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* 1760 1905



K.C.M.G., LL.D. 1 , LiTT.D.



G. M. WRONG, M.A.,






First Edition, 1900.
Revised Edition, 1909.


The aim of this series is to sketch the history of Modern
Europe, with that of its chief colonies and conquests, from about
the end of the fifteenth century down to the present time. In one
or two cases the story commences at an earlier date : in the case
of the colonies it generally begins later. The histories of the
different countries are described, as a rule, separately ; for it is
believed that, except in epochs like that of the French Revolution
and Napoleon I, the connection of events will thus be better under-
stood and the continuity of historical development more clearly

The series is intended for the use of all persons anxious to
understand the nature of existing political conditions. il The roots
of the present lie deep in the past "/ and the real significance of
contemporary events cannot be grasped unless the historical causes
which have led to them are known. The plan adopted makes
it possible to treat the history of the last four centuries in
considerable detail, and to embody the most important results of
modern research. It is hoped therefore that the series will
be useful not only to beginners but to students who have already
acquired some general knowledge of European History. For
those who ivish to carry their studies further, the bibliography
appended to each volume will act as a guide to original sources
of information and works more detailed and authoritative.

Considerable attention is paid to politixd^jrejQgraphy, and
each volume is furnished with such maps and plans as may
be requisite for the illustration of the text.



I DEVOTE the first chapter of this short history to a brief
review of the colonisation of the valley of the St Lawrence
by the French, and of their political and social conditions at
the Conquest, so that a reader may be able to compare their
weak and impoverished state under the repressive dominion of
France with the prosperous and influential position they event-
ually attained under the liberal methods of British rule. In the
succeeding chapters I have dwelt on those important events
which have had the largest influence on the political develop-
ment of the several provinces as British possessions.

We have, first, the Quebec Act, which gave permanent
guarantees for the establishment of the Church of Rome and
the maintenance of the language and civil law of France in
her old colony. Next, we read of the coming of the United
Empire Loyalists, and the consequent establishment of British
institutions on a stable basis of loyal devotion to the parent
state. Then ensued the war of 1812, to bind the provinces
more closely to Great Britain, and create that national spirit
which is the natural outcome of patriotic endeavour and in-
dividual self-sacrifice. Then followed for several decades a
persistent popular struggle for larger political liberty, which was
not successful until British statesmen awoke at last from their
indifference, on the outbreak of a rebellion in the Canadas, and
recognised the necessity of adopting a more liberal policy
towards their North American dependencies. The union of
the Canadas was succeeded by the concession of responsible

viii Preface.

government and the complete acknowledgment of the rights
of the colonists to manage their provincial affairs with-
out the constant interference of British officials. With this
extension of political privileges, the people became still more
ambitious, and established a confederation, which has not only
had the effect of supplying a remarkable stimulus to their
political, social and material development, but has given greater
security to British interests on the continent of North America.
At particular points of the historical narrative I have dwelt for
a space on economic, social, and intellectual conditions, so that
the reader may intelligently follow every phase of the develop-
ment of the people from the close of the French regime to the
beginning of the twentieth century. In my summary of the
most important political events for the last twenty-five years,
I have avoided all comment on matters which are " as yet "
to quote the language of the epilogue to Mr Green's "Short
History" "too near to us to admit of a cool and purely
historical treatment." The closing chapter is a short review
of the relations between Canada and the United States since
the treaty of 1783 so conducive to international disputes
concerning boundaries and fishing rights until the present
time, when the Alaskan and other international controversies
are demanding adjustment.

I have thought, too, that it would be useful to students
of political institutions to give in the appendix comparisons
between the leading provisions of the federal systems of the
Dominion of Canada and the Commonwealth of Australia.


\st October) 1900.




THE FRENCH REGIME (15341760) i

Section i. Introduction i

,, 2. Discovery and Settlement of Canada by France . 4

,, 3. French exploration in the valleys of North America 15
,, 4. End of French Dominion in the valley of the

St Lawrence 21

,, 5. Political, Economic, and Social Conditions of Canada

during French Rule 27


BEGINNINGS OF BRITISH RULE (1749 1774) . * . 37

Section i. From the Conquest until the Quebec Act -". . 37

,, 2. The Foundation of Nova Scotia (1749 1783) . 49


ISTS (17631784) ^56

Section i. The successful Revolution of the Thirteen Colonies

in America 56

,, 2. Canada and Nova Scotia during the Revolution . 67

,, 3. The United Empire Loyalists .... 76

x Contents.




Section i. Beginnings of the Provinces of New Brunswick,

Lower Canada and Upper Canada ... 87
,, 2. Twenty years of Political Development (1792

1812) 95

THE WAR OF 18121815 . . . . . . . .103

Section i. Origin of the war between Great Britain and the

United States 103

,, 2. Canada during the War no


Section i. The Rebellion in Lower Canada . . . . 124
,, 2. The Rebellion in Upper Canada . . . .139
,, 3. Social and Economic Conditions of the Provinces

in 1838 156


Section i. The Union of the Canadas and the establishment

of Responsible Government . ...". . 165
,, 2. Results of Self-government from 1841 to 1864 . 185


Section i. The beginnings of Confederation . . . .194
,, 2. The Quebec Convention of 1864 . . . -199
,, 3. Confederation accomplished 2O 6

Contents. xi



CONFEDERATION (18671909) 216

Section i. The First Parliament of the Dominion of Canada

(18671872) 216

,, 2. Extension of the Dominion from the Atlantic to

the Pacific Ocean (1869 1873) . . .221
,, 3. Summary of Noteworthy Events from 1873 to

1900 236

,, 4. Political and Social Conditions of Canada under

Confederation 272

,, 5. The Confederation since 1900 .... 290








Map showing Boundary between Canada and the United
States by Treaty of 1783 A 75

Map of British America to illustrate the Charter of the

Hudson's Bay Company /. 222

International Boundary as finally established in 1842 at
Lake of the Woods /. 297

Map of the North-Eastern Boundary as established in 1842 . p. 301

Map of British Columbia and Yukon District showing dis-
puted Boundary between Canada and the United States . to face p. 315

France, Spain, and Great Britain, in North America, 1756

1 760 at end.

Outline map of British Possessions in North America,

!763 1775 at end.

Map of the Dominion of Canada illustrating the boundaries

of Provinces and Provisional Districts .... at end.




SECTION i. Introduction.

THOUGH the principal object of this book is to review the
political, economic and social progress of the provinces of
Canada under British rule, yet it would be necessarily imper-
fect, and even unintelligible in certain important respects, were
I to ignore the deeply interesting history of the sixteen hundred
thousand French Canadians, about thirty per cent, of the total
population of the Dominion. To apply to Canada an aphorism
of Carlyle, " The present is the living sum-total of the whole
past"; the sum-total not simply of the hundred and thirty years
that have elapsed since the commencement of British dominion,
but primarily of the century and a half that began with the
coming of Champlain to the heights of Quebec and ended with
the death of Wolfe on the Plains of Abraham. The soldiers
and sailors, the missionaries and pioneers of France, speak to
us in eloquent tones, whether we linger in summer time on the
shores of the noble gulf which washes the eastern portals of
Canada ; whether we ascend the St Lawrence River and follow
the route taken by the explorers, who discovered the great

B. c. i

2 Canada under British Ride. [CHAP.

lakes, and gave to the world a knowledge of the West and the
Mississippi ; whether we walk on the grassy mounds that recall
the ruins of the formidable fortress of Louisbourg, which once
defended the eastern entrance to the St Lawrence ; whether we
linger on the rocks of the ancient city of Quebec with its many
memorials of the French regime ; whether we travel over the
rich prairies with their sluggish, tortuous rivers, and memories
of the French Canadians who first found their way to that
illimitable region. In fact, Canada has a rich heritage of
associations that connect us with some of the most momentous
epochs of the world's history. The victories of Louisbourg
and Quebec belong to the same series of brilliant events that
recall the famous names of Chatham, Clive, and Wolfe, and
that gave to England a mighty empire in Asia and America.
Wolfe's signal victory on the heights of the ancient capital was
the prelude to the great drama of the American revolution.
Freed from the fear of France, the people of the Thirteen
Colonies, so long hemmed in between the Atlantic Ocean and
the Appalachian range, found full expression for their love of
local self-government when England asserted her imperial
supremacy. After a struggle of a few years they succeeded in
laying the foundation of the remarkable federal republic, which
now embraces some fifty states with a population of about
eighty-five millions, and which owes its national stability
and prosperity to the energy and enterprise of the Anglo-
Norman race and the dominant influence of the common law,
and the parliamentary institutions of England. At the same
time, the American revolution had an immediate and powerful
effect upon the future of the communities that still remained
in the possession of England after the acknowledgement of the
independence of her old colonies. It drove to Canada a large
body of men and women, who remained faithful to the crown
and empire and became founders of provinces which are now
comprised in a Dominion extending for over three thousand
miles to the north and east of the federal republic.

I.] TJte French Regime. 15341760. 3

The short review of the French re'gime, with which I am
about to commence this history of Canada, will not give any
evidence of political, economic, or intellectual development
under the influence of French dominion, but it is interesting to
the student of comparative politics on account of the com-
parisons which it enables us to make between the absolutism
of old France which crushed every semblance of independent
thought and action, and the political freedom which has been
a consequence of the supremacy of England in the province
once occupied by her ancient rival. It is quite true, as
Professor Freeman has said, that in Canada, which is pre-
eminently English in the development of its political institu-
tions, French Canada is still "a distinct and visible element,
which is not English, an element older than anything
English in the land, and which shows no sign of being likely
to be assimilated by anything English." As this book will
show, though a hundred and forty years have nearly passed
since the signing of the treaty of Paris, many of the institutions
which the French Canadians inherited from France have
become permanently established in the country, and we see
constantly in the various political systems given to Canada
from time to time notably in the constitution of the federal
union the impress of these institutions and the influence of
the people of the French section. Still, while the French
Canadians by their adherence to their language, civil law and
religion, are decidedly "a distinct and visible element which
is not English " an element kept apart from the English by
positive legal and constitutional guarantees or barriers of separa-
tion, we shall see that it is the influence and operation of
English institutions, which have made their province one of
the most contented communities of the world. While their
old institutions are inseparably associated with the social and
spiritual conditions of their daily lives, it is after all their
political constitution, which derives its strength from English
principles, that has made the French Canadians a free, self-

i z

4 Canada under British Rule. [CHAP.

governing people and developed the best elements of their
character to a degree which was never possible under the
depressing and enfeebling conditions of the French regime.

SECTION 2. Discovery and settlement of Canada
by France.

Much learning has been devoted to the elucidation of the
Icelandic Sagas, or vague accounts of voyages which Biorne
Heriulfson and Lief Ericsson, sons of the first Norse settlers of
Greenland, are supposed to have made at the end of the tenth
century, to the eastern parts of what is now British North
America, and, in the opinion of some writers, even as far as
the shores of New England. It is just possible that such
voyages were made, and that Norsemen were the first Europeans
who saw the eastern shores of Canada. It is quite certain,
however, that no permanent settlements were made by the
Norsemen in any part of these countries ; and their voyages do
not appear to have been known to Columbus or other maritime
adventurers of later times, when the veil of mystery was at last
lifted from the western limits of what was so long truly described
as the "sea of darkness." While the subject is undoubtedly
full of interest, it is at the same time as illusive as the fata
morgana^ or the lakes and rivers that are created by the mists
of a summer's eve on the great prairies of the Canadian west.

Five centuries later than the Norse voyagers, there appeared
on the great field of western exploration an Italian sailor,
Giovanni Caboto, through whose agency England took the
first step in the direction of that remarkable maritime enter-
prise which, in later centuries, was to be the admiration and
envy of all other nations. John Cabot was a Genoese by birth
and a Venetian citizen by adoption, who came, during the last
decade of the fifteenth century, to the historic town of Bristol.

I.] The French Regime. 1534 1760. 5

Eventually he obtained from Henry VII letters-patent, granting
to himself and his three sons, Louis, Sebastian and Sancio, the
right, " at their own cost and charges, to seek out and discover
unknown lands," and to acquire for England the dominion over
the countries they might discover. Early in May, 1497, John
Cabot sailed from Bristol in "The Matthew," manned, by
English sailors. In all probability he was accompanied by
Sebastian, then about 21 years of age, who, in later times,
through the credulity of his friends and his own garrulity and
vanity, took that place in the estimation of the world which his
father now rightly fills. Some time toward the end of June,
they made a land-fall on the north-eastern coast of North
America. The actual site of the land-fall will always be a
matter of controversy unless some document is found among
musty archives of Europe to solve the question to the satis-
faction of the disputants, who wax hot over the claims of a
point near Cape Chidley on the coast of Labrador, of Bonavista
on the east shore of Newfoundland, of Cape North, or some
other point, on the island of Cape Breton. Another expedition
left Bristol in 1498, but while it is now generally believed that
Cabot coasted the shores of North America from Labrador or
Cape Breton as far as Cape Hatteras, we have no details of
this famous voyage, and are even ignorant of the date when the
fleet returned to England.

The Portuguese, Caspar and Miguel Cortereal, in the
beginning of the sixteenth century, were lost somewhere on the
coast of Labrador or Newfoundland, but not before they gave
to their country a claim to new lands. The Basques and
Bretons, always noted for their love of the sea, frequented the
same prolific waters and some of the latter gave a name to the
picturesque island of Cape Breton. Giovanni da Verrazzano, a
Florentine by birth, who had for years led a roving life on the
sea, sailed in 1524 along the coasts of Nova Scotia and the
present United States and gave a shadowy claim of first
discovery of a great region to France under whose authority he

6 Canada under British Rule. [CHAP.

sailed. Ten years later Jacques Carrier of St Malo was
authorised by Francis I to undertake a voyage to these new
lands, but he did not venture beyond the Gulf of St Lawrence,
though he took possession of the picturesque Gaspe peninsula
in the name of his royal master. In 1535 he made a second
voyage, whose results were most important for France and the
world at large. The great river of Canada was then discovered
by the enterprising Breton, who established a post for some
months at Stadacona, now Quebec, and also visited the Indian
village of Hochelaga on the island of Montreal. Here he gave
the appropriate name of Mount Royal to the beautiful height
which dominates the picturesque country where enterprise has,
in the course of centuries, built a noble city. Hochelaga was
probably inhabited by Indians of the Huron-Iroquois family,
who appear, from the best evidence before us, to have been
dwelling at that time on the banks of the St Lawrence, whilst
the Algonquins, who took their place in later times, were living
to the north of the river.

The name of Canada obviously the Huron-Iroquois word
for Kannata, a town began to take a place on the maps
soon after Carrier's voyages. It appears from his Bref Recit to
have been applied at the rime of his visit, to a kingdom,
or district, extending from Ile-aux-Coudres, which he named
on account of its hazel-nuts, on the lower St Lawrence, to
the Kingdom of Ochelay, west of Stadacona ; east of Canada
was Saguenay, and west of Ochelay was Hochelaga, to which
the other communities were tributary. After a winter of much
misery Carrier left Stadacona in the spring of 1536, and sailed
into the Atlantic by the passage between Cape Breton and
Newfoundland, now appropriately called Cabot's Straits on
modern maps. He gave to France a positive claim to a great
region, whose illimitable wealth and possibilities were never
fully appreciated by the king and the people of France even in
the later times of her dominion. Francis, in 1540, gave a com-
mission to Jean Fra^ois de la Rocque, Sieur de Roberval, to

I.] The French Regime. 1534 1760. 7

act as his viceroy and lieutenant-general in the country dis-
covered by Cartier, who was elevated to the position of captain
general and master pilot of the new expedition. As the
Viceroy was unable to complete his arrangements by 1541,
Cartier was obliged to sail in advance, and again passed a
winter on the St Lawrence, not at Stadacona but at Cap
Rouge, a few miles to the west, where he built a post which he
named Charlesbourg-Royal. He appears to have returned to
France some time during the summer of 1542, while Roberval
was on his way to the St Lawrence. Roberval found his way
without his master pilot to Charlesbourg-Royal, which he
re-named France-Roy, and where he erected buildings of a
very substantial character in the hope of establishing a perma-
nent settlement. His selection of colonists chiefly taken
from jails and purlieus of towns was most unhappy, and after
a bitter experience he returned to France, probably in the
autumn of 1543, and disappeared from Canadian history.

From the date of Carder's last voyage until the beginning of
the seventeeth century, a period of nearly sixty years, nothing was
done to settle the lands of the new continent. Fishermen
and fur-traders frequented the great gulf, which was called
for years the "Square gulf," or "Golfo quadrado," or "Quarre,"
on some European maps, until it assumed, by the end of the
sixteenth century, the name it now bears. The name Saint-
Laurens was first given by Cartier to the harbour known as
Sainte-Genevieve (or sometimes Pillage Bay), on the northern
shore of Canada, and gradually extended to the gulf and river.
The name of Labrador, which was soon established on all
maps, had its origin in the fact that Caspar Cortereal brought
back with him a number of natives who were considered to be
"admirably calculated for labour."

In the reign of Queen Elizabeth, the English began to take a
prominent part in that maritime enterprise which was to lead to
such remarkable results in the course of three centuries. The
names ot the ambitious navigators, Frobisher and Davis, are

8 Canada under British Rule. [CHAP.

connected with those arctic waters where so much money,
energy, and heroism have been expended down to the present
time. Under the influence of the great Ralegh, whose fertile
imagination was conceiving plans of colonization in America,
Sir Humphrey Gilbert, his brother-in-law, took possession of
Newfoundland on a hill overlooking the harbour of St John's.
English enterprise, however, did not extend for many years to
any other part of North Eastern America than Newfoundland,
which is styled Baccalaos on the Hakluyt map of 1597,
though the present name appeared from a very early date in
English statutes and records. The island, however, for a
century and longer, was practically little more than "a great
ship moored near the banks during the fishing season, for the
convenience of English fishermen," while English colonizing
enterprise found a deeper interest in Virginia with its more
favourable climate and southern products. It was England's
great rival, France, that was the pioneer at the beginning of the
seventeenth century in the work of exploring and settling the
countries now comprised within the Dominion of Canada.

France first attempted to settle the indefinite region, long
known as La Cadie or Acadie 1 . The Sieur de Monts, Samuel
Champlain, and the Baron de Poutrincourt were the pioneers
in the exploration of this country. Their first post was erected
on Dochet Island, within the mouth of the St Croix River,
the present boundary between the state of Maine and the
province of New Brunswick ; but this spot was very soon found
unsuitable, and the hopes of the pioneers were immediately
turned towards the beautiful basin, which was first named Port

1 This name is now generally admitted to belong to the language of the
Micmac Indians of the Atlantic provinces. It means a place, or locality,
and is always associated with another word descriptive of some special
natural production ; for instance, Shubenacadie, or Segubunakade, is the
place where the ground-nut, or Indian potato, grows. We find the first
official mention of the word in the commission given by Henry IV of
France to the Sieur de Monts in 1604.

I.] The French Regime. 1534 1760. 9

Royal by Champlain. The Baron de Poutrincourt obtained a

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