W and W Rideau Military Settlement Front CoverThe War of 1812 which pitted the new republic of the United States of America against Great Britain was fought primarily on the soil of Upper Canada.

This conflict clearly demonstrated the strategic weakness of a single line of military communication along the St. Lawrence River, Lake Ontario and Lake Erie between Montreal, Kingston, York (Toronto) and Niagara.

The Americans gained control of the waterways and attacked where they chose. The majority of settlers in Upper Canada during the War were recent immigrants from the United States and some had sympathies with the American invaders. The British Government devised a defensive strategy to counter this weakness – establish a secondary line of communication back from the American frontier along the Rideau River linking the Ottawa River with Lake Ontario, supported by a loyal population.  

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