British and Canadian Armies in Canada, 1758-1891

Identity area

Type of entity

Authorized form of name

British and Canadian Armies in Canada, 1758-1891

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence


For a century after the American Revolution and the peace of 1783, the military in Canada concerned itself almost exclusively with defence against the United States. During the War of 1812 successful defence against the United States was mostly attributable to the British regular regiments and the Royal Navy. In 1838 the regular garrison of British North America numbered over 13,000 men, but fell off to only about 3,000 in 1855 because of the high cost of maintaining such a force. The Militia Act of 1855 set up a new force of volunteers, not more than 5000 strong, which would be uniformed and armed and would undergo a short period of annual training. This volunteer force is the origin of the modern Canadian Army (Militia). The first Militia Act of the Dominion of Canada, passed in 1868, set up a Department of Militia and Defence and divided the country into military districts.


Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

Mandates/sources of authority

Internal structures/genealogy

General context

Relationships area

Access points area


Control area

Authority record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion




Maintenance notes

  • Clipboard

  • Export

  • EAC