The Rebellion Of Upper And Lower Canada History Essay

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John George Lambton, Lord Durham, purposed a report after the Rebellion of Upper and Lower Canada that later, one year after his death, led to the Act of Union in 1841. In his report Durham recommended, the union of Upper and Lower Canada, a responsible government; govern by English citizens of Canada, to assimilate the French-speaking Canadians and Colonial control of existing problems. The purpose of Act of Union was to unite Upper and Lower Canada under one government.

Saskatchewan and Alberta were a part of Rupert's Land, granted to Hudson Bay Company in 1670. In 1870, Dominion of Canada bought Rupert's Land and North-Western Territories from Hudson Bay Company and called it Northwest Territories. In 1905, the Saskatchewan and Alberta Act was adopted by the government and 2 new provinces joined Dominion of Canada. Alberta was named after Queen Victoria's fourth daughter named Princess Louise Caroline Alberta. Now days, Saskatchewan and Alberta are two of the three Canada's Prairie Provinces.

Dorion was a French Canadian politician and was also the leader of one of Canada East's (Quebec) parties, Parti Rouge. He supported French-speaking Canadians. He was one of the critics against confederation in Canada East. He complained that there only 4 out of 33 delegates were French-speaking. He also complained that Canada East was being sold out since the new government was based on "rep by pop" and that they would be outnumbered in the assembly. But, at the end, he ended up not being able to convince the people that they should not join confederation.

Double Shuffle is a famous happening in Canadian history. It took place in 1858. Double Shuffle was when the non-confidence vote was applied to remove George Brown from leadership and putting John A. MacDonald on leadership again in 48 hours. George Brown simply had to resign from the leader ship because the people said that they do not support Brown in the government.

Anti-Confederationists were people who were against Confederation. There were a lot of them. Almost of the colonies had at least one politician or a famous person who was against Confederation. In Canada East, A.A Dorion was the Anti-Condederationist, he complained about only 4 out 33 delegates being French-speaking and also, that Canada East was being sold out. In New Brunswick, there was not only one Anti-Confederationist in particular; there were a lot of them. In New Brunswick, they complained that Tilley was selling New Brunswickers to Canadian only 80 cents each. In Nova Scotia, Joseph Howe complained that Tupper had sold out people of Nova Scotia 40 cents per person. In Newfoundland, C.F. Bennett led the fight against Confederation; he warned the citizens that the new government would probably put taxes on their fish, boat, and fishing tackle. Bennett also said that goods from Canada would be so cheap, that Newfoundland products would not sell and that young people from the island would be expected to give up their life to protect the Canadian soil. Some of the Anti-Confederationists ended up losing and some ended up winning.

Before Confederation, Quebec was known as Canada East. Canada East joined Confederation in 1867. In Canada East, the leader of Parti Rouge, A.A. Dorion, complained that only 4 out of 33 delegates in Quebec Conference were French-speaking. He also said that Canada East was being sold out since the new government was based on "rep by pop" and Canada East would be outnumbered in the assembly because of the low population. Cartier, the leader of Parti Bleu, came up with an idea that explained that French and English would be equal partners in Confederration because they each would have their own province, which would make laws regarding language, religion and more. Cartier warned that if Canada East did not join Confederation, they might be taken over by United States. Dorion wanted referendum, but his request was turned down by Cartier and the supporters of Confederation. When it came time to vote, 26 out of 48 members in the assembly voted for Confederation. And, that's how Canada East became Quebec.

George Brown wanted "rep by pop" since Canada West had almost 300 000 more people, so they thought they should have more seats in the assembly. Canada East did not agree with Canada West because they knew that they would be outnumbered and also because in 1841, when the Act of Union was created Canada East had more people than Canada West, but they did not get more seats in the assembly back then. This continued to keep the system in Political Deadlock.

Reform Party is also known as Clear Grits. It is one of Canada West's political parties, led by George Brown. Reform Party wanted change and give more say to ordinary people in the government, because of that they had a great deal of support for rural people. They supported representation by population and free trade with United States.

Alexander Mackenzie was a politician, who was Scottish and was born on 28 January, 1822. He served as second prime minister of Canada from 1873-1878, after John A. MacDonald. He immigrated to Canada West or Ontario in 1842, worked as a stone mason and established a building contractor in Sarnia. In 1858, he became the editor of local Liberal newspaper. Mackenzie was a supporter of confederation. When Dominion of Canada was created, he was elected to the first House of Commons, in which he led the Liberal opposition. When in 1873, John A. MacDonald's government fell, Mackenzie became Canada's first Liberal prime minister. Mackenzie's government had too much difficulty with Canada's economic of that time. He also failed to complete to the pacific railway. These reasons led to the loss of Liberal government in 1878. Mackenzie resigned the leadership of opposition in 1880, but retained his seat in the Parliament until his death on 17 April, 1892 in Toronto.

 "Mackenzie, Alexander." Encyclopædia Britannica Online School Edition. Web. 28 Nov. 2010. <>.

William Alexander Henry was born on December 30th, 1816 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He was first elected from Antigonish, Nova Scotia in 1840 as a Liberal member, and represented the region continuously until 1867. In 1856, he became Provincial secretary, but, the next year he resigned over excise man of the Port of Halifax. He became a supporter of Conservative Party and was elected as a member in 1859. However, because of some problems, Liberal took control of the government, but when Conservative Party regained its power in 1863, Henry was appointed as solicitor general (law officer) and then attorney general (chief law officer) of Nova Scotia in 1864.

He showed a little interest in the idea of union that led to Charlottetown Conference, but his opinion changed after the meeting. When he returned to Nova Scotia he was really convinced that the British North American union would have a lot of benefit on Nova Scotia. He took part in the Quebec Conference and after when the Nova Scotia's assembly approved of union, Henry travelled to London for the London Conference.

After the confederation, Henry ran in the Nova Scotia federal election of 1867 for the Antigonish seat. But, he was defeated considering the fact that Antigonish was one of the anti-confederation regions. After being defeated, he returned to law practice in Halifax. He was elected the mayor of Halifax in 1870.

 "William Alexander Henry." LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA. Web. 28 Nov. 2010. <>.

A brotherhood of Irish American soldiers also known as Fenians wanted invaded British North America. The Fenians wanted to invade British North American colonies to prove to Britian that they had a good army and they are able to defeat Britian and have control over Ireland. Canadians living near the United States border lived in fear. Because of the Fenian's sudden attacks the Canadians were in fear that the Fenians might return back for an attack. A lot of Canadian soldiers and people died. In the end, the Fenians ended up lossing because the British army showed up to protect British North American colonies.

William McDougall was born on January, 25, 1822. He joined law practice in 1847, in Toronto. It provided him with money that allowed him to begin a career in journalism. He started with agriculture journalism, then moved on to political journalism in 1850 with a creation of North America

Sir John Franklin, a British Explorer, was the first European to reach Yukon in 1820s. He was followed an agent of Hudson Bay's Company in 1840s, who established forts and trading posts throughout the territory. In 1869, Dominion of Canada bought Rupert's land from Hudson Bay Company and called it Northwest Territories. In 1895, Canadian government begins establishing more permanent authority and named Yukon one of the four new districts within Northwest Territories. Yukon's population rapidly grew and the government realized that they have to do something. People living in Yukon wanted more governmental representation. As a result, Canada passed the Yukon Act in 1898, which clearly said that separate territory, which means that it has its own provincial government, and has Dawson City as its capital. In 1953, Dawson City lost its status as territorial capital to Whitehorse.

Grand Trunk was an all-British route linking Canada West with Atlantic Ocean at Halifax. By 1860, the Grand Trunk had stretched Sarnia to far east on Rivire du Loup. It was one of the reasons for confederation because it cost a lot of money and by 1860 it was close to being bankrupt. Many people thought the only way to finish the railway was to unite all the colonies and share the expense. Grand Trunk was one of the advantages people in all the colonies thought of, if they joined Confederation. Now a days, the Grand Trunk railway is called CN (Canadian National Railway).

One of the reasons some of the colonies wanted to join Confederation was because they had frozen-ice ports. Frozen-ice ports were a problem because in the winter they did not have transportation to travel to another colony or trade since there was not any transportation. But, if colonies had a railway link attached to the main railway (Grand Trunk) or had Grand Trunk stop, then it would be really easier for them to travel or trade or if there was an attack in their part of the colony, than the soldiers from other colonies can come faster and help them.

British North America: BNA (short for ) British North America was considered territories and colonies owned by the British Empire. The idea for confederation began in British North America in 1864 to unite all the colonies and territories to make one country. British North America was the name of what we call now Canada.

Tilley Samuel Leonard, the premier of New Brunswick, announced an election after Quebec Conference. When the anti-confederationists and people found out that the subsidy was only 80 cents per person, the anti-confederationists said that Tilley was selling New Brunswickers 80 cents each to the Canadians and at this point the people were against confederation too. Some of the events that convinced people to join confederation were Fenian raids, United States ended free trade with BNA colonies and changing in British attitude. In his speech, Tilley talked to the New Brunswickers about the advantages of Canadian markets and railway for New Brunswick. New Brunswick joined confederation in 1867.

United States is British North America's (Canada's) neighboring country. United States was one of the reasons of Confederation. It was a reason because United States ended free trade with BNA colonies, also, the Fenians were attacking from the United States border and lastly, the Northern State was threatening to take over because they thought BNA colonies supported Southern State in the American civil war.

Charlottetown Conference was from 1st September, 1864- 9th September, 1864. The Maritimes colonies held a conference in Charlottetown because they were worried about the Americans to discuss the uniting of the colonies. When Canada West and East heard about the conference, they packed their bags and headed to Charlottetown to convince the Maritime colonies to unite with Canada East and West. John A. Macdonald and George Brown were 2 of the people who went to the conference from Canada West and D'Arcy McGee and Alexander Galt were 2 of the people who went from Canada East. In the conference delegates from Canada East and West talked about the advantages of free trade between colonies and gave promises to build railways. At the end of the conference, the Maritime colonies agreed to meet at the Quebec Conference in October.

Parti Rouge was one of the political parties of Canada West (Ontario, led by Antoine Aime Dorion. The party supported rights of French-speaking Canadians. They wanted more French-speaking people to have more say in the government. Parti Rouge was against the power of Roman Catholic Church and they wanted independence from Britain.

Political deadlock was when the double shuffle set the stage and created conflict in the government of Canada West. The conflict was created because nearly all the bills that were tried to pass had even votes against each other. Since, if the Reform Party (Clear Grits) wanted the bill to pass, then the Conservative Party would not want the bill to pass.

A non-confidence vote is when the Assembly says to the government that "they no longer support them in the government" and if the vote passes, the government must resign for the leadership. The non-confidence vote was applied in Canada to get George Brown (Reform Party) out of leadership and put John A. MacDonald (Conservative Party) back in leadership.

The Canadian government decided to govern Dominion of Canada by using the Federal System. Federal System was divided into two categories; Federal government (central government) and Provincial government. Each province would have their own government that would be expected to provide their province's people with public schooling, health care and social service, courts and many more things.

Irish-Americans soldier were people who were either born in America and had an Irish back ground or immigrated to America and became soldiers. Irish-American soldiers were also known as the Fenians, who planned to invade British North America. They wanted to invade British North America to prove to Britain that they have a good army and they are able to defeat Britain and free Ireland from Britain control. The Irish-American soldiers were another reason for confederation.

Now, what we as the province of Northwest Territories, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta, the Yukon Territory and Nunavut, used to be a big province called the Northwest Territories. Northwest Territories was a part of Rupert's Land and North-Western Territory owned by The Hudson Bay Company until 1870. Shortly after Canadian Confederation, the Hudson Bay Company had to give all their land to Canada. In 1870, the Rupert's Land and North-Western Territory belonged to Dominion of Canada, but Canada changed its name and called it Northwest Territories. Throughout the years, Northwest Territories was divided into Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta, the Yukon Territory , Nunavut, and Northwest Territories.

Nunavut was once part of the Northwest Territories. During the period of 1959-1963, people thought that the western half of Northwest Territories would develop more quickly, as in finance and government, if separated from the eastern half. But, the idea was not supported from the eastern side and only supported a little from the western side. All the problems were solved throughout the years and finally in the September of 1992, the Tungavik Federation of Nunavut and the federal negotiating teams signed the "Nunavut Land Claims Agreement" (NLCA). On 1st April of 1999, the final agreement was made, signed and Nunavut officially became one of the province of Canada.

Civil war is a war between regions in the same country. One of the civil was that later became one of the reasons for Canadian Confederation was the American Civil War. The American Civil War was from 1861-1865 between the Northern and the Southern States. The Northern States thought that the British North American colonies were supporting the Southern State in the civil war. When in 1865, Northern State won the American Civil War; they started to plan a revenge on British North American colonies. So, the American Civil War became one of the reasons for Canadian Confederation.


        Canadian government system had a House of Commons. House of Commons is also known as Lower House. People of Canada, voters from all provinces, elect Members of Parliament (representatives) for House of Commons. Every province get a number of members they can elect from their province, for example, Quebec was guaranteed 65 members. Also, Members of Parliament are elected for up to 5 years and they make and pass laws.

        Taxes are another word for tariffs. Britain allowed wheat and flour from British North American colonies to enter their goods in Britain with low taxes, but United States had to pay much higher taxes. In 1846, Britain announced free trade which means that Britain allowed goods from any country to enter Britain market without taxes.

        Halifax is a capital of Nova Scotia and it is an impressive center. Halifax has a citadel (very strong fortress overlooking the harbor and city). The citadel in Halifax is a lot like the one in Quebec City; it is strong and build very well, it is also build very high, so if there was an attack, only a little damage could be done to the citadel. Halifax also has a harbor that never freezes, that is why it is the main station of the British Navy in West Atlantic.


Represented by Population continued to keep the government system in Political deadlock, until George Brown put his personal problems from John A. MacDonald aside. George  Brown suggested that they should have a Coalition government.

    Coalition government is the joining of different political parties into one government. The plan for the first Coalition government failed, but the second plan was successful. The second plan was that Canada should split into two provinces, Ontario and Quebec, also, that each province would have a provincial government. The second plan also included that there would be a central government, represented by population for matters that affect both province. After all this, then they would allow other colonies to unite with them (Confederation).

In order for a trade among BNA colonies, there had to be a railway. In, 1850, Unites States had 14 378 km more railway track then BNA. At that time, Canadian thought of building their own railway. Between 1850 and 1867, 3 570 km of railway track was added in.

The most important railway project in BNA was the Grand Trunk. The Grand Trunk was an all-British railway route linking Canada West with the Atlantic Ocean at Halifax. By, 1860, the Grand Trunk was 50 percent completed. Since, it cost a lot of money, the Canadian government was not able to finish it and the only way to finish the railway was to unite all the colonies and share the expense. The Grand Trunk was necessary for trade, communication and defense of British North America. Grand Trunk was also one of the reasons for Confederation.

In 1864, Charles Tupper became the premier of Nova Scotia. Tupper was in favor of Confederation. When Tupper came back to Halifax from the Quebec Conference, he found some trouble. Joseph Howe, who also ran for premier of Nova Scotia in 1864, was stirring up a storm against Confederation. Joseph spoke passionately about the subsidy, he said that Tupper has sold out people of Nova Scotia to Canada only 40 cents each. Tupper travelled throughout the colony and tried to prove Joseph Howe and the anti-confederationists wrong.

At that time, words reached Nova Scotia about the Fenian threat to New Brunswick and also that the New Brunswickers had started to talk more seriously about Confederation. Nova Scotia did eventually agree to join Confederation in 1867 because they thought that there was a real possibility that Nova Scotia would be invaded by Fenians too.

New foundland

Newfoundland did not sent representatives to the Charlottetown Conference, but they did sent 2 delegates to attend the Quebec Conference. One of the 2 delegates, F.B.T Carter, later became the premier of Newfoundland in 1865. Carter was in favor of Confederation, but he was not able to convince the independent people of Newfoundland. Newfoundlanders were very proud of their independence and their own system.

C.F Bennett was one of the anti-confederationists in Newfoundland. He warned the Newfoundlanders that the new government would put tariffs on their boats, fishes and more. He also warned that the Canadian goods would be so cheap, that Newfoundland products would not sell and that young people from the island would be expected to give up their life for the Defense of Canada.

Newfoundland did not join the Confederation. On the night of Confederation, anti-confederationists did a huge parade through the street of St. Johns. After 82 years, in 1949, Newfoundlanders finally voted to join Dominion of Canada as the tenth province.

British Columbia

In the late 1860s, the new of British Columbia (Vancouver Island and British Columbia) was in financial trouble. People realized that in order to achieve what they wanted, they have to be a part of a larger country.

British Columbia had three choices, Choice one was that they could remain a British colony, but many people said that the colony was way far away from Britain and they were too weak on their own. The second choice was that they could join United States, but when the vote was taken in 1869, only 104 out of 10 000 people wanted to join with United States. Their last choice was that they could join Canadian Confederation, in Canada; they would still be part of Britain, have their own provincial government and select representatives for Parliament of Ottawa.

On 10 May, 1870, 3 delegates from British Columbia met with John A. MacDonald in Ottawa. The delegates told MacDonald that they were interested in joining the Canadian Confederation. British Columbia asked for responsible government, they wanted Canada to take care of all their heavy debts, especially ones that have to do with Caribou road and Canada would build a road through the mountains to link British Columbia to the East. And, on 20 July, 1871, British Columbia finally joined Dominion of Canada.


Louis Riel formed a committee called National Committee of the Métis; the committee would decide how to protect Métis land. The committee hears that John A. MacDonald has appointed a lieutenant-governor (person who set up a government for the territory/province) for Northwest Territories- William McDougall. The Métis also hears that McDougall is bringing rifles and ammunitions.

When McDougall arrives at the border, he founds that the road to Fort Garry has been blocked by the Métis. McDougall goes to the closest colony for a stay. Riel and Métis takeover Fort Garry, where they find a lot of food and ammunition. From this position, they can easily control the whole colony.

When MacDonald hears about what Métis are doing, he sends a messenger to find what the people of Red River want. The Red River does not belong to Canada at that time. The Métis make up Bills of Rights and send it to Ottawa. One of the major requests in the Métis' Bills of Rights was that they should be allowed to enter Canadian Confederation as a province.

Ottawa and Riel's Provisional government worked out an agreement called the Manitoba Act and on 15 July, 1870, Manitoba enters Confederation as the fifth province of Canada.

Northwest terriotories

John A. MacDonald was worried that Canada and Britain would lose the West to the United States, so he wrote a letter.The settlers in Red River wrote a letter to London about the way Hudson's Bay Company was ruling their land and said that they would prefer to be part of Dominion of Canada.

Canadian delegates went to England to see if Hudson's Bay Company would sell its land to Canada, in the beginning, Hudson's Bay Company did not agree, but finally Hudson's Bay Company and Canada decided on the price of 300 000 pounds and were allowed to keep 1/20th of the land. The whole region was transferred to Dominion of Canada on 1st December, 1869 and named the land Northwest Territories.


In 1857, a lot of conflict was created in the government because of the choosing of the capital. Since 1841, Assembly had met at different places like Kingston, Quebec City, Montréal and Toronto. They decided that it was finally time to have a permanent capital. Since, the Assembly could not agree on one colony for province, they decided to leave the decision to Queen Victoria.

When the Queen announced that her choice for capital was Ottawa, the other cities did not like it; they said Ottawa was nothing more than a "sub-Arctic lumber village". The Queen chose Ottawa because it was far away from United States, it had good water transportation routes and it was right on the border of Canada East and West

Edward Palmer was born in Charlottetown, PEI on September 1, 1809.  He became member of Prince Edward Island Assembly in 1835 and quickly became the leading conservatives. Before joining the Assembly he worked as land agent, lawyer, politician and judge. He was often known as champion of status quo because he was against responsible government, against joining Confederation and many other things. He was called the champion of status quo also because he wanted everything to stay the same and nothing to ever change. Palmer took part on both Charlottetown and Quebec Conference, where he showed that he was strongly against confederation.

He still remained against Confederation, even after 1864; instead he favored a trade deal between Prince Edward Island and United States. in 1872, he changed parties and became a member of Liberal, a government of Robert Haythorne. In 1873, Robert Haythorne government was forced to join Canada because of the railway debts. After Prince Edward Island joined confederation, Palmer became a Queens County judge and later became chief justice of the same court.


Before Confederation Ontario was known as Canada West. In Canada West, the politicians spent over a month to decide whether they should join Confederation or not. The most effective speech was given by George Brown from the Reform Party. Brown gave 6 reasons why Canada West should join Confederation. Those reasons were:

The 5 British North American colonies would become 1 powerful country.

It would be easier for all British North American colonies to trade with each other and provide a market for over 4 million people.

Canada would become 3rd largest country in the world by land mass.

It would also encourage other people to come to Canada.

It would improve other markets for Canada West's goods, meaning that their goods would have a bigger market.

All colonies would help each other if there was a war against the Fenians or the American Northern States.

The Canada west listened to George Brown and John A. MacDonald and when the vote was taken, 91 out of 124 people agreed to join Confederation. Canada West joined Confederation in 1867 and was renamed Ontario.

Thomas D'Arcy McGee was on April 13, 1825 in Carlingford, Ireland. He was a journalist, poet and a politician. He was also a supporter of Confederation. McGee came to North America in 1842, where he joined a Catholic newspaper called Boston Pilot. At that time, McGee supported America and Ireland. He returned back to Ireland in 1845, where he got involved in the Young Ireland movement. When the Young Ireland movement failed, he was forced to flee back to United States. In 1857, he moved to Montréal.

When he came to Canada, his opinion changed and he did not supported America and Ireland any more. In Canada, he became the editor of New Era, where he talked about the future of Canada. McGee was elected Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada in 1857. He attended the Charlottetown and Quebec Conference with George Brown, John A. MacDonald and many other delegates, where he delivered 2 speeches.

By 1866, McGee's political career started to fade and he was not invited to the London Conference. But, instead, he was elected for House of Commons in 1867. He thought of resigning from politics, but before he could resign, he was killed on April 7th, 1868. Some people say that the Fenians killed McGee, but no one actually know the truth.