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The Orange Order was founded in Ireland in 1795. It was originally created to commemorate William of Orange's (William III, King of England) victory over the Catholics at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.
In Canada, Ogle R. Gowan founded the order in 1830. It operated primarily in Ontario. This group involved itself in the daily life of its members either by organizing social and community activities or by taking part in the welcoming of new Protestant arrivals to Canada. It also became active in politics and took part in various public debates.
The Orange Order adopted an openly hostile attitude towards Francophones and Catholics in many of its dealings. This Orange anti-Catholicism would be evident in Canadian history on more than one occasion.