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322   HISTORY OF CANADA.

Provincial Government Established.—Early in September, Lieutenant-Governor Archibald entered upon the duties of his office ; executive and legislative councils were formed ; the first provincial election was shortly afterwards held ; and the early months of 1871 saw Manitoba fairly launched upon her career. Within a week after their arrival at Fort Garry the regular troops had been sent back to Quebec. The militia battalions spent the winter in the province, and many of the soldiers afterwards became settlers.* Immigration at once set in from the older provinces, particularly from Ontario, and Manitoba soon became an important member of the Confederation. The remainder of the territory westward to the Rocky Mountains was, until 1876, under the lieutenant-governor of Manitoba, who, with the assistance of a small council, passed such ordinances as were deemed necessary for its local government. With the admission of British Columbia to our Confederation, followed by the construction of a transcontinental railway, a great impetus was given to settlement in the North-West ; but before dealing further with this we must cross the Rocky Mountains.

The Coast Colonies United.—In 1866 the two colonies upon the Pacific coast were at their own request united under the name British Columbia, and the government was entrusted to a governor and a legislative council. The island assembly was abolished. The new council was to consist of both elected and appointed members, the latter, however, forming the majority. An agitation at once sprang up in favor of an elective assembly and "responsible government." It was said that the official majority in the council carried on public affairs as they saw fit, and that the only self-government in the colony was the municipal self-government of the two towns, Victoria and New Westminster. The agitation very soon assumed the shape of a demand for union with Canada. As early as March, 1867, a resolution had been passed by the council in favor of Confederation, but apparently the official majority afterwards repented their action. Not until early in 1870, after a warm agitation of the question during the two preceding years, were resolutions again passed in favor of the

* In 1870 the population of the region embraced within the limits of Manitoba was nearly 12,000, of whom 558 were Indians, 5,757 French half-breeds, and 4,063 English half-breeds, 1,565 being the total white element.


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