Until fairly recently it was common to see numerous Canadians spout off randomly that among their countries many national achievements was “Burning down the White House”. Until of course President Trump also exclaimed that “fact” and every Canadian was forced to hit the brakes and start reversing away from it. You’d see it said everywhere, in political cartoons, in Canadian made 25 Things You Don’t Know About Canada factsheets, repeated by Canadian historians, and in the past even on this very forum.
I’ve seen people who claim this cite they learned it in high school which makes me wonder if Canada actually does teach this as part of their curriculum. Which is weird because it’s very obviously wrong. The troops that burned down the White House were British regulars fresh from Europe as they had been fighting Napoleon’s armies in France. There may have been a few soldiers who had been born in Canada in there but nobody actually important came from Canada. And while it may have been inspired by the American burning of Port Dover in Canada the British orders were just to burn any American cities they came across, not specific Canadian ordered vengeance on Washington D.C.
So can anyone explain why this gained so much traction despite it never happening?