Why did Canada fight a civil war? Most people will tell you it was about religion – just another in an endless series of wars fought for God. And yes, there was a religious element to it. The principal actors in Louisiana were Protestant, and the primary actors in Green Bay were Catholic.
You could also argue it was regional – north versus south, historic Canada versus Louisiana. That element was certainly there too.
But let me point out those elements were there for centuries. Louis the 14th had killed thousands of Protestants – French Huguenots – and exiled tens of thousands more. But he died in 1715. How much blame can he get three centuries later? As for geography, you might blame the difference on Louis Jolliet’s inability to go further than Arkansas when he was discovering the Mississippi. Had he made it all the way down river, would the regional differences been so significant? Maybe, and maybe not. But that act took place in 1673. The shooting started in 2015. Obviously there was a new element to the scene.
The new element? Actually there were two – power and money. And there was a small group of men. In retrospect, the group was unbelievably small for all the damage they did. But damage was done. Thousands died, millions moved across their nation, and neighbors who had shared lifetimes together came to hate each other. All for money and power – for a few.
How does something like that happen? I was there the whole time. I was nearly killed multiple times. I wish I could tell you I saw it coming, but I didn’t. I had my own agenda, my own life. I also had Elise on my mind, but none of my preoccupations really excuse my lack of preparation. The truth is, that little band of evil men was always smarter than me. I was always one step behind.
So, how do I start this story? Many people have asked me to write a history of the Canadian Civil War. After all, I am a trained historian, I was there, and I was involved – far more than I wanted to be. So I am equipped to tell the story. How do I tell it? In general we unroll history either as a series of events, or as a series of people. If ever there was a history that was best told by describing people, this was it, for it was people who started this war, and it was people who ended it. So let me tell you about some people.