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´╗┐Title: The Canadian Dominion: A Chronicle of Our Northern Neighbor
Author: Skelton, Oscar D. (Oscar Douglas), 1878-1941
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Canadian Dominion: A Chronicle of Our Northern Neighbor" ***

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By Oscar D. Skelton

     Copyright, 1919, by Yale University Press


The history of Canada since the close of the French regime falls into
three clearly marked half centuries. The first fifty years after
the Peace of Paris determined that Canada was to maintain a separate
existence under the British flag and was not to become a fourteenth
colony or be merged with the United States. The second fifty years
brought the winning of self-government and the achievement of
Confederation. The third fifty years witnessed the expansion of the
Dominion from sea to sea and the endeavor to make the unity of the
political map a living reality--the endeavor to weld the far-flung
provinces into one country, to give Canada a distinctive place in the
Empire and in the world, and eventually in the alliance of peoples
banded together in mankind's greatest task of enforcing peace and
justice among nations.

The author has found it expedient in this narrative to depart from the
usual method of these Chronicles and arrange the matter in chronological
rather than in biographical or topical divisions. The first period of
fifty years is accordingly covered in one chapter, the second in two
chapters, and the third in two chapters. Authorities and a list
of publications for a more extended study will be found in the
Bibliographical Note.

O. D. S.











Scarcely more than half a century has passed since the Dominion of
Canada, in its present form, came into existence. But thrice that period
has elapsed since the fateful day when Montcalm and Wolfe laid down
their lives in battle on the Plains of Abraham, and the lands which now
comprise the Dominion finally passed from French hands and came under
British rule.

The Peace of Paris, which brought the Seven Years' War to a close in
1763, marked the termination of the empire of France in the New World.
Over the continent of North America, after that peace, only two flags
floated, the red and yellow banner of Spain and the Union Jack of
Great Britain. Of these the Union Jack held sway over by far the larger
domain--over the vague territories about Hudson Bay, over the great
valley of the St. Lawrence, and over all the lands lying east of the
Mississippi, save only New Orleans. To whom it would fall to develop
this vast claim, what mighty empires would be carved out of the
wilderness, where the boundary lines would run between the nations yet
to be, were secrets the future held. Yet in retrospect it is now
clear that in solving these questions the Peace of Paris played no
inconsiderable part. By removing from the American colonies the menace
of French aggression from the north it relieved them of a sense of
dependence on the mother country and so made possible the birth of a new
nation in the United States. At the same time, in the northern half of
the continent, it made possible that other experiment in democracy, in
the union of diverse races, in international neighborliness, and in
the reconciliation of empire with liberty, which Canada presents to the
whole world, and especially to her elder sister in freedom.

In 1763 the territories which later were to make up the Dominion of
Canada were divided roughly into three parts. These parts had little or
nothing in common. They shared together neither traditions of suffering
or glory nor ties of blood or trade. Acadia, or Nova Scotia, by the
Atlantic, was an old French colony, now British for over a generation.
Canada, or Quebec, on the St. Lawrence and the Great Lakes, with seventy
thousand French habitants and a few hundred English camp followers,
had just passed under the British flag. West and north lay the vaguely
outlined domains of the Hudson's Bay Company, where the red man and the
buffalo still reigned supreme and almost unchallenged.

The old colony of Acadia, save only the island outliers, Cape Breton
and Prince Edward Island, now ceded by the Peace of Paris, had been
in British hands since 1713. It was not, however, until 1749 that any
concerted effort had been made at a settlement of this region. The
menace from the mighty fortress which the French were rebuilding at that
time at Louisbourg, in Cape Breton, and the hostility of the restless
Acadians or old French settlers on the mainland, had compelled action
and the British Government departed from its usual policy of laissez
faire in matters of emigration. Twenty-five hundred English settlers
were brought out to found and hold the town and fort of Halifax. Nearly
as many Germans were planted in Lunenburg, where their descendants
flourish to this day. Then the hapless Acadians were driven into
exile and into the room they left, New Englanders of strictest Puritan
ancestry came, on their own initiative, and built up new communities
like those of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Other waves
of voluntary immigration followed--Ulster Presbyterians, driven out by
the attempt of England to crush the Irish woolen manufacture, and,
still later, Highlanders, Roman Catholic and Presbyterian, who soon made
Gaelic the prevailing tongue of the easternmost counties. By 1767 the
colony of Nova Scotia, which then included all Acadia, north and east of
Maine, had a prosperous population of some seven thousand Americans,
two thousand Irish, two thousand Germans, barely a thousand English,
and well over a thousand surviving Acadian French. In short, this
northernmost of the Atlantic colonies appeared to be fast on the way
to become a part of New England. It was chiefly New Englanders who had
peopled it, and it was with New England that for many a year its whole
social and commercial intercourse was carried on. It was no accident
that Nova Scotia later produced the first Yankee humorist, "Sam Slick."

With the future sister province of Canada, or Quebec, which lay along
the St. Lawrence as far as the Great Lakes, Acadia or Nova Scotia had
much less in common than with New England. Hundreds of miles of unbroken
forest wilderness lay between the two colonies, and the sea lanes ran
between the St. Lawrence, the Bay of Fundy, or Halifax and Havre or
Plymouth, and not between Quebec and Halifax. Even the French settlers
came of different stocks. The Acadians were chiefly men of La Rochelle
and the Loire, while the Canadians came, for the most part, from the
coast provinces stretching from Normandy and Picardy to Poitou and

The situation in Canada proper presented the British authorities with a
problem new in their imperial experience. Hitherto, save for Acadia and
New Netherland, where the settlers were few in numbers and, even in
New Netherland, closely akin to the conquerors in race, religion, and
speech, no colony containing men of European stocks had been acquired
by conquest. Canada held some sixty or seventy thousand settlers,
French and Catholic almost to a man. Despite the inefficiency of French
colonial methods the plantation had taken firm root. The colony had
developed a strength, a social structure, and an individuality all its
own. Along the St. Lawrence and the Richelieu the settlements lay close
and compact; the habitants' whitewashed cottages lined the river banks
only a few arpents apart. The social cohesion of the colony was equally
marked. Alike in government, in religion, and in industry, it was a land
where authority was strong. Governor and intendant, feudal seigneur,
bishop and Jesuit superior, ruled each in his own sphere and provided a
rigid mold and framework for the growth of the colony. There were, it
is true, limits to the reach of the arm of authority. Beyond Montreal
stretched a vast wilderness merging at some uncertain point into the
other wilderness that was Louisiana. Along the waterways which threaded
this great No Man's Land the coureurs-de-bois roamed with little heed to
law or license, glad to escape from the paternal strictness that irked
youth on the lower St. Lawrence. But the liberty of these rovers of the
forest was not liberty after the English pattern; the coureur-de-bois
was of an entirely different type from the pioneers of British stock who
were even then pushing their way through the gaps in the Alleghanies
and making homes in the backwoods. Priest and seigneur, habitant and
coureur-de-bois were one and all difficult to fit into accepted English
ways. Clearly Canada promised to strain the digestive capacity of the
British lion.

The present western provinces of the Dominion were still the haunt of
Indian and buffalo. French-Canadian explorers and fur traders, it is
true, had penetrated to the Rockies a few years before the Conquest, and
had built forts on Lake Winnipeg, on the Assiniboine and Red rivers,
and at half a dozen portages on the Saskatchewan. But the "Company of
Adventurers of England trading into Hudson's Bay" had not yet ventured
inland, still content to carry on its trade with the Indians from its
forts along the shores of that great sea. On the Pacific the Russians
had coasted as far south as Mount Saint Elias, but no white man, so far
as is known, had set foot on the shores of what is now British Columbia.

Two immediate problems were bequeathed to the British Government by the
Treaty of Paris: what was to be done with the unsettled lands between
the Alleghanies and the Mississippi; and how were the seventy thousand
French subjects in the valley of the St. Lawrence to be dealt with? The
first difficulty was not solved. It was merely postponed. The whole back
country of the English colonies was proclaimed an Indian reserve where
the King's white subjects might trade but might not acquire land. This
policy was not devised in order to set bounds to the expansion of the
older colonies; that was an afterthought. The policy had its root in
an honest desire to protect the Indians from the frauds of unscrupulous
traders and from the encroachments of settlers on their hunting grounds.
The need of a conciliatory, if firm, policy in regard to the great
interior was made evident by the Pontiac rising in 1763, the aftermath
of the defeat of the French, who had done all they could to inspire the
Indians with hatred for the advancing English.

How to deal with Canada was a more thorny problem. The colony had not
been sought by its conquerors for itself. It was counted of little
worth. The verdict of its late possessors, as recorded in Voltaire's
light farewell to "a few arpents of snow," might be discounted as an
instance of sour grapes; but the estimate of its new possessors was
evidently little higher, since they debated long and dubiously whether
in the peace settlement they should retain Canada or the little sugar
island of Guadeloupe, a mere pin point on the map. Canada had been
conquered not for the good it might bring but for the harm it was doing
as a base for French attack upon the English colonies--"the wasps' nest
must be smoked out." But once it had been taken, it had to be dealt with
for itself.

The policy first adopted was a simple one, natural enough for
eighteenth-century Englishmen. They decided to make Canada* over in
the image of the old colonies, to turn the "new subjects," as they were
called, in good time into Englishmen and Protestants. A generation
or two would suffice, in the phrase of Francis Maseres--himself a
descendant of a Huguenot refugee but now wholly an Englishman--for
"melting down the French nation into the English in point of language,
affections, religion, and laws." Immigration was to be encouraged from
Britain and from the other American colonies, which, in the view of the
Lords of Trade, were already overstocked and in danger of being forced
by the scarcity or monopoly of land to take up manufactures which would
compete with English wares. And since it would greatly contribute to
speedy settlement, so the Royal Proclamation of 1763 declared, that the
King's subjects should be informed of his paternal care for the security
of their liberties and properties, it was promised that, as soon as
circumstances would permit, a General Assembly would be summoned, as in
the older colonies. The laws of England, civil and criminal, as near as
might be, were to prevail. The Roman Catholic subjects were to be free
to profess their own religion, "so far as the laws of Great Britain
permit," but they were to be shown a better way. To the first Governor
instructions were issued "that all possible Encouragement shall be given
to the erecting Protestant Schools in the said Districts, Townships and
Precincts, by settling and appointing and allotting proper Quantities
of Land for that Purpose and also for a Glebe and Maintenance for a
Protestant minister and Protestant schoolmasters." Thus in the fullness
of time, like Acadia, but without any Evangelise of Grand Pre, without
any drastic policy of expulsion, impossible with seventy thousand people
scattered over a wide area, even Canada would become a good English
land, a newer New England.

     * The Royal Proclamation of 1763 set the bounds of the new
     colony. They were surprisingly narrow, a mere strip along
     both sides of the St. Lawrence from a short distance beyond
     the Ottawa on the west, to the end of the Gasps peninsula on
     the east. The land to the northeast was put under the
     jurisdiction of the Governor of Newfoundland, and the Great
     Lakes region was included in the territory reserved for the

It is questionable whether this policy could ever have achieved success
even if it had been followed for generations without rest or turning.
But it was not destined to be given a long trial. From the very
beginning the men on the spot, the soldier Governors of Canada, urged
an entirely contrary policy on the Home Government, and the pressure of
events soon brought His Majesty's Ministers to concur.

As the first civil Governor of Canada, the British authorities chose
General Murray, one of Wolfe's ablest lieutenants, who since 1760 had
served as military Governor of the Quebec district. He was to be
aided in his task by a council composed of the Lieutenant Governors of
Montreal and Three Rivers, the Chief Justice, the head of the
customs, and eight citizens to be named by the Governor from "the most
considerable of the persons of property" in the province.

The new Governor was a blunt, soldierly man, upright and just according
to his lights, but deeply influenced by his military and aristocratic
leanings. Statesmen thousands of miles away might plan to encourage
English settlers and English political ways and to put down all that was
French. To the man on the spot English settlers meant "the four hundred
and fifty contemptible sutlers and traders" who had come in the wake of
the army from New England and New York, with no proper respect for their
betters, and vulgarly and annoyingly insistent upon what they claimed to
be their rights. The French might be alien in speech and creed, but at
least the seigneurs and the higher clergy were gentlemen, with a due
respect for authority, the King's and their own, and the habitants were
docile, the best of soldier stuff. "Little, very little," Murray wrote
in 1764 to the Lords of Trade, "will content the New Subjects, but
nothing will satisfy the Licentious Fanaticks Trading here, but the
expulsion of the Canadians, who are perhaps the bravest and best
race upon the Globe, a Race, who cou'd they be indulged with a few
priviledges wch the Laws of England deny to Roman Catholicks at
home, wou'd soon get the better of every National Antipathy to their
Conquerors and become the most faithful and most useful set of Men in
this American Empire."*

     * This quotation and those following in this chapter are
     from official documents most conveniently assembled in Shorn
     and Doughty, "Documents relating to the Constitutional
     History of Canada, 1759-1791", and Doughty and McArthur,
     "Documents relating to the Constitutional History of Canada,

Certainly there was much in the immediate situation to justify Murray's
attitude. It was preposterous to set up a legislature in which only the
four hundred Protestants might sit and from which the seventy thousand
Catholics would be barred. It would have been difficult in any case
to change suddenly the system of laws governing the most intimate
transactions of everyday life. But when, as happened, the Administration
was entrusted in large part to newly created justices of the peace, men
with "little French and less honour," "to whom it is only possible to
speak with guineas in one's hand," the change became flatly impossible.
Such an alteration, if still insisted upon, must come more slowly than
the impatient traders in Montreal and Quebec desired.

The British Government, however, was not yet ready to abandon its
policy. The Quebec traders petitioned for Murray's recall, alleging that
the measures required to encourage settlement had not been adopted, that
the Governor was encouraging factions by his partiality to the French,
that he treated the traders with "a Rage and Rudeness of Language and
Demeanor" and--a fair thrust in return for his reference to them as "the
most immoral collection of men I ever knew"--as "discountenancing the
Protestant Religion by almost a Total Neglect of Attendance upon the
Service of the Church." When the London business correspondents of
the traders backed up this petition, the Government gave heed. In 1766
Murray was recalled to England and, though he was acquitted of the
charges against him, he did not return to his post in Canada.

The triumph of the English merchants was short. They had jumped from the
frying pan into the fire. General Guy Carleton, Murray's successor and
brother officer under Wolfe, was an even abler man, and he was still
less in sympathy with democracy of the New England pattern. Moreover, a
new factor had come in to reenforce the soldier's instinctive preference
for gentlemen over shopkeepers. The first rumblings of the American
Revolution had reached Quebec. It was no time, in Carleton's view, to
set up another sucking republic. Rather, he believed, the utmost should
be made of the opportunity Canada afforded as a barrier against the
advance of democracy, a curb upon colonial insolence. The need of
cultivating the new subjects was the greater, Carleton contended,
because the plan of settlement by Englishmen gave no sign of succeeding:
"barring a Catastrophe shocking to think of, this Country must, to the
end of Time, be peopled by the Canadian race."

To bind the Canadians firmly to England, Carleton proposed to work
chiefly through their old leaders, the seigneurs and the clergy. He
would restore to the people their old system of laws, both civil and
criminal. He would confirm the seigneurs in their feudal dues and
fines, which the habitants were growing slack in paying now that the
old penalties were not enforced, and he would give them honors and
emoluments such as they had before enjoyed as officers in regular or
militia regiments. The Roman Catholic clergy were already, in fact,
confirmed in their right to tithe and toll; and, without objection
from the Governor, Bishop Briand, elected by the chapter in Quebec and
consecrated in Paris, once more assumed control over the flock.

Carleton's proposals did not pass unquestioned. His own chief legal
adviser, Francis Maseres, was a sturdy adherent of the older policy,
though he agreed that the time was not yet ripe for setting up an
Assembly and suggested some well-considered compromise between the old
laws and the new. The Advocate General of England, James Marriott, urged
the same course. The policy of 1768, he contended eleven years later,
had already succeeded in great measure. The assimilation of government
had been effected; an assimilation of manners would follow. The
excessive military spirit of the inhabitants had begun to dwindle, as
England's interest required. The back settlements of New York and Canada
were fast being joined. Two or three thousand men of British stock, many
of them men of substance, had gone to the new colony; warehouses and
foundries were being built; and many of the principal seigneuries
had passed into English hands. All that was needed, he concluded, was
persistence along the old path. The same view was of course strenuously
urged by the English merchants in the colony, who continued to demand,
down to the very eve of the Revolution, an elective Assembly and other
rights of freeborn Britons.

Carleton carried the day. His advice, tendered at close range during
four years' absentee residence in London, from 1770 to 1774, fell in
with the mood of Lord North's Government. The measure in which the new
policy was embodied, the famous Quebec Act of 1774, was essentially a
part of the ministerial programme for strengthening British power to
cope with the resistance then rising to rebellious heights in the old
colonies. Though not, as was long believed, designed in retaliation for
the Boston disturbances, it is clear that its framers had Massachusetts
in mind when deciding on their policy for Quebec. The main purpose of
the Act, the motive which turned the scale against the old Anglicizing
policy, was to attach the leaders of French-Canadian opinion firmly
to the British Crown, and thus not only to prevent Canada itself from
becoming infected with democratic contagion or turning in a crisis
toward France, but to ensure, if the worst came to the worst, a military
base in that northland whose terrors had in old days kept the seaboard
colonies circumspectly loyal. Ministers in London had been driven by
events to accept Carleton's paradox, that to make Quebec British,
it must be prevented from becoming English. If in later years the
solidarity and aloofness of the French-Canadian people were sometimes to
prove inconvenient to British interests, it was always to be remembered
that this situation was due in great part to the deliberate action of
Great Britain in strengthening French-Canadian institutions as a means
of advancing what she considered her own interests in America. "The
views of the British Government in respect to the political uses to
which it means to make Canada subservient," Marriott had truly declared,
"must direct the spirit of any code of laws."

The Quebec Act multiplied the area of the colony sevenfold by the
restoration of all Labrador on the east and the region west as far as
the Ohio and the Mississippi and north to the Hudson's Bay Company's
territory. It restored the old French civil law but continued the milder
English criminal law already in operation. It gave to the Roman Catholic
inhabitants the free exercise of their religion, subject to a modified
oath of allegiance, and confirmed the clergy in their right "to hold,
receive and enjoy their accustomed dues and rights, with respect to such
persons only as shall confess the said religion." The promised elective
Assembly was not granted, but a Council appointed by the Crown received
a measure of legislative power.

On his return to Canada in September, 1774, Carleton reported that the
Canadians had "testified the strongest marks of Joy and Gratitude and
Fidelity to their King and to His Government for the late Arrangements
made at Home in their Favor." The "most respectable part of the
English," he continued, urged peaceful acceptance of the new order.
Evidently, however, the respectable members of society were few, as the
great body of the English settlers joined in a petition for the repeal
of the Act on the ground that it deprived them of the incalculable
benefits of habeas corpus and trial by jury. The Montreal merchants,
whether, as Carleton commented, they "were of a more turbulent Turn, or
that they caught the Fire from some Colonists settled among them," were
particularly outspoken in the town meetings they held. In the older
colonies the opposition was still more emphatic. An Act which hemmed
them in to the seacoast, established on the American continent a Church
they feared and hated, and continued an autocratic political system,
appeared to many to be the undoing of the work of Pitt and Wolfe and
the revival on the banks of the St. Lawrence and the Mississippi of a
serious menace to their liberty and progress.

Then came the clash at Lexington, and the War of American Independence
had begun. The causes, the course, and the ending of that great civil
war have been treated elsewhere in this series.* Here it is necessary
only to note its bearings on the fate of Canada.

     * See "The Eve of the Revolution" and "Washington and His
     Comrades in Arms" (in "The Chronicles of America").

Early in 1775 the Continental Congress undertook the conquest of Canada,
or, as it was more diplomatically phrased, the relief of its inhabitants
from British tyranny. Richard Montgomery led an expedition over the old
route by Lake Champlain and the Richelieu, along which French and Indian
raiding parties used to pass years before, and Benedict Arnold made a
daring and difficult march up the Kennebec and down the Chaudiere
to Quebec. Montreal fell to Montgomery; and Carleton himself escaped
capture only by the audacity of some French-Canadian voyageurs, who,
under cover of darkness, rowed his whaleboat or paddled it with their
hands silently past the American sentinels on the shore. Once down the
river and in Quebec, Carleton threw himself with vigor and skill into
the defense of his capital. His generalship and the natural strength
of the position proved more than a match for Montgomery and Arnold.
Montgomery was killed and Arnold wounded in a vain attempt to carry the
city by storm on the last night of 1775. At Montreal a delegation from
Congress, composed of Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Chase, and Charles
Carroll of Carrollton, accompanied by Carroll's brother, a Jesuit priest
and a future archbishop, failed to achieve-more by diplomacy than their
generals had done by the sword. The Canadians seemed, content enough to
wear the British yoke. In the spring, when a British fleet arrived with
reenforcements, the American troops retired in haste and, before the
Declaration of Independence had been proclaimed, Canada was free from
the last of its ten thousand invaders.

The expedition had put Carleton's policy to the test. On the whole it
stood the strain. The seigneurs had rallied to the Government which had
restored their rights, and the clergy had called on the people to stand
fast by the King. So far all went as Carleton had hoped: "The Noblesse,
Clergy, and greater part of the Bourgeoisie," he wrote, "have given
Government every Assistance in their Power." But the habitants refused
to follow their appointed leaders with the old docility, and some even
mobbed the seigneurs who tried to enroll them. Ten years of freedom had
worked a democratic change in them, and they were much less enthusiastic
than their betters about the restoration of seigneurial privileges.
Carleton, like many another, had held as public opinion what were merely
the opinions of those whom he met at dinner. "These people had been
governed with too loose a rein for many years," he now wrote to
Burgoyne, "and had imbibed too much of the American Spirit of
Licentiousness and Independence administered by a numerous and turbulent
Faction here, to be suddenly restored to a proper and desirable
Subordination." A few of the habitants joined his forces; fewer joined
the invaders or sold them supplies--till they grew suspicious of paper
"Continentals." But the majority held passively aloof. Even when France
joined the warring colonies and Admiral d'Estaing appealed to the
Canadians to rise, they did not heed; though it is difficult to say what
the result would have been if Washington had agreed to Lafayette's plan
of a joint French and American invasion in 1778.

Nova Scotia also held aloof, in spite of the fact that many of the men
who had come from New England and from Ulster were eager to join the
colonies to the south. In Nova Scotia democracy was a less hardy plant
than in Massachusetts. The town and township institutions, which had
been the nurseries of resistance in New England, had not been allowed to
take root there. The circumstances of the founding of Halifax had given
ripe to a greater tendency, which lasted long, to lean upon the mother
country. The Maine wilderness made intercourse between Nova Scotia and
New England difficult by land, and the British fleet was in control
of the sea until near the close of the war. Nova Scotia stood by Great
Britain, and was reserved to become part of a northern nation still in
the making.

That nation was to owe its separate existence to the success of the
American Revolution. But for that event, coming when it did, the
struggling colonies of Quebec and Nova Scotia would in time have become
merged with the colonies to the youth and would have followed them,
whether they remained within the British Empire or not. Thus it was due
to the quarrel between the thirteen colonies and the motherland that
Canada did not become merely a fourteenth colony or state. Nor was this
the only bearing of the Revolution on Canada's destiny. Thanks to the
coming of the Loyalists, those exiles of the Revolution who settled in
Canada in large numbers, Canada was after all to be dominantly a land of
English speech and of English sympathies. By one of the many paradoxes
which mark the history of Canada, the very success of the plan which
aimed to save British power by confirming French-Canadian nationality
and the loyalty of the French led in the end to making a large part of
Canada English. The Revolution meant also that for many a year those in
authority in England and in Canada itself were to stand in fear of the
principles and institutions which had led the old colonies to rebellion
and separation, and were to try to build up in Canada buttresses against
the advance of democracy.

The British statesmen who helped to frame the Peace of 1783 were men
with broad and generous views as to the future of the seceding colonies
and their relations with the mother country. It was perhaps inevitable
that they should have given less thought to the future of the colonies
in America which remained under the British flag. Few men could realize
at the moment that out of these scattered fragments a new nation and a
second empire would arise. Not only were the seceding colonies given a
share in the fishing grounds of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, which was
unfortunately to prove a constant source of friction, but the
boundary line was drawn with no thought of the need of broad and easy
communication between Nova Scotia and Canada, much less between Canada
and the far West. Vague definitions of the boundaries, naturally
incident to the prevailing lack of geographical knowledge of the vast
continent, held further seeds of trouble. These contentions, however,
were far in the future. At the moment another defect of the treaty
proved to be Canada's gain. The failure of Lord Shelburne's Ministry to
insist upon effective safeguards for the fair treatment of those who had
taken the King's side in the old colonies, condemned as it was not only
by North and the Tories but by Fox and Sheridan and Burke, led to that
Loyalist migration which changed the racial complexion of Canada.

The Treaty of 1783 provided that Congress would "earnestly recommend"
to the various States that the Loyalists be granted amnesty and
restitution. This pious resolution proved not worth the paper on which
it was written. In State after State the property of the Loyalists
was withheld or confiscated anew. Yet this ungenerous treatment of the
defeated by the victors is not hard to understand. The struggle had been
waged with all the bitterness of civil war. The smallness of the field
of combat had intensified personal ill-will. Both sides had practiced
cruelties in guerrilla warfare; but the Patriots forgot Marion's raids,
Simsbury mines, and the drumhead hangings, and remembered only Hessian
brutalities, Indian scalpings, Tarleton's harryings, and the infamous
prison ships of New York. The war had been a long one. The tide of
battle had ebbed and flowed. A district that was Patriot one year was
frequently Loyalist the next. These circumstances engendered fear and
suspicion and led to nervous reprisals.

At least a third, if not a half, of the people of the old colonies
had been opposed to revolution. New York was strongly Loyalist, with
Pennsylvania, Georgia, and the Carolinas closely following. In the end
some fifty or sixty thousand Loyalists abandoned their homes or suffered
expulsion rather than submit to the new order. They counted in their
ranks many of the men who had held first place in their old communities,
men of wealth, of education, and of standing, as well as thousands
who had nothing to give but their fidelity to the old order. Many,
especially of the well-to-do, went to England; a few found refuge in the
West Indies; but the great majority, over fifty thousand in all, sought
new homes in the northern wilderness. Over thirty thousand, including
many of the most influential of the whole number (with about three
thousand negro slaves, afterwards freed and deported to Sierra Leone)
were carried by ship to Nova Scotia. They found homes chiefly in
that part of the province which in 1784 became New Brunswick. Others,
trekking overland or sailing around by the Gulf and up the River,
settled in the upper valley of the St. Lawrence--on Lake St. Francis, on
the Cataraqui and the Bay of Quinte, and in the Niagara District.

Though these pioneers were generously aided by the British Government
with grants of land and supplies, their hardships and disappointments
during the first years in the wilderness were such as would have daunted
any but brave and desperate men and women whom fate had winnowed. Yet
all but a few, who drifted back to their old homes, held out; and the
foundations of two more provinces of the future Dominion--New Brunswick
and Upper Canada--were thus broadly and soundly laid by the men whom
future generations honored as "United Empire Loyalists." Through all
the later years, their sacrifices and sufferings, their ideals and
prejudices, were to make a deep impress on the development of the nation
which they helped to found and were to influence its relations with the
country which they had left and with the mother country which had held
their allegiance.

Once the first tasks of hewing and hauling and planting were done, the
new settlers called for the organization of local governments. They
were quite as determined as their late foes to have a voice in their
own governing, even though they yielded ultimate obedience to rulers

In the provinces by the sea a measure of self-government was at once
established. New Brunswick received, without question, a constitution on
the Nova Scotia model, with a Lieutenant Governor, an Executive Council
appointed to advise him, which served also as the upper house of the
legislature, and an elective Assembly. Of the twenty-six members of the
first Assembly, twenty-three were Loyalists. With a population so much
at one, and with the tasks of road making and school building and tax
collecting insistent and absorbing, no party strife divided the province
for many years. In Nova Scotia, too, the Loyalists were in the majority.
There, however, the earlier settlers soon joined with some of the
newcomers to form an opposition. The island of St. John, renamed Prince
Edward Island in 1798, had been made a separate Government and had
received an Assembly in 1773. Its one absorbing question was the tenure
of land. On a single day in 1767 the British authorities had granted the
whole island by lottery to army and navy officers and country gentlemen,
on condition of the payment of small quitrents. The quitrents were
rarely paid, and the tenants of the absentee landlords kept up an
agitation for reform which was unceasing but which was not to be
successful for a hundred years. In all three Maritime Provinces
political and party controversy was little known for a generation after
the Revolution.

It was more difficult to decide what form of government should be set up
in Canada, now that tens of thousands of English-speaking settlers dwelt
beside the old Canadians. Carleton, now Lord Dorchester, had returned
as Governor in 1786, after eight years' absence. He was still averse
to granting an Assembly so long as the French subjects were in the
majority: they did not want it, he insisted, and could not use it.
But the Loyalist settlers, not to be put off, joined with the English
merchants of Montreal and Quebec in demanding an Assembly and relief
from the old French laws. Carleton himself was compelled to admit the
force of the conclusion of William Grenville, Secretary of State for the
Home Department, then in control of the remnants of the colonial empire,
and son of that George Grenville who, as Prime Minister, had introduced
the American Stamp Act of 1765: "I am persuaded that it is a point
of true Policy to make these Concessions at a time when they may be
received as a matter of favour, and when it is in Our own power to
regulate and direct the manner of applying them, rather than to wait
till they shall be extorted from us by a necessity which shall neither
leave us any discretion in the form nor any merit in the substance of
what We give." Accordingly, in 1791, the British Parliament passed the
Constitutional Act dividing Canada into two provinces separated by
the Ottawa River, Lower or French-speaking Canada and Upper or
English-speaking Canada, and granting each an elective Assembly.

Thus far the tide of democracy had risen, but thus far only. Few in
high places had learned the full lesson of the American Revolution. The
majority believed that the old colonies had been lost because they had
not been kept under a sufficiently tight rein; that democracy had been
allowed too great headway; that the remaining colonies, therefore,
should be brought under stricter administrative control; and that care
should be taken to build up forces to counteract the democracy which
grew so rank and swift in frontier soil. This conservative tendency
was strengthened by the outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789.* The
rulers of England had witnessed two revolutions, and the lesson they
drew from both was that it was best to smother democracy in the cradle.

     * It will be remembered that in the debate on the
     Constitutional Act the conflicting views of Burke and Fox on
     the French Revolution led to the dramatic break in their
     lifelong friendship.

For this reason the measure of representative government that had been
granted each of the remaining British colonies in North America was
carefully hedged about. The whole executive power remained in the hands
of the Governor or his nominees. No one yet conceived it possible that
the Assembly should control the Executive Council. The elective Assembly
was compelled to share even the lawmaking power with an upper house,
the Legislative Council. Not only were the members of this upper house
appointed by the Crown for life, but the King was empowered to bestow
hereditary titles upon them with a view to making the Council in the
fullness of time a copy of the House of Lords. A blow was struck even
at that traditional prerogative of the popular house, the control of
the purse. Carleton had urged that in every township a sixth of the
land should be reserved to enable His Majesty "to reward such of His
provincial Servants as may merit the Royal favour" and "to create and
strengthen an Aristocracy, of which the best use may be made on this
Continent, where all Governments are feeble and the general condition of
things tends to a wild Democracy." Grenville saw further possibilities
in this suggestion. It would give the Crown a revenue which would
make it independent of the Assembly, "a measure, which, if it had been
adopted when the Old Colonies were first settled, would have retained
them to this hour in obedience and Loyalty." Nor was this all. From
the same source an endowment might be obtained for a state church which
would be a bulwark of order and conservatism. The Constitutional
Act accordingly provided for setting aside lands equal in value to
one-seventh of all lands granted from time to time, for the support of
a Protestant clergy. The Executive Council received power to set up
rectories in every parish, to endow them liberally, and to name as
rectors ministers of the Church of England. Further, the Executive
Council was instructed to retain an equal amount of land as crown
reserves, distributed judiciously in blocks between the grants made to
settlers. Were any radical tendencies to survive these attentions, the
veto power of the British Government could be counted on in the last

For a time the installment of self-government thus granted satisfied the
people. The pioneer years left little leisure for political discussion,
nor were there at first any general issues about which men might
differ. The Government was carrying on acceptably the essential tasks
of surveying, land granting, and road building; and each member of the
Assembly played his own hand and was chiefly concerned in obtaining
for his constituents the roads and bridges, they needed so badly. The
English-speaking settlers of Upper Canada were too widely scattered,
and the French-speaking citizens of Lower Canada were too ignorant of
representative institutions, to act in groups or parties.

Much turned in these early years upon the personality of the Governor.
In several instances, the choice of rulers for the new provinces proved
fortunate. This was particularly so in the case of John Graves Simcoe,
Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada from 1792 to 1799. He was a good
soldier and a just and vigorous administrator, particularly wise in
setting his regulars to work building roads such as Yonge Street and
Dundas Street, which to this day are great provincial arteries of
travel. Yet there were many sources of weakness in the scheme of
government--divided authority, absenteeism, personal unfitness. When
Dorchester was reappointed in 1786, he had been made Governor in
Chief of all British North America. From the beginning, however, the
Lieutenant Governors of the various provinces asserted independent
authority, and in a few years the Governor General became in fact merely
the Governor of the most populous province, Lower Canada, in which he

In Upper Canada, as in New Brunswick, the population was at first much
at one. In time, however, discordant elements appeared. Religious, or
at least denominational, differences began to cause friction. The great
majority of the early settlers in Upper Canada belonged to the Church of
England, whose adherents in the older colonies had nearly all taken
the Loyalist side. Of the Ulster Presbyterians and New England
Congregationalists who formed the backbone of the Revolution, few came
to Canada. The growth of the Methodists and Baptists in the United
States after the Revolution, however, made its mark on the neighboring
country. The first Methodist class meetings in Upper Canada, held in
the United Empire Loyalist settlement on the Bay of Quinte in 1791,
were organized by itinerant preachers from the United States; and in the
western part of the province pioneer Baptist evangelists from the same
country reached the scattered settlers neglected by the older churches.

Nor was it in religion alone that diversity grew. Simcoe had set up a
generous land policy which brought in many "late Loyalists," American
settlers whose devotion to monarchical principles would not always bear
close inquiry. The fantastic experiment of planting in the heart of
the woods of Upper Canada a group of French nobles driven out by
the Revolution left no trace; but Mennonites, Quakers, and Scottish
Highlanders contributed diverse and permanent factors to the life of the
province. Colonel Thomas Talbot of Malahide, "a fierce little Irishman
who hated Scotchmen and women, turned teetotallers out of his house,
and built the only good road in the province," made the beginnings
of settlement midway on Lake Erie. A shrewd Massachusetts merchant,
Philemon Wright, with his comrades, their families, servants, horses,
oxen, and 10,000 pounds, sledded from Boston to Montreal in the winter
of 1800, and thence a hundred miles beyond, to found the town of Hull
and establish a great lumbering industry in the Ottawa Valley.

These differences of origin and ways of thought had not yet been
reflected in political life. Party strife in Upper Canada began with
a factional fight which took place in 1805-07 between a group of Irish
officeholders and a Scotch clique who held the reins of government.
Weekes, an Irish-American barrister, Thorpe, a puisne judge, Wyatt,
the surveyor general, and Willcocks, a United Irishman who had become
sheriff of one of the four Upper Canada districts, began to question the
right to rule of "the Scotch pedlars" or "the Shopkeeper Aristocracy,"
as Thorpe called those merchants who, for the lack of other leaders,
had developed an influence with the governors or ruled in their frequent
absence. But the insurgents were backed by only a small minority in the
Assembly, and when the four leaders disappeared from the stage,* this
curtain raiser to the serious political drama which was to follow came
quickly to its end.

     * Weekes was slain in a duel. Wyatt and Thorpe were
     suspended by the Lieutenant Governor, Sir Francis Gore, only
     to win redress later in England. Willcocks was dismissed
     from office and fell fighting on the American side in the
     War of 1812.

In Lower Canada the clash was more serious. The French Canadians, who
had not asked for representative government, eventually grasped its
possibilities and found leaders other than those ordained for them. In
the first Assembly there were many seigneurs and aristocrats who
bore names notable for six generations back Taschereau, Duchesnay,
Lothiniere, Rouville, Salaberry. But they soon found their surroundings
uncongenial or failed to be reelected. Writing in 1810 to Lord
Liverpool, Secretary of State for War and the Colonies, the Governor,
Sir James Craig, with a fine patrician scorn thus pictures the Assembly
of his day.

"It really, my Lord, appears to me an absurdity, that the Interests of
certainly not an unimportant Colony, involving in them those also of no
inconsiderable portion of the Commercial concerns of the British Empire,
should be in the hands of six petty shopkeepers, a Blacksmith, a Miller,
and 15 ignorant peasants who form part of our present House; a Doctor
or Apothecary, twelve Canadian Avocats and Notaries, and four so far
respectable people that at least they do not keep shops, together with
ten English members compleat the List: there is not one person coming
under the description of a Canadian Gentleman among them."

And again:

"A Governor cannot obtain among them even that sort of influence that
might arise from personal intercourse. I can have none with Blacksmiths,
Millers, and Shopkeepers; even the Avocats and Notaries who compose so
considerable a portion of the House, are, generally speaking, such as I
can nowhere meet, except during the actual sitting of Parliament, when
I have a day of the week expressly appropriated to the receiving a large
portion of them at dinner."

Leadership under these conditions fell to the "unprincipled Demagogues,"
half-educated lawyers, men "with nothing to lose."

But it was not merely as an aristocrat facing peasants and shopkeepers,
nor as a soldier faced by talkers, but as an Englishman on guard against
Frenchmen that Craig found himself at odds with his Assembly. For nearly
twenty years in this period England was at death grips with France,
end to hate and despise all Frenchmen was part of the hereditary and
congenial duty of all true Britons. Craig and those who counseled him
were firmly convinced that the new subjects were French at heart. Of
the 250,000 inhabitants of Lower Canada, he declared, "about 20,000 or
25,000 may be English or Americans, the rest are French. I use the term
designedly, my Lord, because I mean to say that they are in Language, in
religion, in manner and in attachment completely French." That there
was still some affection for old France, stirred by war and French
victories, there is no question, but that the Canadians wished to return
to French allegiance was untrue, even though Craig reported that such
was "the general opinion of all ranks with whom it is possible to
converse on the subject." The French Revolution had created a great gulf
between Old France and New France. The clergy did their utmost to bar
all intercourse with the land where deism and revolution held sway, and
when the Roman Catholic Church and the British Government combined for
years on a single object, it was little wonder they succeeded. Nelson's
victory at Trafalgar was celebrated by a Te Deum in the Roman Catholic
Cathedral at Quebec. In fact, as Craig elsewhere noted, the habitants
were becoming rather a new and distinct nationality, a nation
canadienne. They ceased to be French; they declined to become English;
and sheltered under their "Sacred Charter"* they became Canadians first
and last.

     * "It cannot be sufficiently inculcated ON THE PART OF
     GOVERNMENT that the Quebec Act is a Sacred Charter, granted
     by the King in Parliament to the Canadians as a Security for
     their Religion, Laws, and Property." Governor Sir Frederick
     Haldimand to Lord George Germaine, Oct. 25, 1780.

The governors were not alone in this hostility to the mass of
the people. There had grown up in the colony a little clique of
officeholders, of whom Jonathan Sewell, the Loyalist Attorney General,
and later Chief Justice, was the chief, full of racial and class
prejudice, and in some cases greedy for personal gain. Sewell declared
it "indispensably necessary to overwhelm and sink the Canadian
population by English Protestants," and was even ready to run the
risk of bringing in Americans to effect this end. Of the non-official
English, some were strongly opposed to the pretensions of the "Chateau
Clique"; but others, and especially the merchants, with their organ the
Quebec "Mercury", were loud in their denunciations of the French who
were unprogressive and who as landowners were incidentally trying to
throw the burden of taxation chiefly on the traders.

The first open sign of the racial division which was to bedevil the life
of the province came in 1806 when, in order to meet the attacks of
the Anglicizing party, the newspaper "Le Canadien" was established at
Quebec. Its motto was significant: "Notre langue, nos institutions, et
nos lois." Craig and his counselors took up the challenge. In 1808 he
dismissed five militia officers, because of their connection with the
irritating journal, and in 1810 he went so far as to suppress it and
to throw into prison four of those responsible for its management. The
Assembly, which was proving hard to control, was twice dissolved in
three years. Naturally the Governor's arbitrary course only stiffened
resistance; and passions were rising fast and high when illness led
to his recall and the shadow of a common danger from the south, the
imminence of war with the United States, for a time drew all men

While the foundations of the eastern provinces of Canada were being
laid, the wildernesses which one day were to become the western
provinces were just rising above the horizon of discovery. In the plains
and prairies between the Great Lakes and the Rockies, fur traders warred
for the privilege of exchanging with the Indians bad whiskey for good
furs. Scottish traders from Montreal, following in the footsteps of La
Verendrye and Niverville, pushed far into the northern wilds.* In 1788
the leading traders joined forces in organizing the North-West Company.
Their great canoes, manned by French-Canadian voyageurs, penetrated the
network of waters from the Ottawa to the Saskatchewan, and poured wealth
into the pockets of the lordly partners in Montreal. Their rivalry
wakened the sleepy Hudson's Bay Company, which was now forced to leave
the shores of the inland sea and build posts in the interior.

     * It is interesting to note the dominant share taken in the
     trade and exploration of the North and West by men of
     Highland Scotch and French extraction. For an account of La
     Verendrye see "The Conquest of New France" and for the
     Scotch fur traders of Montreal see "Adventurers of Oregon"
     (in "The Chronicles of America").

On the Pacific coast rivalry was still keener. The sea otter and the
seal were a lure to the men of many nations. Canada took its part in
this rivalry. In 1792, when the Russians were pressing down from their
Alaskan posts, when the Spaniards, claiming the Pacific for their own,
were exploring the mouth of the Fraser, when Captain Robert Gray of
Boston was sailing up the mighty Columbia, and Captain Vancouver
was charting the northern coasts for the British Government, a young
North-West Company factor, Alexander Mackenzie, in his lonely post on
Lake Athabaska, was planning to cross the wilderness of mountains to
the coast. With a fellow trader, Mackay, and six Canadian voyageurs, he
pushed up the Peace and the Parsnip, passed by way of the Fraser and
the Blackwater to the Bella Coola, and thence to the Pacific, the first
white man to cross the northern continent. Paddling for life through
swirling rapids on rivers which rushed madly through sheer rock-bound
canyons, swimming for shore when rock or sand bar had wrecked the
precious bark canoe, struggling over heartbreaking portages, clinging
to the sides of precipices, contending against hostile Indians and
fear-stricken followers, and at last winning through, Mackenzie summed
up what will ever remain one of the great achievements of exploration
in the simple record, painted in vermilion on a rock in Burke Channel:
Alexander Mackenzie, from Canada, by land, the twenty-second of July,
one thousand seven hundred and ninety-three. The first bond had been
woven in the union of East and West. Between the eastern provinces a
stronger link was soon to be forged. The War of 1812 gave the scattered
British colonies in America for the first time a living sense of unity
that transcended all differences, a memory of perils and of victories
which nourished a common patriotism.

The War of 1812 was no quarrel of Canada's. It was merely an incident
in the struggle between England and Napoleon. At desperate grips, both
contestants used whatever weapons lay ready to their hands. Sea power
was England's weapon, and in her claim to forbid all neutral traffic
with her enemies and to exercise the galling right of search, she
pressed it far. France trampled still more ruthlessly on American and
neutral rights; but, with memories of 1776 still fresh, the dominant
party in the United States was disposed to forgive France and to hold
England to strict account.

England had struck at France, regardless of how the blow might injure
neutrals. Now the United States sought to strike at England through the
colonies, regardless of their lack of any responsibility for English
policy. The "war hawks" of the South and West called loudly for the
speedy invasion and capture of Canada as a means of punishing England.
In so far as the British North American colonies were but possessions
of Great Britain, overseas plantations, the course of the United States
could be justified. But potentially these colonies were more than mere
possessions. They were a nation in the making, with a right to their own
development; they were not simply a pawn in the game of Britain and the
United States. Quite aside from the original rights or wrongs of
the war, the invasion of Canada was from this standpoint an act of
aggression. "Agrarian cupidity, not maritime right, wages this war,"
insisted John Randolph of Roanoke, the chief opponent of the "war
hawks" in Congress. "Ever since the report of the Committee on Foreign
Relations came into the House, we have heard but one word--like the
whippoorwill, but one eternal monotonous tone--Canada, Canada, Canada!"

At the outset there appeared no question that the conquest of Canada
could be, as Jefferson forecast, other than "a mere matter of marching."
Eustis, the Secretary of War, prophesied that "we can take Canada
without soldiers." Clay insisted that the Canadas were "as much under
our command as the Ocean is under Great Britain's." The provinces had
barely half a million people, two-thirds of them allied by ties of
blood to Britain's chief enemy, to set against the eight millions of the
Republic. There were fewer than ten thousand regular troops in all the
colonies, half of them down by the sea, far away from the danger zone,
and less than fifteen hundred west of Montreal. Little help could
come from England, herself at war with Napoleon, the master of half of

But there was another side. The United States was not a unit in the war;
New England was apathetic or hostile to the war throughout, and as late
as 1814 two-thirds of the army of Canada were eating beef supplied
by Vermont and New York contractors. Weak as was the militia of the
Canadas, it was stiffened by English and Canadian regulars, hardened by
frontier experience, and led for the most part by trained and able
men, whereas an inefficient system and political interference greatly
weakened the military force of the fighting States. Above all, the
Canadians were fighting for their homes. To them the war was a matter of
life and death; to the United States it was at best a struggle to assert
commercial rights or national prestige.

The course and fortunes of the war call for only the briefest notice.
In the first year the American plans for invading Upper Canada came to
grief through the surrender of Hull at Detroit to Isaac Brock and the
defeat at Queenston Heights of the American army under Van Rensselaer.
The campaign ended with not a foot of Canadian soil in the invaders'
hands, and with Michigan lost, but Brock, Canada's brilliant leader, had
fallen at Queenston, and at sea the British had tasted unwonted defeat.
In single actions one American frigate after another proved too much for
its British opponent. It was a rude shock to the Mistress of the Seas.

The second year's campaign was more checkered. In the West the Americans
gained the command of the Great Lakes by rapid building and good
sailing, and with it followed the command of all the western peninsula
of Upper Canada. The British General Procter was disastrously defeated
at Moraviantown, and his ally, the Shawanoe chief Tecumseh, one of
the half dozen great men of his race, was killed. York, later known
as Toronto, the capital of the province, was captured, and its public
buildings were burned and looted. But in the East fortune was kinder
to the Canadians. The American plan of invasion called for an attack on
Montreal from two directions; General Wilkinson was to sail and march
down the St. Lawrence from Sackett's Harbor with some eight thousand
men, while General Hampton, with four thousand, was to take the historic
route by Lake Champlain. Half-way down the St. Lawrence Wilkinson came
to grief. Eighteen hundred men whom he landed to drive off a force of
a thousand hampering his rear were decisively defeated at Chrystler's
Farm. Wilkinson pushed on for a few days, but when word came that
Hampton had also met disaster he withdrew into winter quarters. Hampton
had found Colonel de Salaberry, with less than sixteen hundred troops,
nearly all French Canadians, making a stand on the banks of the
Chateauguay, thirty-five miles south of Montreal. He divided his
force in order to take the Canadians in front and rear, only to be
outmaneuvered and outfought in one of the most brilliant actions of
the war and forced to retire. In the closing months of the year the
Americans, compelled to withdraw from Fort George on the Niagara, burned
the adjoining town of Newark and turned its women and children into the
December snow. Drummond, who had succeeded Brock, gained control of both
sides of the Niagara and retaliated in kind by laying waste the frontier
villages from Lewiston to Buffalo. The year closed with Amherstburg on
the Detroit the only Canadian post in American hands. On the sea the
capture of the Chesapeake by the Shannon salved the pride of England.

The last year of the war was also a year of varying fortunes. In the far
West a small body of Canadians and Indians captured Prairie du Chien, on
the Mississippi, while Michilimackinac, which a force chiefly composed
of French-Canadian voyageurs and Indians had captured in the first
months of war, defied a strong assault. In Upper Canada the Americans
raided the western peninsula from Detroit but made their chief attack
on the Niagara frontier. Though they scored no permanent success, they
fought well and with a fair measure of fortune. The generals with whom
they had been encumbered at the outset of the war, Revolutionary relics
or political favorites, had now nearly all been replaced by abler
men--Scott, Brown, Exert--and their troops were better trained and
better equipped. In July the British forces on the Niagara were
decisively beaten at Chippawa. Three weeks later was fought the
bloodiest battle on Canadian soil, at Lundy's Lane, either side's
victory at the moment but soon followed by the retirement of the
invading force. The British had now outbuilt their opponents on Lake
Ontario; and, though American ships controlled Lake Erie to the end, the
Ontario flotilla aided Drummond, Brock's able successor, in forcing the
withdrawal of Exert forces from the whole peninsula in November. Farther
east a third attempt to capture Montreal had been defeated in the
spring, after Wilkinson with four thousand men had failed to drive five
hundred regulars and militia from the stone walls of Lacolle's Mill.

Until this closing year Britain had been unable, in face of the more
vital danger from Napoleon, to send any but trifling reenforcements to
what she considered a minor theater of the war. Now, with Napoleon in
Elba, she was free to take more vigorous action. Her navy had already
swept the daring little fleet of American frigates and American merchant
marine from the seas. Now it maintained a close blockade of all the
coast and, with troops from Halifax, captured and held the Maine coast
north of the Penobscot. Large forces of Wellington's hardy veterans
crossed the ocean, sixteen thousand to Canada, four thousand to aid in
harrying the Atlantic coast, and later nine thousand to seize the mouth
of the Mississippi. Yet, strangely, these hosts fared worse, because
of hard fortune and poor leadership, than the handful of militia and
regulars who had borne the brunt of the war in the first two years.
Under Ross they captured Washington and burned the official buildings;
but under Prevost they failed at Plattsburg; and under Pakenham, in
January, 1815, they failed against Andrew Jackson's sharpshooters at New

Before the last-named fight occurred, peace had been made. Both sides
were weary of the war, which had now, by the seeming end of the struggle
between England and Napoleon in which it was an incident, lost whatever
it formerly had of reason. Though Napoleon was still in Elba, Europe
was far from being at rest, and the British Ministers, backed by
Wellington's advice, were keen to end the war. They showed their
contempt for the issues at stake by sending to the peace conference at
Ghent three commissioners as incompetent as ever represented a great
power, Gambier, Goulburn, and Adams. To face these the United States had
sent John Quincy Adams, Albert Gallatin, Henry Clay, James Bayard, and
Jonathan Russell, as able and astute a group of players for great stakes
as ever gathered round a table. In these circumstances the British
representatives were lucky to secure peace on the basis of the status
quo ante. Canada had hoped that sufficient of the unsettled Maine
wilderness would be retained to link up New Brunswick with the inland
colony of Quebec, but this proposal was soon abandoned. In the treaty
not one of the ostensible causes of the war was even mentioned.

The war had the effect of unifying Canadian feeling. Once more it had
been determined that Canada was not to lose her identity in the nation
to the south. In Upper Canada, especially in the west, there were many
recent American settlers who sympathized openly with their kinsmen, but
of these some departed, some were jailed, and others had a change of
heart. Lower Canada was a unit against the invader, and French-Canadian
troops on every occasion covered themselves with glory. To the
Canadians, as the smaller people, and as the people whose country had
been the chief battle ground, the war in later years naturally bulked
larger than to their neighbors. It left behind it unfortunate legacies
of hostility to the United States and, among the governing classes, of
deep-rooted opposition to its democratic institutions. But it left also
memories precious for a young people--the memory of Brock and Macdonell
and De Salaberry, of Laura Secord and her daring tramp through the
woods to warn of American attacks, of Stony Creek and Lundy's Lane,
Chrystler's Farm and Chateauguay, the memory of sacrifice, of endurance,
and of courage that did not count the odds.

Nor were the evil legacies to last for all time. Three years after peace
had been made the statesmen of the United States and of Great Britain
had the uncommon sense to take a great step toward banishing war between
the neighbor peoples. The Rush-Bagot Convention, limiting the naval
armament on the Great Lakes to three vessels not exceeding one hundred
tons each, and armed only with one eighteen-pounder, though not always
observed in the letter, proved the beginning of a sane relationship
which has lasted for a century. Had not this agreement nipped naval
rivalry in the bud, fleets and forts might have lined the shores and
increased the strain of policy and the likelihood of conflict. The New
World was already preparing to sound its message to the Old.


The history of British North America in the quarter of a century that
followed the War of 1812 is in the main the homely tale of pioneer life.
Slowly little clearings in the vast forest were widened and won to order
and abundance; slowly community was linked to community; and out of the
growing intercourse there developed the complex of ways and habits and
interests that make up the everyday life of a people.

All the provinces called for settlers, and they did not call in vain.
For a time northern New England continued to overflow into the Eastern
Townships of Lower Canada, the rolling lands south of the St. Lawrence
which had been left untouched by riverbound seigneur and habitant. Into
Upper Canada, as well, many individual immigrants came from the south,
some of the best the Republic had to give, merchants and manufacturers
with little capital but much shrewd enterprise, but also some it could
best spare, fugitives from justice and keepers of the taverns that
adorned every four corners. Yet slowly this inflow slackened. After the
war the Canadian authorities sought to avoid republican contagion and
moreover the West of the United States itself was calling for men.

But if fewer came in across the border, many more sailed from across the
seas. Not again until the twentieth century were the northern provinces
to receive so large a share of British emigrants as came across in the
twenties and thirties. Swarms were preparing to leave the overcrowded
British hives. Corn laws and poor laws and famine, power-driven looms
that starved the cottage weaver, peace that threw an army on a crowded
and callous labor market, landlords who rack-rented the Connaughtman's
last potato or cleared Highland glens of folks to make way for sheep,
rulers who persisted in denying the masses any voice in their own
government--all these combined to drive men forth in tens of thousands.
Australia was still a land of convict settlements and did not attract
free men. To most the United States was the land of promise. Yet, thanks
to state aid, private philanthropy, landlords' urging and cheap fares
on the ships that came to St. John and Quebec for timber, Canada and
the provinces by the sea received a notable share. In the quarter of
a century following the peace with Napoleon, British North America
received more British emigrants than the United States and the
Australian colonies together, though many were merely birds of passage.

The country west of the Great Lakes did not share in this flood of
settlement, except for one tragic interlude. Lord Selkirk, a Scotchman
of large sympathy and vision, convinced that emigration was the cure for
the hopeless misery he saw around him, acquired a controlling interest
in the Hudson's Bay Company, and sought to plant colonies in a vast
estate granted from its domains. Between 1811 and 1815 he sent out to
Hudson Bay, and thence to the Red River, two or three hundred crofters
from the Highlands and the Orkneys. A little later these were joined by
some Swiss soldiers of fortune who had fought for Canada in the War of
1812. But Selkirk had reckoned without the partners of the North-West
Company of Montreal, who were not prepared to permit mere herders and
tillers to disturb the Indians and the game. The Nor'Westers attacked
the helpless colonists and massacred a score of them. Selkirk retorted
in kind, leading out an armed band which seized the Nor'Westers' chief
post at Fort William. The war was then transferred to the courts, with
heart-breaking delays and endless expense. At last Selkirk died broken
in spirit, and most of his colonists drifted to Canada or across
the border. But a handful held on, and for fifty years their little
settlement on the Red River remained a solitary outpost of colonization.

Once arrived in Canada, the settler soon found that he had no primrose
path before him. Canada remained for many years a land of struggling
pioneers, who had little truck or trade with the world out of sight
of their log shacks. The habitant on the seigneuries of Lower Canada
continued to farm as his grandfather had farmed, finding his holding
sufficient for his modest needs, even though divided into ever narrower
ribbons as le bon Dieu sent more and yet more sons to share the
heritage. The English-speaking settler, equipped with ax and sickle and
flail, with spinning wheel and iron kettle, lived a life almost equally
primitive and self-contained. He and his good wife grew the wheat, the
corn, and the potatoes, made the soap and the candles, the maple sugar
and the "yarbs," the deerskin shoes and the homespun-cloth that met
their needs. They had little to buy and little to sell. In spite of the
preference which Great Britain gave Canadian grain, in return for the
preference exacted on British manufactured goods, practically no wheat
was exported until the close of this period. The barrels of potash and
pearl-ash leached out from the ashes of the splendid hardwood trees
which he burned as enemies were the chief source of ready money for the
backwoods settler. The one substantial export of the colonies came, not
from the farmer's clearing, but from the forest. Great rafts of square
pine timber were floated down the Ottawa or the St. John every spring
to be loaded for England. The lumberjack lent picturesqueness to
the landscape and the vocabulary and circulated ready money, but his
industry did little directly to advance permanent settlement or the wise
use of Canadian resources.

The self-contained life of each community and each farm pointed to the
lack of good means of transport. New Brunswick and the Canadas were
fortunate in the possession of great lake and river systems, but these
were available only in summer and were often impeded by falls and
rapids. On these waters the Indian bark canoe had given way to the
French bateau, a square-rigged flat-bottomed boat, and after the war
the bateau shared the honors with the larger Durham boat brought in from
"the States."

Canadians took their full share in developing steamship transportation.
In 1809, two years after Fulton's success on the Hudson, John Molson
built and ran a steamer between Montreal and Quebec. The first vessel to
cross the Atlantic wholly under steam, the Royal William, was built
in Quebec and sailed from that port in 1833. Following and rivaling
American enterprise, side-wheelers, marvels of speed and luxury for
the day, were put on the lakes in the thirties. Canals were built, the
Lachine in 1821-25, the Welland around Niagara Falls in 1824-29, and the
Rideau, as a military undertaking, in 1826-32, all in response to the
stimulus given by De Witt Clinton, who had begun the "Erie Ditch" in
1817. On land, road making made slower progress. The blazed trail gave
way to the corduroy road, and the pack horse to the oxcart or the stage.
Upper Canada had the honor of inventing, in 1835, the plank road, which
for some years thereafter became the fashion through the forested States
to the south. But at best neither roads nor vehicles were fitted for
carrying large loads from inland farms to waterside markets.

Money and banks were as necessary to develop intercourse as roads and
canals. Until after the War of 1812, when army gold and army bills ran
freely, money was rare and barter served pioneer needs. For many years
after the war a jumble of English sovereigns and shillings, of Spanish
dollars, French crowns, and American silver, made up the currency in
use, circulating sometimes by weight and sometimes by tale, at rates
that were constantly shifting. The position of the colonies as a link
between Great Britain and the United States, was curiously illustrated
in the currency system. The motley jumble of coins in use were rated in
Halifax currency, a mere money of account or bookkeeping standard, with
no actual coins to correspond, adapted to both English and United States
currency systems. The unit was the pound, divided into shillings and
pence as in England, but the pound was made equal to four dollars in
American money; it took 1 pound 4s. 4d. in Halifax currency to make
1 pound sterling. Still more curious was the influence of American
banking. Montreal merchants in 1808 took up the ideas of Alexander
Hamilton and after several vain attempts founded the Bank of Montreal
in 1817, with those features of government charter, branch banks, and
restrictions as to the proportion of debts to capital and the holding
of real property which had marked Hamilton's plan. But while Canadian
banks, one after another, were founded on the same model and throughout
adhered to an asset-secured currency basis, Hamilton's own country
abandoned his ideas, usually for the worse.

In the social life of the cities the influence of the official classes
and, in Halifax and Quebec, of the British redcoats stationed there was
all pervading. In the country the pioneers took what diversions a hard
life permitted. There were "bees" and "frolics," ranging from strenuous
barn raisings, with heavy drinking and fighting, to mild apple parings
or quilt patchings. There were the visits of the Yankee peddler with his
"notions," his welcome pack, and his gossip. Churches grew, thanks
in part to grants of government land or old endowments or gifts from
missionary societies overseas, but more to the zeal of lay preachers
and circuit riders. Schools fared worse. In Lower Canada there was an
excellent system of classical schools for the priests and professional
classes, and there were numerous convents which taught the girls, but
the habitants were for the most part quite untouched by book learning.
In Upper Canada grammar schools and academies were founded with
commendable promptness, and a common school system was established in
1816, but grants were niggardly and compulsion was lacking. Even at the
close of the thirties only one child in seven was in school, and he was,
as often as not, committed to the tender mercies of some broken-down
pensioner or some ancient tippler who could barely sign his mark. There
was but little administrative control by the provincial authorities. The
textbooks in use came largely from the United States and glorified that
land and all its ways in the best Fourth-of-July manner, to the
scandal of the loyal elect. The press was represented by a few weekly
newspapers; only one daily existed in Upper Canada before 1840.

Against this background there developed during the period 1815-41 a
tense constitutional struggle which was to exert a profound influence on
the making of the nation. The stage on which the drama was enacted was
a small one, and the actors were little known to the world of their day,
but the drama had an interest of its own and no little significance for
the future.

In one aspect the struggle for self-government in British North America
was simply a local manifestation of a world-wide movement which found
more notable expression in other lands. After a troubled dawn,
democracy was coming to its own. In England the black reaction which
had identified all proposals for reform with treasonable sympathy for
bloodstained France was giving way, and the middle classes were about
to triumph in the great franchise reform of 1832. In the United States,
after a generation of conservatism, Jacksonian democracy was to sweep
all before it. These developments paralleled and in some measure
influenced the movement of events in the British North American
provinces. But this movement had a color of its own. The growth of
self-government in an independent country was one thing; in a colony
owing allegiance to a supreme Parliament overseas, it was quite another.
The task of the provinces--not solved in this period, it is true, but
squarely faced--was to reconcile democracy and empire.

The people of the Canadas in 1791, and of the provinces by the sea
a little earlier, had been given the right to elect one house of
the legislature. More than this instalment of self-government the
authorities were not prepared to grant. The people, or rather the
property holders among them, might be entrusted to vote taxes
and appropriations, to present grievances, and to take a share in
legislation. They could not, however, be permitted to control the
Government, because, to state an obvious fact, they could not govern
themselves as well as their betters could rule them. Besides, if the
people of a colony did govern themselves, what would become of the
rights and interests of the mother country? What would become of the
Empire itself?

What was the use and object of the Empire? In brief, according to the
theory and practice then in force, the end of empire was the profit
which comes from trade; the means was the political subordination of the
colonies to prevent interference with this profit; and the debit entry
set against this profit was the cost of the diplomacy, the armaments,
and the wars required to hold the overseas possessions against other
powers. The policy was still that which had been set forth in the
preamble of the Navigation Act of 1663, ensuring the mother country the
sole right to sell European wares in its colonies: "the maintaining a
greater correspondence and kindness between them [the subjects at home
and those in the plantations] and keeping them in a firmer dependence
upon it [the mother country], and rendering them yet more beneficial and
advantageous unto it in the further Imployment and Encrease of English
Shipping and Seamen, and vent of English Woollen and other Manufactures
and Commodities rendering the Navigation to and from the same more
safe and cheape, and makeing this Kingdom a Staple not only of the
Commodities of those Plantations but also of the Commodities of other
countries and places for the supplying of them, and it being the usage
of other Nations to keep their [plantation] Trade to themselves." Adam
Smith had raised a doubt as to the wisdom of the end. The American
Revolution had raised a doubt as to the wisdom of the means. Yet,
with significant changes, the old colonial system lasted for full two
generations after 1776.

In the second British Empire, which rose after the loss of the first in
1783, the means to the old end were altered. To secure control and to
prevent disaffection and democratic folly, the authorities relied not
merely on their own powers but on the cooperation of friendly classes
and interests in the colonies themselves. Their direct control was
exercised in many ways. In last reserve there was the supreme authority
of King and Parliament to bind the colonies by treaty and by law and the
right to veto any colonial enactment. This was as before the Revolution.
One change lay in the renunciation in 1778 of the intention to use the
supreme legislative power to levy taxes, though the right to control
the fiscal system of the colonies in conformity with imperial policy
was still claimed and practised. In fact, far from seeking to secure a
direct revenue, the British Government was more than content to pay part
of the piper's fee for the sake of being able to call the tune. "It is
considered by the Well wishers of Government," wrote Milnes, Lieutenant
Governor of Lower Canada, in 1800, "as a fortunate Circumstance that the
Revenue is not at present equal to the Expenditure." A further change
came in the minute control exercised by the Colonial Office, or rather
by the permanent clerks who, in Charles Buller's phrase, were really
"Mr. Mother Country." The Governor was the local agent of the Colonial
Office. He acted on its instructions and was responsible to it, and to
it alone, for the exercise of the wide administrative powers entrusted
to him.

But all these powers, it was believed, would fail in their purpose if
democracy were allowed to grow unchecked in the colonies themselves.
It was an essential part of the colonial policy of the time to build up
conservative social forces among the people and to give a controlling
voice in the local administration to a nominated and official class. It
has been seen that the statesmen of 1791 looked to a nominated executive
and legislative council, an hereditary aristocracy, and an established
church, to keep the colony in hand. British legislation fostered and
supported a ruling class in the colonies, and in turn this class was to
support British connection and British control. How this policy, half
avowed and half unconscious, worked out in each of the provinces must
now be recorded.

In Upper Canada party struggles did not take shape until well after the
War of 1812. At the founding of the colony the people had been very much
of one temper and one condition. In time, however, divergences appeared
and gradually hardened into political divisions. A governing class, or
rather clique, was the first to become differentiated. Its emergence
was slower than in New Brunswick, for instance, since Upper Canada had
received few of the Loyalists who were distinguished by social position
or political experience. In time a group was formed by the accident of
occupation, early settlement, residence in the little town of York,
the capital after 1794, the holding of office, or by some advantage in
wealth or education or capacity which in time became cumulative. The
group came to be known as the Family Compact. There had been, in fact,
no intermarriage among its members beyond what was natural in a small
and isolated community, but the phrase had a certain appositeness.
They were closely linked by loyalty to Church and King, by enmity to
republics and republicans, by the memory of the sacrifice and peril they
or their fathers had shared, and by the conviction that the province
owed them the best living it could bestow. This living they succeeded
in collecting. "The bench, the magistracy, the high officials of the
established church, and a great part of the legal profession," declared
Lord Durham in 1839, "are filled by the adherents of this party; by
grant or purchase they have acquired nearly the whole of the waste lands
of the province; they are all powerful in the chartered banks, and till
lately shared among themselves almost exclusively all offices of trust
and profit." Fortunately the last absurdity of creating Dukes of Toronto
and Barons of Niagara Falls was never carried through, or rather was
postponed a full century; but this touch was scarcely needed to give the
clique its cachet. The ten-year governorship of Sir Peregrine Maitland
(1818-28), a most punctilious person, gave the finishing touches to this
backwoods aristocracy.

The great majority of the group, men of the Scott and Boulton, Sherwood
and Hagerman and Allan MacNab types, had nothing but their prejudices to
distinguish them, but two of their number were of outstanding capacity.
John Beverley Robinson, Attorney General from 1819 to 1829 and
thereafter for over thirty years Chief Justice, was a true aristocrat,
distrustful of the rabble, but as honest and highminded as he was able,
seeking his country's gain, as he saw it, not his own. A more rugged
and domineering character, equally certain of his right to rule and
less squeamish about the means, was John Strachan, afterwards Bishop of
Toronto. Educated a Presbyterian, he had come to Canada from Aberdeen
as a dominie but had remained as an Anglican clergyman in a capacity
promising more advancement. His abounding vigor and persistence soon
made him the dominant force in the Church, and with a convert's zeal
he labored to give it exclusive place and power. The opposition to the
Family Compact was of a more motley hue, as is the way with oppositions.
Opposition became potential when new settlers poured into the province
from the United States or overseas, marked out from their Loyalist
forerunners not merely by differences of political background and
experience but by differences in religion. The Church of England had
been dominant among the Loyalists; but the newcomers were chiefly
Methodist and Presbyterian. Opposition became actual with the rise of
concrete and acute grievances and with the appearance of leaders who
voiced the growing discontent.

The political exclusiveness of the Family Compact did not rouse
resentment half as deep as did their religious, or at least
denominational, pretensions. The refusal of the Compact to permit
Methodist ministers to perform the marriage ceremony was not soon
forgotten. There were scores of settlements where no clergyman of the
Established Church of England or of Scotland resided, and marriages here
had been of necessity performed by other ministers. A bill passed the
Assembly in 1824 legalizing such marriages in the past and giving the
required authority for the future; and when it was rejected by the
Legislative Council, resentment flamed high. An attempt of Strachan
to indict the loyalty of practically all but the Anglican clergy
intensified this feeling; and the critics went on to call in question
the claims of his Church to establishment and landed endowment.

The land question was the most serious that faced the province. The
administration of those in power was condemned on three distinct counts.
The granting of land to individuals had been lavish; it had been lax;
and it had been marked by gross favoritism. By 1824, when the population
was only 150,000, some 11,000,000 acres had been granted; ninety years
later, when the population was 2,700,000, the total amount of improved
land was only 13,000,000 acres. Moreover the attempt to use vast areas
of the Crown Lands to endow solely the Anglican Church roused bitter
jealousies. Yet even these grievances paled in actual hardship beside
the results of holding the vast waste areas unimproved. What with Crown
Reserves, Clergy Reserves, grants to those who had served the state, and
holdings picked up by speculators from soldiers or poorer Loyalists for
a few pounds or a few gallons of whisky, millions of acres were held
untenanted and unimproved, waiting for a rise in value as a consequence
of the toil of settlers on neighboring farms. Not one-tenth of the lands
granted were occupied by the persons to whom they had been assigned.
The province had given away almost all its vast heritage, and more than
nine-tenths of it was still in wilderness. These speculative holdings
made immensely more difficult every common neighborhood task. At best
the machinery and the money for building roads, bridges, and schools
were scanty, but with these unimproved reserves thrust in between
the scattered shacks, the task was disheartening. "The reserve of
two-sevenths of the land for the Crown and clergy," declared the
township of Sandwich in 1817, "must for a long time keep the country
a wilderness, a harbour for wolves, a hindrance to a compact and good

A further source of discontent developed in the disabilities affecting
recent American settlers. A court decision in 1824 held that no one who
had resided in the United States after 1783 could possess or transmit
British citizenship, with which went the right to inherit real estate.
This decision bore heavily upon thousands of "late Loyalists" and
more recent incomers. Under the instructions of the Colonial Office, a
remedial bill was introduced in the Legislative Council in 1827, but it
was a grudging, halfway measure which the Assembly refused to accept.
After several sessions of quarreling, the Assembly had its way; but in
the meantime the men affected had been driven into permanent and active

The leaders of the movement of resistance which now began to gather
force included all sorts and conditions of men. The fiercest and
most aggressive were two Scotchmen, Robert Gourlay and William Lyon
Mackenzie. Gourlay, one of those restless and indispensable cranks
who make the world turn round, active, obstinate, imprudent,
uncompromisingly devoted to the common good as he saw it, came to Canada
in 1817 on settlement and colonization bent. Innocent inquiries which he
sent broadcast as to the condition of the province gave the settlers an
opportunity for voicing their pent-up discontent, and soon Gourlay was
launched upon the sea of politics. Mackenzie, who came to Canada three
years later, was a born agitator, fearless, untiring, a good hater,
master of avitriolic vocabulary, and absolutely unpurchasable. He found
his vein in weekly journalism, and for nearly forty years was the stormy
petrel of Canadian politics. From England there came, among others, Dr.
John Rolph, shrewd and politic, and Captain John Matthews, a half-pay
artillery officer. Peter Perry, downright and rugged and of a homely
eloquence, represented the Loyalists of the Bay of Quinte, which was
the center of Canadian Methodism. Among the newer comers from the
United States, the foremost were Barnabas Bidwell, who had been Attorney
General of Massachusetts but had fled to Canada in 1810 when accused of
misappropriating public money, and his son, Marshall Spring Bidwell,
one of the ablest and most single-minded men who ever entered Canadian
public life. From Ireland came Dr. William Warren Baldwin, whose son
Robert, born in Canada, was less surpassingly able than the younger
Bidwell but equally moderate and equally beyond suspicion of faction or

How were these men to bring about the reform which they desired? Their
first aim was obviously to secure a majority in the Assembly, and by the
election of 1828 they attained this first object. But the limits of the
power of the Assembly they soon discovered. Without definite leadership,
with no control over the Administration, and with even legislative power
divided, it could effect little. It was in part disappointment at the
failure of the Assembly that accounted for the defeat of the Reformers
in 1830, though four years later this verdict was again reversed.
Clearly the form of government itself should be changed. But in what
way? Here a divergence in the ranks of the Reformers became marked.
One party, looking upon the United States as the utmost achievement
in democracy, proposed to follow its example in making the upper house
elective and thus to give the people control of both branches of the
Legislature. Another group, of whom Robert Baldwin was the chief, saw
that this change would not suffice. In the States the Executive was also
elected by the people. Here, where the Governor would doubtless continue
to be appointed by the Crown, some other means must be found to give
the people full control. Baldwin found it in the British Cabinet system,
which gave real power to ministers having the confidence of a majority
in Parliament. The Governor would remain, but he would be only a
figurehead, a constitutional monarch acting, like the King, only on
the advice of his constitutional advisers. Responsible government
was Baldwin's one and absorbing idea, and his persistence led to its
ultimate adoption, along with a proposal for an elective Council, in
the Reform party's programme in 1834. Delay in affecting this reform,
Baldwin told the Governor a year later, was "the great and all absorbing
grievance before which all others sank into insignificance." The remedy
could be applied "without in the least entrenching upon the just and
necessary prerogatives of the Crown, which I consider, when administered
by the Lieutenant. Governor through the medium of a provincial ministry
responsible to the provincial parliament, to be an essential part of the
constitution of the province." In brief, Baldwin insisted that Simcoe's
rhetorical outburst in 1791, when he declared that Upper Canada was
"a perfect Image and Transcript of the British Government and
Constitution," should be made effective in practice.

The course of the conflict between the Compact and the Reformers cannot
be followed in detail. It had elements of tragedy, as when Gourlay was
hounded into prison, where he was broken in health and shattered in
mind, and then exiled from the province for criticism of the Government
which was certainly no more severe than now appears every day in
Opposition newspapers. The conflict had elements of the ludicrous, too,
as when Captain Matthews was ordered by his military superiors to return
to England because in the unrestrained festivities of New Year's Eve he
had called on a strolling troupe to play Yankee Doodle and had shouted
to the company, "Hats off"; or when Governor Maitland overturned
fourteen feet of the Brock Monument to remove a copy of Mackenzie's
journal, the "Colonial Advocate", which had inadvertently been included
in the corner stone.

The weapons of the Reformers were the platform, the press, and
investigations and reports by parliamentary committees. The Compact hit
back in its own way. Every critic was denounced as a traitor. Offending
editors were put in the pillory. Mackenzie was five times expelled from
the House, only to be returned five times by his stubborn supporters.
Matters were at a deadlock, and it became clear either that the British
Parliament, which alone could amend the Constitution, must intervene or
else that the Reformers would be driven to desperate paths. But before
matters came to this pass, an acute crisis had arisen in Lower Canada
which had its effect on all the provinces.

In Lower Canada, the conflict which had been smoldering before the war
had since then burst into flame. The issues of this conflict were more
clearcut than in any of the other provinces. A coherent opposition had
formed earlier, and from beginning to end it dominated the Assembly.
The governing forces were outwardly much the same as in Upper Canada--a
Lieutenant Governor responsible to the Colonial Office, an Executive
Council appointed by the Crown but coming to have the independent power
of a well-entrenched bureaucracy, and a Legislative Council nominated by
the Crown and, until nearly the end of the period, composed chiefly of
the same men who served in the Executive. The little clique in control
had much less popular backing than the Family Compact of Upper Canada
and were of lower caliber. Robert Christie, an English-speaking member
of the Assembly, who may be counted an unprejudiced witness since he was
four times expelled by the majority in that house, refers to the
real rulers of the province as "a few rapacious, overbearing, and
irresponsible officials, without stake or other connexion in the
country than their interests." At their head stood Jonathan Sewell,
a Massachusetts Loyalist who had come to Lower Canada by way of New
Brunswick in 1789, and who for over forty years as Attorney General,
Chief Justice, or member of Executive and Legislative Councils, was the
power behind the throne.

The opposition to the bureaucrats at first included both English and
French elements, but the English minority were pulled in contrary ways.
Their antecedents were not such as to lead them to accept meekly either
the political or the social pretensions of the "Chateau Clique"; the
American settlers in the Eastern Townships, and the Scotch and American
merchants who were building up Quebec and Montreal, had called for
self-government, not government from above. Yet their racial and
religious prejudices were strong and made them unwilling to accept in
place of the bureaucrats the dominance of an unprogressive habitant
majority. The first leader of the opposition which developed in the
Assembly after the War of 1812 was James Stuart, the son of the leading
Anglican clergyman of his day, but he soon fell away and became a
mainstay of the bureaucracy. His brother Andrew, however, kept up
for many years longer a more disinterested fight. Another Scot, John
Neilson, editor of the Quebec "Gazette", was until 1833 foremost
among the assailants of the bureaucracy. But steadily, as the extreme
nationalist claims of the French-speaking majority provoked reprisals
and as the conviction grew upon the minority that they would never be
anything but a minority,* most of them accepted clique rule as a lesser
evil than "rule by priest and demagogue."

     * The natural increase of the French-Canadian race under
     British rule is one of the most extraordinary phenomena in
     social history. The following figures illustrate the rate of
     that increase: the number was 16,417 in 1706; 69,810 in
     1765; 479,288 in 1825; 697,084 in 1844. The population of
     Canada East or Lower Canada in 1844 was made up as follows:
     French Canadians, 524,244; English Canadians. 85,660;
     English, 11,895; Irish, 43,982; Scotch, 13,393; Americans,
     11,946; born in other countries, 1329; place of birth not
     specified, 4635.

In the reform movement in Upper Canada there were a multiplicity of
leaders and a constant shifting of groups. In Lower Canada, after the
defection of James Stuart in 1817, there was only one leader, Louis
Joseph Papineau. For twenty years Papineau was the uncrowned king of the
province. His commanding figure, his powers of oratory, outstanding in a
race of orators, his fascinating manners, gave him an easy mastery over
his people. Prudence did not hamper his flights; compromise was a word
not found in his vocabulary. Few men have been better equipped for the
agitator's task.

His father, Joseph Papineau, though of humble birth, had risen high in
the life of the province. He had won distinction in his profession as a
notary, as a speaker in the Assembly, and as a soldier in the defense of
Quebec against the American invaders of 1775. In 1804 he had purchased
the seigneury of La Petite Nation, far up the Ottawa. Louis Joseph
Papineau followed in his father's footsteps. Born in 1786, he served
loyally and bravely in the War of 1812. In the same year he entered the
Assembly and made his place at a single stroke. Barely three years after
his election, he was chosen Speaker, and with a brief break he held that
post for over twenty years.

Papineau did not soon or lightly begin his crusade against the
Government. For the first five years of his Speakership, he confined
himself to the routine duties of his office. As late as 1820 he
pronounced a glowing eulogy on the Constitution which Great Britain
had granted the province. In that year he tested the extent of the
privileges so granted by joining in the attempt of the Assembly to
assert its full control of the purse; but it was not until the project
of uniting the two Canadas had made clear beyond dispute the hostility
of the governing powers that he began his unrelenting warfare against

There was much to be said for a reunion of the two Canadas. The St.
Lawrence bound them together, though Acts of Parliament had severed
them. Upper Canada, as an inland province, restricted in its trade with
its neighbor to the south, was dependent upon Lower Canada for access to
the outer world. Its share of the duties collected at the Lower Canada
ports until 1817 had been only one-eighth, afterwards increased to
one-fifth. This inequality proved a constant source of friction. The
crying necessity of cooperation for the improvement of the St. Lawrence
waterway gave further ground for the contention that only by a reunion
of the two provinces could efficiency be secured. In Upper Canada the
Reformers were in favor of this plan, but the Compact, fearful of any
disturbance of their vested interests, tended to oppose it. In Lower
Canada the chief support came from the English element. The governing
clique, as the older established body, had no doubt that they could
bring the western section under their sway in case of union. But the
main reason for their advocacy was the desire to swamp the French
Canadians by an English majority. Sewell, the chief supporter of the
project, frankly took this ground. The Governor, Lord Dalhousie, and
the Colonial Office adopted his view; and in 1822 an attempt was made to
rush a Union Bill through the British Parliament without any notice to
those most concerned. It was blocked for the moment by the opposition
of a Whig group led by Burdett and Mackintosh; and then Papineau and
Neilson sailed to London and succeeded in inducing the Ministry to stay
its hand. The danger was averted; but Papineau had become convinced
that if his people were to retain the rights given them by their "Sacred
Charter" they would have to fight for them. If they were to save their
power, they must increase it.

How could this be done? Baldwin's bold and revolutionary policy of
making the Executive responsible to the Assembly did not seem within
the range of practical politics. It meant in practice the abandonment of
British control, and this the Colonial Office was not willing to grant.
Antoine Panet and other Assembly leaders had suggested in 1815 that
it would be well, "if it were possible, to grant a number of places as
Councillors or other posts of honour and of profit to those who have
most influence over the majority in the Assembly, to hold so long
as they maintained this influence," and James Stuart urged the same
tentative suggestion a year later. But even before this the Colonial
Office had made clear its position. "His Majesty's Government," declared
the Colonial Secretary, Lord Bathurst, in 1814, "never can admit so
novel & inconvenient a Principle as that of allowing the Governor of a
Colony to be divested of his responsibility [to the Colonial Office] for
the acts done during his administration or permit him to shield himself
under the advice of any Persons, however respectable, either from their
character or their Office."

Two other courses had the sanction of precedent, one of English, the
other of American example. The English House of Commons had secured its
dominant place in the government of the country by its control of the
purse. Why should not the Assembly do likewise? One obvious difficulty
lay in the fact that the Assembly was not the sole authority in raising
revenue. The British Parliament had retained the power to levy certain
duties as part of its system of commercial control, and other casual and
territorial dues lay in the right of the Crown. From 1820, therefore,
the Assembly's main aim was twofold--to obtain control of these
remaining sources of revenue, and by means of this power to bludgeon the
Legislative Council and the Governor into compliance with its wishes.
The Colonial Office made concessions, offering to resign all its taxing
powers in return for a permanent civil list, that is, an assurance that
the salaries of the chief officials would not be questioned annually.
The offer was reasonable in itself but, as it would have hampered the
full use of the revenue bludgeon, it was scornfully declined.

The other aim of the Patriotes, as the Opposition styled themselves, was
to conquer the Legislative Council by making it elective. Papineau, in
spite of his early prejudices, was drawn more and more into sympathy
with the form of democracy worked out in the United States. In fact, he
not only looked to it as a model but, as the thirties wore on, he came
to hope that moral, if not physical, support might be found there for
his campaign against the English Government. After 1830 the demand for
an elective Legislative Council became more and more insistent.

The struggle soon reached a deadlock. Governor followed Governor: Lord
Dalhousie, Sir James Kempt, Lord Aylmer, all in turn failed to allay
the storm. The Assembly raised its claims each session and fulminated
against all the opposing powers in windy resolutions. Papineau,
embittered by continued opposition, carried away by his own eloquence,
and steadied by no responsibility of office, became more implacable in
his demands. Many of his moderate supporters--Neilson, Andrew Stuart,
Quesnel, Cuvillier--fell away, only to be overwhelmed in the first
election at a wave of the great tribune's hand. Business was blocked,
supplies were not voted, and civil servants made shift without salary as
best they could.

The British Government awoke, or half awoke, to the seriousness of the
situation. In 1835 a Royal Commission of three, with the new Governor
General, Lord Gosford, as chairman, was appointed to make inquiries and
to recommend a policy. Gosford, a genial Irishman, showed himself
most conciliatory in both private intercourse and public discourse.
Unfortunately the rash act of the new Lieutenant Governor of Upper
Canada, Sir Francis Bond Head, in publishing the instructions of the
Colonial Office, showed that the policy of Downing Street was the futile
one of conciliation without concession. The Assembly once more refused
to grant supplies without redress of grievances. The Commissioners made
their report opposing any substantial change. In March, 1837, Lord John
Russell, Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Melbourne Ministry, opposed
only by a handful of Radical and Irish members, carried through the
British Parliament a series of resolutions authorizing the Governor to
take from the Treasury without the consent of the Assembly the funds
needed for civil administration, offering control of all revenues in
return for a permanent civil list, and rejecting absolutely the demands
alike for a responsible Executive and for an elective Council.

British statesmanship was bankrupt. Its final answer to the demands for
redress was to stand pat. Papineau, without seeing what the end would
be, held to his course. Younger men, carried away by the passions he
had aroused, pushed on still more recklessly. If reform could not be
obtained within the British Empire, it must be sought by setting up an
independent republic on the St. Lawrence or by annexation to the United

In Upper Canada, at the same time, matters had come to the verge of
rebellion. Sir John Colborne had, just before retiring as Lieutenant
Governor in 1836, added fuel to the flames by creating and endowing some
forty-four rectories, thus strengthening the grip of the Anglican Church
on the province. His successor, Sir Francis Bond Head, was a man of such
rash and unbalanced judgment as to lend support to the tradition that
he was appointed by mistake for his cousin, Edmund Head, who was made
Governor of United Canada twenty years later. He appointed to his
Executive Council three Reformers, Baldwin, Rolph, and Dunn, only to
make clear by his refusal to consult them his inability to understand
their demand for responsible government. All the members of the
Executive Council thereupon resigned, and the Assembly refused supplies.
Head dissolved the House and appealed to the people.

The weight of executive patronage, the insistence of the Governor that
British connection was at stake, the alarms caused by some injudicious
statements of Mackenzie and his Radical ally in England, Joseph Hume,
and the defection of the Methodists, whose leader, Egerton Ryerson, had
quarreled with Mackenzie, resulted in the overwhelming defeat of the
Reformers. The sting of defeat, the failure of the Family Compact to
carry out their eleventh hour promises of reform, and the passing of
Lord John Russell's reactionary resolutions convinced a section of the
Reform party, in Upper Canada as well as in Lower Canada, that an appeal
to force was the only way out.

Toward the end of 1837 armed rebellion broke out in both the Canadas.
In both it was merely a flash in the pan. In Lower Canada there had been
latterly much use of the phrases of revolution and some drilling, but
rebellion was neither definitely planned nor carefully organized. The
more extreme leaders of the Patriotes simply drifted into it, and
the actual outbreak was a haphazard affair. Alarmed by the sudden and
seemingly concerted departure of Papineau and some of his lieutenants,
Nelson, Brown, and O'Callaghan, from Montreal, the Government gave
orders for their arrest. The petty skirmish that followed on November
16, 1837, was the signal for the rallying of armed habitants around
impromptu leaders at various points. The rising was local and spasmodic.
The vast body of the habitants stood aloof. The Catholic Church, which
earlier had sympathized with Papineau, had parted from him when he
developed radical and republican views. Now the strong exhortations of
the clergy to the faithful counted for much in keeping peace, and in
one view justified the policy of the British Government in seeking to
purchase their favor. The Quebec and Three Rivers districts remained
quiet. In the Richelieu and Montreal districts, where disaffection was
strongest, the habitants lacked leadership, discipline, and touch with
other groups, and were armed only with old flintlocks, scythes, or
clubs. Here and there a brave and skillful leader, such as Dr. Jean
Olivier Chenier, was thrown up by the evidence opened a way out of the
difficult situation. A year later Peel and Webster, representing the two
countries, exchanged formal explanations, and the incident was closed.

In Upper Canada many a rebel sympathizer lay for months in jail, but
only two leaders, Lount and Matthews, both brave men, paid the penalty
of death for their failure. In Lower Canada the new Governor General,
Lord Durham, proved more clement, merely banishing to Bermuda eight
of the captured leaders. When, a year later, after Durham's return to
England, a second brief rising broke out under Robert Nelson, it was
stamped out in a week, twelve of the ringleaders were executed, and
others were deported to Botany Bay.

The rebellion, it seemed, had failed and failed miserably. Most of the
leaders of the extreme factions in both provinces had been discredited,
and the moderate men had been driven into the government camp. Yet in
one sense the rising proved successful. It was not the first nor the
last time that wild and misguided force brought reform where sane
and moderate tactics met only contempt. If men were willing to die to
redress their wrongs, the most easy-going official could no longer
deny that there was a case for inquiry and possibly for reform. Lord
Melbourne's Government had acted at once in sending out to Canada, as
Governor General and High Commissioner with sweeping powers, one of
the ablest men in English public life. Lord Durham was an aristocratic
Radical, intensely devoted to political equality and equally convinced
of his own personal superiority. Yet he had vision, firmness,
independence, and his very rudeness kept him free from the social
influences which had ensnared many another Governor. Attended by a
gorgeous retinue and by some able working secretaries, including Charles
Buller, Carlyle's pupil, he made a rapid survey of Upper and Lower
Canada. Suddenly, after five crowded months, his mission ended. He had
left at home active enemies and lukewarm friends. Lord Brougham, one
of his foes, called in question the legality of his edict banishing the
rebel leaders to Bermuda. The Ministers did not back him, as they should
have done; and Durham indignantly resigned and hurried back to England.

Three months later, however, his "Report" appeared and his mission stood
vindicated. There are few British state papers of more fame or more
worth than Durham's "Report". It was not, however, the beginning and the
end of wisdom in colonial policy, as has often been declared. Much that
Durham advocated was not new, and much has been condemned by time. His
main suggestions were four: to unite the Canadas, to swamp the French
Canadians by such union, to grant a measure of responsible government,
and to set up municipal government. His attitude towards the French
Canadians was prejudiced and shortsighted. He was not the first to
recommend responsible government, nor did his approval make it a
reality. Yet with all qualifications his "Report" showed a confidence
in the liberating and solving power of self-government which was the
all-essential thing for the English Government to see; and his reasoned
and powerful advocacy gave an impetus and a rallying point to the
movement which were to prove of the greatest value in the future growth
not only of Canada but of the whole British Empire.


The struggle for self-government seemed to have ended in deadlock and
chaos. Yet under the wreckage new lines of constructive effort were
forming. The rebellion had at least proved that the old order was
doomed. For half a century the attempt had been made to govern the
Canadas as separate provinces and with the half measure of freedom
involved in representative government. For the next quarter of a century
the experiment of responsible government together with union of the two
provinces was to be given its trial.

The union of the two provinces was the phase of Durham's policy which
met fullest acceptance in England. It was not possible, in the view of
the British Ministry, to take away permanently from the people of Lower
Canada the measure of self-government involved in permitting them to
choose their representatives in a House of Assembly. It was equally
impossible, they considered, to permit a French-Canadian majority ever
again to bring all government to a standstill. The only solution of
the problem was to unite the two provinces and thus swamp the French
Canadians by an English majority. Lower Canada, Durham had insisted,
must be made "an English province." Sooner or later the French Canadians
must lose their separate nationality; and it was, he contended, the part
of statesmanship to make it sooner. Union, moreover, would make possible
a common financial policy and an energetic development of the resources
of both provinces.

This was the first task set Durham's successor, Charles Poulett Thomson,
better known as Lord Sydenham. Like Durham he was a man of outstanding
capacity. The British Government had learned at last to send men of the
caliber the emergency demanded. Like Durham he was a wealthy Radical
politician, but there the resemblance ended. Where Durham played the
dictator, Sydenham preferred to intrigue and to manage men, to win them
by his adroitness and to convince them by his energy and his business
knowledge. He was well fitted for the transition tasks before him,
though too masterful to fill the role of ornamental monarch which the
advocates of responsible government had cast for the Governor.

Sydenham reached Canada in October, 1839. With the assistance of James
Stuart, now a baronet and Chief Justice of Lower Canada, he drafted a
union measure. In Lower Canada the Assembly had been suspended, and the
Special Council appointed in its stead accepted the bill without serious
demur. More difficulty was found in Upper Canada, where the Family
Compact, still entrenched in the Legislative Council, feared the risk
to their own position that union would bring and shrank from the task of
assimilating half a million disaffected French Canadians. But with
the support of the Reformers and of the more moderate among the Family
Compact party, Sydenham forced his measure through. A confirming bill
passed the British Parliament; and on February 10, 1841, the Union of
Canada was proclaimed.

The Act provided for the union of the two provinces, under a Governor,
an appointed Legislative Council, and an elective Assembly. In
the Assembly each section of the new province was to receive equal
representation, though the population of Lower Canada still greatly
exceeded that of Upper Canada. The Assembly was to have full control of
all revenues, and in return a permanent civil list was granted. Either
English or French could be used in debate, but all parliamentary
journals and papers were to be printed in English only.*

     * From 1841 to 1867 the whole province was legally known as
     the "Province of Canada." Yet a measure of administrative
     separation between the old sections remained, and the terms
     "Canada East" and "Canada West" received official sanction.
     The older terms, "Lower Canada" and "Upper Canada," lingered
     on in popular usage.

In June, 1841, the first Parliament of united Canada met at Kingston,
which as the most central point had been chosen as the new capital.
Under Sydenham's shrewd and energetic leadership a business programme
of long-delayed reforms was put through. A large loan, guaranteed by
the British Government, made possible extensive provision for building
roads, bridges, and canals around the rapids in the St. Lawrence.
Municipal institutions were set up, and reforms were effected in the
provincial administration.

Lord John Russell in England and Sydenham in Canada were anxious to keep
the question of responsible government in the background. For the first
busy months they succeeded, but the new Parliament contained men quite
as strong willed as either and of quite other views. Before the first
session had begun, Baldwin and the new French-Canadian leader, La
Fontaine, had raised the issue and begun a new struggle in which their
single-minded devotion and unflinching courage were to attain a complete

Responsible government was in 1841 only a phrase, a watchword. Its full
implications became clear only after many years. It meant three things:
cabinet government, self-government, and party government. It meant
that the government of the country should be carried on by a Cabinet or
Executive Council, all members of Parliament, all belonging to the party
which had the majority in the Assembly, and under the leadership of a
Prime Minister, the working head of the Government. The nominal head,
Governor or King, could act only on the advice of his ministers,
who alone were held responsible to Parliament for the course of the
Government. It meant, further, national self-government. The Governor
could not serve two masters. If he must take the advice of his ministers
in Canada, he could not take the possibly conflicting advice of
ministers in London. The people of Canada would be the ultimate court of
appeal. And finally, responsible government meant party government. The
cabinet system presupposed a definite and united majority behind the
Government. It was the business of the party system to provide that
majority, to insure responsible and steady action, and at the same time
responsible criticism from Her Majesty's loyal Opposition. Baldwin saw
this clearly in 1841, but it took hard fighting throughout the forties
to bring all his fellow countrymen to see likewise and to induce the
English Government to resign itself to the prospect.

Sydenham fought against responsible government but advanced it against
his will. The only sense in which he, like Russell, was prepared to
concede such liberty was that the Governor should choose his advisers
as far as possible from men having the confidence of the Assembly. They
were to be his advisers only, in fact as well as form. The Governor
was still to govern, was to be Prime Minister and Governor in one. When
Baldwin, who had been given a seat in the Executive Council, demanded in
1841 that this body should be reconstructed in such a way as to include
some French-Canadian members and to exclude the Family Compact men,
Sydenham flatly refused. Baldwin then resigned and went into opposition,
but Sydenham unwillingly played into his hand. By choosing his council
solely from members of the two Houses, he established a definite
connection between Executive and Assembly and thus gave an opportunity
for the discussion of the administration of policy in the House and
for the forming of government and opposition parties. Before the first
session closed, the majority which Sydenham had built up by acting as a
party leader at the very time he was deriding parties as mere factions,
crumbled away, and he was forced to accept resolutions insisting that
the Governor's advisers must be men "possessed of the confidence of
the representatives of the people." Fate ended his work at its height.
Riding home one September evening, he was thrown from his horse and died
from the injuries before the month was out.

It fell to the Tory Government of Peel to choose Sydenham's successor.
They named Sir Charles Bagot, already distinguished for his career in
diplomacy and known for his hand in matters which were to interest the
greater Canada, the Rush-Bagot Convention with the United States and
the treaty with Russia which fixed, only too vaguely, the boundaries
of Alaska. He was under strict injunctions from the Colonial Secretary,
Lord Stanley, to continue Sydenham's policy and to make no further
concession to the demands for responsible government or party control.
Yet this Tory nominee of a Tory Cabinet, in his brief term of office,
insured a great advance along this very path toward freedom. His
easy-going temper predisposed him to play the part of constitutional
monarch rather than of Prime Minister, and in any case he faced a
majority in the Assembly resolute in its determination.

The policy of swamping French influence had already proved a failure.
Sydenham had given it a full trial. He had done his best, or his worst,
by unscrupulous manipulation, to keep the French Canadians from gaining
their fair quota of the members in the Union Assembly. Those who were
elected he ignored. "They have forgotten nothing and learnt nothing
by the Rebellion," he declared, "and are more unfit for representative
government than they were in 1791." This was far from a true reading of
the situation. The French stood aloof, it is true, a compact and sullen
group, angered by the undisguised policy of Anglicization that faced
them and by Sydenham's unscrupulous tactics. But they had learned
restraint and had found leaders and allies of the kind most needed.
Papineau's place--for the great tribune was now in exile in Paris,
consorting with the republicans and socialists who were to bring about
the Revolution of 1848--had been taken by one of his former lieutenants.
Louis Hippolyte La Fontaine still stands out as one of the two or three
greatest Canadians of French descent, a man of massive intellect, of
unquestioned integrity, and of firm but moderate temper. With Baldwin
he came to form a close and lifelong friendship. The Reformers of Canada
West, as Upper Canada was now called, formed a working alliance with
La Fontaine which gave them a sweeping majority in the Assembly. Bagot
bowed to the inevitable and called La Fontaine and Baldwin to his
Council. Ill health made it impossible for him to take much part in the
government, and the Council was far on the way to obtaining the unity
and the independence of a true Cabinet when Bagot's death in 1843
brought a new turn in affairs.

The British Ministers had seen with growing uneasiness Bagot's
concessions. His successor, Sir Charles Metcalfe, a man of honest and
kindly ways but accustomed to governing oriental peoples, determined to
make a stand against the pretensions of the Reformers. In this attitude
he was strongly backed both by Stanley and by his successor, that
brilliant young Tory, William Ewart Gladstone. Metcalfe insisted once
more that the Governor must govern. While the members of the Council, as
individuals, might give him advice, it was for him to decide whether
or not to take it. The inevitable clash with his Ministers came in the
autumn of 1843 over a question of patronage. They resigned, and after
months of effort Metcalfe patched up a Ministry with W. H. Draper as
the leading member. In an election in which Metcalfe himself took the
platform and in which once more British connection was said to be at
stake, the Ministry obtained a narrow majority. But opinion soon turned,
and when Metcalfe, the third Governor in four years to whom Canada had
proved fatal, went home to die, he knew that his stand had been in
vain. The Ministry, after a precarious life of three years, went to the
country only to be beaten by an overwhelming majority in both East and
West. When, in 1848, Baldwin and La Fontaine were called to office under
the new Governor General, Lord Elgin, the fight was won. Many years
were to pass before the full implications of responsible government
were worked out, but henceforth even the straitest Tory conceded the
principle. Responsible government had ceased to be a party cry and had
become the common heritage of all Canadians.

Lord Elgin, who was Durham's son-in-law, was a man well able to bear the
mantle of his predecessors. Yet he realized that the day had passed when
Governors could govern and was content rather to advise his advisers, to
wield the personal influence that his experience and sagacity warranted.
Hitherto the stages in Canadian history had been recorded by the term of
office of the Governors; henceforth it was to be the tenure of Cabinets
which counted. Elgin ceased even to attend the Council, and after his
time the Governor became more and more the constitutional monarch,
busied in laying corner stones and listening to tiresome official
addresses. In emergencies, and especially in the gap or interregnum
between Ministries, the personality of the Governor might count, but as
a rule this power remained latent. Yet in two turning points in Canadian
history, both of which had to do with the relations of Canada to the
United States, Elgin was to play an important part: the Annexation
Movement of 1849 and the Reciprocity Treaty of 1854.

In the struggle for responsible government, loyalty to the British
Crown, loyalty of a superior and exclusive brand, had been the creed and
the war cry of the Tory party. Yet in 1849 men saw the hotheads of this
group in Montreal stoning a British Governor General and setting fire to
the Parliament Buildings, while a few months later their elders issued a
manifesto urging the annexation of Canada to the United States. Why this
sudden shift? Simply because the old colonial system they had known and
supported had come to an end. The Empire had been taken to mean racial
ascendancy and trade profit. Now both the political and the economic
pillars were crumbling, and the Empire appeared to have no further
excuse for existence.

In the past British connection had meant to many of the English
minority in Lower Canada a means of redressing the political balance,
of retaining power in face of a body of French-speaking citizens
outnumbering them three or four to one. Now that support had been
withdrawn. Britain had consented, unwillingly, to the setting up of
responsible government and the calling to office of men who a dozen
years before had been in arms against the Queen or fleeing from the
province. This was gall and wormwood to the English. But when the
Ministry introduced, and the Assembly passed, the Rebellion Losses Bill
for compensating those who had suffered destruction of property in the
outbreak, and when the terms were so drawn as to make it possible, its
critics charged, that rebels as well as loyalists would be compensated,
flesh and blood could bear no more. The Governor was pelted with rotten
eggs when he came down to the House to sign the bill, and the buildings
where Parliament had met since 1844, when the capital had been
transferred from Kingston to Montreal, were stormed and burned by a
street mob.

The anger felt against the Ministry thus turned against the British
Government. The English minority felt like an advance guard in a hostile
country, deserted by the main forces, an Ulster abandoned to Home
Ruler and Sinn Feiner. They turned to the south, to the other great
English-speaking Protestant people. If the older branch of the race
would not give them protection or a share in dominance, perhaps the
younger branch could and would. As Lord Durham had suggested, they
were resolved that "Lower Canada must be ENGLISH, at the expense, if
necessary, of not being BRITISH."

But it was not only the political basis of the old colonial system that
was rudely shattered. The economic foundations, too, were passing away,
and with them the profits of the Montreal merchants, who formed the
backbone of the annexation movement. It has been seen that under this
system Great Britain had aimed at setting up a self-contained empire,
with a monopoly of the markets of the colonies. Now for her own sake she
was sweeping away the tariff and shipping monopoly which had been
built up through more than two centuries. The logic of Adam Smith, the
experiments of Huskisson, the demands of manufacturers for cheap food
and raw materials, the passionate campaigns of Cobden and Bright, and
the rains that brought the Irish famine, at last had their effect. In
1846 Peel himself undertook the repeal of the Corn Laws. To Lower Canada
this was a crushing blow. Until of late the preference given in the
British market on colonial goods in return for the control of colonial
trade had been of little value; but in 1848 the duties on Canadian
wheat and flour had been greatly lowered, resulting in a preference over
foreign grain reckoned at eighteen cents a bushel. While in appearance
an extension of the old system of preference and protection, in reality
this was a step toward its abandonment. For it was understood that
American grain, imported into Canada at a low duty, whether shipped
direct or ground into flour, would be admitted at the same low rates.
The Act, by opening a back door to United States wheat, foreshadowed the
triumph of the cheap food agitators in England. But the merchants, the
millers, and the forwarders of Montreal could not believe this. The
canal system was rushed through; large flour mills were built, and heavy
investments of capital were made. Then in 1846 came the announcement
that the artificial basis of this brief prosperity had vanished. Lord
Elgin summed up the results in a dispatch in 1849: "Property in most of
the Canadian towns, and more especially in the capital, has fallen fifty
per cent in value within the last three years. Three-fourths of the
commercial men are bankrupt, owing to free trade. A large proportion
of the exportable produce of Canada is obliged to seek a market in the
United States. It pays a duty of twenty per cent on the frontier. How
long can such a state of things endure?"

In October, 1849, the leading men of Montreal issued a manifesto
demanding annexation to the United States. A future Prime Minister
of Canada, J. J. C. Abbott, four future Cabinet Ministers, John Rose,
Luther Holton, D. L. Macpherson, and A. A. Dorion, and the commercial
leaders of Montreal, the Molsons, Redpaths, Torrances, and Workmans,
were among the signers. Besides Dorion, a few French Canadians of the
Rouge or extreme Radical party joined in. The movement found supporters
in the Eastern Townships, notably in A. T. Galt, a financier and
railroad builder of distinction, and here and there in Canada West. Yet
the great body of opinion was unmistakably against it. Baldwin and
La Fontaine opposed it with unswerving energy, the Catholic Church
in Canada East denounced it, and the rank and file of both parties in
Canada West gave it short shrift. Elgin came out actively in opposition
and aided in negotiating the Reciprocity Treaty with the United States
which met the economic need. Montreal found itself isolated, and even
there the revival of trade and the cooling of passions turned men's
thoughts into other channels. Soon the movement was but a memory,
chiefly serviceable to political opponents for taunting some signer of
the manifesto whenever he later made parade of his loyalty. It had
a more unfortunate effect, however, in leading public opinion in the
United States to the belief for many years that a strong annexationist
sentiment existed in Canada. Never again did annexation receive any
notable measure of popular support. A national spirit was slowly gaining
ground, and men were eventually to see that the alternative to looking
to London for salvation was not looking to Washington but looking to

In the provinces by the sea the struggle for responsible government was
won at much the same time as in Canada. The smaller field within which
the contest was waged gave it a bitter personal touch; but racial
hostility did not enter in, and the British Government proved less
obdurate than in the western conflicts. In both Nova Scotia and New
Brunswick little oligarchies had become entrenched. The Government was
unprogressive, and fees and salaries were high. The Anglican Church had
received privileges galling to other denominations which surpassed it in
numbers. The "powers that were" found a shrewd defender in Haliburton,
who tried to teach his fellow Bluenoses through the homely wit of "Sam
Slick" that they should leave governing to those who had the training,
the capacity, and the leisure it required. In Prince Edward Island the
land question still overshadowed all others. Every proposal for its
settlement was rejected by the influence of the absentee landlords in
England, and the agitation went wearily on.

In Nova Scotia the outstanding figure in the ranks of reform was Joseph
Howe. The son of a Loyalist settler, Howe early took to his father's
work of journalism. At first his sympathies were with the governing
powers, but a controversy with a brother editor, Jotham Blanchard, a New
Hampshire man who found radical backing among the Scots of Pictou, gave
him new light and he soon threw his whole powers into the struggle
on the popular side. Howe was a man lavishly gifted, one of the most
effective orators America has produced, fearing no man and no task
however great, filled with a vitality, a humor, a broad sympathy for his
fellows that gave him the blind obedience of thousands of followers and
the glowing friendship of countless firesides. There are still old men
in Nova Scotia whose proudest memory is that they once held Howe's horse
or ran on an errand for a look from his kingly eye.

Howe took up the fight in earnest in 1835. The western demand for
responsible government pointed the way, and Howe became, with Baldwin,
its most trenchant advocate. In spite of the determined opposition
of the sturdy old soldier Governor, Sir Colin Campbell, and of his
successor, Lord Falkland, who aped Sydenham and whom Howe threatened to
"hire a black man to horse-whip," the reformers won. In 1848 the first
responsible Cabinet in Nova Scotia came to power.

In New Brunswick the transition to responsible government came gradually
and without dramatic incidents or brilliant figures on either side.
Lemuel Wilmot, and later Charles Fisher, led the reform ranks, gradually
securing for the Assembly control of all revenues, abolishing religious
inequalities, and effecting some reform in the Executive Council, until
at last in 1855 the crowning demand was tardily conceded.

From the Great Lakes to the Atlantic the political fight was won,
and men turned with relief to the tasks which strife and faction had
hindered. Self-government meant progressive government. With organized
Cabinets coordinating and controlling their policy the provinces went
ahead much faster than when Governor and Assembly stood at daggers
drawn. The forties and especially the fifties were years of rapid and
sound development in all the provinces, and especially in Canada West.
Settlers poured in, the scattered clearings; widened until one joined
the next, and pioneer hardships gave way to substantial, if crude,
prosperity. Education, notably under the vigorous leadership of Egerton
Ryerson in Canada West, received more adequate attention. Banks grew and
with them all commercial facilities increased.

The distinctive feature of this period of Canadian development, however,
was the growth of canals and railroads. The forties were the time of
canal building and rebuilding all along the lakes and the St. Lawrence
to salt water. Canada spent millions on what were wonderful works for
their day, in the hope that the St. Lawrence would become the channel
for the trade of all the growing western States bordering on the Great
Lakes. Scarcely were these waterway improvements completed when it was
realized they had been made largely in vain. The railway had come and
was outrivaling the canal. If Canadian ports and channels were even to
hold their own, they must take heed of the enterprise of all the cities
along the Atlantic coast of the United States, which were promoting
railroads to the interior in a vigorous rivalry for the trade of the
Golden West. Here was a challenge which must be taken up. The fifties
became the first great railway era of Canada. In 1850 there were only
sixty-six miles of railway in all the provinces; ten years later there
were over two thousand. Nearly all the roads were aided by provincial or
municipal bonus or guarantee. Chief among the lines was the Grand Trunk,
which ran from the Detroit border to Riviere du Loup on the Gulf of St.
Lawrence, and which, though it halted at that eastern terminus in the
magnificent project of connecting with the railways of the Maritime
Provinces, was nevertheless at that time the longest road in the world
operating under single control.

The railways brought with them a new speculative fever, a more complex
financial structure, a business politics which shaded into open
corruption, and a closer touch with the outside world. The general
substitution of steam for sail on the Atlantic during this period aided
further in lessening the isolation of what had been backwoods provinces
and in bringing them into closer relation with the rest of the world.

It was in closer relations with the United States that this emergence
from isolation chiefly manifested itself. In the generation that
followed the War of 1812 intercourse with the United States was
discouraged and was remarkably insignificant. Official policy and the
memories of 1783 and 1812 alike built up a wall along the southern
border. The spirit of Downing Street was shown in the instructions given
to Lord Bathurst, immediately after the close of the war, to leave the
territory between Montreal and Lake Champlain in a state of nature,
making no further grants of land and letting the few roads which had
been begun fall into decay thus a barrier of forest wilderness would
ward off republican contagion. This Chinese policy of putting up a wall
of separation proved impossible to carry through, but in less extreme
ways this attitude of aloofness marked the course of the Government all
through the days of oversea authority.

The friction aroused by repeated boundary disputes prevented friendly
relations between Canada and the United States. With unconscious irony
the framers of the Peace of 1783 had prefaced their long outline of the
boundaries of the United States by expressing their intention "that all
disputes which might arise in future on the subject of the boundaries
of the said United States may be prevented." So vague, however, were the
terms of the treaty and so untrustworthy were the maps of the day that
ultimately almost every clause in the boundary section gave rise to

As settlement rolled westward one section of the boundary after another
came in question. Beginning in the east, the line between New Brunswick
and New England was to be formed by the St. Croix River. There had been
a St. Croix in Champlain's time and a St. Croix was depicted on the
maps, but no river known by that name existed in 1783. The British
identified it with the Schoodic, the Americans with the Magaguadavic.
Arbitration in 1798 upheld the British in the contention that the
Schoodic was the St. Croix but agreed with the Americans in the
secondary question as to which of the two branches of the Schoodic
should be followed. A similar commission in 1817 settled the dispute as
to the islands in Passamaquoddy Bay.

More difficult, because at once more ambiguous in terms and more vitally
important, was the determination of the boundary in the next stage
westward from the St. Croix to the St. Lawrence. The British position
was a difficult one to maintain. In the days of the struggle with
France, Great Britain had tried to push the bounds of the New England
colonies as far north as might be, making claims that would hem in
France to the barest strip along the south shore of the St. Lawrence.
Now that she was heir to the territories and claims of France and
had lost her own old colonies, it was somewhat embarrassing, but for
diplomats not impossible, to have to urge a line as far south as the
urgent needs of the provinces for intercommunication demanded. The
letter of the treaty was impossible to interpret with certainty. The
phrase, "the Highlands which divide those rivers that empty themselves
into the river St. Lawrence from those which fall into the Atlantic
Ocean," meant according to the American reading a watershed which was a
marshy plateau, and according to the British version a range of hills to
the south which involved some keen hairsplitting as to the rivers they
divided. The intentions of the parties to the original treaty were
probably much as the Americans contended. From the standpoint of
neighborly adjustment and the relative need for the land in question, a
strong case in equity could be made out for the provinces, which would
be cut asunder for all time if a wedge were driven north to the very
brink of the St. Lawrence.

As lumbermen and settlers gathered in the border area, the risk of
conflict became acute, culminating in the Aroostook War in 1838-39,
when the Legislatures of Maine and New Brunswick backed their rival
lumberjacks with reckless jingoism. Diplomacy failed repeatedly to
obtain a compromise line. Arbitration was tried with little better
success, as the United States refused to accept the award of the King
of the Netherlands in 1831. The diplomats tried once more, and in
1842 Daniel Webster, the United States Secretary of State, and Lord
Ashburton, the British Commissioner, made a compromise by which some
five thousand miles of the area in dispute were assigned to Great
Britain and seven thousand to the United States. The award was not
popular on either side, and the public seized eagerly on stories of
concealed "Red Line" maps, stories of Yankee smartness or of British
trickery. Webster, to win the assent of Maine, had exhibited in the
Senate a map found in the French Archives and very damaging to the
American claim. Later it appeared that the British Government also had
found a map equally damaging to its own claims. The nice question of
ethics involved, whether a nation should bring forward evidence that
would tell against itself, ceased to have more than an abstract interest
when it was demonstrated that neither map could be considered as one
which the original negotiators had used or marked.*

     * See "The Path, of Empire", by Carl Russell Fish (in "The
     Chronicles of America").

The boundary from the St. Lawrence westward through the Great Lakes and
thence to the Lake of the Woods had been laid down in the Treaty of
1783 in the usual vague terms, but it was determined in a series of
negotiations from 1794 to 1842 with less friction and heat than the
eastern line had caused. From the Lake of the Woods to the Rockies a new
line, the forty-ninth parallel, was agreed upon in 1818. Then, as the
Pacific Ocean was neared, the difficulties once more increased. There
were no treaties between the two countries to limit claims beyond the
Rockies. Discovery and settlement, and the rights inherited from or
admitted by the Spaniards to the south and by the Russians to the north,
were the grounds put forward. British and Canadian fur traders had been
the pioneers in overland discovery, but early in the forties thousands
of American settlers poured into the Columbia Valley and strengthened
the practical case for their country. "Fifty-four forty or fight"--in
other words, the calm proposal to claim the whole coast between Mexico
and Alaska--became the popular cry in the United States; but in face
of the firm attitude of Great Britain and impending hostilities with
Mexico, more moderate counsels ruled. Great Britain held out for the
Columbia River as the dividing line, and the United States for the
forty-ninth parallel throughout. Finally, in 1846, the latter contention
was accepted, with a modification to leave Vancouver Island wholly
British territory. A postscript to this settlement was added in 1872,
when the German Emperor as arbitrator approved the American claim to
the island of San Juan in the channel between Vancouver Island and the

     * See "The Path of Empire".

With the most troublesome boundary questions out of the way, it became
possible to discuss calmly closer trade relations between the Provinces
and the United States. The movement for reciprocal lowering of the
tariffs which hampered trade made rapid headway in the Provinces in the
late forties and early fifties. British North America was passing out of
the pioneer, self-sufficient stage, and now had a surplus to export
as well as townbred needs to be supplied by imports. The spread of
settlement and the building of canals and railways brought closer
contact with the people to the south. The loss of special privileges
in the English market made the United States market more desired. In
official circles reciprocity was sought as a homeopathic cure for
the desire for annexation. William Hamilton Merritt, a Niagara border
business man and the most persistent advocate of closer trade relations,
met little difficulty in securing almost unanimous backing in Canada,
while the Maritime Provinces lent their support.

It was more difficult to win over the United States. There the people
showed the usual indifference of a big and prosperous country to the
needs or opportunities of a small and backward neighbor. The division
of power between President and Congress made it difficult to carry any
negotiation through to success. Yet these obstacles were overcome. The
depletion of the fisheries along the Atlantic coast of the United States
made it worth while, as I.D. Andrews, a United States consul in New
Brunswick, urged persistently, to gain access to the richer grounds to
the north and, if necessary, to offer trade concessions in exchange. At
Washington, the South was in the saddle. Its sympathies were strongly
for freer trade, but this alone would not have counted had not the
advocates of reciprocity convinced the Democratic leaders of the bearing
of their policy on the then absorbing issue of slavery. If reciprocity
were not arranged, the argument ran, annexation would be sure to come
and that would mean the addition to the Union of a group of freesoil
States which would definitely tilt the balance against slavery for all
time. With the ground thus prepared, Lord Elgin succeeded by adroit and
capable diplomacy in winning over the leaders of Congress as well as
the Executive to his proposals. The Reciprocity Treaty was passed by the
Senate in August, 1854, and by the Legislatures of the United Kingdom,
Canada, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia in the next
few months, and of Newfoundland in 1855. This treaty provided for free
admission into each country of practically all the products of the farm,
forest, mine, and fishery, threw open the Atlantic fisheries, and gave
American vessels the use of the St. Lawrence and Canadian vessels
the use of Lake Michigan. The agreement was to last for ten years and
indefinitely thereafter, subject to termination on one year's notice by
either party.

To both countries reciprocity brought undoubted good. Trade doubled and
trebled. Each country gained by free access to the nearest sources
of supply. The same goods figured largely in the traffic in both
directions, the United States importing grain and flour from Canada and
exporting it to the Maritime Provinces. In short the benefits which had
come to the United States from free and unfettered trade throughout half
a continent were now extended to practically a whole continent.

Yet criticism of the new economic regime was not lacking. The growth
of protectionist feeling in both countries after 1857 brought about
incidents and created an atmosphere which were dangerous to the
continuance of close trade relations. In 1858 and 1859 the Canadian
Government raised substantially the duties on manufactured goods in
order to meet the bills for its lavish railway policy. This increase hit
American manufacturers and led to loud complaints that the spirit of
the Reciprocity Treaty had been violated. Alexander T. Galt, Canadian
Minister of Finance, had no difficulty in showing that the tariff
increases were the only feasible sources of revenue, that the agreement
with the United States did not cover manufactures, and that the United
States itself, faced by war demands and no longer controlled by free
trade Southerners, had raised duties still higher. The exports of the
United States to the Provinces in the reciprocity period were greater,
contrary to the later traditions, than the imports. On economic grounds
the case for the continuance of the reciprocity agreement was strong,
and probably the treaty would have remained in force indefinitely had
not the political passions roused by the Civil War made sanity and
neighborliness in trade difficult to maintain.

When the Civil War broke out, the sympathies of Canadians were
overwhelmingly on the side of the North. The railway and freer trade had
been bringing the two peoples closer together, and time was healing old
sores. Slavery was held to be the real issue, and on that issue there
were scarcely two opinions in the British Provinces.

Yet in a few months sympathy had given way to angry and suspicious
bickering, and the possibility of invasion of Canada by the Northern
forces was vigorously debated. This sudden shift of opinion and the
danger in which it involved the provinces were both incidents in the
quarrel which sprang up between the United States and Great Britain. In
Britain as in Canada, opinion, so far as it found open expression, was
at first not unfriendly to the North. Then came the anger of the North
at Great Britain's legitimate and necessary, though perhaps precipitate,
action in acknowledging the South as a belligerent. This action ran
counter to the official Northern theory that the revolt of the Southern
States was a local riot, of merely domestic concern, and was held to
foreshadow a recognition of the independence of the Confederacy. The
angry taunts were soon returned. The ruling classes in Great Britain
made the discovery that the war was a struggle between chivalrous
gentlemen and mercenary counterhoppers and cherished the hope that the
failure of the North would discredit, the world over, the democracy
which was making uncomfortable claims in England itself. The English
trading classes resented the shortage of cotton and the high duties
which the protectionist North was imposing. With the defeat of the Union
forces at Bull Run the prudent hesitancy of aristocrat and merchant in
expressing their views disappeared. The responsible statesmen of both
countries, especially Lincoln and Lord John Russell, refused to be
stampeded, but unfortunately the leading newspapers served them ill.
The "Times", with its constant sneers and its still more irritating
patronizing advice, and the New York "Herald", bragging and blustering
in the frank hope of forcing a war with Britain and France which would
reunite South and North and subordinate the slavery issue, did more than
any other factors to bring the two countries to the verge of war.

In Canada the tendency in some quarters to reflect English opinion,
the disappointment in others that the abolition of slavery was not
explicitly pledged by the North, and above all resentment against
the threats of the "Herald" and its followers, soon cooled the early
friendliness. The leading Canadian newspaper, for many years a vigorous
opponent of slavery, thus summed up the situation in August, 1861:

"The insolent bravado of the Northern press towards Great Britain and
the insulting tone assumed toward these Provinces have unquestionably
produced a marked change in the feelings of our people. When the war
commenced, there was only one feeling, of hearty sympathy with the
North, but now it is very different. People have lost sight of the
character of the struggle in the exasperation excited by the injustice
and abuse showered upon us by the party with which we sympathized."*

     * Toronto "Globe", August 7, 1861.

The Trent affair brought matters to a sobering climax.* When it was
settled, resentment lingered, but the tension was never again so acute.
Both Great Britain and in Canada the normal sympathy with the cause of
the Union revived as the war went on. In England the classes continued
to be pro-Southern in sympathy, but the masses, in spite of cotton
famines, held resolutely to their faith in the cause of freedom. After
Lincoln's emancipation of the slaves, the view of the English middle
classes more and more became the view of the nation. In Canada,
pro-Southern sentiment was strong in the same classes and particularly
in Montreal and Toronto, where there were to be found many Southern
refugees, some of whom made a poor return for hospitality by endeavoring
to use Canada as a base for border raids. Yet in the smaller towns and
in the country sympathy was decidedly on the other side, particularly
after the "Herald" had ceased its campaign of bluster and after
Lincoln's proclamation had brought the moral issue again to the fore.
The fact that a large number of Canadians, popularly set at forty
thousand, enlisted in the Northern armies, is to be explained in part by
the call of adventure and the lure of high bounties, but it must also be
taken to reflect the sympathy of the mass of the people.

     * See "Abraham Lincoln and the Union", by Nathaniel W.
     Stephenson (in "The Chronicles of America").

In the United States resentment was slower in passing. While the war was
on, prudence forbade any overt act. When it was over, the bill for the
Alabama raids and the taunts of the "Times" came in. Great Britain
paid in the settlement of the Alabama claims.* Canada suffered by the
abrogation of the Reciprocity Treaty at the first possible date, and by
the connivance of the American authorities in the Fenian raids of 1866
and 1870. Yet for Canada the outcome was by no means ill. If the Civil
War did not bring forth a new nation in the South, it helped to make one
in the far North. A common danger drew the scattered British Provinces
together and made ready the way for the coming Dominion of Canada.

     *See "The Day of the Confederacy", by Nathaniel W.
     Stephenson; and "The Path of Empire" (in "The Chronicles of

It was not from the United States alone that an impetus came for the
closer union of the British Provinces. The same period and the same
events ripened opinion in the United Kingdom in favor of some practical
means of altering a colonial relationship which had ceased to bring
profit but which had not ceased to be a burden of responsibility and

The British Empire had its beginning in the initiative of private
business men, not in any conscious policy of state. Yet as the Empire
grew the teaching of doctrinaires and the example of other colonial
powers had developed a definite policy whereby the plantations overseas
were to be made to serve the needs of the nation at home. The end of
empire was commercial profit; the means, the political subordination of
the colonies; the debit entry, the cost of the military and naval and
diplomatic services borne by the mother country. But the course of
events had now broken down this theory. Britain, for her own good, had
abandoned protection, and with it fell the system of preference and
monopoly in colonial markets. Not only preference had gone but even
equality. The colonies, notably Canada, which was most influenced by the
United States, were perversely using their new found freedom to protect
their own manufacturers against all outsiders, Britain included.
When Sheffield cutlers, hard hit by Canada's tariff, protested to
the Colonial Secretary and he echoed their remonstrance, the
Canadian Minister of Finance, A. T. Galt, stoutly refused to heed.
"Self-government would be utterly annihilated," Galt replied in 1860,
"if the views of the Imperial Government were to be preferred to
those of the people of Canada. It is therefore the duty of the present
government distinctly to affirm the right of the Canadian legislature to
adjust the taxation of the people in the way they deem best--even if
it should unfortunately happen to meet the disapproval of the Imperial
Ministry." Clearly, if trade advantage were the chief purpose of empire,
the Empire had lost its reason for being.

With the credit entry fading, the debit entry loomed up bigger. Hardly
had the Corn Laws been abolished when Radical critics called on the
British Government to withdraw the redcoat garrisons from the colonies:
no profit, no defense. Slowly but steadily this reduction was effected.
To fill the gaps, the colonies began to strengthen their militia forces.
In Canada only a beginning had been made in the way of defense when the
Trent episode brought matters to a crisis. If war broke out between the
United States and Great Britain, Canada would be the battlefield. Every
Canadian knew it; nothing could be clearer. When the danger of immediate
war had passed, the Parliament of Canada turned to the provision of more
adequate defense. A bill providing for a compulsory levy was defeated in
1862, more on personal and party grounds than on its own merits, and
the Ministry next in office took the other course of increasing the
volunteer force and of providing for officers' training. Compared with
any earlier arrangements for defense, the new plans marked a great
advance; but when judged in the light of the possible necessity of
repelling American invasion, they were plainly inadequate. A burst
of criticism followed from England; press and politicians joined in
denouncing the blind and supine colonials. Did they not know that
invasion by the United States was inevitable? "If the people of the
North fail," declared a noble lord, "they will attack Canada as a
compensation for their losses; if they succeed, they will attack Canada
in the drunkenness of victory." If such an invasion came, Britain had
neither the power nor the will, the "Times" declared, to protect Canada
without any aid on her part; not the power, for "our empire is too vast,
our population too small, our antagonist too powerful"; not the will,
for "we no longer monopolize the trade of the colonies; we no longer job
their patronage." To these amazing attacks Canadians replied that they
knew the United States better than Englishmen did. They were prepared to
take their share in defense, but they could not forget that if war came
it would not be by any act of Canada. It was soon noted that those
who most loudly denounced Canada for not arming to the teeth were the
Southern sympathizers. "The 'Times' has done more than its share in
creating bad feeling between England and the United States," declared
a Toronto newspaper, "and would have liked to see the Canadians take up
the quarrel which it has raised.... We have no idea of Canada being made
a victim of the Jefferson Bricks on either side of the Atlantic."

The question of defense fell into the background when the war ended
and the armies of the Union went back to their farms and shops. But
the discussion left in the minds of most Englishmen the belief that the
possession of such colonies was a doubtful blessing. Manchester men like
Bright, Liberals like Gladstone and Cornewall Lewis, Conservatives
like Lowe and Disraeli, all came to believe that separation was only a
question of time. Yet honor made them hesitate to set the defenseless
colonies adrift to be seized by the first hungry neighbor.

At this juncture the plans for uniting all the colonies in one great
federation seemed to open a way out; united, the colonies could stand
alone. Thus Confederation found support in Britain as well as a stimulus
from the United States. This, however, was not enough. Confederation
would not have come when it did--and that might have meant it would
never have come at all--had not party and sectional deadlock forced
Canadian politicians to seek a remedy in a wider union.

At first all had gone well with the Union of 1841. It did not take
the politicians long to learn how to use the power that responsible
government put into their hands. After Elgin's day the Governor General
fell back into the role of constitutional monarch which cabinet control
made easy for him. In the forties, men had spoken of Sydenham and
Bagot, Metcalfe and Elgin; in the fifties, they spoke of Baldwin and La
Fontaine, Hincks and Macdonald and Cartier and Brown, and less and less
of the Governors in whose name these men ruled. Politics then attracted
more of the country's ablest men than it does now, and the party leaders
included many who would have made their mark in any parliament in the
world. Baldwin and La Fontaine, united to the end, resigned office
in 1851, believing that they had played their part in establishing
responsible government and feeling out of touch with the radical
elements of their following who were demanding further change. Their
place was taken in Canada West by Hincks, an adroit tactician and a
skilled financier, intent on railway building and trade development; and
in Canada East by Morin, a somewhat colorless lieutenant of La Fontaine.

But these leaders in turn soon gave way to new men; and the political
parties gradually fell into a state of flux. In Canada West there were
still a few Tories, survivors of the Family Compact and last-ditch
defenders of privilege in Church and State, a growing number of moderate
Conservatives, a larger group of moderate Liberals, and a small
but aggressive extreme left wing of "Clear Grits," mainly Scotch
Presbyterians, foes of any claim to undue power on the part of class or
clergy. In Canada East the English members from the Townships, under
A. T. Galt, were ceasing to vote as a unit, and the main body of
French-Canadian members were breaking up into a moderate Liberal party,
and a smaller group of Rouges, fiery young men under the leadership
of Papineau, now returned from exile, were crusading against clerical
pretensions and all the established order.

The situation was one made to the hand of a master tactician. The time
brought forth the man. John A. Macdonald, a young Kingston lawyer
of Tory upbringing, or "John A.", as generation after generation
affectionately called him, was to prove the greatest leader of men in
Canada's annals. Shrewd, tactful, and genial, never forgetting a face
or a favor, as popular for his human frailties as for his strength,
Macdonald saw that the old party lines drawn in the days of the struggle
for responsible government were breaking down and that the future lay
with a union of the moderate elements in both parties and both sections.
He succeeded in 1854 in bringing together in Canada West a strong
Liberal-Conservative group and in effecting a permanent alliance with
the main body of French-Canadian Liberals, now under the leadership
of Cartier, a vigorous fighter and an easy-going opportunist. With
the addition of Galt as the financial expert, these allies held power
throughout the greater part of the next dozen years. Their position was
not unchallenged. The Clear Grits had found a leader after their own
heart in George Brown, a Scotchman of great ability, a hard hitter and
a good hater--especially of slavery, the Roman Catholic hierarchy, and
"John A." Through his newspaper, the Toronto "Globe", he wielded a power
unique in Canadian journalism. The Rouges, now led by A. A. Dorion, a
man of stainless honor and essentially moderate temper, withdrew from.
their extreme anticlerical position but could not live down their youth
or make head against the forces of conservatism in their province. They
did not command many votes in the House, but every man of them was an
orator, and they remained through all vicissitudes a power to reckon

Step by step, under Liberal and under Liberal Conservative Governments,
the programme of Canadian Liberalism was carried into effect.
Self-government, at least in domestic affairs, had been attained. An
effective system of municipal government and a good beginning in popular
education followed. The last link between Church and State was severed
in 1854 when the Clergy Reserves were turned over to the municipalities
for secular purposes, with life annuities for clergymen who had been
receiving stipends from the Reserves. In Lower Canada the remnants of
the old feudal system, the rights of the seigneurs, were abolished in
the same year with full compensation from the state. An elective upper
Chamber took the place of the appointed Legislative Council a year
later. The Reformers, as the Clear Grits preferred to call themselves
officially, should perhaps have been content with so much progress.
They insisted, however, that a new and more intolerable privilege had
arisen--the privilege which Canada East held of equal representation
in the Legislative Assembly long after its population had fallen behind
that of Canada West.

The political union of the two Canadas in fact had never been complete.
Throughout the Union period there were two leaders in each Cabinet, two
Attorney Generals, and two distinct judicial systems. Every session laws
were passed applying to one section alone. This continued separation had
its beginning in a clause of the Union Act itself, which provided that
each section should have equal representation in the Assembly, even
though Lower Canada then had a much larger population than Upper Canada.
When the tide of overseas immigration put Canada West well in the lead,
it in its turn was denied the full representation its greater population
warranted. First the Conservatives, and later the Clear Grits, took
up the cry of "Representation by Population." It was not difficult to
convince the average Canada West elector that it was an outrage
that three French-Canadian voters should count as much as four
English-speaking voters. Macdonald, relying for power on his alliance
with Cartier, could not accept the demand, and saw seat after seat in
Canada West fall to Brown and his "Rep. by Pop." crusaders. Brown's
success only solidified Canada East against him, until, in the early
sixties, party lines coincided almost with sectional lines. Parties were
so closely matched that the life of a Ministry was short. In the
three years ending in 1864 there were two general elections and
four Ministries. Political controversy became bitterly personal, and
corruption was spreading fast.

Constant efforts were made to avert the threatened deadlock. Macdonald,
who always trusted more to personal management than to constitutional
expedients, won over one after another of the opponents who troubled
him, and thus postponed the day of reckoning. Rival plans of
constitutional reform were brought forward. The simplest remedy was the
repeal of the union, leaving each province to go its own way. But this
solution was felt to be a backward step and one which would create more
problems than it would solve. More support was given the double majority
principle, a provision that no measure affecting one section should be
passed unless a majority from that section favored it, but this method
broke down when put to a practical test. The Rouges, and later Brown,
put forward a plan for the abolition of legislative union in favor of
a federal union of the two Canadas. This lacked the wide vision of the
fourth suggestion, which was destined to be adopted as the solution,
namely, the federation of all British North America.

Federal union, it was urged, would solve party and sectional deadlock by
removing to local legislatures the questions which created the greatest
divergence of opinion. The federal union of the Canadas alone or the
federal union of all British North America would either achieve this
end. But there were other ends in view which only the wider plan could
serve. The needs of defense demanded a single control for all the
colonies. The probable loss of the open market of the United States made
it imperative to unite all the provinces in a single free trade area.
The first faint stirrings of national ambition, prompting the younger
men to throw off the leading strings of colonial dependence, were
stimulated by the vision of a country which would stretch from sea
to sea. The westward growth of the United States and the reports of
travelers were opening men's eyes to the possibilities of the vast lands
under the control of the Hudson's Bay Company and the need of asserting
authority over these northern regions if they were to be held for the
Crown. Eastward, also, men were awaking to their isolation. There was
not, in the Maritime Provinces, any popular desire for union with the
Canadas or any political crisis compelling drastic remedy, but the
need of union for defense was felt in some quarters, and ambitious
politicians who had mastered their local fields were beginning to sigh
for larger worlds to conquer.

It took the patient and courageous striving of many men to make this
vision of a united country a reality. The roll of the Fathers of
Confederation is a long and honored one. Yet on that roll there are
some outstanding names, the names of men whose services were not merely
devoted but indispensable. The first to bring the question within the
field of practical politics was A. T. Galt, but when attempt after
attempt in 1864 to organize a Ministry with a safe working majority had
failed, it was George Brown who proposed that the party leaders should
join hands in devising some form of federation. Macdonald had hitherto
been a stout opponent of all change but, once converted, he threw
himself into the struggle, with energy. He never appeared to better
advantage than in the negotiations of the next few years, steering
the ship of Confederation through the perilous shoals of personal and
sectional jealousies. Few had a harder or a more important task than
Cartier's-reconciling Canada East to a project under which it would be
swamped, in the proposed federal House, by the representatives of four
or five English-speaking provinces. McDougall, a Canada West Reformer,
shared with Brown the credit for awakening Canadians to the value of the
Far West and to the need of including it in their plans of expansion.
D'Arcy McGee, more than any other, fired the imagination of the people
with glowing pictures of the greatness and the limitless possibilities
of the new nation. Charles Tupper, the head of a Nova Scotia
Conservative Ministry which had overthrown the old tribune, Joseph
Howe, had the hardest and seemingly most hopeless task of all; for his
province appeared to be content with its separate existence and was
inflamed against union by Howe's eloquent opposition; but to Tupper a
hard fight was as the breath of his nostrils. In New Brunswick, Leonard
Tilley, a man of less vigor but equal determination, led the struggle
until Confederation was achieved.

It was in June, 1864, that the leaders of the Parliament of Canada
became convinced that federation was the only way out. A coalition
Cabinet was formed, with Sir Etienne Tache as nominal Premier, and
with Macdonald, Brown, Cartier, and Galt all included. An opening for
discussing the wider federation was offered by a meeting which was to be
held in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, of delegates from the three
Maritime Provinces to consider the formation of a local union. There, in
September, 1864, went eight of the Canadian Ministers. Their proposals
met with favor. A series of banquets brought the plans before the
public, seemingly with good results. The conference was resumed a month
later at Quebec. Here, in sixteen working days, delegates from Canada,
Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and also from
Newfoundland, thirty-three in all, after frank and full deliberation
behind closed doors, agreed upon the terms of union. Macdonald's
insistence upon a legislative union, wiping out all provincial
boundaries, was overridden; but the lesson of the conflict between
the federal and state jurisdiction in the United States was seen in
provisions to strengthen the central authority. The general government
was empowered to appoint the lieutenant governors of the various
provinces and to veto any provincial law; to it were assigned all
legislative powers not specifically granted to the provinces; and
a subsidy granted by the general government in lieu of the customs
revenues resigned by the provinces still further increased their
dependence upon the central authority.

It had taken less than three weeks to draw up the plan of union. It
took nearly three years to secure its adoption. So far as Canada
was concerned, little trouble was encountered. British traditions of
parliamentary supremacy prevented any direct submission of the question
to the people; but their support was clearly manifested in the press and
on the platform, and the legislature ratified the project with emphatic
majorities from both sections of the province. Though it did not pass
without opposition, particularly from the Rouges under Dorion and from
steadfast supporters of old ways like Christopher Dunkin and Sandfield
Macdonald, the fight was only halfhearted. Not so, however, in the
provinces by the sea. The delegates who returned from the Quebec
Conference were astounded to meet a storm of criticism. Local pride and
local prejudice were aroused. The thrifty maritime population feared
Canadian extravagance and Canadian high tariffs. They were content to
remain as they were and fearful of the unknown. Here and there advocates
of annexation to the United States swelled the chorus. Merchants in
Halifax and St. John feared that trade would be drawn away to Montreal.
Above all, Howe, whether because of personal pique or of intense local
patriotism, had put himself at the head of the agitation against union,
and his eloquence could still play upon the prejudices of the people.
The Tilley Government in New Brunswick was swept out of power early in
1865. Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland both drew back, the one for
eight years, the other to remain outside the fold to the present day. In
Nova Scotia a similar fate was averted only by Tupper's Fabian tactics.
Then the tide turned. In New Brunswick the Fenian Raids, pressure from
the Colonial Office, and the blunders of the anti-Confederate Government
brought Tilley back to power on a Confederation platform a year later.
Tupper seized the occasion and carried his motion through the Nova
Scotia House. Without seeking further warrant the delegates from Canada,
Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick met in London late in 1866, and there
in consultation with the Colonial Office drew up the final resolutions.
They were embodied in the British North America Act which went through
the Imperial Parliament not only without raising questions but even
without exciting interest. On July 1, 1867, the Dominion of Canada, as
the new federation was to be known, came into being. It is a curious
coincidence that the same date witnessed the establishment of the North
German Bund, which in less than three years was to expand into the
German Empire.


The federation of the four provinces was an excellent achievement,
but it was only a beginning on the long, hard road to nationhood. The
Fathers of Confederation had set their goal and had proclaimed their
faith. It remained for the next generation to seek to make their
vision a reality. It was still necessary to make the Dominion actual by
bringing in all the lands from sea to sea. And when, on paper, Canada
covered half a continent, union had yet to be given body and substance
by railway building and continuous settlement. The task of welding two
races and many scattered provinces into a single people would call for
all the statesmanship and prudence the country had to give. To chart the
relations between the federal and the provincial authorities, which had
so nearly brought to shipwreck the federal experiment of Canada's great
neighbor, was like navigating an unknown sea. And what was to be the
attitude of the new Dominion, half nation, half colony, to the mother
country and to the republic to the south, no one could yet foretell.

The first problem which faced the Dominion was the organization of
the new machinery of government. It was necessary to choose a federal
Administration to guide the Parliament which was soon to meet at Ottawa,
the capital of the old Canada since 1858 and now accepted as the capital
of the larger Canada. It was necessary also to establish provincial
Governments in Canada West, henceforth known as Ontario and in Canada
East, or Quebec. The provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia were to
retain their existing provincial Governments.

There was no doubt as to whom the Governor General, Lord Monck, should
call to form the first federal Administration. Macdonald had proved
himself easily the greatest leader of men the four provinces had
produced. The entrance of two new provinces into the union, with all
the possibilities of new party groupings and new personal alliances
it involved, created a situation in which he had no rival. His great
antagonist, Brown, passed off the parliamentary stage. When he proposed
a coalition to carry through federation, Brown had recognized that he
was sacrificing his chief political asset, the discontent of Canada
West. But he was too true a patriot to hesitate a moment on that score,
and in any case he was sufficiently confident of his own abilities to
believe that he could hold his own in a fresh field. In this expectation
he was deceived. No man among his contemporaries surpassed him in
sheer ability, in fearless honesty, in vigor of debate, but he lacked
Macdonald's genial and supple art of managing men. And with broad
questions of state policy for the moment out of the way, it was
capacity in managing men that was to count in determining success. Never
afterward did Brown take an active part in parliamentary life, though
still a power in the land through his newspaper, the Toronto "Globe",
which was regarded as the Scotch Presbyterian's second Bible. Of the
other leaders of old Canada, Cartier with failing health was losing his
vigor and losing also the prestige with his party which his solid Canada
East majority had given him; Galt soon retired to private business, with
occasional incursions into diplomacy; and McGee fell a victim in 1868
to a Fenian assassin. From the Maritime Provinces the ablest recruit was
Tupper, the most dogged fighter in Canadian parliamentary annals and a
lifelong sworn ally of Macdonald.

It was at first uncertain what the grouping of parties would be.
Macdonald naturally wished to retain the coalition which assured him
unquestioned mastery, and the popular desire to give Confederation a
good start also favored such a course. In his first Cabinet, formed with
infinite difficulty, with provinces, parties, religions, races, all to
consider in filling a limited number of posts, Macdonald included six
Liberal ministers out of thirteen, three from Ontario, and three from
the Maritime Provinces. Yet if an Opposition had not existed, it would
have been necessary to create one in order to work the parliamentary
machine. The attempt to keep the coalition together did not long
succeed. On the eve of the first federal election the Ontario Reformers
in convention decided to oppose the Government, even though it contained
three of their former leaders. In the contest, held in August and
September, 1867, Macdonald triumphed in every province except Nova
Scotia but faced a growing Opposition party. Under the virtual
leadership of Alexander Mackenzie, fragments of parties from the four
provinces were united into a single Liberal group. In a few years the
majority of the Liberal rank and file were back in the fold, and
the Liberal members in the Cabinet had become frankly Conservative.
Coalition had faded away.

Within six years after Confederation the whole northern half of the
continent had been absorbed by Canada. The four original provinces
comprised only one-tenth of the area of the present Dominion, some
377,000 square miles as against 3,730,000 today. The most easterly of
the provinces, little Prince Edward Island, had drawn back in 1865,
content in isolation. Eight years later this province entered the fold.
Hard times and a glimpse of the financial strength of the new federation
had wrought a change of heart. The solution of the century-old problem
of the island, absentee landlordism, threatened to strain the finances
of the province; and men began to look to Ottawa for relief. A railway
crisis turned their thoughts in the same direction. The provincial
authorities had recently arranged for the building of a narrow-gauge
road from one end of the island to the other. It was agreed that the
contractors should be paid 5000 pounds a mile in provincial debentures,
but without any stipulation as to the total length, so that the builders
caused the railway to meander and zigzag freely in search of lower
grades or long paying stretches. In 1873, which was everywhere a year of
black depression, it was found that these debentures, which were pledged
by the contractors to a local bank for advances, could not be sold
except at a heavy loss. The directors of the bank were influential in
the Government of the province. It was not surprising, therefore,
that the government soon opened negotiations with Ottawa. The Dominion
authorities offered generous terms, financing the land purchase scheme,
and taking over the railway. Some of the islanders made bitter charges,
but the Legislature confirmed the agreement, and on July 1, 1873, Prince
Edward Island entered Confederation.

While Prince Edward Island was deciding to come in, Nova Scotia was
straining every nerve to get out. There was no question that Nova
Scotia had been brought into the union against its will. The provincial
Legislature in 1866, it is true, backed Tupper. But the people backed
Howe, who thereupon went to London to protest against the inclusion of
Nova Scotia without consulting the electors, but he was not heeded.
The passing of the Act only redoubled the agitation. In the provincial
election of 1867, the anti-Confederates carried thirty-six out of
thirty-eight seats. In the federal election Tupper was the only union
candidate returned in nineteen seats contested. A second delegation was
sent to London to demand repeal. Tupper crossed the ocean to counter
this effort and was successful. Then he sought out Howe, urged that
further agitation was useless and could only bring anarchy or, what
both counted worse, a movement for annexation to the United States,
and pressed him to use his influence to allay the storm. Howe gave way;
unfortunately for his own fame, he went further and accepted a seat in
the federal Cabinet. Many of his old followers kept up the fight, but
others decided to make a bargain with necessity. Macdonald agreed to
give the province "better terms," and the Dominion assumed a larger part
of its debt. The bitterness aroused by Tupper's high-handed procedure
lingered for many a day; but before the first Parliament was over,
repeal had ceased to be a practical issue.

Union could never be real so long as leagues of barren, unbroken
wilderness separated the maritime from the central provinces. Free
intercourse, ties of trade, knowledge which would sweep away prejudice,
could not come until a railway had spanned this wilderness. In the
fifties plans had been made for a main trunk line to run from Halifax
to the Detroit River. This ambitious scheme proved too great for the
resources of the separate provinces, but sections of the road were
built in each province. As a condition of Confederation, the Dominion
Government undertook to fill in the long gaps. Surveys were begun
immediately; and by 1876, under the direction of Sandford Fleming, an
engineer of eminence, the Intercolonial Railway was completed. It never
succeeded in making ends meet financially, but it did make ends meet
politically. In great measure it achieved the purpose of national
solidification for which it was mainly designed.

Meanwhile the bounds of the Dominion were being pushed westward to the
Pacific. The old province of Canada, as the heir of New France, had
vague claims to the western plains, but the Hudson's Bay Company was in
possession. The Dominion decided to buy out its rights and agreed, in
1869, to pay the Company 300,000 pounds for the transfer of its lands
and exclusive privileges, the Company to retain its trading posts and
two sections in every township. So far all went well. But the Canadian
Government, new to the tasks of empire and not as efficient in
administration as it should have been, overlooked the necessity of
consulting the wishes and the prejudices of the men on the spot. It was
not merely land and buffalo herds which were being transferred but also
sovereignty over a people.

In the valley of the Red River there were some twelve thousand metis,
or half-breeds, descendants of Indian mothers and French or Scottish
fathers. The Dominion authorities intended to give them a large share in
their own government but neglected to arrange for a formal conference.
The metis were left to gather their impression of the character and
intentions of the new rulers from indiscreet and sometimes overbearing
surveyors and land seekers. In 1869, under the leadership of Louis
Riel, the one man of education in the settlement, able but vain and
unbalanced, and with the Hudson's Bay officials looking on unconcerned,
the metis decided to oppose being made "the colony of a colony." The
Governor sent out from Ottawa was refused entrance, and a provisional
Government under Riel assumed control. The Ottawa authorities first
tried persuasion and sent a commission of three, Donald A. Smith
(afterwards Lord Strathcona), Colonel de Salaberry, and Vicar General
Thibault. Smith was gradually restoring unity and order, when the act
of Riel in shooting Thomas Scott, an Ontario settler and a member of the
powerful Orange order, set passions flaring. Mgr. Tache, the Catholic
bishop of the diocese, on his return aided in quieting the metis.
Delegates were sent by the Provisional Government to Ottawa, and, though
not officially recognized, they influenced the terms of settlement. An
expedition under Colonel Wolseley marched through the wilderness north
of Lake Superior only to find that Riel and his lieutenants had fled. By
the Manitoba Act the Red River country was admitted to Confederation as
a self-governing province, under the name of Manitoba, while the country
west to the Rockies was given territorial status. The Indian tribes were
handled with tact and justice, but though for the time the danger of
armed resistance had passed, the embers of discontent were not wholly

The extension of Canadian sovereignty beyond the Rockies came about in
quieter fashion. After Mackenzie had shown the way, Simon Fraser and
David Thompson and other agents of the NorthWest Company took up the
work of exploration and fur trading. With the union of the two rival
companies in 1821, the Hudson's Bay Company became the sole authority
on the Pacific coast. Settlers straggled in slowly until, in the late
fifties, the discovery of rich placer gold on the Fraser and later
in the Cariboo brought tens of thousands of miners from Australia and
California, only to drift away again almost as quickly when the sands
began to fail.

Local governments had been established both in Vancouver Island and on
the mainland. They were joined in a single province in 1866. One of the
first acts of the new Legislature was to seek consolidation with the
Dominion. Inspired by an enthusiastic Englishman, Alfred Waddington,
who had dreamed for years of a transcontinental railway, the province
stipulated that within ten years Canada should complete a road from the
Pacific to a junction with the railways of the East. These terms were
considered presumptuous on the part of a little settlement of ten or
fifteen thousand whites; but Macdonald had faith in the resources of
Canada and in what the morrow would bring forth. The bargain was made;
and British Columbia entered the Confederation on July 1, 1871.

East and West were now staked out. Only the Far North remained outside
the bounds of the Dominion and this was soon acquired. In 1879 the
British Government transferred to Canada all its rights and claims over
the islands in the Arctic Archipelago and all other British territory
in North America save Newfoundland and its strip of Labrador. From the
Atlantic to the Pacific, and from the forty-ninth parallel to the North
Pole, now all was Canadian soil.

Confederation brought new powers and new responsibilities and thrust
Canada into the field of foreign affairs. It was with slow and groping
steps that the Dominion advanced along this new path. Then--as now--for
Canada foreign relations meant first and foremost relations with her
great neighbor to the south. The likelihood of war had passed. The need
for closer trade relations remained. When the Reciprocity Treaty was
brought to an end, on March 17, 1866, Canada at first refrained from
raising her tariff walls. "The provinces," as George Brown declared in
1874, "assumed that there were matters existing in 1865-66 to trouble
the spirit of American statesmen for the moment, and they waited
patiently for the sober second thought which was very long in
coming, but in the meantime Canada played a good neighbor's part, and
incidentally served her own ends, by continuing to grant the United
States most of the privileges which had been given under the treaty free
navigation and free goods, and, subject to a license fee, access to the

It was over these fisheries that friction first developed.* Canadian
statesmen were determined to prevent poaching on the inshore fisheries,
both because poaching was poaching and because they considered the
fishery privileges the best makeweight in trade negotiations with the
United States. At first American vessels were admitted on payment of a
license fee; but when, on the increase of the fee, many vessels tried to
fish inshore without permission, the license system was abolished, and
in 1870 a fleet of revenue cruisers began to police the coast waters.
American fishermen chafed at exclusion from waters they had come to
consider almost their own, and there were many cases of seizure and
of angry charge and countercharge. President Grant, in his message to
Congress in 1870, denounced the policy of the Canadian authorities as
arbitrary and provocative. Other issues between the two countries were
outstanding as well. Canada had a claim against the United States for
not preventing the Fenian Raids of 1866; and the United States had a
much bigger bill against Great Britain for neglect in permitting the
escape of the Alabama. Some settlement of these disputed matters was
necessary; and it was largely through the activities of a Canadian
banker and politician, Sir John Rose, that an agreement was reached to
submit all the issues to a joint commission.

     * See "The Path of Empire".

Macdonald was offered and accepted with misgivings a post as one of the
five British Commissioners. He pressed the traditional Canadian policy
of offering fishery for trade privileges but found no backing in this
or other matters from his British colleagues, and he met only unyielding
opposition from the American Commissioners. He fell back, under protest,
on a settlement of narrower scope, which permitted reciprocity in
navigation and bonding privileges, free admission of Canadian and
Newfoundland fish to United States markets and of American fishermen to
Canadian and Newfoundland waters, and which provided for a subsidiary
commission to fix the amount to be paid by the United States for the
surplus advantage thus received. The Fenian Raids claims were not even
considered, and Macdonald was angered by this indifference on the part
of his British colleagues. "They seem to have only one thing in their
minds," he reported privately to Ottawa, "that is, to go home to England
with a treaty in their pocket, settling everything, no matter at what
cost to Canada." Yet when the time came for the Canadian Parliament to
decide whether to ratify the fishery clauses of the Treaty of Washington
in which the conclusions of the commission were embodied, Macdonald, in
spite of the unpopularity of the bargain in Canada, "urged Parliament
to accept the treaty, accept it with all its imperfections, to accept it
for the sake of peace and for the sake of the great Empire of which
we form a part." The treaty was ratified in 1871 by all the powers
concerned; and the stimulus to the peaceful settlement of international
disputes given by the Geneva Tribunal which followed* justified the
subordination of Canada's specific interests.

     * See "The Path of Empire"

A change in party now followed in Canada, but the new Government under
Alexander Mackenzie was as fully committed as the Government of Sir
John Macdonald to the policy of bartering fishery for trade advantage.
Canada therefore proposed that instead of carrying out the provisions
for a money settlement, the whole question should be reopened. The
Administration at Washington was sympathetic. George Brown was appointed
along with the British Ambassador, Sir Edward Thornton, to open
negotiations. Under Brown's energetic leadership a settlement of all
outstanding issues was drafted in 1874, which permitted freedom of trade
in natural and in most manufactured products for twenty-one years, and
settled fishery, coasting trade, navigation, and minor boundary
issues. But diplomats proposed, and the United States Senate disposed.
Protectionist feeling was strong at Washington, and the currency
problem absorbing, and hence this broad and statesmanlike essay in
neighborliness could not secure an hour's attention. This plan having
failed, the Canadian Government fell back on the letter of the treaty.
A Commission which consisted of the Honorable E. H. Kellogg representing
the United States, Sir Alexander T. Galt representing Canada, and the
Belgian Minister to Washington, M. Delfosse, as chairman, awarded Canada
and Newfoundland $5,500,000 as the excess value of the fisheries for
the ten years the arrangement was to run. The award was denounced in
the United States as absurdly excessive; but a sense of honor and the
knowledge that millions of dollars from the Alabama award were still in
the Treasury moved the Senate finally to acquiesce, though only for the
ten-year term fixed by treaty. In Canada the award was received with
delight as a signal proof that when left to themselves Canadians could
hold their own. The prevailing view was well summed up in a letter from
Mackenzie to the Canadian representative on the Halifax commission,
written shortly before the decision: "I am glad you still have hopes of
a fair verdict. I am doubly anxious to have it, first, because we are
entitled to it and need the dollars, and, second, because it will be the
first Canadian diplomatic triumph, and will justify me in insisting that
we know our neighbors and our own business better than any Englishmen."

Mackenzie's insistence that Canada must take a larger share in the
control of her foreign affairs was too advanced a stand for many of his
more conservative countrymen. For others, he did not go far enough.
The early seventies saw the rise of a short-lived movement in favor
of Canadian independence. To many independence from England seemed the
logical sequel to Confederation; and the rapid expansion of Canadian
territory over half a continent stimulated national pride and national
self-consciousness Opinion in England regarding Canadian independence
was still more outspoken. There imperialism was at its lowest ebb. With
scarcely an exception, English politicians, from Bright to Disraeli,
were hostile or indifferent to connection with the colonies, which
had now ceased to be a trade asset and had clearly become a military

But no concrete problem arose to make the matter a political issue. In
England a growing uneasiness over the protectionist policies and the
colonial ambitions of her European rivals were soon to revive imperial
sentiment. In Canada the ties of affection for the old land, as well
as the inertia fostered by long years of colonial dependence, kept
the independence movement from spreading far. For the time the rising
national spirit found expression in economic rather than political
channels. The protectionist movement which a few years later swept
all Canada before it owed much of its strength to its claim to be the
national policy.

But it was not imperial or foreign relations that dominated public
interest in the seventies. Domestic politics were intensely absorbing
and bitterly contested. Within five years there came about two sudden
and sweeping reversals of power. Parties and Cabinets which had seemed
firmly entrenched were dramatically overthrown by sudden changes in the
personal factors and in the issues of the day. In the summer of 1872 the
second general election for the Dominion was held. The Opposition had
now gained in strength. The Government had ceased to be in any real
sense a coalition, and most of the old Liberal rank and file were
back in the party camp. They had found a vigorous leader in Alexander

Mackenzie had come to Canada from Scotland in 1842 as a lad of twenty.
He worked at his trade as a stonemason, educated himself by wide
reading and constant debating, became a successful contractor and,
after Confederation, had proved himself one of the most aggressive
and uncompromising champions of Upper Canada Liberalism. In the first
Dominion Parliament he tacitly came to be regarded as the leader of all
the groups opposed to the Macdonald Administration. He was at the same
time active in the Ontario Legislature since, for the first five
years of Confederation, no law forbade membership in both federal and
provincial Parliaments, and the short sessions of that blessed time
made such double service feasible. Here he was aided by two other men of
outstanding ability, Edward Blake and Oliver Mowat. Blake, the son of
a well-to-do Irishman who had been active in the fight for responsible
government, became Premier of Ontario in 1871 but retired in 1872 when
a law abolishing dual representation made it necessary for him to choose
between Toronto and Ottawa. His place was taken by Mowat, who for
a quarter of a century gave the province thrifty, honest, and
conservatively progressive government.

In spite of the growing forces opposed to him Macdonald triumphed once
more in the election of 1872. Ontario fell away, but Quebec and the
Maritime Provinces stood true. A Conservative majority of thirty or
forty seemed to assure Macdonald another five-year lease of power.
Yet within a year the Pacific Scandal had driven him from office and
overwhelmed him in disgrace.

The Pacific Scandal occurred in connection with the financing of the
railway which the Dominion Government had promised British Columbia,
when that province entered Confederation in 1871, would be built through
to the Pacific coast within ten years. The bargain was good politics
but poor business. It was a rash undertaking for a people of three and
a half millions, with a national revenue of less than twenty million
dollars, to pledge itself to build a railway through the rocky
wilderness north of Lake Superior, through the trackless plains and
prairies of the middle west, and across the mountain ranges that
barred the coast. Yet Macdonald had sufficient faith in the country, in
himself, and in the happy accidents of time--a confidence that won
him the nickname of "Old Tomorrow"--to give the pledge. Then came the
question of ways and means. At first the Government planned to build the
road. On second thoughts, however, it decided to follow the example
set by the United States in the construction of the Union Pacific and
Southern Pacific, and to entrust the work to a private company liberally
subsidized with land and cash. Two companies were organized with a view
to securing the contract, one a Montreal company under Sir Hugh
Allan, the foremost Canadian man of business and the head of the Allan
steamship fleet, and the other a Toronto company under D. L. Macpherson,
who had been concerned in the building of the Grand Trunk. Their rivalry
was intense. After the election of 1872 a strong compromise company was
formed, with Allan at the head, and to this company the contract was

When Parliament met in 1872, a Liberal member, L. S. Huntington, made
the charge that Allan had really been acting on behalf of certain
American capitalists and that he had made lavish contributions to the
Government campaign fund in the recent election. In the course of the
summer these charges were fully substantiated. Allan was proved by his
own correspondence, stolen from his solicitor's office, to have spent
over $350,000, largely advanced by his American allies, in buying the
favor of newspapers and politicians. Nearly half of this amount had been
contributed to the Conservative campaign fund, with the knowledge and
at the instance of Cartier and Macdonald. Macdonald, while unable to
disprove the charges, urged that there was no connection between the
contributions and the granting of the charter. But his defense was not
heeded. A wave of indignation swept the country; his own supporters in
Parliament fell away; and in November, 1873, he resigned. Mackenzie,
who was summoned to form a new Ministry, dissolved Parliament and was
sustained by a majority of two to one.

Mackenzie gave the country honest and efficient administration. Among
his most important achievements were the reform of elections by the
introduction of the secret ballot and the requirement that elections
should be held on a single day instead of being spread over weeks,
a measure of local option in controlling the liquor traffic, and
the establishment of a Canadian Supreme Court and the Royal Military
College--the Canadian West Point. But fate and his own limitations were
against him. He was too absorbed in the details of administration to
have time for the work of a party leader. In his policy of constructing
the Canadian Pacific as a government road, after Allan had resigned his
charter, he manifested a caution and a slowness that brought British
Columbia to the verge of secession. But it was chiefly the world-wide
depression that began in his first year of office, 1873, which proved
his undoing. Trade was stagnant, bankruptcies multiplied, and acute
suffering occurred among the poor in the larger cities. Mackenzie had no
solution to offer except patience and economy; and the Opposition were
freer to frame an enticing policy. The country was turning toward a high
tariff as the solution of its ills. Protection had not hitherto been a
party issue in Canada, and it was still uncertain which party would take
it up. Finally Mackenzie, who was an ardent free trader, and the Nova
Scotia wing of his party triumphed over the protectionists in their own
ranks and made a low tariff the party platform. Macdonald, who had been
prepared to take up free trade if Mackenzie adopted protection, now
boldly urged the high tariff panacea. The promise of work and wages
for all, the appeal to national spirit made by the arguments of
self-sufficiency and fully rounded development, the desire to retaliate
against the United States, which was still deaf to any plea for more
liberal trade relations, swept the country. The Conservative minority
of over sixty was converted into a still greater majority in the general
election of 1878, and the leader whom all men five years before had
considered doomed, returned to power, never to lose it while life

The first task of the new Government, in which Tupper was Macdonald's
chief supporter, was to carry out its high tariff pledges. "Tell us
how much protection you want, gentlemen," said Macdonald to a group of
Ontario manufacturers, "and we'll give you what you need." In the
new tariff needs were rated almost as high as wants. Particularly on
textiles, sugar, and iron and steel products, duties were raised far
beyond the old levels and stimulated investment just as the world-wide
depression which had lasted since 1873 passed away. Canada shared in
the recovery and gave the credit to the well-advertised political patent
medicine taken just before the turn for the better came. For years the
National Policy or "N.P.," as its supporters termed it, had all the
vogue of a popular tonic.

The next task of the Government was to carry through in earnest the
building of the railway to the Pacific. For over a year Macdonald
persisted in Mackenzie's policy of government construction but with the
same slow and unsatisfactory results. Then an opportunity came to enlist
the services of a private syndicate. Four Canadians, Donald A. Smith, a
former Hudson's Bay Company factor, George Stephen, a leading merchant
and banker of Montreal, James J. Hill and Norman W. Kittson, owners of
a small line of boats on the Red River, had joined forces to revive a
bankrupt Minnesota railway.* They had succeeded beyond all parallel, and
the reconstructed road, which later developed into the Great Northern,
made them all rich overnight. This success whetted their appetite for
further western railway building and further millions of rich western
acres in subsidies. They met Macdonald and Tupper half way. By the
bargain completed in 1881 the Canadian Pacific Railway Company undertook
to build and operate the road from the Ottawa Valley to the Pacific
coast, in return for the gift of the completed portions of the road (on
which the Government spent over $37,000,000), a subsidy of $25,000,000
in cash, 25,000,000 selected acres of prairie land, exemption from
taxes, exemption from regulation of rates until ten per cent was earned,
and a promise on the part of the Dominion to charter no western lines
connecting with the United States for twenty years. The terms were
lavish and were fiercely denounced by the Opposition, now under the
leadership of Edward Blake. But the people were too eager for railway
expansion to criticize the terms. The Government was returned to power
in 1882 and the contract held.

     * See "The Railroad Builders", by John Moody (in "The
     Chronicles of America").

The new company was rich in potential resources but weak in available
cash. Neither in New York nor in London could purse strings be loosened
for the purpose of building a road through what the world considered
a barren and Arctic wilderness. But in the faith and vision of the
president, George Stephen, and the ruthless energy of the general
manager, William Van Horne, American born and trained, the Canadian
Pacific had priceless assets. Aided in critical times by further
government loans, they carried the project through, and by 1886, five
years before the time fixed by their contract, trains were running from
Montreal to Port Moody, opposite Vancouver.

A sudden burst of prosperity followed the building of the road. Settlers
poured into the West by tens of thousands, eastern investors promoted
colonization companies, land values soared, and speculation gave
a fillip to every line of trade. The middle eighties were years of
achievement, of prosperity, and of confident hope. Then prosperity fled
as quickly as it had come. The West failed to hold its settlers. Farm
and factory found neither markets nor profits. The country was bled
white by emigration. Parliamentary contest and racial feud threatened
the hard-won unity. Canada was passing through its darkest hours.

During this period, political friction was incessant. Canada was
striving to solve in the eighties the difficult question which besets
all federations--the limits between federal and provincial power.
Ontario was the chief champion of provincial rights. The struggle was
intensified by the fact that a Liberal Government reigned at Toronto
and a Conservative Government at Ottawa, as well as by the keen personal
rivalry between Mowat and Macdonald. In nearly every constitutional
duel Mowat triumphed. The accepted range of the legislative power of the
provinces was widened by the decisions of the courts, particularly of
the highest court of appeal, the Judicial Committee of the Privy
Council in England. The successful resistance of Ontario and Manitoba
to Macdonald's attempt to disallow provincial laws proved this power,
though conferred by the Constitution, to be an unwieldy weapon. By the
middle nineties the veto had been virtually abandoned.

More serious than these political differences was the racial feud that
followed the second Riel Rebellion. For a second time the Canadian
Government failed to show the foresight and the sympathy required
in dealing with an isolated and backward people. The valley of the
Saskatchewan, far northwest of the Red River, was the scene of the new
difficulty. Here thousands of metis, or French half-breeds, had settled.
The passing of the buffalo, which had been their chief subsistence, and
the arrival of settlers from the East caused them intense alarm. They
pressed the Government for certain grants of land and for the retention
of the old French custom of surveying the land along the river front
in deep narrow strips, rather than according to the chessboard pattern
taken over by Canada from the United States. Red tape, indifference,
procrastination, rather than any illwill, delayed the redress of the
grievances of the half-breeds. In despair they called Louis Riel back
from his exile in Montana. With his arrival the agitation acquired a new
and dangerous force. Claiming to be the prophet of a new religion, he
put himself at the head of his people and, in the spring of 1885, raised
the flag of revolt. His military adviser, Gabriel Dumont, an old buffalo
hunter, was a natural-born general, and the half-breeds were good shots
and brave fighters. An expedition of Canadian volunteers was rushed
west, and the rebellion was put down quickly, but not without some hard
fighting and gallant strokes and counterstrokes.

The racial passions roused by this conflict, however, did not pass so
quickly. The fate to be meted out to Riel was the burning question.
Ontario saw in him the murderer of Scott and an ambitious plotter who
had twice stirred up armed rebellion. Quebec saw in him a man of French
blood, persecuted because he had stood up manfully for the undoubted
rights of his kinsmen. Today experts agree that Riel was insane and
should have been spared the gallows on this if on no other account. But
at the moment the plea of insanity was rejected. The Government made
up for its laxity before the rebellion by severity after it; and in
November, 1885, Riel was sent to the scaffold. Bitterness rankled in
many a French-Canadian heart for long years after; and in Ontario, where
the Orange order was strongly entrenched, a faction threatened "to smash
Confederation into its original fragments" rather than submit to "French

Racial and religious passions, once aroused, soon found new fuel to feed
upon. Honore Mercier, a brilliant but unscrupulous leader who had ridden
to power in the province of Quebec on the Riel issue, roused Protestant
ire by restoring estates which had been confiscated at the conquest in
1763 to the Jesuits and other Roman Catholic authorities, in proportions
which the act provided were to be determined by "Our Holy Father the
Pope." In Ontario restrictions began to be imposed on the freedom of
French-Canadian communities on the border to make French the sole or
dominant tongue in the schoolroom. A little later the controversy was
echoed in Manitoba in the repeal by a determined Protestant majority
of the denominational school privileges hitherto enjoyed by the Roman
Catholic minority.

Economic discontent was widespread. It was a time of low and falling
prices. Farmers found the American market barred, the British market
flooded, the home market stagnant. The factories stimulated by the "N.
P." lacked the growing market they had hoped for. In the West climatic
conditions not yet understood, the monopoly of the Canadian Pacific, and
the competition of the States to the south, which still had millions of
acres of free land, brought settlement to a standstill. From all parts
of Canada the "exodus" to the United States continued until by 1890
there were in that country more than one-third as many people of
Canadian birth or descent as in Canada itself.

It was not surprising that in these extremities men were prepared to
make trial of drastic remedies. Nor was it surprising that it was
beyond the borders of Canada itself that they sought the unity and the
prosperity they had not found at home. Many looked to Washington, some
for unrestricted trade, a few for political union. Others looked to
London, hoping for a revival of the old imperial tariff preferences or
for some closer political union which would bring commercial advantages
in its train.

The decade from 1885 to 1895 stands out in the record of the relations
of the English-speaking peoples as a time of constant friction, of petty
pin pricks, of bluster and retaliation. The United States was not in
a neighborly mood. The memories of 1776, of 1812, and of 1861 had
been kept green by exuberant comment in school textbooks and by
"spread-eagle" oratory. The absence of any other rivalry concentrated
American opposition on Great Britain, and isolation from Old World
interests encouraged a provincial lack of responsibility. The sins of
England in Ireland had been kept to the fore by the agitation of Parnell
and Davitt and Dillon; and the failure of Home Rule measures, twice in
this decade, stirred Irish-American antagonism. The accession to power
of Lord Salisbury, reputed to hold the United States in contempt, and
later the foolish indiscretion of Sir Lionel Sackville-West, British
Ambassador at Washington, in intervening in a guileless way in the
presidential election of 1888, did as much to nourish ill-will in the
United States as the dominance of Blaine and other politicians who
cultivated the gentle art of twisting the tail of the British lion.

Protection, with the attitude of economic warfare which it involved
and bred, was then at its height. Much of this hostility was directed
against Canada, as the nearest British territory. The Dominion, on
its part, while persistently seeking closer trade relations, sometimes
sought this end in unwise ways. Many good people in Canada were
still fighting the War of 1812. The desire to use the inshore fishery
privileges as a lever to force tariff reductions led to a rigid and
literal enforcement of Canadian rights and claims which provoked
widespread anger in New England. The policy of discrimination in canal
tolls in favor of Canadian as against United States ports was none the
less irritating because it was a retort in kind. And when United States
customs officials levied a tax on the tin cans containing fish free
by treaty, Canadian officials had retaliated by taxing the baskets
containing duty-free peaches.

The most important specific issue was once more the northeastern
fisheries. As a result of notice given by the United States the
fisheries clauses of the Treaty of Washington ceased to operate on
July 1, 1885. Canada, for the sake of peace, admitted American fishing
vessels for the rest of that season, though Canadian fish at once became
dutiable. No further grace was given. The Canadian authorities rigidly
enforced the rules barring inshore fishing, and in addition denied port
privileges to deep-sea fishing vessels and forbade American boats to
enter Canadian ports for the purpose of trans-shipping crews, purchasing
bait, or shipping fish in bond to the United States. Every time a
Canadian fishery cruiser and a Gloucester skipper had a difference of
opinion as to the exact whereabouts of the three-mile limit, the press
of both countries echoed the conflict. Congress in 1887 empowered the
President to retaliate by excluding Canadian vessels and goods from
American ports. Happily this power was not used. Cleveland and Secretary
of State Bayard were genuinely anxious to have the issue settled. A
joint commission drew up a well-considered plan, but in the face of
a presidential election the Senate gave it short shrift. Fortunately,
however, a modus vivendi was arranged by which American vessels were
admitted to port privileges on payment of a license. Healing time, a
healthful lack of publicity, changing fishing methods, and Canada's
abandonment of her old policy of using fishing privileges as a
makeweight, gradually eased the friction.

Yet if it was not the fishing question, there was sure to be some other
issue--bonding privileges, Canadian Pacific interloping in western rail
hauls, tariff rates, or canal tolls-to disturb the peace. Why not seek
a remedy once for all, men now began to ask, by ending the unnatural
separation between the halves of the continent which God and geography
had joined and history and perverse politicians had kept asunder?

The political union of Canada and the United States has always found
advocates. In the United States a large proportion, perhaps a majority,
of the people have until recently considered that the absorption of
Canada into the Republic was its manifest destiny, though there has been
little concerted effort to hasten fate. In Canada such course of action
has found much less backing. United Empire Loyalist traditions, the ties
with Britain constantly renewed by immigration, the dim stirrings of
national sentiment, resentment against the trade policy of the United
States, have all helped to turn popular sentiment into other channels.
Only at two periods, in 1849, and forty years later, has there been any
active movement for annexation.

In the late eighties, as in the late forties, commercial depression and
racial strife prepared the soil for the seed of annexation. The chief
sower in the later period was a brilliant Oxford don, Goldwin Smith,
whose sympathy with the cause of the North had brought him to the United
States. In 1871, after a brief residence at Cornell, he made his home
in Toronto, with high hopes of stimulating the intellectual life and
molding the political future of the colony. He so far forsook the strait
"Manchester School" of his upbringing as to support Macdonald's campaign
for protection in 1878. But that was the limit of his adaptability. To
the end he remained out of touch with Canadian feeling. His campaign for
annexation, or for the reunion of the English-speaking peoples on this
continent, as he preferred to call it, was able and persistent but moved
only a narrow circle of readers. It was in vain that he offered the
example of Scotland's prosperity after her union with her southern
neighbor, or insisted that Canada was cut into four distinct and
unrelated sections each of which could find its natural complement
only in the territory to the south. Here and there an editor or a minor
politician lent some support to his views, but the great mass of the
people strongly condemned the movement. There was to be no going back to
the parting of the ways: the continent north of Mexico was henceforth to
witness two experiments in democracy, not one unwieldy venture.

Commercial union was a half-way measure which found more favor. A North
American customs union had been supported by such public men as
Stephen A. Douglas, Horace Greeley, and William H. Seward, by official
investigators such as Taylor, Derby, and Larned, and by committees of
the House of Representatives in 1862, 1876, 1880, and 1884. In Canada it
had been endorsed before Confederation by Isaac Buchanan, the father of
the protection movement, and by Luther Holton and John Young. Now for
the first time it became a practical question. Erastus Wiman, a Canadian
who had found fortune in the United States, began in 1887 a vigorous
campaign in its favor both in Congress and among the Canadian public.
Goldwin Smith lent his dubious aid, leading Toronto and Montreal
newspapers joined the movement, and Ontario farmers' organizations swung
to its support. But the agitation proved abortive owing to the triumph
of high protection in the presidential election of 1888; and in Canada
the red herring of the Jesuits' Estates controversy was drawn across the

Yet the question would not down. The political parties were compelled to
define their attitude. The Liberals had been defeated once more in the
election of 1887, where the continuance of the National Policy and of
aid to the Canadian Pacific had been the issue. Their leader, Edward
Blake, had retired disheartened. His place had been taken by a young
Quebec lieutenant, Wilfrid Laurier, who had won fame by his courageous
resistance to clerical aggression in his own province and by his
indictment of the Macdonald Government in the Riel issue. A veteran
Ontario Liberal, Sir Richard Cartwright, urged the adoption of
commercial union as the party policy. Laurier would not go so far, and
the policy of unrestricted reciprocity was made the official programme
in 1888. Commercial union had involved not only absolute free trade
between Canada and the United States but common excise rates, a common
tariff against the rest of the world, and the division of customs and
excise revenues in some agreed proportion. Unrestricted reciprocity
would mean free trade between the two countries, but with each left free
to levy what rates it pleased on the products of other countries.

When in 1891 the time came round once more for a general election, it
was apparent that reciprocity in some form would be the dominant issue.
Though the Republicans were in power in the United States and though
they had more than fulfilled their high tariff pledges in the McKinley
Act, which hit Canadian farm products particularly hard, there was some
chance of terms being made. Reciprocity, as a form of tariff bargaining,
really fits in better with protection than with free trade, and Blaine,
Harrison's Secretary of State, was committed to a policy of trade
treaties and trade bargaining. In Canada the demand for the United
States market had grown with increasing depression. The Liberals, with
their policy of unrestricted reciprocity, seemed destined to reap the
advantage of this rising tide of feeling. Then suddenly, on the eve of
the election, Sir John Macdonald sought to cut the ground from under
the feet of his opponents by the announcement that in the course of
a discussion of Newfoundland matters the United States had taken the
initiative in suggesting to Canada a settlement of all outstanding
difficulties, fisheries, coasting trade, and, on the basis of a renewal
and extension of the Reciprocity Treaty of 1854. This policy promised to
meet all legitimate economic needs of the country and at the same time
avoid the political dangers of the more sweeping policy. Its force was
somewhat weakened by the denials of Secretary Blaine that he had taken
the initiative or made any definite promises. As the election drew near
and revelations of the annexationist aims of some supporters of the
wider trade policy were made, the Government made the loyalty cry its
strong card. "The old man, the old flag, and the old policy," saved the
day. In Ontario and Quebec the two parties were evenly divided, but
the West and the Maritime Provinces, the "shreds and patches of
Confederation," as Sir Richard Cartwright, too ironic and vitriolic in
his speech for political success, termed them, gave the Government a
working majority, which was increased in by-elections.

Again in power, the Government made a formal attempt to carry out its
pledges. Two pilgrimages were made to Washington, but the negotiators
were too far apart to come to terms. With the triumph of the Democrats
in 1899. and the lowering of the tariff on farm products which followed,
there came a temporary improvement in trade relations. But the tariff
reaction and the silver issue brought back the Republicans and led to
that climax in agricultural protection, the Dingley Act of 1897, which
killed among Canadians all reciprocity longings and compelled them to
look to themselves for salvation. Although Canadians were anxious for
trade relations, they were not willing to be bludgeoned into accepting
one-sided terms. The settlement of the Bering Sea dispute in 1898 by
a board of arbitration, which ruled against the claims of the United
States but suggested a restriction of pelagic sealing by agreement,
removed one source of friction. Hardly was that out of the way when
Cleveland's Venezuela message brought Great Britain and the United
States once more to the verge of war. In such a war Canadians knew they
would be the chief sufferers, but in 1895, as in 1862, they did not
flinch and stood ready to support the mother country in any outcome. The
Venezuela episode stirred Canadian feeling deeply, revived interest in
imperialism, and ended the last lingering remnants of any sentiment for
annexation. As King Edward I was termed "the hammer of the Scots," so
McKinley and Cleveland became "the hammer of the Canadians," welding
them into unity.

While most Canadians were ceasing to look to Washington for relief,
an increasing number were looking once more to London. The revival of
imperial sentiment which began in the early eighties, seemed to promise
new and greater possibilities for the colonies overseas. Political
union in the form of imperial federation and commercial union through
reciprocal tariff preferences were urged in turn as the cure for all
Canada's ills. Neither solution was adopted. The movement greatly
influenced the actual trend of affairs, but there was to be no mere
turning back to the days of the old empire.

The period of laissez faire in imperial matters, of Little Englandism,
drew to a close in the early eighties. Once more men began to value
empire, to seek to annex new territory overseas, and to bind closer the
existing possessions. The world was passing through a reaction destined
to lead to the earth-shaking catastrophe of 1914. The ideals of peace
and free trade preached and to some degree practiced in the fifties and
sixties were passing under an eclipse. In Europe the swing to free
trade had halted, and nation after nation was becoming aggressively
protectionist. The triumph of Prussia in the War of 1870 revived and
intensified military rivalry and military preparations on the part of
all the powers of Europe. A new scramble for colonies and possessions
overseas began, with the late comers nervously eager to make up for time
lost. In this reaction Britain shared. Protection raised its head again
in England; only by tariffs and tariff bargaining, the Fair Traders
insisted, could the country hold its own. Odds and ends of territory
overseas were annexed and a new value was attached to the existing
colonies. The possibility of obtaining from them military support and
trade privileges, the desirability of returning to the old ideal of
a self-contained and centralized empire, appealed now to influential
groups. This goal might be attained by different paths. From the United
Kingdom came the policy of imperial federation and from the colonies the
policy of preferential trade as means to this end.

In 1884 the Imperial Federation League was organized in London with
important men of both parties in its ranks. It urged the setting up
in London of a new Parliament, in which the United Kingdom and all the
colonies where white men predominated would be represented according to
population. This Parliament would have power to frame policies, to make
laws, and to levy taxes for the whole Empire. To the colonist it offered
an opportunity to share in the control of foreign affairs; to the
Englishman it offered the support of colonies fast growing to power
and the assurance of one harmonious policy for all the Empire. Both in
Britain and overseas the movement received wide support and seemed for a
time likely to sweep all before it. Then a halt came.

Imperial federation had been brought forward a generation too late to
succeed. The Empire had been developing upon lines which could not be
made to conform to the plans for centralized parliamentary control.
It was not possible to go back to the parting of the ways. Slowly,
unconsciously, unevenly, yet steadily, the colonies had been ceasing
to be dependencies and had been becoming nations. With Canada in the
vanguard they had been taking over one power after another which had
formerly been wielded by the Government of the United Kingdom. It
was not likely that they would relinquish these powers or that
self-governing colonies would consent to be subordinated to a Parliament
in London in which each would have only a fragmentary representation.

The policy of imperial cooperation which began to take shape during
this period sought to reconcile the existing desire for continuing the
connection with the mother country with the growing sense of national
independence. This policy involved two different courses of action:
first, the colonies must assert and secure complete self-government on
terms of equality with the United Kingdom; second, they must unite as
partners or allies in carrying out common tasks and policies and in
building up machinery for mutual consultation and harmonious action.

It was chiefly in matters of trade and tariffs that progress was made
in the direction of self-government. Galt had asserted in 1859 Canada's
right to make her own tariffs, and Macdonald twenty years later had
carried still further the policy of levying duties upon English as well
as foreign goods. That economic point was therefore settled, but it was
a slower matter to secure control of treaty-making powers. When Galt and
Huntington urged this right in 1871 and when Blake and Mackenzie pressed
it ten years later, Macdonald opposed such a demand as equivalent to
an effort for independence. Yet he himself was compelled to change
his conservative attitude. After 1877 Canada ceased to be bound by
commercial treaties made by the United Kingdom, unless it expressly
desired to be included. In 1879 Galt was sent to Europe to negotiate
Canadian trade agreements with France and Spain; and in the next decade
Tupper carried negotiations with France to a successful conclusion,
though the treaty was formally concluded between France and Britain.
By 1891 the Canadian Parliament could assert with truth that "the
self-governing colonies are recognized as possessing the right to define
their respective fiscal relations to all countries." But Canada as yet
took no step toward assuming a share in her own naval defense, though
the Australasian colonies made a beginning, along colonial rather than
national lines, by making a money contribution to the British navy.

The second task confronting the policy of imperial cooperation was a
harder one. For a partnership between colony and mother country there
were no precedents. Centralized empires there had been; colonies there
had been which had grown into independent states; but there was no
instance of an empire ceasing to be an empire, of colonies becoming
self-governing states and then turning to closer and cooperative union
with one another and with the mother country.

Along this unblazed trail two important advances were made. The
initiative in the first came from Canada. In 1880 a High Commissioner
was appointed to represent Canada in London. The appointment of Sir
Alexander Galt and the policy which it involved were significant. The
Governor-General had ceased to be a real power; he was becoming the
representative not of the British Government but of the King; and, like
the King, he governed by the advice of the responsible ministers in the
land where he resided. His place as the link between the Government of
Canada and the Government of Britain was now taken in part by the High
Commissioner. The relationship of Canada to the United Kingdom was
becoming one of equality not of subordination.

The initiative in the second step came from Britain, though Canada's
leaders gave the movement its final direction. Imperial federationists
urged Lord Salisbury to summon a conference of the colonies to discuss
the question they had at heart. Salisbury doubted the wisdom of such
a policy but agreed in 1887 to call a conference to discuss matters of
trade and defense. Every self-governing colony sent representatives to
this first Colonial Conference; but little immediate fruit came of its
sessions. In 1894 a second Conference was held at Ottawa, mainly to
discuss intercolonial preferential trade. Only a beginning had been
made, but already the Conferences were coming to be regarded as meetings
of independent governments and not, as the federationists had hoped,
the germ of a single dominating new government. The Imperial Federation
League began to realize that it was making little progress and dissolved
in 1893.

Preferential trade was the alternative path to imperial federation.
Macdonald had urged it in 1879 when he found British resentment strong
against his new tariff. Again, ten years later, when reciprocity with
the United States was finding favor in Canada, imperialists urged the
counterclaims of a policy of imperial reciprocity, of special tariff
privileges to other parts of the Empire. The stumbling-block in the
way of such a policy was England's adherence to free trade. For the
protectionist colonies preference would mean only a reduction of an
existing tariff. For the United Kingdom, however, it would mean a
complete reversal of fiscal policy and the abandonment of free trade
for protection in order to make discrimination possible. Few Englishmen
believed such a reversal possible, though every trade depression revived
talk of "fair trade" or tariffs for bargaining purposes. A further
obstacle to preferential trade lay in the existence of treaties with
Belgium and Germany, concluded in the sixties, assuring them all tariff
privileges granted by any British colony to Great Britain or to sister
colonies. In 1892 the Liberal Opposition in Canada indicated the line
upon which action was eventually to be taken by urging a resolution in
favor of granting an immediate and unconditional preference on British
goods as a step toward freer trade and in the interest of the Canadian

Little came of looking either to London or to Washington. Until the
middle nineties Canada remained commercially stagnant and politically
distracted. Then came a change of heart and a change of policy. The
Dominion realized at last that it must work out its own salvation.

In March, 1891, Sir John Macdonald was returned to office for the sixth
time since Confederation, but he was not destined to enjoy power long.
The winter campaign had been too much for his weakened constitution,
and he died on June 6, 1891. No man had been more hated by his political
opponents, no man more loved by his political followers. Today the
hatred has long since died, and the memory of Sir John Macdonald has
become the common pride of Canadians of every party, race, and creed.
He had done much to lower the level of Canadian politics; but this fault
was forgiven when men remembered his unfailing courage and confidence,
his constructive vision and fertility of resource, his deep and
unquestioned devotion to his country.

The Conservative party had with difficulty survived the last election.
Deprived of the leader who for so long had been half its force, the
party could not long delay its break-up. No one could be found to fill
Macdonald's place. The helm was taken in turn by J. J. C. Abbott, "the
confidential family lawyer of the party," by Sir John Thompson, solid
and efficient though lacking in imagination, and by Sir Mackenzie
Bowell, an Ontario veteran. Abbott was forced to resign because of ill
health; Thompson died in office; and Bowell was forced out by a revolt
within the party. Sir Charles Tupper, then High Commissioner in London,
was summoned to take up the difficult task. But it proved too great for
even his fighting energy. The party was divided. Gross corruption in the
awarding of public contracts had been brought to light. The farmers were
demanding a lower tariff. The leader of the Opposition was proving to
have all the astuteness and the mastery of his party which had marked
Macdonald and a courage in his convictions which promised well. Defeat
seemed inevitable unless a new issue which had invaded federal politics,
the Manitoba school question, should prove more dangerous to the
Opposition than to the forces of the Government.

The Manitoba school question was an echo of the racial and religious
strife which followed the execution of Riel and in which the Jesuits'
Estates controversy was an episode. In the early days of the province,
when it was still uncertain which religion would be dominant among
the settlers, a system of state-aided denominational schools had been
established. In 1890 the Manitoba Government swept this system away
and replaced it by a single system of non-sectarian and state-supported
schools which were practically the same as the old Protestant schools.
Any Roman Catholic who did not wish to send his children to such a
school was thus compelled to pay for the maintenance of a parochial
school as well as to pay taxes for the public schools. A provision of
the Confederation Act, inserted at the wish of the Protestant minority
in Quebec, safeguarded the educational privileges of religious
minorities. A somewhat similar clause had been inserted in the Manitoba
Act of 1870. To this protection the Manitoba minority now appealed. The
courts held that the province had the right to pass the law but also
that the Dominion Government had the constitutional right to pass
remedial legislation restoring in some measure the privileges taken
away. The issue was thus forced into federal politics.

A curious situation then developed. The leader of the Government,
Sir Mackenzie Bowell, was a prominent Orangeman. The leader of the
Opposition, Wilfrid Laurier, was a Roman Catholic. The Government, after
a vain attempt to induce the province to amend its measure, decided
to pass a remedial act compelling it to restore to the Roman Catholics
their rights. The policy of the Opposition leader was awaited with
keen expectancy. Strong pressure was brought upon Laurier by the
Roman Catholic hierarchy of Quebec. Most men expected a temporizing
compromise. Yet the leader of the Opposition came out strongly and
flatly against the Government's measure. He agreed that a wrong had been
done but insisted that compulsion could not right it and promised that,
if in power, he would follow the path of conciliation. At once all the
wrath of the hierarchy was unloosed upon him, and all its influence was
thrown to the support of the Government. Yet when the Liberals blocked
the Remedial Bill by obstructing debate until the term of Parliament
expired, and forced an election on this issue in the summer of 1896,
Quebec gave a big majority to Laurier, while Manitoba stood behind the
party which had tried to coerce it. The country over, the Liberals had
gained a decisive majority. The day of new leaders and anew policy had
dawned at last.


Wilfrid Laurier was summoned to form his first Cabinet in July, 1896.
For eighteen years previous to that time the Liberals had sat in what
one of their number used to call "the cold shades of Opposition." For
half of that term Laurier had been leader of the party, confined to
the negative task of watching and criticizing the administration of his
great predecessor and of the four premiers who followed in almost as
many years. Now he was called to constructive tasks. Fortune favored him
by bringing him to power at the very turn of the tide; but he justified
fortune's favor by so steering the ship of state as to take full
advantage of wind and current. Through four Parliaments, through fifteen
years of office, through the time of fruition of so many long-deferred
hopes, he was to guide the destinies of the nation.

Laurier began his work by calling to his Cabinet not merely the party
leaders in the federal arena but four of the outstanding provincial
Liberals--Oliver Mowat, Premier of Ontario, William S. Fielding, Premier
of Nova Scotia, Andrew G. Blair, Premier of New Brunswick, and, a
few months later, Clifford Sifton of Manitoba. The Ministry was the
strongest in individual capacity that the Dominion had yet possessed.
The prestige of the provincial leaders, all men of long experience and
tested shrewdness, strengthened the Administration in quarters where
it otherwise would have been weak, for there had been many who doubted
whether the untried Liberal party could provide capable administrators.
There had also been many who doubted the expediency of making Prime
Minister a French-Canadian Catholic. Such doubters were reassured by
the presence of Mowat and Fielding, until the Prime Minister himself
had proved the wisdom of the choice. There were others who admitted
Laurier's personal charm and grace but doubted whether he had the
political strength to control a party of conflicting elements and
to govern a country where different race and diverging religious and
sectional interests set men at odds. Here again time proved such fears
to be groundless. Long before Laurier's long term of office had ended,
any distrust was transformed into the charge of his opponents that he
played the dictator. His courtly manners were found not to hide weakness
but to cover strength.

The first task of the new Government was to settle the Manitoba school
question. Negotiations which were at once begun with the provincial
Government were doubtless made easier by the fact that the same party
was in power at Ottawa and at Winnipeg, but it was not this fact alone
which brought agreement. The Laurier Government, unlike its predecessor,
did not insist on the restoration of separate schools. It accepted a
compromise which retained the single system of public schools, but which
provided religious teaching in the last half hour of school and, where
numbers warranted, a teacher of the same faith as the pupils. The
compromise was violently denounced by the Roman Catholic hierarchy
but, except in two cities, where parochial schools were set up, it was
accepted by the laity.

With this thorny question out of the way, the Government turned to
what it recognized as its greatest task, the promotion of the country's
material prosperity. For years industry had been at a standstill.
Exports and imports had ceased to expand; railway building had halted;
emigrants outnumbered immigrants. The West, the center of so many
hopes, the object of so many sacrifices, had not proved the El Dorado so
eagerly sought by fortune hunters and home builders. There were little
over two hundred thousand white men west of the Great Lakes. Homesteads
had been offered freely; but in 1896 only eighteen hundred were taken
up, and less than a third of these by Canadians from the East. The stock
of the Canadian Pacific was selling at fifty. All but a few had begun to
lose faith in the promise of the West.

Then suddenly a change came. The failure of the West to lure pioneers
was not due to poverty of soil or lack of natural riches: its resources
were greater than the most reckless orator had dreamed. It was merely
that its time had not come and that the men in charge of the country's
affairs had not thrown enough energy into the task of speeding the
coming of that time. Now fortune worked with Canada, not against it. The
long and steady fall of prices, and particularly of the prices of farm
products, ended; and a rapid rise began to make farming pay once more.
The good free lands of the United States had nearly all been taken up.
Canada's West was now the last great reserve of free and fertile land.
Improvements in farming methods made it possible to cope with the
peculiar problems of prairie husbandry. British capital, moreover, no
longer found so ready an outlet in the United States, which was now
financing its own development; and it had suffered severe losses in
Argentine smashes and Australian droughts. Capital, therefore, was free
to turn to Canada.

But it was not enough merely to have the resources; it was essential to
display them and to disclose their value. Canada needed millions of
men of the right stock, and fortunately there were millions who needed
Canada. The work of the Government was to put the facts before these
potential settlers. The new Minister of the Interior, Clifford Sifton,
himself a western man, at once began an immigration campaign which has
never been equaled in any country for vigor and practical efficiency.
Canada had hitherto received few settlers direct from the Continent.
Western Europe was now prosperous, and emigrants were few. But eastern
Europe was in a ferment, and thousands were ready to swarm to new homes

The activities of a subsidized immigration agency, the North Atlantic
Trading Company, brought great numbers of these peoples. Foremost in
numbers were the Ruthenians from Galicia. Most distinctive were the
Doukhobors or Spirit Wrestlers of Southern Russia, about ten thousand of
whom were brought to Canada at the instance of Tolstoy and some English
Quakers to escape persecution for their refusal to undertake military
service. The religious fanaticism of the Doukhobors, particularly when
it took the form of midwinter pilgrimages in nature's garb, and the
clannishness of the Ruthenians, who settled in solid blocks, gave rise
to many problems of government and assimilation which taught Canadians
the unwisdom of inviting immigration from eastern or southern Europe.
Ruthenians and Poles, however, continued to come down to the eve of the
Great War, and nearly all settled on western lands. Jewish Poland sent
its thousands who settled in the larger cities, until Montreal had
more Jews than Jerusalem and its Protestant schools held their Easter
holidays in Passover. Italian navvies came also by the thousands, but
mainly as birds of passage; and Greeks and men from the Balkan States
were limited in numbers. Of the three million immigrants who came to
Canada from the beginning of the century to the outbreak of the war,
some eight hundred thousand came from continental Europe, and of
these the Ruthenians, Jews, Italians, and Scandinavians were the most

It was in the United States that Canada made the greatest efforts
to obtain settlers and that she achieved the most striking success.
Beginning in 1897 advertisements were placed in five or six thousand
American farm and weekly newspapers. Booklets were distributed by the
million. Hundreds of farmer delegates were given free trips through
the promised land. Agents were appointed in each likely State, with
sub-agents who were paid a bonus on every actual settler. The first
settlers sent back word of limitless land to be had for a song, and of
No. 1 Northern Wheat that ran thirty or forty bushels to the acre. Soon
immigration from the States began; the trickle became a trek; the trek,
a stampede. In 1896 the immigrants from the United States to Canada had
been so few as not to be recorded; in 1897 there were 2000; in 1899,
12,000; in the fiscal year 1902-03, 50,000; and in 1912-13, 139,000.
The new immigrants proved to be the best of settlers; nearly all were
progressive farmers experienced in western methods and possessed of
capital. The countermovement from Canada to the United States never
wholly ceased, but it slackened and was much more than offset by this
northward rush. Nothing so helped to confirm Canadian confidence in
their own land and to make the outside world share this high estimate as
this unimpeachable evidence from over a million American newcomers who
found in Canada, between 1897 and 1914, greater opportunities than even
the United States could offer. The Ministry then carried its propaganda
to Great Britain. Newspapers, schools, exhibitions were used in ways
which startled the stolid Englishman into attention. Circumstances
played into the hands of the propagandists, who took advantage of the
flow of United States settlers into the West, the Klondike gold fields
rush, the presence of Laurier at the Jubilee festivities at London in
1897, Canada's share in the Boer War. British immigrants rose to 50,000
in 1903-04, to 120,000 in 1907-08, and to 150,000 in 1912-13. From 1897
to the outbreak of the war over 1,100,000 Britishers came to Canada.
Three out of four were English, the rest mainly Scotch; the Irish, who
once had come in tens of thousands and whose descendants still formed
the largest element in the English-speaking peoples of Canada, now
sent only one man for every twelve from England. The gates of Canadian
immigration, however, were not thrown open to all comers. The criminal,
the insane and feeble-minded, the diseased, and others likely to
become public charges, were barred altogether or allowed to remain
provisionally, subject to deportation within three years. Immigrants
sent out by British charitable societies were subjected, after 1908,
to rigid inspection before leaving England. No immigrant was admitted
without sufficient money in his purse to tide over the first few weeks,
unless he were going to farm work or responsible relatives. Asiatics
were restricted by special regulations. Steadily the bars were raised

Not all the 3,000,000 who came to Canada between 1897 and 1914 remained.
Many drifted across the border; many returned to their old homes, their
dreams fulfilled or shattered; yet the vast majority remained. Never
had any country so great a task of assimilation as faced Canada,
with 3,000,000 pouring into a country of 5,000,000 in a dozen years.
Fortunately the great bulk of the newcomers were of the old stocks.

Closely linked with immigration in promoting the prosperity of
the country were the land policy and the railway policy of the
Administration. The system of granting free homesteads to settlers
was continued on an even more generous scale. The 1800 entries for
homesteads in 1896 had become 40,000 ten years later. In 1906 land equal
in area to Massachusetts and Delaware was given away; in 1908 a Wales,
in 1909 five Prince Edward Islands, and in 1910 and 1911 a Belgium, a
Netherlands, and two Montenegros passed from the state to the settler.
Unfortunately not every homesteader became an active farmer, and
production, though mounting fast, could not keep pace with speculation.

Railway building had almost ceased after the completion of the Canadian
Pacific system. Now it revived on a greater scale than ever before. In
the twenty years after 1896 the miles in operation grew from 16,000 to
nearly 40,000. Two new transcontinentals were added, and the older roads
took on a new lease of life. At the end of this period of expansion,
only the United States, Germany, and Russia had railroad mileage
exceeding that of Canada. Much of the building was premature or
duplicated other roads. The scramble for state aid, federal and
provincial, had demoralized Canadian politics. A large part of the notes
the country rashly backed, by the policy of guaranteeing bond issues,
were in time presented for payment. Yet the railway policies of the
period were broadly justified. New country was opened to settlers;
outlets to the sea were provided; capital was obtained in the years when
it was still abundant and cheap; the whole industry of the country
was stimulated; East was bound closer to West and depth was added to

     * During the Great War it became necessary for the Federal
     Government to take over both the National Transcontinental,
     running from Moncton in New Brunswick to Winnipeg, and the
     Canadian Northern, running from ocean to ocean, and to
     incorporate both, along with the Intercolonial, in the
     Canadian National Railways, a system fourteen thousand miles
     in length.

The opening of the West brought new prosperity to every corner of the
East. Factories found growing markets; banks multiplied branches and
business; exports mounted fast and imports faster; closer relations
were formed with London and New York financial interests; mushroom
millionaires, country clubs, city slums, suburban subdivisions,
land booms, grafting aldermen, and all the apparatus of an advanced
civilization grew apace. A new self-confidence became the dominant note
alike of private business and of public policy.

With industrial prosperity, political unity became assured. Canada
became more and more a name of which all her sons were proud. Expansion
brought men of the different provinces together. The Maritime Provinces
first felt fully at one with the rest of Canada when Vancouver and
Winnipeg rather than Boston and New York called their sons. Even
Ontario and Quebec made some advance toward mutual understanding, though
clerical leaders who sought safety for their Church in the isolation
of its people, imperialists who drove a wedge between Canadians by
emphasizing Anglo-Saxon racial ties, and politicians of the baser sort
exploiting race prejudice for their own gain, opened rifts in a society
already seamed by differences of language and creed. In the West unity
was still harder to secure, for men of all countries and of none
poured into a land still in the shaping. The divergent interests of the
farming, free trade West and of the manufacturing, protectionist East
made for friction. Fortunately strong ties held East and West together.
Eastern Canadians or their sons filled most of the strategic posts in
Government and business, in school and church and press in the West.
Transcontinental railways, chartered banks with branches and interests
in every province, political parties organizing their forces from
coast to coast, played their part. Much had been accomplished; but
much remained to be done. With this background of rapid industrial
development and growing national unity, Canada's relations with the
Empire, with her sister democracy across the border, and with foreign
states, took on new importance and divided interest with the changes in
her internal affairs.

From being a state wherein the mother country exercised control and the
colonies yielded obedience the Empire was rapidly being transformed
into a free and equal partnership of independent commonwealths under one
king. Out of the clash of rival theories and conflicting interests a
new ideal and a new reality had developed. The policy of imperial
cooperation--the policy whereby each great colony became independent of
outside control but voluntarily acted in concert with the mother country
and the sister states on matters of common concern--sought to reconcile
liberty and unity, nationhood and empire, to unite what was most
practicable in the aims of the advocates of independence and the
advocates of imperial federation. The movement developed unevenly. At
the outbreak of the Great War, it was still incomplete. The ideal was
not always clearly or consciously held in the Empire itself and was
wholly ignored or misunderstood in Europe and even in the United States.
Yet in twenty years' space it had become dominant in practice and theory
and had built up a new type of political organization, a virtual league
of nations, fruitful for the future ordering of the world.

The three fields in which this new policy was worked out were trade,
defense, and political organization. Canada had asserted her right to
control her tariff and commercial treaty relations as she pleased.
Now she used this freedom to offer, without asking any return in kind,
tariff privileges to the mother country. In the first budget brought
down by the Minister of Finance in the Laurier Cabinet, William S.
Fielding, a reduction, by instalments, of twenty-five per cent in tariff
duties was offered to all countries with rates as low as Canada's--that
is, to the United Kingdom and possibly to the Netherlands and New South
Wales. The reduction was meant both as a fulfilment of the Liberal
party's free trade pledges and as a token of filial good will to
Britain. It was soon found that Belgium and Germany, by virtue of their
special treaty rights, would claim the same privileges as Britain, and
that all other countries with most favored nation clauses could then
demand the same rates. This might serve the free trade aims of the
Fielding tariff but would block its imperial purpose. If this purpose
was to be achieved, these treaties must be denounced. To effect this
was one of the tasks Laurier undertook in his first visit to England in

The Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria, celebrating the sixtieth
anniversary of her reign, was made the occasion for holding the
third Colonial Conference. It was attended by the Premiers of all the
colonies. Among them Wilfrid Laurier, or Sir Wilfrid as he now became,
stood easily preeminent. In the Jubilee festivities, among the crowds in
London streets and the gatherings in court and council, his picturesque
and courtly figure, his unmistakable note of distinction, his silvery
eloquence, and, not least, the fact that this ruler of the greatest of
England's colonies was wholly of French blood, made him the lion of the
hour. In the Colonial Conference, presided over by Joseph Chamberlain,
the new Colonial Secretary, Laurier achieved his immediate purpose. The
British Government agreed to denounce the Belgian and German treaties,
now that the preference granted her came as a free gift and not as part
of a bargain which involved Britain's abandonment of free trade. The
other Premiers agreed to consider whether Canada's preferential
tariff policy could be followed. Chamberlain in vain urged defense and
political policies designed to centralize power in London. He praised
the action of the Australian colonies in contributing money to the
British navy but could get no promise of similar action from the others.
He urged the need of setting up in London an imperial council, with
power somewhat more than advisory and likely "to develop into something
still greater," but for this scheme he elicited little support. After
the Conference Sir Wilfrid visited France and in ringing speeches in
Paris did much to pave the way for the good understanding which later
developed into the entente cordiale.

The glitter and parade of the Jubilee festivities soon gave way to a
sterner phase of empire. For years South Africa had been in ferment
owing to the conflicting interests of narrow, fanatical, often
corrupt Boer leaders, greedy Anglo-Jewish mining magnates, and British
statesmen-Rhodes, Milner, Chamberlain--dominated by the imperial idea
and eager for an "all-red" South Africa. Eventually an impasse was
reached over the question of the rights and privileges of British
subjects in the Transvaal Republic. On October 9, 1899, President Kruger
issued his fateful ultimatum and war began.

What would be Canada's attitude toward this imperial problem? She had
never before taken part in an overseas war. Neither her own safety nor
the safety of the mother country was considered to be at stake. Yet war
had not been formally declared before a demand arose among Canadians
that their country should take a hand in rescuing the victims of Boer
tyranny. The Venezuela incident and the recent Jubilee ceremonies had
fanned imperialist sentiment. The growing prosperity was increasing
national pride and making many eager to abandon the attitude of colonial
dependence in foreign affairs. The desire to emulate the United States,
which had just won more or less glory in its little war with Spain, had
its influence in some quarters. Belief in the justice of the British
cause was practically universal, thanks to the skillful manipulation
of the press by the war party in South Africa. Leading newspapers
encouraged the campaign for participation. Parliament was not in
session, and the Government hesitated to intervene, but the swelling
tide of public opinion soon warranted immediate action. Three days after
the declaration of war an order in council was passed providing for
a contingent of one thousand men. Other infantry battalions, Mounted
Rifles, and batteries of artillery were dispatched later. Lord
Strathcona, formerly Donald Smith of the Canadian Pacific syndicate, by
a deed recalling feudal days, provided the funds to send overseas the
Strathcona Horse, roughriders from the Canadian West. In the last
years of the war the South African Constabulary drew many recruits from
Canada. All told, over seven thousand Canadians crossed half the world
to share in the struggle on the South African veldt.

The Canadian forces held their own with any in the campaign. The first
contingent fought under Lord Roberts in the campaign for the relief of
Kimberley; and it was two charges by Canadian troops, charges that cost
heavily in killed and wounded, that forced the surrender of General
Cronje, brought to bay at Paardeberg. One Canadian battery shared in the
honor of raising the siege of Mafeking, where Baden-Powell was besieged,
and both contingents marched with Lord Roberts from Bloemfontein to
Pretoria and fought hard and well at Doornkop and in many a skirmish.
Perhaps the politic generosity of the British leaders and the patriotic
bias of correspondents exaggerated the importance of the share of the
Canadian troops in the whole campaign; but their courage, initiative,
and endurance were tested and proved beyond all question. Paardeberg
sent a thrill of pride and of sorrow through Canada.

The only province which stood aloof from wholehearted participation in
the war was Quebec. Many French Canadians had been growing nervous over
the persistent campaign of the imperialists. They exhibited a certain
unwillingness to take on responsibilities, perhaps a survival of the
dependence which colonialism had bred, a dawning aspiration toward an
independent place in the world's work, and a disposition to draw
tighter racial and religious lines in order to offset the emphasis which
imperialists placed on Anglo-Saxon ties. Now their sympathies went out
to a people, like themselves an alien minority brought under British
rule, and in this attitude they were strengthened by the almost
unanimous verdict of the neutral world against British policy. Laurier
tried to steer a middle course, but the attacks of ultra-imperialists
in Ontario and of ultra-nationalists in Quebec, led henceforward by a
brilliant and eloquent grandson of Papineau, Henri Bourassa,
hampered him at every turn. The South African War gave a new unity to
English-speaking Canada, but it widened the gap between the French and
English sections.

The part which Australia and New Zealand, like Canada, had taken in
the war gave new urgency to the question of imperial relations. English
imperialists were convinced that the time was ripe for a great advance
toward centralization, and they were eager to crystallize in permanent
institutions the imperial sentiment called forth by the war. When,
therefore, the fourth Colonial Conference was summoned to meet in London
in 1902 on the occasion of the coronation of Edward VII, Chamberlain
urged with all his force and keenness a wide programme of centralized
action. "Very great expectations," he declared in his opening address,
"have been formed as to the results which may accrue from our meeting."
The expectations, however, were doomed to disappointment. He and those
who shared his hopes had failed to recognize that the war had
called forth a new national consciousness in the Dominions, as the
self-governing colonies now came to be termed, even more than it had
developed imperial sentiment. In the smaller colonies, New Zealand,
Natal, Cape of Good Hope, the old attitude of colonial dependence
survived in larger measure; but in Canada and in Australia, now
federated into commonwealths, national feeling was uppermost.

Chamberlain brought forward once more his proposal for an imperial
council, to be advisory at first and later to attain power to tax and
legislate for the whole Empire, but he found no support. Instead, the
Conference itself was made a more permanent instrument of imperial
cooperation by a provision that it should meet at least every four
years. The essential difference was that the Conference was merely a
meeting of independent Governments on an equal footing, each claiming to
be as much "His Majesty's Government" as any other, whereas the council
which Chamberlain urged in vain would have been a new Government,
supreme over all the Empire and dominated by the British
representatives. Chamberlain then suggested more centralized means
of defense, grants to the British navy, and the putting of a definite
proportion of colonial militia at the disposal of the British War
Office for overseas service. The Cape and Natal promised naval grants;
Australia and New Zealand increased their contributions for the
maintenance of a squadron in Pacific waters; but Canada held back. The
smaller colonies were sympathetic to the militia proposal; but Canada
and Australia rejected it on the grounds that it was "objectionable in
principle, as derogating from the powers of self-government enjoyed
by them, and would be calculated to impede the general improvement
in training and organization of their defense forces." Chamberlain's
additional proposal of free trade within the Empire and of a common
tariff against all foreign countries found little support. That each
part of the Empire should control its own tariff and that it should make
what concessions it wished on British imports, either as a part of a
reciprocal bargain or as a free gift, remained a fixed idea in the minds
of the leaders of the Dominions. Throughout the sessions it was Laurier
rather than Chamberlain who dominated the Conference.

Balked in his desire to effect political or military centralization,
Chamberlain turned anew to the possibilities of trade alliance. His
tariff reform campaign of 1903, which was a sequel to the Colonial
Conference of 1902, proposed that Great Britain set up a tariff,
incidentally to protect her own industries and to have matter for
bargaining with foreign powers, but mainly in order to keep the colonies
within her orbit by offering them special terms. In this way the Empire
would become once more self-sufficient. The issue thus thrust upon Great
Britain and the Empire in general was primarily a contest between free
traders and protectionists, not between the supporters of cooperation
and the supporters of centralization. On this basis the issue was fought
out in Great Britain and resulted in the overwhelming victory of free
trade and the Liberal party, aided as they were by the popular reaction
against the jingoist policy which had culminated in the war. When the
fifth Conference, now termed Imperial instead of Colonial, met in 1907,
there was much impassioned advocacy of preference and protection on the
part of Alfred Deakin of Australia and Sir L.S. Jameson of the Cape;
but the British representatives stuck to their guns and, in Winston
Churchill's phrase, the door remained "banged, barred, and bolted"
against both policies. At this conference Laurier took the ground that,
while Canada would be prepared to bargain preference for preference, the
people of Great Britain must decide what fiscal system would best serve
their own interests. A consistent advocate of home rule, he was willing,
unlike some of his colleagues, from the other Dominions, to let the
United Kingdom control its own affairs.

The defense issue had slumbered since the Boer War. Now the unbounded
ambitions of Germany gave it startling urgency. It was about 1908
that the British public first became seriously alarmed over the danger
involved in the lessening margin of superiority of the British over the
German navy. The alarm was echoed throughout the Dominions. The Kaiser's
challenge threatened the safety not only of the mother country but of
every part of the Empire. Hitherto the Dominions had done little in
the way of naval defense, though they had one by one assumed full
responsibility for their land defense. The feeling had been growing
that they should take a larger share of the common burden. Two factors,
however, had blocked advance in this direction. The British Government
had claimed and exercised full control of the issues of peace and
war, and the Dominions were reluctant to assume responsibility for
the consequences of a foreign policy which they could not direct. The
hostility of the British Admiralty, on strategic and political grounds,
to the plan of local Dominion navies, had prevented progress on the most
feasible lines. The deadlock was a serious one. Now the imminence of
danger compelled a solution. Taking the lead in this instance in the
working out of the policy of colonial nationalism, Australia had already
insisted upon abandoning the barren and inadequate policy of making a
cash contribution for the support of a British squadron in Australasian
waters and had established a local navy, manned, maintained, and
controlled by the Commonwealth. Canada decided to follow her example.
In March, 1909, the Canadian House of Commons unanimously adopted
a resolution in favor of establishing a Canadian naval service to
cooperate in close relation with the British navy. During the summer a
special conference was held in London attended by ministers from all the
Dominions. At this conference the Admiralty abandoned its old position;
and it was agreed that Australia and Canada should establish local
forces, cruisers, destroyers, and submarines, with auxiliary ships and
naval bases.

When the Canadian Parliament met in 1910, Sir Wilfrid Laurier submitted
a Naval Service Bill, providing for the establishment of local fleets,
of which the smaller vessels were to be built in Canada. The ships were
to be under the control of the Dominion Government, which might, in case
of emergency, place them at the disposal of the British Admiralty. The
bill was passed in March. In the autumn two cruisers, the Rainbow and
the Niobe, were bought from Britain to serve as training ships. In the
following spring a naval college was opened at Halifax, and tenders
were called for the construction, in Canada, of five cruisers and six
destroyers. In June, 1911, at the regular Imperial Conference of
that year, an agreement was reached regarding the boundaries of
the Australian and Canadian stations and uniformity of training and

Then came the reciprocity fight and the defeat of the Government. No
tenders had been finally accepted, and the new Administration of Premier
Borden was free to frame its own policy.

The naval issue had now become a party question. The policy of
a Dominion navy, a policy which was the logical extension of the
principles of colonial nationalism and imperial cooperation which
had guided imperial development for many years, was attacked by
ultra-imperialists in the English-speaking provinces as strategically
unsound and as leading inevitably to separation from the Empire. It was
also attacked by the Nationalists of Quebec, the ultra-colonialists or
provincialists, as they might more truly be termed, under the vigorous
leadership of Henri Bourassa, as yet another concession to imperialism
and to militarism. In November, 1910, by alarming the habitant by
pictures of his sons being dragged away by naval press gangs, the
Nationalists succeeded in defeating the Liberal candidate in a
by-election in Drummond-Arthabaska, at one time Laurier's own
constituency. In the general election which followed in 1911, the same
issue cost the Liberals a score of seats in Quebec.

When, therefore, the new Prime Minister, Sir Robert Borden, faced the
issue, he endeavored to frame a policy which would suit both wings
of his following. In 1912 he proposed as an emergency measure to
appropriate a sum sufficient to build three dreadnoughts for the British
navy, subject to recall if at any time the Canadian people decided
to use them as the nucleus of a Canadian fleet. At the same time he
undertook to submit to the electorate his permanent naval policy, as
soon as it was determined. What that permanent policy would be he was
unwilling to say, but the Prime Minister made clear his own leanings
by insisting that it would take half a century to form a Canadian navy,
which at best would be a poor and weak substitute for the organization
the Empire already possessed. The contribution to the British navy
satisfied the ultra-imperialists, while the promise of a referendum and
the call for money alone, and not men, appealed to the Nationalist wing.
Under the impetuous control of its new head, Winston Churchill, the
British Admiralty showed that it had repented its brief conversion
to the Dominion navy policy, by preparing an elaborate memorandum to
support Borden's proposals, and also by formulating plans for imperial
flying squadrons to be supplied by the Dominions, which made clear
its wish to continue the centralizing policy permanently. The Liberal
Opposition vigorously denounced the whole dreadnought programme,
advocating instead two Canadian fleet units somewhat larger than at
first contemplated. Their obstruction was overcome in the Commons by the
introduction of the closure, but the Liberal majority in the Senate, on
the motion of Sir George Ross, a former Premier of Ontario, threw
out the bill by insisting that it should not be passed before being
"submitted to the judgment of the country." This challenge the
Government did not accept. Until the outbreak of the war no further
steps were taken either to arrange for contribution or to establish a
Canadian navy, though the naval college at Halifax was continued, and
the training cruisers were maintained in a half-hearted way.

In the Imperial Conference of 1911, one more attempt was made to set
up a central governing authority in London. Sir Joseph Ward, of New
Zealand, acting as the mouthpiece of the imperial federationists, urged
the establishment, first of an Imperial Council of State and later of
an Imperial Parliament. His proposals met no support. "It is absolutely
impracticable," was Laurier's verdict. "Any scheme of representation--no
matter what you call it, parliament or council--of the overseas
Dominions, must give them so very small a representation that it would
be practically of no value," declared Premier Morris of Newfoundland.
"It is not a practical scheme," Premier Fisher of Australia agreed;
"our present system of responsible government has not broken down." "The
creation of some body with centralized authority over the whole Empire,"
Premier Botha of South Africa cogently insisted, "would be a step
entirely antagonistic to the policy of Great Britain which has been so
successful in the past .... It is the policy of decentralization which
has made the Empire--the power granted to its various peoples to govern
themselves." Even Premier Asquith of the United Kingdom declared the
proposals "fatal to the very fundamental conditions on which our empire
has been built up and carried on."

Stronger than any logic was the presence of Louis Botha in the
conferences of 1907 and 1911. On the former occasion it was only five
years since he had been in arms against Great Britain. The courage and
vision of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman in granting full and immediate
self-government to the conquered Boer republics had been justified by
the results. Once more freedom proved the only enduring basis of empire.
Botha's task in attempting to make Boer and Briton work together, first
in the Transvaal, and, after 1910, in the Union of South Africa, had not
been an easy one. Attacked by extremists from both directions, he
faced much the same difficulties as Laurier, and he found in Laurier's
friendship, counsel, and example much that stood him in good stead in
the days of stress to come.

Not less important than the relations with the United Kingdom in this
period were the relations with the United States. The Venezuela episode
was the turning point in the relations between the United States and the
British Empire. Both in Washington and in London men had been astounded
to find themselves on the verge of war. The danger passed, but the shock
awoke thousands to a realization of all that the two peoples had in
common and to the need of concerted effort to remove the sources
of friction. Then hard on the heels of this episode followed the
Spanish-American War.* Not the least of its by-products was a remarkable
improvement in the relations of the English-speaking nations. The course
of the war, the intrigues of European courts to secure intervention on
behalf of Spain, and the lining up of a British squadron beside Dewey
in Manila Bay when a German Admiral blustered, revealed Great Britain
as the one trustworthy friend the United States possessed abroad. The
annexation of the Philippines and the definite entry of the United
States upon world politics broke down the irresponsible isolation
which British ministers had found so much of a barrier to diplomatic
accommodations. With John Hay and later Elihu Root at the State
Department, and Lansdowne and Grey at the Foreign Office in London,
there began an era of good feeling between the two countries.

     * See "The Path of Empire".

Ottawa and Washington were somewhat slower in coming to terms. Many
difficulties can arise along a three thousand mile border, and with a
people so sure of themselves as the Americans were at this period and a
people so sensitive to any infringements of their national rights as
the Canadians were, petty differences often loomed large. The Laurier
Government, therefore, proposed shortly after its accession to power in
1896 that an attempt should be made to clear away all outstanding issues
and to effect a trade agreement. A Joint High Commission was constituted
in 1898. The members from the United States were Senator Fairbanks,
Senator Gray, Representative Nelson Dingley, General Foster, J.A.
Kasson, and T.J. Coolidge of the State Department. Great Britain was
represented by Lord Herschell, who acted as chairman, Newfoundland
by Sir James Winter, and Canada by Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Sir Richard
Cartwright, Sir Louis Davies, and John Charlton, M.P.

The Commission held prolonged sittings, first at Quebec and later
at Washington, and reached tentative agreement on nearly all of the
troublesome questions at issue. The bonding privileges on both sides the
border were to be given an assured basis; the unneighborly alien labor
laws were to be relaxed; the Rush-Bagot Convention regarding armament
on the Great Lakes was to be revised; Canadian vessels were to
abandon pelagic sealing in Bering Sea for a money compensation; and a
reciprocity treaty covering natural products and some manufactures was
sketched out. Yet no agreement followed. One issue, the Alaska boundary,
proved insoluble, and as no agreement was acceptable which did not
cover every difference, the Commission never again assembled after its
adjournment in February, 1899.

The boundary between Alaska and the Dominion was the only bit of the
border line not yet determined. As in former cases of boundary disputes,
the inaccuracies of map makers, the ambiguities of diplomats, the clash
of local interests, and stiff-necked national pride made a settlement
difficult. In 1825 Russia and Great Britain had signed a treaty which
granted Russia a long panhandle strip down the Pacific coast. With
the purchase of Alaska in 1867 the United States succeeded to Russia's
claim. With the growth of settlement in Canada this long barrier down
half of her Pacific coast was found to be irksome. Attempt after attempt
to have the line determined only added to the stock of memorials in
official pigeonholes. Then came the discovery of gold in the Klondike
in 1896, and the question of easy access by sea to the Canadian back
country became an urgent one. Canada offered to compromise, admitting
the American title to the chief ports on Lynn Canal, Dyea and Skagway,
if Pyramid Harbor were held Canadian. She urged arbitration on the model
the United States had dictated in the Venezuela dispute. But the United
States was in possession of the most important points. Its people
believed the Canadian claims had been trumped up when the Klondike
fields were opened. The Puget Sound cities wanted no breach in their
monopoly of the supply trade to the north. The only concession the
United States would make was to refer the dispute to a commission of
six, three from each country, with the proviso that no area settled by
Americans should in any event pass into other bands. Canada felt that
arbitration under these conditions would either end in deadlock, leaving
the United States in possession, or in concession by one or more of
the British representatives, and so declined to accept the proposed

Finally, in 1903, agreement was reached between London and Washington
to accept the tribunal proposed by the United States, which in turn
withdrew its veto on the transfer of any settled area. Canada's
reluctant consent was won by a provision that the members of the
tribunal should be "impartial jurists of repute," sworn to render a
judicial verdict. When Elihu Root, Senator Lodge, and Senator Turner
were named as the American representatives, Ottawa protested that
eminent and honorable as they were, their public attitude on this
question made it impossible to consider them "impartial jurists." The
Canadian Government in return nominated three judges, Lord Alverstone,
Lord Chief Justice of England, Sir Louis Jette, of Quebec, and Mr.
Justice Armour, succeeded on his death by A. B. Aylesworth, a leader
of the Ontario bar. The tribunal met in London, where the case was
thoroughly argued.

The Treaty of 1825 had provided that the southern boundary should follow
the Portland Canal to the fifty-sixth parallel of latitude and thence
the summits of the mountains parallel to the coast, with the stipulation
that if the summit of the mountains anywhere proved to be more than ten
marine leagues from the ocean, a line drawn parallel to the windings of
the coast not more than ten leagues distant should form the boundary.
Three questions arose: What was the Portland Canal? Did the treaty
assure Russia an unbroken strip by making the boundary run round the
ends of deep inlets? Did mountains exist parallel to the coast within
ten leagues' distance? In October these questions received their answer.
Lord Alverstone and the three American members decided in favor of the
United States on the main issues. The two Canadian, representatives
refused to sign the award and denounced it as unjudicial and

The decision set Canada aflame. Lord Alverstone was denounced in
unmeasured terms. From Atlantic to Pacific the charge was echoed that
once more the interests of Canada had been sacrificed by Britain on
the altar of Anglo-American friendship. The outburst was not understood
abroad. It was not, as United States opinion imagined, merely childish
petulance or the whining of a poor loser. It was against Great Britain,
not against the United States, that the criticism was directed. It was
not the decision, but the way in which it was made, that roused deep
anger. The decision on the main issue, that the line ran back of even
the deepest inlets and barred Canada from a single harbor, though
unwelcome, was accepted as a judicial verdict and has since been
little questioned. The finding that the boundary should follow certain
mountains behind those Canada urged, but short of the ten league line,
was attacked by the Canadian representatives as a compromise, and its
judicial character is certainly open to some doubt. But it was on the
third finding that the thunders broke. The United States had contended
that the Portland Channel of the treaty makers ran south of four islands
which lay east of Prince of Wales Island, and Canada that it ran north
of these islands. Lord Alverstone, after joining in a judgment with
the Canadian commissioners that it ran north, suddenly, without any
conference with them, and, as the wording of the award showed, by
agreement with the United States representatives, announced that it ran
where no one had ever suggested it could run, north of two and south
of two, thus dividing the land in dispute. The islands were of little
importance even strategically, but the incontrovertible evidence that
instead of a judicial finding a political compromise had been effected
was held of much importance. After a time the storm died down, but it
revealed one unmistakable fact: Canadian nationalism was growing fully
as fast as Canadian imperialism.

The relations between Canada and the United States now came to show the
effect of increasingly close business connections. The northward trek
of tens of thousands of American farmers was under way. United States
capitalists began to invest heavily in farm and timber lands.
Factory after factory opened a Canadian branch. Ten years later these
investments exceeded six hundred millions. In the West, James J. Hill
was planning the expansion of the Great Northern system throughout the
prairie provinces and was securing an interest in the great Crow's Nest
Pass coal fields. Tourist travel multiplied. The two peoples came
to know each other better than ever before, and with knowledge many
prejudices and misunderstandings vanished. Canada's growing prosperity
did not merely bring greater individual intercourse; it made the United
States as a whole less patronizing in its dealings with its neighbor and
Canada less querulous and thin-skinned.

In this more favorable temper many old issues were cleared off the
slate. The northeastern fisheries question, revived by a conflict
between Newfoundland and the United States as to treaty privileges,
was referred to the Hague Court in 1909. The verdict of the arbitrators
recognized a measure of right in the contentions of both sides. A
detailed settlement was prescribed which was accepted without demur in
the United States, Newfoundland, and Canada alike. Pelagic sealing
in the North Pacific was barred in 1911 by an international agreement
between the United States, Great Britain, Japan, and Russia. Less
success attended the attempt to arrange joint action to regulate and
conserve the fisheries of the Great Lakes and the salmon fisheries of
the Pacific, for the treaty drawn up in 1911 by the experts from both
countries failed to pass the United States Senate.

But the most striking development of the decade was the businesslike
and neighborly solution found for the settlement of the boundary waters
controversy. The growing demands for the use of streams such as the
Niagara, the St. Lawrence, and the Sault for power purposes, and of
western border rivers for irrigation schemes, made it essential to take
joint action to reconcile not merely the conflicting claims from the
opposite sides of the border but the conflicting claims of power and
navigation and other interests in each country. In 1905 a temporary
waterways commission was appointed, and four years later the Boundary
Waters Treaty provided for the establishment of a permanent Joint High
Commission, consisting of three representatives from each country,
and with authority over all cases of use, obstruction, or diversion of
border waters. Individual citizens of either country were allowed to
present their case directly before the Commission, an innovation in
international practice. Still more significant of the new spirit was
the inclusion in this treaty of a clause providing for reference to
the Commission, with the consent of the United States Senate and the
Dominion Cabinet, of any matter whatever at issue between the two
countries. With little discussion and as a matter of course, the two
democracies, in the closing years of a full century of peace, thus made
provision for the sane and friendly settlement of future line-fence

The chief barrier to good relations was the customs tariff.
Protectionism, and the attitude of which it was born and which it bred
in turn, was still firmly entrenched in both countries. Tariff bars, it
is true, had not been able to prevent the rapid growth of trade; imports
from the United States to Canada had grown especially fast and Canada
now ranked third in the list of the Republic's customers. Yet in many
ways the tariff hindered free intercourse. Though every dictate of
self-interest and good sense demanded a reduction of duties, Canada
would not and did not take the initiative. Time and again she had
sought reciprocity, only to have her proposals rejected, often with
contemptuous indifference. When Sir Wilfrid Laurier announced in 1900
that there would be no more pilgrimages to Washington, he voiced the
almost unanimous opinion of a people whose pride had been hurt by
repeated rebuffs.

Meanwhile protectionist sentiment had grown stronger in Canada. The
opening of the West had given an expanding market for eastern factories
and had seemingly justified the National Policy. The Liberals, the
traditional upholders of freer trade, after some initial redemptions
of their pledges, had compromised with the manufacturing interests. The
Conservatives, still more protectionist in temper, voiced in Parliament
little criticism of this policy, and the free trade elements among
the farmers were as yet unorganized and inarticulate. Signs of this
protectionist revival, which had in it, as in the seventies, an element
of nationalism, were many. A four-story tariff was erected. The lowest
rates were those granted the United Kingdom; then came the intermediate
tariff, for the products of countries giving Canada special terms; next
the general tariff; and, finally, the surtax for use against powers
discriminating in any special degree against the Dominion. The provinces
one by one forbade the export of pulp wood cut on Crown Lands, in
order to assure its manufacture into wood pulp or paper in Canada. The
Dominion in 1907 secured the abrogation of the postal convention
made with the United States in 1875 providing for the reciprocal free
distribution of second class mail matter originating in the other
country. This step was taken at the instance of Canadian manufacturers,
alarmed at the effect of the advertising pages of United States
magazines in directing trade across the line. Yet even with such
developments, the Canadian tariff remained lower than its neighbor's.

In the United States the tendency was in the other direction. With the
growth of cities, the interests of the consumers of foods outweighed the
influence of the producers. Manufacturers in many cases had reached the
export stage, where foreign markets, cheap food, and cheap raw materials
were more necessary than a protected home market. The "muckrakers" were
at the height of their activity; and the tariff, as one instrument of
corruption and privilege, was suffering with the popular condemnation
of all big interests. United States newspapers were eager for free wood
pulp and cheaper paper, just as Canadian newspapers defended the policy
of checking export. It was not surprising, therefore, that reciprocity
with Canada, as one means of increasing trade and reducing the tariff,
took on new popularity. New England was the chief seat of the movement,
with Henry M. Whitney and Eugene N. Foss as its most persistent
advocates. Detroit, Chicago, St. Paul, and other border cities were also

Official action soon followed this unofficial campaign. Curiously
enough, it came as an unexpected by-product of a further experiment
in protection, the Payne-Aldrich tariff. For the first time in the
experience of the United States this tariff incorporated the principle
of minimum and maximum schedules. The maximum rates, fixed at
twenty-five per cent ad valorem above the normal or minimum rates, were
to be enforced upon the goods of any country which had not, before March
10, 1910, satisfied the President that it did not discriminate against
the products of the United States. One by one the various nations
demonstrated this to President Taft's satisfaction or with wry faces
made the readjustments necessary. At last Canada alone remained. The
United States conceded that the preference to the United Kingdom did
not constitute discrimination, but it insisted that it should enjoy
the special rates recently extended to France by treaty. In Canada this
demand was received with indignation. Its tariff rates were much lower
than those which the United States imposed, and its purchases in that
country were twice as great as its sales. The demand was based on a
sudden and complete reversal of the traditional American interpretation
of the most favored nation policy. The President admitted the force of
Canada's contentions, but the law left him no option. Fortunately it did
leave him free to decide as to the adequacy of any concessions, and thus
agreement was made possible at the eleventh hour. At the President's
suggestion a conference at Albany was arranged, and on the 30th of
March a bargain was struck. Canada conceded to the United States its
intermediate tariff rates on thirteen minor schedules--chinaware, nuts,
prunes, and whatnot. These were accepted as equivalent to the special
terms given France, and Canada was certified as being entitled to
minimum rates. The United States had saved its face. Then to complete
the comedy, Canada immediately granted the same concessions to all other
countries, that is, made the new rates part of the general tariff.
The United States ended where it began, in receipt of no special
concessions. The motions required had been gone through; phantom
reductions had been made to meet a phantom discrimination.

This was only the beginning of attempts at accommodation. The threat of
tariff war had called forth in the United States loud protests against
any such reversion to economic barbarism. President Taft realized that
he had antagonized the growing low-tariff sentiment of the country by
his support of the Payne-Aldrich tariff and was eager to set himself
right. A week before the March negotiations were concluded, a Democratic
candidate had carried a strongly Republican congressional district in
Massachusetts on a platform of reciprocity with Canada. The President,
therefore, proposed a bold stroke. He made a sweeping offer of better
trade relations. Negotiations were begun at Ottawa and concluded
in Washington. In January, 1911, announcement was made that a broad
agreement had been effected. Grain, fruit, and vegetables, dairy and
most farm products, fish, hewn timber and sawn lumber, and several
minerals were put on the free list. A few manufactures were also made
free, and the duties on meats, flour, coal, agricultural implements, and
other products were substantially reduced. The compact was to be carried
out, not by treaty, but by concurrent legislation. Canada was to extend
the same terms to the most favored nations by treaty, and to all parts
of the British Empire by policy.

For fifty years the administrations of the two countries had never been
so nearly at one. More difficulty was met with in the legislatures. In
Congress, farmers and fishermen, standpat Republicans and Progressives
hostile to the Administration, waged war against the bargain. It was
only in a special session, and with the aid of Democratic votes and a
Washington July sun, that the opposition was overcome. In the Canadian
Parliament, after some initial hesitation, the Conservatives attacked
the proposal. The Government had a safe majority, but the Opposition
resorted to obstruction; and late in July, Parliament was suddenly
dissolved and the Government appealed to the country.

When the bargain was first concluded, the Canadian Government had
imagined it would meet little opposition, for it was precisely the type
of agreement that Government after Government, Conservative as well as
Liberal, had sought in vain for over forty years. For a day or two that
expectation was justified. Then the forces of opposition rallied, timid
questioning gave way to violent denunciation, and at last agreement and
Government alike were swept away in a flood of popular antagonism.

One reason for this result was that the verdict was given in a general
election, not in a referendum. The fate of the Government was involved;
its general record was brought up for review; party ambitions and
passions were stirred to the utmost. Fifteen years, of office-holding
had meant the accumulation of many scandals, a slackening in
administrative efficiency, and the cooling by official compromise of the
ardent faith of the Liberalism of the earlier day. The Government had
failed to bring in enough new blood. The Opposition fought with the
desperation of fifteen years of fasting and was better served by its

Of the side issues introduced into the campaign, the most important were
the naval policy in Quebec and the racial and religious issue in the
English-speaking provinces. The Government had to face what Sir Wilfrid
Laurier termed "the unholy alliance" of Roman Catholic Nationalists
under Bourassa in Quebec and Protestant Imperialists in Ontario. In
the French-speaking districts the Government was denounced for allowing
Canada to be drawn into the vortex of militarism and imperialism and
for sacrificing the interests of Roman Catholic schools in the West. On
every hand the naval policy was attacked as inevitably bringing in its
train conscription to fight European wars a contention hotly denied
by the Liberals. The Conservative campaign managers made a working
arrangement with the Nationalists as to candidates and helped
liberally in circulating Bourassa's newspaper, Le Devoir. On the back
"concessions" of Ontario a quieter but no less effective campaign was
carried on against the domination of Canadian politics by a French Roman
Catholic province and a French Roman Catholic Prime Minister. In vain
the Liberals appealed to national unity or started back fires in Ontario
by insisting that a vote for Borden meant a vote for Bourassa. The
Conservative-Nationalist alliance cost the Government many seats in
Quebec and apparently did not frighten Ontario.

Reciprocity, however, was the principal issue everywhere except in
Quebec. Powerful forces were arrayed against it. Few manufactures
had been put on the free list, but the argument that the reciprocity
agreement was the thin edge of the wedge rallied the organized
manufacturers in almost unbroken hostile array. The railways, fearful
that western traffic would be diverted to United States roads, opposed
the agreement vigorously under the leadership of the ex-American
chairman of the board of directors of the Canadian Pacific, Sir William
Van Horne, who made on this occasion one of his few public entries into
politics. The banks, closely involved in the manufacturing and railway
interests, threw their weight in the same direction. They were aided
by the prevalence of protectionist sentiment in the eastern cities and
industrial towns, which were at the same stage of development and in the
same mood as the cities of the United States some decades earlier. The
Liberal fifteen-year compromise with protection made it difficult in a
seven weeks' campaign to revive a desire for freer trade. The prosperity
of the country and the cry, "Let well enough alone," told powerfully
against the bargain. Yet merely from the point of view of economic
advantage, the popular verdict would probably have been in its favor.
The United States market no longer loomed so large as it had in the
eighties, but its value was undeniable. Farmer, fisherman, and miner
stood to gain substantially by the lowering of the bars into the richest
market in the world. Every farm paper in Canada and all the important
farm organizations supported reciprocity. Its opponents, therefore,
did not trust to a direct frontal attack. Their strategy was to divert
attention from the economic advantages by raising the cry of political
danger. The red herring of annexation was drawn across the trail, and
many a farmer followed it to the polling booth.

From the outset, then, the opponents of reciprocity concentrated
their attacks on its political perils. They denounced the reciprocity
agreement as the forerunner of annexation, the deathblow to Canadian
nationality and British connection. They prophesied that the trade and
intercourse built up between the East and the West of Canada by years of
sacrifice and striving would shrivel away, and that each section of the
Dominion would become a mere appendage to the adjacent section of the
United States. Where the treasure was, there would the heart be also.
After some years of reciprocity, the channels of Canadian trade would
be so changed that a sudden return to high protection on the part of the
United States would disrupt industry and a mere threat of such a change
would lead to a movement for complete union.

This prophecy was strengthened by apposite quotations showing the
existing drift of opinion in the United States. President Taft's
reference to the "light and imperceptible bond uniting the Dominion
with the mother country" and his "parting of the ways" speech received
sinister interpretations. Speaker Champ Clark's announcement that he
was in favor of the agreement because he hoped "to see the day when the
American flag will float over every square foot of the British North
American possessions" was worth tens of thousands of votes. The
anti-reciprocity press of Canada seized upon these utterances, magnified
them, and sometimes, it was charged, inspired or invented them. Every
American crossroads politician who found a useful peroration in a vision
of the Stars and Stripes floating from Panama to the North Pole was
represented as a statesman of national power voicing a universal
sentiment. The action of the Hearst papers in sending pro-reciprocity
editions into the border cities of Canada made many votes--but not for
reciprocity. The Canadian public proved that it was unable to suffer
fools gladly. It was vain to argue that all men of weight in the United
States had come to understand and to respect Canada's independent
ambitions; that in any event it was not what the United States thought
but what Canada thought that mattered; or that the Canadian farmer who
sold a bushel of good wheat to a United States miller no more sold his
loyalty with it than a Kipling selling a volume of verse or a Canadian
financier selling a block of stock in the same market. The flag was
waved, and the Canadian voter, mindful of former American slights
and backed by newly arrived Englishmen admirably organized by the
anti-reciprocity forces, turned against any "entangling alliance." The
prosperity of the country made it safe to express resentment of the
slights of half a century or fear of this too sudden friendliness.

The result of the elections, which were held on September 21, 1911,
was the crushing defeat of the Liberal party. A Liberal majority of
forty-four in a house of two hundred and twenty-one members was turned
into a Conservative majority of forty-nine. Eight cabinet ministers went
down to defeat. The Government had a slight majority in the Maritime
Provinces and Quebec, and a large majority in the prairie West, but the
overwhelming victory of the Opposition in Ontario, Manitoba, and British
Columbia turned the day.

The appeal to loyalty revealed much that was worthy and much that
was sordid in Canadian life. It was well that a sturdy national
self-reliance should be developed and expressed in the face of American
prophets of "manifest destiny," and that men should be ready to set
ideals above pocket. It was unfortunate that in order to demonstrate a
loyalty which might have been taken for granted economic advantage
was sacrificed; and it was disturbing to note the ease with which
big interests with unlimited funds for organizing, advertising, and
newspaper campaigning, could pervert national sentiment to serve their
own ends. Yet this was possibly a stage through which Canada, like every
young nation, had to pass; and the gentle art of twisting the lion's
tail had proved a model for the practice of plucking the eagle's

The growth of Canada brought her into closer touch with lands across the
sea. Men, money, and merchandise came from East and West; and with their
coming new problems faced the Government of the Dominion. With Europe
they were trade questions to solve, and with Asia the more delicate
issues arising out of oriental immigration.

In 1907 the Canadian Government had established an intermediate tariff,
with rates halfway between the general and the British preferential
tariffs, for the express purpose of bargaining with other powers. In
that year an agreement based substantially on these intermediate rates
was negotiated with France, though protectionist opposition in the
French Senate prevented ratification until 1910. Similar reciprocal
arrangements were concluded in 1910 with Belgium, the Netherlands, and
Italy. The manner of the negotiation was as significant as the matter.
In the case of France the treaty was negotiated in Paris by two Canadian
ministers, W.S. Fielding and L.P. Brodeur, appointed plenipotentiaries
of His Majesty for that purpose, with the British Ambassador associated
in what Mr. Arthur Balfour termed a "purely technical" capacity. In
the case of the other countries even this formal recognition of the old
colonial status was abandoned. The agreement with Italy was negotiated
in Canada between "the Royal Consul of Italy for Canada, representing
the government of the Kingdom of Italy, and the Minister of Finance
of Canada, representing His Excellency the Governor General acting in
conjunction with the King's Privy Council for Canada." The conclusions
in these later instances were embodied in conventions, rather than
formal treaties.

With one country, however, tariff war reigned instead of treaty peace.
In 1899 Germany subjected Canadian exports to her general or maximum
tariff, because the Dominion refused to grant her the preferential rates
reserved for members of the British Empire group of countries. After
four years' deliberation Canada eventually retaliated by imposing on
German goods a special surtax of thirty-three and one-third per
cent. The trade of both countries suffered, but Germany's, being more
specialized, much the more severely. After seven years' strife, Germany
took the initiative in proposing a truce. In 1910 Canada agreed to admit
German goods at the rates of the general--not the intermediate--tariff,
while Germany in return waived her protest against the British
preference and granted minimum rates on the most important Canadian

Oriental immigration had been an issue in Canada ever since Chinese
navvies had been imported in the early eighties to work on the
government sections of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Mine owners, fruit
farmers, and contractors were anxious that the supply should continue
unchecked; but, as in the United States, the economic objections of the
labor unions and the political objections of the advocates of a "White
Canada" carried the day.

Chinese immigration had been restricted in 1885 by a head tax of $50 on
all immigrants save officials, merchants, or scholars; in 1901 this tax
was doubled; and in 1904 it was raised to $500. In each case the
tax proved a barrier only for a year or two, when wages would rise
sufficiently to warrant Orientals paying the higher toll to enter the
Promised Land. Japanese immigrants did not come in large numbers until
1906, when the activities of employment companies brought seven thousand
Japanese by way of Hawaii. Agitators from the Pacific States fanned
the flames of opposition in British Columbia, and anti-Chinese and
anti-Japanese riots broke out in Vancouver in 1907. The Dominion
Government then grappled with the question. Japan's national
sensitiveness and her position as an ally of Great Britain called for
diplomatic handling. A member of the Dominion Cabinet, Rodolphe Lemieux,
succeeded in 1907 in negotiating at Tokio an agreement by which Japan
herself undertook to restrict the number of passports issued annually to
emigrants to Canada.

The Hindu migration, which began in 1907, gave rise to a still more
delicate situation. What did the British Empire mean, many a Hindu
asked, if British subjects were to be barred from British lands? The
only reply was that the British Government which still ruled India no
longer ruled the Dominions, and that it was on the Dominions that
the responsibility for the exclusion policy must rest. In 1909 Canada
suggested that the Indian Government itself should limit emigration,
but this policy did not meet with approval at the time. Failing in this
measure, the Laurier Government fell back on a general clause in the
Immigration Act prohibiting the entrance of immigrants except by direct
passage from the country of origin and on a continuous ticket, a rule
which effectually barred the Hindu because of the lack of any direct
steamship line between India and Canada. An Order-in-Council further
required that immigrants from all Asiatic countries must possess at
least $200 on entering Canada. The Borden Government supplemented these
restrictions by a special Order-in-Council in 1913 prohibiting the
landing of artisans or unskilled laborers of any race at ports in
British Columbia, ostensibly because of depression in the labor
market. The leaders of the Hindu movement, with apparently some German
assistance, determined to test these restrictions. In May, 1914, there
arrived at Vancouver from Shanghai a Japanese ship carrying four
hundred Sikhs from India. A few were admitted, as having been previously
domiciled in Canada; the others, after careful inquiry, were refused
admittance and ordered to be deported. Local police were driven away
from the ship when attempting to enforce the order, and the Government
ordered H.M.C.S. Rainbow to intervene. By a curious irony of history,
the first occasion on which this first Canadian warship was called on to
display force was in expelling from Canada the subjects of another part
of the British Empire. Further trouble followed when the Sikhs reached
Calcutta in September, 1914, for riots took place involving serious loss
of life and later an abortive attempt at rebellion. Fortunately there
were good prospects that the Indian Government would in future accept
the proposal made by Canada in 1909. At the Imperial Conference of 1917,
where representatives of India were present for the first time, it was
agreed to recommend the principle of reciprocity in the treatment of
immigrants, India thus being free to save her pride by imposing on
men from the Dominions the same restrictions the Dominions imposed on
immigrants from India.

But all these dealings with lands across the sea paled into
insignificance beside the task imposed on Canada by the Great War. In
the sudden crisis the Dominion attained a place among the nations which
the slower changes of peace time could scarcely have made possible in

When the war party in Germany and Austria-Hungary plunged Europe into
the struggle the world had long been fearing, there was not a moment's
hesitation on the part of the people of Canada. It was not merely the
circumstance that technically Canada was at war when Britain was at war
that led Canadians to instant action. The degree of participation, if
not the fact of war, was wholly a matter for the separate Dominions.
It was the deep and abiding sympathy with the mother country whose very
existence was to be at stake. Later, with the unfolding of Germany's
full designs of world dominance and the repeated display of her callous
and ruthless policies, Canada comprehended the magnitude of the danger
threatening all the world and grimly set herself to help end the menace
of militarism once for all.

On August 1, 1914, two days before Belgium was invaded, and three days
before war between Britain and Germany had been declared, the Dominion
Government cabled to London their firm assurance that the people of
Canada would make every sacrifice necessary to secure the integrity and
honor of the Empire and asked for suggestions as to the form aid should
take. The financial and administrative measures the emergency demanded
were carried out by Orders-in-Council in accordance with the scheme
of defense which only a few months before had been drawn up in a "War
Book". Two weeks later, Parliament met in a special four day session and
without a dissenting voice voted the war credits the Government asked
and conferred upon it special war powers of the widest scope. The
country then set about providing men, money, and munitions of war.

The day after war was declared, recruiting was begun for an
expeditionary force of 21,000 men. Half as many more poured into the
camp at Valcartier near Quebec; and by the middle of October this first
Canadian contingent, over 30,000 strong, the largest body of troops
which had ever crossed the Atlantic, was already in England, where
its training was to be completed. As the war went on and all previous
forecasts of its duration and its scale were far outrun, these numbers
were multiplied many times. By the summer of 1917 over 400,000 men had
been enrolled for service, and over 340,000 had already gone overseas,
aside from over 25,000 Allied reservists.

Naturally enough it was the young men of British birth who first
responded in large numbers to the recruiting officer's appeal. A
military background, vivid home memories, the enlistment of kinsmen or
friends overseas, the frequent slightness of local ties, sent them
forth in splendid and steady array. Then the call came home to the
native-born, and particularly to Canadians of English speech. Few of
them had dreamed of war, few had been trained even in militia musters;
but in tens of thousands they volunteered. From French-speaking Canada
the response was slower, in spite of the endeavors of the leaders of the
Opposition as well as of the Government to encourage enlistment. In some
measure this was only to be expected. Quebec was dominantly rural; its
men married young, and the country parishes had little touch with the
outside world. Its people had no racial sympathy with Britain and their
connection with France had long been cut by the cessation of immigration
from that country. Yet this is not the complete explanation of that
aloofness which marked a great part of Quebec. Account must be taken
also of the resentment caused by exaggerated versions of the treatment
accorded the French-Canadian minority in the schools of Ontario and the
West, and especially of the teaching of the Nationalists, led by Henri
Bourassa, who opposed active Canadian participation in the war. Lack of
tact on the part of the Government and reckless taunts from extremists
in Ontario made the breach steadily wider. Yet there were many
encouraging considerations. Another grandson of the leader of '37,
Talbot Papineau, fell fighting bravely, and it was a French-Canadian
battalion, Les Vingt Deuxiemes, which won the honors at Courcelette.

When the war first broke out, no one thought of any but voluntary
methods of enlistment. As the magnitude of the task came home to men
and the example of Great Britain had its influence, voices began to be
raised in favor of compulsion. Sir Robert Borden, the Premier, and Sir
Wilfrid Laurier alike opposed the suggestion. Early in 1917 the adoption
of conscription in the United States, and the need of reenforcements
for the Canadian forces at the front led the Prime Minister, immediately
after his return from the Imperial Conference in London, to bring down
a measure for compulsory service. He urged in behalf of this course
that the need for men was urgent beyond all question; that the voluntary
system, wasteful and unfair at best, had ceased to bring more than six
or seven thousand men a month, chiefly for other than infantry ranks;
and that only by compulsion could Quebec be brought to shoulder her fair
share and the slackers in all the provinces be made to rise to the need.
It was contended, on the other hand, that great as was the need for men,
the need for food, which Canada could best of all countries supply, was
greater still; that voluntary recruiting had yielded over four hundred
thousand men, proportionately equivalent to six million from the United
States, and was slackening only because the reservoir was nearly drained
dry; and that Quebec could be brought into line more effectively by
conciliation than by compulsion.

The issue of conscription brought to an end the political truce which
had been declared in August, 1914. The keener partisans on both
sides had not long been able to abide on the heights of non-political
patriotism which they had occupied in the first generous weeks of the
war. But the public was weary of party cries and called for unity.
Suggestions of a coalition were made at different times, but the party
in power, new to the sweets of office, confident of its capacity,
and backed by a strong majority, gave little heed to the demand. Now,
however, the strong popular opposition offered to the announcement of
conscription led the Prime Minister to propose to Sir Wilfrid Laurier
a coalition Government on a conscription basis. Sir Wilfrid, while
continuing to express his desire to cooperate in any way that would
advance the common cause, declined to enter a coalition to carry out a
programme decided upon without consultation and likely, in his view,
to wreck national unity without securing any compensating increase in
numbers beyond what a vigorous and sympathetic voluntary campaign could
yet obtain.

For months negotiations continued within Parliament and without. The
Military Service Act was passed in August, 1917, with the support of
the majority of the English-speaking members of the Opposition. Then the
Government, which had already secured the passage of an Act providing
for taking the votes of the soldiers overseas, forced through under
closure a measure depriving of the franchise all aliens of enemy birth
or speech who had been admitted to citizenship since 1902, and giving
a vote to every adult woman relative of a soldier on active service.
Victory for the Government now appeared certain. Leading English-peaking
Liberals, particularly from the West, convinced that conscription was
necessary to keep Canada's forces up to the need, or that the War Times
Election Act made opposition hopeless, decided to accept Sir Robert
Borden's offer of seats in a coalition Cabinet.

In the election of December, 1917, in which passion and prejudice were
stirred as never before in the history of Canada, the Unionist forces
won by a sweeping majority. Ontario and the West were almost solidly
behind the Government in the number of members elected, Quebec as
solidly against it, and the Maritime Provinces nearly evenly
divided. The soldiers' vote, contrary to Australian experience, was
overwhelmingly for conscription. The Laurier Liberals polled more
civilian votes in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, and British Columbia, and in
the Dominion as a whole, than the united Liberal party had received in
the Reciprocity election of 1911. The increase in the Unionist popular
vote was still greater, however, and gave the Government fifty-eight
per cent of the popular vote and sixty-five per cent of the seats in the
House. Confidence in the administrative capacity of the new Government,
the belief that it would be more vigorous in carrying on the war, the
desire to make Quebec do its share, the influence of the leaders of
the Western Liberals and of the Grain Growers' Associations, wholesale
promises of exemption to farmers, and the working of the new franchise
law all had their part in the result. Eight months after the Military
Service Act was passed, it had added only twenty thousand men to the
nearly five hundred thousand volunteers; but steps were then taken to
cancel exemptions and to simplify the machinery of administration. Some
eighty thousand men were raised under conscription, but the war, so far
as Canada was concerned, was fought and won by volunteers.

"The self-governing British colonies," wrote Bernhardi before the war,
"have at their disposal a militia, which is sometimes only in process
of formation. They can be completely ignored so far as concerns any
European theater of war." This contemptuous forecast might have been
justified had German expectations of a short war been fulfilled. Though
large and increasing sums had in recent years been spent on the Canadian
militia and on a small permanent force, the work of building up an
army on the scale the war demanded had virtually to be begun from the
foundation. It was pushed ahead with vigor, under the direction, for the
first three years, of the Minister of Militia, General Sir Sam Hughes.
Many mistakes were made. Complaints of waste in supply departments
and of slackness of discipline among the troops were rife in the early
months. But the work went on; and when the testing time came, Canada's
civilian soldiers held their own with any veterans on either side the
long line of trenches.

It was in April, 1915, at the second battle of Ypres--or, as it is more
often termed in Canada, St. Julien or Langemarck--that the quality of
the men of the first contingent was blazoned forth. The Germans had
launched a determined attack on the junction of the French and Canadian
forces, seeking to drive through to Calais. The use, for the first time,
of asphyxiating gases drove back in confusion the French colonial troops
on the left of the Canadians. Attacked and outflanked by a German army
of 150,000 men, four Canadian brigades, immensely inferior in heavy
artillery and tortured by the poisonous fumes, filled the gap, hanging
on doggedly day and night until reenforcements came and Calais was
saved. In sober retrospection it was almost incredible that the thin
khaki line had held against the overwhelming odds which faced it. A few
weeks later, at Givenchy and Festubert, in the same bloody salient of
Ypres, the Canadian division displayed equal courage with hardly equal
success. In the spring of 1916, when the Canadian forces grew first to
three and then to four divisions, heavy toll was taken at St. Eloi and
Sanctuary Wood.

When they were shifted from the Ypres sector to the Somme, the dashing
success at Courcelette showed them as efficient in offense as in
defense. In 1917 a Canadian general, Sir Arthur Currie, three years
before only a business man of Vancouver, took command of the Canadian
troops. The capture of Vimy Ridge, key to the whole Arras position,
after months of careful preparation, the hard-fought struggle for Lens,
and toward the close of the year the winning of the Passchendaele Ridge,
at heavy cost, were instances of the increasing scale and importance of
the operations entrusted to Currie's men.

In the closing year of the war the Canadian corps played a still more
distinctive and essential part. During the early months of 1918, when
the Germans were making their desperate thrusts for Paris and the
Channel, the Canadians held little of the line that was attacked.
Their divisions had been withdrawn in turn for special training in open
warfare movements, in close cooperation with tanks and air forces. When
the time came to launch the Allied offensive, they were ready. It
was Canadian troops who broke the hitherto unbreakable Wotan line, or
Drocourt-Queant switch; it was Canadians who served as the spearhead in
the decisive thrust against Cambrai; and it was Canadians who captured
Mons, the last German stronghold taken before the armistice was
signed, and thus ended the war at the very spot where the British "Old
Contemptibles" had begun their dogged fight four years before.

Through all the years of war the Canadian forces never lost a gun nor
retired from a position they had consolidated. Canadians were the first
to practice trench raiding; and Canadian cadets thronged that branch of
the service, the Royal Flying Corps, where steady nerves and individual
initiative were at a premium. In countless actions they proved their
fitness to stand shoulder to shoulder with the best that Britain and
France and the United States could send: they asked no more than that.
The casualty list of 220,000 men, of whom 60,000 sleep forever in the
fields of France and Flanders and in the plains of England, witnesses
the price this people of eight millions paid as its share in the task of
freeing the world from tyranny.

The realization that in a world war not merely the men in the trenches
but the whole nation could and must be counted as part of the fighting
force was slow in coming in Canada as in other democratic and unwarlike
lands. Slowly the industry of the country was adjusted to a war basis.
When the conflict broke out, the country was pulling itself together
after the sudden collapse of the speculative boom of the preceding
decade. For a time men were content to hold their organization together
and to avert the slackening of trade and the spread of unemployment
which they feared. Then, as the industrial needs and opportunities of
the war became clear, they rallied. Field and factory vied in expansion,
and the Canadian contribution of food and munitions provided a very
substantial share of the Allies' needs. Exports increased threefold, and
the total trade was more than doubled as compared with the largest year
before the war.

The financing of the war and of the industrial expansion which
accompanied it was a heavy task. For years Canada had looked to Great
Britain for a large share alike of public and of private borrowings. Now
it became necessary not merely to find at home all the capital required
for ordinary development but to meet the burden of war expenditure,
and later to advance to Great Britain the funds she required for
her purchase of supplies in Canada. The task was made easier by the
effective working of a banking system which had many times proved its
soundness and its flexibility. When the money market of Britain was
no longer open to overseas borrowers, the Dominion first turned to the
United States, where several federal and provincial loans were floated,
and later to her own resources. Domestic loans were issued on an
increasing scale and with increasing success, and the Victory Loan of
1918 enrolled one out of every eight Canadians among its subscribers.
Taxation reached an adequate basis more slowly. Inertia and the
influence of business interests led the Government to cling for the
first two years to customs and excise duties as its main reliance.
Then excess profits and income taxes of steadily increasing weight were
imposed, and the burdens were distributed more fairly. The Dominion was
able not only to meet the whole expenditure of its armed forces but to
reverse the relations which existed before the war and to become, as
far as current liabilities went, a creditor rather than a debtor of the
United Kingdom.

It was not merely the financial relations of Canada with the United
Kingdom which required readjustment. The service and the sacrifices
which the Dominions had made in the common cause rendered it imperative
that the political relations between the different parts of the Empire
should be put on a more definite and equal basis. The feeling was
widespread that the last remnants of the old colonial subordination must
be removed and that the control exercised by the Dominions should be
extended over the whole field of foreign affairs.

The Imperial Conference met in London in the spring of 1917. At special
War Cabinet meetings the representatives of the Dominions discussed war
plans and peace terms with the leaders of Britain. It was decided to
hold a Conference immediately after the end of the war to discuss the
future constitutional organization of the Empire. Premier Borden and
General Smuts both came out strongly against the projects of imperial
parliamentary federation which aggressive organizations in Britain
and in some of the Dominions had been urging. The Conference of 1917
recorded its view that any coming readjustment must be based on a
full recognition of the Dominions as autonomous nations of an imperial
commonwealth; that it should recognize the right of the Dominions and of
India to an adequate voice in foreign policy; and that it should provide
effective arrangements for continuous consultation in all important
matters of common concern and for such concerted action as the several
Governments should determine. The policy of alliance, of cooperation
between the Governments of the equal and independent states of the
Empire, searchingly tested and amply justified by the war, had compelled

The coming of peace gave occasion for a wider and more formal
recognition of the new international status of the Dominions. It had
first been proposed that the British Empire should appear as a unit,
with the representatives of the Dominions present merely in an advisory
capacity or participating in turn as members of the British delegation.
The Dominion statesmen assembled in London and Paris declined to
assent to this proposal, and insisted upon representation in the Peace
Conference and in the League of Nations in their own right. The British
Government, after some debate, acceded, and, with more difficulty,
the consent of the leading Allies was won. The representatives of the
Dominions signed the treaty with Germany on behalf of their respective
countries, and each Dominion, with India, was made a member of the
League. At the same time only the British Empire, and not any of the
Dominions, was given a place in the real organ of power, the Executive
Council of the League, and in many respects the exact relationship
between the United Kingdom and the other parts of the Empire in
international affairs was left ambiguous, for later events and counsel
to determine. Many French and American observers who had not kept in
close touch with the growth of national consciousness within the British
Empire were apprehensive lest this plan should prove a deep-laid scheme
for multiplying British influence in the Conference and the League.
Some misunderstanding was natural in view not only of the unprecedented
character of the Empire's development and polity, but of the incomplete
and ambiguous nature of the compromise affected at Paris between the
nationalist and the imperialist tendencies within the Empire. Yet the
reluctance of the British imperialists of the straiter sect to accede
to the new arrangement, and the independence of action of the Dominion
representatives at the Conference, as in the stand of Premier Hughes of
Australia on the Japanese demand for recognition of racial equality and
in the statement of protest by General Smuts of South Africa on signing
the treaty, made it clear that the Dominions would not be merely echoes.
Borden and Botha and Smuts, though new to the ways of diplomacy, proved
that in clear understanding of the broader issues and in moderation of
policy and temper they could bear comparison with any of the leaders of
the older nations.

The war also brought changes in the relations between Canada and her
great neighbor. For a time there was danger that it would erect a
barrier of differing ideals and contrary experience. When month after
month went by with the United States still clinging to its policy
of neutrality, while long lists of wounded and dead and missing were
filling Canadian newspapers, a quiet but deep resentment, not without
a touch of conscious superiority, developed in many quarters in the
Dominion. Yet there were others who realized how difficult and how
necessary it was for the United States to attain complete unity of
purpose before entering the war, and how different its position was
from that of Canada, where the political tie with Britain had brought
immediate action more instinctive than reasoned. It was remembered, too,
that in the first 360,000 Canadians who went overseas, there were 12,000
men of American birth, including both residents in Canada and men who
had crossed the border to enlist. When the patience of the United States
was at last exhausted and it took its place in the ranks of the nations
fighting for freedom, the joy of Canadians was unbounded. The entrance
of the United States into the war assured not only the triumph of
democracy in Europe but the continuance and extension of frank and
friendly relations between the democracies of North America. As the war
went on and Canada and the United States were led more and more to pool
their united resources, to cooperate in finance and in the supply
of coal, iron, steel, wheat, and other war essentials, countless new
strands were woven into the bond that held the two countries together.
Nor was it material unity alone that was attained; in the utterances of
the head of the Republic the highest aspirations of Canadians for the
future ordering of the world found incomparable expression.

Canada had done what she could to assure the triumph of right in the
war. Not less did she believe that she had a contribution to make
toward that new ordering of the world after the war which alone could
compensate her for the blood and treasure she had spent. It would be her
mission to bind together in friendship and common aspirations the two
larger English-speaking states, with one of which she was linked by
history and with the other by geography. To the world in general
Canada had to offer that achievement of difference in unity, that
reconciliation of liberty with peace and order, which the British Empire
was struggling to attain along paths in which the Dominion had been
the chief pioneer. "In the British Commonwealth of Nations," declared
General Smuts, "this transition from the old legalistic idea of
political sovereignty based on force to the new social idea of
constitutional freedom based on consent, has been gradually evolving for
more than a century. And the elements of the future world government,
which will no longer rest on the imperial ideas adopted from the Roman
law, are already in operation in our Commonwealth of Nations and will
rapidly develop in the near future." This may seem an idealistic aim;
yet, as Canada's Prime Minister asked a New York audience in 1916, "What
great and enduring achievement has the world ever accomplished that was
not based on idealism?"


For the whole period since 1760 the most comprehensive and thorough work
is "Canada and its Provinces", edited by A. Shortt and A. G. Doughty, 23
vols. (1914). W. Kingsford's "History of Canada", 10 vols. (1887-1898),
is badly written but is an ample storehouse of material. The "Chronicles
of Canada" series (1914-1916) covers the whole field in a number of
popular volumes, of which several are listed below. F. X. Garneau's
"Histoire du Canada" (1845-1848; new edition, edited by Hector Garneau,
1913-), the classical French-Canadian record of the development of
Canada down to 1840, is able and moderate in tone, though considered by
some critics not sufficiently appreciative of the Church.

Of brief surveys of Canada's history the best are W. L. Grant's "History
of Canada" (1914) and H. E. Egerton's "Canada" (1908).

The primary sources are abundant. The Dominion Archives have made a
remarkable collection of original official and private papers and of
transcripts of documents from London and Paris. See D. W. Parker, "A
Guide to the Documents in the Manuscript Room at the Public Archives of
Canada" (1914). Many of these documents are calendared in the "Report on
Canadian Archives" (1882 to date), and complete reprints, systematically
arranged and competently annotated, are being issued by the Archives
Branch, of which A. Shortt and A. G. Doughty, "Documents Relating to the
Constitutional History of Canada", 1759-1791, and Doughty and McArthur,
"Documents Relating to the Constitutional History of Canada", 1791-1818,
have already appeared. A useful collection of speeches and dispatches
is found in H. E. Egerton and W. L. Grant, "Canadian Constitutional
Development" (1907), and W. P. M. Kennedy has edited a somewhat larger
collection, "Documents of the Canadian Constitution", 1759-1915 (1918).
The later Sessional Papers and Hansards or Parliamentary Debates are
easily accessible. Files of the older newspapers, such as the Halifax
"Chronicle" (1820 to date, with changes of title), Montreal "Gazette"
(1778 to date), Toronto "Globe" (1844 to date), "Manitoba Free Press"
(1879 to date), Victoria "Colonist" (1858 to date), are invaluable.
"The Dominion Annual Register and Review", ed. by H. J. Morgan, 8 vols.
(1879-1887) and "The Canadian Annual Review of Public Affairs", by John
Castell Hopkins (1901 to date), are useful for the periods covered.

For the first chapter, Sir Charles P. Lucas, "A History of Canada",
1765-1812 (1909) and A. G. Bradley, "The Making of Canada" (1908) are
the best single volumes. William Wood, "The Father of British Canada"
("Chronicles of Canada", 1916), records Carleton's defense of Canada
in the Revolutionary War; and Justin H. Smith's "Our Struggle for the
Fourteenth Colony" (1907) is a scholarly and detailed account of the
same period from an American standpoint. Victor Con's "The Province of
Quebec and the Early American Revolution" (1896), with a review of the
same by Adam Shortt in the "Review of Historical Publications Relating
to Canada", vol. 1 (University of Toronto, 1897), and C. W. Alvord's
"The Mississippi Valley in British Politics", 2 vols. (1917) should
be consulted for an interpretation of the Quebec Act. For the general
reader, W. S. Wallace's "The United Empire Loyalists" ("Chronicles of
Canada", 1914) supersedes the earlier Canadian compilations; C. H.
Van Tyne's "The Loyalists in the American Revolution" (1902) and A. C.
Flick's "Loyalism in New York during the American Revolution" (1901)
embody careful researches by two American scholars. The War of 1812 is
most competently treated by William Wood in "The War with the United
States" ("Chronicles of Canada", 1915); the naval aspects are sketched
in Theodore Roosevelt's "The Naval War of 1812" (1882) and analyzed
scientifically in A. T. Mahan's "Sea Power in its Relations to the War
of 1812" (1905).

For the period, 1815-1841, W. S. Wallace's "The Family Compact"
("Chronicles of Canada", 1915) and A. D. De Celles's "The Patriotes of
'37" ("Chronicles of Canada", 1916) are the most concise summaries. J.
C. Dent's "The Story of the Upper Canadian Rebellion" (1885) is biased
but careful and readable. "William Lyon Mackenzie", by Charles Lindsey,
revised by G. G. S. Lindsey (1908), is a sober defense of Mackenzie by
his son-in-law and grandson. Robert Christie's "A History of the
Late Province of Lower Canada", 6 vols. (1848-1866) preserves much
contemporary material. There are few secondary books taking the
anti-popular side: T. C. Haliburton's "The Bubbles of Canada" (1839)
records Sam Slick's opposition to reform; C. W. Robinson's "Life of
Sir John Beverley Robinson" (1904) is a lifeless record of the greatest
Compact leader. Lord Durham's "Report on the Affairs of British North
America" (1839; available in Methuen reprint, 1902, or with introduction
and notes by Sir Charles Lucas, 3 vols., 1912) is indispensable. For the
Union period there are several political biographies available. G. M.
Wrong's "The Earl of Elgin" (1905), John Lewis's "George Brown" (1906),
W. L. Grant's "The Tribune of Nova Scotia" ("Chronicles of Canada",
1915), J. Pope's "Memoirs of the Right Honourable Sir John Alexander
Macdonald", 2 vols. (1894), J. Boyd's "Sir George Etienne Cartier"
(1914), and O. D. Skelton's "Life and Times of Sir A. T. Galt"
(1919), cover the political developments from various angles. A. H.
U. Colquhoun's "The Fathers of Confederation" ("Chronicles of
Canada", 1916) is a clear and impartial account of the achievement of
Confederation; while M. O. Hammond's "Canadian Confederation and its
Leaders" (1917) records the service of each of its chief architects.

For the years since Confederation biographies again give the most
accessible record. Sir John S. Willison's "Sir Wilfrid Laurier and the
Liberal Party" (1903) is the best political biography yet written in
Canada. Sir Richard Cartwright's Reminiscences (1912) reflects that
statesman's individual and pungent views of affairs, while Sir Charles
Tupper's "Recollections of Sixty Years" (1914) and John Castell
Hopkins's "Life and Work of Sir John Thompson" (1895) give a
Conservative version of the period. Sir Joseph Pope's "The Day of Sir
John Macdonald" ("Chronicles of Canada", 1915), and O. D. Skelton's "The
Day of Sir Wilfrid Laurier" ("Chronicles of Canada", 1916) between them
cover the whole period briefly. L. J. Burpee's "Sandford Fleming" (1915)
is one of the few biographies dealing with industrial as distinct from
political leaders. Imperial relations may be studied in G. R. Parkin's
"Imperial Federation, the Problem of National Unity" (1892) and in
L. Curtis's "The Problem of the Commonwealth" (1916), which advocate
imperial federation, and in R. Jebb's "The Britannic Question; a Survey
of Alternatives" (1913), J. S. Ewart's "The Kingdom Papers" (1912-), and
A. B. Keith's "Imperial Unity and the Dominions" (1916), which criticize
that solution from different standpoints. The "Reports" of the Imperial
Conferences of 1887, 1894, 1897, 1902, 1907, 1911, 1917, are of much
value. Relations with the United States are discussed judiciously in W.
A. Dunning's "The British Empire and the United States" (1914). Phases
of Canada's recent development other than political are covered best
in the volumes of "Canada and its Provinces", a History of the Canadian
people and their institutions, edited by A. Shortt and A. G. Doughty.

A useful guide to recent books dealing with Canadian history will be
found in the annual "Review of Historical Publications Relating to
Canada", published by the University of Toronto (1896 to date).

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