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By Thomas Flanagan

When, in 1983, the 1st version of Riel and the uprising used to be released, the scholarly controversy touching on Thomas Flanagan's interpretation of the uprising of 1885 escalated to at least one of nationwide importance. one of many few books that offers a countervailing view to the normal interpretation of the occasions of 1885, Riel and the uprising contends that the Metis have been, to some degree, chargeable for the alienation in their lands, and that Riel himself used to be a extra harmful than optimistic strength within the background of western Canada.

After over fifteen years, concerns reminiscent of land claims and local rights have in reality moved past the extent of educational debate; Flanagan's paintings continues to be well timed and the additions to the e-book during this new version replicate the continuing forex of its content material. within the moment variation, the writer addresses a few concerns, together with the cultural mythology surrounding Riel, the new crusade to pardon Riel (with a few dialogue of a idea that contends that Riel's trial was once unfair), the Manitoba lands query, and new basic study carried out via Flanagan pertaining to Metis land claims at Laurent.

Undoubtedly, this specific paintings will proceed to spark controversy and garner recognition as a result of its relevance to many higher modern political debates bearing on local rights and land claims.

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Extra resources for Riel and the Rebellion: 1885 Reconsidered

Example text

We are poor people and cannot pay for our land without utter ruin, and losing the fruits of our labor and seeing our lands pass into the hands of strangers, who will go to the land office at Prince Albert and pay the amount fixed by the Government. In our anxiety we appeal to your sense of justice as Minister of the Interior and head of the Government, and beg you to reassure us speedily, by directing that we shall not be disturbed on our lands, and that the Government grant us the privilege of considering us as occupants of even-numbered sections, since we have occupied these lands in good faith.

46 Pearce's recommendations, after being approved in Ottawa, were communicated to the settlers, who were invited to make entry on that basis. There were only one or two appeals afterwards, so his mission effectively resolved the grievances among the inhabitants of Prince Albert and the surrounding farming communities. This no doubt contributed to the reluctance of the white settlers and English half-breeds to join the Metis of St Laurent when the latter took up arms. The people of Prince Albert had other grievances against the government, but they felt that their land claims had been settled.

They took up arms only in self-defence when the government threatened to attack them with a column of Mounted Police. Riel claimed that he had never acted except from disinterested motives. -H. N. 39 The third view, that of Riel's defence attorneys, is more complicated than the first two. His counsel argued that the government had shamefully neglected the Metis complaints. While these did not perhaps justify an insurrection, they were certainly mitigating circumstances. But the Rebellion itself was a product of Riel's insanity.

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