Before 1841, there were only two parts to Canada; Upper Canada and Lower Canada. While Upper Canada was mostly anglophone, Lower was mostly Francophone. When merged in 1841, these parts became a whole and were renamed Canada West and Canada East. Britain’s vision of Canada was that it’d be one single province, all under one legislative assembly.
In the years coming to 1867, a civil war erupted in the US, based on differing visions of their country. There was an act proposed in 1866 over the possibility of Canada being incorporated into the US. Also, Francophones felt their voices were being drowned out by the mass of immigration. These issues led to change, and John A. Macdonald and George Cartier were in charge, Macdonald and Cartier envisioned Canada as a union of all the British North American countries. They wanted to preserve its French language and culture, and gain independence.
Louis Riel, leader of the Métis, wanted change. The vision of an expanded Canada fell short of including Aboriginals and letting them participate. Louis Riel stressed the federal government to address their concerns. This move backfired when Macdonald responded by creating the province of Manitoba, beginning a flood of immigration. Once again, he tried to push in 1885, but this resistance led to his execution, and the Métis dream was shattered.
Keyword: Voice of the Métis
In 1876, Parliament passed the Indian Act. This act defined an “Indian” and what they were allowed (which was very little). The vision was a Canada without the First Nations’ identity intervening with Canada’s identity. The outcome was a lack of human rights for “Indians”, and lots of racism towards Aboriginals.
Keyword: Aboriginal Racism
After Confederation, Canada’s territory and population expanded hugely. When the CPR came into play, not many were quick to decide to settle the west. Wilfrid Laurier, Prime Minister of that time, saw an unsettled West as an undefended West. So, he focused on advertising settling West. As more settlers came, new provinces were created and joined Confederation.
Keyword: Western Settlement
After Confederation, Québécois were suspicious of the promotion of immigration. It threatened the equality of Anglophones and Francophones, becoming unequal partners in Confederation. Henri Bourassa, a long-time government official of Québec, thought the equality between Francophones and Anglophones was essential to Francophones supporting Confederation. This meant Québécois must have lots of control over themselves. His vision for Canada was equality, but the flood of immigrants made that dream look impossible.
Keyword: Bilingual Support
René Lévesque wanted to promote independence in Québec so they could achieve independence. Independence was a big deal for Québec since Anglophones threatened their identity. René attempted to achieve control over immigration, social programs, jobs & industry, and laws & policy.
Keyword: Francophone Independence
Was a leader of the Progressive Conservative Party, and thought that a nation works when the government recognizes that it’s a community of communities.