Canada pre confederation


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Reasons for Canadian confederacy
British North America, Manifest Destiny, burning of parliament, montreal, responsible government,
economic & geographic challenges

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Canada pre confederation

  1. 1. Canada PreConfederation Why and how was the Dominion of Canada established as a confederation of British Colonies in 1867?
  2. 2. Legacy of the Durham Report In 1841 Canada had achieved equal representation of Canada East and Canada West in parliament, by the Act of Union. But equal representation led to political deadlock, in which government decisions could not be made because neither group would agree with the other on important decisions. Although the Governor General still relayed many political decisions from Britain, by 1847 Britain was ready to give up much of the responsibility of governing Canada.
  3. 3. Test of Responsible Government Lord Elgin (the GG and Lord Durham‟s son-in-law) was given “the task of putting responsible government into operation” in Canada. In 1849, Canada faced its first real challenge in having its wish granted for responsible government - something that the rebels had fought for in the short lived Rebellions of 1837. The Rebellion Losses Bill was passed by Canada‟s elected officials in 1849, granting financial compensation to anyone (including the rebels) who had lost property during the Rebellions. This was well received in Canada West, but in Canada East, many English speakers saw this as the French being rewarded for the treason during the Rebellions.
  4. 4. Reaction to Responsible Gov‟t Lord Elgin personally disagreed with the Bill, but as it had been passed by Canada‟s elected officials, he had no choice but to sign the bill into law. Britain no longer had the right to veto a bill, having given Canada responsibility for much of their government. In 1849, Parliament in Canada was in Montreal, having moved from Kingston Ontario in 1844. Upon the passing of the Rebellion Losses Bill., an angry mob gathered at the Parliament buildings, setting the building on fire.
  5. 5. Burning of Parliamment, 1849
  6. 6. The Burning of Parliament - Describe the scene in this picture in 3 -4 sentences. Include as much detail as possible.
  7. 7. In-class Questions Why was Montreal‟s English business class so opposed to the Rebellion Losses Bill? What is the golden mace? Describe some of the things lost in the fire of Montreal‟s Parliament Buildings. Why had parliament moved to Montreal? Who was Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine? What common cause did he share with Robert Baldwin? Why did Lord Elgin sign the Bill, knowing that so many people were against it? What didn‟t Lord Elgin call in the army to put down the rioters when his home was attacked?
  8. 8. Solving Political Deadlock The problems with “political deadlock” continued with responsible government, and led the strong support for „rep by pop‟ (that rallying cry of George Brown, editor of the Globe). Two other influential leaders of the time Etienne Cartier and John A MacDonald did not support rep by pop, rather they wanted to support national unity, in which the French and English worked together to become a stronger nation
  9. 9. Geographic & Economic Challenges Some Canadians started to think in terms of a continental rather than a colonial trade system, especially after Britain had repealed the Corn Laws, plunging Canada into an economic depression. They began to believe that they should manufacture their own products and find markets for these products within the colonies of British North America.
  10. 10. Geographic Challenges Aside from the vast network of rivers and lake, there was little infrastructure in place to transport goods between British colonies in North America. Man made waterways such as the Welland Canal, the Rideau Canal, and the Lachine Canal had greatly improved trade over short distances, but something else was needed to connect much longer distances between the colonies - a national railroad.
  11. 11. Challenges from the US The American civil war posed a threat to Canadian unity, in that many Canadians feared that they would be under attack as a response to Britain‟s unspoken support of the South (Confederate States) Manifest Destiny was a belief that the United States was destined, by God, to control all of North America. During the 1840s, the Americans were expanding across the continent, leading to the annexation of Texas in 1845, even though Mexico still claimed Texas as its own. After the Mexican–American War (1846–1848), the United States acquired New Mexico and California for $15 million. The United States also looked to the northwest lands of the continent as a rich source of natural resources.
  12. 12. American Progress by John Gast 1872 A vision of Manifest Destiny