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The Pacific Scandal
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LESSON 25: The Pacific Scandal

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This lesson corresponds to material found in:
Episode 9 From Sea to Sea

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In the late 1860s, there was an American movement to plan an economic takeover of Canada, forcing Canada to seek admission into the United States. The people involved wanted control of the railroads and the trade that rail traffic generated. Sir Hugh Allan was president of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Some of his American partners shared this view and wanted a Canadian railway to travel south from Ontario to connect with the Northern Pacific Railroad, which was nearing completion. This would leave the Canadian northwest open for American trade. Canadians, fearing any close contact with the United States, were skeptical of any deals involving US financiers.

Macdonald and Cartier approached Allan, promising the lucrative contract to build the trans-Canadian railway in exchange for a financial contribution to the Conservative Party. Allan gave them close to $350,000 from American investors. Macdonald's Conservative government came to power, and Allan got the contract. But by the end of 1872, the American investors had begun to lose patience when Allan hadn't undertaken the work and they seemed to be excluded from the railroad project. Rumours of embezzlement began to circulate in Ottawa.

On July 18, 1873, The Globe, a liberal newspaper from Toronto, published a telegram from Macdonald to Allan in which Macdonald begged the powerful businessman for money. The press seized the story and revealed the American funding sources that contributed to the Conservative victory. Macdonald submitted his government's resignation on November 5.

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    Lesson Plans
    Episode 1
    When the World Began...
    Lesson 1 Canada's First Peoples
    (includes activity)
    Lesson 2 Stories of Creation
    Lesson 3 Cartier and Donnacona

    Episode 2
    Adventures and Mystics
    Lesson 4 The Beginning of the Fur Trade
    (includes activity)
    Lesson 5 The Jesuits and the Huron
    Lesson 6 Immigration to New France

    Episode 3
    Claiming the Wilderness
    Lesson 7 Expansion to the Gulf of Mexico
    (includes activity)
    Lesson 8 The Expulsion of the Acadians

    Episode 4
    Battle for a Continent
    Lesson 9 Before the Battle of the Plains of Abraham
    Lesson 10 The Battle of the Plains of Abraham
    Lesson 11 The Quebec Act
    (includes activity)

    Episode 5
    A Question of Loyalties
    Lesson 12 Conflict in Quebec, 1775
    Lesson 13 United Empire Loyalists
    (includes activity)
    Lesson 14 Sir Isaac Brock and Tecumseh

    Episode 6
    The Pathfinders
    Lesson 15 The Fur Trade in Canada
    (includes activity)
    Lesson 16 The Selkirk Settlers
    Lesson 17 The Gold Rush

    Episode 7
    Rebellion and Reform
    Lesson 18 The Rebellions of 1837
    Lesson 19 Union of the Canadas
    (includes activity)
    Lesson 20 A Land of Hope

    Episode 8
    The Great Enterprise
    Lesson 21 Newcomers to Canada
    Lesson 22 The Making of Confederation
    (includes activity)
    Lesson 23 Confederation in the Maritimes

    Episode 9
    From Sea to Sea
    Lesson 24 The Red River Resistance
    (includes activity)
    Lesson 25 The Pacific Scandal

    Episode 10
    Taking the West
    Lesson 26 The North-West Rebellion
    Lesson 27 The Trial of Louis Riel
    Lesson 28 Macdonald's National Dream

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