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Britain and the Origins of Canadian Confederation, 1837-67 by Ged Martin

By Ged Martin

Martin (director, the heart of Canadian stories, U. of Edinburgh) deals a skeptical evaluate of claims that the Canadian Confederation spoke back all of the difficulties dealing with the provinces, reading British perceptions of Canada and ideas approximately its destiny. He appears on the origins of British aid for Ca

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Extra info for Britain and the Origins of Canadian Confederation, 1837-67

Sample text

In fact, this condemnation rests upon a few episodes, exaggerated by selective description, and apparently based upon implied general laws of political behaviour which are usually waived in accounts of Canada's postConfederation crises. Such sweeping condemnation distorts understanding of the likely options facing the province of Canada in 1864, while a verdict of supine, deadlocked failure renders it logically impossible to explain how a challenge as great as Confederation could be carried at all.

The seat of government issue, which triggered the 'double shuffle' crisis of 1858, was hardly the fault of the system of government, since Montreal had been deprived of its status nine years earlier because its citizens had rioted against the constitution. Regional rivalries within modern Canada plague the location of government projects and it was hardly surprising that the Assembly had found it impossible to choose among the competing and importunate candidates. 33 It is certainly not obvious that public morality would have been elevated by adding the stillmore diverse regional interests which would come with a union of all British North America.

In April 1863, the new premier, Sandfield Macdonald, introduced his own measure to reform the militia. 52 To move a no-confidence motion over militia reform four days after the bloody battle of Chancellorsville might not seem a responsible gesture of opposition, but the knowledge that John A. 53 To put the matter simply, it was praiseworthy for John A. Macdonald, soon to become the leading Father of Confederation, to delay militia reform by challenging a ministry in 1863, but outrageous of Sandfield Macdonald, who would soon oppose Confederation, to use militia reform as a means of ousting a ministry in 1862.

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