Riel Rebellions

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(1869; 1885)

Two uprisings of the métis or half-Indian population of Manitoba against the Canadian government, led by the French-Indian Louis Riel (1844–85). Expansion westwards led to the uprising in 1869 in which a provisional government under Riel was set up. Riel aroused outrage in the east by executing an Ontario settler, but the arrival of British and Canadian troops coincided with negotiations in Ottawa leading to the area's inclusion within the confederation, with all the local rights demanded by the métis. Riel escaped but increasing resentment of eastern domination and economic dislocation produced a second insurrection in 1885. Riel, who returned from the USA to lead it, was supported by several Native American tribes, but alienated most of the White population and was defeated by the Canadian militia. He was then tried and executed for treason.

Subjects: World History — Military History.

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