Confederation In The 1860's

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The year 1867 is perhaps Canada’s best known year historically; for it is the year we became a country, independent and free. However, confederation did not begin as an idea in 1867, but rather in the few years prior to 1867. A number of factors, often related, had led people in the 1860’s to believe that the BNA colonies needed to join. These factors, known as the reasons for confederation, are as follows: 1) Political Deadlock 2) The Railway 3) Economic Necessity 4) American Threat 5) Britain’s Attitude and 6) Expanding Westward. This essay will explain each of these reasons and how each had its own influence in our confederation. Political Deadlock is the time in 1841 when nothing could get done in the government due to frequent changes…show more content…
Under the corn law, Britain allowed wheat and flour from the colonies to enter Britain with a very low tax. But in 1846, Britain announced that it was putting an end to the trade preference. And that there will be free trade. Now they found themselves in financial trouble. The BNA colonies had to find new trading partners and the best choice was their neighbours to the south, the United States. In 1854, The BNA colonies signed a reciprocity agreement with the US. A reciprocity is an agreement to allow trade in certain goods without a tax. The treaty was signed for 10 years and after that, either side could break the deal. As weird as it may seem, the colonies didn’t trade with each other often and if they did, the goods had a very high tax on them. During the 1860’s the colonies worried that the US will break the reciprocity agreement.. In 1865, the US said that they intended to break the reciprocity agreement. The colonies were thrown into a panic. The only solution seemed to have free trade among the colonies. If the colonies united, they could have free trade among each other and continue to build trade…show more content…
Many people looked at the land to the West, what we call today Manitoba, Alberta, Saskatchewan, as possible land for settlement. But the Americans were also thinking about moving into this land. If the BNA colonies unite, then they could claim this land as their own before the Americans arrive. To conclude, the years leading up to and including 1867 was a historic time for our great nation. Not only did we become a country and celebrate annually on July 1st, but brought colonies together for a common goal by eliminating Political Deadlock during the Great Coalition. The Grand Trunk allowed BNA colonies to trade amongst themselves by working together when it didn’t seem possible. Free Trade allowed for more frequent trading which helped both economies to thrive. When the colonies were united, the fear of The Manifest Destiny subsided. Working together for mutual benefits certainly helped Canada during Confederation. In today’s society, we are still using the principles of confederation in our country. We need both majority and minority governments to work together for a common goal as well as working with other countries for common benefits such as our free trade agreement we enjoy with the USA today. So 1867 lead the way for us to live free in Canada and for that, I am eternally

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