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Canadian Pacific Survey

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jesse meister

on 20 April 2016

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Transcript of Canadian Pacific Survey

What was it?
The Canadian Pacific Survey took place during the 1870's and the 1880's. It was the attempt to map out the route of the Canadian Pacific Railway. This led to a lot of problems with the government and even more with the settlers of Canada.
What was the problem?
With the CPR being the biggest and most lucrative thing that Canada had ever seen it was immediately swarmed with speculators and investors. This may have seemed like a good thing but with so many options, it seemed impossible to settle on one. An investor would use their money to sway the track one way and another investor would use their money to sway it another. Every option only pleased a minority of the people involved.
The Speculator Crisis
With many speculators buying and selling land to settlers all around the proposed routes, the decision on the official route became an even bigger problem. People would settle in location that they thought the railroad would be built but when the route changed, they were stranded in a settlement that had no use
Canadian Pacific Survey
J.A.M Spread too thin
John A. MacDonald was the overseer of this massive undertaking. This made him a prime target for bribes. And to make things even worse, he accepted them. With having to manage the massive project that was the railway, and then on top of that getting pulled in all direction from bribes, John was caught and forced to step down.
The purpose of the railway was to improve the trading system across Canada and was for decades the only means of transport for settlers across Canada. Before it was built, it was one one the most difficult things that Canada would ever undertake.
What was it for?
John A. MacDonald was re-elected 5 years later in 1879 using his newly developed "National Policy" as a campaigning strategy. The National Policy was a mainly economic program that included a system of protective tariffs, increased immigration, and the CPR. With this new system in place the railway increased its value greatly. This once again brought in more speculators and settlers looking for a way to get rich quick. But with the route still undecided, this once again didn't work out.
J.A.M back in stock
Construction of the railway began in 1881 after the route was finally decided. Most of the other proposed routes went through Edmonton and around Palliser's Triangle. The final route on the other hand basically detoured around Edmonton and through the Triangle of death. Building it was difficult at first given the lack of laborers and the project fell behind schedule almost immediately. In order to speed up the work the CPR hired a new manager who increased the construction greatly. With the railroad becoming popular again more and more settlements were built around it and the speculators prevailed once again.
A decision is made
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