The Province of Canada 1741 - 1867

"I am a canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what i think is right, free to oppose what i believe is wrong or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom i pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind"~John diefenbaker

Parliament hill (left), Canadian soldiers and Queen of England (middle), Confederation (right)

What is the Province of Canada?

The province of Canada, also known as the United Canada's was a British colony in North America from 1841 - 1867. The province of Canada's formation reflected recommendation made by John Lambton, 1st of Durham on the report on the affairs of the British North America. This followed the rebellions of 1837 - 1838. In 1840 the British parliament passed the Act of Union, which went into effects on February 10th, 1841. This is when they merged the Colonies of Upper Canada and Lower Canada by abolishing their separate parliaments and replacing them with a single ones with two houses. These two house were a Legislative Council as the upper chamber and the Legislated Assembly as the lower chamber. In the aftermath of the Rebellions of 1837 - 1838, unification of upper and lower Canada was driven by two factors. Firstly, Upper Canada was at the state of bankruptcy because it lacked stable tax revenues and needed the resources of Lower Canada to fund its internal transportation improvements. Secondly, unification was an attempt to swamp the French vote by giving each of the former provinces the same number of parliament seats. But this was very unfair because Lower Canada had a much greater population.

The province of Canada Flag

Even though Durham's report called for the Union of the Canada's and for Responsible Government, only the first was implemented. The new government was to be led by an appointed Governor General accountable only to the British Crown and the King's Ministers, which includes the bishop, intended and governor general. But after all discussion, responsible Government was not achieved until the second LaFontaine-Baldwin ministry in 1849. The province of Canada ceased to exist at the Canadian Confederation on July 1st, 1867. It was redivided into Canadian Provinces of Ontario and Quebec. From 1791 - 1841, the territory roughly corresponding to modern-day Southern Ontario in Canada belonged to the British Colony of Upper Canada. While this was happening, the southern portion of Quebec belonged to Lower Canada. Therefore, Upper Canada spoke mainly English and Lower Canada spoke mainly French.

The Province of Canada is divided in two parts. These two parts are Canada East and Canada West. Canada East was what became of the former colony of Lower Canada after being united into the province of Canada. Lower Canada is the southern portion of the present-day Quebec, existing as a separate British province from 1741 - 1840. Around 1791, Britain decided to divide the Province of Quebec into Upper and Lower Canada. Canada West was what became of the former colony of Upper Canada after being united into the Province of Canada. Upper Canada was created in 1791 by the division of the old colony of Quebec into Lower Canada in the east and Upper Canada in the west. Society settled largely by loyalist and farmers started moving north from the United States, which endured war with America. Political growing pains were happening until it was merged again with its French-peaking counterpart into the Province of Canada. In 1841, Upper and Lower Canada were reunited as a single colony, the Province of Canada.

Important poeople

John Lambton-Lord Durham


John Lambton, or Lord Durham was the Governor General of Canada in the year of 1838 . In his short time in office as Governor General, Lambton made a tremendous impact on the development of Canada, as he was responsible for recommending a modified "responsible" Canadian government. He also created peace amongst the union of Upper and Lower Canada.

Report on the Affairs of British North America

Lambton's "Report on the Affairs of British North America" in 1839 recommended the union of Upper Canada, Lower Canada and the Maritime Provinces.



The Fathers of Confederation were 36 men who represented British North American colonies at one or more of the Charlottetown, Quebec, and London conferences. These conferences led to the Confederation in Canada. These men were also the creators of the plan that brought together the British American colonies, and led to the British North American act signed on March 29th, 1867. The most prominent conference delegates involved in Canada's creation included; John A. Macdonald,George-Étienne Cartier, Thomas D'Arcy McGee, Charles Tupper and George Brown.



John A. Macdonald was the first Prime Minister of Canada, and was basically the founder of Canada. Being one of the few delegates in the Fathers of Confederation Macdonald, brought the provinces of Upper Canada, lower Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick together in 1867 to form Canada. He then brought British Columbia, PEI, and the great Northwest Territories into the Canadian Federation. During his time in office Macdonald had many accomplishments. These included; building the Trans-Canadian railroad, and his creation of relationship between Canada and the United States.

George-Étienne Cartier


George-Étienne Cartier was one of the most influential politicians of his generation. Étienne was co-premier of the Province of Canada, he was responsible for bringing french Canada, Manitoba, and British Columbia into the Dominion. Étienne was among the most enthusiastic supporters of Confederation.



Thomas D'arcy McGee was a journalist, poet, politician, gifted speaker and strong supporter of Confederation. McGee, who was Irish was seen as a trader by the Irish community because he publicly denounced the "Fenian Movement" (Irish rebels against Canadian Government). McGee was assassinated by Irish rebels because of his opposition of the Fenians. Soon after McGees assassination, the federal government organized the Dominion (Canadian) Police to guard the Parliament Building in Ottawa. These were the Canadian police.

Parliament Hill Guards



Charles Tupper, as the Premiere of Nova Scotia, was a champion of both the Maritime union and Confederation. Tupper became Prime Minister on the 1st of May 1896 and was defeated out of office in June that same year. He served only 10 weeks as Prime Minister, the shortest in Canadian history. Tupper was the last surviving Father of Confederation.

George Brown


George Brown was a journalist, politician, and played a prime role in confederation. Brown began a newspaper called the "Banner" in 1843 in Upper Canada. In 1844 Brown began the "Toronto Globe" to support responsible government. By the 1850s Brown's Globe newspaper had the largest circulation in British North America. The Globe merged with the "Mail and Empire in 1936 and became the "Globe and Mail". One of Toronto's major newspapers.

"The Globe" newspaper

How did the Province of Canada Contribute to the Confederation?

The Province of Canada took the first step in a very slow but balancing nation. This building exercise would help later on to surround other territories and provinces to eventually create an exciting nation. They also want to make the dream of having a country from sea to sea. The Province of Canada helped a lot in over coming big tasks and difficulty in the change of two Canada's.

The Province of Canada's three of four big political groups helped the partnership give the Confederation a positive action that was never lost. The Province of Canada also contributed by sailing to the Charlottetown Conference when the process of the Canadian government wasn't going too well. They helped by giving their own proposals. Everyone had very good idea's. The idea of a united country was chosen from all of the other proposals.


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