||Confederation in the Maritimes
This lesson corresponds to material found in:
Episode 8 The Great Enterprise
In Nova Scotia, there was strong opposition to Confederation. Many in the 330,000-inhabitant colony felt there was no need to unite with other colonies, fearing the loss of its political autonomy. In New Brunswick, opposition was so strong that the pro-confederation government was ousted by the electorate. Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island refused to accept the Confederation agreement.
The debate was settled in London in late 1866, early 1867. During a final meeting, delegates from the United Canada (Quebec and Ontario), New Brunswick and Nova Scotia agreed to present the British North America Act for approval by the British Parliament. The law was ratified quickly. Queen Victoria granted it royal sanction on March 29, 1867. The Dominion of Canada would be brought into being on July 1, 1867.
The BNAA contained 146 articles; it was the first Constitution of a new country - Canada. The nation's first Prime Minister was John A. Macdonald, head of the Conservative Party. The fledgling country would soon face new challenges.
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