October 22, 2013
Key Words Notes
Canada is created in 1870. By an act from the British parliament,
which is called the British North America act 1867. You always
have to put the date after the BNA acts because there are about 10
of them. It is still the constitution of Canada. Except now we have
relabeled it as a the constitution act of 1982.
- So the BNA act created federal country, and the prof doesn’t
think that they were really using the word country after 1867.
- In terms of its status it is known as a colony of Great Britain,
however Canadians over the next 10-20 years became aware of
the fact that what they lived in was something particular to
- In other words Canadians were creating an intensity for
themselves. by the 1880s most people living in the territory of
Canada would have accepted the term ‘Canadian’ to describe
them. They also accepted the term British. No doubt every
Canadian would have been either born in Canada or naturalized
in Canada was a British subject. You can say that in some
respects that it was a dual identity.
- When the prof says that he has in the back of his mind an idea
a. in Quebec there is no doubt the inhabitants call themselves
b. it didn’t mean the same thing as Canadian. Not necessarily.
They tended to think of themselves as real Canadian, and the
English speaks as the outsiders.
c. so the simple fact of canadia is deceptive. And the prof is not
sure if there is such thing as common national feeling among
French-speaking Canadia in that area, certainly after this
the 1867 arrangement creates Quebec..
- Quebec for the first time since 1840 is a majority French
speaking province. There is no doubt that everyone would
expected that Quebec would be run as such.
- However about 20% of the population of Quebec was English
speaking. While there is a fair amount of intermingling among
English speaks and French speakers there is also in some areas a
kind of de facto segregation.
- The segregation is based on linguist confines and religious
a. the English Protestants of Quebec have a fair amount of
attitude of a kind. Since some elements of their community
have a lot of money and economic power they have in some
ways a kind of autonomy of their own.
Canada in 1867 is created in 1867 is theoretically a bilingual
country. in fact few English-speaking politicians spoke French. The
language of the admin federally was English. Although there were
French-Canadians in the civil service they would be expected to
speak English. So what is created is English speaking federal country with certain concessions towards French Canadians.
The provinces and the federal government had the same sort of
- Canada, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia had
bi-chamberal Legislatures, which is two chambers. They still
have that on the federal level today.
- Gradually the provinces got rid of their second chambers. Which
makes provinces unique in federal system. For example in the
United State there is only one state that is uni-chamberal-that
does not have a second chamber
- In the 1860s the idea was universal that you would have a
popularly elected lower house and a somewhat more restricted
To make it all work they resorted to something that is not in the
constitution. And that is political parties:
- political parties have existed in the English speaking countries
since the 1780-1790s. and they have always been political views
that go before that.
- in the British Empire, by the 1860s it had effectively become a
two party system. The two parties were conservative and
liberals. It is important to note that they were in existence by
- The genius of Canada’s first prime minster John A. Macdonald
was to create a federal conservative party out of the separate
political factions of the 4 provinces.
- Certainly Nova Scotia and New Brunswick had very different
politics than did Ontario or Quebec.
- By the 1870 we do have a functioning two party system in
Canada. That mirrors the two party system in the US, which
consists of the Democrats and Republicans. Also the two party
system in Great Britain, which consisted of Liberal and
- the ideological linkages of the Canadian parties are to Great
Britain. There are resembles in terms of issues to American
parties, however Canadian liberal or conservatives felt an
affinity towards the conservatives of Great Britain or liberals of
a. at least down to the 1900s Canadian politicians would
probably have thought that the leader of their respective
party in Great Britain was in some sense a kind of political
overseer-er for their political party in Canada.
What is a party?
- People who share a similar point of view? No. is it a bunch of
people of the same ethnicity? Possibly. However, you need more
than one ethnicity to be successful. Could it be geography? Could
it be religions? (bang on. It is a great predictor in terms of party
allegiance in terms of 1860s-1870s.
- However the easiest thing to bear in mind is that the Canadian
parties are …? They gather as many people as they can, which
means that a single party will contain people of very different
point of views and origins and policies, and backgrounds.
- The whole point is to bring them together to form some sort of
coalition, which is internal to it. - We think of coalitions as between discreet parties, however an
..? party will have a coalition inside itself.
- That means that the job of the party leader is to manage the
people. They are all held together by the hope of achieving office
and winning an election.
- And in order to do that you start making compromises and
sometimes after you make compromises long enough you forget
about your original principals, which is one of the dangers of a
party. The danger always returning to original principals or
fundamental concepts. When that happens parties can start
By this point we did not really have a government that was
autonomous. The British interference in the confederation in the
1850s shows that Canadian party politics were still subject to
considerable and decisive pressures from London.
From 1867 and on we can start talking about Canadian political
leaders in their own way, and not just reflected as some kind of
Sir John A. Macdonald. He died in 1891. He was born in Glasgow.
His parents immigrated to Canada. He grew up in Upper Canada and
became a lawyer and gravitated towards the Tory or conservative
side of the Upper Canada.
- From the 1840s and on he is professional politician. There are a
very few periods in which he is not principally engaged in
- His great political skill was that he was able to see many sides of
an issues, which made his a born organizers and a born
- On the basic issue of Canadian politics, which was English-
French politic Macdonald was usually broadminded for an
English Canadian. He is on record on saying that English
Canadian should get over that there are French Canadian
speakers, and try the best they can to accommodate them and
treat them with dignity. A proper treatment was essential to
keeping the peace in Canada.
- MacDonald was prepared to take people from many directions
and manage them remarkably.
- He had certain personal characteristics.
a. he had very unhappy family life. first marriage was unhappy.
Second marriage was somewhat better. However, again, his
family was mixed. One of his children was handicap and
remained a concern all his life. there is always an element of
personal concern in Macdonald.
b. He was rigouis.
c. He drank a lot. He is well known to have gone on bingines.
That means that there is a whole theme of Canadian political
literature that deals with MacDonald’s drinking. Sometimes it
could be a problem in terms of problem, because he did tend
to drink when he got depressed. He got depressed over
political things. and drinking made him go worse politically.
On one occasion drinking made him lose office. There is that
kind of Macdonald aspect.
- s conservative party. Everybody, liberal or conservative, would have
believed in the basic economic system of Canada. There are few
theoretical socialist around this period, however they have no
political significant. Everybody, by today’s definition was a liberal
capitalist. They would believed in the market, but they would think
that there was an invisible hand that guided economic events in
Progressive is the next part of it. Virtually every Canadian politician
in 1860s and 1870s would have believed in progress. Progress was
beneficial and had made Canadian better off before. This was
illustrated in the inventions (steam boats and rail way systems) life
had improved. The tone of both parties in the Canadian optical
system is progressive.
Macdonald well understood that political parties and leaders reflect
the balance of societies that f