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Alison Weir

Lecture 6 Confederation National day commemorates a major accomplishmentmilitary independence of a countryWhat are we celebratingCanada already existed in 1867as a French colony Confederation was not a popular movementPeople did not take part in it unlike other countriesDid not want confederationstrongly opposed 1849USA established Distinction well between the USA and BNA 1858 gold rush in British ColumbiaStrange phenomena Major movements of populationpeople travelling to see this gold rushThousands went into the interiors of the countrynot many lived there Word got aroundLived on Vancouver islands In the 1500s explorers from Europe came to North America to claim lands They realized that this land was rich in resources Soon settlement began with people seeking a new life in the new world The two European countries that figured the most in North America were Britain and France They met Aboriginal Nations that had been living for thousands of years in what is now Canada These First Nations and Britain and France often had difficult relations Britain vs FranceWhen the Seven Years War ended in 1763 France had to surrender its land in North America to Britain From this time on Britain had control of most of North AmericaBritain vs AmericaAt the time of the war with France most of Britains colonies in North America were in what we now call the United States However these thirteen colonies were angry at the way Britain had been treating them so in 1775 they began a war with Britain for their independence The Americans won the war and the British were forced to recognize the United States as its own country Because of the war Britain lost much of its land and had a bad relationship with the United States The land left over was called British North America This would become Canada almost 100 years laterBritish North AmericaIn the 1860s there were many British colonies in what is now Canada British Columbia Newfoundland Nova Scotia New Brunswick Prince Edward Island and the Province of Canada At this time the idea of all the colonies joining to make a new country became popular But what were the reasons behind this move towards ConfederationIn the 1860s the British colonies were facing many different kinds of problems One solution for all of these was for the colonies to come together to form one country These are the problems that led to ConfederationPolitical problemsThe Province of Canada contained the most people and was later made into the provinces of Ontario and Quebec The government of the Province of Canada did not run smoothly because the Englishspeaking and Frenchspeaking halves had different ideas about how things should be run Leaders from both parts of the province decided that joining the other colonies might help solve their own political problemsEconomic problemsIn order for their economies to do well the colonies needed to be able to sell their goods to other markets At this time there were very few places that they could sell to One solution was to bring all the colonies together In this way they could more easily sell their goods to each otherMilitary Problems Since America had fought Britain to gain its independence the relationship between British North America and the United States had never been stable The relationship became even worse when Britain supported the South in the American Civil War The North won the war and was angry at Britain for helping the South Many Americans wanted to take over all of what is now CanadaMeanwhile Britain didnt want to have to pay for the cost of defending its colonies It decided to encourage the colonies to join together because the United States would be less likely to attack Canada if it were a selfgoverning country rather than separate colonies of Britain The fear of the United States helped to strengthen the call for ConfederationThe Charlottetown Conference The politicians from the Province of Canada convinced the politicians from New Brunswick Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island to consider a larger union They agreed to meet again to discuss Confederation The next conference was at Quebec CityThe Quebec Conference October 1864 During this conference the leaders had to work out how the new country would be run The decisions they came to were called the Quebec Resolutions Although Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland both took part after the conference they both decided not to join Confederation at that timeThe London Conference This was the last conference and it took place in London England Leaders from New Brunswick Nova Scotia and the Province of Canada had to take the rough draft of the Quebec Resolutions and come up with a final agreement The document they created was called the British North America Act Once British Parliament approved it Confederation could go aheadConfederation July 1 1867 On this date Canada became a country with four provinces New Brunswick and Nova Scotia hardly changed but the Province of Canada was split into two new provinces Ontario and Quebec A look at the map of Canada in 1867 will show a very different Canada from that of today It would take more than a century to add the other six provinces and three territories that today make up CanadaDuring its brief existence as a political entity the United Province of Canada experience steady economic growth but political stability proved elusive Part of the problem lay in the unequal population growth of the two Canadas
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