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Chapter 7:. Creating a New Country. Government : the way people organize themselves and make decisions Canada is a democracy : the people hold the power and elect their leaders. Governor General (represents the King/Queen of England) | Cabinet (led by Prime Minister) House of Commons

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chapter 7

Chapter 7:

Creating a New Country


Government: the way people organize themselves and make decisions

  • Canada is a democracy: the people hold the power and elect their leaders

Governor General

(represents the King/Queen of England)



(led by Prime Minister)

House of Commons

(elected by the people)



(citizens who elect members into the gov’t)


After the colonies achieved responsible gov’t, they started to think about how to manage themselves

  • They wanted to meet the needs of everyone who lived in British North America
  • They called the joining “Confederation”
conditions for confederation
Conditions for Confederation
  • There were 7 colonies in BNA:
  • Canada West
  • Canada East
  • Nova Scotia
  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland
  • Prince Edward Island
  • British Columbia

There was 3 main reasons why these colonies thought about joining together:

Political deadlock

Trade relations

Defence of BNA

1 political deadlock
1. Political Deadlock
  • In Canada East and West, the French and English members of the gov’t could not get along
  • The gov’t was made of many groups who would not agree with each other
  • There was political deadlock

One reason they disagreed: some groups wanted representation by population – the more people living in an area, the more members they get in the gov’t

  • this meant that some areas of Canada would have more power in the gov’t than others
2 trade
2. Trade
  • For a long time, Britain made a lot of money by trading with BNA and getting taxes
  • BNA was only allowed to trade with Britain
  • Britain realized that they needed to start trading goods with other countries – the colonies would lose a lot of money
  • Now, Britain didn’t need the colonies to make money. The colonies were actually draining a lot of money from Britain

The colonies began trading with the U.S.

  • They had “free trade” or “reciprocity” – neither country charged taxes on trade goods
  • The U.S. didn’t like the deal, and started charging taxes
  • BNA realized that if the colonies united, they could trade freely with each other
3 defence
3. Defence
  • Civil War broke out in the U.S. – the North vs. The South
  • Canada was worried that whoever won the war may want to take over Canada next
  • The U.S. believed in “Manifest Destiny”: they thought it was their God-given right to rule all of North America
  • The colonies knew they would be stronger if they united
the maritimes
The Maritimes
  • This was the Maritimes’ “Golden Age”
  • Shipbuilding made them tons of money
  • P.155: chart for the Maritime colonies
  • They wondered if Confederation would be a good thing for them or not:
  • if they joined the Canadas, a lot of the money they made would be sent away
  • On the other hand, they could get resources like coal and steel from the other provinces
  • They liked the idea of the railway – it would give quick access to the rest of Canada for them
breaking the deadlock
Breaking the deadlock
  • A man named George Brown had an idea: give each province it’s own gov’t to make it’s own decisions, but also have a federal gov’t to help each one
  • Leaders from all of the colonies decided to meet – in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island!!
  • This is why PEI is considered the “birthplace of Confederation”

A month later, the men met in Quebec

  • Everyone could not get what they wanted – the had to compromise
what the colonies decided
What the colonies decided:
  • The Canadas
  • Both the French and English had to make sure they had their own control
  • One major factor: education
  • New Brunswick
  • They were promised that a railway would be built, which convinced them to join

Nova Scotia

  • Also convinced when they were promised a railway
  • PEI
  • Worried that, because it was small, it wouldn’t get the same rights as the other provinces
  • Felt isolated – wanted to have a way to travel on/off the island. They were promised a ferry
  • Did not join confed. Until 1873 (9 years after the first meeting)


  • Felt too far away from the other provinces to bother joining with them
  • Didn’t join until 1949!!!
the fathers
The “Fathers”
  • The 2 men who worked the hardest to create Confederation:

John A. MacDonald and George-Etienne Cartier

  • P.161
dawn of a dominion
Dawn of a Dominion
  • July 1, 1867: the “Dominion of Canada” is created. Canada became a country

the new gov t
The New Gov’t
  • The gov’t passed the “BNA Act”
  • Canada was still part of the British Empire
  • The Gov’t was divided between a
  • House of Commons – elected members
  • Senate – people appointed from each province
  • Each province received a number of gov’t members based on how big it’s population was (rep. by pop.)
  • Bigger provinces had more power

Power was divided between the provinces and the Federal Gov’t

  • P.163 – the division of power
  • With democracy, the “people” are allowed to decide who governs them
  • In Canada, in order to vote:
  • 21 years old or older
  • Had to own land
  • Married women were not allowed
  • Most minorities could not, because not many of them owned land