In the 19th century as the Canadian government extended its reach westward with the establishment of the railroad and a mounted police force, indigenous groups sought to protect themselves from colonial encroachment on their land and rights. The indigenous resistance movement became known as the Northwest Rebellion, and Louis Riel was one of its main leaders. Riel was Métis, meaning his ancestry was a mixture of both French-Canadian and indigenous First Nation.
In 1885 he helped found and lead the Provisional Government of Saskatchewan on land traditionally inhabited by Métis people. After a series of battles that spring, the Provisional Government was defeated by Canadian troops. The country had been in existence for just 62 days. Riel was subsequently captured, convicted and hanged.
In the decades that followed, he was seen by many Anglophone Canadians as a traitor. By contrast, Métis, First Nation and Francophone Canadians have long viewed him as a heroic martyr. Either way, many scholars consider him to be one of the most important figures in Canadian history [source: The Canadian Encyclopedia].
Author's Note: 10 Short-lived Countries
It seems that becoming a country isn't that hard. All you have to do is get a bunch of people together, stand up on a soap box and declare independence. Keeping your little nation going is the hard part, especially in the face of large-scale military action. Maybe the best thing is to keep your nation-hood quiet. Very quiet. The only people who need to know about your independent country are you and your fellow citizens.
More Great Links
- Aguinaldo y Famy, Don Emilio. "True Version of the Philippine Revolution." 1899. (Aug. 24, 2016) http://www.authorama.com/true-version-of-the-philippine-revolution-1.html
- Bookchin, Murray. "The Third Revolution." A&C Black. 2005. (Aug. 24, 2016) https://books.google.com/books?id=IBDCcHoPBiQC&dq=The+Third+Revolution&source=gbs_navlinks_s
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- Canadian Encyclopedia. "Louis Riel." (Aug. 22, 2016) http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/louis-riel/
- Encyclopedia Britannica. "William Walker." (Aug. 22, 2016) https://www.britannica.com/biography/William-Walker
- Government of the Faroe Islands. "The Political and Legal Status of the Faroes." 2016. (Aug. 23, 2016) http://www.government.fo/foreign-relations/the-political-and-legal-status-of-the-faroe-islands/
- Hillinger, Charles. "Independent Bent: Rough and Ready Still Celebrates Its 1850 Secession." LA Times. June 13, 1990. (Aug. 24, 2016) http://articles.latimes.com/1990-06-13/news/mn-107_1_great-republic
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- Lezard, Nicholas. "Vanished Kingdoms: The History of Half-Forgotten Europe by Norman Davies – Review." Guardian. Oct. 9, 2012. (Aug. 18, 2016) https://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/oct/09/lezard-half-forgotten-europe-davies
- Library of Congress. "Mark Twain." (Aug. 24, 2016) http://www.loc.gov/rr/hispanic/1898/twain.html
- MacIntyre, Chris. "Revolutionary Zanzibar." Bradt Travel Guides. (Aug. 23, 2016) http://www.zanzibar-travel-guide.com/bradt_guide.asp?bradt=1608
- Martin, Kyle. "Duo wants to establish Third Palmetto Republic." The Augusta Chronicle. Sept. 10, 2010. (Aug. 23, 2016) http://chronicle.augusta.com/news/metro/2010-09-10/duo-wants-establish-third-palmetto-republic
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- Robson, David. "The Countries That Don't Exist." BBC. Nov. 4, 2015. (Aug. 18, 2016) http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20151103-the-countries-that-dont-exist
- Velho, Gilberto. "The Challenge of Violence." Brazil: Dilemmas and Challenges. São Paulo: EDUSP. Pages 155-161. 2002. (Aug. 23, 2016) http://184.108.40.206:8080/iea/english/journal/39/velhoviolence.pdf
- Woodworth, Steven and Kenneth J. Winkle. "Atlas of the Civil War." Oxford University Press. 2004. (Aug. 23, 2016) https://books.google.ca/books?id=snPhwVSbbqcC&vq=second+palmetto+republi&source=gbs_navlinks_s
- World Heritage Encyclopedia. "Republic of Connacht: 1798." (Aug. 23, 2016) http://www.worldlibrary.org/articles/republic_of_connacht
The 100-year anniversary of the end of World War I offers up a second chance to learn from our mistakes. HowStuffWorks looks at what we need to know.