Road to Confederation

The Road To Confederation

Reform Movement Continued

1837 - 1867

Even after the Rebellion of 1837, the reform movement was still strong. The leader of the French reformers LaFontaine and the leader of the English reformers Baldwin still believed the the colonies can still fight for unitement of the colonies even after the rebellion.


1837 - 1845

Mercantilism (mercantile trade system) means perfered. Mercantilism is the old trade system used during the colonial era. Basicaly all it means is that a colonial power like Britain give "perferencial" treatment to its own colonies like British North America. Mercantilism was good for the 5 British colonies because they always had a secure market to sell their raw materials. It was also good for Britian because they always had a secure supply of raw materials which they controlled

Canada's Three Choices for it's Future

1840 - 1867
  1. Stay with Britain - Britain was still the Maga-Power still at this time and staying with Britain would be smart but not entirely, becuase since Britain ended "Mercantilisim" if Canada were to trade with Britain they would be losing money instead of gaining.
  2. Join the U.S. - To Join the U.S. would be the best economic solution to Canada, because the U.S. in Dyer need of supplies and Canada is in need of someone to trade there goods too, also it would be cheaper to trade amoung themselves if they joined together.
  3. Unite Colonies - Uniting the colonies into one (Canada) would show Britain that the new formed country wouldnt need there help in trade and also show self-independences towards the colonies and Britain.

English Immigration to Canada West

1841 - 1861

English immigration to Canada West increased the English speaking population by 300,000 more than the French speaking Canada East.

Upper and Lower Canada United


Upper and Lower Canada were united into Canada West (Ontario) and Canada East (Quebec)

Rebellion Losses Bill


This was the first real test of Responsible Government. This bill would pay damages to innocent French Canadians who lost property during the Rebellion of 1837. The rich hated this law and demanded that Lord Elgin not sign the Bill, but Baldwin & Lafontaine, the leaders of the reformers, said he must sign to have Responsible Government.

Politcal Deadlock

1849 - 1864

Political deadlock is when a government can't decide on a law to pass because the political parites have an even amount of votes. On June 14, 1864 MacDonald's government was defeated by 2 votes and couldn't get any bills passed. All political parties were evenly divided and no party had enough votes to win any decision.

Canada Seeks a Unioin With The Other British Colonies

1850 - 1867
  1. The British Colonies were worried that the Northern Americans would turn their armies toward Canada and taking them over. (Manifest Destiny). The fear of an American takeover helped draw the colonies together.
  2. Fenians (Irish descent soldiers) trying to take over the British colonies to get back Ireland from the British. They attacked Canada along the borders. John A. Macdonald asserted that a United country could defend against the fenian raids.
  3. For free trade because the U.S. was wanting to end the Reciprocity Treaty.
  4. Building a railway would allow them to trade easier (from Ontario to Halifax. If the colonies united, the expenses of building the Grand Trunk railway could be shared.
  5. The Little Englanders from England believed the British North Colonies should be independent because they were a burden because of the defenses cost too much.
  6. Political deadlock- in Canada all parties had the same number of votes toward making new laws and the future of Canada. If no one could make up their minds they couldn't make decisions. George Brown, leader of Grits, suggests a coalition government which is the joining of the political parties into one government to settle the problems of deadlock in Canada.

Grand Trunk Railway

1850 - 1867

With insificent amount of trucks connecting from Onterio (Canada West) to Halifax there was no way of trading amoung each other. In 1850 3570km of track (Grand Trunk Railway) was added to the colonies.

Reciprocity Treaty

1854 - 1865

This was an important trade deal negotiated beween the British Colonies (Canada) and the United States. This treaty allowed the British Colonies to sell goods in the U.S. market without taxes or tariffs. In return the U.S. was allowed fishing rights off Nova Scotia. This was a good deal for Canada and gave economic stability. It was a 10 year agreement. When the U.S. said they were going to end the treaty, the colonies decided they needed free trade among themselves. They could trade easier by uniting themsevles.

CharlotteTown Conferrence


Politicians from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and P.E.I met to discuss the union of the maritime a result of the Charlotte Town Conferrence the Maritime delegates set aside the idea of a Maritime union. They argreed to meet with the Canadians at Quebec city in October.

Quebec Conference


7 delegates from New Brunswick, 7 from PEI and 5 from Nova Scotia met the 12 delegates from Canada East and Canada West, and 2 officials from Newfoundland meet in discuss a union. The make 72 resolutions. .

Coalition Government


A coalition government is a joining of diffrent political parties into one government togethter they can do what one party couldn't do by itself.

Pros and Cons of Confederation

1864 - 1867

-5 colonies can trade amoung themselves
-5 colonies can create there own army for their common defence
-Stay close to britian and not be american-including defending
-room to grow westward by have britain sell us their land-and keeping the west out of U.S hands

-Even all colonies together have a small population
-colonies have similar resources
-Colonies behind in railways, roads
-Small population-would have small army which would be vunerable to the U.S

Fenian Raids


Fenians were mad at Britain because Britain controlled all of England. So instead of attacking England itself, they decided to attack something smaller and closer, so they decided to attack the smaller colonies of British North America.

London Conference


The London Conderence was held to choose the fate of British North America. Britain favoured the confederation, because without the colonies Britain had less responbilities. In 1867 Britain was introduced with the BNA Act (British North-America Act), the act was built around the 72 reolutions. In this act the four colonies had the right to join to form there own country. So on July.1st,1867 Queen Victoria signed the act and it would proclaim the day it woul come into effect.