The place of the Canadian Crown in relation to the Canadian Armed Forces
is both constitutional and ceremonial, the sovereign of Canada
being the supreme commander of the forces
, while he or she and the rest of the Canadian Royal Family
hold honorary positions in various branches and regiments, embodying the historical relationship of the Crown to its militia. This modern construct stems from Canada's origins as a colony of the United Kingdom
, through 200 years of associations with the Royal family, and is today evidenced through royal symbolism, such as crowns on military badges and coats of arms, as well as the bestowing of a royal
The role of the Canadian Crown in the Canadian Armed Forces is established through both constitutional and statutory law; the National Defence Act states that "the Canadian Forces are the armed forces of Her Majesty raised by Canada," and the Constitution Act, 1867, vests Command-in-Chief of those forces in the sovereign – presently Queen Elizabeth II – though, the sovereign's representative, the Governor General of Canada carries out the duties and bears the title of that position on the monarch's behalf.
The Canadian Forces have derived many of their traditions and symbols from the military, navy and air force of the United Kingdom, including those with royal elements. Contemporary icons and rituals, however, have evolved to include elements reflective of Canada and the Canadian monarchy. Members of the country's Royal Family also continue their two century old practice of maintaining personal relationships with the forces' divisions and regiments, around which the military has developed complex protocols.
The Invasion of Canada
in 1775 was the first major military initiative by the newly-formed Continental Army
during the American Revolutionary War
. The objective of the campaign was to gain military control of the British Province of Quebec
, and convince the French-speaking Canadiens
to join the revolution on the side of the Thirteen Colonies
. One expedition left Fort Ticonderoga
under Richard Montgomery
, besieged and captured Fort St. Johns
, and very nearly captured British General Guy Carleton
when taking Montreal
. The other expedition left Cambridge, Massachusetts
under Benedict Arnold
, and traveled with great difficulty through the wilderness of Maine
to Quebec City
. The two forces joined there, but were defeated at the Battle of Quebec
in December 1775.Montgomery's expedition set out from Fort Ticonderoga
in late August, and began besieging Fort St. Johns
, the main defensive point south of Montreal, in mid-September. After the fort was captured in November, Carleton abandoned Montreal, fleeing to Quebec City
, and Montgomery took control of the city before heading for Quebec with an army much reduced in size by expiring enlistments. There he joined Arnold, who had left Cambridge in early September on an arduous trek through the wilderness that left his surviving troops starving and lacking in many supplies and equipment.
These forces joined before Quebec City in December, where they assaulted the city in a snowstorm on the last day of the year. The battle was a disastrous defeat for the Americans; Montgomery was killed and Arnold wounded, and the city's defenders suffered few casualties. Arnold then conducted an ineffectual siege on the city, during which Loyalist sentiments were boosted by successful propaganda campaigns, and General David Wooster's blunt administration of Montreal served to annoy both supporters and detractors of the Americans.