Reasons For Confederation Essay

1266 words - 5 pages

In the mid 1800s, British North America was going through a big political change. The process of choosing a capital city had created a major crisis for Canada. The Conservatives and the Reform party were creating even more problems with their race for Assembly seats. In fact, their race for seats had made politics in Canada an unsettled affair with the many deadlocks, double shuffles and non-confidence votes. What Canada needed to solve their problems was a Confederation.A confederation is the union of all the colonies under one major government. This would solve all of the economical and political problems Canada was facing. You may be wondering, what were these problems they actually faced? Canada’s biggest worries all shared one thing in common, their roots always started with the United States. The threat of an American takeover after the Civil War, the troubles with trade and the need for rail links all loomed large as the United States continued their progress forward into their dream of a Manifest Destiny.The threat of an American takeover was a big one. The Canadians knew that the North, after winning the civil war, would try and attack Canada as a revenge for Britain supporting the South. The South was one of Britain’s main producers of cotton and British textiles needed the cotton. To try and ensure the South won, Britain sent armed ships to the South. Of course, this did not please the North, even after they won.The second reason why the North turned their eyes towards Canada was because of their dream of a Manifest Destiny. A manifest destiny is a belief that the Americans would one day control all of North America, or even the world. The Americans were still fresh from fighting in the Civil War making them even more confident that the Manifest Destiny would succeed. Also, the thought of a Britain and Canada being hostile to the North would give them an extra push. The Americans created 5 major pressure points during the period of 1866 to 1867.The Fenian’s plan of an invasion in British North America from the United States was the first pressure point. The Fenians made raids on Canada West and East and on New Brunswick. The US government was slow to stop these raids by the Fenians. This showed the mounting disrespect of Canada by the US government, which is a big cause of panic for Canada.The second pressure point was along the Red River Settlement near the American border. American settlers, railways, trade and many other influences were slowly but steadily pushing in on the people of the Red River Settlement. The Canadians knew that this was just the beginning of America’s push into Canada.Before 1867, Alaska belonged to the Russians. But this all changed when the Americans purchased it from them. This was the third pressure point. With the Americans in the north, the Canadian government started to worry that they would start to look at the North-West Territories next. Another cause for panic was the fact that...

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