Canada

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Federal Republic of Canada (en)
République fédérale du Canada (fr)
Flag of Canada
Coat of Arms of Canada
Flag Coat of Arms
Motto: A Mari Usque Ad Mare
Anthem: Northwest Passage
Great Seal of the Federal Republic of Canada.svg
Great Seal
Map of the Federal Republic of Canada.svg
Capital Ottawa
Largest city Toronto, Ontario
Official languages English, French
Ethnic groups (2010) 57.9% Anglo-Canadian,
22.6% Franco-Canadian,
7.4% South Asian,
3.5% Chinese,
3.2% Western European,
1.7% Southeast Asian,
1.5% Eastern European,
1.2% First Nations,
1% Others
Demonym Canadian
Government Federal semi-presidential parliamentary democracy
Sarah Woodley (FDP)
Daniel Boudreau (FDP)
Jean-Yves Arsenault (PP)
Legislature Parliament of Canada
Senate
House of Deputies
Independence from the British Empire
18 April 1837
2 September 1839
Area
• Total
12,358,000 km2 (4,771,000 sq mi) (2nd)
Population
• 2018 estimate
44,596,230 (32nd)
• 2015 census
42,120,304
• Density
3.608/km2 (9.3/sq mi) (192nd)
GDP (PPP) 2018 estimate
• Total
$2.262 trillion
• Per capita
$50,725
GDP (nominal) 2018 estimate
• Total
$2.061 trillion
• Per capita
$46,213
Gini (2018) 31.8
medium
HDI (2018) 0.926
very high
Currency Dollar ($) (CAD)
Date format DD-MM-YYYY
Drives on the right
Calling code +1
ISO 3166 code CAN
Internet TLD .ca

The Federal Republic of Canada (French: République fédérale du Canada) is a sovereign state comprised of 11 provinces and 3 territories located in northern North America. Canada is the 2nd largest country in the world, with a total land area of approximately 12.358 million square kilometers. It is also the world's 32nd most populous nation as of 2018, with a total estimated population of 44.596 million people.

Canada is a federal state with a parliamentary democracy and a semi-presidential system. Modeled off of a combination of the Constitution of the United States and the British Westminster system, Canada has a President and a Prime Minister who both serve as the co-heads of Federal Government. While the President is directly elected by a national popular vote, the Prime Minister is elected from within the lower chamber of the bicameral Parliament of Canada. The House of Deputies, the lower house of Parliament, is responsible for the introduction and revision of law within the country, while the Senate, the upper house, acts as an ombudsman body for the review of laws passed by the House of Deputies and the executive prerogatives of the Federal Government. Members of the House of Deputies are elected on a first past the post basis within individual parliamentary ridings throughout the country, while Senators are apportioned to the provinces by population and appointed by the provincial governments. The current governmental system of the Federal Republic was instituted by the adoption of the Constitution in 1841, two years after the conclusion of the Canadian War of Independence.

Although home to various First Nations for thousands of years, modern Canadian history began in the 16th century with the exploration of the region by the British and French. Competing settlements between the two saw a myriad of armed conflicts before France ceded all its territories in the region to the British in 1763. Republican and regionalist sentiments among the common peoples of both Lower and Upper Canada resulted in the outbreak of the Canadian War of Independence in 1837. Following the Canadian victory at the Battle of Louisbourg in 1839, the Treaty of Boston saw the British formally recognize the independence of Canada. Two years later, the country adopted a constitution which established the modern Federal Republic. Following the outbreak of the War of Contingency in 1866, Canadian forces entered into Southern Columbia, claiming the boundaries pressed before the Treaty of 1846. Alaska was purchased from the Russian Empire the next year. Over the five decades, most of the territories acquired during the earlier period of expansion would slowly be settled and incorporated as provinces, with the last two modern provinces, Alberta and Saskatchewan, incorporated in 1905.

After nearly a century of relatively peaceful growth and stability, the Great Depression heavily affected the core industrial corridor along the St. Lawrence River. Rife with economic distress and increasing political isolation, the Quebec Uprising sought to free the French-dominated province from the English majority state. After a four year long period of primarily guerrilla warfare, the Compromise of 1936 instituted a more comprehensive system of regional powers for the individual provinces. Following participation in the Second World War, Canada began international diplomatic overtures towards a lasting commitment to peacekeeping through the auspices of the League of Nations. Canada joined the Conference of American States in 1965 during its first enlargement of membership. In the years since, the country has seen considerable peace and prosperity, weathering the global War on Terror and the Great Recession without much negative domestic effect.

Modern Canada is considered resource rich, and it is a major exporter of petroleum and lumber. As a developed economy, Canada's economic base is diverse, with a large emphasis on primary and tertiary economic activities. Canada is also a world leader in ratings of quality of life, political freedom, economic freedom and human development. The nation's comprehensive welfare state and high degree of civil liberties make it one of the world's most popular contemporary emigrant destinations. Canada is a founding member of the League of Nations, and it is also a member of the Conference of American States, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank.

Etymology[edit]

The modern name Canada is most commonly accepted as deriving from the St. Lawrence Iroquoian word kanata which translates as "village" or "settlement." The French explorer Jacques Cartier documented the word as used by the indigenous of Quebec City to direct him to the village of Stadacona in 1535. By the mid-16th century, the word Canada was used by Cartier and other European explorers to refer to the lands ruled by the Lawrentian chief Donnacona near the mouth of the St. Lawrence River. By the 18th century, the word began to refer to the part of New France adjacent to the whole length of the St. Lawrence. The British officially incorporated the region as two colonies, The Canadas, dividing between the English-speaking Upper Canada and the French-speaking Lower Canada. From the early 19th century, locals from both the Canadas began to refer to themselves as Canadians (English) or Canadiennes (French) as a sign of growing solidarity against British rule and a mark of membership in the Canadian Liberty Society. During the Canadian War of Independence, representatives at the Hull Parliament referred to their government as the Provisional Republic of Canada. The Constitution of Canada, passed in 1841, officially adopted the name Federal Republic of Canada, in reference to the preservation of regional autonomy among the officially associated provinces. That official name for the country has been in use ever since, with its common shortened form of Canada being preferred in most uses.

History[edit]

Aboriginal Canada[edit]

The area today known as Canada was first inhabited as early as 14,000 years ago, with the migrations of indigenous peoples across the Bering land bridge, which connected Siberia to Alaska. The Paleoamerican habitations at Old Crow Flats and Bluefish Caves are two of the oldest sites of known human settlement in the country. Over time, the myriad of indigenous societies came to develop independent ways of life, which varied from permanent settlements and agriculture to seasonal migration and subsistence hunting and gathering. Complex networks of trade between the aboriginal peoples were also known to have developed as these individual societies flourished. Not all societies managed to survive however, as evidence suggests that some had collapsed by the time European explorers arrived in the 15th and 16th centuries.

In the period of time just before the arrival of European explorers, the aboriginal population in Canada was estimated to be somewhere between 500,000 and two million. The consequence of European settlement was a population decline between 40 to 80 percent, with some First Nations disappearing entirely, such as the Beothuk of Newfoundland. This population decline was due to a variety of factors, though it was principally caused by the transfer of European diseases to natives alongside conflicts between Europeans and aboriginals. While various conflicts did eventually define the later history of Aboriginal-European relations, there was a significant period of initial peace between European explorers and the natives. Intermarriage between indigenous peoples and French coureur des bois and voyageurs gave rise to the distinctively mixed Métis people, one of the largest aboriginal groups in contemporary Canada.

European exploration and colonization[edit]

Samuel de Champlain's foundation of the Habitation de Québec in 1608 marked the initiation of permanent European settlement in Canada.

The first European explorers to settle in modern Canada were the Norsemen at L'Anse aux Meadows around 1000. This settlement only lasted a few years, and more Europeans would not come until the voyage of John Cabot in 1497. Cabot claimed Atlantic Canada for Henry VII of England, although no permanent settlement would be constructed by the English until the late 16th century. The French seafarer Jacques Cartier explored the Gulf of St. Lawrence in 1534, proclaiming the territory of New France on July 24th in the name of King Francis I. The Basque and Portuguese would occasionally establish summer fishing settlements throughout the territories claimed by the English and French, although these were generally short-lived due to harsh climate and competition from Scandinavia. The first permanent European settlement in modern Canada was St. John's, established in 1583 by the English on the island of Newfoundland. The first French settlements were established by Samuel de Champlain, who oversaw the foundation of Port Royal in 1603 and Quebec City in 1608. The Canadiens settled in the St. Lawrence river valley, while the Acadians settled across modern Migmaqui. A consequence of simultaneous European colonial expansion and early trade was the Beaver Wars. For most of the middle and later 17th century, the Haudenosaunee, backed by English and Dutch interests, pushed the Algonquin and non-Haudenosaunee Iroquois nations out of the Great Lakes region. The Beaver Wars saw a massive realignment of indigenous territories in Northeastern America, centered around the Haudenosaunee consolidation of the North American fur trade.

Beginning in 1610, the English established additional settlements in Newfoundland and consolidated control over the Thirteen Colonies in the south. The middle placement of New France between the two English colonies would result in a series of four wars between the two major colonial powers, lasting until 1763. The Nova Scotian peninsula came under the control of the British with the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. The Seven Years' War ended with the Treaty of Paris in 1763, and as a result the remainder of Canadian New France was ceded to the British Empire. The Royal Proclamation of 1763 established the rights of the First Nations in Canada, created the British-ruled Province of Quebec, and annexed Cape Breton Island into the Crown Colony of Nova Scotia. The Quebec Act was passed by the British Parliament in 1774, instating special rights for the Province and greatly agitating democratic activists in the southern Thirteen Colonies. The American Revolution and its independence war saw a mass exodus of British loyalists to Quebec and Nova Scotia. Following the Peace of Paris in 1783, British territories south of the Great Lakes were ceded to the United States. The influx of loyalists also saw the creation of the Upper-Lower Canada division in 1791, with the British parliament hoping to reduce Quebecois fears of growing English numbers. Each of the three colonies were also granted their own limited home governments, in an attempt to stave off further colonial agitation.

Old Fort Erie was the site of the bloodiest battles in the Canadas during the War of 1812. The battles' ultimately inconsequential results further aggravated growing discontent with British rule in the Canadas.

By the same year of the division of the Canadas, news of the French Revolution had disseminated throughout Quebec. Headed by blacksmith Édouard-Maurice Tournay and Assemblyman Pierre-Stanislas Bédard, the Parti républicain was secretly established in 1792. The PR perceived British colonial rule to be in fundamental opposition to acquiescence of the goals of liberty and equality for the people of Quebec and the Canadas at large. The PR received significant covert backing from American agents, and within a decade it had grown to a membership of more than 10,000 throughout Lower Canada. By 1802, the PR was widely known to exist, and suspected members were often held without trial for several years under the policies of the Château Clique. Although much smaller, a similar movement began to take root in Upper Canada in the first decade of the 19th century; headed by Scottish immigrant Bruce Clark, the Society for Rights sought to oust the ruling Family Compact and create a truly democratic government in Upper Canada. Both the PR and the SR rejected British rule over the Canadas, as well as rejecting the notion of eventual statehood in the fledgling United States. Both organizations were further galvanized by the outbreak of the War of 1812, with many PR and SR members instead joining irregular resistance militias to fight both American and British troops. When the War ended without territorial changes, the two organizations saw a large increase in membership, as many civilians throughout the Canadas became fervently opposed to fighting any more wars on behalf of an aristocratic, distant colonial power.

Anti-British sentiment grew strongly in the Canadas, while in Nova Scotia the movement remained highly secretive and largely shunned by mainstream society. The ruling Governor there, Lord Dalhousie, became especially harsh in his policies against any suspected Independence supporter. With the British Home Government seeing Lord Dalhousie's policies as highly successful in Nova Scotia from 1816 to 1820, he was appointed the Governor-General of the Canadas and Nova Scotia, the chief of British political and military operations throughout the region. Lord Dalhousie established the Royal Canadian Informatory Corps in 1821, a proto-secret police composed of select members of the British Infantry regulars. Members of the Corps would pose as newly arrived immigrants from England throughout the Canadas and work their way into the PR and the SR. After several major raids against the secret societies in 1822 and 1823, its members became aware of the existence of informants, and keeping the presence of American influence in those societies became of paramount importance to its leaders. In February 1824, members of the PR successfully misled a member of the Corps to a fake meeting said to include then leader of the PR Édouard-Maurice Tournay. Although the informant's escape was then facilitated by the British Army, the PR became highly selective of any new members and began its own measures to continue to oust further informants from its ranks. The Society for Rights also began a similar program the following year, and by 1826 the Informant Corps began to see a significant decline in its success rates. The two independence organizations also saw the increasing pressure against publications throughout the Canadas, and in 1828, at the behest of American diplomat Zachariah Brunchaude, the PR and the SR held their first common meetings.

War of Independence[edit]

Founded in 1833, after five years of increasing association between the Society for Rights and the Parti républicain, the Canadian Liberty Society combined at a secret meeting held in the small town of Hull, Lower Canada. The site was chosen for its remote location relative to British military supply lines, its presence on the border between the two Canadas, and its relative ease of access through the Ottawa River. The founders of the Liberty Society viewed the Great Reform Act of 1832 as evidence that popular pressure could motivate the British government to act for wide-scale reform. Although diametrically opposed by the members of the Family Compact and the Château Clique, the Liberty Society's secret support from the American government gave it solid basis to organize discontented commoners in both Canadian colonies. By 1835, secret chapters of the Liberty Society had spread throughout the Canadas, even reaching as far as the Loyalist bastion of Nova Scotia.

The Assemblies of 6 March 1837 held by the Canadian Liberty Society ultimately led to the outbreak of the War of Independence and the foundation of modern Canada.

The Liberty Society had reached a point of support where many members of local garrisons were sympathetic to its cause, and those who did not directly support the Society often had relatives who themselves were members. Despite efforts to remain largely secretive, the Society's sheer number of members across the Canadas meant that remaining in total secrecy was no longer possible. The ruling classes of the Canadas began to petition British authorities in the Home Isles to begin sending troops for fear of eventual rebellion. As Society operatives became aware of these efforts, the organization pressed with greater publicity for an expansion of democratic process within the Canadian colonies. On 6 March 1837, public assemblies were held across major population centers of the Canadas. Major assemblies in Toronto, Montréal, Quebec City, and Halifax quickly turned into a contest of wills known as the March Massacres, as British Loyalist troops attempted to disperse the overwhelmingly large crowds by attacking the protesters. In all settlements except Halifax, the protesters managed to overwhelm the Loyalist soldiers and force ruling elite out of power. The Canadian War of Independence officially began after demonstrators declared the rule of the Liberty Society in towns across Upper and Lower Canada only days after the Massacres.

The first two months of the War saw the collectivization of Independence forces across the Canadas, with the first major engagement of the Independence militia against British soldiers at the Battle of Kingston on 2 April 1837. After securing the British fort there, the combined Anglo-French Canadian militia rallied in Hull, Quebec, on 18 April 1837. There, the Hull Parliament was held to elect representatives from among the militia and form an interim democratic government. By the end of the month, nearly all of inhabited Upper Canada and a large portion of Lower Canada was under the effective control of the Hull Parliament, and all remaining garrisoned British soldiers either fled eastward or defected to the militia. After the remaining British forces had consolidated in New Brunswick under the command of Field Marshal John Colborne, an offensive against Quebec was launched in early May. On 6 May, Colborne's forces successfully captured Quebec City. Reports of Colborne's execution of many of the surrendered militiamen further enflamed support for the rebels across the Canadas, and in response the Independence militia began marching from Hull towards Quebec City.

The British execution of Independence militiamen at Quebec City in May 1837 resulted in the further inflammation of anti-British sentiments across the Canadas.

Both armies marched towards one another along the St. Lawrence River before meeting on the outskirts of Trois-Rivières, where militia soldiers were able to ambush the British soldiers fording the Saint-Maurice River. The Battle of Trois-Rivières was a catastrophic defeat for the British soldiers, who then retreated back to Quebec City. Field Marshal Colborne was killed while attempting to cross the river on the retreat. The battle was a significant morale boost for the Independence soldiers, who would go on to lay siege to Quebec City for the remainder of the summer before a British surrender on 14 January 1838. Come spring, the now battle-hardened militia marched to Gaspé, from where an invasion of Loyalist-controlled New Brunswick was launched. After a contentious encounter in Miramichi, Independence forces managed to successfully capture the whole of New Brunswick by the end of August. The Charlottetown Uprising secured Independence control over Prince Edward Island, and in September a campaign to secure Nova Scotia began. After brief skirmishes in Truro and Windsor, the Independence forces met the bulk of the British forces in North America at Halifax. The heavily fortified city was laid under siege for a total of six months before a final assault on 4 February 1839 secured the city from the British.

Although most of the remaining British forces in Canada had surrendered at Halifax, some managed to escape by ship to a regrouping point at Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island. Word of the last remaining British bastion reached the Independence forces by April, and in May a large force was sent north to deal with the stragglers. The British Government was exasperated by the sheer cost of moving so many forces to retake the whole of the territory lost to the Independence movement, and after word reached the Home Isles in early June about the defeat at the Battle of Louisbourg, negotiators were sent to Halifax to petition for peace. After an initial agreement for ceasefire was established at Halifax, talks were sponsored by the American government and held in Boston, Massachusetts. The peace conference at Boston began on 19 August 1839 and concluded with the signing of the Treaty of Boston on 2 September. Under the terms of the treaty, the United Kingdom agreed to recognize the independence of Canada in exchange for the safe return of any remaining Loyalists in the territory. The Canadian delegation further agreed to pay reparations to the British over the course of several decades to account for the exchange of territory of Rupert's Land, previously administered by the Hudson's Bay Company. The treaty was ratified by both the Canadian and British governments by the end of the month, officially establishing the independence of a democratically administered Canada.

Constitution[edit]

First leaders of Canada
Walter MacKenzie, the 1st President of Canada.
Jean-Luc Tournay, the 1st Prime Minister of Canada.

Following the ratification of the Treaty of Boston, the Hull Parliament invited representatives from the disparate colonies ceded to Canada for the following spring. Beginning in late May 1840, the Canadian Constitutional Convention included delegates from the five colonies accorded independence under the Treaty: Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, and Rupert's Land. Delegates from Ontario and Quebec were highly enthusiastic for the formation of a stable political union among the former British colonies, while many in the remaining colonies resented the Independence movement but also felt betrayed by the British government for the cessation of all continental North American territories to the Independence movement. The resentment was especially strong in Newfoundland and Rupert's Land, which never faced military occupation by Independence forces. Nonetheless, the collective will for a stable political regime was strong enough to motivate the creation of a unified national governmental system. Two clear movements emerged as the Convention progressed, with one faction seeking a strong national government and the other seeking a confederation of autonomous regions. Prominent Ontarian delegate and former militia general Walter MacKenzie was an effective organizer within the Convention, and his efforts brought about a unified voice among union-minded delegates. MacKenzie's organizing skills gained him admiration among delegates initially opposed to his platform, as efforts were made by MacKenzie to reach a compromising position between the two visions. MacKenzie himself was studious of the failings of the earlier American Articles of Confederation, and in his letters to his wife spoke of a strong desire to prevent the weakening of the Canadian position in relation to the Americans and the British.

After the initial agreement that the government should be structured with a strong central governmental system, a problem emerged among delegates from Quebec, who began to fear that English-speaking provinces would numerically dominate the nation and thus any equalized federal government. Led by Jean-Luc Tournay, most of the Quebecois delegates demanded that further measures be taken to insure Quebec would not be unwillingly drawn into such an inequitable situation. The Manitana Compromise was reached after the Winter Recess, where delegates from Ontario and Quebec agreed to create a "middle ground" between the two regions which would eventually be home to a second center of French-speaking people. Upon the formal closure of the Convention, a new province named Manitana would be established in the war-stricken region to the west of the Ottawa River and the east of Lake Scugog. The new territory would also serve as the home of the new capital, to be located across the river from Hull and named Ottawa.

After nearly a year and a half, the Constitutional Convention ended on 18 June 1841, when delegates returned to their home colonies to receive support for the draft version of the Constitution. The document was received positively in Manitana, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Quebec, where it won official support within weeks, but it was widely denigrated by the colonial governments of Newfoundland and Rupert's Land. When delegates returned to Hull in July, Newfoundland remained the only region to resist supporting the Constitution. After a two-month long exchange of negotiations, a fifth article was added to the document in the Reservations Compromise insuring various rights and liberties afforded to citizens and provincial governments, and full support was achieved throughout Canada by the end of September. The first elections were held in that October, and Walter MacKenzie was elected the first President of Canada. The Federal Republic was formally established, and the first government was swept by members of the Patriot Party. The Patriots were the successors to the Canadian Liberty Society, and the PP held a vast majority of seats in the House of Deputies, as well as a number of provincial leadership roles throughout the country. Almost immediately, the MacKenzie-Tournay administration enacted a series of measures which aimed to further unite the country and encourage expansion into the officially delineated territories of Canada. Rupert's Land was reorganized as the North-West Territories, while the eastern colonies were admitted as full-status provinces.

Expansion and early industrialization[edit]

Fur brigades pioneered travel in Western Canada, using a series of canoes and portages to make the journey.

The MacKenzie-Tournay administration set to work on creating the framework for a series of agencies which aimed at furthering the expansion of existing population centers and the foundation of new settlements in the vast North-West Territories. These included the Federal Postal Company, the Federal Canadian Mounted Police, and the Federal Canadian Bank in 1841, 1843, and 1844 respectively. Land in the Territories was also made available at no cost to settlers, and a series of Army groups were sent to the west to secure the border with the United States. The Territory of Columbia was separated from the North-West Territories in 1845 with the intent of increasing local control over settlements along the Pacific Coast. Fort MacKenzie was established as the central administrative center of the new territory, although efforts to implement Canadian control over forts further to the south were met with diplomatic complaints from the US federal government. The Treaty of 1846 officially marked the 49th parallel as the US-Canada border in the Columbia region, and Canadian forces deployed south of the parallel were re-positioned to posts at Fort Langley, Fort Thompson, and Fort Rupert. Columbia would continue to grow as the most significant area of interest in the Canadian West throughout the next two decades, all the while industrial centers in the St. Lawrence corridor took shape as the backbone of the country's early economy. Federal grants were given to a number of industrial projects in the east, with recipients such as General Canadian Armaments and Halifax Dockyard and Shipbuilding Company eventually becoming some of the most successful industrial projects in the country. A great deal of industrial development was aimed at securing economic independence from both the United Kingdom and the United States, as Canada sought to establish itself as a sovereign economic power in its own right. Immigration from Europe increased significantly following the Revolutions of 1848, with many of these new arrivals preferring to remain in the east rather than venture to the "untamed" western part of the country.

The elections of 1849 would see the first time that the Patriot Party lost its majority in the House of Deputies. The Liberal Party and the Conservative Party would make significant gains against the Patriots as many questioned their unchallenged rule over the country. As the Patriot Party still commanded a plurality of seats and held on to the office of the Presidency under still-popular MacKenzie, it endeavored to form a coalition government with the Conservatives. The Conservatives accepted the arrangement, forming the MacKenzie-Girard-Campbell administration. A highly fractious arrangement, the Conservatives derailed many Patriot-led plans in which the Federal Government exercised a level of authority viewed as inappropriate by the minor party. Furthermore, many Conservative Deputies resented the Coalition agreement and often rebelled against motions officially supported by leading Conservatives. The perceived ineffectiveness of the Coalition and the inconsequential inclusion of the Conservatives led to a significant drop in their popular in the elections of 1853, where the Patriots won back a full majority and the Presidency under a new leader, Alexander Sinclair. The Sinclair-Girard administration proved highly popular and effective in continuing to sponsor and subsidize industrial development in the St. Lawrence corridor. The administration followed through on a series of promises to reverse immigration quotas and tariffs introduced in the previous administration, and it also supported a further warming of relations with the United States and France in opposition to previous efforts to appease uneasy relations with the United Kingdom. Industrial manufacturing of canned goods, armaments, sailing ships, and lumber-based goods saw large increases after significant Federal Government subsidies were implemented. Farming subsidies were also introduced to support the procurement of advanced agricultural equipment, as well as a series of measures meant to encourage further expansion into the North-West Territories.

Eugene War[edit]

The outbreak of the American Civil War in 1860 presented the Sinclair-Girard administration with its first foreign tribulation. As the Patriot Party viewed the Confederate States with a great deal of suspicion, no formal declaration of recognition would ever be given by the Canadian government. Many in Canada viewed the prospect of a weakened United States with a mixed perspective of fear and opportunity. Some feared that the weakened American position would only stand to benefit a possible British reentry into the continent, whereas others saw it as a chance for Canada to exhibit a wider birth in North American politics. Ultimately, the Sinclair-Girard administration opted for a policy of limited support for the United States by deploying the Navy to assist in the Union blockade of the Confederate coastline. Despite the Union's military victory, the collapse of the Lincoln government and the outbreak of the War of Contingency presented a new set of issues for the Federal Government. As the United States had collapsed, the terms of the Treaty of 1846 were considered null to the Canadian administration, and in early 1866, Canadian army groups stationed at Fort MacKenzie and Fort Thompson were ordered to prepare for an extended occupation of the territory formerly claimed past the 49th parallel. Brigadier General Wilbur Anderson, overseer of Western Canadian Army operations, attempted to dissuade the administration from pursuing the plan, as he considered it to be overly ambitious with his already thinly-stretched garrison forces. Ottawa responded by dishonorably discharging Anderson from his position and replacing him with Brigadier General George Francis Wainwright. Anderson fled Canada for Rainier, where he warned locals of an imminent annexation attempt by Canadian forces. The locals responded by organizing into two opposing militias, one supporting Canadian annexation of the region and the other supporting an independent state. The pro-independence militia in turn warned Sierran intelligence channels of the Canadian plans, and Sierra responded to the news by mobilizing its own expeditionary force in secret.

Sierran dragoons overwhelm Canadian infantrymen at the Battle of Eugene, 20 April 1866.

In April 1866, Canadian forces under the command of Brigadier General Wainwright crossed the 49th parallel and began informing settlements that Canada was preparing to reestablish order throughout the southern Columbian District. This action marked the historically accepted beginning of the Eugene War. The Canadian force of 1,780 infantrymen and 500 light cavalrymen was joined at Fort Nisqually by a local militia force of some 650 irregulars. Together, the Canadian-aligned forces marched south, capturing Fort Vancouver and Fort Astoria without conflict. On 20 April 1866, the expeditionary force reached Eugene, where they were surprised to be met by an opposing force of Sierran and Rainian soldiers and militiamen. After brief talks between the commanders of the two forces, Brigadier General Wainwright ordered his men to attack the Sierrans and expel them from the region. Despite an initial Canadian advantage, the superior numbers and cavalry of the Sierran forces quickly overwhelmed the Canadian position, and Wainwright ordered a tactical retreat to Fort Astoria. The pro-Canadian militia mostly dispersed into smaller groups which would meet the advancing Sierran forces in smaller skirmishes throughout the following two months, while the main Canadian force sent word from Fort Astoria to the naval detachment at Fort MacKenzie requesting reinforcements, supply, and naval support. The Pacific Squadron, consisting of two frigates and two corvettes, reached Fort Astoria in early May with new supplies and a limited number of soldiers. In late May, after having pacified militia-based resistance south of the Columbia River and the skeleton force at Fort Vancouver, the Sierrans began the Siege of Fort Astoria. Having had weeks to prepare along with naval supremacy, the Canadian forces were successful in holding off the Sierrans until the arrival of four Sierran Royal Navy frigates in mid-July. After losing most of the already small Pacific Squadron, the Army group at Fort Astoria was only able to hold out for a few more days before surrendering on 23 July 1866. Three days after the surrender, word arrived from Ottawa that all Canadian forces south of the 49th parallel had been ordered to retreat effective 20 July 1866.

Later industrial and population growth[edit]

The Alaska Purchase of 1867 was Canada's last significant territorial change.

Canadian petitions for the opening of dialogue with Sierran officials resulted in the Fort MacKenzie Treaty. The treaty saw Canada recognize the independence of Rainier and withdraw its claims to the terms originally agreed in the Treaty of 1846. The Treaty also returned captured Canadian soldiers and established a pact of non-aggression and mutual guarantees of independence between the three countries, as the War of Contingency was intensifying in eastern North American as the United Commonwealth began taking aggressive actions against anti-federalist forces. Although the news of the Treaty was welcomed across Canada, public opinion and trust in the ruling Patriot Party government plummeted, with many viewing the Eugene War as a national humiliation. Despite widespread calls for a snap election, the Patriot Party's majority in the House of Deputies prevented opposition groups from successfully voting for the resolution. Instead, the Sinclair-Girard administration carried on as before the War, with a particularly strong interest in securing positions in Western Canada. The House passed a resolution funding the Canadian Pacific Railway in late 1866 in hopes of establishing a high-speed method of transit between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, and a great deal of military resources are devoted to strengthening the Canadian Army and Navy. The Patriot Party even purchased Alaska from the Russian Empire in 1867 in hopes of claiming success with regards to their policy of territorial expansion. Despite the popularity of these specific measures, public opinion would never recover in favor of the Patriot Party before the 1869 elections, where the Patriot Party lost nearly all of their seats outside of Quebec to the Liberal and Conservative parties. The election was the first time that the Patriots did not win the position of President or Prime Minister, and instead the first Liberal majority government was formed in Canadian history under Joseph-Amédée Bouchie and Thomas Carleton. The Bouchie-Carleton administration immediately set about on a series of reforms aimed at liberalizing the economic system of the country, which until then had been heavily subsidized by previous Patriot Party administrations.

Monopolistic industrial enterprises were reduced under the new Liberal administration, although some were not entirely eliminated. Among them, price-controls which limited the construction of new lumber, paper, metals, and food processing plants were eliminated. Immigration controls were also entirely eliminated, despite fierce resistance to this measure from the provincial government of Quebec. Further anti-immigrant moves by that province's Patriot Patry-led government only fueled a more pronounced rise in the growth of other industrialized cities across Eastern Canada. Cataraqui, Halifax, and Toronto underwent major population booms, and the particularly socially liberal attitude of many already residing in those cities made them a haven for European immigration. Real wage growth increased by 60% across Eastern Canada from the 1860s to the 1880s, and the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1873 only opened the nation to a more easy network for the access of undeveloped Western Canadian lands. While many Western European immigrant groups arrived in Eastern Canada to work in industrial areas, the Liberal administration attempted to recruit a broader range of ethnic groups from Eastern Europe were agriculture remained more common than industrial labor. The similar climate conditions experienced by some Eastern European countries in relation to the Western Canadian Prairies also made groups like the Polish, Ukrainians, and Russians particularly attractive. The more robust package of civil and political liberties possible to enjoy in Canada and appeals to the German and Russian governments to send displaced minority groups resulted in a level of immigration which at times out-paced that experienced in Eastern Canada. After heavy bolstering to its population, Manitoba would be admitted as a province in 1875, and the Alberta and Saskatchewan Territories separated from the North-West Territories in 1876. The combined, rapid growth of various economic activities across Canada led to a number of individuals achieving a nationally unprecedented level of wealth. People like Nathaniel Carter-Weston, Arthur Graham, and William Gordon MacGregor amassed enough personal fortunes to become the first Canadian millionaires and multimillionaires simultaneously.

The completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1873 was the hallmark of a period of substantial national growth which lasted into the early 20th century.

In tandem with the rapid industrialization of Eastern Canada was the onset of rapid population growth to a point where urban infrastructures were having difficulty keeping pace. Although many enjoyed higher wages than they might have in rural areas or back in their European homelands, rents and the prices of goods continued to increase as well. Pollution caused by the growth of industrial facilities also degraded the general quality of life experienced in eastern cities, and increasing rates of literacy and the prevalence of newspapers fueled a widespread growth in public consciousness of the impact that business people had on political decisions. Public perceptions of corruption were played on Patriot Party leaders to substantially denigrate the perception of the ruling Liberal Party as in the pocket of the new class of the ultra-wealthy. The elections of 1881 ended the reign of the Liberal Party and replaced them with the Patriot Party once more. The Carlyle-Mathieu administration under President Wilson Carlyle and Prime Minister Wilfred Mathieu implemented a series of reforms aimed at reducing immigration rates, subsidizing the expansion of urban housing arrangements, and rooting out corruption in local police forces and local regulations enforcement agencies. The administration proved highly successful in introducing a series of social insurance measures aimed at providing basic levels of workplace safety, education, and unemployment insurance. These social programs proved highly popular, and in time their effect on Canadian society at large proved would prove more profound than many government actions had before. Further, a series of reforms were aimed at reducing the cost of transportation from urban centers into the Western Prairies, with one of the most significant being the federal acquirement of the high-cost Canadian Pacific Railway. The popularity of the Carlyle-Mathieu administration would remain consistent throughout most of its existence, though eventually the domestic fallout of the Panic of 1893 and an ideological campaigning shift would result in the Liberal Party's victory in the elections that year.

Liberalization and social change[edit]

Pauline Johnson, also known by the Mohawk name Tekahionwake, was a prolific author and social activist who typified the concurrent push for women's and indigenous peoples' rights.

Under President Roland Bergeron and Prime Minister Henri-Joseph Bourassa, the new Liberal Party government implemented a policies of reforms aimed at improving their standing among the growing, increasingly educated Canadian middle class through supporting the secularization of public schools, woman's suffrage, taking a hard-line against corruption, and increasing the Federal Government's funding of Canadian universities. The Bergeron-Bourassa administration sought to sustain its popularity among the middle class by focusing on these progressive issues and opting for the development of a policy of Canadian neutrality in foreign affairs with the overall desire of encouraging growth in the international trade of Canada's vast natural resources. This dual socioeconomic focus of social and economic liberalism proved highly popular among the populace of one of the most educated countries in the world. The Liberals made good on their progressive promises by working with civil rights campaigners to design sensible legislation for the social issues they sought to remedy. With regards to women's suffrage and women's rights at large, Canada under the Bergeron-Bourassa administration became one of the first sovereign states to offer full women's status in politics in 1895. Both women's suffrage and women's representation in Parliament became legal with the passage of the Women's Rights Act that year. The administration further extended its focus to social issues faced by minority groups within Canada, in particular, the Indigenous and African Canadian populations concentrated in the Western and Eastern portions of the country respectively. Working in tandem with municipal and provincial authorities, the General Provisions and Rights Act of 1898 sought to alleviate racial inequality and a perceived lower standing of racial minorities through the penalization of discrimination based on race and further Federal Government funding for the establishment of schools and basic pensions nationwide. This enactment proved wildly controversial among social conservatives and moderates throughout Canada, and it further brought about increased resentment in Quebec of the perceived "forced integration" of immigrant and minority communities with preexisting Quebecois communities.

Another effect of the socially activist and progressive policies of the Bergeron-Bourassa administration was a heightened level of blow-back from social conservative leaders and outlets. Newspapers and public figures known to have more Conservative leanings vehemently appealed to the religious sensibilities of the working class to stand against what was deemed the "tyranny of the university class," while at the same time continued discrepancies between quality of life for the lower classes and the generous policies benefitting both minority groups and middle class families were used as evidence by Conservative outlets that the ruling Liberal Party was not on the side of the common Canadian man. This strategy of appealing to the lower classes proved highly effective, especially in Quebec and among the Prairie settlers, and a further promise to incorporate the territories of Alberta and Saskatchewan and provinces won the Conservative Party their first election in 1905. Following through on their promise, the first enactments of the Conservative-led Parliament under President James David Borden and Prime Minister Pierre-Basile Labelle were to incorporate both within the same week of each other. The Borden-Labelle administration further implemented a series of programs which aimed to reduce immigration, changed favorable trade terms away from the United Commonwealth to the United Kingdom, and repealed many of the more controversial provisions of the General Provisions and Rights Act. In place of this latter arrangement, the Conservative government introduced a federally sponsored Residential School system which amalgamated previously church-run schools into a national network of long term boarding schools for Indigenous children. The program forced separation of children from their parents and their native communities, depriving them of access to their cultural heritage, and often resulted in complete isolation upon graduation as the child was no longer associated with their native community nor entirely accepted within Anglo-Canadian communities. As the enrollment and registration of children was often met with violent resistance from parents in those communities, it became common practice for FCMP officers to accompany registry officials and forcibly pacify resistant parents.

The Borden-Labelle administration's policies proved effective in placating social conservatives throughout the country, although their majority in the House of Deputies was reduced to only a handful of seats following the 1909 elections. As Conservative policy ambitions worried both the Liberal and Patriot parties for fear of losing decades of influence on the structure of the Canadian economy and society, an electoral alliance between the two parties was announced in 1912 with hopes of appealing to a broader demographic makeup throughout Canada. The Compromise of 1912 forged a platform of social and economic intervention and moderation which sought to balance Liberal ambitions of a free, melting pot society with Patriot ambitions of a strengthened military-industrial complex. The Liberal-Patriot Alliance dropped the longstanding foreign policy of Canadian neutrality with a more interventionist-minded attitude that focused on the building-up of Canada's naval force into a power-projecting arm of the military. Furthermore, immigration controls were to be put to a minimum, and an official government policy of secularism with regards to education and social services was was to be enacted should the Alliance succeed. Lastly, the generous subsidies which had benefited non-military or infrastructure essential industrial operations would be cut in favor of expanding provisions for the working class, such as the federally sponsored construction of new neighborhoods in overcrowded Eastern Canadian cities, the provision of a general family tax benefit, and the first federally mandatory minimum wage in Canadian history. The platform won the Liberal-Patriot Alliance a sweeping victory across the country in the 1913 elections, with Algonquin, Manitana, and Quebec contributing the largest number of Patriot seats and Columbia, Migmaqui, and Ontario, giving the largest number of Liberal seats. Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan proved reliable strongholds for the Conservative party.

First World War and Great Depression[edit]

The German declaration of unrestricted submarine warfare against neutrally-flagged ships was the primary driver of Canada's entrance into the First World War.

The new administration under Liberal President John Buchan and Patriot Prime Minister Guillaume Lapointe quickly set about introducing its wide-ranging economic policies in the Comprehensive Reform Act of early 1914, just two months before the outbreak of the First World War. When war erupted in Europe, widespread public sentiment remained largely indifferent, as despite campaign promises to end the official policy of neutrality in foreign affairs, many Canadians across the country felt that Canadian interventionism should be left to North America alone. Initially, Canadian involvement was limited to supply convoys, as Halifax, Migmaqui, was a popular refueling stop on Trans-Atlantic routes travelling between the British Isles and destinations further southward in North America. These convoys were left untouched by the German U-boat Campaign, but in 1915, as the Germans became disillusioned by the notion that the war could be won quickly, unrestricted submarine warfare began against Canadian-flagged convoys. After numerous diplomatic complaints were met with silence from German officials, the Canadian public grew ever more in favor of a Canadian entrance into the conflict, and on 5 May 1915, the Parliament of Canada approved the declaration of war against the Central Powers. Canadian Navy ships were outfitted with special anti-submarine warfare devices to escort convoys entering the North Sea, while Canadian Army regiments were mobilized and transferred to France to fight on the Western Front. Throughout the course of the war, Canadian military units would distinguish themselves for their contributions relative to the actual size of the forces mobilized. Around 525,000 Canadian Army soldiers were mobilized and sent to fight in France alongside the Canadian Atlantic Fleet's 16 destroyers, 4 cruisers, and 2 dreadnoughts. Both the Army and Navy initially only served in defensive roles respective to their capabilities; Army forces were used to reinforce established British and French lines of defense, whereas Navy forces were used to counter U-boat attacks on Trans-Atlantic convoys. Near the end of the war, the mobilized Canadian forces participated in more offensive roles, including the famous Hundred Days campaigns which would see some of the most significant battles for deployed Canadian forces, including those at Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele. Following the conclusion of the war, Canada joined the Allied Powers as a signatory of the Treaty of Versailles, resulting in its inclusion of the newly established League of Nations.

Although the War in Europe had ended, the Continental Revolutionary War had begun in the United Commonwealth. Refugees, primarily middle and upper level functionaries of the Federalist Party, had begun trickling into the country by crossing the Detroit River, and despite enjoying record levels of public approval, the Buchan-Lapointe administration was hard-pressed to respond to the growing conflict at Canada's doorstep. In early 1920, as Federalist control began to weaken significantly, the Canadian government closed the border and began actively patrolling the Detroit River with orders to prevent further refugee crossings, as the numbers housed in camps on the Canadian side of the border began to verge into the tens of thousands. The massive economic disruption caused by the conflict had only benefited Canadian industry in the St. Lawrence corridor. Riding on the perceived victory of the First World War and the positive economic activity, the Liberal-Patriot Alliance won another term in the 1921 elections. After the Continentalist victory in 1922, the Federal Government began to accept refugee claims from those who had already fled before the closure of the border, but the crossing would remain closed until the foreign affairs positions of the Continentalists became clear to outside countries. While many Anglo-Canadians remained content throughout the remainder of the 1920s, the Continental Liberation Front began to form a solid organizational basis in the Franco-Canadian urban industrial centers of Manitana and Quebec. Having resented Canada's entrance into the First World War, and, especially so in Quebec, animosity lingered among many working class people at decades of policies which many felt had only favored Anglo-Canadians, immigrants, and other minority groups across the country. The Patriot Party would begin to lose its stronghold in Quebec to the growing influence of the Continentalist Party of Canada in the 1925 elections. The significant decline in Patriot Party support meant that the Liberal Party would be able to form its own majority government without the need for the former electoral Alliance, and so Leonard MacKenzie King replaced Quebecois Guillaume Lapointe as Prime Minister. With both executive officers occupied by Anglo-Canadians, Franco-Canadian resentment continued to rise.

Devastation in Downtown Cataraqui following the eruption of the St. Lawrence Rebellion.

The 1929 elections were held on 11 October, just four days before the Great Crash that would directly result in the Great Depression. The effects of the then-slump in the stock markets were not fully known at the time of the election, and the Liberal Party maintained its slim majority in parliament with broad support across Anglo-Canada and among middle class upper class Franco-Canadians in major urban centers. The Continentalist Party swept the urban industrial districts of Franco-Canada which had previously been strongholds of the Patriot Party, and support for the Patriots was even reduced in rural areas by a surge in votes for Conservatives. Within a week of the election, the Great Crash reverberated across North American economies, and confidence in the Cataraqui Stock Exchange plummeted. Initial perceptions of the Great Crash as a particularly acute recession persisted until 1931, when bank failures continued and unemployment continued to rise past an already record 200% increase. Many heavy industries were heavily hit, and hundreds of thousands throughout the St. Lawrence corridor found themselves unemployed within months. As the crisis persisted into 1932, pressure from Continentalist-organized trade unions and mutual support associations reached a boiling point. Many working class people were left without a means of providing for their families, and many of Canada's banks admitted they did not have sufficient reserves to pay all those who possessed savings accounts. Protests by the newly homeless and unemployed soon turned into riots as police forces responded violently to acts of civil disobedience, especially so in Cataraqui, Montreal, and Toronto. By May 1932, Continentalist associations across the St. Lawrence corridor began arming members and organizing supervised sit-ins in public squares, marketplaces, and in front of government buildings. When protesters at the Place de la Cathédrale in central Montreal were ordered to leave by police, they refused, and soon police officers mounted on horseback were attempting to forcibly disperse the protesters. After several people were reportedly trampled by police horses, armed militia men began to fire on the police. The Battle of the Place de la Cathédrale was soon quickly won by militants as the police retreated, and news of the events in Montreal inspired armed uprisings across the St. Lawrence corridor. The St. Lawrence Rebellion entered into full swing as civil unrest erupted in Toronto, Cataraqui, and Quebec City.

St. Lawrence Rebellion[edit]

Crimson Summer[edit]

On 10 May 1932, members of the Federal Government met with top military and law enforcement officials in Ottawa to discuss the outbreak of civil unrest across the St. Lawrence corridor. The last two weeks had seen both federal and provincial law enforcement agencies fail to restore order in the revolting cities of Hamilton, Toronto, Cataraqui, Montreal, Trois-Rivières and Quebec City. Revolts had broken out at the same time in St. Clair, Sarnia, Fanshawe, Ottawa, and Halifax but were all successfully quelled before police lost control. The Buchan-MacKenzie King administration declared a national state of emergency and martial law in the affected provinces of Ontario, Manitana, and Quebec. A general order of assembly was given to all non-essential Army units in Western Canada to group in Ottawa, while Canadian Army units in the Niagara and St. Clair regions were ordered to form a defensive line which both secured the borders to the United Commonwealth and Northeast Union while also preventing the transit of rebel forces from Hamilton or Toronto. Army groups in Eastern Quebec and Migmaqui had been cut off from Ottawa's purview by rebel sabotage of telegraph and telephone wires; these units would not even be fully aware of the situation until a full week of non-communication from the Joint Command in Ottawa. Several brigades of the Army and certain Navy groups had even pledged to not attack rebelling groups until fired upon, and orders to begin offensive actions would only cause many of these units of wavering loyalty to defect. As Federal forces scrambled to ascertain the full extent of the situation, the Continental Liberation Front had managed to maintain contact between revolting cells all along the St. Lawrence corridor. Hijacked telegraph lines were fully utilized by rebel forces, and as early as 21 May representatives from revolting cities were able to assemble in Cataraqui. On 24 May, the Continental Union of Canada was established by the delegates, with the Continental Liberation Front officially endorsed as its provisional militia force.

A Quebecois boy in Vieux-Limoilou, Quebec City, after the beginning of Operation Summer's End in September 1932.

By the end of May, Federal forces from Western Canada and Southwestern Ontario had managed to establish stable communications with one another, while more antiquated forms of communication had been successfully employed to inform forces in Atlantic Canada of the tactical situation. By then, the CUC government had consolidated CLF forces across the St. Lawrence corridor and managed to distribute the central weapons cache of the Federal Canadian Army in Cataraqui to positions along the corridor. Federal Army forces in Eastern Quebec had by then completely defected to the CLF, while Federal Army units in Atlantic Canada took up defensive positions which cut off CLF access to the Gaspé by way of a garrison line from Pohenegamook to Saint-André. Although some Federal Navy destroyers and cruisers had defected to form the Provisional Liberation Navy, the Federal Atlantic Fleet remained the more powerful of the two forces and created a blockade at the Île d'Orléans split of the St. Lawrence River. Seeing as CLF forces were almost completely encircled and cut off from access to a potentially friendly United Commonwealth, the CUC Central Committee ordered the Niagara Offensive to secure the locks which connected Lake Ontario to Lake Eire. The rapid pace of the heavily armed CLF forces already present in Hamilton caught Federal Army forces on the Niagara peninsula by surprise, and by 19 June the locks between the two lakes were secured by rebel forces. Before the Federal Army's forces could be further bolstered in Southwestern Ontario and envigorated by the quick pace of the Niagara Offensive, the CLF launched the Sarnia-St. Clair Offensive on 21 June, and again, managed to overwhelm the combined Federal Army-militia forces already positioned there by the middle of July. News of these early CLF victories was widespread in Ottawa, and Federal Government leaders were under heavy pressure from both military figures and public opinion to respond with a counter-offensive that would cut off the St. Lawrence corridor into two more containable fronts. The front line stretched from Hawkesbury to Peterborough, and on 23 July Federal Command ordered a general advance against all CLF positions along the front line. Unbeknownst to the already scattered Federal Army brigades, CLF positions were not only entrenched, but well-camouflaged and heavily armed, and the First Battle of Manitana proved to be more of a massacre of Federal Army forces than an offensive on their part. The already stretched Federal Army brigades were dispersed and forced to retreat back to Ottawa. CLF forces, combining armed automobiles with cavalry, quickly responded with a counter attack, and the ensuing First Battle of Ottawa forced members of the Federal Government to flee the city after a pitched week-long battle. With Federal Command overwhelmed, CLF forces in Western Ontario launched a final offensive against remaining forces there, forcing a full retreat of Federal Army units from the province by mid-August.

Federal counter-offensives[edit]

Known as the Crimson Summer of 1932, the initial phase of the St. Lawrence rebellion had been a military humiliation for the Federal Government and Canadian Central Command. In September, Admiral Virgil Davidson of the Federal Atlantic Fleet and General Earnest Garland of the Atlantic Army Command met in Rimouski to discuss the military situation at the mouth of the St. Lawrence, where both Atlantic divisions of the military had managed to maintain the line against occassional CLF attack. On 7 September 1932, the two leaders initiated an unapproved, self-created plan known as Operation Summer's End to strike decisively against the CUC-held territories before they could become further entrenched and possibly invulnerable without foreign intervention. The prototype submarine NC Defiant was successfully used to incapacitate the small PLN fleet which guarded Quebec City early in the morning, and throughout the day the areas surrounding the city were shelled with a volley of dreadnought-fire that lasted into the night, particularly the areas directly to the north and east of Vieux-Québec. Having not expected the Federal Fleet to go to such measures, the CLF garrisons defending the city were taken by surprise. The Atlantic Fleet then moved into further down the river, cutting off access as far southwest as Trois-Rivières, while the Atlantic Army began a full-force assault against the CLF line at Montmagny. By 18 September, the Atlantic Army had managed to advance as far as Levis, directly across the river from Quebec City, and the line had been pushed along the length of the Chaudière River by the end of the month. Word had reached Central Command of the victories being won in Eastern Quebec by October, and the Army leaders there decided to officially support the initiative of the Atlantic forces due to the victories which were being won against the CLF to the south of the St. Lawrence. The Winter Offensive of 1932-1933 would see Federal forces manage to recapture the whole region by February of next year, after a long and costly campaign which managed to suppress CLF retaliation through the Atlantic Fleet's bombardment of major industrial areas along the St. Lawrence.

Downtown Cataraqui under bombardment during Operation Burning Waters in June 1933.

Although heavy bombardment of industrial areas across Quebec and Manitana had curtailed the ability of Continentalist forces to resupply themselves, the apparent ability of CLF garrisons to sustain themselves during large-scale offensives from the Central-Eastern Army forces in the north led many in Canadian Command to suspect the United Commonwealth was supplying the rebels. Royal Intelligence Agency operatives confirmed Central Command's suspicions, and as a result, Operation Burning Waters was formulated in early 1933. As reinforcements from the Pacific Fleet arrived in May, the combined Federal Fleet would travel down the St. Lawrence into the Great Lakes proper. International access points were to be severed by the Federal Navy at the Detroit and St. Clair Rivers via the Welland Canal. The operation would also see the first combat deployment of the Federal Marine Corps, who would be tasked with securing the Welland Canal. Burning Waters was formally initiated on 11 June 1933, as Federal Navy forces positioned near Akwesasne, Manitana moved down the St. Lawrence river. As the Federal Fleet neared Cataraqui, CLF mortars positioned throughout the city's core and on neighboring Wolf Island began firing on the ships. Initially, Admiral Davidson gave orders to hold off on the advance, with ships occasionally sent to the forefront of the fleet to try and gauge how many mortars remained in CLF custody. After a week of delay, orders came from Central Command to advance the fleet and take defensive measures if necessary. The Admiral attempted to persuade his superiors to continue the delay, as the only viable option of neutralizing the CLF mortars would be to bombard the core of the city and cause massive damage to civilian buildings. After Central Command relayed an RIA report that the CLF possessed hundreds of thousand of mortar shells, it became clear to Admiral Davidson that there was no other option for the Fleet to advance before CLF forces had become too entrenched. Early on the morning of 21 June, the Admiral gave the order to all long-range guns to fire on reported mortar locations, and within the course of the day, as explosions from the stockpiled shells rocked the city and the surrounding area, the returning fire from the CLF became negligible. The Federal Fleet was able to advance to Lake Ontario within the next three days, and the Federal Marine Corps managed to secure the Welland Canal by the end of June. Operation Burning Waters was declared a major success on 9 August, when the Federal Fleet reported a full naval blockade of CUC controlled areas.

Federal Canadian forces had managed to fully contain CLF rebels and neutralize the Provisional Liberation Navy by the winter of 1933-1934. Despite this strategic advantage, it was determined that the scheduled elections could not be reasonably held as many major urban centers remained under rebel control. Marine Corps landings had only been possible with the fully combined bombardment power of the Federal Fleet, and such a concentration of firepower was no longer possible as naval assets were needed to maintain the blockade. As a result, combined Federal Army forces were left with the necessity of using land-based assault to advance against CLF positions north of the St. Lawrence. Figuring that the winter would strain the now supply-line deprived Continentalists to a critical level, the well-supplied Federal Army was given orders to maintain the offensive line stretching from Barrie, Ontario, to Mont-Tremblant, Quebec. After a record-breaking cold winter which saw Lake Ontario freeze over completely in February, CLF forces stationed along the northern line were in extremely dire situations. Acting on this opportunity, Federal Central Command gave the order for a full advance. After several weeks of desperate fighting on the part of the CLF, Federal Army forces managed to push the line to the outskirts of Ottawa. The Second Battle of Ottawa began on 18 March 1934, and fighting in which had advanced quickly in the outskirts slowed significantly upon reaching the city's core. While Federal Army forces managed to push even further in areas on the extreme ends of the offensive line, it became clear that CLF forces had centralized their defensive efforts on the deserted capital. While the CUC government had fled to Montréal before the onset of winter, CLF commanders recognized the clear symbolic importance of the city to the Federal Government and those supporting it, resulting in the concentration of a significant portion of their remaining arsenal there. By early June, Federal Army forces had managed to break through defensive lines around Quebec City and Trois-Rivières. Montréal fell to Federal Army forces on 24 June and by the end of the month the entirety of Quebec had been returned to Federal control.

Final months[edit]

Admiral Virgil Davidson aboard the NC Frontenac viewing the Federal Army advance into Cataraqui, July, 1934.

At the beginning of July 1934, the Federal-CLF line mostly followed the course of the Ottawa River up until the City of Ottawa, which had remained under contention for three months at that point. From there, the front line drew southwards, pushed further back towards the St. Lawrence River by the strong Federal offensive that summer. Most of the Province of Ontario remained under CUC control, while Manitana made up the majority of the actual combat zone in early July. On 10 July, Operation Wendigo was initiated, and a push by the Federal Army was made from the line at Ungava and Perth to push southwards towards Cataraqui and break off the rebel supply line to Ottawa. The newly organized 1st Armored Battalion under Commander Theodore Grey was highly effective in neutralizing CLF defensive positions, and by 19 July the Federal Army managed to reach the outskirts of Cataraqui and divide the CLF line at Ganonoque. Cataraqui had been virtually abandoned by CLF forces by the time of the Federal Army's arrival, and as Federal forces continued to push westward it had become clear that a general CLF retreat had been called to fortify the holdouts at Toronto-Hamilton and Ottawa. Federal forces had completely encircled the remaining CLF cells in these major cities by mid-August, and Federal control had been restored over the remaining countryside around the same time. CLF forces in Toronto and Ottawa were given an ultimatum by the fully amassed Federal Army with orders to either stand down or face complete destruction. CLF leaders in Toronto ultimately decided to surrender to the Federal Army on 19 August 1934, but the CLF forces in Ottawa refused surrender and vowed to fight to the death. After a contentious battle in the streets around Parliament Hill and the Château Écluses, the remaining largest cell of CLF fighters in Ottawa were either driven out or killed by 4 September, and all CLF hold-outs throughout Ottawa had either escaped or surrendered by 8 September. Admiral Virgil Davidson, credited as the savior of the Federal Government, gave an address on the steps of Parliament Hill to the combined crowds of soldiers and civilians in Ottawa on 12 September where he announced the victory of the Canadian Federal Government and the collapse of the Continental Union. The Admiral famously called for healing and compromise, and admitted that while the measures the Federal Government took were extreme, the fight was for the survival of liberal democracy in Canada.

Reconstruction[edit]

The Canadian Red Cross played a vital role in the success of immediate reconstruction efforts in the St. Lawrence corridor.

The St. Lawrence rebellion resulted in widespread damage throughout Canada's most important industrial corridor. The damage was most severe in Cataraqui and Ottawa, where some of the most pitched ground combat had taken place in the final months of the conflict. Quebec City, Montréal, and Hamilton also faced widespread destruction throughout key industrial districts. Federal Army and Navy forces were instructed to provide civilians with military rations, and the Federal Government initially focused on the developing food, water, and housing situations which would become crises should they persist into the coming winter. Foreign aide from the International Red Cross and logistical coordination from the Federal Navy alleviated concerns for food and water, but the issue of structural damage across the corridor made housing more difficult. In October 1934, the Federal forces initiated Operation Passover, an initiative spearheaded by the increasingly popular Admiral Davidson which devoted a great deal of the military's personnel to rebuilding homes and businesses destroyed in the earlier fighting. With the operation being largely successful in securing sufficient shelter for the high number of previously displaced peoples throughout the Winter of 1934-1935, Admiral Davidson had become a more popular figure among Canadian civilians and soldiers than the Liberal Buchan-MacKenzie King administration which had been largely sidelined from military command during the rebellion. Having taken a great deal of blame for the outbreak of the civil war, President Buchan announced that martial law was to be suspended following the successful re-implementation of municipal and provincial governments in Manitana, Quebec, and Ontario. The re-implementation process was completed in the summer of 1935, and the Federal Government followed suited by formally revoking the declaration of martial law. Elections which had originally been scheduled for October 1933 were held that year, and early in the campaign season Admiral Davidson announced his intention to run for the office of President as a member of the Patriot Party. Following a highly popular campaign with wide support even in areas which had never before elected a Patriot Deputy, Davidson was elected President and the Patriot Party won a sweeping majority in the House of Deputies. Commander Theodore Grey had been elected as the Deputy for his hometown of Hamilton, and subsequently the former tank commander was nominated as the leader of the Patriot Party in the House of Deputies. The Davidson-Grey administration was thus the second government in Canadian history composed of highly popular military officials following the very first MacKenzie-Tournay administration of 1841.

The goals which Davidson had sought to accomplish in Operation Passover were formally adopted as Federal Government policy with the passage of the National Reconciliation and Reconstruction Act the same year as the election, and significant levels of Federal Government funding were devoted to rebuilding the industrial economy of the St. Lawrence corridor. Federal Canadian Audiovisual Broadcasting, Trans-Canadian Airlines, and the Federal Canadian Development Bank were all established by the Federal Government to facilitate ease of access to information, transportation, and loans for entrepreneurship. Formerly independent businesses were also federally acquired or given large subsidies to rebuild in the most heavily affected regions of the St. Lawrence corridor. The rapid pace at which the Patriot Party government was able to rehabilitate the region's economy and infrastructure was widely attributed to the strong leadership of the Davidson-Grey administration and its supermajority in the House of Deputies, and the party won a second term of sweeping support in the elections of 1939. While Canada continued the process of rebuilding, tensions in Europe had led to the outbreak of the Second World War that same year. Initially, the Patriot Party administration had committed to complete neutrality in European affairs, the Fall of France the following year shocked the world with the collapse of the Allied front on the continent. The North American powers of Brazoria, the United Commonwealth, and the Northeast Union responded to the advance of German forces by entering into the conflict with the Allies in July 1940, and deep divisions in Canadian public opinion began to pressure the Federal Government between its commitments to both neutrality and the upholding of democracy. When Canada began to commit its merchant marine to supplying the British Isles with crucial non-military materials. The German U-boat attack on the NM Grouse in September of 1940 galvanized the Canadian public in support of entrance into the war, and on 19 September the President approved the declaration of war against Germany which had won the approval of the House of Deputies and the Senate.

Politics[edit]

Canada

This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of the
Federal Republic of Canada


Government House
Rideau House, residence and workplace of the President
Parliament Hill
Parliament Hill, workplace of the Parliament of Canada and the Prime Minister
Supreme Court Building
Supreme Court Building, workplace of the Supreme Court of Canada

Canada is the world's oldest surviving federation, having maintained its system of government since the promulgation of the Constitution in 1841. The political structure of the Federal Government is defined as a semi-presidential parliamentary democracy, in which executive power is shared between a popularly elected President and an legislatively elected Prime Minister. The Canadian political system drew heavy influence from both the Constitution of the United States, which existed at the time of the Federal Republic's foundation, and the British Westminster system represented by the Parliament. As of 2018, Canada ranked 6th on the Democracy Index and 9th on the Corruption Perceptions Index.

In the Canadian federal system, citizens are subject to two to three levels of government depending on their residence in a territory or province respectively. In provinces, the levels of government are threefold: federal, provincial, and municipal, whereas in territories, the levels of government are only two: federal and territorial. Provincial governments are free to determine their own forms of governmental representation, although most typically follow a format closely related to the Federal Government's structure. The Federal Government is organized into three branches, two of which are closely tied together in terms of organization. The Executive branch and the Legislative branch typically share members, with the exception of the President, in that members of the Cabinet are drawn from sitting Members of the House of Deputies. Cabinet members are rarely selected from the Senate, as none of its members are popularly elected. Represented by the Supreme Court and its various Appellate Courts, the Judicial branch is constitutionally barred from explicit political affiliation. Judges on both levels of courts are appointed by the President with the approval of the Senate, and as such appointments are life-long, the President will typically defer their nomination to a politically neutral appointment commission.

The Executive branch is made up of the President, the Prime Minister, and various Ministers, all of whom serve on the Cabinet. The President and Prime Minister are jointly responsible for the appointment of Cabinet Ministers, and precedent dictates that the vast majority of these ministerial positions go to sitting members of the House of Deputies. Although rare, there have been several Ministers who were either Senators or held no previous political office at the level of the Federal Government. The combined authority of the Executive branch extends to the administration and day-to-day governance of the various Ministries under its purview. In some roles, the Executive branch serves as a regulatory and oversight body for the functions of governance left specifically to the provinces, such as in the cases of education, healthcare, law enforcement, and local infrastructure. However, customs, defence, diplomacy, national infrastructure projects, natural resources, natural and recreational parks, inter-provincial transportation, various forms of taxation, and many other administrative roles are under the direct purview of Federal Ministries. There are also several Federal agencies which work in tandem with local and provincial agencies, such as the Federal Canadian Mounted Police.

The Legislative branch is embodied by the Parliament, which itself is composed of the lower House of Deputies and the upper Senate. There are 450 total seats in the House of Deputies, a number which changes by 50 every time the country experiences a population increase of five million according to its official census. Territories receive a single seat in the Deputies. Provincial seats are distributed according to population, with the highest number of seats going to the most populous province. In the provinces, the seats in the Deputies are distributed through individual ridings, in which candidates compete in first-past-the-post elections. The House of Deputies is responsible for the introduction, modification, and passage of bills into law, which is then administered and enforced by the various Cabinet Ministries of the Executive. The Senate serves a more secondary role despite being the upper house, as its powers are limited to approval of executive appointments and treaties, legal oversight, and review of bills passed by the Deputies. Senators are also unelected; instead, they are apportioned to provinces according to population and appointed by provincial governments. For this reason, standing Senate rules bar outright membership in political parties.

The Judicial branch at the federal level is composed of the Supreme Court and its four trans-provincial Appellate Courts. The Appellate Courts independently decide to take appeals from rulings made in the individual provincial High Courts within their regions of jurisdiction. There are four Appellate Courts representing four large geographical regions in Canada: the Eastern Appellate Court (representing Migmaqui, Newfoundland, and Quebec), the East-Central Appellate Court (representing Algonquin, Nunavut, Manitoba, Ontario, and Rideau), the West-Central Appellate Court (representing Alberta, Denenda, and Saskatchewan), and the Western Appellate Court (representing Alaska, Columbia, and Yukon). Rulings made by the Appellate Courts apply only within the provinces they serve, and appeals can be made from these courts to the Supreme Court, whose decisions then go on to effect the entirety of the country. Members of the Supreme Court and the Appellate Courts are appointed by the Executive (the President and the Prime Minister), although this appointment is almost always deferred to politically neutral appointment commissions upon the death or resignation of a sitting judge. Appointments are then interviewed by the Senate before being approved and granted office.

Elections and political parties[edit]

Current leaders of Canada
President Sarah Woodley (FDP-ALB)
Prime Minister Daniel Boudreau (FDP-ONT)
Deputy Prime Minister Jean-Yves Arsenault (PP-QUE)

With the passage of Fixed-Term Elections Act, 2006, regular national elections for the positions of President and seats in the House of Deputies have been held concurrently every four years since the 2007 elections. Members of the House are elected per constituency in a first-past-the-post vote, with the winner of the seat being the person who has garnered the highest percentage of the vote. The President is elected at the same time as Members of the House, although unlike the House, a candidate must receive a simple majority of votes in order to secure the seat. For this reason, the vote for the Presidency can result in run-off elections if no candidate at first receives more than half of votes, with only the top three polling candidates being eligible for the run-off. The position of Prime Minister is elected within the first session of a newly elected House of Deputies, and typically, the leader of the majority coalition or party is selected for the post. The most recent elections occurred in October 2019, with the next scheduled elections due to take place in 2023.

Canada has a long-standing tradition of multiparty democracy. As far back as the foundation of the modern Federal system in 1841, at least three parties have held official party status within the House of Deputies by possessing more than 10 seats. In the early days of the Federal Republic, the three major parties were the Liberal Party, the Patriot Party, and the Conservative Party. These three parties possessed all of the seats in the House of Deputies until 1932, when the severe economic impact of the Great Depression led to a dramatic rise in support of government interventionism. Since the 1930s, there have been at least four parties with official status; at the time, it was the Liberals, the Democratic Party, the Patriots, and the Conservatives. Another shift in party composition occurred in 1967, when the Liberal Party suffered from a prolonged corruption scandal under the leadership of Prime Minister Wilson Raybould. Some Liberal party members left to join the Patriots and Conservatives, while the majority of its progressive members joined the Democratic Party. With the collapse of the Liberals, the Democratic Party became the modern Federal Democratic Party and the Conservatives became the United Liberal-Conservatives. The Patriot Party transitioned internally to a more moderate platform, while the until-then marginalized Social Credit Party gained a significant number of seats in the Western Provinces. Since then, these four parties have all made up the majority of representation in the House of Deputies: the FDP, the ULC, the PP, and the Socreds.

Political divisions[edit]

Canada is divided into 11 provinces and 3 territories. As a federal state, the incorporated provinces maintain special administrative status and are responsible for governance in the areas of education, emergency services, healthcare, law enforcement, local infrastructure, and a variety of regulatory activities. While much of the day-to-day administration in these areas is left entirely to the autonomous oversight of provincial governments, a system of equalization payments is mandated by the Federal Government to insure a baseline amount of guaranteed services are provided to Canadian citizens in every province. Provincial governments are all structured in a similar fashion to the Federal Government, although generally with a single executive officer who serves in the provincial parliament as opposed to the federal dual executive system. Also, unlike the Federal Government, all provincial parliaments are unicameral. The other form of political division in Canada is the territory, a type of administrative body which possesses significantly less autonomy than provincial governments. Territories maintain their own territorial councils, although these councils function more as administrative control and oversight organs as opposed to the directly governmental role played by provincial parliaments. Territories also receive significantly more funding from the Federal Government than provinces, as the generally small population sizes are not capable of effectively maintaining regional services by local taxes alone due to the vast land areas of the territories.

Political divisions of the Federal Republic of Canada.svg
Name Status Flag Capital Population (2018 estimate) Total area (km2)
Alaska Province Flag of Alaska.svg Juneau 737,438 1,717,856
Alberta Province Flag of Alberta.svg Edmonton 4,371,316 661,848
Algonquin Province Flag of Algonquin.svg Nipigon 2,980,140 825,538
Columbia Province Flag of Columbia (FRC).svg Victoria 5,071,336 944,735
Denenda Territory Flag of the Northwest Territories.svg Yellowknife 44,826 1,346,106
Manitana Province Flag of Manitana.svg Cataraqui 7,447,655 71,538
Manitoba Province Flag of Manitoba (FRC).svg Winnipeg 1,369,465 649,950
Newfoundland and Labrador Province Flag of Newfoundland and Labrador.svg St. John's 521,542 405,720
Migmaqui Province Flag of Migmaqui.svg Halifax 1,903,540 133,851
Nunavut Territory Flag of Nunavut.svg Iqaluit 38,780 2,038,722
Ontario Province Flag of Ontario (FRC).svg Toronto 10,409,911 46,894
Quebec Province Flag of Quebec.svg Quebec City 8,484,965 1,542,056
Saskatchewan Province Flag of Saskatchewan.svg Regina 1,174,462 651,900
Yukon Territory Flag of Yukon.svg Whitehorse 40,854 482,443

Defense and diplomacy[edit]

The Federal Canadian Defense Forces are the combined national military services of Canada. The Defense Forces are organized into five branches: the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Coast Guard, and the Strategic Force. The FCDF has a combined active personnel count of 278,000 soldiers as of 2018, along with a combined additional 133,150 reserve personnel. Collectively, the military received $90.48 billion in 2018, amounting to approximately 4% of the national GDP. Canada has maintained an extensive military build-up policy since the War of Contingency, when localized threats to Canadian sovereignty had been perceived by every government which followed the disastrous Eugene War of 1867. Initially focused on its land forces, the Canadian military over time significantly expanded its naval operations in the years following the outbreak of the First World War. The St. Lawrence Rebellion and the near collapse of the Federal Government reemphasized the importance of a dynamic military force which could quickly respond to a threat from anywhere in or near Canadian territory. Under the leadership of the militarily decorated Davidson-Grey administration, the passage of the Federal Defense Forces Act, 1937 saw the complete overhaul of the Canadian military and the formation of the modern FCDF with its core principles of flexibility and rapid response. Cheap, lightly armored tanks and small, navy-compatible aircraft became the new backbone of Canada's military, and further advancements made during the Second World War resulted in the development of Canada's modern operations strategies.

Since the beginning of the Cold War, the FCDF has undergone several expansions and specializations in terms of coastal and missile defense strategies. The Coast Guard and Strategic Force were created in 1954 and 1963 respectively, with the goals of intercepting and preventing advanced strikes from any foreign source by way of the advent of the ICBM. In the contemporary FCDF, this now-four pronged approach of the military is still prevalent across its five service branches: flexibility, rapid response, interception, and prevention. The Federal Canadian Army continues to focus on lightly armored, fast-acting battle groups, which has over the course of several decades transitioned from a focus on light tanks to Infantry fighting vehicles. The Federal Canadian Navy is divided into four main fleets, with three being tasked with rapid defense and one uniquely purposed for blue water operations. The Atlantic, Arctic, and Pacific Fleets are made up mainly of Guided missile cruisers, rapid patrol boats, nuclear submarines, and multi-purpose frigates. The Overseas Fleet includes many of these vessels and Canada's only aircraft carrier and Amphibious assault ships. The Federal Canadian Air Force operates primarily on the principles of rapid response and interception, with Air Stations positioned at strategic locations across the country and highly reliant on supersonic fighters, reconnaissance, and naval strike planes. The Federal Canadian Coast Guard serves a more supplemental role to the Navy in its home patrols, but as well interacts on a daily basis with the enforcement of federal regulations towards civilian ocean-going vessels in Canadian waters. The Strategic Force is dedicated to the maintenance of Canada's extensive missile detection and interception program, known as the Canadian Shields Program. Canadian Shields is one of the world's most complex and efficient missile detection systems, lacking behind only the Israeli Iron Dome in its interception capabilities, for which reason the Program is supplemented by Federal Air Force fighters.

Canada maintains an extensive diplomatic network with embassies and special attachés in 192 countries and dependencies around the world. Canadian developmental aide projects are active throughout the Global South, with a significant focus on the Caribbean and Latin America. Furthermore, Canada maintains consistent participation in League of Nations peacekeeping operations throughout the world. Canadian President Lloyd Butler himself coined the term "peacekeeping" and defined its objectives and protocols during the League of Nations' response to the Suez Crisis in 1956. Aside from membership in the League of Nations, Canada is also a member of the Atlantic-Pacific Security Alliance, the Conference of American States, the Organization of American States, the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the World Bank.