"The Canadian Bicentennial of the War of 1812: The Problem of Tecumseh"
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In June 2012 Canada and the United States celebrated the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 that concluded in February 2015 with the anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Ghent. Except in Baltimore and New Orleans, the bicentennial was largely ignored in the United States. In comparison, Canada went all out to celebrate the bicentennial. The government under Prime Minister Steven Harper spent $58 million over the four year celebration. The government placed the war as an important moment in the foundation of Canada. Prime Minster Harper used the militaristic memory of the war to try and rebrand Canada as a warrior nation. This Thesis looks at the Canadian Bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the Co-opting of Tecumseh. Chapter One is a brief history of Tecumseh and the War of 1812. Chapter Two looks at the historical memory of the War of 1812 from the early memories of the 19th Century to the centennial of the war in 1912. In this chapter I also discuss the "Tableau of Heroes of 1812" who are Isaac Brock, Laura Secord, General Charles de Salaberry, and Tecumseh. These figures would become the public face of the Bicentennial in 2012. The Canadian Bicentennial of the War of 1812 is discussed in Chapter Three. This chapter examines the Harper Government?s narrative of the war and how the First Nations fit into this narrative, the public response to the celebrations and lastly the absence of the First Nations in the bicentennial. The thesis concludes with Chapter Four that discusses the Co-opting of Tecumseh in the Canadian Bicentennial of the War of 1812. The Chapter provides a look at the memory of Tecumseh in America and Canada to understand the issues with the government?s co-option of the Tecumseh.