Why does Canada exist and what does it mean?
Act of providence?
– God decided it was a good thing. God created it.
Alogic of nature?
– It was natural that British colonies would have affinities, that there would be an east/west alliance.
(canada instead has tried to establish a north/south alliance with the USA)
– It was a peaceful and easy transition (though most processes in early Canada were done through
military and concessions
Canada is inevitable and good?
– that it was inevitable that Canada come together and on the question of being good, that is up for
Why did a political entity called Canada come into being in the northern part of north american in the
mid nineteenth century?
– Diverse groups of peoples (Europeans and natives)
– Diverse political structures
Population of British NorthAmerica according to 1861 census
BC 51, 524
Rupert's land 6, 691
Canada West 139, 6091
Canada East 1 111 566
New Brunswick 252, 047
Nova Scotia 330, 857
PEI 80, 857
Population of British colonies 1861
1 million Francophones
English and Welsh 20%
Germans were the largest non english / non french speakers
130 000 – 400 000 native peoples spread out (most in bc and rupert's land)
10, 000 Metis
10, 000 inuit
1841 – Upper (Ontario/English Speaking) and Lower (Quebec/French Speaking) Canada merge
1849 – responsible government
British government supported self government and allowed to bring the government closer to the people
Liberalism order framework:
Canada as Liberal order – British liberalism from 1840's – liberalism changes over time and in different places
– Self-government pf colonies
– Small government, free trade
– Liberalism as a kind of secular religion with the individual as its central subject
– Individual an ideal rather than a human being
– Hierarchy of rights and freedoms -conflicts over which rights are most important
*British like Liberalism because it was cheaper
Liberal government downloads defence
– tension with US
– US civil war (1861-1865)
– US-British tensions
– The trent affair (Nov 1861, americans search a British ship traveling from cuba to england)
– TheAlabama, The Florida and the Shenandoah
– Fenian attacks (New Brunswick -Dec. 1865) -Group of Irish militants looking to attack the
british empire and push for the independence of Ireland
What about confederation?
Deadlock of previous governing system
– Union of the Canadas (1841)
– Responsible Government (1849)
– The executive is responsible to the legislative branch of government which is elected
– Reformers wanted “rep by pop” (west was upset with number of seats held by east)
Political cast of late 1850's and 1860's
– Reformers: liberals, pro-free trade, small government
– Clear Grits most radical -anti-monarchy, anti-catholic