- National Unity
- A Strong Central Government
- Minority Rights
- National Expansion
- Railways and Economic Development
- Cultural Nationalism
A Strong Central Government
Among the Fathers of Confederation, none believed more fervently than did John A. MACDONALD in a strong central government with a powerful executive body [see A New Union]. His biographers point out:
“Macdonald’s private agenda for the future of the new federation went much farther than the [British North America] Act revealed. It was not just that a provincial government was to be ‘a subordinate legislature.’ The provincial governments, he maintained, had been made fatally weak and were ultimately to cease to exist.… In December 1864 he told Matthew Crooks
Over the next 50 years, attempts to exert federal power encountered varying degrees of resistance from the provinces. This section outlines provincial counter-attacks against the central government and charts the latter’s role in the growth of the country and the expansion of its activities during the First World War.
For more information on the case made by the Fathers of Confederation for a strong central government, consult the biographies in the following list.