The Factors that Brought BNA Together

There were THREE main factors
that brought the colonies together
 1) Transportation
 2) Defence Issues
 3) Politics
1. Transportation
Problems with the Existing
Transportation System
 Existing system was canals, lakes, rivers and railways
 Few roads
 Canals and railways were used to get goods to ports so
they could be shipped to Britain and the USA
 Not designed for Intercolonial trade
 BNA needed an efficient railway system to transport
goods among colonies
 There were sections of railway throughout the
colonies, but gaps between them prevented EastWest trade from growing
 Grand Trunk Railway : linked Montreal and Toronto
 Intercolonial Railway: linked Nova Scotia and New
 Some political leaders in Canada West and Canada East
had ties to railways companies
 George-Étienne Cartier: Canada East
 Alexander Galt: Canada West
Both men were disappointed that the Grand Trunk Railway
was not doing well financially
So they went to
 If the Intercolonial Railway were extended
westward from the Maritimes to Montreal, the
Grand Trunk Railway would make large profits
 Nova Scotia fish would come west to Toronto and
 Manufactured goods would go east to Saint John and
 Passenger traffic would go up
And this all means....
 To complete the Intercolonial Line so that it ran to
Montreal, investors had to borrow large sums of money
in London, England
 British banks were unwilling to lend money unless they
could be guaranteed it would be repaid
 BARING BROTHERS: one of largest British banks
 Thought uniting colonies would make BNA stronger
 Would make repayment of the money more certain
 Would ONLY lend money if the colonies united
 Manufactures in the Canadas supported the
 Meant new markets in Maritimes for their products
 Food producers in the Maritimes were also in favour
 Their goods could now sell in the larger markets of the
2. Defense Issues
3. Politics
 When the Canadas ( East and West) were united in
1841, they established a common legislature to pass
laws for both colonies
 The capital moved from place to place from Kingston
to Montreal, Toronto, and Quebec City.
 In 1857, Queen Victoria chose Ottawa as the
permanent capital and Parliament opened in 1866.
There were 4 major
political parties
The Representation
 There was a MAJOR flaw in the way the Canadas had been
 Each colony had the same number of seats in legislature,
which meant they had EQUAL REPRESENTATION
- worked well until the pop’n of Canada West began to grow
faster than Canada East
 Many in Canada West began to ‘mumble’ that this was
 SO enters...
‘Representation by Population’
 Politicians in Canada West calculated that if Canada
East had 65 seats, Canada West should have 81
 It was argued that Canada West should immediately get
16 additional seats in order to balance the representation
in the legislature
Three Politicians quickly stood
out from the rest in the debate
George Brown
-Canada West
George-Etienne Cartier
-Canada East
John A. MacDonald
-Canada West
George Brown –Canada West
 Owner of the Globe, Toronto`s largest newspaper
 Was the leading supporter of Rep’ By Pop’
 Brown used Globe to print `fiery' speeches and
editorials about Rep`By Pop
–Canada East
 A lawyer from Montreal
 Was a strong enemy of Rep’ by Pop’
 Represented Canadiens: Canadians of French descent
 French were already a minority in the Canadas
(smaller population)
 Giving Canada West (English) more seats, would just
make French presence even smaller
 Cartier believed English Canada would use power to
push through laws that may threaten French culture
 Became bitter enemies with Brown over Rep`By Pop`
John A. MacDonald
-Canada West
 A lawyer from Kingston
 Had a reputation for fairness and political skill
 He realized that the ‘fiery’ speeches of Brown and
Cartier were not going to solve the Rep’ by Pop’
 Cartier wanted to protect French culture and
language, not the voting system
 Brown wanted fair representation
 MacDonald eventually came up with a solution that
works for everyone... But that’s to come!
Stalemate in the
 What two topics always caused it between the Canadas?
 Every time a major bill would come to debate, it caused
political deadlock.
 MacDonald was trying to keep together a union that was
fragile from the start.
 He desperately wanted the two sides to work together:
English and French/ Canada East and West
 The Solution had to be bigger than just the two colonies...
Who was left out of the
 Women were thought to have no place in politics at this
 They were not allowed to vote or hold a seat in government
 Many did follow the discussions however and spoke with their
husbands, sharing ideas
 This would give them a chance to have some say
 Aboriginals were also left out of politics and public life
 They were not thought of as British subjects
 Did not believe in individual ownership of property (land)
 Because being a British subject and a land owner were
requirements to be a voting member, they were not
allowed to vote

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