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Canada in 1867
1867
eighteen sixty-seven

The Dominion of Canada soon looked to expand, and in 1869, under the leadership of its first Prime Minister John A. Macdonald, it purchased the Hudson’s Bay Company’s Charter — which since 1680 had given the company exclusive rights to all trade and commerce in the territory of Rupert’s Land — for 300,000 pounds. The Métis, who lived in the Red River area of Rupert’s Land, were not consulted about the deal and turned away the new Lieutenant-Governor when he tried to enter the settlement, before the territory had officially changed hands. There was no legitimate government in the area so the Métis, led by Louis Riel, seized Fort Garry and established a provisional government. They demanded the right to vote, the official use of both English and French, to have both Protestant and Roman-Catholic schooling, and they demanded land laws. The list of demands became the basis of negotiation for the province of Manitoba to join Confederation.

In 1871, British Columbia agreed to join Canada after the federal government promised a transcontinental railroad to make trade easier with East. Prince Edward Island, in the meantime, had almost become bankrupt building an expensive railway. Macdonald saw this as an opportunity to tempt them into Confederation. He promised the federal government would assume its debt, give it a cash subsidy and provide a steamer service between the island and the mainland. P.E.I. became the seventh province in 1873.

Boundary Changes

  • 1870 Rupert's Land and North-Western Territory are transferred to Canada. They are amalgamated and renamed North-West Territories. Britain retains possession of the Arctic Islands
  • 1870 Manitoba established as the fifth Canadian province
  • 1871 British Columbia is added to Canada 1873 Prince Edward Island becomes the seventh province

GLOSSARY TERMS

Rupert's Land: A large piece of North America granted to the Hudson's Bay Co. by Charles II in 1670, and so-named for the king's cousin and HBC's first governor. The company had a monopoly in the region.

Hudson's Bay Company: Chartered May 2, 1670, it is the oldest incorporated joint-stock merchandising company in the English-speaking world. Starting with the fur trade, it is now the biggest retailer in Canada, with head offices in Winnipeg.

Métis: A person of mixed European and aboriginal descent. Canada had large Métis populations in the West and in Acadian regions in the East.

Manitoba: Created by the Manitoba Act of 1870, its boundaries expanded in 1881 and again in 1884. The province was dominated by the fur trade for 200 years. Named from the Cree "Manito-Wapow" or Ojibawa "Manito-Bah", meaning "strait of the spirit."

GLOSSARY TERMS

Rupert's Land: A large piece of North America granted to the Hudson's Bay Co. by Charles II in 1670, and so-named for the king's cousin and HBC's first governor. The company had a monopoly in the region.

Hudson's Bay Company: Chartered May 2, 1670, it is the oldest incorporated joint-stock merchandising company in the English-speaking world. Starting with the fur trade, it is now the biggest retailer in Canada, with head offices in Winnipeg.

Métis: A person of mixed European and aboriginal descent. Canada had large Métis populations in the West and in Acadian regions in the East.

Manitoba: Created by the Manitoba Act of 1870, its boundaries expanded in 1881 and again in 1884. The province was dominated by the fur trade for 200 years. Named from the Cree "Manito-Wapow" or Ojibawa "Manito-Bah", meaning "strait of the spirit."





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