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Fathers of Confederation | Maritime Union | George Brown | Pan Federalism | US Civil War | Canada's Proposals | St Lawrence Cruise | Charlottetown | The Quebec Conference | The London Conference | July 1st 1867

The Charlottetown conference was initially intended to be a gathering of the Maritime Colonies in order to discuss and initiate a union of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and possibly Newfoundland. The Canada's were looking for a solution to the stalemate which paralysed politics in their system and realized that by uniting with the Maritime colonies they could create many benefits including making a majority government possible in the larger union. The Canada's asked if they could send a delegation to Charlottetown to make a presentation to the Maritime representatives and were accepted.

On September 1st, 1864 the Maritime delegates convened in Charlottetown to discuss the Union of the Colonies, and were joined by 8 representatives of the Canada's who were led by John A. Macdonald and Georges E. Cartier.

A campaign of encouraging Confederation had been growing in the Maritimes with the support of the Canada's and over the next few days, the crowd was won over.  One of the important points of the conference was that the opposition leaders of the various colonies were also included in the talks which enabled a consensus to be hammered out which would basically face no real pressure from the smaller political parties due to their inclusion in the process. The conference was convened with an objective defined, a process in place and a national agenda in on the order paper.

The group dispersed with an agreement to meet in Quebec City to iron out the details of the arrangement and finalize a document for London which could be passed in order for the birth of the new country to occur.

It has been said...that we only come now seeking union with these provinces to escape from our sectional difficulties at home... the existing coalition was formed expressly for the purpose of settling justly and permanently the constitutional relations between Upper and Lower Canada... We are pledged as a government to place before parliament at its next session a bill giving effect to the conditions of our conquest...You will therefore clearly perceive that we have not come here to seek relief from our trouble, - for the remedy of our grievances is already agreed upon, and come what may the larger scheme now before us, our smaller scheme will certainly be accomplished. Our sole object in coming here is to say to you: 'We are about to amend our constitution; and before finally doing so, we invite you to enter with us frankly and earnestly into the inquiry whether it would not be for the advantage of all of the British American Colonies to be embraced under one political system. Let us look the whole question steadily in the face; if we find it advantageous let us act upon it; but if not, let the whole thing drop....

Speech delivered by George Brown at a Banquet in Halifax on September 12, 1864

 

The Governor Generals House - Charlottetown

The Room where the delegates met at the Charlottetown conference




Source:
Reference: www.canadahistory.com/sections/eras/eras.html