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Transcript of Confederation Timeline
1867- Confederation During the rebellions of Upper and Lower Canada, there were many rebels, riots, and people that spoke their minds. Many people were fighting for democracy and independence. The first rebellion broke out in Lower Canada with the fils de la liberte as leaders. After a series of short battles, many rebels, leaders, and supporters escaped to the United States along with Papineau who fled to the States as well. The main reason the rebellion in Upper Canada broke out was because Mackenzie and other radical leaders decided they wanted an American style democracy. They thought this would be an over all better government. This was important to the Confederation because it had a large impact on the Canadas, such as leading to the Act of Union making the Province of Canada.
Lord Durham was a reformer in England who was sent to investigate colonial grievances after the Rebellions of 1837. He spent five months in Canada understanding the issues within the Colonies and finding solutions to them. He then returned to England and wrote a report recommending that Upper and Lower Canada be united and to allow the colonies a responsible government. Durham’s aim was to make the French adjust to the English culture so the French and English are in unison. This was important to the Confederation because it made the British realize that they are not happy with their governor and they then accepted Durham’s request for uniting the Canadas and giving them a responsible government. 1838- Lord Durham’s Report
Lord Durham was extremely racist towards the French and wanted to assimilate them. This meant that he wanted to get rid of the French language in Quebec completely. He did this by proposing that Lower Canada be joined to Upper Canada as the United Province of Canada. In 1840, the Act of Union united Upper and Lower Canada. In 1841, the Act of Union created a single colony with two provinces. Lower Canada becoming Canada East, and Upper Canada becoming Canada west. English became the official language of government and then became United Canada with the capital of Montreal. This was important to the Confederation because Britain wanted more control over Canada so if they united two colonies together it would be easier to control. Also, it made the English majority and the French were overpowered, whereas before the French were majority in Lower Canada. 1840- The Act of Union in 1846, the British government repealed the Corn Laws. By doing so, this gave trading privileges to the British colonies. Once the Corn Laws were repealed, Canada’s economy went into a depression. This made Canadians consider the possibility of building a country. Through the Corn Laws, Britain realized a free trade might be the best solution. Britain’s attitude for Canadian government changed completely. The Repeal of the Corn Laws was an important event to the Confederation because it lead to the Reciprocity Treaty of free trade. It also was important because manufacturers gained political power and gained more trade so they could sell their products to foreign markets.
1846- Repeal of the Corn Laws
In 1867, the British colonies united and became the Dominion of Canada. Confederation was finally achieved with the help of three main conferences: the Charlottetown Conference of 1864, the Quebec Conference of 1864, and the London Conference of 1866. Although not all colonies joined the confederation in 1867, they eventually came around with Newfoundland being the last colony to join in 1949.
1849- Rebellion Losses Bill The Rebellion Losses Bill is a bill that was passed by the elected government of Canada and signed by Lord Elgin. This bill gave financial compensation to anyone including rebels who lost property during the rebellions. Many people opposed to the bill. It even lead to riots and the burning down of the parliament building. The angry residents also wrote and published a strategy for the United States to overpower Canada called the annexation manifesto. This was important to the Confederation because it made people realize that having your own opinions and making your own decisions was important and not have the government tell them otherwise. Also, Lord Elgin’s signature laid down the base of a new form of government, which was democracy.
1861-65- American Civil War
The American Civil war was a war between the states in the south and the north. One of the main issues was on slavery because the south wanted to resume with their ways with slavery and the north was against slavery. There were many losses and victories within this war, but in the end, the southern states surrendered in 1865. Once the Civil war was over, Canadians worried that the northern states would try to control Canada because the Americans believed in manifest destiny (Belief that U.S should take control of all of North America). This event was important to the Confederation because the colonies would be stronger as one against the threats of American expansion. 1864- Quebec Conference The Quebec Conference was a conference held to plan out the new nation. This Conference was held in 1864. The major source of conflict was between those who favored a strong central government and those who favored stronger provincial rights. Eventually, the delegates agreed upon dividing powers between federal and provincial governments. In result to the Québec conference, the seventy-two resolutions and a blue print for confederation were made. This conference was important to the Confederation because it built the backbone and layout to the new nation.
1865- Fenian raids The Fenians were Irish soldiers in the army of the northern states. The Irish did not want to be ruled by Britain anymore so they planned to harm Britain by attacking Canada because they resented Britain and their British rules. The Fenian attacks convinced many people that the US threats to expand to Canada were real. These raids were important to the Confederation because they convinced British colonies to join because they would be safer and stronger against the attacks as a whole.
The Reciprocity Treaty was signed by British North America and the United States. This treaty was a ‘free trade agreement'. Maritimes fishermen benefited from this treaty because it allowed them to fish in American waters even though they were from the Atlantic region of British North America. Also the treaty-agricultural goods would be brought into Canada without any custom duties. Despite any benefits, the Americans wanted to end this treaty in 1865. This was important to the Confederation because by declaring the end of this treaty, it meant merging the colonies would provide more trading opportunities and partnerships. 1865- The Reciprocity Treaty ends with the United States by Lexey, Tiana, & Trisha