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The History of the Rideau Canal The Rideau Canal was a byproduct of the war of 1812 It may not have been built during the war but it was initially built as a military supply route protected from American intervention Although it was the brainchild of military strategists the building of the Rideau Canal also permanently changed the economy of the surrounding regions for the better Not only did the new canal provide the necessary military supply route in case of a repeat of the War of 1812 it presented the communitys social and economic situations with a means of stability and growth The Canal provided this stability in many ways It provided a means of economic expansion was a floodgate for settlement and brought about new and advanced techniques While much of the fighting in the War of 1812 was on land it was accompanied by naval warfare on the Great Lakes especially Lake Ontario Robert Legget a historian of some note states that It was naval superiority which enabled General Isaac Brock to gain his victories in 1812 and the corresponding lack of naval strength in lake Erie which led to the loss in 1813 of the western part of Upper Canada this directed attention to the vulnerable position of Kingston the site of the British naval dockyard This attention caused the British forces to consider options for an expedient alternative to the present supply route supplied by the St Lawrence Even before the end of the war Sir George Prevost then Commander of the British forces wrote to Lieutenant General Sir Gordon Drummond at Kingston enclosing plans for a Rideau canal system asking for more information He got a response indicating that it would cost too much When the cost of using the St Lawrence as a supply route was taken into consideration the Rideau Canal was not such a preposterous idea as was first imagined The cost
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