Canadian Confederation Essay

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In the year of 1867 the nation we know as Canada came into being. The Confederation in this year only came about after things had been overcome. Many political and economic pressures were exerted on the colonies and a federal union of the colonies seemed to be the most practical method of dealing with these pressures and conflicts. While Confederation was a solution to many of the problems, it was not a popular one for all the colonies involved. In the Maritime colonies views differed widely on the topic. Some were doubtful, some were pleased, others were annoyed and many were hopeful for a prosperous future.1
It was the initiative of the Maritime Provinces that first created the concept of union. Leaders of Prince Edward Island, New
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By 1865 Prince Edward Island had turned down the Confederation plan.
The people of Newfoundland were no more enthusiastic about the idea of a large Union. Newfoundland had always maintained close ties with Britain, having more in common with them than the people in Western Canada. Although the pro-Confederation people argued that financial benefits for the struggling fisheries would result, most Newfoundlanders could not understand how that could happen, instead they feared heavy taxes and an involvement in a possible battle between Canada and the United States. The Newfoundland government did not even bring the Confederation idea to vote. Newfoundland would maintain its status quo.
If the Maritime colonies had been able to isolate themselves, they could have lived contentedly for a long period of time, but other pressures would force Maritimers to reconsider Confederation. One of these outside pressures was the support Great Britain was giving to this idea of Confederation in British North America. Great Britain no longer wanted to be concerned with nor did they wish to provide the financial assistance to support Canada in any war.
By the 1860’s railways were being hailed as an answer to economic problems. Those people in the Maritimes who supported Confederation argued that a transcontinental railway would improve among the colonies and would also help to unify the country. Goods could be moved much
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