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POLS 3210 (19)
Chapter 2

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Political Science
POLS 3210
Ajay Sharma

 British North America unified in 1867 o The creation of a unified Canada came from both the industrial revolution as well as the pressure to unify around the world o A number of other countries unified at the same time period around the world  Confederation saw the Unity of Ontario, Quebec New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia o As provided for expansion of the federalized state westward to the pacific o Doing so paved the way for economic development, and ended a potentially dangerous power vacuum in the northern part of North America  Recommendation by Lord Durham’s report saw the Province of Canada established in 1841 o United Lower and Upper Canada o Civil and Common law were retained in the two distinct regions o Also status of French language was recognized (rather than imposed uniligualism recommended by Durham)  From 1849 onward creation of a distinct system of intercultural elite accommodation had developed o Cabinet included representatives of both cultural communities but never requirement that the cabinet be supported by a “double majority”  Governments headed by two party leaders – one from each section rather than single prime minister o As well as separate attorneys generals  Some legislation adopted by the provincial Parliament applied to only one of the sections o Matters of education and municipal affairs dealt differently by the two halves of the provinces  Each section of province believe they were constrained and dictated by the other o Once the Western half became more populated concern arose about equal representation  Ethnic and religious antagonism were exacerbated by many issues which came before legislature o Reinforced by divergences of economic interest between the sections o Western farmers were frustrated that commerce were filtered through Montreal  Because of this became difficult to construct governments that could retain confidence of the lower house  In 1857 a variety of changes to the existing constitution began to be proposed as possible solutions o Establishment of representation by population  Issues around Representation by population dealt with French Speaking lower sections at the mercy of the more populated upper one o Change from unitary state into a federal union of two sections  Federation would make two provincial governments in practice more powerful than one central one o Complete separation between the two  Destroy economic and commercial unity of the St. Lawrence system o Formal requirement that the government be supported by a double majority  Might make the formation of any governments impossible  Territorial expansion viewed as a possible means of escape from its difficulties o Would not have been considered if economic motives pointed in the same direction o Expansion in both direction would satisfy both sections of the province of Canada  Permit federalism with separate governments for each section with a central government  In 1858 Cartier-MacDonald sent a delegation to London to discuss the federalism idea o Failed because it came too soon  Change took place with a external threat to the security of British North America o The threat came from the United States – since British relations had deteriorated during the American Civil War o In 1964 once it appeared that the North had one the threat became very apparent o Also with the removed of slavery this removed the un-easy ties between slave states and slave free states  A United British North America which was tied together with railways would be more defensible and could bear a larger share of the costs of its own defence  The threat from the United States also made the need for Confederation to the colonists themselves  Enthusiasm was minimal in Nova Scotia since it shared no boundary with the United States o There was no enthusiasm from Newfoundland since it was hundreds of miles away from the United States  Capitalist entrepreneurs and their interests also brought about confederation o Few countervailing interests with the working class since they were largely disenfranchised o The middle class hardly existed o Prominent politicians were directly involved in railways, banks and insurance companies  There were a wide variety of view of class during this time o The traditional view noted that there was a preponderance of financial, commercial and transportation enterprises among the activities of the dominant class but did not distinguished between those involved in manufacturing or commodity production o Contrary view by R.T. Naylor the dominant faction were “merchant capitalists”  This kind of capitalism according to Marx was one of primitive colonial economies  Served as a intermediary between staples producing colonial economy and the dominant economic interests of metropolitan centers  This does not lead to accumulation of capital in the colony but rather the U.K.  This theory could be correct since it explains why Canada industrialized slower than the United States  Confederation ceased to be viewed as a creative exercise in nation-building and was regarded as a shabby colonial manoeuvre or contributing to Canada’s alleged backwardness  Merchant Capital theory deserves to be treated with scepticism o British colonialism didn’t have the means nor desire to impede Canada’s growth o British abandonment of merchancantilism in favour of free trade destroyed the mercantile economy in Canada o Responsible government passed around the same time passed political power from merchants to a progressive element of the bourgeoisie and Canada was allowed to pursue independent economic policies  Montreal had been the merchant stronghold in the heyday of British mercantilism before 1849, and was still the largest city and leading economic center  Montreal bourgeoisie Galt and Cartier were interested in uniting with the Maritimes and building the Inter-colonial railway which would funnel more trade through Montreal  Toronto was becoming a rising economic center  Opponents
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