Opinions of the British and Foreign Press:
After Riel was hung, newspapers in Britain, Europe, and the United States expressed a wide variety of strong opinions. On December 4, 1885, the Globe newspaper in Toronto published the following opinions under the title, "Opinions of the British and Foreign Press."1
One Paris newspaper claimed that "a mere hint from England would have saved Riel's life." Another paper accused England of being "heartless for not interfering with the hanging and stated that "England has given another proof of her contempt for France." It described England's lack of action as a "slap in the face."
One newspaper reported that the hanging of Riel was "a wholesome reminder that treason is still a crime," while another paper stated that "carrying out of the extreme sentence of the law was both unwise and unnecessary."
A British newspaper published a report from Italy which said that the hanging would "create a very unfavorable impression in Italy."
The United States:
Many newspapers published strong opinions about Riel.
- The Chicago Current called the hanging of Riel "a colossal Government blunder."
- the New York Independent stated that "His execution must be regarded as unwise if not unjust. The Government has always scorned their petitions and their bills of rights; and two rebellions have been the result."
- The Rochester Post-Express said that "when these aggrieved Halfbreeds returned Riel to the Parliament at Ottawa, the latter was forced to leave his seat to gain a hearing by violence and murder. The people of America cannot help but to sympathize with Riel."
- Meanwhile, the Albany Argus observed that "there has been too much sympathy in some of the newspapers on this side of the border over the fate of this man."
- The Boston Record stated that "The world will not suffer by the loss of the fanatical leader of the Halfbreeds."
- The Philadelphia Inquirer came up with the best statement, an accurate prediction: "The ghost of Louis Riel will haunt Canadian statesmen for many a day."
The above slide show on the Rebellion includes:
- The buffalo was the main source of food.
- When the buffalo were gone, many Metis turned to farming.
- When the Metis were poorly treated, many chose to move.
- When the bad treatment continues, Riel responds with anger.
- At the beginning of the Battle of Batoche, the Metis lower a ferry cable and disable a gun boat.
- When the soldiers attack, the Metis are short of bullets, so they leave.
Questions? Suggestions? Comments.
to next section (Bibliography and Notes).