Laurier’s Opposition to Confederation
In 1864 Wilfrid LAURIER joined the Liberals of Canada East (Lower Canada; present-day Quebec) with the aim of opposing the project to unite the colonies of British North America [see The Charlottetown and Quebec Conferences of 1864]. He feared that such a union, owing to the increased powers it would grant the central government, would lead to the obliteration of French Canadians. He wrote in 1867:
“‘We are being handed over to the English majority.... [We must] use whatever influence we have left to demand and obtain a free and separate government.’ Rouge and separatist, this was the position taken by the man who some 30 years later would lead the country whose creation he was now trying so hard to prevent.… On 1 July confederation was officially proclaimed. At the age of 25 Wilfrid Laurier suddenly had to reorganize his life.”
For more detailed information on Laurier’s opposition to confederation, we invite you to explore the following biographies.