If You Had a Circus …

08 Jun
Political Cartoon attacking the Anti-Confedera...

Political Cartoon attacking the Anti-Confederation Party (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On June 8, 1866, Parliament began its last session as the Province of Canada. The next Parliament would be that of the new Dominion, but this was by no means certain on June 8, 1866.

In Nova Scotia, Premier Charles Tupper carried a motion through the legislature authorizing his government to continue negotiations for a federal union. In New Brunswick, the anti-Confederation Smith government had resigned, and an election was in the offing. Actually, Smith was weakening in his opposition to Confederation, angry because the United States had refused to continue the reciprocity agreement made in 1854.

Clear Grit (Liberal) leader George Brown had left the coalition government he had formed with Taché-Macdonald, the deal that had won Macdonald’s support for Confederation.  Brown was something like Joseph Howe in Nova Scotia.  Neither one could play the earliest supporters of Confederation, but was one of its strongest opponents when Tupper became premier.  Tupper had campaigned effectively against Howe when the latter was in the States, trying to recruit Americans to fight for Britain in the Crimean War.  A friend asked Howe why he had turned against Confederation and he replied, “If you had a circus and had got together a good show, how would you like it if that fellow Tupper came and stood by the door and collected the shillings?”

Once Brown felt that Macdonald was fully committed to Confederation, he left the coalition as quickly as possible.  From that time on he never spoke a civil word to the Conservative leader.  Macdonald was puzzled and perhaps hurt.  He said that during their brief association, which included a trip to Britain, they had dined and gone to public places together.  They had even played euchre a good deal while crossing the Atlantic.

Brown did not weaken his support for Confederation.  He contributed $500 to a $50,000 campaign fund contribution which Canada sent to the Confederation party fighting the election in New Brunswick.  It won and Premier Tilley of New Brunswick and Tupper of Nova Scotia were able to go to London later in the year, to join Macdonald, Cartier and Galt in negotiations with the British Government.

I’m only going to suggest one website today, because it is worth visiting and digging once you get there. It’s the Dictionary of Canadian Biographies. I’ve already searched for two pages here: Sir Charles Tupper and Sir George-Étienne Cartier.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

12 responses to “If You Had a Circus …

  1. prayingforoneday

    June 8, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    The desire to be a politician should ban you from ever being one.


    • tkmorin

      June 8, 2013 at 4:38 pm

      No matter what part of the world, eh? 🙂

      • prayingforoneday

        June 8, 2013 at 4:45 pm

        Maybe Poland?

        • tkmorin

          June 8, 2013 at 4:56 pm

          Or the moon? mars? 😆

          • prayingforoneday

            June 8, 2013 at 7:58 pm

            ha ha Aye!

        • WM

          June 10, 2013 at 1:52 am

          Why Poland? :/
          My kind greetings from Poland :-0

          • prayingforoneday

            June 10, 2013 at 1:57 am

            I love Poland. My hero, Arthur Boruc comes from there 🙂
            And when I was a football manager, I had several poles in the team. Cool people. Very cool..

            And kind greetings from Scotland 🙂

          • WM

            June 10, 2013 at 2:09 am

            I like Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature… 🙂

          • prayingforoneday

            June 10, 2013 at 2:26 am

            It is?


  2. seeker

    June 8, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Politics… never understand it.

    • tkmorin

      June 8, 2013 at 1:29 pm

      It can get darn complicated, I agree! 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: