In 1837–38, the separately administered Upper and Lower Canada were racked by rebellion, provoked by both corrupt, oligarchical rule and, perhaps, the example of the previous revolution of their southern neighbours. The rebellions were quickly suppressed, but the British government was rattled and commissioned a report by Lord Durham to analyze the causes and recommend a more effective structure of governance. As a result, a united Province of Canada was created in 1841, with a new capital established at Ottawa in 1859. In the west, Vancouver Island was chartered as a colony in 1849. On the mainland, gold was discovered in the 1850s, precipitating an influx of American prospectors: fearing an American counterclaim, Britain incorporated British Columbia as a colony in 1858. Gold finds also triggered the brief separate existence of Stickeen (1862–63). British attention now turned to the vast intervening territories assigned, loosely, to the Hudson’s Bay Company.
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