North-West Mounted Police - A Tradition in Scarlet   Francais Home Sitemap Links Feedback Credits
Pour voir davantage du Mus´┐Że virtuel du Canada / See more of the Virtual Museum of Canada
1. Introduction2. Birth of a Police Force3. The March West4. Establishment of the Force5. The Railroad and the Rebellion6. The Growth of the Force7. Establishment of a National Police Force8. Biographies
 
Chapter 2 - Birth of a Police Force
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Samuel Benfield Steele Look at all that empty space on this map. Why on earth would this country need a police force?

For the longest time, it didn't. Explorers from France and Britain landed on the East Coast.

Poor fellows were looking for a route to the riches of the Orient–all they found here were forests, wild animals, Native people who didn't speak their language, and lots of black flies and mosquitoes.

They didn't find gold but they claimed the land for their own countries. Then they sailed home.
This map, from 1851, shows the wilderness that was North America
This map, from 1851, shows the wilderness that was North America

They did come back though, with settlers who built homes and towns along the coast and the St. Lawrence River. Those who survived the hard work, lack of food, and disease, went on to establish good farms and beautiful cities like Quebec City, Montreal and Ottawa.
Trading furs for goods at a Hudson's Bay Company trading post.
Trading furs for goods at a Hudson's Bay Company trading post.

 
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2. Birth of a Police Force


The Expeditions