Canadian Confederation

Canadian Confederation

Overview
Canadian Confederation was the process by which the federal
Federalism
Federalism is a political concept in which a group of members are bound together by covenant with a governing representative head. The term "federalism" is also used to describe a system of the government in which sovereignty is constitutionally divided between a central governing authority and...

 Dominion
Dominion
A dominion, often Dominion, refers to one of a group of autonomous polities that were nominally under British sovereignty, constituting the British Empire and British Commonwealth, beginning in the latter part of the 19th century. They have included Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland,...

 of Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 was formed on July 1, 1867. On that day, three British colonies were formed into four Canadian provinces
Provinces and territories of Canada
The provinces and territories of Canada combine to make up the world's second-largest country by area. There are ten provinces and three territories...

. The British Province of Canada
Province of Canada
The Province of Canada, United Province of Canada, or the United Canadas was a British colony in North America from 1841 to 1867. Its formation reflected recommendations made by John Lambton, 1st Earl of Durham in the Report on the Affairs of British North America following the Rebellions of...

 was divided into the new Canadian provinces of Ontario
Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

 and Quebec
Quebec
Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

, and two other British colonies, New Brunswick
New Brunswick
New Brunswick is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the only province in the federation that is constitutionally bilingual . The provincial capital is Fredericton and Saint John is the most populous city. Greater Moncton is the largest Census Metropolitan Area...

 and Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the most populous province in Atlantic Canada. The name of the province is Latin for "New Scotland," but "Nova Scotia" is the recognized, English-language name of the province. The provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the...

, also became provinces of Canada.

Canada is a federal state
Federation
A federation , also known as a federal state, is a type of sovereign state characterized by a union of partially self-governing states or regions united by a central government...

 and not a confederate association of sovereign states, the usual meaning of confederation
Confederation
A confederation in modern political terms is a permanent union of political units for common action in relation to other units. Usually created by treaty but often later adopting a common constitution, confederations tend to be established for dealing with critical issues such as defense, foreign...

; but is often considered to be among the world's more decentralized
Decentralization
__FORCETOC__Decentralization or decentralisation is the process of dispersing decision-making governance closer to the people and/or citizens. It includes the dispersal of administration or governance in sectors or areas like engineering, management science, political science, political economy,...

 federations.

In this Canadian context, confederation generally describes the political process that united the colonies in the 1860s and related events, and the subsequent incorporation of other colonies and territories.
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Encyclopedia
Canadian Confederation was the process by which the federal
Federalism
Federalism is a political concept in which a group of members are bound together by covenant with a governing representative head. The term "federalism" is also used to describe a system of the government in which sovereignty is constitutionally divided between a central governing authority and...

 Dominion
Dominion
A dominion, often Dominion, refers to one of a group of autonomous polities that were nominally under British sovereignty, constituting the British Empire and British Commonwealth, beginning in the latter part of the 19th century. They have included Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland,...

 of Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 was formed on July 1, 1867. On that day, three British colonies were formed into four Canadian provinces
Provinces and territories of Canada
The provinces and territories of Canada combine to make up the world's second-largest country by area. There are ten provinces and three territories...

. The British Province of Canada
Province of Canada
The Province of Canada, United Province of Canada, or the United Canadas was a British colony in North America from 1841 to 1867. Its formation reflected recommendations made by John Lambton, 1st Earl of Durham in the Report on the Affairs of British North America following the Rebellions of...

 was divided into the new Canadian provinces of Ontario
Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

 and Quebec
Quebec
Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

, and two other British colonies, New Brunswick
New Brunswick
New Brunswick is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the only province in the federation that is constitutionally bilingual . The provincial capital is Fredericton and Saint John is the most populous city. Greater Moncton is the largest Census Metropolitan Area...

 and Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the most populous province in Atlantic Canada. The name of the province is Latin for "New Scotland," but "Nova Scotia" is the recognized, English-language name of the province. The provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the...

, also became provinces of Canada.

Terminology


Canada is a federal state
Federation
A federation , also known as a federal state, is a type of sovereign state characterized by a union of partially self-governing states or regions united by a central government...

 and not a confederate association of sovereign states, the usual meaning of confederation
Confederation
A confederation in modern political terms is a permanent union of political units for common action in relation to other units. Usually created by treaty but often later adopting a common constitution, confederations tend to be established for dealing with critical issues such as defense, foreign...

; but is often considered to be among the world's more decentralized
Decentralization
__FORCETOC__Decentralization or decentralisation is the process of dispersing decision-making governance closer to the people and/or citizens. It includes the dispersal of administration or governance in sectors or areas like engineering, management science, political science, political economy,...

 federations.

In this Canadian context, confederation generally describes the political process that united the colonies in the 1860s and related events, and the subsequent incorporation of other colonies and territories. The term confederation is now often used to describe Canada in an abstract way, "the Fathers of Confederation
Fathers of Confederation
The Fathers of Confederation are the people who attended the Charlottetown and Quebec Conferences in 1864 and the London Conference of 1866 in England, preceding Canadian Confederation. The following lists the participants in the Charlottetown, Quebec, and London Conferences and their attendance at...

" itself being one such usage. Provinces and territories that became part of Canada after 1867 are also said to have joined, or entered into, confederation (but not the Confederation). Confederation is, loosely translated, a confederation of colonies.

The term is also used to divide Canadian history into pre-Confederation (i.e. pre-1867) and post-Confederation (i.e. post-1867) periods.

Colonial organisation


All the colonies that became involved in the Canadian Confederation on July 1, 1867, were initially part of New France
New France
New France was the area colonized by France in North America during a period beginning with the exploration of the Saint Lawrence River by Jacques Cartier in 1534 and ending with the cession of New France to Spain and Great Britain in 1763...

, and were once ruled by France
Early Modern France
Kingdom of France is the early modern period of French history from the end of the 15th century to the end of the 18th century...

. Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the most populous province in Atlantic Canada. The name of the province is Latin for "New Scotland," but "Nova Scotia" is the recognized, English-language name of the province. The provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the...

 was granted in 1621 to Sir William Alexander
William Alexander, 1st Earl of Stirling
William Alexander, Earl of Stirling was a Scotsman who was an early developer of Scottish colonisation of Port Royal, Nova Scotia and Long Island, New York...

 under charter
Charter
A charter is the grant of authority or rights, stating that the granter formally recognizes the prerogative of the recipient to exercise the rights specified...

 by James VI. This claim overlapped the French claims to Acadia
Acadia
Acadia was the name given to lands in a portion of the French colonial empire of New France, in northeastern North America that included parts of eastern Quebec, the Maritime provinces, and modern-day Maine. At the end of the 16th century, France claimed territory stretching as far south as...

, and although the Scottish colony
Scottish colonization of the Americas
Scottish colonization of the Americas consisted of a number of failed or abandoned Scottish settlements in North America, a colony at Darien, Panama, and a number of wholly or largely Scottish settlements made after the Acts of Union 1707, and those made by the enforced resettlement after the...

 of Nova Scotia was short-lived, for political reasons, the conflicting imperial interests of France and the 18th century Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

 led to a long and bitter struggle for control. Present-day mainland Nova Scotia was finally acquired by the British by the Treaty of Utrecht
Treaty of Utrecht
The Treaty of Utrecht, which established the Peace of Utrecht, comprises a series of individual peace treaties, rather than a single document, signed by the belligerents in the War of Spanish Succession, in the Dutch city of Utrecht in March and April 1713...

 of 1713 and the Acadian population was eventually expelled
Great Upheaval
The Expulsion of the Acadians was the forced removal by the British of the Acadian people from present day Canadian Maritime provinces: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island...

 by the British in 1755. They called Acadia Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the most populous province in Atlantic Canada. The name of the province is Latin for "New Scotland," but "Nova Scotia" is the recognized, English-language name of the province. The provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the...

, which included present-day New Brunswick
New Brunswick
New Brunswick is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the only province in the federation that is constitutionally bilingual . The provincial capital is Fredericton and Saint John is the most populous city. Greater Moncton is the largest Census Metropolitan Area...

. The rest of New France was acquired by the British by the Treaty of Paris (1763)
Treaty of Paris (1763)
The Treaty of Paris, often called the Peace of Paris, or the Treaty of 1763, was signed on 10 February 1763, by the kingdoms of Great Britain, France and Spain, with Portugal in agreement. It ended the French and Indian War/Seven Years' War...

, which ended the Seven Years' War
French and Indian War
The French and Indian War is the common American name for the war between Great Britain and France in North America from 1754 to 1763. In 1756, the war erupted into the world-wide conflict known as the Seven Years' War and thus came to be regarded as the North American theater of that war...

. From 1763 to 1791, most of New France became the Province of Quebec. However, in 1769 the present-day Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island is a Canadian province consisting of an island of the same name, as well as other islands. The maritime province is the smallest in the nation in both land area and population...

, which had been part of Acadia, was renamed "St John’s Island" and organized as a separate colony. It was renamed "Prince Edward Island" in 1798 in honour of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn.

The first English
English colonial empire
The English colonial empire consisted of a variety of overseas territories colonized, conquered, or otherwise acquired by the former Kingdom of England between the late 16th and early 18th centuries....

 attempt at settlement had been in Newfoundland, which would not join the Confederation until 1949. The Society of Merchant Venturers
Society of Merchant Venturers
The Society of Merchant Venturers is a private entrepreneurial and charitable organisation in the English city of Bristol, which dates back to the 13th century...

 of Bristol
Bristol
Bristol is a city, unitary authority area and ceremonial county in South West England, with an estimated population of 433,100 for the unitary authority in 2009, and a surrounding Larger Urban Zone with an estimated 1,070,000 residents in 2007...

 began to settle Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador is the easternmost province of Canada. Situated in the country's Atlantic region, it incorporates the island of Newfoundland and mainland Labrador with a combined area of . As of April 2011, the province's estimated population is 508,400...

 at Cuper's Cove as far back as 1610, and Newfoundland had also been the subject of a French colonial enterprise.

In the wake of the American Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

, approximately 60,000 United Empire Loyalists
United Empire Loyalists
The name United Empire Loyalists is an honorific given after the fact to those American Loyalists who resettled in British North America and other British Colonies as an act of fealty to King George III after the British defeat in the American Revolutionary War and prior to the Treaty of Paris...

 fled to British North America
British North America
British North America is a historical term. It consisted of the colonies and territories of the British Empire in continental North America after the end of the American Revolutionary War and the recognition of American independence in 1783.At the start of the Revolutionary War in 1775 the British...

. The British created the separate colony of New Brunswick in 1784 for the Loyalists who settled in the western part of Nova Scotia. While Nova Scotia (including New Brunswick) received slightly more than half of this influx, many Loyalists also settled in the Province of Quebec, which by the Constitutional Act of 1791
Constitutional Act of 1791
The Constitutional Act of 1791, formally The Clergy Endowments Act, 1791 , is an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain...

 was separated into a predominantly-English Upper Canada
Upper Canada
The Province of Upper Canada was a political division in British Canada established in 1791 by the British Empire to govern the central third of the lands in British North America and to accommodate Loyalist refugees from the United States of America after the American Revolution...

 and a predominantly-French Lower Canada
Lower Canada
The Province of Lower Canada was a British colony on the lower Saint Lawrence River and the shores of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence...

. The War of 1812
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire. The Americans declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions because of Britain's ongoing war with France, impressment of American merchant...

 and subsequent Treaty of 1818
Treaty of 1818
The Convention respecting fisheries, boundary and the restoration of slaves between the United States of America and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, also known as the London Convention, Anglo-American Convention of 1818, Convention of 1818, or simply the Treaty of 1818, was a...

 established the 49th parallel
49th parallel north
The 49th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 49 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Europe, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America, and the Atlantic Ocean....

 as the border with the United States from the Great Lakes
Great Lakes
The Great Lakes are a collection of freshwater lakes located in northeastern North America, on the Canada – United States border. Consisting of Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, they form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth by total surface, coming in second by volume...

 to the Rocky Mountains
Rocky Mountains
The Rocky Mountains are a major mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch more than from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico, in the southwestern United States...

 in Western Canada.

Following the Rebellions of 1837
Rebellions of 1837
The Rebellions of 1837 were a pair of Canadian armed uprisings that occurred in 1837 and 1838 in response to frustrations in political reform. A key shared goal was the allowance of responsible government, which was eventually achieved in the incident's aftermath.-Rebellions:The rebellions started...

, Lord Durham
John Lambton, 1st Earl of Durham
John George Lambton, 1st Earl of Durham GCB, PC , also known as "Radical Jack" and commonly referred to in history texts simply as Lord Durham, was a British Whig statesman, colonial administrator, Governor General and high commissioner of British North America...

 in his famous Durham Report, recommended that Upper Canada and Lower Canada should be joined to form the Province of Canada
Province of Canada
The Province of Canada, United Province of Canada, or the United Canadas was a British colony in North America from 1841 to 1867. Its formation reflected recommendations made by John Lambton, 1st Earl of Durham in the Report on the Affairs of British North America following the Rebellions of...

 and that the new province should have a responsible government
Responsible government
Responsible government is a conception of a system of government that embodies the principle of parliamentary accountability which is the foundation of the Westminster system of parliamentary democracy...

. As a result of Durham’s report, the British Parliament passed the Act of Union 1840
Act of Union 1840
The Act of Union, formally the The British North America Act, 1840 , was enacted in July 1840 and proclaimed 10 February 1841. It abolished the legislatures of Lower Canada and Upper Canada and established a new political entity, the Province of Canada to replace them...

, and the Province of Canada was formed in 1841. The new province was divided into two parts: Canada West (the former Upper Canada) and Canada East
Canada East
Canada East was the eastern portion of the United Province of Canada. It consisted of the southern portion of the modern-day Canadian Province of Quebec, and was primarily a French-speaking region....

 (the former Lower Canada). Ministerial responsibility
Responsible government
Responsible government is a conception of a system of government that embodies the principle of parliamentary accountability which is the foundation of the Westminster system of parliamentary democracy...

 was finally granted by Governor General Lord Elgin
James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin
Sir James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin and 12th Earl of Kincardine, KT, GCB, PC , was a British colonial administrator and diplomat...

 in 1848, first to Nova Scotia and then to Canada. In the following years, the British would extend responsible government to Prince Edward Island (1851), New Brunswick (1854), and Newfoundland (1855).

The area which constitutes modern-day British Columbia
British Columbia
British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...

 is the remnants of the Hudson's Bay Company's Columbia District
Columbia District
The Columbia District was a fur trading district in the Pacific Northwest region of British North America in the 19th century. It was explored by the North West Company between 1793 and 1811, and established as an operating fur district around 1810...

 and New Caledonia District following the Oregon Treaty
Oregon Treaty
The Oregon Treaty is a treaty between the United Kingdom and the United States that was signed on June 15, 1846, in Washington, D.C. The treaty brought an end to the Oregon boundary dispute by settling competing American and British claims to the Oregon Country, which had been jointly occupied by...

. Prior to joining Canada in 1871, B.C. consisted of the separate Colony of British Columbia
Colony of British Columbia
The Colony of British Columbia was a crown colony in British North America from 1858 until 1866. At its creation, it physically constituted approximately half the present day Canadian province of British Columbia, since it did not include the Colony of Vancouver Island, the vast and still largely...

 (formed in 1858, in an area where the Crown had previously granted a monopoly to the Hudson's Bay Company), and the Colony of Vancouver Island
Colony of Vancouver Island
The Colony of Vancouver Island , was a crown colony of British North America from 1849 to 1866, after which it was united with British Columbia. The united colony joined the Dominion of Canada through Confederation in 1871...

 (formed in 1849) constituting a separate crown colony
Crown colony
A Crown colony, also known in the 17th century as royal colony, was a type of colonial administration of the English and later British Empire....

 until it was united with the Colony of British Columbia in 1866.

The remainder of modern-day Canada was made up of Rupert's Land
Rupert's Land
Rupert's Land, or Prince Rupert's Land, was a territory in British North America, consisting of the Hudson Bay drainage basin that was nominally owned by the Hudson's Bay Company for 200 years from 1670 to 1870, although numerous aboriginal groups lived in the same territory and disputed the...

 and the North-Western Territory
North-Western Territory
The North-Western Territory was a region of British North America until 1870. Named for where it lay in relation to Rupert's Land, the territory at its greatest extent covered what is now Yukon, mainland Northwest Territories, northwestern mainland Nunavut, northwestern Saskatchewan, northern...

 (both of which were controlled by the Hudson's Bay Company
Hudson's Bay Company
The Hudson's Bay Company , abbreviated HBC, or "The Bay" is the oldest commercial corporation in North America and one of the oldest in the world. A fur trading business for much of its existence, today Hudson's Bay Company owns and operates retail stores throughout Canada...

 and sold to Canada in 1870) and the Arctic Islands, which were under direct British control and became a part of Canada in 1880.

Early attempts



The idea of a legislative union of all British colonies in America goes back to at least 1754, when the Albany Congress
Albany Congress
The Albany Congress, also known as the Albany Conference and "The Conference of Albany" or "The Conference in Albany", was a meeting of representatives from seven of the thirteen British North American colonies in 1754...

 was held, preceding the Continental Congress
Continental Congress
The Continental Congress was a convention of delegates called together from the Thirteen Colonies that became the governing body of the United States during the American Revolution....

 of 1774. At least twelve other projects followed. These, however, did not include the colonies that were located in the territory of present-day Canada.

The idea was revived in 1839 by Lord Durham
John Lambton, 1st Earl of Durham
John George Lambton, 1st Earl of Durham GCB, PC , also known as "Radical Jack" and commonly referred to in history texts simply as Lord Durham, was a British Whig statesman, colonial administrator, Governor General and high commissioner of British North America...

 in his Report on the Affairs of British North America.

Beginning in 1857, Joseph-Charles Taché
Joseph-Charles Taché
Joseph-Charles Taché, was a multi-faceted member of the Taché family, a nephew of Sir Étienne-Paschal Taché...

 proposed a federation in a series of 33 articles published in the Courrier du Canada.

In 1859, Alexander Tilloch Galt
Alexander Tilloch Galt
Sir Alexander Tilloch Galt, GCMG, PC was a politician and a father of Canadian Confederation.He was born in Chelsea, England, the son of Scottish novelist and colonizer, John Galt, and Elizabeth Tilloch Galt. He was a cousin of Sir Hugh Allan.Alexander Galt is interred in the Mount Royal Cemetery...

, George-Étienne Cartier
George-Étienne Cartier
Sir George-Étienne Cartier, 1st Baronet, PC was a French-Canadian statesman and Father of Confederation.The English spelling of the name, George, instead of Georges, the usual French spelling, is explained by his having been named in honour of King George III....

 and John Ross
John Ross (Canadian senator)
John Ross was a Canadian lawyer, politician, and businessman.Born in County Antrim, Ireland, he was brought to Canada as an infant. Ross married twice, first to Margaret Crawford who died in 1847, secondly to Augusta Elizabeth Baldwin 4 February 1851, the daughter of Robert Baldwin...

 travelled to Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

 to present the British Parliament with a project for confederation of the British colonies. The proposal was received by the London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 authorities with polite indifference.

By 1864, it was clear that continued governance of the Province of Canada under the terms of the 1840 Act of Union had become impracticable. Therefore, a Great Coalition
Great Coalition
The Great Coalition was a grand coalition of the political parties of the two Canadas in 1864. The previous collapse after only three months of a coalition government formed by George-Étienne Cartier, George Brown and John A. MacDonald. The Great Coalition was formed to stop the political deadlock...

 of parties formed in order to reform the political system.

Influences leading to Confederation


There were several factors that influenced Confederation, both caused from internal sources and pressures from external sources.

Internal causes that influenced Confederation:
  • cancellation of the Canadian-American Reciprocity Treaty
    Canadian-American Reciprocity Treaty
    The Canadian American Reciprocity Treaty, also known as the Elgin-Marcy Treaty, was a trade treaty between the colonies of British North America and the United States. It covered raw materials and was in effect from 1854 to 1865...

     (a free trade policy whereby products were allowed into United States without taxes or tariffs starting in 1854), which was then considered to be beneficial for Canada, in 1865 by the United States, partly as a revenge against Great Britain for unofficial support of the South in the American Civil War
  • political deadlock resulting from the current political structure
  • demographic pressure
  • economic nationalism and the promise of economic development
  • an inter-colony railroad which would improve trade, military movement, and transportation in general
  • debt and financing issues created by the Grand Trunk Railway


External pressures that influenced Confederation:
  • the U.S. doctrine of Manifest Destiny
    Manifest Destiny
    Manifest Destiny was the 19th century American belief that the United States was destined to expand across the continent. It was used by Democrat-Republicans in the 1840s to justify the war with Mexico; the concept was denounced by Whigs, and fell into disuse after the mid-19th century.Advocates of...

    , the possible threat of invasion from the U.S.
  • the American Civil War
    American Civil War
    The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

    , British actions, and American reactions to Canada
  • the Fenian raids
    Fenian raids
    Between 1866 and 1871, the Fenian raids of the Fenian Brotherhood who were based in the United States; on British army forts, customs posts and other targets in Canada, were fought to bring pressure on Britain to withdraw from Ireland. They divided many Catholic Irish-Canadians, many of whom were...

  • the creation of a new British colonial policy, whereby Britain no longer wanted to maintain troops in its colonies.

Charlottetown Conference



In the spring of 1864, New Brunswick premier Samuel Leonard Tilley
Samuel Leonard Tilley
Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley, PC, KCMG was a Canadian politician and one of the Fathers of Confederation. Tilley was descended from United Empire Loyalists on both sides of his family...

, Nova Scotia premier Charles Tupper
Charles Tupper
Sir Charles Tupper, 1st Baronet, GCMG, CB, PC was a Canadian father of Confederation: as the Premier of Nova Scotia from 1864 to 1867, he led Nova Scotia into Confederation. He later went on to serve as the sixth Prime Minister of Canada, sworn in to office on May 1, 1896, seven days after...

, and Prince Edward Island premier John Hamilton Gray
John Hamilton Gray (Prince Edward Island politician)
John Hamilton Gray was Premier of Prince Edward Island from 1863 – 1865 and one of the Fathers of Confederation...

 were contemplating the idea of a Maritime Union
Maritime Union
Maritime Union is a proposed political union of the three Maritime provinces of Canada to form a single new province which would be the fifth-largest in Canada by population...

 which would join their three colonies together.

The Premier of the Province of Canada John A. Macdonald
John A. Macdonald
Sir John Alexander Macdonald, GCB, KCMG, PC, PC , QC was the first Prime Minister of Canada. The dominant figure of Canadian Confederation, his political career spanned almost half a century...

 surprised the Atlantic premiers by asking if the Province of Canada could be included in the negotiations. The request was channelled through the Governor-General, Monck, to London and accepted by the Colonial Office. After several years of legislative paralysis in the Province of Canada caused by the need to maintain a double legislative majority (a majority of both the Canada East and Canada West delegates in the Province of Canada’s legislature), Macdonald had led his Liberal-Conservative Party
Liberal-Conservative Party
The Liberal-Conservative Party was the formal name of the Conservative Party of Canada until 1873, although some Conservative candidates continued to run under the label as late as the 1911 election and others ran as simple Conservatives prior to 1873...

 into the Great Coalition
Great Coalition
The Great Coalition was a grand coalition of the political parties of the two Canadas in 1864. The previous collapse after only three months of a coalition government formed by George-Étienne Cartier, George Brown and John A. MacDonald. The Great Coalition was formed to stop the political deadlock...

 with George-Étienne Cartier
George-Étienne Cartier
Sir George-Étienne Cartier, 1st Baronet, PC was a French-Canadian statesman and Father of Confederation.The English spelling of the name, George, instead of Georges, the usual French spelling, is explained by his having been named in honour of King George III....

’s Parti bleu
Parti bleu
The Parti bleu was a moderate political group in Quebec, Canada that emerged in 1854. It was based on the moderate reformist views of Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine, and was a rival to the radical Parti rouge....

 and George Brown
George Brown (Canadian politician)
George Brown was a Scottish-born Canadian journalist, politician and one of the Fathers of Confederation...

’s Clear Grits
Clear Grits
Clear Grits were reformers in the Province of Upper Canada, a British colony that is now the Province of Ontario, Canada. Their support was concentrated among southwestern Ontario farmers, who were frustrated and disillusioned by the 1849 Reform government of Robert Baldwin and Louis-Hippolyte...

. Macdonald, Cartier, and Brown felt that union with the other British colonies might be a way to solve the political problems of the Province of Canada.

The Charlottetown Conference
Charlottetown Conference
The Charlottetown Conference was held in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island for representatives from the colonies of British North America to discuss Canadian Confederation...

 began on September 1, 1864. Since the agenda for the meeting had already been set, the delegation from the Province of Canada was initially not an official part of the Conference. The issue of Maritime Union was deferred and the Canadians were formally allowed to join and address the Conference.

No minutes from the Charlottetown Conference survive, but we do know that George-Étienne Cartier and John A. Macdonald presented arguments in favour of a union of the four colonies; Alexander Tilloch Galt
Alexander Tilloch Galt
Sir Alexander Tilloch Galt, GCMG, PC was a politician and a father of Canadian Confederation.He was born in Chelsea, England, the son of Scottish novelist and colonizer, John Galt, and Elizabeth Tilloch Galt. He was a cousin of Sir Hugh Allan.Alexander Galt is interred in the Mount Royal Cemetery...

 presented the Province of Canada’s proposals on the financial arrangements of such a union; and that George Brown presented a proposal for what form a united government might take. The Canadian delegation’s proposal for the governmental system involved:
  1. preservation of ties with Great Britain;
  2. residual jurisdiction left to a central authority;
  3. a bicameral system including a Lower House with representation by population (rep by pop) and an Upper House with representation based on regional, rather than provincial, equality;
  4. responsible government at the federal and provincial levels;
  5. the appointment of a governor general by the British Crown.


Other proposals attractive to the politicians from the Maritime colonies were:
  1. assumption of provincial debt by the central government;
  2. revenues from the central government apportioned to the provinces on the basis of population;
  3. the building of an intercolonial railway to link Montreal and Halifax, giving Canada access to an ice-free winter port and the Maritimes easy access to Canada and Rupert's Land.


By Wednesday September 7, 1864, the delegates from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island gave a positive answer to the Canadian delegation, expressing the view that the federation of all of the provinces was considered desirable if the terms of union could be made satisfactory and the question of Maritime Union was waived.

After the Conference adjourned on September 9, there were further meetings between delegates held at Halifax
City of Halifax
Halifax is a city in Canada, which was the capital of the province of Nova Scotia and shire town of Halifax County. It was the largest city in Atlantic Canada until it was amalgamated into Halifax Regional Municipality in 1996...

, Saint John
Saint John, New Brunswick
City of Saint John , or commonly Saint John, is the largest city in the province of New Brunswick, and the first incorporated city in Canada. The city is situated along the north shore of the Bay of Fundy at the mouth of the Saint John River. In 2006 the city proper had a population of 74,043...

, and Fredericton. These meetings evinced enough interest that it was decided to hold a second Conference.

Delegates' reactions


One of the most important purposes of the Charlottetown Conference was the introduction of Canadians to the leaders from the Maritime Provinces and vice versa. At this point there was no railway link from Quebec City to Halifax, and the people of each region had little to do with one another. D'Arcy McGee
D'Arcy McGee
Thomas D'Arcy Etienne Hughes McGee, PC, was an Irish Nationalist, Catholic spokesman, journalist, and a Father of Canadian confederation. He fought for the development of Irish and Canadian national identities that would transcend their component groups...

 was one of the few Canadian delegates who had been to the Maritimes, when he had gone down earlier that summer with a trade mission of Canadian businessmen, journalists and politicians.

George Brown remarked in a letter to his wife Anne that at a party given by the premier of PEI, Colonel John Hamilton Gray
John Hamilton Gray (Prince Edward Island politician)
John Hamilton Gray was Premier of Prince Edward Island from 1863 – 1865 and one of the Fathers of Confederation...

, he met a woman who had never been off the island in her entire life. Nevertheless, he found Prince Edward Islanders to be "amazingly civilized".

Press and popular reaction


Reaction to the Charlottetown Conference varied among the different newspapers. In the Maritimes there was concern that the smooth Canadians with their sparkling champagne and charming speeches were outsmarting the delegates of the smaller provinces. "From all accounts it looks as if these [Canadian] gentlemen had it all their own way...and that, what with their arguments and what with their blandishments, (they gave a champagne lunch on board the Victoria where Mr. McGee's wit sparkled brightly as the wine), they carried the Lower Province delegates a little off their feet."

Quebec Conference



After returning home from the Charlottetown Conference, John A. Macdonald asked Viscount Monck, the Governor General of the Province of Canada to invite delegates from the three Maritime provinces and Newfoundland to a conference with United Canada delegates. Monck obliged and the Conference went ahead at Quebec City
Quebec City
Quebec , also Québec, Quebec City or Québec City is the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec and is located within the Capitale-Nationale region. It is the second most populous city in Quebec after Montreal, which is about to the southwest...

 in October 1864.

The Conference began on October 10, 1864, on the site of present-day Montmorency Park. The Conference elected Étienne-Paschal Taché
Étienne-Paschal Taché
Sir Étienne-Paschal Taché was a Canadian doctor, politician and one of the Fathers of Confederation.Born in St. Thomas, Lower Canada, in 1795, the third son of Charles Taché and Geneviève Michon, Taché studied at the Séminaire de Québec until the War of 1812 when he joined the 5th battalion of the...

 as its chairman, but it was dominated by Macdonald. Despite differences in the positions of some of the delegates on some issues, the Quebec Conference, following so swiftly on the success of the Charlottetown Conference, was infused with a determinative sense of purpose and nationalism. For the Reformers of Canada West, led by George Brown, the end what they perceived as French-Canadian interference in local affairs was in sight. For Maritimers such as Tupper of Nova Scotia or Tilley of New Brunswick, horizons were suddenly broadened to take in much larger possibilities for trade and growth.

On the issue of the Senate, the Maritime Provinces pressed for as much equality as possible. With the addition of Newfoundland to the Conference, the other three Maritime colonies did not wish to see the strength of their provinces in the upper chamber diluted by simply adding Newfoundland to the Atlantic category. It was the matter of the Senate that threatened to derail the entire proceedings. It was Macdonald who came up with the acceptable compromise of giving Newfoundland four senators of its own when it joined.

The delegates from the Maritimes also raised an issue with respect to the level of government—federal or provincial—that would be given the powers not otherwise specifically defined. Macdonald, who was aiming for the strongest central government possible, insisted that this was to be the central government, and in this he was supported by, among others, Tupper.

At the end of the Conference, it adopted the Seventy-two Resolutions
Seventy-two resolutions
The Quebec Resolutions, also known as the seventy-two resolutions, were a set of proposals drafted at the 1864 Quebec Conference, which laid out the framework for the Canadian Constitution....

 which would form the basis of a scheduled future conference. The Conference adjourned on October 26.

Prince Edward Island emerged disappointed from the Quebec Conference. It did not receive support for a guarantee of six members in the proposed House of Commons, and was denied an appropriation of $200,000 that it felt had been offered at Charlottetown to assist in buying out the holdings of absentee landlords.

Press and popular reaction


"Never was there such an opportunity as now for the birth of a nation" proclaimed a pamphlet written by S.E. Dawson and reprinted in a Quebec City newspaper during the Conference.

Again, reaction to the Quebec Conference varied depending on the political views of the critic.

London Conference



Following the Quebec Conference, the Province of Canada's legislature passed a bill approving the union. The union proved more controversial in the Maritime provinces, however, and it was not until 1866 that New Brunswick and Nova Scotia passed union resolutions, while Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland continued to opt against joining.

In December 1866, sixteen delegates from the Province of Canada, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia travelled to London, where Queen Victoria
Victoria of the United Kingdom
Victoria was the monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. From 1 May 1876, she used the additional title of Empress of India....

 received each in private audience, as well as holding court for their wives and daughters. At meetings held at the Westminster Palace Hotel, the delegates reviewed and approved the 72 resolutions; although Charles Tupper had promised anti-union forces in Nova Scotia that he would push for amendments, he was unsuccessful in getting any passed. Now known as the London Resolutions, the conference's decisions were forwarded to the Colonial Office
Colonial Office
Colonial Office is the government agency which serves to oversee and supervise their colony* Colonial Office - The British Government department* Office of Insular Affairs - the American government agency* Reichskolonialamt - the German Colonial Office...

.

After breaking for Christmas
Christmas
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

, the delegates reconvened in January 1867 and began drafting the British North America Act. They easily agreed that the new country should be called Canada, that Canada East should be renamed Quebec and that Canada West should be renamed Ontario. There was, however, heated debate about how the new country should be designated. Ultimately, the delegates elected to call the new country the Dominion of Canada, after "kingdom" and "confederation", among other options, were rejected for various reasons. The term dominion was allegedly suggested by Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley.

The delegates had completed their draft of the British North America Act by February 1867. The Act was presented to Queen Victoria on February 11, 1867. The bill was introduced in the House of Lords
House of Lords
The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster....

 the next day. The bill was quickly approved by the House of Lords, and then also quickly approved by the British House of Commons
British House of Commons
The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which also comprises the Sovereign and the House of Lords . Both Commons and Lords meet in the Palace of Westminster. The Commons is a democratically elected body, consisting of 650 members , who are known as Members...

. (The Conservative
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

 Lord Derby
Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby
Edward George Geoffrey Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby, KG, PC was an English statesman, three times Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and to date the longest serving leader of the Conservative Party. He was known before 1834 as Edward Stanley, and from 1834 to 1851 as Lord Stanley...

 was prime minister of the United Kingdom
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the Head of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Sovereign, to Parliament, to their political party and...

 at the time.) The Act received royal assent
Royal Assent
The granting of royal assent refers to the method by which any constitutional monarch formally approves and promulgates an act of his or her nation's parliament, thus making it a law...

 on March 29, 1867, and set July 1, 1867, as the date for union.

British North America Acts


Confederation
Confederation
A confederation in modern political terms is a permanent union of political units for common action in relation to other units. Usually created by treaty but often later adopting a common constitution, confederations tend to be established for dealing with critical issues such as defense, foreign...

 was accomplished when the Queen gave royal assent to the British North America Act (BNA Act) on March 29, 1867, followed by a royal proclamation stating: "We do ordain, declare, and command that on and after the First day of July, One Thousand Eight Hundred and Sixty-seven, the Provinces of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick, shall form and be One Dominion, under the name of Canada." That act, which united the Province of Canada with the colonies of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, came into effect on July 1 that year. The act replaced the Act of Union (1840) which had previously unified Upper Canada
Upper Canada
The Province of Upper Canada was a political division in British Canada established in 1791 by the British Empire to govern the central third of the lands in British North America and to accommodate Loyalist refugees from the United States of America after the American Revolution...

 and Lower Canada
Lower Canada
The Province of Lower Canada was a British colony on the lower Saint Lawrence River and the shores of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence...

 into the united Province of Canada
Province of Canada
The Province of Canada, United Province of Canada, or the United Canadas was a British colony in North America from 1841 to 1867. Its formation reflected recommendations made by John Lambton, 1st Earl of Durham in the Report on the Affairs of British North America following the Rebellions of...

. Separate provinces were re-established under their current names of Ontario and Quebec. July 1 is now celebrated as Canada Day
Canada Day
Canada Day , formerly Dominion Day , is the national day of Canada, a federal statutory holiday celebrating the anniversary of the July 1, 1867, enactment of the British North America Act , which united three British colonies into a single country, called Canada, within the British Empire...

.

The form of the country's government was influenced by the American republic
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 to the south. Noting the flaws perceived in the American system, the Fathers of Confederation opted to retain a monarchical form of government. John A. Macdonald
John A. Macdonald
Sir John Alexander Macdonald, GCB, KCMG, PC, PC , QC was the first Prime Minister of Canada. The dominant figure of Canadian Confederation, his political career spanned almost half a century...

, speaking in 1865 about the proposals for the upcoming confederation of Canada, said:
The form of government chosen is regarded as having created a federation that is a kingdom in its own right. John A. Macdonald
John A. Macdonald
Sir John Alexander Macdonald, GCB, KCMG, PC, PC , QC was the first Prime Minister of Canada. The dominant figure of Canadian Confederation, his political career spanned almost half a century...

 had spoken of "founding a great British monarchy" and wanted the newly created country to be called the "Kingdom of Canada." Although it had its monarch
Monarchy in Canada
The monarchy of Canada is the core of both Canada's federalism and its Westminster-style parliamentary democracy, being the foundation of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the Canadian government and each provincial government...

 in London, the Colonial Office
Secretary of State for the Colonies
The Secretary of State for the Colonies or Colonial Secretary was the British Cabinet minister in charge of managing the United Kingdom's various colonial dependencies....

 opposed as "premature" and "pretentious" the term "kingdom", as it was felt it might antagonize the United States. The term dominion
Dominion
A dominion, often Dominion, refers to one of a group of autonomous polities that were nominally under British sovereignty, constituting the British Empire and British Commonwealth, beginning in the latter part of the 19th century. They have included Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland,...

was chosen to indicate Canada's status as a self-governing colony of the British Empire, the first time it was used in reference to a country.

While the BNA Act gave Canada more autonomy than it had before, it was far from full independence from the United Kingdom. Defense of British North America became a Canadian responsibility. Foreign policy remained in British hands, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council
Judicial Committee of the Privy Council
The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council is one of the highest courts in the United Kingdom. Established by the Judicial Committee Act 1833 to hear appeals formerly heard by the King in Council The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC) is one of the highest courts in the United...

 remained Canada's highest court of appeal, and the constitution could be amended only in Britain. Gradually, Canada gained more autonomy, and in 1931, obtained almost full autonomy within the British Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 with the Statute of Westminster
Statute of Westminster 1931
The Statute of Westminster 1931 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Passed on 11 December 1931, the Act established legislative equality for the self-governing dominions of the British Empire with the United Kingdom...

. Because the provinces of Canada were unable to agree on a constitutional amending formula, this power remained with the British Parliament. In 1982, the constitution was patriated
Patriation
Patriation is a non-legal term used in Canada to describe a process of constitutional change also known as "homecoming" of the constitution. Up until 1982, Canada was governed by a constitution that was a British law and could be changed only by an Act of the British Parliament...

 when Queen Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
Elizabeth II is the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize,...

 gave her royal assent to the Canada Act 1982
Canada Act 1982
The Canada Act 1982 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that was passed at the request of the Canadian federal government to "patriate" Canada's constitution, ending the necessity for the country to request certain types of amendment to the Constitution of Canada to be made by the...

. The Constitution of Canada
Constitution of Canada
The Constitution of Canada is the supreme law in Canada; the country's constitution is an amalgamation of codified acts and uncodified traditions and conventions. It outlines Canada's system of government, as well as the civil rights of all Canadian citizens and those in Canada...

 is made up of a number of codified acts and uncodified traditions; one of the principal documents is the Constitution Act, 1982
Constitution Act, 1982
The Constitution Act, 1982 is a part of the Constitution of Canada. The Act was introduced as part of Canada's process of "patriating" the constitution, introducing several amendments to the British North America Act, 1867, and changing the latter's name in Canada to the Constitution Act, 1867...

, which renamed the BNA Act 1867 to Constitution Act, 1867
Constitution Act, 1867
The Constitution Act, 1867 , is a major part of Canada's Constitution. The Act created a federal dominion and defines much of the operation of the Government of Canada, including its federal structure, the House of Commons, the Senate, the justice system, and the taxation system...

.

Results


Dominion elections were held in August and September to elect the first Parliament
Parliament of Canada
The Parliament of Canada is the federal legislative branch of Canada, seated at Parliament Hill in the national capital, Ottawa. Formally, the body consists of the Canadian monarch—represented by her governor general—the Senate, and the House of Commons, each element having its own officers and...

, and the four new provinces' governments recommended the 72 individuals (24 each for Quebec and Ontario, 12 each for New Brunswick and Nova Scotia) who would sit in the Senate
Canadian Senate
The Senate of Canada is a component of the Parliament of Canada, along with the House of Commons, and the monarch . The Senate consists of 105 members appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister...

.

The Anti-Confederation Party won 18 out of 19 federal Nova Scotia seats in September 1867, and in the Nova Scotia provincial election of 1868, 36 out of 38 seats in the legislature. For seven years, William Annand and Joseph Howe led the ultimately unsuccessful fight to convince British imperial authorities to release Nova Scotia from Confederation. The government was vocally against Confederation, contending that it was no more than the annexation of the province to the pre-existing province of Canada.

Fathers of Confederation


The original Fathers of Confederation are those delegates who attended any of the conferences held at Charlottetown and Quebec in 1864, or in London, United Kingdom, in 1866, leading to Confederation.

There were 36 original Fathers. Hewitt Bernard
Hewitt Bernard
Hewitt Bernard, was a Canadian lawyer, militia officer, editor, and civil servant.Hewitt was born in Spanish Town, Jamaica, educated in Bath, England and practiced law in Jamaica until the death of his father in 1850. He came to Canada and settled in Barrie, Upper Canada where he became part of...

, who was the recording secretary at the Charlottetown Conference, is considered by some to be a Father. The later "Fathers" who brought other provinces into Confederation after 1867 are also referred to as "Fathers of Confederation." Amor De Cosmos
Amor De Cosmos
Amor De Cosmos was a Canadian journalist, publisher and politician. He served as the second Premier of British Columbia.-Early life:...

, instrumental both in bringing democracy to British Columbia and his province into Confederation, is considered by many to be a Father of Confederation. As well, Joey Smallwood
Joey Smallwood
Joseph Roberts "Joey" Smallwood, PC, CC was the main force that brought Newfoundland into the Canadian confederation, and became the first Premier of Newfoundland . As premier, he vigorously promoted economic development, championed the welfare state, and emphasized modernization of education and...

 referred to himself as "the Last Father of Confederation", because he helped lead Newfoundland into Confederation in 1949.

Joining Confederation


After the initial Act of Union in 1867, Manitoba
Manitoba
Manitoba is a Canadian prairie province with an area of . The province has over 110,000 lakes and has a largely continental climate because of its flat topography. Agriculture, mostly concentrated in the fertile southern and western parts of the province, is vital to the province's economy; other...

 was established by an Act of Parliament on July 15, 1870, originally as an area of land much smaller than the current province. British Columbia
British Columbia
British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...

 joined Canada July 20, 1871, by Act of Parliament (and encouraged to join by Sir John A. Macdonald's promise of a railway within 10 years). Prince Edward Island joined July 1, 1873 (and, as part of the terms of union, was guaranteed a ferry
Ferry
A ferry is a form of transportation, usually a boat, but sometimes a ship, used to carry primarily passengers, and sometimes vehicles and cargo as well, across a body of water. Most ferries operate on regular, frequent, return services...

 link, a term which was deleted upon completion of the Confederation Bridge
Confederation Bridge
The Confederation Bridge is a bridge spanning the Abegweit Passage of Northumberland Strait, linking Prince Edward Island with mainland New Brunswick, Canada. It was commonly referred to as the "Fixed Link" by residents of Prince Edward Island prior to its official naming. Construction took place...

 in 1997). Alberta
Alberta
Alberta is a province of Canada. It had an estimated population of 3.7 million in 2010 making it the most populous of Canada's three prairie provinces...

 and Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan is a prairie province in Canada, which has an area of . Saskatchewan is bordered on the west by Alberta, on the north by the Northwest Territories, on the east by Manitoba, and on the south by the U.S. states of Montana and North Dakota....

 were established September 1, 1905, by Acts of Parliament. Newfoundland joined on March 31, 1949, also with a ferry link guaranteed.

The Dominion acquired Rupert's Land
Rupert's Land
Rupert's Land, or Prince Rupert's Land, was a territory in British North America, consisting of the Hudson Bay drainage basin that was nominally owned by the Hudson's Bay Company for 200 years from 1670 to 1870, although numerous aboriginal groups lived in the same territory and disputed the...

 from the Hudson's Bay Company
Hudson's Bay Company
The Hudson's Bay Company , abbreviated HBC, or "The Bay" is the oldest commercial corporation in North America and one of the oldest in the world. A fur trading business for much of its existence, today Hudson's Bay Company owns and operates retail stores throughout Canada...

 and the North-Western Territory
North-Western Territory
The North-Western Territory was a region of British North America until 1870. Named for where it lay in relation to Rupert's Land, the territory at its greatest extent covered what is now Yukon, mainland Northwest Territories, northwestern mainland Nunavut, northwestern Saskatchewan, northern...

 from the Crown in 1869, and took ownership on December 1 of that year, merging them and naming them North-West Territories (though final payment to the Hudson's Bay Company did not occur until 1870). In 1880, the British assigned all North American Arctic
Arctic
The Arctic is a region located at the northern-most part of the Earth. The Arctic consists of the Arctic Ocean and parts of Canada, Russia, Greenland, the United States, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. The Arctic region consists of a vast, ice-covered ocean, surrounded by treeless permafrost...

 islands to Canada, right up to Ellesmere Island
Ellesmere Island
Ellesmere Island is part of the Qikiqtaaluk Region of the Canadian territory of Nunavut. Lying within the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, it is considered part of the Queen Elizabeth Islands, with Cape Columbia being the most northerly point of land in Canada...

. From this vast swath of territory were created three provinces (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta) and two territories (Yukon
Yukon
Yukon is the westernmost and smallest of Canada's three federal territories. It was named after the Yukon River. The word Yukon means "Great River" in Gwich’in....

 and North-West Territories), and two extensions each to Quebec, Ontario, and Manitoba. Later, the third territory of Nunavut
Nunavut
Nunavut is the largest and newest federal territory of Canada; it was separated officially from the Northwest Territories on April 1, 1999, via the Nunavut Act and the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act, though the actual boundaries had been established in 1993...

 was carved from the Northwest Territories on April 1, 1999.

Below is a list of Canadian provinces and territories
Provinces and territories of Canada
The provinces and territories of Canada combine to make up the world's second-largest country by area. There are ten provinces and three territories...

 in the order in which they entered Confederation; territories are italicized. At formal events, representatives of the provinces and territories take precedence according to this ordering
Canadian order of precedence
The Canadian order of precedence is a nominal and symbolic hierarchy of important positions within the Government of Canada. It has no legal standing but is used to dictate ceremonial protocol....

, except that provinces always precede territories. For provinces that entered on the same date, the order of precedence is based on the provinces' populations at the time they entered Confederation.
Order Date Name
1 July 1, 1867  Ontario
 Quebec
 Nova Scotia
 New Brunswick
5 July 15, 1870  ManitobaIn 1870 the Hudson's Bay Company
Hudson's Bay Company
The Hudson's Bay Company , abbreviated HBC, or "The Bay" is the oldest commercial corporation in North America and one of the oldest in the world. A fur trading business for much of its existence, today Hudson's Bay Company owns and operates retail stores throughout Canada...

 controlled Rupert's Land and North-Western Territory were transferred to the Dominion of Canada. Most of these lands were formed into a new territory named Northwest Territories, but the region around Fort Garry
Fort Garry
Fort Garry, also known as Upper Fort Garry, was a Hudson's Bay Company trading post at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine rivers in what is now downtown Winnipeg. It was established in 1822 on or near the site of the North West Company's Fort Gibraltar. Fort Garry was named after Nicholas...

 was simultaneously established as the province of Manitoba by the Manitoba Act of 1870. Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec later received additional land from the Northwest Territories, and Yukon, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Nunavut were later created out of the Northwest Territories. The remaining provinces joined Canada as separate and previously independent colonies.
 Northwest Territories
7 July 20, 1871  British Columbia
8 July 1, 1873  Prince Edward Island
9 June 13, 1898  Yukon
10 September 1, 1905  Saskatchewan
 Alberta
12 March 31, 1949 - (renamed Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador is the easternmost province of Canada. Situated in the country's Atlantic region, it incorporates the island of Newfoundland and mainland Labrador with a combined area of . As of April 2011, the province's estimated population is 508,400...

 in 2001)
13 April 1, 1999  Nunavut


[N1]

Legacy


The term Confederation has entered into Canadian parlance both as a metaphor for the country and for the historical events that created it. It has therefore become one of the most common names for Canadian landmarks. Examples include Mount Confederation
Mount Confederation
Mount Confederation is a mountain located north of Gong Lake in the Athabasca River Valley of Jasper National Park, Canada. The mountain was named in 1927 by Alfred J. Ostheimer after the Fathers of Confederation....

, Confederation Square
Confederation Square
Confederation Square is an urban square in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and is considered the second most important ceremonial centre in Canada's capital city, after Parliament Hill...

, Confederation Building, Confederation Park
Confederation Park (disambiguation)
Confederation Park is a park in the centre of Canada's capital city, Ottawa.Confederation Park may also refer to:*Confederation Park, Calgary*Confederation Park, Saskatoon, a neighbourhood...

, Confederation Station
Confederation Station (OC Transpo)
Confederation O-Train Station is an O-Train station located near Heron Road and Bronson Avenue in Ottawa, Ontario, which primarily serves the Government of Canada offices in the Confederation Heights area, and students from Brookfield High School...

, Confederation Heights
Confederation Heights
Confederation Heights is an area in south Ottawa, Canada, made up of mostly government buildings. It is bounded on the east by Data Centre Road, on the north and west by the Rideau River and on the south by Brookfield Road....

, Confederation Bridge
Confederation Bridge
The Confederation Bridge is a bridge spanning the Abegweit Passage of Northumberland Strait, linking Prince Edward Island with mainland New Brunswick, Canada. It was commonly referred to as the "Fixed Link" by residents of Prince Edward Island prior to its official naming. Construction took place...

, and so on. This is similar to the American and British practices of naming things "Union" and likewise the Australians with "Federation".

See also



  • Expo 67
    Expo 67
    The 1967 International and Universal Exposition or Expo 67, as it was commonly known, was the general exhibition, Category One World's Fair held in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, from April 27 to October 29, 1967. It is considered to be the most successful World's Fair of the 20th century, with the...

  • History of Canada
    History of Canada
    The history of Canada covers the period from the arrival of Paleo-Indians thousands of years ago to the present day. Canada has been inhabited for millennia by distinctive groups of Aboriginal peoples, among whom evolved trade networks, spiritual beliefs, and social hierarchies...

  • Territorial evolution of Canada
    Territorial evolution of Canada
    The federation of Canada was created in 1867 when three colonies of British North America were united. One of these colonies split into two new provinces, three other colonies joined later...


Further reading


  • Ged Martin. Britain and the Origins of Canadian Confederation, 1837-67 ;;(1995)
  • LAC
    Library and Archives Canada
    Library and Archives Canada is a national memory institution dedicated to providing the best possible account of Canadian life through acquiring, preserving and making Canada's documentary heritage accessible for use in the 21st century and beyond...

    . "Canadian Confederation", in the Web site of Library and Archives Canada, 2006-01-09 (ISSN 1713-868X) [includes a bibliography
  • Quebec and London Conferences. Report of resolutions adopted at a conference of delegates from the provinces of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick, and the colonies of Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island ..., London: s.n., 1867? (online) [Resolutions of the Quebec Conference of October 10, 1864, and those of the London Conference of December 4, 1866, side by side]
  • Nova Scotia. House of Assembly
    Nova Scotia House of Assembly
    The Nova Scotia Legislature, consisting of Her Majesty The Queen represented by the Lieutenant Governor and the House of Assembly, is the legislative branch of the provincial government of Nova Scotia, Canada...

     (1867). Debate on the union of the provinces in the House of Assembly of Nova Scotia, March 16th, 18th, and 19th, 1867, S.l.: s.n., 65 p. (online)
  • Joseph Howe
    Joseph Howe
    Joseph Howe, PC was a Nova Scotian journalist, politician, and public servant. He is one of Nova Scotia's greatest and best-loved politicians...

    , William Annand
    William Annand
    William Annand was a Nova Scotia publisher and politician.Born in Halifax, Annand was first elected to the Nova Scotia House of Assembly in 1836 and supported demands for responsible government. He lost his seat in 1843 and became proprietor and editor of the Novascotian and Morning Chronicle...

    , and Hugh McDonald
    Hugh McDonald (politician)
    Hugh Macdonald, PC was a lawyer, judge and member of the First Canadian Parliament. He represented the Antigonish riding of Nova Scotia, from 1867 to 1869, along with William Hallett Ray, as an Anti-Confederate and, from 1869 to 1873, as a Liberal-Conservative.The son of Allan McDonald and...

    (1867). Letter addressed to the Earl of Carnarvon by Mr. Joseph Howe, Mr. William Annand, and Mr. Hugh McDonald stating their objections to the proposed scheme of union of the British North American provinces, London: G.E. Eyre and W. Spottiswoode, 33 p. (online)
  • Parliament of the Province of Canada (1865). Parliamentary debates on the subject of the Confederation of the British North American Provinces : 3rd Session, 8th Provincial Parliament of Canada, Quebec: Hunter, Rose & Co., 1032 p. (online)


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