Chronology of Canadian Military History Canadian Military History, Colonial Period, New France, First Peoples, Seven Years War, French Indian War Canadian Military History, British North America, American Invasion, War of 1812, Dominion of Canada, Riel Rebellion, South African War Canadian Military History, World War 1 History, 1914-1918, Canadian Armed Forces, conscription Canadian Military History, World War 2, 1939-1945, Battle of the Atlantic, conscription, invasion, Dday, Normandy, Germany, axis, allies, Hong Kong, Dieppe 1946-today
Canada within the Empire
NAC/ANC C-18,737
British North America
The War of 1812: Invasion Repelled
The War of 1812: Canada Saved
Fortifying Canada
Rebellions in the Canadas
The Fenian Raids
Confederation and Expansion
Creating a Standing Army
Developing the Canadian Nation
The Northwest Campaign
Canada and Imperialism
The South African War
Military Reform



Britain controlled the world’s largest empire and most Canadians were proud to be a part of it.

‘Imperialism’ was a form of territorial, economic, and cultural expansion practised on a global scale by the great powers. During the last quarter of the nineteenth century, Britain and other nations colonized territories in Africa, Asia, and elsewhere for strategic and economic reasons. In Canada, support for the British ‘Imperial idea’ and the need to protect the Empire was strongest among Canadians of British origin, who formed the majority of the population.

While professing attachment to the Empire, successive Canadian governments sought to avoid military commitments in support of Imperial defence. Such commitments might have damaged national unity, since public opinion in French Canada believed that participation in Imperial affairs prevented Canada from achieving greater autonomy.


image used with permission from Canada Post

Canadian War Museum
1 Vimy Place
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0M8