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Reaction to the Seventy-Two Resolutions
Transcript of Reaction to the Seventy-Two Resolutions
1865: Premier Tilley's government was in favour of Confederation but in the election that same year the opposition worried that New Brunswick would lose control over its own private matters. Tilley lost the election
1866: Great Britain instructed the lieutenant-governor to promote Confederation and pressured the anti-Confederation government to resign. Another election was called and Tilley was re-elected. Circumstances had changed in the colony that would promote Confederation:
Fenian raids across the border threatened American invasion and New Brunswick could afford the cost of defense if combined with Great Britain and the other colonies
Great Britain announced they were pro-Confederation
Tariff-free market within the colonies would benefit the economy
A railway would mean more jobs and would open up forested land for settlement
Tilley's campaign was supported by shipping, timber, and railway interests= a lot of money for campaigning
Wanted a railway connecting Halifax to the United Province of Canada
Access to the Canadas would mean industrial development for Nova Scotia
Support from the communities depended on how far they were situated from the proposed railway
Joseph Howe and anti-Confederates worried Nova Scotia would have no influence in Confederation
Also worried that higher taxes would be needed to help with the building of the railway
Premier Charles Tupper was pro- Confederation and with the help of lieutenant-governor , Sir Fenwick Williams, they were able to get the support of the Legislative Assembly for Confederation
Prince Edward Island
Widespread opposition to Confederation
Concerned that the island's five representatives would have little power
When the Canadian government didn't guarantee a 200 000 pound loan to buy out the absentee landlords, they lost interest in Confederation
The island's revenue came mostly from tariffs on trade between the colonies so they saw no advantage in a tariff-free union
The United Province of Canada
Great Coalition had a majority in favour of Confederation
Believe they will defend themselves better against the Americans
Britain does not want to keep paying for BNA defence
Trade will improve between the colonies
Transcontinental railway would join the Atlantic colonies with the west and make a nation from sea to sea.
Worried that their Canadien way of life will be threatened.
Central government will be run by English speaking people and Canada East will have no say in matters
The Seventy-Two Resolutions had to be approved by every colonial government before it could be approved by Great Britain.
Approval by three colonies occurred after three years, in 1867.
The first three colonies to agree to unite as a Dominion of Canada were The United Province of Canada, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia
Felt they had little in common with the United Province of Canada
When they heard about anti-Confederation resistance in other Atlantic colonies, they decided to take no further part in Confederation discussions