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Factors Leading to Confederation. Confederation “The union of British Colonies in British North America in 1867 into the Dominion of Canada.” A Unique.

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Presentation on theme: "Factors Leading to Confederation. Confederation “The union of British Colonies in British North America in 1867 into the Dominion of Canada.” A Unique."— Presentation transcript:

1 Factors Leading to Confederation

2 Confederation “The union of British Colonies in British North America in 1867 into the Dominion of Canada.” A Unique Situation: – “It did not come from war, rebellion, an uprising or a call for independence.” – “It developed because the colonies had problems they could not solve on their own.”

3 Canada 1862

4 External Factors vs. Internal Factors External Issues occurring outside of Canada – Manifest Destiny – The Trent Affair – The Chesapeake Incident – The St. Alban’s Raid – The Fenian Raids Internal Issues within Canada – Repeal of the Corn Laws – Political Deadlock – The Railway

5 Meanwhile in the U.S…. Civil War was dividing North and South South wanted to keep slavery so that they could have cheap labour, and become their own country (known as Confederate Army) North wanted to abolish slavery and keep the country together (known as Union Army)

6 Manifest Destiny Philosophy in the United States U.S. had a future to expand its borders and eventually take all of what was Canada Annex – - to incorporate (a country or other territory) within the domain of another

7 William Seward American Secretary of State during Civil War Annexationist – someone who believed North America should be a part of the U.S. Seward praised the people of Rupert’s Land for conquering the Wilderness

8 As the Civil War was ending, it became clear the North would win, and the country would remain united Canadians feared the attention would turn to British North America (BNA) Civil War – horrible reputation for bloody warfare – who wants that? FEAR OF ANNEXATION (and being incorporated into the U.S.) lead to the need of a stronger federal government than the U.S.

9 The Trent Affair Two diplomats from the American South (Confederate Army) planned to go to Europe to gain help for the Civil War They hopped on a ship – USS Jacinto (a British Ship), which was stopped by the Union Army. Diplomats were taken prisoner, remained in jail in Boston Britain = insulted.

10 Trent Affair II Britain threatened North U.S. (war or release the prisoners) France threatened North U.S. (war or release the prisoners) North U.S. panicked, released prisoners Diplomats went to Europe and failed, no one wanted to help them anyway  Impact on Canada: Maritimes could become a battleground if the war had actually happened

11 Chesapeake Incident December 7, 1863 – Confederates seize the ship Chesapeake Confederates wanted to sell goods on the ship, and use the ship to attack the Union Boat was recaptured in Nova Scotia waters by the Union Impact on Canada: Frightened Maritimes provinces, as it was clear the South wanted to use them to attack the North

12 St. Alban’s Raid 1864, Confederates robbed a bank (in St. Alban’s, Vermont), and fled to Canada Americans wanted to chase them, but this would be a violation of neutrality, and BNA could go to war for it. Canada caught the robbers, and returned the money Northerners saw Canadian’s as sympathizers to the South Impact: Canada feared that the U.S. could send troops after Confederates using Canada as a safe ground

13 Fenian Brotherhood

14 Secret Society created by Irish Americans in 1858 Wanted to end English Rule in Ireland – Also wanted to “Free Canada from the British” Were eager to invade BNA once the Civil war ended (10,000 in number)

15 Fenian Raids June 1, 1866, 800 Fenians crossed Niagara River near Fort Erie (Canada West) – Retreated when reinforcements arrived June 7, another group attempted to invade Canada East, but retreated without battle Impact: Skirmishes had little importance, but caused widespread alarm, and further convinced the need for Confederation

16 End of Reciprocity Treaty in 1854 allowed for lots of free trade between U.S. and B.N.A. Goods could be imported free of customs and duties into the U.S. and into B.N.A. 1866, the U.S. cancelled the treaty the same time as Annexation Bill was brought to the House. Impact: Loss of favourable trading terms with colonies, B.N.A. no longer benefited

17 Annexation Bill publish by proclamation that, from the date thereof, the States of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Canada East, and Canada West, and the Territories of Selkirk, Saskatchewan, and Columbia, with limits and rights as by the act defined, are constituted and admitted as States and Territories of the United States of America."

18 Annexation Bill There was no serious effort in Washington to annex Canada. Its introduction and similar interest in annexation by the United States possibly provided a little incentive for the organization of Canada as an entity distinct from Britain; The Fenian raids had much more influence in shaping determination to hurry the Confederation process

19 U.S. bought Alaska 1867 “Alaska Purchase” – “Seward’s Folly” If Britain got control of Alaska – this would not be good for Russia (Crimean War) – wanted to sell U.S. paid $7.2 million ($116.5 million today)

20 Internal Factors Repeal of Corn Laws Political Deadlock The Railway

21 Repeal of the Corn Laws Corn Laws ( ) – if you sold wheat or other cereals to Britain, you needed to pay customs duties British Colonies were favoured, they paid less than others 1846, laws were removed, BNA lost their advantage, and looked to the U.S. for a trading partner

22 Corn Laws Impact: Britain did not trade with BNA as much, which means they did not care as much about Canadian politics because it concerned them less. It was more expensive to take care of BNA, saved money by letting them take care of themselves. Let BNA have their system of “Responsible Government”

23 Recap: Responsible Government A government that is responsible to the people, and must do what the people want. It’s the method by which Canada achieved independence without revolution.

24 Political Deadlock Canada East (C.E.) and Canada West (C.W.) French politicians became more skilled, English expected them to become engulfed into English Canada C.E. and C.W. had equal seats in government, and did not agree frequently. French feared loss of way of life English believed French blocked the country’s progress

25 Political Deadlock 1850’s Government of Canadas came to a “Standstill” Nothing was passed, country could not move forward because French and English could not agree. Realization: The country cannot move forward if the system does not change Impact: Confederation turned into a way Canada could change their system

26 The Railway

27 Made Confederation possible Changed the way of life, concept of space and time – distances became reachable Made trading within the colonies more profitable Made communication within the colonies possible


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