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23 Sep 2023 10:16 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Changed title from "Ttheir unalienable right and privilege”: New Brunswick’s" to ""Their unalienable right and privilege”: New Brunswick’s"

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Tango0123 Sep 2023 8:40 p.m. PST

… Challenge to the Militarization of the British Empire, 1807-1814

"Between 1807 and 1814 the New Brunswick Legislative Council and House of Assembly engaged in a protracted struggle with imperial officials over the renewal of militia legislation and, particularly, the constitutionally appropriate balance of power between civil and military authorities. Occurring during the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815), which engendered an unprecedented militarization of the British world, this struggle demonstrates New Brunswick had a self-consciously assertive colonial government willing to challenge imperial policies that it thought were contrary to the needs of the colony while underscoring the importance of North American settler colonies in maintaining civil government in the empire during those years of war.

IN THE WINTER OF 1814, as British military commanders in North America and Europe planned for spring and summer campaigns, the New Brunswick House of Assembly and Legislative Council engaged in a protracted struggle over the terms of the proposed militia act. The last clause of the 1813 Militia Act, Section LI (51) stipulated that it would be "in force until the end of the next Session of the House of Assembly of this Province and no longer." Without new legislation, New Brunswick would not have a legally constituted militia. Members from the two chambers convened at least five conferences to resolve their differences after earlier discussions failed to yield a compromise. The core issue concerned "not only the time but the manner in which the Militia are to be trained." At the eleventh hour the assembly prevailed in limiting the number of training days to four annually rather than the six the council wanted, arguing that additional training days were "inexpedient and unnecessary."…"

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