RSS

Tag Archives: Confederation

Let’s Talk about Confederation

Confederation:
The coming together of the colonies in British North America. Three colonies were made into four provinces. These were Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. They became the Dominion of Canada on July 1, 1867. The other provinces and territories joined later.

For all of the reasons the Province of Canada began to plan for Confederation, as outlined in yesterday’s post, the leaders from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island had already considered joining together in a Maritime union and were planning a conference. They accepted the politicians from the Province of Canada to join them in the upcoming conference on the subject.

The Charlottetown Conference, September 1st through 9th 1864:The politicians from the Province of Canada convinced the politicians from the Maritime colonies at New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island to think about an even larger union. There was no one working at the public wharf at the foot of Great George Street when the Canadian delegates arrived on the steamship SS Victoria, so Prince Edward Island representative William Henry Pope had to handle receptions by himself, including rowing out to greet the new arrivals. The Canadian delegates stayed each night on board the SS Queen Victoria, as circus-goers and the Maritime delegates had taken up the lodgings in town.

The Quebec Conference, October 10 – 27, 1864: The Conference began on October 10, 1864, on the site of present-day Montmorency Park. The Conference elected Étienne-Paschal Taché as its chairman, but it was dominated by Macdonald. Despite differences in the positions of a few of the delegates on some issues, the Quebec Conference, following so swiftly on the success of the Charlottetown Conference, was infused with a determined sense of purpose and nationalism.

The delegates from the Maritimes also raised an issue with respect to the level of government– provincial or federal– that would be given the powers not otherwise defined. Macdonald, who was aiming for the strongest central government possible, insisted that this was to be the central government, and in this he was supported by, among others, Tupper.

Prince Edward Island emerged disappointed from the Quebec Conference. It did not receive support for a guarantee of six members in the proposed House of Commons, and was denied an appropriation of $200,000 that it felt had been offered at Charlottetown to aid in buying out the holdings of absentee landlords.

On the issue of the Senate, the Maritime Provinces pressed for as much equality as possible. With the addition of Newfoundland to the Conference, the other three Maritime colonies did not wish to see the strength of their provinces in the upper chamber diluted by simply adding Newfoundland to the Atlantic category. It was Macdonald who came up with the acceptable compromise of giving Newfoundland four senators of its own when it joined.

The London Conference, December 1866 – January 1867: This was the last conference, and it took place in London, England. Leaders from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and the Province of Canada had to take the rough draft of the Quebec Resolutions and come up with a final agreement. The document they created was called the British North America Act. Once British Parliament approved it, Confederation could go ahead.

They all agreed that the brand-new nation needs to be called Canada, and that Canada East must be relabeled Quebec and that Canada West need to be relabeled Ontario. Inevitably, the delegates chosen to call the brand-new nation the Dominance of Canada, after “kingdom” as well as “confederation”, among many other choices, were denied for different reasons.

After the Quebec Conference, the Province of Canada’s legislature passed a bill authorizing the union. The union proved much more questionable in the Maritime districts, Nevertheless, it wasn’t until 1866 that New Brunswick and Nova Scotia passed union resolutions, while Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland continued to opt against joining.

The Act was presented to Queen Victoria on February 11, 1867. The bill was introduced in the House of Lords the next day. The bill was quickly approved by the House of Lords, and then also quickly approved by the British House of Commons. The Act received royal assent on March 29, 1867, and set July 1, 1867, as the date for union

Confederation, July 1, 1867

On this date Canada became a country with four provinces. New Brunswick and Nova Scotia hardly changed, but the Province of Canada was split into two new provinces: Ontario and Quebec. A look at the map of Canada in 1867 will show a very different Canada from that of today.

It would take more than a century to add the other six provinces and three territories that today make up Canada.

 

 

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

Building Canada, Why Confederation?

In the 1860s, the British colonies were facing various issues. One resolution for each one of these was that the colonies come together to form one country. These are the problems that brought about Confederation:

The Province of Canada was made of a lot of people and was later made into the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. The government of the Province of Canada did not run smoothly because the English-speaking and French-speaking halves each had different ideas about how things should be run. Leaders from both areas of the province decided that joining other colonies might help solve their own political problems.

In order for their economies to do well, the colonies needed to be able to sell their goods to other markets. One solution was to bring all the colonies together.

Since America had fought Britain to gain its independence, the relationship between British North America and the United States had never been stable. Many Americans wanted to take over all of what is now Canada.

Britain didn’t want to have to pay for the cost of defending its colonies. Hence, it decided to encourage the colonies to amalgamate, because the United States would be less likely to attack Canada if it were a self-governing country in lieu of separate colonies of Britain. This fear of the U.S. helped to strengthen the decision for Confederation.

Leaders from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island had actually already begun discussing the idea of signing up for a Marine union and had also planned for a meeting.  The political leaders from the Province of Canada asked if they could come to their conference to recommend a bigger union of all the British North American colonies.  The Maritime colonies were given invitations and so started the quest of Confederation.

 
 

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

Thanks to the Celts!

In thе bеgіnnіng, Canada wаѕ a vаѕt piece оf land that had bаrеlу bееn examined. Mаnу of the first explorers wеrе Scots like Dаvіd Mасkеnzіе or Sіmоn Frаѕеr, whо both mарреd оut a large раrt оf our country. A Welshman nаmеd Sіr Thomas Button lеd thе first expedition fоr thе Nоrthwеѕt Pаѕѕаgе in 1612, whіlе Welsh саrtоgrарhеr Dаvіd Thоmрѕоn is rеfеrrеd tо аѕ Cаnаdа’ѕ Greatest Gеоgrарhеr. Aѕ more аnd mоrе ѕеttlеrѕ саmе, іt brought аbоut the Hudson Bау Cоmраnу and thе Nоrth Wеѕt Cоmраnу, both сruсіаl іn mapping оut thе bоundаrіеѕ of Cаnаdа.

Thomas Button

Admiral Sir Thomas Button, after an original oil in possession of G. M. Traheren, Glamorganshire, Wales. Source http://www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/pageant/15/buttonsymposium.shtml

Whіlе ѕоmе voluntarily саmе to Cаnаdа fоr a new life аnd орроrtunіtіеѕ, others had lіttlе сhоісе in leaving their homeland and coming here.  Mаnу Irіѕh lеft tо ѕаvе themselves frоm starvation duе to роtаtо famine. Fоr others, rеlіgіоuѕ dіѕрutеѕ wеrе the саuѕе for dераrturе. Whаtеvеr thе rеаѕоn, thousands left hоmе fоr a nеw wоrld. Many ships were оvеrсrоwdеd аnd unѕаnіtаrу, causing mаnу dеаthѕ. Hіt hаrdеѕt bу this were thе Irish; many dіdn’t survive thе journey. Fоr those lucky еnоugh tо аrrіvе ѕаfеlу, their nеw lіvеѕ wеrеn’t еаѕу. Thе fіrѕt settlers had to clear the lаnd аnd рrераrе іt tо grоw fооd аnd tо buіld ѕhеltеr. It was not еаѕу аnd many rеturnеd hоmе. Those соurаgеоuѕ еnоugh to ѕtау mаnаgеd tо buіld a new lіfе. Mаnу new tоwnѕ were сrеаtеd, оftеn nаmеd аftеr thоѕе whо founded them оr in rеflесtіоn оf whеrе thеу came frоm.

Canada bеgаn tо tаkе shape аnd Confederation саmе аbоut іn 1867, wіth Sіr Jоhn A. MасDоnаld, a Scotsman, bесоmіng оur fіrѕt Prime Minister. Irishman Thomas D’Arсу MсGее wаѕ аlѕо a Fаthеr of Cоnfеdеrаtіоn. Aѕ the соuntrу grеw, nеw dеvеlорmеntѕ аnd іnvеntіоnѕ came to lіght. Thе Sсоtѕ gave uѕ standard tіmе (Sir Sandford Fleming), аnd thе RCMP (Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald).  They gаvе us the modern trасtоr (James G. Cockshutt).

Thanks tо thеіr hаrd work and dеtеrmіnаtіоn, thе Scottish, Irish, and Wеlѕh people played a large part of making thіѕ соuntrу whаt іt іѕ tоdау.

 

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

British Columbia: Two Capitals?

British Columbia has a fascinating history, as do all of Canada’s Provinces and Territories.  For today’s post, however, please let me acquaint you with some of B.C.’s history.

Photo of Songish village, Brithish Columbia, prior 18634

Songish village opposite Victoria, B.C., before 1863. from http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/confederation/023001-3030-e.html

There are two parts that make up British Columbia: the mainland and the island, until they both united in 1866.

For a while there wasn’t agreement between the ex-colonies about which of their capital cities would serve as the seat of government.  Islanders wanted Victoria, and the mainland argued for New Westminster.  For years, the cities alternated.  Eventually, Victoria became the permanent capital of the colony.

Have you heard of Bill Smith?  He was a newspaper editor and politician, If you haven’t, you may have heard of what he called himself: Amor de Cosmos (<–  you can read my earlier post about him by clicking on his name). One of his greatest achievements was his hard work to get British Columbia to join Confederation, and later became Premier of the province.

Vancouver acquired the nickname “Terminal City,” because the terminus of the transcontinental railway was there.  A chief financier of the railway, William Van Horne, had chosen the site  and he also insisted that the new city be named after the explorer George Vancouver.

Photo of Mount Elbert

Mount Elbert from Turquoise Lake, the highest summit in the Rocky Mountains

I cannot write of British Columbia without mentioning the Rocky Mountains. It is Canada’s largest mountain range as well as the largest in the western hemisphere. While it runs nearly the entire length of British Columbia, it also forms part of the border with Alberta.  The economic resources of the Rocky Mountains are varied and abundant. Minerals found in the Rocky Mountains include significant deposits of copper, gold, lead, molybdenum, silver, tungsten, and zinc.

Every year the scenic areas and recreational opportunities of the Rocky Mountains draw millions of tourists and it’s easy to see why.

Map of the Rocky Mountains

Map outlining the Rocky Mountains, in both Canada and the United States.

 

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

Who Joined the Party?

We are approaching Canada Day, on July 1st.  As we celebrate, I thought it would be interesting to note when the provinces and territories joined our great country.

  • 1867 – New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec (July 1)
  • 1870 – Manitoba and Northwest Territories (July 15)
  • 1871 – British Columbia (July 20)
  • 1873 – Prince Edward Island (July 1)
  • 1898 – Yukon (June 13)
  • 1905 – Alberta, and Saskatchewan (September 1)
  • 1949 – Newfoundland (March 31)
  • 1999 – Nunavut (April 1)

When Canada was first seen by the Europeans, they were governed by their Kings and Queens.  Both French and English have had a significant influence on our country’s development.  So here is a list of these royals.  First, the French:   crown

  • 1515 – 1547  Francis I
  • 1547 – 1559  Henry II
  • 1559 -1560   Francis II
  • 1560 -1574   Charles IX
  • 1574 – 1589  Henry III
  • 1589 – 1610  Henry IV
  • 1610 – 1643  Louis XIII
  • 1643 – 1715  Louis XIV
  • 1715 -1774   Louis XV

Second, the English:

  • 1760 – 1820       George III
  • 1820 – 1830       George IV
  • 1830 – 1837       William IV
  • 1837 – 1901       Victoria
  • 1901 – 1910       Edward VII
  • 1910 – 1936       George V
  • 1936                 Edward VIII
  • 1936 – 1952       George VI
  • 1952 – present   Elizabeth II

Just a little bit of trivia for the day!

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Canadian Delegates were “miffed”

Canada on Globe

Canada

On March 8, 1867, the British North America Act was passed by the House of Commons in Britain, less than a month after it had been introduced in the House of Lords.  It was a speedy job of legislation, so much so, that the Canadian delegates were a little “miffed” because it had not caused more debate.  John A. Macdonald’s grumbled: “The English behave as though the British North America Act was a private bill uniting two or three parishes.”

Some British M.P.’s were suspicious that the bill was being rushed through, but the only man who offered any opposition was John Bright, free-trader and reformer.  In this case, he was on the side of the underdog, Joseph Howe, who had been in London since July trying to keep Nova Scotia out of Confederation.

Howe even went to Lord Carnarvon and claimed that fifty-two of the seventy-two resolutions leading to the British North American Act had been drawn up by Macdonald who had probably been drunk at the time. Carnarvon, greatly upset, wrote to Governor-General Lord Monck in Canada asking him to investigate.  Evidently he was reassured because the bill went through without delay.

John Bright tried to have the bill set aside by criticizing the colonial system generally.  He said that if the provinces of British North America were going to keep asking Britain for money for defence and railways, then it would be better if they were given their independence and paid their own way.

M.P.’s were so little concerned that many of them were not in their seats when the British North America Act got its last reading on March 8.  They came rushing in immediately after, because the next item of business was a bill to place a tax on dogs, and most of them owned dogs!

The British North America Act was officially proclaimed on March 29, and Queen Victoria set July 1 as the date for Confederation.

To learn more about today’s post, I would suggest visiting the Canadian History webpage. Another very good resource to look at is the Confederation Timeline at Canada Channel. If you’ve never been, another great place to visit is the Encyclopedia Britannica.   All very good places to start.

 

 

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

Imagine Getting Paid and Not Showing Up at Work!

Louis-Joseph Papineau

Louis-Joseph Papineau (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: British General Guy Carleton

English: British General Guy Carleton (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Repost and updated post I published on November 29, 2012

One of the problems that hindered the development of Canada for many years was the absence of people appointed to do important jobs. On November 29, 1808, for instance, N. Francis Burton was appointed by the British Government to be Lieutenant-Governor of Lower Canada. He remained in Britain until 1822, but drew his salary. When he finally did come to Canada, he stayed for ten years.

Many important positions in Canada were regarded as sinecures (a position of little work, but given stature or financial support). General James Murray, who became Governor of Canada, after the fall of Quebec, until 1766, continued to draw his pay as governor for eight years after he returned to Britain.

When Sir Guy Carleton was Governor of Canada, his brother Thomas was made Lieutenant-Governor of the newly-created province of New Brunswick. He held the position for thirty-three years, but was absent during the last fourteen of them. Yet, it was not that he lacked fortitude: on one occasion he travelled from Fredericton to Quebec on snowshoes to see his brother who was ill.

Many absentees were ministers of the church. The Rector of Sorel, an important military post, had a salary of £200 a year, but spent ten years of his term in England. Lord Plymouth said he was too charming a neighbour to be allowed to live in remote Canada.

The situation eventually came to a head in 1823 when it was discovered that the Receiver-General of Lower Canada had stolen £96,000 of the provincial funds. French-speaking citizens of Lower Canada said this would not have happened if some of them had been given the responsible positions held by absentee British officials. Louis Joseph Papineau, who became one of the leaders of the 1837 rebellion, and John Nielson, editor of the Quebec Gazette, felt so strongly about this that they travelled to London to protest against a proposal to unite Upper and Lower Canada. They felt it would give English-speaking Canadians more power than ever. The union was delayed until 1840 and this possibly delayed Confederation.

 

 
13 Comments

Posted by on November 29, 2013 in On This Day

 

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

 
Ek Raasta Hai Jindagi

How important it is in life not necessarily to be strong, but to feel strong.

MiddleMe

Feeling Squashed? Sandwiched? Stuck?

ResearchBuzz

News and resources covering social media, search engines, databases, archives, and other such information collections. Since 1998.

Chaotic Shapes

Art and Lifestyle by Brandon Knoll

Ego Silencer

Silence the Ego and Live Happy & Healthy.

Squeeze the Space Man's Taco

A journey into Cade's world

Rules of Knowledge

Purveyor of Ideas

Cocoa and the Shake

Life ambitions and daily decisions

Isabel's Dog Blog

Join in the dialogue!

%d bloggers like this: