Canada 1885

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Map Code: Ax01714

It has been said of Canada in the 1880s that ‘Never before or since has Canada reached such a low state. Never has there been so little evidence in its people of national spirit’. The four founding provinces of Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick had formed the nucleus of a federal Canada in 1867, with Manitoba, British Columbia and Prince Edward Island following by 1873. Meanwhile, the vast Northwest Territories had been purchased from the Hudson’s Bay Company. But the eastern states were losing their young to the booming industries of New England, and society was polarized by sectarian and ethnic antipathies. 1885 saw the completion of the Canadian Pacific railroad; it also saw the rebellion of the mixed-race Métis in Manitoba, and the introduction of a punitive head tax on Chinese migrants to British Columbia. Ontario and Manitoba squabbled over boundaries, Francophones mistrusted Anglophones, and yet, within a decade, the fledgling country would finally meld and prosper…

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