A Question of Loyalties
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A Question of Loyalties
Traitors and Heroes
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If Lower Canada had produced a surprisingly loyal and effective opposition to the American attempts at invasion, the Maritimes were ambivalent:

"From the St.
Lawrence to the ocean an open disregard prevails for the laws prohibiting intercourse with the enemy," wrote George Izard. "The road to St. Regis is covered with droves of cattle and the river with rafts destined for the enemy."

British soldiers were living on beef imported from Vermont and Maine. The Americans were buying British textiles, pottery and sugar. In the Maritimes, it was a time of unprecedented prosperity. "Happy state of Nova Scotia!" read an article in the Acadian Recorder. "Amongst all this tumult we have lived in peace and security; invaded only by a numerous host of American doubloons and dollars." Prostitution and venereal disease flourished on Halifax's Citadel Hill where 10,000 British troops found ways to entertain themselves.

In Upper Canada, the merchants had the British army as a large, captive market and they hiked their prices accordingly.
Fortunes were made during the war. "I have lent money at the rate of 10% for 20 days which is upwards of 180% per annum," a merchant reported, "I do not think there was ever a place equal to this for making money."

The loyalties of Upper Canadians were as unstable as their Lower Canadian counterparts. Lord Simcoe's dream of American settlement in Upper Canada was not without its drawbacks; some of the immigrated settlers remained sympathetic to the U.S.


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