Louis Riel Hero

Topics: Louis Riel, Red River Rebellion, Manitoba Pages: 4 (1554 words) Published: May 27, 2011
Heroes and villains always contribute to all great stories. Louis Riel, one of the most controversial figures in Canadian history, is now argued as both a villain and a hero. He was hanged on November 16, 1885 for treason, but was he a real villain? Louis Riel is undoubtedly a national hero because he stood up for Métis rights, was responsible for the formation of Manitoba, and called attention to the Canadian Pacific Railway.

Some may see Louis Riel as a villain because of his initiatives taken against the government. Riel was the leader of two major rebellions. The first rebellion was the Red River Rebellion of 1869. There was a need for the rebellion when the Métis, people with half-native and half-European descent, have had enough of being taken advantage of. Land speculators and surveyors at the time laid out square townships and disregarded the strip lots the settlers were used to have. Rupert's Land was purchased without any consultations with the settlers in the area. The Métis called for Riel, who was the leader of the Métis in the prairies at the time. After unsuccessful deliberations, Riel commenced the rebellion at Fort Garry, where they seized munitions. Riel created a provisional government in the area and tried to negotiate with the Canadian government as much as possible. To add to the adversity, Riel executed a person who went against his provisional government: Orange Lodge member Thomas Scott. When false news and rumors spread westward about Scott's execution, Riel was recognized as a felon and was wanted for arrest. This particular event led the government to see Louis Riel as a national villain.

The second major rebellion that took place with Louis Riel as the leader was the Northwest Rebellion of 1885, which further aggravated the Canadian government. Leading up too the rebellion, the Métis were continued to be unjustly treated by the Canadian government. At the time, the Canadian Pacific Railway was being built, and costs were high....
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