HIST 202 Survey: Canada to 1867
(December 4 2011)
1. Canada and International trends in State and Empire formation
emergence of new nation states
o In this sense, what is going on in Canada is going on in
western Europe at this time
o Sense of a new self-described nation, giving itself a
o Germany is coming together as a state in 1866
o We can see it as a larger story of national consolidation.
o A strengthening, consolidating of what began as a fragile
o Both that of Britain, but also Canada as an empire
o We will see from day one of the discussions surrounding the
creation of this dominion, central Canadians have their eye
on the north-west.
2. International influences
US Civil War
o Present in Darcy McGee.
o Mobilization that it entails is huge.
900,000 soldiers in the southern army, 2,000,000 in
the union army
just under 3,000,000 armed soldiers fighting out this
The population of the assembled population of Canada
at this time is 3.5 million. So there is almost as many
people in Canada participating in this war.
o Violent and frightening
o Casualty rate is 618,220.
o This is six times the casualty rate of world war 2, nearly 65x
the casualty rate of the Vietnam War
o When Abraham Lincoln is assassinated in 1865, many
newspapers are exploring the context of this event.
Riots (specifically great riot in New York)
o Recent immigrants
o Racial violence
o Beating up on the local black population who are being held
responsible for the draft.
o A sense of (in some quarters) desire to erase the presence of
Trent Affair; Chesapeake Incident
o Trent Affair
Present in Darcy McGee. Happened in 1861. U.S flighting international law, stops a British ship
called the Trent that was sailing from Havana to
England, and on the ship were two southern agents
who were heading to England on an diplomatic
Immediate concern was that when there is a war
between the US and Britain, Canada will be the most
o Chesapeake Incident
Takes the US conflict into British waters
When the confederate sees the ship they take it to the
Maritimes to sell the cargo, in order to finance the
Northern US ship has found itself into Maritime waters,
seized by confederates.
The North then attacks the ships. Both the North and
South have violated A) Britains neutrality B) Violated
British sovereignty in US waters
Could easily link to war.
Made it seem like the south was going to use the
Maritimes as a base in the North.
Saint Albans Raid (1864)
o Confederate Agents rob a couple banks in Northern Vermont
o With their loot, they flee across the border into Canada.
o The Canadian government arrests the raiders, so it doesnt
endorse or support the raid in any way.
o US government orders troops to follow the raiders into
o In the end, Lincoln revokes the order, because sending
troops into Canada evokes a declaration of war.
o This has people concerned, editorial writers are going to
town on the idea of a potential war.
Britain building war ships to send to the south
o Seen as provocation
o North takes Britain to court, saying that they are causing
o Court case is resolved in 1872 and Britain pays
Abrogation of Reciprocity Treaty
o Since 1850 (for example), William Seward [American
secretary of state during the American civil war] has been a
strong supporter of US Annexation of BNA.
o There is a bill introduced and passed in the house of
representatives called A Bill for the Admission of the States
of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Canada East and CanadaWest. And for the organization of territories of . Called the
Annexation bill and passes in 1866.
o Strong vain of public opinion; important part of
governmental class of this time.
o Not incidentally without support in Canada. Some people
have sympathies to the idea of joining to the US as a better
means to an end than Confederation.
2. Political and Financial Crises in Canadas
operating under the active union of 1840; we have a single
o they have an equal number of seats, Canada West is always
guaranteed 42 seats in 1840. Canada East 42 seats.
Regardless of growth of population. It grows to 62/62 later
o By now, the population of Canada West has far outgrown
o The difference in these two parts of the Canadas havent
vanished; Canada East is majority Catholic, Until very
recently we still have civil law of French Regime.
o In 1854 the Seigniorial system is abolished, but civil laws are
still different and based on the French system (not British
o Different educational systems; public education system in
Canada East is r