Introduction
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The Propaganda War
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Introduction
In 1774, North America was on the edge of a new upheaval.
Loyalist families were driven from their homes and sent into exile from the United States during the American Revolution. (As portrayed in Canada: A People's History)
Loyalist families were driven from their homes and sent into exile from the United States during the American Revolution. (As portrayed in Canada: A People's History)
While Quebec had been conquered and was now British, the Thirteen Colonies were going through their own tortured identity crisis: would they remain British colonies or become a republic?

That question was being answered with the first salvos of revolution. It was less a fight with England than a civil war, as neighbours turned on one another with a new, violent patriotism. Americans who were suspected of being loyal to the Crown were beaten and imprisoned, farms were confiscated, homes burned, women and children exiled.

In the spirit of this fitful independence, Quebec represented a number of things to the Thirteen Colonies. Primarily, it was a valuable military position for the British. Before the Americans confronted England, they would have to confront Quebec.

In October, the people of Quebec found themselves being pressured to join the revolution.
American men suspected of being loyal to England were imprisoned during the Revolution. (As portrayed in Canada: A People's History)
American men suspected of being loyal to England were imprisoned during the Revolution. (As portrayed in Canada: A People's History)
The Continental Congress, the federal legislature formed by the Thirteen Colonies in 1774, drew up a manifesto and had copies posted in Montreal and the city of Quebec. The letter urged Canadians to "take a noble chance for emerging from a humiliating subjection under Governors, Intendants, and Military Tyrants..." It might look like they were living as free men, the Americans argued, but this was simply a veneer; their true masters were in London.

The letter contained a hint of menace as well. "You are a small people, compared to those who with open arms invite you into a fellowship.
A moment's reflection should convince you which will be most for your interest and happiness, to have all the rest of North America your unalterable friends, or your inveterate enemies."

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