Previous The History of the Dominion of Canada (1897) Next



Brunswick awl Nova Scotia joined hands. Prince Edward Island held aloof until 1873. Newfoundland still remains a separate colony, Canada's latest proposition (1895) having been rejected by the island government.

New Brunswick Disapproves. —In New Brunswick a general election was held early in 1865, and the Tilley ministry, which supported Confederation, was so utterly routed that for a time it seemed as if the project would have to be abandoned. The Nova Scotia assembly evidently thought so, for a resolution was adopted by that body in favor of resuming negotiations for a union of the Maritime Provinces. The battle for Confederation was centred, therefore, in New Brunswick. A Canadian delegation went to England to urge that pressure should be brought to bear upon the obstinate province. The colonial secretary went so far as to send a despatch to the lieutenant-governor of New Brunswick, Hon. A. H. Gordon, expressing the "strong and deliberate opinion " of the Imperial government in favor of Con-federation. It was further intimated that, as a matter of Imperial defence, it might be found necessary to unite the provinces even against the will of New Brunswick. Happily it became unnecessary to resort to such a strong measure.

The Reciprocity Treaty Comes to an End.—With a view to united action in trade matters and particularly in order to secure, if possible, a renewal of the Reciprocity Treaty, a " Confederated Council on Commercial Treaties " met at Quebec in September, 1865. It consisted of six delegates, two from Canada and one from each of the other four provinces. The British provinces were prepared to make important concessions in return for a renewal of the treaty, and to that end arrangements were made to send delegates to Washington. George Brown, indeed, thought that too many inducements were offered, and toward the close of the year he resigned his seat in the Canadian cabinet. The mission to Washington early in 1866 was a complete failure, and the Reciprocity Treaty came to an end on the 1st of March. Another argument was thus added to those which were already being urged upon New Brunswick.

Fenian Raids.—During the summer and autumn of 1865 there were frequent rumors of intended Fenian raids upon the provinces. The close of the civil war in the United States had

Previous The History of the Dominion of Canada (1897) Next