The Dominion of Canada wasn't born out of revolution, or a sweeping outburst of nationalism. Rather, it was created in a series of conferences and orderly negotiations, culminating in the terms of Confederation on 1 July 1867. This Collection brings together content related to the creation of Canada.
Through its history, Canada has taken a series of increasingly bold steps to develop from a British colony into an independent nation. Both the world wars were turning points, with Canada's military sacrifices giving it the strength and confidence to demand its own voice on the world stage. In the postwar era, Canada has maintained its role in both Western and global alliances. However, relations with the United States – because of its singular importance to Canadian security and trade – have dominated Canada's foreign policy since Confederation.
In December 1837 and January 1838, in the wake of heavy defeats at the hands of British and Loyalist forces, Upper and Lower Canadian rebels fled to the United States where they sought financial and military assistance. Though the American public was aware that there had been an armed conflict in the Canadas, and many were even initially very supportive, the presence of Canadian rebels on American soil along with growing tensions with Great Britain amid the Caroline Affair forced many to question American involvement. The rebels appeared at a very divisive moment in American history, forcing many to consider the social, political, diplomatic or economic ramifications of the rebellions on the Early American Republic. Though the rebels received support in the borderland, most believed that the United States should remain neutral.
During the 1880s, while Americans hunted seals on the Pribilof Islands, which the US had acquired from Russia in 1867, Canadians conducted sealing in the open waters. In 1886 US government revenue cutters, claiming to protect "American property," began seizing Canadian sealing vessels.
Imagine that your family has lived on the same land for generations. Over time, others arrive, take residence and establish a government whose rules now apply to you. But they do not include you in consultations — in fact, they specifically exclude you.
In 1891, Conservative Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald won his final election as prime minister — successfully campaigning on the fear, real or imagined, that the Liberal promise of "unrestricted reciprocity" with the United States would lead to American annexation of Canada.
At 8 PM Monday, December 3, 1837 William Lyon Mackenzie set out by horse down Yonge Street to scout the route for his attack on Toronto. At the top of Gallows Hill (below St Clair) he met Tory alderman John Powell, himself on patrol from the city. Mackenzie and his men took Powell prisoner.
Eight statesmen, scores of aides, hundreds of press, and thousands of security personnel will all descend on Kananaskis, Alberta, in late June 2002. For the fourth time since 1976, but the first time in Western Canada, a Canadian prime minister will be hosting the G-8 leaders summit.
On Monday August 29, 1864 half the cabinet of the Canadian government boarded the steamer Queen Victoria at Quebec. They had heard that representatives of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and PEI were meeting in Charlottetown to discuss Maritime union and they hoped to crash the party.
The National Policy was a central economic and political strategy of the Conservative Party under Prime Minister John A. Macdonald, and many of his successors in high office. It meant that from 1878 until the Second World War, Canada levied high tariffs on foreign imported goods, to shield Canadian manufacturers from American competition.