Ontario 1610-1985 (Ontario Heritage Foundation Local History Series, No 1)

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The end of the British preferential system had a serious negative impact on Ontario's economy. Ontario's exports of wheat and wood through Montreal lost their preferred status. To offset this loss, the Canadian government negotiated the Reciprocity Treaty with the United States. It would be in effect from to At the time of Confederation in , about 3.

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Seventy-five percent of these people lived in Ontario and Quebec. The census indicates that the population of Ontario was over 1. Of these, 1. From to , the population of Canada West grew substantially, from , inhabitants in to , in , and 1,, in In , Toronto pop. These centres experienced strong urban, commercial and industrial growth.

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Montreal, however, remained the metropolis of United Canada, with a population of 90, in Front Street, Toronto, ca. King Street, Toronto, ca. Yonge Street, Toronto, ca. Corner of Rideau and Sussex St. Old Albion Hotel on Nicholas St. Corner Sparks and Metcalfe St. King Street, Kingston, ca.

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Kingston, ca. Hamilton, ca. Several factors led to Confederation in Of these factors, some were inherently linked to Canada East, which, with Canada West, formed the Province of Canada after the Act of Union was signed in Equal parliamentary representation suited Canada West as long as its population was less than that of Canada East; however, the census revealed that, for the first time, the population of Canada West exceeded that of Canada East. Faced with this new state of affairs, George Brown began his campaign for rep by pop representation by population.

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As it was impossible to forge an alliance between reformers in Canada West, often anti-French and anti-Catholic, and reformers in Canada East, who wished to protect the status of the French language and were openly nationalistic, George Brown was relegated to the opposition. Government was also extremely unstable from to due to the nature of United Canada's political system. Great Britain's waning interest in its North American colonies spurred a desire to politically restructure Canada West.

Macdonald and Alexander Tilloch Galt to make an overture to George Brown and raise an appeal for a coalition.

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In the interests of entering government and asserting his political ideas, of eradicating political instability, and of promoting the federation of British North America, George Brown answered his political opponents and agreed to join the Great Coalition of With this, the coalition launched the process that would lead to Confederation in A few days before this proposal, a report was tabled by a parliamentary committee formed and chaired by George Brown himself responsible for examining political problems in the Province of Canada. The report was brief and general.

Nevertheless, it was a foundation for resolving United Canada's political problems. Proposals that were considered unworkable were removed, such as the double majority, rep by pop, and dissolution of the Union. The committee favoured a federal system, but did not attempt to define the form it would take. Canada West's trade in wheat, flour and timber had benefited substantially from the Reciprocity Treaty with the United States. Its possible abrogation which did finally occur in made farmers and merchants in Canada West apprehensive. A proposed union of the British North American colonies was highly appealing to them for this reason.

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  • After the American Civil War , British authorities in London feared reprisals against British colonial territories by the victorious Northern states. Since Great Britain had openly supported the South, their fear was well founded. The dangers of this war also stirred Loyalist sentiments in Ontarians. The threat of attacks by Fenians also motivated London to reorganize the political status of its North American colonies. If the United States considered Canada a sovereign country rather than a British colony, the Fenians might be less inclined to continue their attacks. Some members of Ontario's political leadership believed that the territories west of the province were rightfully theirs.

    Political restructuring was an ideal opportunity to claim them. The British colonies involved in the confederation project had amassed considerable debt from railway construction.

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    Pooling their debts in a federation would relieve the stress on their several economies. By facilitating commerce between provinces, confederation would also encourage the profitability of railway companies. In the s, the controversial William Lyon Mackenzie proposed that the Union simply be dissolved. Neither the eastern nor the western faction of Canada West agreed with this proposal.

    A return to single-colony status would have isolated Canada West from the markets and waterways essential to commercial development. John Sandfield Macdonald presented a proposal that would make a double majority mandatory to form a government. He was unable to remain in power. George Brown's proposal of rep by pop was by far the best-known suggestion at the time. It would be equivalent to a simple legislative union, without further change, but under it French Canadians would lose the advantages they had gained over the years.

    Macdonald and John Sandfield Macdonald, both representatives from the eastern section of Canada West, opposed it. When George Brown joined the Great Coalition, asking the government to include a solution to the political problem in United Canada as part of its mandate, he took up a proposal originally made by Alexander Tilloch Galt in If you've changed your mind about a book that you've ordered, please use the Ask Bookseller a Question link to contact us and we'll respond within 2 business days.

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