The Reign of Queen Victoria
  • life was either luxurious or burdensome, depending on social class
  • natives forced to adjust to European ways but kept culture intact despite the pressure to assimilate into white society
  • Victorians had attitude- they were sure of themselves and their beliefs (Christian)
  • values included strict moral code and obsession with social status- lots of clothing and decor
  • advancing the age of medicine and science
  • enjoyed entertainment and travel which was made easier by the new and improved infrastructure
  • newspapers began bringing in local news as well as news from colonies, US, and places farther away

Building a Nation
After Lord Durham’s proposal of joining the colonies, some people were much keener on the idea then others.
-The idea was popular in Canada West were British politicians dreamed of forming a federation where members withheld certain powers but a central government could control defense, external relations, currency, postage, taxation, and other concerns.
-The idea was less popular in Canada East where the French did not want to become a minority in an English speaking nation.
The Maritimes didn’t really feel connected to the growing province. They regarded themselves as independent and mature colonies with responsible government.

Towards Confederation
After the Canadas were joined by the Act of Union in 1840, Britain still wanted to implement responsible government.

In 1847, Britain named James Bruce, Earl of Elgin and Lord Durham’s son, the governor of the Canadas
  • his job was get responsible government in place
  • the colony would become an economic partner without Britain having to take responsibility for it
  • 1849 Canadian government passed bill giving financial compensation to anyone, including rebels, who had lost property during rebellions
  • anti rebel forces saw this as rewarding treason (Lord Elgin didn’t agree either but had to choice but to sign because of responsible government) which lead to riot and burning of parliament buildings
  • this laid foundation for democracy

Advantages of Confederation
  • Economic stability
  • Trading between colonies
  • Strong central government
  • Railway to link colonies for trade and defence
  • In the west, ensure BC not annexed by US (people were very suspicious of
  • Governed by political groups as opposed to independent members

The Parties Involved:
Parti Rouge
Lead by Papineau in Canada East, hated the act of union, favoured a US model of government

Parti Bleu
Lead by Cartier, most powerful group in Canada East, focus on economic development on CE and protection of French-Canadian rights, worked with catholic church

Clear Grits
Brown, radical party in Canada West, defended English rights, and attacked corrupt governments, liked representation by population

John A. MacDonald lead the middle ground group in Canada West

Macdonald made deal with parti bleu and they combined parties

Leaders saw confederation as the only solution to the difficulties within the colonies
  • formed the "Great Coliation" to save the government and unite colonies

The conferences were a series of meetings at which representatives from all the colonies discussed and worked out the details of a new union. There were 3 of them:

Charlottetown (1864)
  • Supposed to be Maritime Colonies discussing confederation
  • Great-Coalition members (MacDonald, Cartier and Brown) joined in to introduce plans for large-scale confederation

Quebec (1864)
  • Attended by New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, PEI, Upper and Lower Canada
  • Most of planning completed and a lot of compromises/deals made
  • Once they blueprint for confederation and statement for government, each legislature had to agree to the terms. Each colony would only join if they liked the terms and only then could confederation be achieved.

London (1866)
  • Brought in the British North America Act
    • It was the constitution (laws that set forth the powers and responsibilities of the government and guarantee the rights of the people) of the new dominion of Canada
    • Parliament of Britain passed this act which allowed Canada to become a separate country
    • New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec were the 4 provinces
    • Most of power remained with provincial government but still a fairly strong national government run by MacDonald

BC was not officially present at conferences but people did believe that railway link to central Canada would foster growth and development of their region
-Great northwest bought by Canada in 1867 without consent from the natives

Confederation Canada (The Song!)