Canada 1871

Canada: A People's History 1867-1873

  • Amor de Cosmos Moves to British Columbia

    Amor de Cosmos Moves to British Columbia
    De Cosmos moves to the colony of Vancouver Island, and settles in Victoria. In December, he founds a newspaper, the British Colonist. He uses it to demand the union of Vancouver Island and British Columbia), to campaign for responsible government, and to advocate confederation.
  • Confederation

    The provinces of Ontario, Québec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are unifiy to become a new country-- Canada.
  • Rupert's Land Act Passed

    Rupert's Land Act Passed
    The Rupert's Land Act was passed, allowing the Crown to declare the land of the Hudson's Bay Company as a new part of the Dominion of Canada
  • Red River Land Survey Ordered

    Awaiting for the official land transfer of Rupert's Land and the North-Western Territory from the HBC to Canada, William McDougall orders an official government land survey of the Red River Settlement.
  • Wiliam McDougal Appointed Lieutenant Governor

    Wiliam McDougal Appointed Lieutenant Governor
    Previously the Minister of Public Works in Canada, Mr. McDougall was appointed the lieutenant governor of Rupert's Land and the North-Western Territory.
  • Métis Halt Land Survey

    Métis Halt Land Survey
    The Métis owned land that was classified as the Red River Settlement. As they have French heritage, they utilized the seigneurial system to distribute the land along the Red and Assiniboine rivers. McDougall's land surveryers however, use the English method of land distribution which follows a grid system. Fearful that the land transfer would bring them Protestant settlers from Ontario, the Métis National Committee stop the land survey from continuing.
  • McDougall's Entry to Red River Rejected

    The National Committee of the Métis establish a roadblock created from mounted Métis to prevent the new lieutenant governor William McDougall from entering the Red River Settlement. He is forced to retreat to the United States.
  • The Red River Rebellion

    The Red River Rebellion
    Fort Garry: The main HBC trading post found at the fork of the Red and Assiniboine rivers.
    Led by Louis Riel, 120 armed Métis occupy Fort Garry by slipping in one at a time. There is no militia to challenge them, so they easily assume control of the fort. They would hold the fort under their control until the Canadian government agrees to negotiate about the terms if Rupert's Land and the North-Western Territory are to enter confederation.
  • Rupert's Land Act Applied

    Rupert's Land Act Applied
    The Rupert’s Land Act ends the rule of the previous owners of the two territories (The Hudson’s Bay Company over Rupert’s Land and the North-Western Territory.) The Hudson's Bay Company agrees to transfer Rupert's Land to the Canadian Government. As compensation for the land, they receive £300,000 and 1/20 of all farmable land across the country.
  • National Committee of the Métis Formed

    National Committee of the Métis Formed
    Louis Riel creates the National Committee of the Métis as a provisional government for the region. Their purpose is to protect the social, cultural and political status of the Métis. The committee issues a "Declaration of the People of Rupert's Land and the North-West," which denies Canada's authority to govern the region. Additionally, they create a proposal of a negotiated settlement between Canada and the new provisional government-- this refers to the National Committee of the Métis.
  • McDougall is an Idiot

    After being rejected entry into the Northwest multiple times to assume his position as lieutenant governor, William McDougall decides to sneak across the border at night and read the document which states the official transfer of Rupert's Land and the North-West Territory into the Dominion of Canada. Nobody hears him read the document. After the completion of his reading, he flees back to the United States in fear of being caught by the Métis.
  • Meeting the Settlers of Red River

    In response to McDougall not being able to enter the country, the federal government sends three commissioners: Reverend Jean-Baptiste Thibault, Colonel Charles de Salaberry, and Donald A. Smith, chief representative of the HBC in Canada. Smith persuades Riel to hold a meeting. This is held with of 40 representatives of the settlement, equally divided between English and French speakers, to discuss the possibility of uniting with the Dominion of Canada.
  • Discussing Confederation

    The 40 representatives of the Red River settlement and the three sent by the Canadian government meet for the first time and discuss a brand new list of rights. Included in this list are the necessary conditions required for the people of the North-West to form a union with Canada.
  • Taking Prisoners

    Meanwhile, a small force of Canadians gatheres at Portage la Prairie, hoping to enlist support in the Scottish parishes of Red River and disband the provisional government. The appearance of armed Canadians alarmex the Métis, who promptly round them up and imprison them at Upper Fort Garry. One of these men is Thomas Scott.
  • The Execution of Thomas Scott

    The Execution of Thomas Scott
    Thomas Scott is yet again taken prisoner by the Métis and at this time is getting violent about it.The Métis convene a court martial at which Riel's associate, Ambroise-Dydime Lépine, sentences Thomas Scott, to death by firing squad. His execution radicalizes the Protestants of Ontario, and news of Scott's death reach headlines and blame Riel for the execution.
  • To Ottawa

    The members of the convention who met up to discuss the terms for confederation transform into the Provisional Government of Assiniboia, containing three branches of government: an elected legislature, an executive responsible to the legislature, and a judicial branch. The provisional government appoints and sends three delegates to Ottawa, whose task is to negotiate with George-Étienne Cartier the entry of Assiniboia (the Red River and the surrounding area) into Confederation.
  • The Manitoba Act

    The official terms as discussed by the three appointed Métis representatives and George-Étienne Cartier are approved by the Crown and prepare Manitoba to enter confederation. The federal government agrees to reserve 566,560 hectares for the children of Métis residents of Manitoba and ensures that the province will be officially bilingual.
  • Manitoba Joins Confederation

    The Manitoba Act officially comes into effect, adding Manitoba as Canada's firth province.
  • Official Transfer of the Northwest

    Official Transfer of the Northwest
    The British Crown officially transfers Rupert's Land and the North-West Territory to Canada. These lands today compromise: present day Manitoba, most of Saskatchewan, Southern parts of Alberta and Nunavut and the Northern parts of Ontario and Québec.
  • The Red River Expedition

    The Red River Expedition
    To support Manitoba's new lieutenant governor A.G. Archibald, the federal government sends a military force to Red River under Colonel Garnet Wolseley. The force contains 400 British soldiers and 800 vollunteers from Ontario. The government tries to give the impression it not a punitive expedition against Riel's provisional government, but the militiamen want to avenge the execution of Thomas Scott.
  • Riel Flees The Country

    The Red River Expedition was meant to be peaceful, but the provisional government had not consented to its arrival, and it was not part of the agreement made by the delegation to Ottawa. As soon as it is obvious that the expedition was set to come after Riel, he flees Manitoba and goes to the United States with the provisional government's treasurer-- William O'Donoughue.
  • Louis Riel Returns to Manitoba

    Riel quietly returns to his home in Saint-Vital, Red River, although he often stays in hiding.
  • British Columbia Joins Confederation

    British Columbia Joins Confederation
    Canada invites B.C and promises a railway to be built over the Rockies within 10 years-- a very favourable outcome. The politicians of B.C are astonished, since they would have been content with a wagon road. The visions of MacDonald and Cartier are realised-- they have connected a country from the Pacific to the Atlantic ocean.
  • Attack Of The Fenians

    Attack Of The Fenians
    In January, O'Donoughue sent a secret petition to U.S president Grant for the country to intervene in Red River. When the president refused, O'Donoughue went to the Fenian brotherhood and succeeded in persuading two Fenian leaders to help. O'Donoughue leads 35 Fenians and Minnesota labourers to Manitoba. Riel offeres to organize a force of Métis to demonstrate their commitment to the agreement with Canada, and thus the Fenian raid collapses.
  • Riel In Exile

    In Ontario, Riel is widely known as Thomas Scott's "murderer" and a reward of $5,000 is offered for his arrest. In Québec, he is a defender of the Roman Catholic faith and French culture in Manitoba. Wanting to avoid a political debacle between these two main provinces, Macdonald tries to persuade Riel to remain in voluntary exile in the United States, even providing money to Riel, which he accepts.
  • The Pacific Railroad Scandal

    The Pacific Railroad Scandal
    Macdonald and his Conservative colleagues George-Étienne Cartier and Hector Langevin go looking for campaign funds for the 1872 general election. Their target is Sir Hugh Allan, one of the richest businessmen in Canada. He provides them with over $350,000 in exchange for the contract of building the Canadian Pacific Railway. Macdonald is re-elected. The LIberals break news of the scandal on April 2nd.
  • Sir George-Étienne Cartier's Death

    Sir George-Étienne Cartier's Death
    One of the founding fathers, Sir George-Étienne Cartier becomes terribly ill and dies in London, England, after departing there in September to consult a specialist. His body is shipped to Canada and arrives there in June of the same year.
  • Riel Back In Politics

    Riel's exile only ended up lasting for four months and was encouraged by friends and his widespread popularity in French Manitoba to enter federal politics. He is elected in the federal riding of Provencher in a by-election.
  • Period: to

    Riel In the U.S

    After exile, Riel suffers a breakdown and is secretly admitted to hospital, later transferred to the mental asylum at Beauport, QC. In January 1878, he goes to Keeseville, NY and 1879-1883, in Montana he reintegrates himself with the Métis, joins the Republicas , becomes an American citizen, and marries Marguerite Monet.
  • Riel Re-Elected

    Riel is re-elected in the general election, at which he travels to Ottawa and signs the members’ register at the House of Commons. But he is expelled by the Orange Party leader, and flrrs to the U.S. Although re-elected in September 1874, Riel delays in taking his seat and flees to New York state.
  • Riel's Trial and Execution

    Riel's Trial and Execution
    Over the murder of Thomas Scott, the jury pronounces Louis Riel as guilty and is senteced to death by hanging. After excecution, his body is transported to Saint-Boniface, where his remains are taken to the cathedral’s cemetery at the head of a massive procession made up of the leaders of French Manitoba.