Delegates from The Province of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick hammer out the final details to establish the Dominion of Canada.
Prior to the London conference, there had been a few failed governments in New Brunswick, because of the many people against confederacy. But Macdonald needed New Brunswick which provided an uninterrupted land connection to Nova Scotia. So he did not decline when forty or fifty thousand dollars of bribery money was requested from the pro confederacy candidate Leonard Tilley.
Charlottetown September 1864
Quebec City October 1864
London November 1866
Royal Assent April 1867
By the end of the Charlottetown conference, the
idea of a maritime union had been dropped.
John A MacDonald had convinced delegates
from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and PEI that
it would be to their benefit to join a united
In addition to provided a stronger defense
against a possible American threat, the Canadian
coalition also promised that a centralized
government would assume the debts of the
colonies that joined.
$13,000 worth of champagne helped smooth the
Quebec City October 1864
After listening to the reasons for joining
confederacy, delegrates from the Maritimes
agreed to meet in Quebec City to write up the
new proposals with the leaders of Canada East
They agreed that Canada’s government would
be a federation, meaning that there would be
more than one level of government, but with
much of the power held by the central
Macdonald did not want a government like that of
the US which was in the middle of a war between
Creating a Federation
There would be a national (federal)
government, overseeing the united interests of the
nation in all regions, and provincial governments that
would look after specific regional concerns.
The central government would be made of the
Houses of Parliament, as well as the Senate.
The Canadian system was meant to replicate the
British government as closely as possible.
001-7104-e.html - for all 72 resolutions
Resolutions, October, 1864 (The 72
First and foremost:
1.The best interests and present and future
prosperity of British North America will be
promoted by a Federal Union under the Crown of
Great Britain, provided such Union can be
effected on principles just to the several
Hedging their bets…
9.The colony of Newfoundland shall be entitled to
enter the proposed Union, with a representation
in the Legislative Council of 4 members.
10.The North-West Territory, British Columbia
and Vancouver shall be admitted into the Union
on such terms and conditions as the Parliament
of the Federated Provinces shall deem equitable,
and as shall receive the assent of Her Majesty;
and in the case of the Province of British
Columbia or Vancouver, as shall be agreed to by
the Legislature of such Province
To join or not to join?
After the conferences in Charlottetown and
Quebec City, hundreds of details still had to be
ironed out, and the general population of the
different colonies had to agree to the plan of a
In the Maritimes, many people and politicians
were still against the idea of joining the Canadian
Handout… Shaping Canada Chapter 6
Despite objections from many citizens in New
Brunswick and Nova Scotia, Canadian delegates
went to London to request the British North
America Act of 1867 be approved in the British
House of Commons.
Macdonald almost died during the London
conference when his hotel room caught fire from
a lit candle.
The British North America Act received Royal
Assent in April 1867, establishing the Dominion
of Canada as a federation of Ontario, Quebec,
New Brunswick & Nova Scotia.
Man of the Conference
John A Macdonald proceeds to
dominate the conference in
London, meets with Queen
Victoria, becomes engaged and
gets married while in London on