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07 Creating and Defining the New Canada.docx

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Richard White

07 Creating and Defining the New Canada (1860s to 1890s) Overview  Confederation is our national founding. Having confederation as a national founding is a distorted reality. Misunderstanding of confederation is very profound in Canada. Has to do with our use of the event as our nationalism  Post Confederation phase o First generation after confederation – extending the territory from sea to sea. Many of it is still with us to this day th th th o Modernization – underway in the 5 century, 13 century, 19 century, etc.  You are more modern than the older person  Associated with industrialization and industrial society  Railways represent this. The before and after are very different. Hard to separate cause from effect  New country in 1867, but notice that this is not really new. Canada has already existed one form or another. Keep in mind that it is not created from scratch. o The country was based on ‘Western’ traditions that were very well established such as the rule of law o The rule of regulation set by the legislative body will prevail. If you break the law, you have to pay the price o Property rights have been established, separation from church and state has been established – University of Toronto has become a non-sectaries institution.  Another tradition has been established o Many things were given including the British parliamentary tradition  Colonial governments, etc. o John A. Macdonald is the first prime minister of Canada. Nova Scotia was strongly opposing to join into Canada  All but one of them opposed confederation  Macdonald found the middle ground and managed to do that  He also had to begin a railway in the east coast in British North America (not British Columbia yet)  Atlantic colonies and eastern Canada  The biggest was incorporating western territory into Canada  To become a western country as well Annexation of West  Red River Rebellion o Future of Rupert’s land was problematic. It had made some sense before, but now something had to be done with the influx of settlement. In 1869, it was resolved. The British government bought out the Hudson Bay company and gave it to the government  They paid 300 thousand pounds for Rupert’s Land  The Hudson’s Bay company insisted that it retain a small amount of the land (approximately 1/26)  The Hudson Bay company then became a department store o The presence of surveyors was interesting  Before you have private property, you needed surveyors  Problem was that the Canadian government did not consult anyone who lived there. There was 10 to 12 thousand metis living in the Red River Colony  There were never any formal battles, but there were many rebellions and resistances o The Metis did not accept the authority of the government. They declared their own provisional government and began to arm themselves.  Louis Riel was the person in charge  Most of these people have French names, while others do not. It was a mixture and it’s evident in the names  The fact is, scholars maintained that it did have some legitimacy. They can declare themselves ungoverned.  The Canadian government accepted a delegation at first and travelled to Ottawa in terms of the transfer, but they also armed themselves and occupied the fur trade forts. Tensions were high, and they executed one of the people they held in the fort.  They found him guilty of treason and shot him. This changed all the negotiations  Macdonald government dispatched troops in 1870. It took the 6 to 8 weeks to get there because there was no railway. By the time the Canadian forces arrived, the leader fled. The whole rebellion never amounted to much.  Like many things, the fundamental principle of taking up arms against the government was significant.  In the end, the rebellion stopped, and the territory became part of Canada.  Most of the last was not organized, but there was a land (province of Manitoba) was their capital.  Manitoba Act o Manitoba was Canada’s 5 province in 1870 o They wanted some sort of security of land. The metis lived without a government, and did not have any land registry, but they believed that they owned it from customs. The Canadian government said they can continue owning the land, and had some sort of bilingualism. o In a sense, the rebellion has worked. But, the Canadian government retained ownership of all the natural resources and the land – this was not something they had done with the other provinces.  Canada government is colonizing the west! o Shortly after this, British Columbia also entered the confederation  The process was initiated by British Columbia  The only promise was that the Canadian government agreed that they would build a railway in 15 years from the East to the West  They wanted a sea to sea country by building a railway o By this time, Prince Edward Island also agreed to join into the Confederation. Newfoundland however did not. It remained outside confederation until the 1940s.  Canada’s Empire o The Canadian government was especially interested in the prairies land. It was the focus of annexation. There was something about this prairie land that Ottawa wanted to control. We see that one of the first acts was pass the dominion land act of 1872, which empowers government to survey the land and give it to incoming settlers.  They surveyed them into square lots. It was 6 miles by 6 miles, and each mile was divided into four, then they were given to settler after settler.  This was not the way that humans worked  The whole prairie west was divided and it was lonely for people. The closest neighbor was a half a mile away.  The decision was managed by Ottawa which was far away o They also created the Northwest Mounted Police  Pseudo-military, which controlled the land with the rule of law. Hundreds were dispatched and trained in 1873. They wanted to establish law before the settlers came in. This was because Americans did not do this and therefore there was trouble before. o They began the process of building a railway – get together business people to raise money to nowhere  The Canadian government knew they needed to give money away to these investors to make them build the railway o These are some examples of what Ottawa is doing in the newfound territory. This was the obsession of the 1870s and 1880s. This was described as Canada’s empire. o Numbered treaties  The passing of the fur trade to settlers was a momentous event. The Europeans had arrived centuries before this. This was not a sense of contact, but the fur trade had a curious symbiosis where natives can live and migrate freely. This livelihood had been in place for two centuries  The Canadian government controlled all of this land, and therefore made treaties with Indians.  No one ever made the argument that Native people owned the land like western law of owning the land. But they had something, some title to the land because they used it historically. They had travelled, used, hunted, so they had something. The western legal tradition did not have a name for this  They were all in the 1870s; they went year after year for the agricultural area to extinguish the claim. It came to be known as ‘aboriginal title’ – they had to extinguish the farmable territories. They know that above certain points, they know there was no land for agriculture  8, 9, 10 was when rocks and trees became valuable  Once the mining and pulp industry was established, interests arose  The scale of this was astounding. Within a few years, the titles were extinguished.  Treaty 4 had a number of reserves; the different bands (tribes) travelled together would be put of a certain reserve  There was precedence for this, there were a few small treaties made with the aboriginal people. The scale of the prairie west was unprecedented.  They did not know what they were giving up. However, many of these people had carried on fur trade contracts for generations; therefore, they were not THAT naïve.  Even after they settled on the reserve, they believed that they could hunt. Therefore, the understanding was hazed. What was understood
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