Canadian LGBT History/Early Canada/Overview

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Early Canada[edit]

1885 photo of Robert Harris' 1884 painting, Conference at Quebec in 1864, also known as The Fathers of Confederation. The scene is an amalgamation of the Charlottetown and Quebec City conference sites and attendees.

The Seventy-Two Resolutions from the 1864 Quebec Conference and Charlottetown Conference laid out the framework for uniting British colonies in North America into a federation.[1] They had been adopted by the majority of the provinces of Canada and became the basis for the London Conference of 1866, which led to the formation of the Dominion of Canada on July 1, 1867.[1] The term dominion was chosen to indicate Canada's status as a self-governing colony of the British Empire, the first time it was used about a country.[2] With the coming into force of the British North America Act (enacted by the British Parliament), the Province of Canada, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia became a federated kingdom in its own right.[3][4][5]

Federation emerged from multiple impulses: the British wanted Canada to defend itself; the Maritimes needed railroad connections, which were promised in 1867; British-Canadian nationalism sought to unite the lands into one country, dominated by the English language and British culture; many French-Canadians saw an opportunity to exert political control within a new largely French-speaking Quebec and fears of possible U.S. expansion northward.[2] On a political level, there was a desire for the expansion of responsible government and elimination of the legislative deadlock between Upper and Lower Canada, and their replacement with provincial legislatures in a federation.[2] This was especially pushed by the liberal Reform movement of Upper Canada and the French-Canadian Parti rouge in Lower Canada who favored a decentralized union in comparison to the Upper Canadian Conservative party and to some degree the French-Canadian Parti bleu, which favored a centralized union.[2][6]

Post-Confederation Canada 1867–1914[edit]

The Battle of Fish Creek, fought April 24, 1885, at Fish Creek, Saskatchewan, was a major Métis victory over the Dominion of Canada forces attempting to quell Louis Riel's North-West Rebellion.

In 1866, the Colony of British Columbia and the Colony of Vancouver Island merged into a single Colony of British Columbia, until their incorporation into the Canadian Confederation in 1871.[7] In 1873, Prince Edward Island, the Maritime colony that had opted not to join Confederation in 1867, was admitted into the country.[7] That year, John A. Macdonald (First Prime Minister of Canada) created the North-West Mounted Police (now the Royal Canadian Mounted Police) to help police the Northwest Territories.[8] Specifically the Mounties were to assert Canadian sovereignty over possible American encroachments into the sparsely populated land.[8]

The Mounties first large scale mission was to suppress the second independence movement by Manitoba's Métis, a mixed blood people of joint First Nations and European descent, who originated in the mid-17th century.[9] The desire for independence erupted in the Red River Rebellion in 1869 and the later North-West Rebellion in 1885 led by Louis Riel.[8][10] In 1905 when Saskatchewan and Alberta were admitted as provinces, they were growing rapidly thanks to abundant wheat crops that attracted immigration to the plains by Ukrainians and Northern and Central Europeans and by settlers from the United States, Britain and eastern Canada.[11][12]

The Alaska boundary dispute, simmering since the Alaska purchase of 1867, became critical when gold was discovered in the Yukon during the late 1890s, with the U.S. controlling all the possible ports of entry. Canada argued its boundary included the port of Skagway. The dispute went to arbitration in 1903, but the British delegate sided with the Americans, angering Canadians who felt the British had betrayed Canadian interests to curry favour with the U.S.[13]

In 1893, legal experts codified a framework of civil and criminal law, culminating in the Criminal Code of Canada. This solidified the liberal ideal of "equality before the law" in a way that made an abstract principle into a tangible reality for every adult Canadian.[14] Wilfrid Laurier who served 1896–1911 as the Seventh Prime Minister of Canada felt Canada was on the verge of becoming a world power, and declared that the 20th century would "belong to Canada"[15]

References[edit]

  1. a b LAC. "Canadian Confederation", in the Web site of Library and Archives Canada, 2006-01-09 (ISSN 1713-868X)
  2. a b c d Andrew Heard (1990). "Canadian Independence". Simon Fraser University. http://www.sfu.ca/~aheard/324/Independence.html. Retrieved 2010-04-10. 
  3. Department of Canadian Heritage. "Ceremonial and Canadian Symbols Promotion > The crown in Canada". Queen's Printer for Canada. http://www.pch.gc.ca/pgm/ceem-cced/symbl/101/102-eng.cfm. Retrieved 2009-02-19. 
  4. The Royal Household. "The Queen and the Commonwealth > Queen and Canada". Queen's Printer. http://www.royal.gov.uk/MonarchAndCommonwealth/Canada/Canada.aspx. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  5. "Heritage Saint John > Canadian Heraldry". Heritage Resources of Saint John and New Brunswick Community College. http://www.saintjohn.nbcc.nb.ca/heritage/CorporateSeal/heraldry.htm. Retrieved 2009-07-03. 
  6. Romney, Paul (1999). Getting it Wrong: How Canadians Forgot Their Past and Imperiled Confederation. p. 78. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_7023/is_30/ai_n28817944/. Retrieved 2010-08-24. 
  7. a b "1867–1931: Territorial Expansion". Canadiana (Canada in the Making). 2009. http://www.canadiana.org/citm/themes/constitution/constitution14_e.html. Retrieved 2010-04-11. 
  8. a b c "The RCMP's History". Royal Canadian Mounted Police. 2009. http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/hist/index-eng.htm. Retrieved 2010-04-12. 
  9. "What to Search: Topics-Canadian Genealogy Centre-Library and Archives Canada". Ethno-Cultural and Aboriginal Groups. Government of Canada. 2009-05-27. http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/genealogie/022-905.004-e.html. Retrieved 2009-10-02. 
  10. Boulton, Charles A. (1886) Reminiscences of the North-West Rebellions. Toronto. 2008. Retrieved 2010.
  11. "Territorial evolution". Atlas of Canada. Natural Resources Canada. http://atlas.nrcan.gc.ca/site/english/maps/reference/anniversary_maps/terr_evol. Retrieved 2007-10-09. 
  12. "Canada: History". Country Profiles. Commonwealth Secretariat. http://www.thecommonwealth.org/YearbookInternal/145152/history/. Retrieved 2007-10-09. 
  13. D.M.L. FARR (2009). "Alaska Boundary Dispute". The Canadian Encyclopedia. http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0000107. Retrieved 2010-04-11. 
  14. Ian McKay, "The Liberal Order Framework: A Prospectus for a Reconnaissance of Canadian History" (2000)
  15. Thompson, John Herd; Randall, Stephen J (2008). Canada and the United States: ambivalent allies. p. 79. ISBN 0820324035. http://books.google.ca/books?id=UVGHdmbzUTwC&lpg=PP1&dq=Canada%20and%20the%20United%20States%3A%20ambivalent%20allies&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=true. 
Canadian LGBT History
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IntroductionContributorsPrint version
Pre-colonial HistoryOverview • Two Spirit
New FranceOverview
British North AmericaOverviewBuggery Law • Alexander Wood
Early CanadaOverview
Inter-war CanadaOverview
Post-WWII CanadaOverview
1960s OnwardOverviewBill C-150LGBT PublicationsBathouse Raids and RiotsPride ParadesLGBT ServicesLGBT Rights