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BC and the Canadian Confederation: an essay by R.M. Burns

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A summary of the R.M. Burns essay published in the early 1970s that discusses the relationship between BC and Canada and the issues involved in BC joining Canadian Confederation.

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BC and the Canadian Confederation: an essay by R.M. Burns

  1. 1. “B.C. and the Canadian Federation” Notes from R. M. Burns’ One Country or Two J. Marshall, 2014
  2. 2. Intro: B.C. joined Canada to “solve pressing problems of the day.” For all of its history, B.C. has experienced “emerging colonialism” desiring the benefits of Confederation while fighting “parental control.” http://www.sfu.ca
  3. 3. B.C. is not homogeneous 1. Even before Europeans, many First Nations with unique languages and cultures 2. Wide range of geographic and climatic regions 3. Even today, regions defined by resources/economic activity: self- interest can drive political agenda Still, enough to keep the province together: but we traditionally saw ourselves as an “outpost of empire – first of Great Britain then of Canada” http://www.nps.gov
  4. 4. Born of the Sea • Explorers and settlers came from the sea • Russia, Spain, Britain and USA http://www.u-s-history.com
  5. 5. Part of the USA? • Colonial Office wanted the colonies to stay British • The 1858 gold rush ended quickly so US miners went home • Economic depression in the 1860s saw leaders look to Canada for cash • Vancouver Island, especially, pro British http://www.bcarchives.gov.bc.ca
  6. 6. Fighting for more (revenue/expenditure imbalance) • B.C. leaders have always tried to get more (power, money, etc) • Power to exclude Chinese (head tax) • Adjustments / payment for CPR / contracts (and other contracts since!) • Try to get subsidies (still going on: have vs. have not) http://faculty.umf.maine.edu
  7. 7. end

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