Canadian History 1201 Notes


Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5
Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10


Confederation Day:  July 1st, 1867

 Chapter 1

Factors Leading to Confederation

  1. War and Expansion in the United States

·        The American Civil War:  Britain appeared to support the South in its efforts – the North won.  The British North American Colonies feared that the US (now controlled by the government of the North) would take revenge for Britain’s interference.

·        Manifest Destiny:  Ideas about the United States attempting to take control of the British Colonies to the north caused great fear – it was thought that since the US was now decidedly one country, it would begin an expansion campaign to take over the entire North American Continent. 

·        Purchase of Alaska:  The US acquired ownership of Alaska from the Russian Government.  This increased the fear that the US would soon attempt a northern expansion, beginning in the West and Central parts of the continent.  In addition, the “Gold Rush” of the late 1800s (i.e. the Klondike) brought hoards of American people into British Columbia.


  1. Fenian Raids


  1. The Trouble With Trade


  1. The Need For Rail Links


  1. Changing British Attitudes


All of these factors contributed to the growing idea that the British North American Colonies were in great danger.  They feared take over by the US, which was heightened by the Fenian Raids; they were about to lose their free trade contract with the US and they had none with each other; they required (but did not have) the ability to transport goods quickly across the continent and they were losing their support system in Britain.  They had to do something. 


The Struggle for Unity:

 The Charlottetown Conference of 1864

The Quebec Conference of 1864

7          New Brunswick

7          Prince Edward Island

5          Nova Scotia

2          Newfoundland

12      Canada East & West


Seesaw in New Brunswick

(i)  US ended the Reciprocity Treaty with the BNA colonies.

(ii)                The British Government sent a letter to the colony urging them to join with the other colonies.

(iii)               The Fenians attacked NB in 1866.  (The Fear Factor!!!) 


Success in Canada West

(i)        Confederation would change five unimportant colonies in to a great and powerful nation.

(ii)      It would remove the barriers to trade among the colonies and provide a market of four million people.

(iii)     Canada would become the third largest sea-going nation in the world.

(iv)    A strong new country would encourage settlers from other parts of the world.

(v)      Provision of other markets (since Reciprocity with the US had been cancelled).

(vi)    In case of war, a nation is stronger than a single colony.

·        The vote in 1865 won by a majority of  73%!


Debate in Canada East



Division in Nova Scotia



Rejection in Newfoundland and Labrador


Rejection in Prince Edward Island


The London conference of 1866

Models for Government


Chapter 2

The Greatest Land Deal in History


Trouble At Red River


Background to Rebellion


The Red River Rebellion, 1869-70


The Thomas Scott Affair

Aftermath of the Rebellion

·        Provisional Government and Canada agree on the Manitoba Act.

·        July 15th, 1870, the Red River Settlement entered into Canada.

·        The small area around Fort Garry became known as  Manitoba – Canada’s Fifth province!

·        The Metis began to move westward in search of their former way of life – in essence, they were being pushed (or nudged) off their land.

·        Riel was happy with the Manitoba Act – he had founded a new province; representation for his people; land; schooling; and protection for their language.

·        Riel was ready to relinquish control of the Red River settlement to Canada.

·        J. A. Macdonald sent troops to Red River just in case there was more trouble with Riel and his associates.

·        Not only would the presence of these soldiers from Canada signify order in the new province, it would also reinforce the message that Canada was now a unified nation to the United States.

·        The soldiers took about four months to reach Manitoba because there was no railroad – they had to cut their own roadway.

·        As the got close to the new province, Riel feared that he might be taken prisoner and punished, so he fled to the United States.



British Columbia Joins Confederation

·        May 10th, 1870 – three delegates from Victoria left to meet with Macdonald for the purposes of discussing entry into Confederation with Canada.

·        They wanted Responsible Government:  this meant that the representatives elected to the assembly would be responsible to the people of the province, not to the upper house or to Britain.  If the people became unhappy with the politicians, they could be voted out of office. 

·        They also wanted to be linked to the main body of Canada (they suggested a wagon trail).

·        Macdonald basically went bananas over the idea (he had always dreamed fanatically of building a railway).

·        Canada accepted BC’s terms.

·        On July 20, 1871, British Columbia became the sixth province of Canada.


Prince Edward Island Joins Confederation

·        Although PEI flatly refused Confederation in 1867, they were beginning to reconsider their rashness.

·        Like Canada, the Colony of PEI was also in the process of building a railway – as a result, it was in serious financial trouble.

·        They faced one of two options: higher taxes or Confederation – they chose Confederation.

·        Canada was still concerned about an attack from the south (US; Fenians) and PEI could easily be used as a platform for such an assault – they were still listening when PEI wanted to talk.

·        July 1, 1873 (exactly 6 years after Confederation proper) PEI joined with Canada.

·        Canada bought PEI’s debts, purchased the land from the Feudalist landlords in Britain, and guaranteed a full time ferry and telegraph service.

·        1880 – Britain presented the Artic Islands to Canada.


The Treaty of Washington, 1873

·        Canada began negotiations with the United States (and Britain) to re-establish a good trading relationship.

·        This was accomplished by the signing of The Treaty of Washington, after which Canada was assured that it was free from the fear of American attacks.

·        This allowed Canada to focus its full attention on expansion.

·        The Treaty allowed the US access to Canadian and Newfoundland waters for fishing.

·        In return, Canada could send fish to the US without taxes or tariffs.

·        This was a bum-deal for the maritime provinces and Newfoundland, so they began to complain.

·        1877 – the US agreed to pay $5.5 million to Canada and $2.5 million to Newfoundland.

·        These payments irritated the US, so they canceled that part of the treaty in 1885.


The Dream of a Railway


The National Policy and the Canadian Pacific Railway

·        Not everyone was happy with this idea – some provinces (eg. NS) felt that it would be cheaper to trade with the US as they had always done.

·        This actually helped the National Policy come into effect – it reinforced the need for a cheaper and easier way to trade east-west in Canada.

·        Another company was formed to build the railway… it was given the very original name of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. (losers) J 

·        Part of the deal with this new company was that after the railway was finished, the company would own and operate it and the government would give the company 10 million ha of land (which would later be sold to settlers).

·        This contract would be good for 20 years.

·        Also, the company would never have to pay taxes on building materials or on any of its property.

·        In return, the company promised to complete the railway within 10 years.



Building Problems

·        Nothing was easy about building the railway – Canada’s geography is about as diverse as its people! 

·        W.C. Van Horne was hired to supervise the construction – he was a very talented and experienced railroader.

·        His opinion of at least one part of the Canadian wilderness was that it was “two hundred miles of engineering impossibility.”

·        The work was dangerous and deadly – some claimed that “every kilometer of tunnel and track was stained with blood along the British Columbia section of the line.”


The Role of Chinese Workers

·        Thousands of Chinese workers were “brought in” to work on the British Columbia section of the railway.

·        Like the poor whelps in the Export Processing Zones in places like Malaysia today, the Chinese workers were exploited by the CPR Company because they were willing to work hard for half the wages that the other workers expected (what a great deal, eh?).

·        As a reward for their willingness to work, they were often given the most difficult and the most dangerous jobs – almost 200 of them were killed in railroad construction accidents.

·        Without them, BC would not have had a railway (either that, or we would have had to risk our own lives – I wonder how many accidents  would have been allowed  to happen then).

·        As always, some people were ignorant – they objected to the Chinese because they were different.  As a result, they often mistreated and abused the Chinese workers.

·        After the railway was completed, and they were no longer needed to absorb the accident factor and the expensive task of building the railway, most of the Chinese were unable to return to their homeland (probably because they didn’t get paid enough money).

·        Since then, they have been rejected but in spite of that, they have become an integral part of Canada (or so the book says… if this were the case, would we still refer to them as they?).


The Last Spike!



The North-West Rebellion of 1885

(i)                  proof that they owned their land;

(ii)                food and money in exchange for use of their lands;

(iii)               the settlers involved wanted higher prices for their wheat and a stronger voice for the region in Ottawa.

·        Before Canada could respond, the Metis had already persuaded good old Riel to return and lead them.

·        Riel decided to rely on the methods he used fifteen years earlier in Red River – old problems = old solutions.

·        The problem was that many things had changed.  For example, a new police force was in place; also, there was a railroad to transport troops from the east.

·        Whereas he had the support of the RC Church at Red River, his call to arms in the North-West lost their support (Christianity and violence have not been good bedfellows since the Inquisition, Imperialism, the invasion of South America by the Spanish, etc.).

·        In March, 1885, Riel’s forces defeated a group of police in a “skirmish.”  This was the beginning of the North-West Rebellion.

·        Ottawa wasted no time in responding – it sent 5000 troops to the North-West in less than 10 days.

·        The rebellion lasted for less than four months – Riel and his forces were defeated.

·        Riel became a prisoner of the Canadian government and faced charges of treason for taking up arms against the government.


The Trial of Louis Riel


The Manitoba Schools Question 1890

·        When Manitoba became a province, most of the people living there were French speaking Catholics.

·        This changed as many English people settled there over the next 20 years (part of the Westward expansion).  Soon, they outnumbered the French.

·        The Manitoba Schools Act was passed in 1890.

·        This act removed Religion and the French language from Manitoba Public Schools.

·        Catholics were free to send their children to a denominational school, but the government would no longer pay for it.

·        Because each province was given rule over its own educational system in the BNA Act, protests to the Canadian government were useless.

·        When Wilfred Laurier was elected to the office of Prime Minister in 1896, he came up with a solution:  RC schools would not be entirely supported by public funds but religious instruction would take place for part of the school day.  French speaking teachers would be provided in schools where there where 10 or more French students were enrolled.

·        Laurier’s compromise was short lived as the French rights were later taken away and English became the official language of the public school system in Manitoba.


Settling the West

·        Laurier and the Liberal party governed the country for 15 years after the election of 1896.

·        Clifford Sifton was employed to find ways of drawing settlers into Canada West. 

·        The prairies were ripe… they needed someone to farm them!

·        Sifton attempted to persuade settlers from other countries to move to the prairies.

·        Advertising campaigns in Britain, Europe, and the United States described the opportunities available in Canada.

·        Eventually, the plan worked and people came to the west in “hoards and droves.”

·        Other factors that helped Canada’s immigration plan:

(i)                  Not much land left for farming in the US

(ii)                Demand for Canadian wheat in Europe increased

(iii)               Canada now had a railroad for trading and shipping

(iv)              Technological innovations began to arise that would make farming a much easier job

(v)                Millions of Europeans were looking for a place to go anyway.

·           Sifton’s policy was rather selective – it alienated/restricted entry of non-white and non English people, including many minority groups.

Chapter 3

The Dawn of the 20th Century











Growth of the Nation – Immigration and Urbanization

Equality and Inequality


Women Organize for Change

Chapter 4

Profile of a Prime Minister

Wilfred Laurier

·        Laurier died on 17th of February, 1919 – 8 years after he was defeated in 1911.  He was never to become Prime Minister again.


Imperialism and French Canadian Nationalism


The Boer War

The Naval Crisis



Canadian – American Relations – The Alaska Boundary Dispute of 1903

Chapter 5

Murder at Sarajevo


Causes of World War I

(i)                  Britain, France and Russsia VS. Germany and Austria-Hungary.

(ii)                France and Germany were in conflict before, so they looked for other countries to be their allies.

(iii)               Alliances are formed when countries band together against a common threat.

(iv)              France, Russia and Britain were the Tipple Entente or The Allies.

(v)                Germany, Austira-Hungary, and Italy were the Tripple Alliance or The Central Powers but Italy joined the Tirple Entente when the war started.

(vi)              The alliances were dangerous because they increased fear and suspicions among rival nations, and a war between two countries would likely involve many more.

·           Nationlaism:

(i)                  Nationalism is a feeling of deep loyalty to one’s people and homeland.

(ii)                Europe nationalism in the n nineteenth century was a powerful force which drew more than 200 small states together in 18th century Germany.

(iii)               The early 20th century was when nationalism was causing great problems in that some people would take any action to support their nation, such as war.

(iv)              The Black Hand was a terrorist group that was composed of Serbs and Bosnians that thought Bosnia should break away from Austria.

(v)                A terrorist organization supports violent action to gain its goals, and they do not always represent the wishes of all people in their country.

(vi)              The Austrians were also expressing feelings of nationalism when they  opposed the attempts of Bosnia to break away from their empire.

·           Imperialism:

(i)                  During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, imperialism gained momentum because the nations of Europe became more industrialized.

(ii)                European countries wanted to gain control of lands away from home and building huge empires, which would be a source of raw goods, and they also gave the home country glory and military strength.

(iii)               Many countries had control of colonies (page 80: 2-3 paragraphs under imperialism).

(iv)              Imperialism led to quarrels among the grate powers of Europe in all parts of the world, and arguments over colonies and trade threatened peace.


·                    Militarism:

(i)                  Militarism is the belief in the power of strong armies and navies to decide issues.

(ii)                Preparing for war was thought to be the only way to guarantee peace, and if a nation is strong, no enemy would dare attack it.  If war did occur, the militarized nation would be ready.

(iii)               This thinking led to an arms race in Europe, which was where each country produced steel battleships, high-powered cannons, and explosives.

(iv)              The size of armies and navies determined who would be the most powerful nation in Europe.

(v)                Germany built a huge navy, causing Britain to become nervous because Britain depended on its giant navy to “rule the waves,” and guarantee the safety of the island.

(vi)              Germany then challenged Britain’s supremacy at sea, and the nations of Europe were becoming more suspicious and alarmed by the others’s military power.



·                    The headline on newspapers across the country was War!

·                    Britain declared war against Germany, leaving Canada and the other countries of the British Empire automatically at war.

·                    British colonies were not independent, they were subject to the rules of the home country.

·                    Laurier announced that Britain wouldn’t fight themselves, they would have the help of Canada.

·                    Henri Bourassa also stated that it was Canada’s duty to help.  The French and English Canadian’s finally seemed to agree.

·                    When the call came out for recruiting in Canada, offices were flooded with volunteers for the war at a pay of $1.00/day.  People thought that the war would end quickly.

·                    Within 2 months, 30 000 Canadians were sent, however the war did not end until 4 years later, with the involvement of another 400 000 Canadians.

Chapter 6


Battles on the Western Front




Battle of the Somme


Vimy Ridge




The War in the Air


Billy Bishop


The War at Sea


The U-Boat Menace

Several thousand Canadians served in the British Royal Navy, Royal Navy Canadian Volunteer Reserve, and Royal Navy Air Se

Chapter 7

Effects on Everyday Life


The Economics of War


Woman During the War Years


 The Struggle for Women’s Rights




The Election of 1917

-         Laurier and his followers were accused of letting down the soldiers at the front.

-         Borden and the Union Government won the election, although they got only three seats in Quebec.

·        The split that had feared for so long seemed to have happened – riots occurred in Montreal and Quebec City; the French and English Canadians were entirely torn apart.

·        In November, 1918, at the end of the war, Canada was a divided nation.




Chapter 8

 Prohibition and the Rumrunners

·        The “Roaring Twenties” (1920s) had new forms of entertainment that were available to almost everyone (ex: movies, radio, dance clubs, and cars).

·        There was also much crime, corruption, and extreme poverty for some people.

·        Prohibition started in Canada in 1916 and 1917 during World War I.  It made the production and sale of alcohol illegal.

·        The Women’s Christian Temperance Union worked to ban the use of intoxicating liquor.

·        They argued that the grain should be used to feed soldiers and civilians.  Also, money was needed to feed families instead of being spent on drink.

·        Even when prohibition was introduced you could still find “bootleg booze”, which was illegal liquor made and sold by organized bootleggers (ex: Rocco Perri).  There were even private clubs called “speakeasies.”

·        Some Canadian rumrunners made fortunes smuggling Canadian liquor south of the border to the US.  Almost $1 million of liquor crossed from Windsor to Detroit each month.

·        Prohibition had some positive social effects such as the decrease in crime and arrests for drunkenness.  More workers took their pay cheques home instead of to the taverns.  Industrial efficiency improved because fewer work days were missed. 

·        Provincial governments realized they were losing money in potential taxes on liquor sales and people argued that legalizing liquor under strict government controls would be easier to enforce than total Prohibition.  Gradually, individual provinces dropped Prohibition throughout the 1920s.  (PEI was last to eliminate this law in 1948.)

Other Post-War Problems

·        Wartime industries (ex: munitions factories) closed down after the war.

·        Workers were laid off and women were under pressure to return to house-hold duties so that men could have jobs, even though it was really hard for them to find work.

·        Many war veterans were unemployed and bitter because they wondered why there were no jobs for them in the country that they had just fought to defend. 

·        They also resented the fact that some business people at home had made huge profits in war industries while they risked their lives in Europe.  They felt that they at least deserved a chance to make an honest living.

·        Rapid inflation became a problem around 1919.  The prices of basic items such as food and clothing had increased greatly, while wages had not.

·        The cost of living had more than doubled from 1914 to 1919!

·        Workers and returning soldiers joined unions to fight for better living and working conditions. 

·        Workers (miners, machinists, steelworkers, loggers, etc...) across the country staged strikes.    

The Winnipeg General Strike of 1919

·        One of the most important and dramatic strikes in Canadian History.

·        Trade workers voted to strike; 30 000 others walked off the job as well.

·        Almost all industries and key services were shut down.

·        Ottawa sent Mounties and soldiers to put down the strike.

·        June 21, a day known as Bloody Saturday violence erupted in Winnipeg.

·        Shots were fired by mounted police and one striker was killed.

·        Strike leaders were forced not to become union members or become involved in union activities.

·        A Royal Commission was appointed to investigate the causes of the strike.

·        Some were forced not to become union members or become involved in any union activities.

·        H.A. Robson, head of the Commission, concluded that the strike was caused by high cost of living, poor working conditions, and low wages.

·        Labourers turned to politics to make their voices heard.  Many were elected to all levels of government in the 1920s.


Foreign Investment in Canada

·        At the beginning of the 20th century, the biggest foreign investors in Canada were British.

·        Less was invested into industrial enterprises because of the uncertainty of profit so they invested into Canadian Government Bonds and Railroads.

·        Because of WWI, British investment fell off so the Americans moved in as Canada’s #1 foreign investor.

·        Americans put money into the expanding areas of the Canadian Economy such as Mining, Pulp and Paper, and Hydro-electric power.

·        While the British usually let Canadians run the businesses their own way, Americans introduced the Branch Plant System.  That is, branch plants were set up in Canada that functioned under the direction of parent companies in the US.  This allowed American companies to place a Made in Canada tag on its products and avoid the high tariffs charged for shipping products across the border.

·        Many saw this as manifest destiny realized – top management jobs were held by Americans and profits earned by the Canadian branch plants were sent back to the United States.

·        Some people were afraid that Americans would completely take over Canada’s economic system.


Effects of the Boom Years


Politics of the 1920’s

·        In July 1920 Arthur Meighen a conservative, was sworn in as prime minister of Canada.

·        He took over from sir Robert Borden who had resigned.

·        French Canadians were still seething over the conscription crisis of 1917.

·        Martimers were demanding more jobs and better conditions. Prairie farmers were suffering from a post war slump and they claimed that high tariffs increased their costs of operation. Farmers also demanded that the railways be taken over by that government and the rates reduced.

·        The man who became prime minister for most of the 1920s was destined to be the most successful political leader of his age and that man was the grandson of William Lyon Mackenzie the leader of the rebellion in upper Canada.

·        For almost 30 years William Lyon Mackenzie King dominated the liberal part and political life in Canada. He was Canada’s longest serving prime minister (so the book says).

·        On the surface, King seemed to possess few qualities that would attract large numbers of voters. Some of these qualities were:

                  -He was a pudgy man, some say “dumpy” in appearance.

                  -He was cautious and careful and extremely shrewd.

                  -He had strong interest in spiritualism and sometimes through mediums    and séances tried to contact the dead.



Canada’s Growing Independence



Women and the Persons Case



Struggles of Native Peoples

    -- Would draw attention to the economic and social problems facing their people.  This league demanded that Natives should get the right to vote without giving up their special status.


Chapter 9

Since the economy was on the upswing in the 1920s, many people indulged in non-essential items.  Inventions like the radio, the mass production of automobiles, talking films and air travel were being invented.  Fads and fashions were not in the reach of everyone but Canadians were moving into the modern age.


Fads and Fashions


The Automobile




·        Jazz moved north from New Orleans in the US and was made popular by such musicians as Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong. 

·        Charleston was the dance of the decade that emerged out of African American culture.


·        Canadian aces, who returned from World War I, bought surplus biplanes and “barnstormed” across the country.  They would perform daring stunts over country fairs.

·        Eventually, the public and government began to see the possibilities of air travel.

·        Bush pilots helped to open northern frontiers of Canada by flying prospectors and supplies into mineral-rich areas.  The post office hired pilots to fly mail into remote areas in 1927.

·        Charles A. Lindbergh completed the first non-stop transatlantic flight from New York to Paris, which signalled the possibility of long-distance air travel.


The Silver Screen

·        “Talkies”, which were talking films, arrived in Canada in 1927.

·        The stars of these films were idolized and they provided excitement to people (ex: Charlie Chaplin, Rudolph Valentino, & Greta Garbo)

·        Mary Pickford was called “America’s Sweetheart.”  She came to represent the luxury and wealth the film industry brought to its stars.

·        By the end of the decade, there were more than 900 movie houses across Canada.  Movie-going was the most popular form of entertainment at this time. 



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