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Canadian Confederation

Canadian Confederation

There were many important bills and conferences that helped shape Canada. Among them were the Charlottetown Conference of 1864, the Quebec Conference of 1864, the London Confrence of 1864, and the Act of Union in 1841.

Another key bill was the Act of Union in 1841. It was based on the ideas of assimilation put forward by Lord Durham. Lord Durham saw in the conflict a confrontation of the two races. He believed the Francophone society hobbled Canada’s expansion. The Act of Union was passed by the parliament in London on July 23, 1840. It came into force on February 10, 1841. This act introduced many reforms. Upper and Lower Canada were to become one United Canada, that shared the same government. Now Upper and Lower Canada became referred to as Canada East and Canada West. This political union also strengthened the economy, and Canada’s business class was pleased. This made the French – Canadians upset. A reason for their anger was the fact that although Canada East had a larger population that Canada West, it was allotted the same number of representatives. The Act of Union also stated that English was to be the official language of the country.

The joining of the colonies to make present day Canada was a center of great debate. Many were against it, especially the maritime provinces. They were already doing well economically on their farms and fishing. Canada is such a vast country and the colonists were spread so far apart. Every group had different ideologies and races. Many who were against confederation argued that “… the idea of unity of races was utopian – it was impossible”1.

The Americans posed a huge threat to the survival of Canada.


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