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Confederation

Responsible Government

Sir John A. Macdonald

From the Red River Settlement to Manitoba (1812–70)

Sir Wilfrid Laurier

Sir George-Étienne Cartier

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The Fenians

Women in the DCB/DBC

The Charlottetown and Quebec Conferences of 1864

Introductory Essays of the DCB/DBC

The Acadians

For Educators

The War of 1812 

Canada’s Wartime Prime Ministers

The First World War

The Colonial Office and British North America, 1801–50

This excerpt from Phillip Buckner’s essay presents Britain’s Colonial Office as the primary link between the metropole and the peoples of North America:

“For a century and a quarter the Colonial Office played a decisive part in determining the destiny of the North American colonies. Particularly before responsible government was introduced into those colonies in the 1840s and 1850s, its views were a critical factor in the calculations of the governors and the governed in British North America. The files of the department literally bulge with letters of advice, of warning, of complaint, and of special pleading from priests and politicians, businessmen and landowners, immigrants and sojourners who had interests to pursue or to protect in the colonies. Frequently the colonists had only a hazy idea of how the Colonial Office was organized and how it functioned but they knew it was an institution that in innumerable ways affected them in their daily lives.”

 

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