After the War of 1812, a huge wave of people suddenly immigrated to Upper and Lower Canada; no one every anticipated such a huge number of immigrants. The majority of the English-speaking immigrants settled in Eastern Townships. French-speaking immigrants settled themselves in Lower Canada. They based their society on the seigneurial system, which is the system of landholding in New France; seigneurs were given estates and responsibilities to settle the land and oversee its administration. The French people continued this system as it had for generations before. However, the lack of farmland eventually became a serious problem.
Britain, the United States, and Europe were the 3 dominant countries in which immigrants came from. Attracted by incentives and
and promises, immigrants became aware of the actual reality and dangers involved in immigrating to Canada. The journey across the Atlantic Ocean was the primary concern of many potential immigrants, considering it being dangerous and quite expensive.
Many who left their home countries were very emotional. Immigrants knew they would never see those they left behind. This type of emotional affect on people is hard to interpret today, due to our technological advancements (i.e. airplanes, which take only hours to travel between Canada and Europe). During this time, immigrants were forced to endure harsh conditions for approximately 1 month, many of whom did not survive. Of these people, the poor were the most affected, for they had to travel in the infamous coffin ships. A coffin ship is essentially a death ship; disease and death were common on cargo vessels used to carry
passengers at this time.