Unit 2 – Our Developing Nation: Why did Canadian Confederation happen? If you were alive during this time, would you have supported confederation?

Things would not be what it is today if it was not for Canadian Confederation.  The CPR might not have been continued, western provinces in Canada might not have been part of Canada. There is just way too many factors that could have become reality, but why else might have been the reasons why the leaders in Canada at the time came up with the decision to join the colonies into one country?

Resources was somewhat of a concern back in the 1800’s. As a result of this, they decided to expand westward for more available resources as well as further lengthening the CPR. If you were to be a colonist at this time, this must have looked like a no-brainer. More resources and more land? Who could say no to that? On top of that, the railroad allowed for even easier transportation of those said resources. However, an Aboriginal person would think otherwise. The amount of land cleared for the CPR must have been brutal for a First Nations person to glance at. The government also did not notify the First Nations about this plan, making matters a lot worse than it should be.

Above: Route of the railway for the CPR, spanning from New York to Vancouver. 


Culture was also something Canadian Confederation introduced. English would proceed to become one of Canada’s main language as well as having parliaments as the place of the head of government. For a colonist, they would not be that surprised about this, as back in England, culture would more or less the same. Many French Canadians would not be satisfied about this though. The fact that the English would be taking up most of Canada might have been frustrating for French Canadians as though the Canadian Confederation buried French Canadian culture. Especially because French people settled in Canada before English people, there must have been a lot of complaints towards the government. A First Nation must have also been just as, if not, more offended about this situation than a French Canadian. As well as having their culture change, the First Nations were actually the first people to ever inhabit Canada. The First Nations must have felt disrespected to not keep land that they had way before Europeans arrived.

Overall, I think that a colonist would have 100% supported the idea of Canadian Confederation and having a united nation. Some French Canadians might have had neutral opinions about Canadian Confederation, but there must have been a number of French Canadians who were very dissatisfied about having the English as the head of the government. First Nations would have felt disappointed to have their land taken by the colonists and to have their culture change from something they have practiced for hundreds of thousands of years to something completely alien to them.

Reference List

Canadian Encyclopedia. (2014). Confederation. Retrieved from http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/confederation/

Parliament of Canada. (2014). Confederation. Retrieved from http://www.parl.gc.ca/about/parliament/education/ourcountryourparliament/html_booklet/confederation-e.html

Library and Archives Canada. (2014). How Canada was formed. Retrieved from http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/confederation/kids/023002-1000-e.html


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