In The Beginning… • 1534 Jaques Cartier explored the St. Lawrence River searching for a passage to the western ocean
Samuel de Champlain 1608 → Samuel de Champlain establishes 1st colony → New France His business→ fur trade & conversion of indigenous peoples to Christianity • Impact: within 5 years over ½ Huron population perished due to European disease
England • England had established 13 colonies along eastern seaboard → very successful agricultural colonies
The 7 Years War (that really lasted 9 years!) • 1754 conflict between the Kingdoms of Great Britain and France break out in North America over control of rich fur trading area known as the “Ohio Country” • Also called the French and Indian War (native North Americans fought on both sides of the conflict)
7 Years War cont… • 1756 → Britain formally declares war on France →7 Years War “officially”begins • 1759 → General Wolfe defeats Marquis de Montcalm at Quebec City • Britain now had almost full control over North America (but not for long) • 1760 British and Iroquois forces capture Montreal, thus ending French control its colony
Conquest or Catastrophe? • It depends on where you stand • In English history this event is referred to as The Conquest of New France. • In French Canadian history, it is known as the “catastrophe”(the catastrophe).
The Treaty of Paris 1763 • 1763 Treaty of Paris formally ends the 7 Years War • All French territory in North America now British, except for the two little islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon (which the French were allowed to keep by agreeing to limit its interest in North America to fishing).
The British Colony of Quebec • Wealthy French merchants and noblemen returned to France, abandoning the remaining Canadiens to their enemies • Early Governor Generals – James Murray & Sir Guy Carlton – were impressed with French Canadian culture • Meanwhile, the 13 colonies were openly talking about rebellion now that the French threat had be abated
The Quebec Act of 1774: • Britain worried that a rebellious Quebec colony could be a real problem, so they worked to secure the loyalty of the French The Deal: • Quebec border expanded • Freedom of religion for Catholics • French civil law retained • Catholic Church allowed to own land and collect taxes • No elected assembly This act guaranteed the loyalty of the French It also guaranteed the survival of a French culture in North America
The American Revolution 1776 • The Quebec Act greatly angered the American colonialists • 1776 the Declaration of Independence was signed and the American Revolution began • The war of independence tore apart the 13 American colonies • In the end the revolution was successful • Those Americans who wished to remain loyal to Great Britain were forced to flee north to the only remaining English colonies in North America • 50,000 Loyalist Americans – United Empire Loyalists – poured into Quebec and the Maritime colonies of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick
The Constitution Act of 1791 • Divided Quebec into two colonies • 1. Upper Canada (present day Ontario) would become a model British society • 2. Lower Canada (Quebec) would keep their language and culture • Both colonies would have an elected assembly, an appointed upper house / council & an executive • For a while all was well, except those pesky Americans never fully forgot about their northern neighbour.
Structure of Government • Government consisted of: • Elected Assembly (only property owning men could vote or be elected) • Could initiate some laws and taxes • Two appointed councils: • Executive (advise Governor General & set policy) – responsible to the GG, not the assembly • Legislative (review acts of the elected assembly – could veto these decisions) • Governor General (representing the Crown)
Was this government democratic? • No • Was this government responsible to the elected representatives? • No – responsible to the Governor General • Was this government representative? • Yes – although power rested with the executive
The War of 1812 • Those pesky Americans never did forget about their northern neighbour • “Manifest Destiny” – American belief that they should rule over all North America • War of 1812 in Europe spreads to North America – Americans attack Upper and Lower Canada • War ends with no change in borders, but Canadians take a smug pride in fending off the American invaders
Meeting of General Brock and Grand Chief Tecumseh at Fort Malden on 13 Aug 1812
Rebellions of Upper & Lower Canada • By 1830s the colonies are not doing well • Political stagnation due to corrupt government • Executive controlled by ‘Family Compact’ (Upper Canada) & ‘Chateau Clique’ (Lower Canada) • 1837 Louis Joseph Papineau led rebellion in Lower Canada • Well organized prolonged rebellion – • British put down rebellion and burn the estates of any suspected rebel – Quebecers would never forget the bitter memory of fire and sword!
Rebellion of Upper Canada • 1837 William Lyon Mackenzie leads rebellion • Not well organized – ends in about 20 minutes • Mackenzie and Papineau both flee to USA
Durham Report • Lord Durham sent to investigate cause of rebellions. • He concludes that the rebels had a legitimate grudge and recommends important changes: • Upper and Lower Canada should be united into a single colony (to assimilate French) • Executive council had to have support of the elected assembly - Government would be responsible to the elected assembly • Governor General should listen to the elected assembly
Is democratic principles in place here? • Somewhat – but still only men with property could vote • Is government responsible? • Yes!
Confederation • By the mid 1800s the colonies of British North America were again not doing so well. • Economic stagnation – the colonies could not trade with eachother or share resources • Fear of American attack still a concern • Britain shows little interest
Confederation Continued • 1864 – delegated of the BNA colonies (Canada, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI, Newfoundland) meet in Charlottetown to discuss a federal union – agree to idea • Canada’s delegates, John A. Macdonald and George Etienne Cartier hammer out the BNA Act – our first constitution
Confederation… • Canada would retain the monarch as our official head of state – constitutional monarchy • Canada would have 2 levels of government, each with distinct areas of representation • Federal • Criminal law, defence, trade, foreign affairs, transportation, residual powers • Provincial • Education, civil law, health
Confederation: 1867 • July 1, 1867 Canada comes into being as an act of the British Parliament! • Only four colonies join initially; • Ontario • Quebec • Nova Scotia • New Brunswick • Still, we are not fully independent