between Northern and southern states that while swinging more south in our timeline due to the annexation of Texas and the Kansas-Nebraska act might have swung in the other direction here(ironic given that abolitionist new england were the ones who most heavily opposed the war).
Wouldn't the massive expansion in free territory have made Southerners more determined to have the US expand further to the south, though?

Could be negative for the US thougth in other ways. Would be no need to negotiate with the UK over the Oregon territory
The US would still need a Pacific coastline, though.

and US manifest destiny bug might be sated without annexing Texas and going to war with Mexico and politicians might have been elected accordingly unlike in our timeline.
Would Southerners have actually been satisfied with such a huge increase in the amount of free territory without any large increase in the amount of slave territory, though?

In the long term most of Canada still wouldn't have been developed it would largely be the same southern belt and the land the US took from Mexico, both Texas and the cession from the war ended up being far more valuable than Canada would have been as the US despite being larger geographically than it is today would still be missing it's two most important modern states(Texas's economy is basically the same size as Canada's and California is considerably larger than Canada's and that's just them as individuals not the other group of other states we likely wouldn't have), we'd probably end up losing much more than we'd have gained) making this a net negative for the US. The California gold rush also led to the development of a second coast so rapidly and early which in turn led to a movement to connect the whole continent of the US and if we had Canada instead, the development of the remaining US might proceed at a considerably slower pace(and to be fair that's exactly what did happen in our timeline to the land between California and the Mississippi even with that infrastructure) . So winning here could be a blessing in disguise though yes we'd be easily able to absorb Canada and assimilate Canada this early on. Quebec speaks French but we were just coming off seizing Louisiana(which had about 70,000 French people when we purchased it largely in New Orleans) so we would have been experienced with that sort of thing already.
Interesting points. :)

BTW, I think that the reason that the territory between the Mississippi River and the west coast wasn't settled as much in real life is because a lot of it consists of empty plans and/or mountains. It is hard for farmers to grow a lot of crops on such territory, no? Also, building cities in the middle of nowhere isn't exactly the most attractive option, now is it?
 
Feb 2019
456
Serbia
#20
I can see how it is possible for greater settlements of Ontario and the Great Lakes regions as well as St. Lawrence area. The US had a much, much larger population than Canada so they might be able to overwhelm the Canadians in that regard. Due to the cold climate of Canada and the territory not having too many flashy things to offer I doubt American settlers would be enthusiastic to settle as they were other territories.

Something that Americans learned in 1775 and 1812 was that Canada was a vast land filled with people who did not want to be American. If the US wins the war (They butchered it in real life, they had many advantages over the British at the start of the war.) then Canadian nationalism might not be created like it was in real life. Whatever the case I imagine that the newly conquered Canadians would be very hostile and resistant to the idea of being American and as such settlement would be even harder and disencouraging than it already is.
 
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