The Red River Rebellion was one of Canada's first political crises following Confederation. It threatened Manitoba's entry into the Dominion and exacerbated the tensions between Anglophones and Francophones in Canadian society. The Canadian Illustrated News acted as a calming influence by encouraging an equitable settlement to the dispute.
An article by Sean Sullivan, Canadian Illustrated News and the Red River Rebellion (October 1869-August 1870).
A sample article from the Canadian Illustrated News, January 15, 1870, portrays Riel as a noble figure and commends him for his part in keeping the Rebellion free from bloodshed. Furthermore, the article encourages the Government of Canada to practice restraint when dealing with the insurgents.
In contrast, a second sample article, dated April 9, 1870, demonstrates that the Canadian Illustrated News was now a firm supporter of a government-directed expedition to liberate Rupert's Land and capture Riel. The Canadian Illustrated News would remain an advocate of the rule of law over vigilante justice.