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Lecture

HIS314H1 Lecture Notes - English Canada, Charlottetown Conference, Industrial Revolution


Department
History
Course Code
HIS314H1
Professor
Kenneth Mills

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HIS314 Confederation, Industrialization, and Catholicism September 17th 2012
Test:
- Section ONE IDs
o Identify and explain the significance of a person, place, event brought up in lecture
o There will be some choice
- Section TWO Readings
o Explain, in paragraph form, the main thesis of a particular reading or article and how the
author goes about making his/her argument
o No primary documents
- Section THREE- Essay question
o Interpretive essay question
o We will be given beforehand three big questions that we’ve been talking about
throughout the course
o We will be asked to draw on both lecture content and readings to answer the question
o We should thus prepare three different outlines so that we’re prepared for whichever
question shows up on the exam
- The Dominion of Canada came about in July 1867 as an act of the British Parliament
- What is the meaning of Confederation?
- The three themes of the class should not be seen as separate but as deeply involved with one
another
Rebellions of 1837-38
- Much of the memory of these Rebellions are shaped by the report produced by Lord Durham
- Lord Durham was sent to the colonies in the aftermath of the rebellions to report on the state of
affairs following the rebellions
- Despite the complexity of his report, it is remembered rather simplistically
o “I expected to find a contest between a government and it’s people. Instead, I found
two nations warring with one another…”
- He felt that French Canadians needed to be assimilated
- It was this aspect of this report that has deeply been engrained within Quebec intellectual and
popular culture
- It was in response to this report that the British government introduced the Act of Union
o Upper and Lower Canada were united into a single legislature, each of which
represented by 42 seats
- This Act of Union was part of the attempt to assimilate French Canadians
- Canada East (Quebec) was deeply under-represented in this new system

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HIS314 Confederation, Industrialization, and Catholicism September 17th 2012
- Canada West (Ontario) was over-represented
- Canada East had way more people than Canada West, yet they had the same representation
- English was to be the only language of government
- Perhaps even more insulting was that the debt of the two colonies was to be shared, this
despite the fact that Canada West had a much higher debt than Canada East
Confederation
Political Problems in the Canadas
- Although the system had been set up to hasten the assimilation of French Canadians and give
those who spoke English disproportionate representation, the population numbers began to
shift, and eventually there were more people living in Canada West than in Canada East
- Many in Canada in West began demanding representation by population
- They realized that the numbers were now stacked against them
Support and opposition to Confederation
- By the 1860s, many French Canadians were deeply dissatisfied with politics in Canada
- Many felt that bringing the colonies together would delude Quebec’s dwindling power even
more
- Many, however, saw that it would be a means of getting control of its own legislature and its
own jurisdictions
- This is a crucially important point, because it underlines the importance of provincial
jurisdictions within French Canadian understanding of the meaning of Confederation, an issue
that will come up again and again
- There were also powerful forces in its favour
George-Etienne Cartier and the Bleus
- One of the most powerful defenders of Confederation in Quebec
- Born in 1814, charged for treason in the aftermath of the Rebellions, forced to flee to the US,
but he, along with many others, were granted amnesty and allowed to return
- He became very involved in politics in Quebec
- In 1854 he became John A. Macdonald’s right-hand man
- He was a director of the Grand Trunk railway, a lawyer, and a prominent politician and
businessman
- He was very much a Conservative, with a deep respect for property
- He became the leader of a political faction called the Bleus
- He was finally defeated in the 1872 election on a scandal involving the Canada Pacific Railway,
ending his political career
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HIS314 Confederation, Industrialization, and Catholicism September 17th 2012
BNA Act
- In the 1860s, many new states were being born, European countries were becoming organized,
revolutions in Europe
- This international climate affected what was happening in Canada
- Nova Scotia and New Brunswick were already thinking about uniting, and opened discussions
about creating a Maritime province
- During the Charlottetown Conference of 1864, the Province of Canada entered into these
discussions as well
- US repeal of reciprocity in 1866 and purchase of Alaska in 1867 factored into the debates, fear
of American invasion, and Britain’s desire to be rid of the cost burden of maintaining the
Canadian colonies all came into play deciding on Confederation
- Internally, many capitalists were excited about trade on an east-west axis
- Quebec and Ontario in particular wanted to create high tariff walls to help manufacturing
- Many dissenting voices began to emerge in Quebec
- Cartier represented the Bleus, which was in opposition to a political faction called the Rouges
- This was a name given to a radical liberal group in Quebec that argued that Confederation was
no solution to political problems, that it would benefit railway companies and no one else
- They warned of the centralizing powers of a central government
- The federal government would be given enormous powers, one of the most important was that
it would be able to disallow provincial legislation (dangerous to a French Canadian minority)
- Despite all of these different debates and factions, the BNA Act did come into effect July 1st 1867
- It had approximately 4 million people and four provinces (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario,
and Quebec)
- Confederation was not achieved through any sort of democratic process (normal people had
very little role in the process leading up to it)
- The basic idea was that jurisdiction’s that concerned the entire federation would be in the hands
of the Dominion Government, and those that did not would be in the hands of the provinces
- The Federal Government took control of criminal law, defence, banking, while the provincial
governments had control of education, property, hospitals, etc.
- Crucially, the federal government was assigned anything that was not covered by the particular
act
Confederation as Separation
- It should be said that Confederation in 1867 was not about creating a new Canadian nationality;
it was sold as a divorce
- The idea was that there were different sovereignties of different governments
- French Canada, by controlling education, culture, etc. would be able to ensure that Frenhc
Canadian culture would be able to survive and thrive
- It was gaining a French Canadian government
-
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