1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Canada
CANADA. The Dominion of Canada comprises the northern half of the continent of North America and its adjacent islands, excepting Alaska, which belongs to the United States, and Newfoundland, still a separate colony of the British empire. Its boundary on the south is the parallel of latitude 49°, between the Pacific Ocean and Lake-of-the-Woods, then a chain of small lakes and rivers eastward to the mouth of Pigeon river on the north-west side of Lake Superior, and the Great Lakes with their connecting rivers to Cornwall, on the St Lawrence. From this eastward to the state of Maine the boundary is an artificial line nearly corresponding to lat. 45°; then an irregular line partly determined by watersheds and rivers divides Canada from Maine, coming out on the Bay of Fundy. The western boundary is the Pacific on the south, an irregular line a few miles inland from the coast along the “pan handle” of Alaska to Mount St Elias, and the meridian of 141° to the Arctic Ocean. A somewhat similar relationship cuts off Canada from the Atlantic on the east, the north-eastern coast of Labrador belonging to Newfoundland.
Physical Geography.—In spite of these restrictions of its natural coast line on both the Atlantic and the Pacific, Canada is admirably provided with harbours on both oceans. The Gulf of St Lawrence with its much indented shores and the coast of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick supply endless harbours, the northern ones closed by ice in the winter, but the southern ones open all the year round; and on the Pacific British Columbia is deeply fringed with islands and fjords with well-sheltered harbours everywhere, in strong contrast with the unbroken shore of the United States to the south. The long stretches of sheltered navigation from the Straits of Belle Isle north of Newfoundland to Quebec, and for 600 m. on the British Columbian coast, are of great advantage for the coasting trade. The greatly varied Arctic coast line of Canada with its large islands, inlets and channels is too much clogged with ice to be of much practical use, but Hudson Bay, a mediterranean sea 850 m. long from north to south and 600 m. wide, with its outlet Hudson Strait, has long been navigated by trading ships and whalers, and may become a great outlet for the wheat of western Canada, though closed by ice except for four months in the summer. Of the nine provinces of Canada only three have no coast line on salt water, Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan, and the first may soon be extended to Hudson Bay. Ontario has a seaboard only on Hudson Bay’s southern extension, James Bay, and there is no probability that the shallow harbours of the latter bay will ever be of much importance for shipping, though Churchill Harbour on the west side of Hudson Bay may become an important grain port. What Ontario lacks in salt water navigation is, however, made up by the busy traffic of the Great Lakes.
The physical features of Canada are comparatively simple, and drawn on a large scale, more than half of its surface sloping gently inwards towards the shallow basin of Hudson Bay, with higher margins to the south-east and south-west. In the main it is a broad trough, wider towards the north than towards the south, and unsymmetrical, Hudson Bay occupying much of its north-eastern part, while to the west broad plains rise gradually to the foot-hills of the Rocky Mountains, the eastern member of the Cordillera which follows the Pacific coast of America. The physical geography of Canada is so closely bound up with its geology that at least an outline of the geological factors involved in its history is necessary to understand the present physiography. The mountain structures originated in three great orogenic periods, the earliest in the Archean, the second at the end of the Palaeozoic and the third at the end of the Mesozoic. Geology. The Archean mountain chains, which enclosed the present region of Hudson Bay, were so ancient that they had already been worn down almost to a plain before the early Palaeozoic sediments were laid down. This ruling geological and physical feature of the North American continent has been named by E. Suess the “Canadian Shield.” Round it the Palaeozoic sands and clays, largely derived from its own waste, were deposited as nearly horizontal beds, in many places still almost undisturbed. Later the sediments lying to the south-east of this “protaxis,” or nucleus of the continent, were pushed against its edge and raised into the Appalachian chain of mountains, which, however, extends only a short distance into Canada. The Mesozoic sediments were almost entirely laid down to the west and south-west of the protaxis, upon the flat-lying Palaeozoic rocks, and in the prairie region they are still almost horizontal; but in the Cordillera they have been thrust up into the series of mountain chains characterizing the Pacific coast region. The youngest of these mountain chains is naturally the highest, and the oldest one in most places no longer rises to heights deserving the name of mountains. Owing to this unsymmetric development of North America the main structural watershed is towards its western side, on the south coinciding with the Rocky Mountains proper, but to the northward falling back to ranges situated further west in the same mountain region. The great central area of Canada is drained towards Hudson Bay, but its two largest rivers have separate watersheds, the Mackenzie flowing north-west to the Arctic Ocean and the St Lawrence north-east towards the Atlantic, the one to the south-west and the other to the south-east of the Archean protaxis. While these ancient events shaped the topography in a broad way, its final development was comparatively recent, during the glacial period, when the loose materials were scoured from some regions and spread out as boulder clay, or piled up as moraines in others; and the original water-ways were blocked in many places. The retreat of the ice left Canada much in its present condition except for certain post-glacial changes of level which seem to be still in progress. For this reason the region has a very youthful topography with innumerable lakes and waterfalls as evidence that the rivers have not long been at work. The uneven carving down of the older mountain systems, especially that of the Archean pro taxis, and the disorderly scattering of glacial material provide most of the lake basins so characteristic of Canada.
Lakes and Rivers.—As a result of the geological causes just mentioned many parts of Canada are lavishly strewn with lakes of all sizes and shapes, from bodies of water hundreds of miles long and a thousand feet deep to ponds lost to sight in the forest. Thousands of these lakes have been mapped more or less carefully, and every new survey brings to light small lakes hitherto unknown to the white man. For numbers they can be compared only with those of Finland and Scandinavia in Europe, and for size with those of eastern Africa; but for the great extent of lake-filled country there is no comparison. From the map it will be noticed that the largest and most thickly strewn lakes occur within five hundred or a thousand miles of Hudson Bay, and belong to the Archean protaxis or project beyond its edges into the Palaeozoic sedimentary rocks which lean against it. The most famous of the lakes are those of the St Lawrence system, which form part of the southern boundary of Canada and are shared with the United States; but many others have the right to be called “Great Lakes” from their magnitude. There are nine others which have a length of more than 100 m., and thirty-five which are more than 50 m. long. Within the Archean protaxis they are of the most varied shapes, since they represent merely portions of the irregular surface inundated by some morainic dam at the lowest point. Comparatively few have simple outlines and an unbroken surface of water, the great majority running into long irregular bays and containing many islands, sometimes even thousands in number, as in Georgian Bay and Lake-of-the-Woods. In the Cordilleran region on the other hand the lakes are long, narrow and deep, in reality sections of mountain valleys occupied by fresh water, just as the fjords of the adjoining coast are valleys occupied by the sea. The lakes of the different regions present the same features as the nearest sea coasts but on a smaller scale. The majority of the lakes have rocky shores and islands and great variety of depth, many of the smaller ones, however, are rimmed with marshes and are slowly filling up with vegetable matter, ultimately becoming peat bogs, the muskegs of the Indian. Most of Canada is so well watered that the lakes have outlets and are kept fresh, but there are a few small lakes in southern Saskatchewan, e.g. the Quill and Old Wives lakes, in regions arid enough to require no outlets. In such cases the waters are alkaline, and contain various salts in solution which are deposited as a white rim round the basin towards the end of the summer when the amount of water has been greatly reduced by evaporation. It is interesting to find maritime plants, such as the samphire, growing on their shores a thousand miles from the sea and more than a thousand feet above it. In many cases the lakes of Canada simply spill over at the lowest point from one basin into the next below, making chains of lakes with no long or well-defined channels between, since in so young a country there has not yet been time for the rivers to have carved wide valleys. Thus canoe navigation may be carried on for hundreds of miles, with here and there a waterfall or a rapid requiring a portage of a few hundred yards or at most a mile or two. The river systems are therefore in many cases complex and tortuous, and very often the successive connecting links between the lakes receive different names. The best example of this is the familiar one of the St Lawrence, which may be said to begin as Nipigon river and to take the names St Mary’s, St Clair, Detroit and Niagara, before finally flowing from Lake Ontario to the sea under its proper name. As these lakes are great reservoirs and settling basins, the rivers which empty them are unusually steady in level and contain beautifully clear water. The St Lawrence varies only a few feet in the year and always has pellucid bluish-green water, while the Mississippi, whose tributaries begin only a short distance south of the Great Lakes, varies 40 ft. or more between high- and low-water and is loaded with mud. The St Lawrence is far the most important Canadian river from the historic and economic points of view, since it provided the main artery of exploration in early days, and with its canals past rapids and between lakes still serves as a great highway of trade between the interior of the continent and the seaports of Montreal and Quebec. It is probable that politically Canada would have followed the course of the States to the south but for the planting of a French colony with widely extended trading posts along the easily ascended channel of the St Lawrence and the Great Lakes, so that this river was the ultimate bond of union between Canada and the empire.
North of the divide between the St Lawrence system and Hudson Bay there are many large rivers converging on that inland sea, such as Whale river, Big river, East Main, Rupert and Nottaway rivers coming in from Ungava and northern Quebec; Moose and Albany rivers with important tributaries from northern Ontario; and Severn, Nelson and Churchill rivers from the south-west. All of these are rapid and shallow, affording navigation only for canoes; but the largest of them, Nelson river, drains the great Manitoban lakes, Winnipeg, Winnipegosis and Manitoba, which are frequented by steamers, and receive the waters of Lake-of-the-Woods, Lake Seul and many others emptying into Winnipeg river from Ontario; of Red river coming in from the United States to the south; and of the southern parts of the Rocky Mountains and the western prairie provinces drained by the great Saskatchewan river. The parallel of 49° approximately separates the Saskatchewan waters from the streams going south to the Missouri, though a few small tributaries of the latter river begin on Canadian territory.
The northern part of Alberta and Saskatchewan and much of northern British Columbia are drained through the Athabasca and Peace rivers, first north-eastwards towards Athabasca Lake, then north through Slave river to Great Slave Lake, and finally north-west through Mackenzie river to the Arctic Ocean. If measured to the head of Peace river the Mackenzie has a length of more than 2000 m., and it provides more than 1000 m. of navigation for stern-wheel steamers. Unfortunately, like other northward-flowing rivers, it does not lead down to a frequented sea, and so bears little traffic except for the northern fur-trading posts. The Mackenzie forms a large but little-known delta in lat. 69°, and in its flood season the head-waters pour down their torrents before the thick ice of the lower part with its severer climate has yet given way, piling up the ice in great barriers and giving rise to widespread floods along the lower reaches. Similar flooding takes place in several other important northward-flowing rivers in Canada, the St Lawrence at Montreal affording the best-known instance. Second among the great north-western rivers is the Yukon, which begins its course about 18 m. from tide-water on an arm of the Pacific, 2800 ft. above the sea and just within the Canadian border. It flows first to the north, then to the north-west, passing out of the Yukon territory into Alaska, and then south-west, ending in Bering Sea, the northward projection of the Pacific, 2000 m. from its head-waters. Of its course 1800 m. are continuously navigable for suitable steamers, so that most of the traffic connected with the rich Klondike gold-fields passes over its waters. The rest of the rivers flowing into the Pacific pass through British Columbia and are much shorter, though the two southern ones carry a great volume of water owing to the heavy precipitation of snow and rain in the Cordilleran region. The Columbia is the largest, but after flowing north-west and then south for about 400 m., it passes into the United States. With its expansions, the narrow and deep Arrow lakes, it is an important waterway in the Kootenay region. The Fraser, next in size but farther north, follows a similar course, entering the sea at Vancouver; while the Skeena and Stikine in northern British Columbia are much shorter and smaller, owing to the encroachments of Peace and Liard rivers, tributaries of the Nelson, on the Cordilleran territory. All of these rivers are waterways of some importance in their lower course, and are navigated by powerful stern-wheel boats supplying the posts and mining camps of the interior with their requirements. In most cases they reach the coast through deep valleys or profound canyons, and the transcontinental railways find their way beside them, the Canadian Pacific following at first tributaries of the Columbia near its great bend, and afterwards Thompson river and the Fraser; while the Grand Trunk Pacific makes use of the valley of the Skeena and its tributaries. The divide between the rivers flowing west and those flowing east and north is very sharp in the southern Rocky Mountains, but there are two lakes, the Committee’s Punch Bowl and Fortress Lake, right astride of it, sending their waters both east and west; and there is a mountain somewhat south of Fortress Lake whose melting snows drain in three directions into tributaries of the Columbia, the Saskatchewan and the Athabasca, so that they are distributed between the Pacific, the Atlantic (Hudson Bay) and the Arctic Oceans. The divide between the St Lawrence and Hudson Bay in eastern Canada also presents one or two lakes draining each way, but in a much less striking position, since the water-parting is flat and boggy instead of being a lofty range of mountains. The rivers of Canada, except the St Lawrence, are losing their importance as means of communication from year to year, as railways spread over the interior and cross the mountains to the Pacific; but from the point of view of the physical geographer there are few things more remarkable than the intricate and comprehensive way in which they drain the country. As most of the Canadian rivers have waterfalls on their course, they must become of more and more importance as sources of power. The St Lawrence system, for instance, generates many thousand horse-power at Sault Ste Marie, Niagara and the Lachine rapids. All the larger cities of Canada make use of water power in this way, and many new enterprises of the kind are projected in eastern Canada; but the thousands of feet of fall of the rivers in the Rocky Mountain region are still almost untouched, though they will some day find use in manufactures like those of Switzerland.
The Archean Protaxis.—The broad geological and geographical relationships of the country have already been outlined, but the more important sub-divisions may now be taken up with more detail, and for that purpose five areas may be distinguished, much the largest being the Archean protaxis, covering about 2,000,000 sq. m. It includes Labrador, Ungava and most of Quebec on the east, northern Ontario on the south; and the western boundary runs from Lake-of-the-Woods north-west to the Arctic Ocean near the mouth of Mackenzie river. The southern parts of the Arctic islands, especially Banksland, belong to it also. This vast area, shaped like a broad-limbed V or U, with Hudson Bay in the centre, is made up chiefly of monotonous and barren Laurentian gneiss and granite; but scattered through it are important stretches of Keewatin and Huronian rocks intricately folded as synclines in the gneiss, as suggested earlier, the bases of ancient mountain ranges. The Keewatin and Huronian, consisting of greenstones, schists and more or less metamorphosed sedimentary rocks, are of special interest for their ore deposits, which include most of the important metals, particularly iron, nickel, copper and silver. The southern portion of the protaxis is now being opened up by railways, but the far greater northern part is known only along the lakes and rivers which are navigable by canoe. Though once consisting of great mountain ranges there are now no lofty elevations in the region except along the Atlantic border in Labrador, where summits of the Nachvak Mountains are said to reach 6000 ft. or more. In every other part the surface is hilly or mammilated, the harder rocks, such as granite or greenstone, rising as rounded knobs, or in the case of schists forming narrow ridges, while the softer parts form valleys generally floored with lakes. From the summit of any of the higher hills one sees that the region is really a somewhat dissected plain, for all the hills rise to about the same level with a uniform skyline at the horizon. The Archean protaxis is sometimes spoken of as a plateau, but probably half of it falls below 1000 ft. The lowland part includes from 100 to 500 m. all round the shore of Hudson Bay, and extends south-west to the edge of the Palaeozoic rocks on Lake Winnipeg. Outwards from the bay the level rises slowly to an average of about 1500 ft., but seldom reaches 2000 ft. except at a few points near Lake Superior and on the eastern coast of Labrador. In most parts the Laurentian hills are bare roches moutonnées scoured by the glaciers of the Ice Age, but a broad band of clay land extends across northern Quebec and Ontario just north of the divide. The edges of the protaxis are in general its highest parts, and the rivers flowing outwards often have a descent of several hundred feet in a few miles towards the Great Lakes, the St Lawrence or the Atlantic, and in some cases they have cut back deep gorges or canyons into the tableland. The waterfalls are utilized at a few points to work up into wood pulp the forests of spruce which cover much of Labrador, Quebec and Ontario. Most of the pine that formerly grew on the Archean at the northern fringe of the settlements has been cut, but the lumberman is still advancing northwards and approaching the northern limit of the famous Canadian white pine forests, beyond which spruces, tamarack (larch) and poplar are the prevalent trees. As one advances northward the timber grows smaller and includes fewer species of trees, and finally the timber line is reached, near Churchill on the west coast of Hudson Bay and somewhat farther south on the Labrador side. Beyond this to the north are the “barren grounds” on which herds of caribou (reindeer) and musk ox pasture, migrating from north to south according to the season. There are no permanent ice sheets known on the mainland of north-eastern Canada, but some of the larger islands to the north of Hudson Bay and Straits are partially covered with glaciers on their higher points. Unless by its mineral resources, of which scarcely anything is known, the barren grounds can never support a white population and have little to tempt even the Indian or Eskimo, who visit it occasionally in summer to hunt the deer in their migrations.
The Acadian Region.—The “maritime provinces” of eastern Canada, including Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, may be considered together; and to these provinces as politically bounded may be added, from a physical point of view, the analogous south-eastern part of Quebec—the entire area being designated the Acadian region. Taken as a whole, this eastern part of Canada, with a very irregular and extended coast-line on the Gulf of St Lawrence and the Atlantic, may be regarded as a northern continuation of the Appalachian mountain system that runs parallel to the Atlantic coast of the United States. The rocks underlying it have been subjected to successive foldings and crumplings by forces acting chiefly from the direction of the Atlantic Ocean, with alternating prolonged periods of waste and denudation. The main axis of disturbance and the highest remaining land runs through the south-eastern part of Quebec, forming the Notre Dame Mountains, and terminates in the Gaspé peninsula as the Shickshock Mountains. The first-named seldom exceed 1500 ft. in height, but the Shickshocks rise above 3000 ft. The province of New Brunswick exhibits approximately parallel but subordinate ridges, with wide intervening areas of nearly flat Silurian and Carboniferous rocks. The peninsula of Nova Scotia, connected by a narrow neck with New Brunswick, is formed by still another and more definite system of parallel ridges, deeply fretted on all sides by bays and harbours. A series of quartzites and slates referred to the Cambrian, and holding numerous and important veins of auriferous quartz, characterize its Atlantic or south-eastern side, while valuable coal-fields occur in Cape Breton and on parts of its shores on the Gulf of St Lawrence. In New Brunswick the Carboniferous rocks occupy a large area, but the coal seams so far developed are thin and unimportant. Metalliferous ores of various kinds occur both in Nova Scotia and in this province, but with the exception of the gold already mentioned, have not yet become the objects of important industries. Copper and asbestos are the principal mineral products of that part of Quebec included in the region now under description, although many other minerals are known and already worked to some extent. Extensive tracts of good arable land exist in many parts of the Acadian region. Its surface was originally almost entirely wooded, and the products of the forest continue to hold a prominent place. Prince Edward Island, the smallest province of Canada, is low and undulating, based on Permo-Carboniferous and Triassic rocks affording a red and very fertile soil, much of which is under cultivation.
The St Lawrence Plain.—As the St Lawrence invited the earliest settlers to Canada and gave the easiest communication with the Old World, it is not surprising to find the wealthiest and most populous part of the country on its shores and near the Great Lakes which it leads up to; and this early development was greatly helped by the flat and fertile plain which follows it inland for over 600 m. from the city of Quebec to Lake Huron. This affords the largest stretch of arable land in eastern Canada, including the southern parts of Ontario and Quebec with an area of some 38,000 sq. m. In Quebec the chief portion is south of the St Lawrence on the low plain extending from Montreal to the mountains of the “Eastern Townships,” while in Ontario it extends from the Archean on the north to the St Lawrence and Lakes Ontario, Erie and Huron. The whole region is underlain by nearly horizontal and undisturbed rocks of the Palaeozoic from the Devonian downward. Superimposed on these rocks are Pleistocene boulder clay, and clay and sand deposited in post-glacial lakes or an extension of the Gulf of St Lawrence. Though petroleum and salt occur in the south-west peninsula of Ontario, metalliferous deposits are wanting, and the real wealth of this district lies in its soil and climate, which permit the growth of all the products of temperate regions. Georgian Bay and the northern part of Lake Huron with the whole northern margin of Lake Superior bathe the foot of the Laurentian plateau, which rises directly from these lakes; so that the older fertile lands of the country with their numerous cities and largely-developed manufactures are cut off by an elevated, rocky and mostly forest-covered tract of the Archean from the newer and far more extensive farm lands of the west. For many years this southern projection of the northern wilderness was spanned by only one railway, and offered a serious hindrance to the development of the regions beyond; but settlements are now spreading to the north and rapidly filling up the gap between east and west.
The Interior Continental Plain.—Passing westward by rail from the forest-covered Archean with its rugged granite hills, the flat prairie of Manitoba with its rich grasses and multitude of flowers comes as a very striking contrast, introducing the Interior Continental plain in its most typical development. This great plain runs north-westward between the border of the Archean protaxis and the line of the Rocky Mountains, including most of Manitoba, the southern part of Saskatchewan and most of Alberta. At the international boundary in lat. 49° it is 800 m. wide, but in lat. 56° it has narrowed to 400 m. in width, and to the north of lat. 62° it is still narrower and somewhat interrupted, but preserves its main physical features to the Arctic Ocean about the mouth of the Mackenzie. This interior plain of the continent represents the area of the ancient sea by which it was occupied in Mesozoic times, with a more ancient margin towards the north-west against the Archean, where undisturbed limestones and other rocks of the Silurian and Devonian rest upon the downward slope of the Laurentian Shield. Most of the plains are underlain by Cretaceous and early Tertiary shales and sandstones lying nearly unaltered and undisturbed where they were deposited, although now raised far above sea-level, particularly along the border of the Rocky Mountains where they were thrust up into foot-hills when the range itself was raised. These strata have been subjected to great denudation, but owing to their comparatively soft character this has been, in the main, nearly uniform, and has produced no very bold features of relief, Coal and lignitic coal are the principal economic minerals met with in this central plain, though natural gas occurs and is put to use near Medicine Hat, and “tar sands” along the north-eastern edge of the Cretaceous indicate the presence of petroleum. Its chief value lies in its vast tracts of fertile soil, now rapidly filling up with settlers from all parts of the world, and the grassy uplands in the foot-hill region affording perennial pasturage for the cattle, horses and sheep of the rancher. Though the region is spoken of as a plain there are really great differences of level between the highest parts in south-western Alberta, 4500 ft. above the sea, and the lowest in the region of Lake Winnipeg, where the prairie is at an elevation of only 800 ft. The very flat and rich prairie near Winnipeg is the former bed of the glacial Lake Agassiz; but most of the prairie to the west is of a gently rolling character and there are two rather abrupt breaks in the plain, the most westerly one receiving the name of the Missouri Coteau. The first step represents a rise to 1600 ft., and the second to 3000 ft. on an average. In so flat a country any elevation of a few hundred feet is remarkable and is called a mountain, so that Manitoba has its Duck and Riding mountains. More important than the hills are the narrow and often rather deep river valleys cut below the general level, exposing the soft rocks of the Cretaceous and in many places seams of lignite. When not too deep the river channels may be traced from afar across the prairie by the winding band of trees growing beside the water. The treeless part of the plains, the prairie proper, has a triangular shape with an area twice as large as that of Great Britain. North of the Saskatchewan river groves or “bluffs” of trees begin, and somewhat farther north the plains are generally wooded, because of the slightly more humid climate. It has been proved, however, that certain kinds of trees if protected will grow also on the prairie, as may be seen around many of the older farm-steads. In the central southern regions the climate is arid enough to permit of “alkaline” ponds and lakes, which may completely dry up in summer, and where a supply of drinking-water is often hard to obtain, though the land itself is fertile.
The Cordilleran Belt.—The Rocky Mountain region as a whole, best named the Cordillera or Cordilleran belt, includes several parallel ranges of mountains of different structures and ages, the eastern one constituting the Rocky Mountains proper. This band of mountains 400 m. wide covers towards the south almost all of British Columbia and a strip of Alberta east of the watershed, and towards the north forms the whole of the Yukon Territory. While it is throughout essentially a mountainous country, very complicated in its orographic features and interlocking river systems, two principal mountain axes form its ruling features—the Rocky Mountains proper, above referred to, and the Coast Ranges. Between them are many other ranges shorter and less regular in trend, such as the Selkirk Mountains, the Gold Ranges and the Caribou Mountains. There is also in the southern inland region an interior plateau, once probably a peneplain, but now elevated and greatly dissected by river valleys, which extends north-westward for 500 m. with a width of about 100 m. and affords the largest areas of arable and pasture land in British Columbia. Similar wide tracts of less broken country occur, after a mountainous interruption, in northern British Columbia and to some extent in the Yukon Territory, where wide valleys and rolling hills alternate with short mountain ranges of no great altitude. The Pacific border of the coast range of British Columbia is ragged with fjords and channels, where large steamers may go 50 or 100 m. inland between mountainous walls as on the coast of Norway; and there is also a bordering mountain system partly submerged forming Vancouver Island and the Queen Charlotte Islands. The highest mountains of the Cordillera in Canada are near the southern end of the boundary separating Alaska from the Yukon Territory, the meridian of 141°, and they include Mount Logan (19,540 ft.) and Mount St Elias (18,000 ft.), while the highest peak in North America, Mount McKinley (20,000 ft.), is not far to the north-west in Alaska. This knot of very lofty mountains, with Mount Fairweather and some others, all snowy and glacier-clad for almost their whole height, are quite isolated from the highest points of the Rocky Mountains proper, which are 1000 m. to the south-east. Near the height of land between British Columbia and Alberta there are many peaks which rise from 10,000 to 12,000 ft. above sea-level, the highest which has been carefully measured being Mount Robson (13,700 ft.). The next range to the east, the Selkirks, has several summits that reach 10,000 ft. or over, while the Coast Ranges scarcely go beyond 9000 ft. The snow line in the south is from 7500 to 9000 ft. above sea-level, being lower on the Pacific side where the heaviest snowfall comes in winter than on the drier north-eastern side. The snow line gradually sinks as one advances north-west, reaching only 2000 or 3000 ft. on the Alaskan coast. The Rockies and Selkirks support thousands of glaciers, mostly not very large, but having some 50 or 100 sq. m. of snowfield. All the glaciers are now in retreat, with old tree-covered moraines, hundreds or thousands of feet lower down the valley. The timber line is at about 7500 ft. in southern British Columbia and 4000 ft. in the interior of the Yukon Territory. On the westward slopes, especially of the Selkirks and Coast Ranges, vegetation is almost tropical in its density and luxuriance, the giant cedar and the Douglas fir sometimes having diameters of 10 ft. or more and rising to the height of 150 ft. On the eastern flanks of the ranges the forest is much thinner, and on the interior plateau and in many of the valleys largely gives way to open grass land. The several ranges of the Cordillera show very different types of structure and were formed at different ages, the Selkirks with their core of pre-Cambrian granite, gneiss and schists coming first, then the Coast Ranges, which seem to have been elevated in Cretaceous times, formed mainly by a great upwelling of granite and diorite as batholiths along the margin of the continent and sedimentary rocks lying as remnants on their flanks; and finally the Rocky Mountains in the Laramie or early Eocene, after the close of the Cretaceous. This latest and also highest range was formed by tremendous thrusts from the Pacific side, crumpling and folding the ancient sedimentary rocks, which run from the Cambrian to the Cretaceous, and faulting them along overturned folds. The outer ranges in Alberta have usually the form of tilted blocks with a steep cliff towards the north-east and a gentler slope, corresponding to the dip of the beds, towards the south-west. Near the centre of the range there are broader foldings, carved into castle and cathedral shapes. The most easterly range has been shown to have been actually pushed 7 m. out upon the prairies. In the Rocky Mountains proper no eruptive rocks have broken through, so that no ore deposits of importance are known from them, but in the Cretaceous synclines which they enclose valuable coal basins exist. Coal of a bituminous and also semi-anthracite kind is produced, the best mined on the Pacific slope of the continent, the coking coals of the Fernie region supplying the fuel of the great metal mining districts of the Kootenays in British Columbia, and of Montana and other states to the south. The Selkirks and Gold Ranges west of the Rockies, with their great areas of eruptive rocks, both ancient and modern, include most of the important mines of gold, silver, copper and lead which give British Columbia its leadership among the Canadian provinces as a producer of metals. In early days the placer gold mines of the Columbia, Fraser and Caribou attracted miners from everywhere, but these have declined, and lode mines supply most of the gold as well as the other metals. The Coast Ranges and islands also include many mines, especially of copper, but up to the present of less value than those inland. Most of the mining development is in southern British Columbia, where a network of railways and waterways gives easy access; but as means of communication improve to the north a similar development may be looked for there. The Atlin and White Horse regions in northern British Columbia and southern Yukon have attracted much attention, and the Klondike placers still farther north have furnished many millions of dollars’ worth of gold. Summing up the economic features of the Cordilleran belt, it includes many of the best coal-mines and the most extensive deposits of gold, copper, lead and zinc of the Dominion, while in silver, nickel and iron Ontario takes the lead. When its vast area stretching from the international boundary to beyond the Arctic circle is opened up, it may be expected to prove the counterpart of the great mining region of the Cordillera in the United States to the south.
Climate.—In a country like Canada ranging from lat. 42° to the Arctic regions and touching three oceans, there must be great variations of climate. If placed upon Europe it would extend from Rome to the North Cape, but latitude is of course only one of the factors influencing climate, the arrangement of the ocean currents and of the areas of high and low pressure making a very wide difference between the climates of the two sides of the Atlantic. In reality the Pacific coast of Canada, rather than the Atlantic coast, should be compared with western Europe, the south-west corner of British Columbia, in lat. 48° to 50°, having a climate very similar to the southern coast of England. In Canada the isotherms by no means follow parallels of latitude, especially in summer when in the western half of the country they run nearly north-west and south-east; so that the average temperature of 55° is found about on the Arctic circle in the Mackenzie river valley, in lat. 50° near the Lake-of-the-Woods, in lat. 55° at the northern end of James Bay, and in lat. 49° on Anticosti in the Gulf of St Lawrence. The proximity of the sea or of great lakes, the elevation and the direction of mountain chains, the usual path of storms and of prevalent winds, and the relative length of day and amount of sunshine in summer and winter all have their effect on different parts of Canada. One cannot even describe the climate of a single province, like Ontario or British Columbia, as a unit, as it varies so greatly in different parts. Details should therefore be sought in articles on the separate provinces. In eastern Canada Ungava and Labrador are very chill and inhospitable, owing largely to the iceberg-laden current sweeping down the coast from Davis Strait, bringing fogs and long snowy winters and a temperature for the year much below the freezing-point. South of the Gulf of St Lawrence, however, the maritime provinces have much more genial temperatures, averaging 40° F. for the year and over 60° for the summer months. The amount of rain is naturally high so near the sea, 40 to 56 in., but the snowfall is not usually excessive. In Quebec and northern Ontario the rainfall is diminished, ranging from 20 to 40 in., while the snows of winter are deep and generally cover the ground from the beginning of December to the end of March. The winters are brilliant but cold, and the summers average from 60° to 65° F., with generally clear skies and a bracing atmosphere which makes these regions favourite summer resorts for the people of the cities to the south. The winter storms often sweep a little to the north of southern Ontario, so that what falls as snow in the north is rain in the south, giving a much more variable winter, often with too little snow for sleighing. The summers are warm, with an average temperature of 65° and an occasional rise to 90°. As one goes westward the precipitation diminishes to 17.34 in. in Manitoba and 13.35 for the other two prairie provinces, most of this, however, coming opportunely from May to August, the months when the growing grain most requires moisture. There is a much lighter snowfall in winter than in northern Ontario and Quebec, with somewhat lower temperatures. The snow and the frost in the ground are considered useful as furnishing moisture to start the wheat in spring. The precipitation in southern Saskatchewan and Alberta is much more variable than farther east and north, so that in some seasons crops have been a failure through drought, but large areas are now being brought under irrigation to avoid such losses. The prairie provinces have in most parts a distinctly continental climate with comparatively short, warm summers and long, cold winters, but with much sunshine in both seasons. In southern Alberta, however, the winter cold is often interrupted by chinooks, westerly winds which have lost their moisture by crossing the mountains and become warmed by plunging down to the plains, where they blow strongly, licking up the snow and raising the temperature, sometimes in a few hours, from 20° to 40° F. In this region cattle and horses can generally winter on the grass of the ranges without being fed, though in hard seasons there may be heavy losses. Northwards chinooks become less frequent and the winter’s cold increases, but the coming of spring is not much later, and the summer temperatures, with sunshine for twenty hours out of twenty-four in June, are almost the same as for hundreds of miles to the south, so that most kinds of grain and vegetables ripen far to the north in the Peace river valley. Though the climate of the plains is one of extremes and often of rather sudden changes, it is brisk and invigorating and of particular value for persons affected with lung troubles.
The climate of the Cordilleran region presents even more variety than that of the other provinces because of the ranges of mountains which run parallel to the Pacific. Along the coast itself the climate is insular, with little frost in winter and mild heat in summer, and with a very heavy rainfall amounting to 100 in. on the south-west side of Vancouver Island and near Port Simpson. Within 100 m. inland beyond the Coast Range the precipitation and general climate are, like those of Ontario, comparatively mild and with moderate snowfall towards the south, but with keen winters farther north. The interior plateau may be described as arid, so that irrigation is required if crops are to be raised. The Selkirk Mountains have a heavy rainfall and a tremendous snowfall on their western flanks, but very much less precipitation on their eastern side. The Rocky Mountains have the same relationships but the whole precipitation is much less than in the Selkirks. The temperature depends largely, of course, on altitude, so that one may quickly pass from perpetual snow above 8000 ft. in the mountains to the mild, moist climate of Vancouver or Victoria, which is like that of Devonshire. In the far north of the territories of Yukon, Mackenzie and Ungava the climate has been little studied, as the region is uninhabited by white men except at a few fur-trading posts. North-west and north-east of Hudson Bay it becomes too severe for the growth of trees as seen on the “barren grounds,” and there may be perpetual ice beneath the coating of moss which serves as a non-conducting covering for the “tundras.” There is, however, so little precipitation that snow does not accumulate on the surface to form glaciers, the summer’s sun having warmth enough to thaw what falls in the winter. Leaving out the maritime provinces, southern Ontario, southern Alberta and the Pacific coast region on the one hand, and the Arctic north, particularly near Hudson Bay, on the other, Canada has snowy and severe winters, a very short spring with a sudden rise of temperature, short warm summers, and a delightful autumn with its “Indian summer.” There is much sunshine, and the atmosphere is bracing and exhilarating.
Flora.—The general flora of the Maritime Provinces, Quebec and Eastern Ontario is much the same, except that in Nova Scotia a number of species are found common also to Newfoundland that are not apparent inland. Professor Macoun gives us a few notable species—Calluna vulgaris, Salisb., Alchemilla vulgaris, L., Rhododendron maximum, L., Ilex glabia, Gray, Hudsonia ericoides, L., Gaylussacia dumosa, F. and G., and Schezaea pusilla, Pursh. In New Brunswick the western flora begins to appear as well as immigrants from the south, while in the next eastern province, Quebec, the flora varies considerably. In the lower St Lawrence country and about the Gulf many Arctic and sub-Arctic species are found. On the shores of the lower reaches Thalictrum alpinum, L., Vesicaria arctica, Richards, Arapis alpina, L., Saxifraga oppositifolia, L., Cerastium alpinum, L., Saxifraga caespitosa, L. and S. have been gathered, and on the Shickshock Mountains of Eastern Canada Silene acaulis, L., Lychnis alpina, L., Cassiope hypnoides, Don., Rhododendron laponicum, Wahl, and many others. On the summit of these hills (4000 ft.) have been collected Aspidium aculeatum, Swartz var., Scopulinum, D. C. Eaton, Pellaea densa, Hook, Gallium kamtschaticum, Sletten. From the city of Quebec westwards there is a constantly increasing ratio of southern forms, and when the mountain (so called) at Montreal is reached the representative Ontario flora begins. In Ontario the flora of the northern part is much the same as that of the Gulf of St Lawrence, but from Montreal along the Ottawa and St Lawrence valleys the flora takes a more southern aspect, and trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants not found in the eastern parts of the Dominion become common. In the forest regions north of the lakes the vegetation on the shores of Lake Erie requires a high winter temperature, while the east and north shores of Lake Superior have a boreal vegetation that shows the summer temperature of this enormous water-stretch to be quite low. Beyond the forest country of Ontario come the prairies of Manitoba and the North-West Territories. In the ravines the eastern flora continues for some distance, and then disappearing gives place to that of the prairie, which is found everywhere between the Red river and the Rocky Mountains except in wooded and damp localities. Northwards, in the Saskatchewan country, the flora of the forest and that of the prairies intermingle. On the prairies and the foot-hills of the Rocky Mountains a great variety of grasses are found, several years’ collection resulting in 42 genera and 156 species. Of the best hay and pasture grasses, Agropyrum Elymus, Stipa, Bromus, Agrostis, Calamagrostes and Poa, there are 59 species. Besides the grasses there are leguminous plants valuable for pasture—Astragalus, Vicia (wild vetch), Lathyrus (wild pea) of which there are many species. The rose family is represented by Prunus, Potentilla, Fragaria, Rosa, Rubus and Amelanchier.
About the saline lakes and marshes of the prairie country are found Ruppia maritima, L., Heliotropium curassavicum, L., natives of the Atlantic coast, and numerous species of Chenopodium, Atriplex and allied genera. The flora of the forest belt of the North-West Territories differs little from that of northern Ontario. At the beginning of the elevation of the Rocky Mountains there is a luxurious growth of herbaceous plants, including a number of rare umbellifers. At the higher levels the vegetation becomes more Arctic. Northwards the valleys of the Peace and other rivers differ little from those of Quebec and the northern prairies. On the western slope of the mountains, that is, the Selkirk and Coast ranges as distinguished from the eastern or Rocky Mountains range, the flora differs, the climate being damp instead of dry. In some of the valleys having an outlet to the south the flora is partly peculiar to the American desert, and such species as Purshia tridentata, D.C., and Artemisia tridentata, Nutt., and species of Gilia, Aster and Erigonum are found that are not met with elsewhere. Above Yale, in the drier part of the Fraser valley, the absence of rain results in the same character of flora, while in the rainy districts of the lower Fraser the vegetation is so luxuriant that it resembles that of the tropics. So in various parts of the mountainous country of British Columbia, the flora varies according to climatic conditions. Nearer the Pacific coast the woods and open spaces are filled with flowers and shrubs. Liliaceous flowers are abundant, including Erythoniums, Trilliums, Alliums, Brodeaeas, Fritillarias, Siliums, Camassias and others.
Fauna.—The larger animals of Canada are the musk ox and the caribou of the barren lands, both having their habitat in the far north; the caribou of the woods, found in all the provinces except in Prince Edward Island; the moose, with an equally wide range in the wooded country; the Virginia deer, in one or other of its varietal forms, common to all the southern parts; the black-tailed deer or mule deer and allied forms, on the western edge of the plains and in British Columbia; the pronghorn antelope on the plains, and a small remnant of the once plentiful bison found in northern Alberta and Mackenzie, now called “wood buffalo.” The wapiti or American elk at one time abounded from Quebec to the Pacific, and as far north as the Peace river, but is now found only in small numbers from Manitoba westwards. In the mountains of the west are the grizzly bear, black bear and cinnamon bear. The black bear is also common to most other parts of Canada; the polar bear everywhere along the Arctic littoral. The large or timber wolf is found in the wooded districts of all the provinces, and on the plains there is also a smaller wolf called the coyote. In British Columbia the puma or cougar, sometimes called the panther and the American lion, still frequently occurs; and in all parts the common fox and the silver fox, the lynx, beaver, otter, marten, fisher, wolverene, mink, skunk and other fur-bearing animals. Mountain and plain and Arctic hares and rabbits are plentiful or scarce in localities, according to seasons or other circumstances. In the mountains of British Columbia are the bighorn or Rocky Mountain sheep and the Rocky Mountain goat, while the saddleback and white mountain sheep have recently been discovered in the northern Cordillera. The birds of Canada are mostly migratory, and are those common to the northern and central states of the United States. The wildfowl are, particularly in the west, in great numbers; their breeding-grounds extending from Manitoba and the western prairies up to Hudson Bay, the barren lands and Arctic coasts. The several kinds of geese— including the Canada goose, the Arctic goose or wavey, the laughing goose, the brant and others—all breed in the northern regions, but are found in great numbers throughout the several provinces, passing north in the spring and south in the autumn. There are several varieties of grouse, the largest of which is the grouse of British Columbia and the pennated grouse and the prairie chicken of Manitoba and the plains, besides the so-called partridge and willow partridge, both of which are grouse. While the pennated grouse (called the prairie chicken in Canada) has always been plentiful, the prairie hen (or chicken) proper is a more recent arrival from Minnesota and the Dakotas, to which it had come from Illinois and the south as settlement and accompanying wheatfields extended north. In certain parts of Ontario the wild turkey is occasionally found and the ordinary quail, but in British Columbia is found the California quail, and a larger bird much resembling it called the mountain partridge. The golden eagle, bald-headed eagle, osprey and a large variety of hawks are common in Canada, as are the snowy owl, the horned owl and others inhabiting northern climates. The raven frequently remains even in the colder parts throughout the winter; these, with the Canada jay, waxwing, grosbeak and snow bunting, being the principal birds seen in Manitoba and northern districts in that season. The rook is not found, but the common crow and one or two other kinds are there during the summer. Song-birds are plentiful, especially in wooded regions, and include the American robin, oriole, thrushes, the cat-bird and various sparrows; while the English sparrow, introduced years ago, has multiplied excessively and become a nuisance in the towns. The smallest of the birds, the ruby throat humming-bird, is found everywhere, even up to timber line in the mountains. The sea-birds include a great variety of gulls, guillemots, cormorants, albatrosses (four species), fulmars and petrels, and in the Gulf of St Lawrence the gannet is very abundant. Nearly all the sea-birds of Great Britain are found in Canadian waters or are represented by closely allied species. (A. P. C.)
Area and Population.—The following table shows the division of the Dominion into provinces and districts, with the capital, population and estimated area of each.
|Area in sq. mi.||Population.||Official Capital.|
|Prince Edward Island||2,184||108,891||103,259||Charlottetown|
In 1867 the Dominion was formed by the union of the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec (Lower Canada) and Ontario (Upper Canada). In 1869 the North-west Territories were purchased from the Hudson’s Bay Company, from a corner of which Manitoba was carved in the next year. In 1871 British Columbia and in 1873 Prince Edward Island joined the Dominion.
The islands and other districts within the Arctic circle became a portion of the Dominion only in 1880, when all British possessions in North America, excepting Newfoundland, with its dependency, the Labrador coast, and the Bermuda islands, were annexed to Canada. West of the province of Ontario, then inaccurately defined, the provinces of Manitoba and British Columbia were the only organized divisions of the western territory, but in 1882 the provisional districts of Assiniboia, Athabasca, Alberta and Saskatchewan were formed, leaving the remainder of the north-west as unorganized territories, a certain portion of the north-east, called Keewatin, having previously been placed under the lieutenant-governor of Manitoba. In 1905 these four districts were formed into the two provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, and Keewatin was placed directly under the federal government. In 1898, owing to the influx of miners, the Yukon territory was constituted and granted a limited measure of self-government. The unorganized territories are sparsely inhabited by Indians, the people of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s posts and a few missionaries.
Population.—The growth of population is shown by the following figures:—1871, 3,485,761; 1881, 4,324,810; 1891, 4,833,239; 1901, 5,371,315. Since 1901 the increase has been more rapid, and in 1905 alone 144,621 emigrants entered Canada, of whom about two-fifths were from Great Britain and one-third from the United States.
The density of population is greatest in Prince Edward Island, where it is 51.6 to the sq. m.; in Nova Scotia it is 22.3; New Brunswick, 11.8; Ontario, 9.9; Manitoba, 4.9; Quebec, 4.8; Saskatchewan, 1.01; Alberta, 0.72; British Columbia, 0.4; the Dominion, 1.8. This is not an indication of the density in settled parts; as in Quebec, Ontario and the western provinces there are large unpopulated districts, the area of which enters into the calculation. The population is composed mainly of English- or French-speaking people, but there are German settlements of some extent in Ontario, and of late years there has been a large immigration into the western provinces and territories from other parts of Europe, including Russians, Galicians, Polish and Russian Jews, and Scandinavians. These foreign elements have been assimilated more slowly than in the United States, but the process is being hastened by the growth of a national consciousness. English, Irish and Scots and their descendants form the bulk of the population of Ontario, French-Canadians of Quebec, Scots of Nova Scotia, the Irish of a large proportion of New Brunswick. In the other provinces the latter race tends to confine itself to the cities. Manitoba is largely peopled from Ontario, together with a decreasing number of half-breeds—i.e. children of white fathers (chiefly French or Scottish) and Indian mothers—who originally formed the bulk of its inhabitants. Alberta and Saskatchewan, particularly the ranching districts, are chiefly peopled by English immigrants, though since 1900 there has also been a large influx from the United States. British Columbia contains a mixed population, of which in the mining districts a large proportion is American. Since 1871 a great change has taken place throughout the west, i.e. from Lake Superior to the Pacific. Then Manitoba was principally inhabited by English and French half-breeds (or Métis), descendants of Hudson’s Bay Company’s employes, or adventurous pioneers from Quebec, together with Scottish settlers, descendants of those brought out by Lord Selkirk (q.v.), some English army pensioners and others, and the van of the immigration that shortly followed from Ontario. Beyond Manitoba buffalo were still running on the plains, and British Columbia having lost its mining population of 1859 and 1860 was largely inhabited by Indians, its white population which centred in the city of Victoria being principally English.
French is the language of the province of Quebec, though English is much spoken in the cities; both languages are officially recognized in that province, and in the federal courts and parliament. Elsewhere, English is exclusively used, save by the newly-arrived foreigners. The male sex is slightly the more numerous in all the provinces except Quebec, the greatest discrepancy existing in British Columbia.
The birth-rate is high, especially in Quebec, where families of twelve to twenty are not infrequent, but is decreasing in Ontario. In spite of the growth of manufactures since 1878, there are few large cities, and the proportion of the urban population to the rural is small. Herein it differs noticeably from Australia. Between 1891 and 1901 the number of farmers in Ontario, Quebec and the Maritime provinces decreased, and there seemed a prospect of the country being divided into a manufacturing east and an agricultural west, but latterly large tracts in northern Ontario and Quebec have proved suitable for cultivation and are being opened up.
Religion.—There is no established church in Canada, but in the province of Quebec certain rights have been allowed to the Roman Catholic church ever since the British conquest. In that province about 87% of the population belongs to this church, which is strong in the others also, embracing over two-fifths of the population of the Dominion. The Protestants have shown a tendency to subdivision, and many curious and ephemeral sects have sprung up; of late years, however, the various sections of Presbyterians, Methodists and Baptists have united, and a working alliance has been formed between Presbyterians, Methodists and Congregationalists. The Methodists are the strongest, and in Ontario form over 30% of the population. Next come the Presbyterians, the backbone of the maritime provinces. The Church of England is strong in the cities, especially Toronto. Save among the Indians, active disbelief in Christianity is practically non-existent, and even among them 90% are nominally Christian.
Indians.—The Indian population numbers over 100,000 and has slightly increased since 1881. Except in British Columbia and the unorganized territories, nearly all of these are on reservations, where they are under government supervision, receiving an annuity in money and a certain amount of provisions; and where, by means of industrial schools and other methods, civilized habits are slowly superseding their former mode of life. British Columbia has about 25,000, most of whom are along the coast, though one of the important tribes, the Shuswaps, is in the interior. An almost equal number are found in the three prairie provinces. Those of Ontario, numbering about 20,000, are more civilized than those of the west, many of them being good farmers. In all the provinces they are under the control of the federal government which acts as their trustee, investing the money which they derive chiefly from the sale of lands and timber, and making a large annual appropriation for the payment of their annuities, schools and other expenses. While unable to alienate their reservations, save to the federal government, they are not confined to them, but wander at pleasure. As they progress towards a settled mode of life, they are given the franchise; this process is especially far advanced in Ontario. A certain number are found in all the provinces. They make incomparable guides for fishing, hunting and surveying parties, on which they will cheerfully undergo the greatest hardships, though tending to shrink from regular employment in cities or on farms.
Orientals.—The Chinese and Japanese numbered in 1906 about 20,000, of whom, three-quarters were in British Columbia, though they were spreading through the other provinces, chiefly as laundrymen. They are as a rule frugal, industrious and law-abiding, and are feared rather for their virtues than for their vices. Since 1885 a tax has been imposed on all Chinese entering Canada, and in 1903 this was raised to £100 ($500). British Columbia endeavoured in 1905 to lay a similar restriction on the Japanese, but the act was disallowed by the federal legislature.
Finance.—Since 1871 the decimal system of coinage, corresponding to that of the United States, has been the only one employed. One dollar is divided into one hundred cents (£1 = $4.86⅔). The money in circulation consists of a limited⅔ number of notes issued by the federal government, and the notes of the chartered banks, together with gold, silver and copper coin. Previous to 1906 this coin was minted in England, but in that year a branch of the royal mint was established at Ottawa. Though the whole financial system rests on the maintenance of the gold standard, gold coin plays a much smaller part in daily business than in England, France or Germany. United States’ notes and silver are usually received at par; those of other nations are subject to a varying rate of exchange.
The banking system, which retains many features of the Scotch system, on which it was originally modelled, combines security for the note-holders and depositors with prompt increase and diminution of the circulation in accordance with the varying conditions of trade. This is especially important in a country where the large wheat crop renders an additional quantity of money necessary on very short notice during the autumn and winter. There has been no successful attempt to introduce the “wild cat” banking, which had such disastrous effects in the early days of the western states. Since federation no chartered bank has been compelled to liquidate without paying its note-holders in full. The larger banks are chartered by the federal government; in the smaller towns a number of private banks remain, but their importance is small, owing to the great facilities given to the chartered banks by the branch system. In 1906 there were 34 chartered banks, of which the branches had grown from 619 in 1900 to 1565 in 1906, and the number since then has rapidly increased. The banks are required by law to furnish to the finance minister detailed monthly statements which are published in the official gazette. Once in every ten years the banking act is revised and weaknesses amended. Clearing-houses have been established in the chief commercial centres. In October 1906 the chartered banks had an aggregate paid-up capital of over $94,000,000 with a note circulation of $83,000,000 and deposits of over $553,000,000.
There are four kinds of savings banks in Canada:—(1) the post-office savings banks; (2) the government savings banks of the Maritime provinces taken over at federation and being gradually merged with the former; (3) two special savings banks in the cities of Montreal and Quebec; (4) the savings bank departments of the chartered banks. The rate of interest allowed by the government is now 3%, and the chartered banks usually follow the government rate. The amount on deposit in the first three increased from $5,057,607 in 1868 to $89,781,546 in October 1906. The returns from the chartered banks do not specify the deposits in these special accounts.
The numerous loan and trust companies also possess certain banking privileges.
The federal revenue is derived mainly from customs and excise duties, with subsidiary amounts from mining licences, timber dues, post-office, &c. Both the revenue and the expenditure have in recent years increased greatly, the revenue rising from $46,743,103 in 1899 to $71,186,073 in 1905 and the expenditure keeping pace with it. The debt of the Dominion in 1873 and in 1905 was:—
While the debt had thus increased faster than the population, it weighed less heavily on the people, not only on account of the great increase in commercial prosperity, but of the much lower rate of interest paid, and of the increasing revenue derived from assets. Whereas in 1867 the rate of interest was over 4%, and interest was being paid on former provincial loans of over 6%, Canada could in 1906 borrow at 3%.
The greater part of the debt arises from the assumption of the debts of the provinces as they entered federation, expenditure on canals and assistance given to railways. It does not include the debts incurred by certain provinces since federation, a matter which concerns themselves alone. A strong prejudice against direct taxation exists, and none is imposed by the federal government, though it has been tentatively introduced in the provinces, especially in Quebec, in the form of liquor licences, succession duties, corporation taxes, &c. British Columbia has a direct tax on property and on income. The cities, towns and municipalities resort to it to supply their local needs, and there is a tendency, especially pronounced in Ontario on account of the excellence of her municipal system, to devolve the burden of educational payments, and others more properly provincial, upon the municipal authorities on the plea of decentralization.
Commerce and Manufactures.—Since 1867 the opening up of the fertile lands in the north-west, the increase of population, the discovery of new mineral fields, the construction of railways and the great improvement of the canal system have changed the conditions, methods and channels of trade. The great extension during the same period of the use of water-power has been of immense importance to Canada, most of the provinces possessing numerous swift-flowing streams or waterfalls, capable of generating a practically unlimited supply of power.
In 1878 the introduction of the so-called “National Policy” of protection furthered the growth of manufactures. Protection still remains the trade policy of Canada, though modified by a preference accorded to imports from Great Britain and from most of the British colonies. The tariff, though moderate as compared with that of the United States, amounted in 1907 to about 28% on dutiable imports and to about 16% on total imports. Tentative attempts at export duties have also been made. Inter-provincial commerce is free, and the home market is greatly increasing in importance. The power to make commercial treaties relating to Canada rests with the government of Great Britain, but in most cases the official consent of Canada is required, and for many years no treaty repugnant to her interests has been signed. The denunciation by the British government in 1897 of commercial treaties with Belgium and Germany, at the request of Canada, was a striking proof of her increasing importance, and attempts have at various times been made to obtain the full treaty-making power for the federal government. The great proportion of the foreign trade of the Dominion is with the United States and Great Britain. From the former come most of the manufactured goods imported and large quantities of raw materials; to the latter are sent food-stuffs. Farm products are the most important export, and with the extension of this industry in the north-west provinces and in northern Ontario will probably continue to be so. Gold, silver, copper and other minerals are largely exported, chiefly in an unrefined state and almost entirely to the United States. The exports of lumber are about equally divided between the two. Formerly, the logs were shipped as square timber, but now almost always in the form of deals, planks or laths; such square timber as is still shipped goes almost entirely to Great Britain. Wood pulp for the manufacture of paper is exported chiefly to the United States. To that country fresh fish is sent in large quantities, and there is an important trade in canned salmon between British Columbia and Great Britain. Few of the manufacturers do more than compete with the foreigner for an increasing share of the home market. In this they have won increased success, at least five-sixths of the manufactured goods used being produced within the country, but a desire for further protection is loudly expressed. Though the chief foreign commerce is with Great Britain and the United States, the Dominion has trade relations with all the chief countries of the world and maintains commercial agents among them. Her total foreign trade (import and export) was in 1906 over £100,000,000.
Shipping.—The chief seaports from east to west are Halifax, N.S., Sydney, N.S., St John, N.B., Quebec and Montreal on the Atlantic; and Vancouver, Esquimalt and Victoria, B.C., on the Pacific. Halifax is the ocean terminus of the Intercolonial railway; St John, Halifax and Vancouver of the Canadian Pacific railway. Prince Rupert, the western terminus of the Grand Trunk Pacific railway, was in 1906 only an uninhabited harbour, but was being rapidly developed into a flourishing city. Though Halifax and St John are open in winter, much of the winter trade eastwards is done through American harbours, especially Portland, Maine, owing to the shorter railway journey. Esquimalt, Halifax, Kingston (Ont.) and Quebec have well-equipped graving-docks. The coast, both of the ocean and of the Great Lakes, is well lighted and protected. The decay of the wooden shipbuilding industry has lessened the comparative importance of the mercantile marine, but there has been a great increase in the tonnage employed in the coasting trade and upon inland waters. Numerous steamship lines ply between Canada and Great Britain; direct communication exists with France, and the steamers of the Canadian Pacific railway run regularly to Japan and to Australia.
Internal Communications.—Her splendid lakes and rivers, the development of her canal system, and the growth of railways have made the interprovincial traffic of Canada far greater than her foreign, and the portfolio of railways and canals is one of the most important in the cabinet. There are, nominally, about 200 railways, but about one-half of these, comprising five-sixths of the mileage, have been amalgamated into four great systems: the Grand Trunk, the Canadian Pacific, the Canadian Northern and the Intercolonial; most of the others have been more or less consolidated. With the first of the four large systems is connected the Grand Trunk Pacific. The Intercolonial, as also a line across Prince Edward Island, is owned and operated by the federal government. Originally built chiefly as a military road, and often the victim of political exigencies, it has not been a commercial success. With the completion of the Grand Trunk Pacific (planned for 1911) and the Canadian Northern, the country would possess three trans-continental railways, and be free from the reproach, so long hurled at it, of possessing length without breadth.
At numerous points along the frontier, connexion is made with the railways of the United States. Liberal aid is given by the federal, provincial and municipal governments to the construction of railways, amounting often to more than half the cost of the road. The government of Ontario has constructed a line to open up the agricultural and mining districts of the north of the province, and is operating it by means of a commission. Practically all the cities and large towns have electric tramways, and electricity is also used as a motive power on many lines uniting the larger cities with the surrounding towns and villages. Since 1903 the Dominion government has instituted a railway commission of three members with large powers of control over freight and passenger rates and other such matters. Telephone and express companies are also subject to its jurisdiction. From its decisions an appeal may be made to the governor-general in council, i.e. to the federal cabinet. It has exercised a beneficial check on the railways and has been cheerfully accepted by them. In Ontario a somewhat similar commission, appointed by the local government, exercises extensive powers of control over railways solely within the province, especially over the electric lines.
Despite the increase in railway facilities, the waterways remain important factors in the transportation of the country. Steamers ply on lakes and rivers in every province, and even in the far northern districts of Yukon and Mackenzie. Where necessary obstacles are surmounted by canals, on which over £22,000,000 have been spent, chiefly since federation. The St Lawrence river canal system from Lake Superior to tide water overcomes a difference of about 600 ft., and carries large quantities of grain from the west to Montreal, the head of summer navigation on the Atlantic. These canals have a minimum depth of 14 ft. on the sills, and are open to Canadian and American vessels on equal terms; the equipment is in every respect of the most modern character. So great, however, is the desire to shorten the time and distance necessary for the transportation of grain from Lake Superior to Montreal that an increasing quantity is taken by water as far as the Lake Huron and Georgian Bay ports, and thence by rail to Montreal. Numerous smaller canals bring Ottawa into connexion with Lake Champlain and the Hudson river via Montreal; by this route the logs and sawn lumber of Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick find their destination. It has long been a Canadian ideal to shorten the distance from Lake Superior to the sea. With this object in view, the Trent Valley system of canals has been built, connecting Lake Ontario with the Georgian Bay (an arm of Lake Huron) via Lake Simcoe. In 1899 and subsequently surveys were made with a view to connecting the Georgian Bay through the intervening water stretches, with the Ottawa river system, and thence to Montreal. In 1903 all tolls were taken off the Canadian canals, greatly to the benefit of trade.
Mining.—The mineral districts occur from Cape Breton to the islands in the Pacific and the Yukon district. Nova Scotia, British Columbia and the Yukon are still the most productive, but the northern parts of Ontario are proving rich in the precious metals. Coal, chiefly bituminous, occurs in large quantities in Nova Scotia, British Columbia and in various parts of the north-west (lignite), though most of the anthracite is imported from the United States, as is the greater part of the bituminous coal used in Ontario. Under the stimulus of federal bounties, the production of pig iron and of steel, chiefly from imported ore, is rapidly increasing. Bounties on certain minerals and metals are also given by some of the provinces. The goldfields of the Yukon, though still valuable, show a lessening production. Sudbury, in Ontario, is the centre of the nickel production of the world, the mines being chiefly in American hands, and the product exported to the United States. Of the less important minerals, Canada is the world’s chief producer of asbestos and corundum. Copper, lead, silver and all the important metals are mined in the Rocky Mountain district. From Quebec westwards, vast regions are still partly, or completely, unexplored.
Lumber.—In spite of great improvidence, and of loss by fire, the forest wealth of Canada is still the greatest in the world. Measures have been taken, both by the provincial and the federal governments, for its preservation, and for re-forestation of depleted areas. Certain provinces prohibit the exportation of logs to the United States, in order to promote the growth of saw-mills and manufactures of wooden-ware within the country, and the latter have of late years developed with great rapidity. The lumber trade of British Columbia has suffered from lack of an adequate market, but is increasing with the greater demand from the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. A great development has also taken place in Ontario and the eastern provinces, through the use of spruce and other trees, long considered comparatively useless, in the manufacture of wood-pulp for paper-making.
Crown Lands.—Large areas of unoccupied land remain in all the provinces (except Prince Edward Island). In Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, the so-called railway belt of British Columbia and the territories, these crown lands are chiefly owned by the federal parliament; in the other provinces, by the local legislatures. So great is their extent that, in spite of the immigration of recent years, the Dominion government gives a freehold of 160 acres to every bona fide settler, subject to certain conditions of residence and the erection of buildings during the first three years. Mining and timber lands are sold or leased at moderate rates. All crown lands controlled by the provinces must be paid for, save in certain districts of Ontario, where free grants are given, but the price charged is low. The Canadian Pacific railway controls large land areas in the two new provinces; and large tracts in these provinces are owned by land companies. Both the Dominion and the provincial governments have set apart certain areas to be preserved, largely in their wild state, as national parks. Of these the most extensive are the Rocky Mountains Park at Banff, Alberta, owned by the Dominion government, and the “Algonquin National Park,” north-east of Lake Simcoe, the property of Ontario.
Fisheries.—The principal fisheries are those on the Atlantic coast, carried on by the inhabitants of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and the eastern section of Quebec. Cod, herring, mackerel and lobsters are the fish chiefly caught, though halibut, salmon, anchovies and so-called sardines are also exported. Bounties to encourage deep-sea fishing have been given by the federal government since 1882. In British Columbian waters the main catch is of salmon, in addition to which are halibut, oolachan, herring, sturgeon, cod and shellfish. The lakes of Ontario and Manitoba produce white fish, sturgeon and other fresh-water fish. About 80,000 persons find more or less permanent employment in the fishing industry, including the majority of the Indians of British Columbia.
The business of fur-seal catching is carried on to some extent in the North Pacific and in Bering Sea by sealers from Victoria, but the returns show it to be a decreasing industry, as well as one causing friction with the United States. Indeed, no department of national life has caused more continual trouble between the two peoples than the fisheries, owing to different laws regarding fish protection, and the constant invasion by each of the territorial waters of the other.
Education.—The British North America Act imposes on the provincial legislatures the duty of legislating on educational matters, the privileges of the denominational and separate schools in Ontario and Quebec being specially safeguarded. In 1871, the New Brunswick legislature abolished the separate school system, and a contest arose which was finally settled by the authority of the legislature being sustained, though certain concessions were made to the Roman Catholic dissentients. Subsequently a similar difficulty arose in Manitoba, where the legislature in 1890 abolished the system of separate schools which had been established in 1871. After years of bitter controversy, in which a federal ministry was overthrown, a compromise was arranged in 1897, in which the Roman Catholic leaders have never fully acquiesced. In the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, formed in 1905, certain educational privileges, (though not amounting to a separate school system) were granted to the Roman Catholics.
All the provinces have made sacrifices to insure the spread of education. In 1901, 76% of the total population could read and write, and 86% of those over five years of age. These percentages have gradually risen ever since federation, especially in the province of Quebec, which was long in a backward state. The school systems of all the provinces are, in spite of certain imperfections, efficient and well-equipped, that of Ontario being especially celebrated. A fuller account of their special features will be found under the articles on the different provinces.
Numerous residential schools exist and are increasing in number with the growth of the country in wealth and culture. In Quebec are a number of so-called classical colleges, most of them affiliated with Laval University.
Higher education was originally organized by the various religious bodies, each of which retains at least one university in more or less integral connexion with itself. New Brunswick, Ontario and Manitoba support provincial universities at Fredericton, Toronto and Winnipeg. Those of most importance are:—Dalhousie University, Halifax, N.S. (1818); the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, N.B. (1800); McGill University, Montreal, Que. (1821); Laval University, Quebec, and Montreal, Que. (1852); Queen’s University, Kingston, Ont. (1841); the University of Toronto, Toronto, Ont. (1827); Trinity University, Toronto, Ont. (1852); Victoria University, Toronto, Ont. (1836); the University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ont. (1848); the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Man. (1877).
Of these McGill (see Montreal) is especially noted for the excellence of its training in practical and applied science. Many of the students, especially in the departments of medicine and theology, complete their education in the United States, Britain or Europe.
Most of the larger towns and cities contain public libraries, that of Toronto being especially well-equipped.
Of the numerous learned and scientific societies, the chief is the Royal Society of Canada, founded in 1881.
Defence.—The command in chief of all naval and military forces is vested in the king, but their control rests with the federal parliament. The naval forces, consisting of a fisheries protection service, are under the minister of marine and fisheries, the land forces under the minister of militia and defence. Prior to 1903, command of the latter was vested in a British officer, but since then has been entrusted to a militia council, of which the minister is president. The fortified harbours of Halifax (N.S.) and Esquimalt (B.C.) were till 1905 maintained and garrisoned by the imperial government, but have since been taken over by Canada. This has entailed the increase of the permanent force to about 5000 men. Previously, it had numbered about 1000 (artillery, dragoons, infantry) quartered in various schools, chiefly to aid in the training of the militia. In this all able-bodied citizens between the ages of 18 and 60 are nominally enrolled, but the active militia consists of about 45,000 men of all ranks, in a varying state of efficiency. These cannot be compelled to serve outside the Dominion, though special corps may be enlisted for this purpose, as was done during the war in South Africa (1899–1902). At Quebec is a Dominion arsenal, rifle and ammunition factories. Cadet corps flourish in most of the city schools. At Kingston (Ont.) is the Royal Military College, to the successful graduates of which a certain number of commissions in the British service is annually awarded.
Justice and Crime.—Justice is well administered throughout the country, and even in the remotest mining camps there has been little of the lawlessness seen in similar districts of Australia and the United States. For this great credit is due to the “North-west mounted police,” the “Riders of the Plains,” a highly efficient body of about seven hundred men, under the control of the federal government. Judges are appointed for life by the Dominion parliament, and cannot be removed save by impeachment before that body, an elaborate process never attempted since federation, though more than once threatened. From the decisions of the supreme court of Canada appeal may be made to the judicial committee of the imperial privy council.
(W. L. G.)
Canada is pre-eminently an agricultural country. Of the total population (estimated in 1907 at 6,440,000) over 50% are directly engaged in practical agriculture. In addition large numbers are engaged in industries arising out of agriculture; among these are manufacturers of agricultural implements, millers of flour and oatmeal, curers and packers of meat, makers of cheese and butter, and persons occupied in the transportation and commerce of grain, hay, live stock, meats, butter, cheese, milk, eggs, fruit and various other products. The country is splendidly formed for the production of food. Across the continent there is a zone about 3500 m. long and as wide as or wider than France, with (over a large part of this area) a climate adapted to the production of foods of superior quality. Since the opening of the 20th century, great progress has been made in the settlement and agricultural development of the western territories between the provinces of Manitoba and British Columbia. The three “North-West Provinces” (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta) have a total area of 369,869,898 acres, of which 12,853,120 acres are water. In 1906 their population was 808,863, nearly double what it was in 1901. The land in this vast area varies in virginal fertility, but the best soils are very rich in the constituents of plant food. Chemical analyses made by Mr F. T. Shutt have proved that soils from the North-West Provinces contain an average of 18,000 ℔ of nitrogen, 15,580 ℔ of potash and 6,700 ℔ of phosphoric acid per acre, these important elements of plant food being therefore present in much greater abundance than they are in ordinary cultivated European soils of good quality. The prairie lands of Manitoba and Saskatchewan produce wheat of the finest quality. Horse and cattle ranching is practised in Alberta, where the milder winters allow of the outdoor wintering of live stock to a greater degree than is possible in the colder parts of Canada. The freezing of the soil in winter, which at first sight seems a drawback, retains the soluble nitrates which might otherwise be drained out. The copious snowfall protects vegetation, supplies moisture, and contributes nitrogen to the soil. The geographical position of Canada, its railway systems and steamship service for freight across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, are favourable to the extension of the export trade in farm products to European and oriental countries. Great progress has been made in the development of the railway systems of Canada, and the new transcontinental line from the Atlantic to the Pacific, passing through Saskatchewan via Saskatoon, and Alberta via Edmonton, renders possible of settlement large areas of fertile wheat-growing soil. The canal system of Canada, linking together the great natural waterways, is also of much present and prospective importance in cheapening the transportation of agricultural produce.
Of wheat many varieties are grown. The methods of cultivation do not involve the application of so much hand labour per acre as in Europe. The average yield of wheat for the whole of Canada is nearly 20 bushels per acre. In Crops 1901 the total production of wheat in Canada was 55½ million bushels. In 1906 the estimated total production was 136 million bushels. The total wheat acreage, which at the census of 1901 was 4,224,000, was over 6,200,000 in 1906, an increase of nearly two million acres in five years.
Up to the close of the 19th century, Ontario was the largest wheat-growing province in Canada. In 1900 the wheat acreage in Ontario was 1,487,633, producing 28,418,907 bushels, an average yield of 19.10 bushels per acre. Over three-quarters of this production was of fall or winter wheat, the average yield of which in Ontario over a series of years since 1883 had been about 20 bushels per acre. But the predominance in wheat-growing has now shifted to the new prairie regions of the west. A census taken in 1906 shows that the total acreage of wheat in the North-West Provinces was 5,062,493, yielding 110,586,824 bushels, an average in a fairly normal season of 21.84 bushels per acre. Of this total wheat acreage, 2,721,079 acres were in Manitoba, 2,117,484 acres in Saskatchewan, and 223,930 acres in Alberta, with average yields per acre at the rates of 20.02 bushels in Manitoba, 23.70 in Saskatchewan and 26.49 in Alberta. In these provinces spring wheat is almost universally sown, except in Alberta where fall or winter wheat is also sown to a considerable extent. Summer fallowing for wheat is a practice that has gained ground in the North-West Provinces. Land ploughed and otherwise tilled, but left unseeded during the summer, is sown with wheat in the succeeding autumn or spring. Wheat on summer fallow land yielded, according to the North-West census of 1906, from 2 to 8 bushels per acre more than that sown on other land. Summer fallowing is, however, subject to one drawback: the strong growth which it induces is apt to retard the ripening of the grain. Canada is clearly destined to rank as one of the most important grain-producing countries of the world. The northern limits of the wheat-growing areas have not been definitely ascertained; but samples of good wheat were grown in 1907 at Fort Vermilion on the Peace river, nearly 600 m. north of Winnipeg in lat. 58.34 and at Fort Simpson on the Mackenzie river in lat. 61.52, more than 800 m. north of Winnipeg and about 1000 m. north of the United States boundary. As a rule the weather during the harvesting period permits the grain to be gathered safely without damage from sprouting. Occasionally in certain localities in the north-west the grain is liable to injury from frost in late summer; but as the proportion of land under cultivation increases the climate becomes modified and the danger from frost is appreciably less. The loss from this cause is also less than formerly, because any grain unfit for export is now readily purchased for the feeding of animals in Ontario and other parts of eastern Canada.
Suitable machinery for cleaning the grain is everywhere in general use, so that weed seeds are removed before the wheat is ground. This gives Canadian wheat excellent milling properties, and enables the millers to turn out flour uniform in quality and of high grade as to keeping properties. Canadian flour has a high reputation in European markets. It is known as flour from which bakers can make the best quality of bread, and also the largest quantity per barrel, the quantity of albuminoids being greater in Canadian flour than in the best brands of European. Owing to its possession of this characteristic of what millers term “strength,” i.e. the relative capacity of flour to make large loaves of good quality, Canadian flour is largely in demand for blending with the flour of the softer English wheats. For this reason some of the strong Canadian wheats have commanded in the home market 5s. and 6s. a quarter more than English-grown wheat. At the general census of 1901 the number of flouring and grist mill establishments, each employing five persons and over, was returned at 400, the number of employes being 4251 and the value of products $31,835,873. A special census of manufactures in 1906 shows that these figures had grown in 1905 to 832 establishments, 5619 employes and $56,703,269 value of the products. There is room for a great extension in the cultivation of wheat and the manufacture and exportation of flour.
In the twelve months of 1907 Canada exported 37,503,057 bushels of wheat of the value of $34,132,759 and 1,858,485 barrels of flour of the value of $7,626,408. The corresponding figures in 1900 were—wheat, 16,844,650 bushels, value, $11,995,488, and flour, 768,162 bushels, value, $2,791,885.
Oats of fine quality are grown in large crops from Prince Edward Island on the Atlantic coast to Vancouver Island on the Pacific coast. Over large areas the Canadian soil and climate are admirably adapted for producing oats of heavy weight per bushel. In all the provinces of eastern Canada the acreage under oats greatly exceeds that under wheat. The annual average oat crop in all Canada is estimated at about 248 million bushels. As the total annual export of oats is now less than three million bushels the home consumption is large, and this is an advantage in maintaining the fertility of the soil. In 1907 the area under oats in Ontario was 2,932,509 acres and yielded 83,524,301 bushels, the area being almost as large as that of the acreage under hay and larger than the combined total of the other principal cereals grown in the province. Canadian oatmeal is equal in quality to the best. It is prepared in different forms, and in various degrees of fineness.
Barley was formerly grown for export to the United States for malting purposes. After the raising of the duty on barley under the McKinley and Dingley tariffs that trade was practically destroyed and Canadian farmers were obliged to find other uses for this crop. Owing to the development of the trade with the mother-country in dairying and meat products, barley as a home feeding material has become more indispensable than ever. Before the adoption of the McKinley tariff about nine million bushels of barley were exported annually, involving the loss of immense stores of plant food. In 1907, with an annual production of nearly fifty million bushels, only a trifling percentage was exported, the rest being fed at home and exported in the form of produce without loss from impoverishment of the soil. The preparation of pearl or pot barley is an incidental industry.
Rye is cultivated successfully, but is seldom used for human food. Flour from wheat, meal from oats, and meal from Indian corn are preferred.
Buckwheat flour is used in considerable quantities in some districts for the making of buckwheat cakes, eaten with maple syrup. These two make an excellent breakfast dish, characteristic of Canada and some of the New England states. There are also numerous forms of preparations from cereals, sold as breakfast foods, which, owing to the high quality of the grains grown in Canada and the care exercised in their manufacture, compare favourably with similar products in other countries.
Peas in large areas are grown free from serious trouble with insect pests. Split peas for soup, green peas as vegetables and sweet peas for canning are obtained of good quality.
Vegetables are grown everywhere, and form a large part of the diet of the people. There is a comparatively small export, except in the case of turnips and potatoes and of vegetables which have been canned or dried. Besides potatoes, which thrive well and yield large quantities of excellent quality, there are turnips, carrots, parsnips and beets. The cultivation of sugar beets for the manufacture of sugar has been established in Ontario and in southern Alberta, where in 1906 an acreage under this crop of 3344 yielded 27,211 tons, an average of 8.13 tons per acre. Among the common vegetables used in the green state are peas, beans, cabbage, cauliflowers, asparagus, Indian corn, onions, leeks, tomatoes, lettuce, radish, celery, parsley, cucumbers, pumpkins, squash and rhubarb. Hay, of good quality of timothy (Phleum pratense), and also of timothy and clover, is grown over extensive areas. For export it is put up in bales of about 150 ℔ each. Since 1899 a new form of pressing has been employed, whereby the hay is compressed to stow in about 70 cub. ft. per ton. This has been a means of reducing the ocean freight per ton. The compact condition permits the hay to be kept with less deterioration of quality than under the old system of more loose baling. Austrian brome grass (Bromus inermis) and western rye grass (Agropyrum tenerum) are both extensively grown for hay in the North-West Provinces.
The almost universal adoption of electrical traction in towns has not led to the abandonment of the breeding of horses to the extent that was at one time anticipated. Heavy draught horses are reared in Ontario, and to a less Live stock. but increasing extent in the North-West Provinces, the breeds being mainly the Clydesdale and the Shire. Percherons are also bred in different parts of Canada, and a few Belgian draught horses have been introduced. Good horses suitable for general work on farms and for cabs, omnibuses, and grocery and delivery wagons, are plentiful for local markets and for export. Thoroughbred and pure bred hackney stallions are maintained in private studs and by agricultural associations throughout the Dominion, and animals for cavalry and mounted infantry remounts are produced in all the provinces including those of the North-West. Useful carriage horses and saddle horses are bred in many localities. Horse ranching is practised largely in Alberta. There are no government stud farms. The total number of horses in the Dominion was estimated on the basis of census returns at 2,019,824 for the year 1907, an increase of 609,309 since 1901.
Cattle, sheep, swine and poultry are reared in abundance. The bracing weather of Canadian winters is followed by the warmth and humidity of genial summers, under which crops grow in almost tropical luxuriance, while the cool evenings and nights give the plants a robustness of quality which is not to be found in tropical regions, and also make life for the various domestic animals wholesome and comfortable. In the North-West Provinces there are vast areas of prairie land, over which cattle pasture, and from which thousands of fat bullocks are shipped annually. Throughout other parts bullocks are fed on pasture land, and also in stables on nourishing and succulent feed such as hay, Indian corn fodder, Indian corn silage, turnips, carrots, mangels, ground oats, barley, peas, Indian corn, rye, bran and linseed oil cake. The breeding of cattle, adapted for the production of prime beef and of dairy cows for the production of milk, butter and cheese, has received much attention. There is government control of the spaces on the steamships in which the cattle are carried, and veterinary inspection prevents the exportation of diseased animals.
A considerable trade has been established in the exportation of dressed beef in cold storage, and also in the exportation of meat and other foods in hermetically sealed receptacles. By the Meat and Canned Foods Act of 1907 of the Dominion parliament and regulations thereunder, the trade is carried on under the strictest government supervision, and no canned articles of food may be exported unless passed as absolutely wholesome and officially marked as such by government inspectors. There is a considerable trade in “lunch tongues.”
The cattle breeds are principally those of British origin. For beef, shorthorns, Herefords, Galloways and Aberdeen-Angus cattle are bred largely, whilst for dairying purposes, shorthorns, Ayrshires, Jerseys, Guernseys and Holstein-Friesians prevail. The French-Canadian cattle are highly esteemed in eastern Canada, especially by the farmers of the French provinces. They are a distinct breed of Jersey and Brittany type, and are stated to be descended from animals imported from France by the early settlers. The estimated number of cattle in Canada in 1907 was 7,439,051, an increase of 2,066,547 over the figures of the census of 1901.
All parts of the Dominion are well adapted for sheep; but various causes, amongst which must be reckoned the prosperity of other branches of agriculture, including wheat-growing and dairying, have in several of the provinces contributed to prevent that attention to this branch which its importance deserves, though there are large areas of rolling, rugged yet nutritious pastures well suited to sheep-farming. In the maritime provinces and in Prince Edward Island sheep and lambs are reared in large numbers. In Ontario sheep breeding has reached a high degree of perfection, and other parts of the American continent draw their supplies of pure bred stock largely from this province. All the leading British varieties are reared, the Shropshire, Oxford Down, Leicester and Cotswold breeds being most numerous. There are also excellent flocks of Lincolns and Southdowns. The number of sheep and lambs in Canada was estimated for the year 1907 at 2,830,785, as compared with 2,465,565 in 1901.
Pigs, mostly of the Yorkshire, Berkshire and Tamworth breeds, are reared and fattened in large numbers, and there is a valuable export trade in bacon. Canadian hogs are fed, as a rule, on feeds suited for the production of what are known as “fleshy sides.” Bacon with an excess of fat is not wanted, except in the lumber camps; consequently the farmers of Canada have cultivated a class of swine for bacon having plenty of lean and firm flesh. The great extension of the dairy business has fitted in with the rearing of large numbers of swine. Experimental work has shown that swine fattened with a ration partly of skim-milk were lustier and of a more healthy appearance than swine fattened wholly on grains. Slaughtering and curing are carried on chiefly at large packing houses. The use of mechanical refrigerating plants for chilling the pork has made it practicable to cure the bacon with the use of a small percentage of salt, leaving it mild in flavour when delivered in European markets. Regular supplies are exported during every week of the year. Large quantities of lard, brawn and pigs’ feet are exported. In 1907 the number of pigs in Canada was estimated at 3,530,060, an increase of 1,237,385 over the census record of 1901. Turkeys thrive well, grow to a fine size and have flesh of tender quality. Chickens are raised in large numbers, and poultry-keeping has developed greatly since the opening of the 20th century. Canadian eggs are usually packed in cases containing thirty dozens each. Cardboard fillers are used which provide a separate compartment for each egg. There are cold storage warehouses at various points in Canada, at which the eggs are collected, sorted and packed before shipment. These permit the eggs to be landed in Europe in a practically fresh condition as to flavour, with the shells quite full.
Canada has been called the land of milk and honey. Milk is plentiful, and enters largely into the diet of the people. With a climate which produces healthy, vigorous animals, notably free from epizootic diseases, with a fertile Dairy products. soil for the growth of fodder crops and pasture, with abundance of pure air and water, and with a plentiful supply of ice, the conditions in Canada are ideal for the dairying industry. Large quantities of condensed milk, put up in hermetically sealed tins, are sold for use in mining camps and on board steamships. The cheese is chiefly of the variety known as “Canadian Cheddar.” It is essentially a food cheese rather than a mere condiment, and 1 ℔ of it will furnish as much nourishing material as 2¼ ℔ of the best beefsteak. The industry is largely carried on by co-operative associations of farmers. The dairy factory system was introduced into Canada in 1864, and from that time the production and exportation of cheese grew rapidly. Legislation was passed to protect Canadian dairy produce from dishonest manipulation, and soon Canadian cheese obtained a deservedly high reputation in the British markets. In 1891 cheese factories and creameries numbered 1733, and in 1899 there were 3649. In 1908 there were 4355 of these factories, of which 1284 were in Ontario, 2806 in Quebec, and 265 in the remaining seven provinces of Canada. Those in Ontario are the largest in size. Amongst the British imports of cheese the Canadian product ranks first in quality, whilst in quantity it represents about 72% of the total value of the cheese imports, and 84% of the total value of the imports of that kind of cheese which is classed as Cheddar. In 1906 the total exports of cheese to all countries from Canada reached 215,834,543 ℔ of the value of $24,433,169.
Butter for export is made in creameries, where the milk, cream and butter are handled by skilled makers. The creameries are provided with special cold storage rooms, into which the butter is placed on the same day in which it is made. From them it is carried in refrigerator railway cars and in cold storage chambers on steamships to its ultimate destination. For the export trade it is packed in square boxes made of spruce or some other odourless wood. These are lined with parchment paper, and contain each 56 ℔ net of butter. The total export of butter from Canada in 1906 was 34,031,525 ℔., of the value of $7,075,539. According to a census of manufactures taken in 1906, the total value of factory cheese and butter made in Canada during that year was $32,402,265.
There are large districts lying eastward of the Great Lakes and westward of the Rocky Mountains, where apples of fine quality can be grown; and there are other smaller areas in which pears, peaches and grapes are grown Fruits. in quantities in the open air. The climate is favourable to the growth of plums, cherries, strawberries, raspberries, currants, gooseberries, etc. There are many localities in which cranberries are successfully grown, and in which blueberries also grow wild in great profusion.
Apples and pears are the chief sorts of fruit exported. The high flavour, the crisp, juicy flesh and the long-keeping qualities of the Canadian apples are their chief merits. Apples are exported in barrels and also in boxes containing about one bushel each. Large quantities are also evaporated and exported. Establishments for evaporating fruit are now found in most of the larger apple-growing districts, and canning factories and jam factories have been established in many parts of Canada, and are conducted with advantage and profit.
The chief fruit-growing districts have long been in southern and western Ontario and in Nova Scotia; but recently much attention has been devoted to fruit-growing in British Columbia, where large areas of suitable land are available for the cultivation of apples, pears and other fruits. In some parts of the semi-arid districts in the interior of the province irrigation is being successfully practised for the purpose of bringing land under profitable cultivation for fruit. Collections of fruit grown in British Columbia have received premier honours at the competitive exhibitions of the Royal Horticultural Society in London, where their high quality and fine colour have been greatly appreciated.
Wine is made in considerable quantities in the principal vine-growing districts, and in several localities large vineyards have been planted for this purpose. An abundance of cider is also made in all the large apple-growing districts.
Honey is one of the minor food-products of Canada, and in many localities bees have abundance of pasturage. Canadian honey for colour, flavour and substance is unsurpassed. Maple sugar and syrup are made in those areas of the country where the sugar-maple tree flourishes. The syrup is used chiefly as a substitute for jam or preserved fruits, and the sugar is used in country homes for sweetening, for cooking purposes and for the making of confectionery. The processes of manufacture have been improved by the introduction of specially constructed evaporators, and quantities of maple sugar and syrup are annually exported.
Tobacco is a new crop which has been grown in Canada since 1904. Its cultivation promises to be successful in parts of Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia.
The department of agriculture of the Dominion government renders aid to agriculture in many ways, maintaining the experimental farms and various effective organizations for assisting the live-stock, dairying and fruit-growing State aid. industries, for testing the germination and purity of agricultural seeds, and for developing the export trade in agricultural and dairy produce. The health of animals branch, through which are administered the laws relating to the contagious diseases of animals, and the control of quarantine and inspection stations for imported animals, undertakes also valuable experiments on the diseases of farm livestock, including glanders in horses, tuberculosis in cattle, &c. The policy of slaughtering horses reacting to the mallein test has been successfully initiated by Canada, the returns for 1908 from all parts of the country indicating a considerable decrease from the previous year in the number of horses destroyed and the amount of compensation paid. A disease of cattle in Nova Scotia, known as the Pictou cattle disease, long treated as contagious, has now been demonstrated by the veterinary officers of the department to be due to the ingestion of a weed, the ragwort, Senecio Jacobea. Hog cholera or swine fever has been almost eradicated. A laboratory is maintained for bacteriological and pathological researches and for the preparation of preventive vaccines. Canada is entirely free from rinderpest, pleuro-pneumonia and foot-and-mouth disease.
The work of the live-stock branch is directed towards the improvement of the stock-raising industry, and is carried on through the agencies of expert teachers and stock judges, the systematic distribution of pure-bred breeding stock, the yearly testing of pure-bred dairy herds, the supervision of the accuracy of the registration of pure-bred animals and the nationalization of live-stock records. The last two objects are secured by act of the Dominion parliament passed in 1905. Under this act a record committee, appointed annually by the pedigree stud, herd and flock book associations of Canada, perform the duties of accepting the entries of pure-bred animals for the respective pedigree registers, and are provided with an office and with stationery and franking privileges by the government. Pedigree certificates are certified as correct by an officer of the department of agriculture, so that in Canada there exist national registration and government authority for the accuracy of pedigree livestock certificates. The government promotes the extension of markets for farm products; it maintains officers in the United Kingdom who make reports from time to time on the condition in which Canadian goods are delivered from the steamships, and also on what they can learn from importing and distributing merchants regarding the preferences of the market for different qualities of farm goods and different sorts of packages. Through this branch of the public service a complete chain of cold-storage accommodation between various points in Canada and markets in Europe, particularly in Great Britain, has been arranged. The government offered a bonus to those owners of creameries who would provide cold-storage accommodation at them and keep the room in use for a period of three years. It also arranged with the various railway companies to run refrigerator cars weekly on the main lines leading to Montreal and other export points. The food-products from any shippers are received into these cars at the various railway stations at the usual rates, without extra charge for icing or cold-storage service. The government offered subventions to those who would provide cold-storage warehouses at various points where these were necessary, and also arranged with the owners of ocean steamships to provide cold-storage chambers on them by means of mechanical refrigerators. The policy of encouraging the provision of ample cold-storage accommodation has been developed still further by the Cold Storage Act of the Dominion parliament passed in 1907, under which subsidies are granted in part payment of the cost of erecting and equipping cold-storage warehouses in Canada for the preservation of perishable food-products.
Besides furnishing technical and general information as to the carrying on of dairying operations, the government has established and maintained illustration cheese factories and creameries in different places for the purpose of introducing the best methods of co-operative dairying in both the manufacturing and shipping of butter and cheese. Inspectors are employed to give information regarding the packing of fruit, and also to see to the enforcement of the Fruit Marks Acts, which prohibit the marking of fruit with wrong brands and packing in any fraudulent manner.
The seed branch of the department of agriculture was established in 1900 for the purpose of encouraging the production and use of seeds of superior quality, thereby improving all kinds of field and garden crops grown in Canada. Seeds are tested in the laboratory for purity and germination on behalf of farmers and seed merchants, and scientific investigations relating to seeds are conducted and reported upon. In the year 1906–1907 6676 samples of seeds were tested. Encouragement to seed-growing is given by the holding of seed fairs, and bulletins are issued on weeds, the methods of treating seed-wheat against smut and on other subjects. Collections of weed seeds are issued to merchants and others to enable them readily to identify noxious weed seeds. The Seed Control Act of 1905 brings under strict regulations the trade in agricultural seeds, prohibiting the sale for seeding of cereals, grasses, clovers or forage plants unless free from weeds specified, and imposing severe penalties for infringements.
The census and statistics office, reorganized as a branch of the department of agriculture in 1905, undertakes a complete census of population, of agriculture, of manufactures and of all the natural products of the Dominion every ten years, a census of the population and agriculture of the three North-West Provinces every five years, and various supplemental statistical inquiries at shorter intervals.
Experimental farms were established in 1887 in different parts of the Dominion, and were so located as to render efficient help to the farmers in the more thickly settled districts, and at the same time to cover the varied climatic and other conditions which influence agriculture in Canada. The central experimental farm is situated at Ottawa, near the boundary line between Quebec and Ontario, where it serves Experimental farms. as an aid to agriculture in these two important provinces. One of the four branch farms then established is at Nappan, Nova Scotia, near the boundary between that province and New Brunswick, where it serves the farmers of the three maritime provinces. A second branch experimental farm is at Brandon in Manitoba, a third is at Indian Head in Saskatchewan and the fourth is at Agassiz in the coast climate of British Columbia. In 1906–1907 two new branch farms were established. One is situated at Lethbridge, southern Alberta, where problems will be investigated concerning agriculture upon irrigated land and dry farming under conditions of a scanty rainfall. The other is at Lacombe, northern Alberta, about 70 m. south of Edmonton, in the centre of a good agricultural district on the Canadian Pacific railway. Additional branch farms in different parts of the Dominion are in process of establishment. At all these farms experiments are conducted to gain information as to the best methods of preparing the land for crop and of maintaining its fertility, the most useful and profitable crops to grow, and how the various crops grown can be disposed of to the greatest advantage. To this end experiments are conducted in the feeding of cattle, sheep and swine for flesh, the feeding of cows for the production of milk, and Of poultry both for flesh and eggs. Experiments are also conducted to test the merits of new or untried varieties of cereals and other field crops, of grasses, forage plants, fruits, vegetables, plants and trees; and samples, particularly of the most promising cereals, are distributed freely among farmers for trial, so that those which promise to be most profitable may be rapidly brought into general cultivation. Annual reports and occasional bulletins are published and widely distributed, giving the results of this work. Farmers are invited to visit these experimental farms, and a large correspondence is conducted with those interested in agriculture in all parts of the Dominion, who are encouraged to ask advice and information from the officers of the farms.
The governments of the several provinces each have a department of agriculture. Among other provincial agencies for imparting information there are farmers’ institutes, travelling dairies, live-stock associations, farmers’,
and education. dairymen’s, seed-growers’, and fruit-growers’ associations, and agricultural and horticultural societies. These are all maintained or assisted by the several provinces. Parts of the proceedings and many of the addresses and papers presented at the more important meetings of these associations are published by the provincial governments, and distributed free to farmers who desire to have them. There are also annual agricultural exhibitions of a highly important character, where improvements in connexion with agricultural and horticultural products, live-stock, implements, &c., are shown in competition. The Dominion government makes in turn to one of the chief local agricultural exhibition societies a grant of $50,000 for the purposes of the national representation of agriculture and live-stock. The exhibition receiving the grant loses its local character, and thus becomes the Dominion exhibition or fair for that year.
There are several important agricultural colleges for the practical education of young men in farming, foremost amongst them being the Ontario Agricultural College at Guelph. Agricultural colleges are also maintained at Truro, Nova Scotia, and Winnipeg, Manitoba. In most of the provinces are dairy schools where practical instruction and training are given. Since the beginning of the 20th century agricultural education and rural training in Canada have been greatly stimulated by the munificence of Sir William C. Macdonald of Montreal. A donation by him of $10,000, distributed to boys and girls on Canadian farms for prizes in a competition for the selection of seed grain, as recommended by Professor J. W. Robertson, led to the Macdonald-Robertson Seed Growers’ Association. This soon assumed national proportions in the Canadian Seed Growers’ Association, which, with the seed branch of the department of agriculture mentioned above, has done much to raise to a uniform standard of excellence the grain grown over large areas of the Canadian wheat-fields. The Macdonald Institute at Guelph, Ontario, the buildings and equipment of which Sir William provided at a cost of $182,500, and the Macdonald College at Ste Anne de Bellevue, 20 m. west of Montreal, have been established to promote the cause of rural education upon the lines of nature study, with school gardens, manual training domestic science, &c., which on both sides of the Atlantic are now being found so effective in the hands of properly trained and enthusiastic teachers. The property of the Macdonald College at Ste Anne de Bellevue comprises 561 acres, of which 74 acres are devoted to campus and field-research plots, 100 acres to a petite culture farm and 387 acres to a live-stock and grain farm. The college includes a school for teachers, a school of theoretical and practical agriculture and a school of household science for the training of young women. The land, buildings and equipment of the college, which cost over $2,500,000, were presented by Sir William Macdonald, who in addition has provided for the future maintenance of the work by a trust fund of over $2,000,000. In connexion with the public elementary schools throughout Canada, where the principles of agriculture are taught to some extent, manual training centres, provided out of funds supplied by the same public-spirited donor, are now maintained by local and provincial public school authorities. (E. H. G.)
About A.D. 1000 Leif Ericsson, a Norseman, led an expedition from Greenland to the shores probably of what is now Canada, but the first effective contact of Europeans with Canada was not until the end of the 15th century. John Cabot (q.v.), Discovery. sailing from Bristol, reached the shores of Canada in 1497. Soon after fishermen from Europe began to go in considerable numbers to the Newfoundland banks, and in time to the coasts of the mainland of America. In 1534 a French expedition under Jacques Cartier, a seaman of St Malo, sent out by Francis I., entered the Gulf of St Lawrence. In the following year Cartier sailed up the river as far as the Lachine Rapids, to the spot where Montreal now stands. During the next sixty years the fisheries and the fur trade received some attention, but no colonization was undertaken.
At the beginning of the 17th century we find the first great name in Canadian history. Samuel de Champlain (q.v.), who had seen service under Henry IV. of France, was employed in the interests of successive fur-trading French colony. monopolies and sailed up the St Lawrence in 1603. In the next year he was on the Bay of Fundy and had a share in founding the first permanent French colony in North America—that of Port Royal, now Annapolis, Nova Scotia. In 1608 he began the settlement which was named Quebec. From 1608 to his death in 1635 Champlain worked unceasingly to develop Canada as a colony, to promote the fur trade and to explore the interior. He passed southward from the St Lawrence to the beautiful lake which still bears his name and also westward, up the St Lawrence and the Ottawa, in the dim hope of reaching the shores of China. He reached Lake Huron and Lake Ontario, but not the great lakes stretching still farther west.
The era was that of the Thirty Years’ War (1618-48), and during that great upheaval England was sometimes fighting France. Already, in 1613, the English from Virginia had almost completely wiped out the French settlement at Port Royal, and when in 1629 a small English fleet appeared at Quebec, Champlain was forced to surrender. But in 1632 Canada was restored to France by the treaty of St Germain-en-Laye. Just at this time was formed under the aegis of Cardinal Richelieu the “Company of New France,” known popularly as “The Company of One Hundred Associates.” With 120 members it was granted the whole St Lawrence valley; for fifteen years from 1629 it was to have a complete monopoly of trade; and products from its territory were to enter France free of duty. In return the company was to take to New France 300 colonists a year; only French Catholics might go; and for each settlement the company was to provide three priests. Until 1663 this company controlled New France.
It was an era of missionary zeal in the Roman Catholic church, and Canada became the favourite mission. The Society of Jesus was only one of several orders—Franciscans (Recollets), Sulpicians, Ursulines, &c.—who worked in New France. The Jesuits have attracted chief attention, not merely on account of their superior zeal and numbers, but also because of the tragic fate of some of their missionaries in Canada. In the voluminous Relations of their doings the story has been preserved. Among the Huron Indians, whose settlements bordered on the lake of that name, they secured a great influence. But there was relentless war between the Hurons and the Iroquois occupying the southern shore of Lake Ontario, and when in 1649 the Iroquois ruined and almost completely destroyed the Hurons, the Jesuit missionaries also fell victims to the conquerors’ rage. Missionaries to the Iroquois themselves met with a similar fate and the missions failed. Commercial life also languished. The company planned by Richelieu was not a success. It did little to colonize New France, and in 1660, after more than thirty years of its monopoly, there were not more than 2000 French in the whole country. In 1663 the charter of the company was revoked. No longer was a trading company to discharge the duties of a sovereign. New France now became a royal province, with governor, intendant, &c., on the model of the provinces of France.
In 1664 a new “Company of the West Indies” (Compagnie des Indes Occidentales) was organized to control French trade and colonization not only in Canada but also in West Africa, South America and the West Indies. At first it promised well. In 1665 some 2000 emigrants were sent to Canada; the European population was soon doubled, and Louis XIV. began to take a personal interest in the colony. But once more, in contrast with English experience, the great trading company proved a failure in French hands as a colonizing agent, and in 1674 its charter was summarily revoked by Louis XIV. Henceforth in name, if not in fact, monopoly is ended in Canada.
By this time French explorers were pressing forward to unravel the mystery of the interior. By 1659 two Frenchmen, Radisson and Groseillers, had penetrated beyond the great lakes to the prairies of the far West; they were probably the first Europeans to see the Mississippi. By 1666 a French mission was established on the shores of Lake Superior, and in 1673 Joliet and Marquette, explorers from Canada, reached and for some distance descended the Mississippi. Five years later Cavelier de la Salle was making his toilsome way westward from Quebec to discover the true character of the great river and to perform the feat, perilous in view of the probable hostility of the natives, of descending it to the sea. In 1682 he accomplished his task, took possession of the valley of the Mississippi in the name of Louis XIV. and called it Louisiana. Thus from Canada as her basis was France reaching out to grasp a continent.
There was a keen rivalry between church and state for dominance in this new empire. In 1659 arrived at Quebec a young prelate of noble birth, Francois Xavier de Laval-Montmorency, who had come to rule the church in Canada. An ascetic, who practised the whole cycle of medieval austerities, he was determined that Canada should be ruled by the church, and he desired for New France a Puritanism as strict as that of New England. His especial zeal was directed towards the welfare of the Indians. These people showed, to their own ruin, a reckless liking for the brandy of the white man. Laval insisted that the traders should not supply brandy to the natives. He declared excommunicate any one who did so and for a time he triumphed. More than once he drove from Canada governors who tried to thwart him. In 1663 he was actually invited to choose a governor after his own mind and did so, but with no cessation of the old disputes. In 1672 Louis de Buade, comte de Frontenac (q.v.), was named governor of New France, and in him the church found her match. Yet not at once; for, after a bitter struggle, he was recalled in 1682. But Canada needed him. He knew how to control the ferocious Iroquois, who had cut off France from access to Lake Ontario; to check them he had built a fort where now stands the city of Kingston. With Frontenac gone, these savages almost strangled the colony. On a stormy August night in 1689 1500 Iroquois burst in on the village of Lachine near Montreal, butchered 200 of its people, and carried off more than 100 to be tortured to death at their leisure. Then the strong man Frontenac was recalled to face the crisis.
It was a critical era. James II. had fallen in England, and William III. was organizing Europe against French aggression. France’s plan for a great empire in America was now taking shape and there, as in Europe, a deadly
England. struggle with England was inevitable. Frontenac planned attacks upon New England and encouraged a ruthless border warfare that involved many horrors. Him, in return, the English attacked. Sir William Phips sailed from Boston in 1690, conquered Acadia, now Nova Scotia, and then hazarded the greater task of leading a fleet up the St Lawrence against Quebec. On the 16th of October 1690 thirty-four English ships, some of them only fishing craft, appeared in its basin and demanded the surrender of the town. When Frontenac answered defiantly, Phips attacked the place; but he was repulsed and in the end sailed away unsuccessful.
Each side had now begun to see that the vital point was control of the interior, which time was to prove the most extensive fertile area in the world. La Salle’s expedition had aroused the French to the importance of the Mississippi, and they soon had a bold plan to occupy it, to close in from the rear on the English on the Atlantic coast, seize their colonies and even deport the colonists. The plan was audacious, for the English in America outnumbered the French by twenty to one. But their colonies were democracies, disunited because each was pursuing its own special interests, while the French were united under despotic leadership. Frontenac attacked the Iroquois mercilessly in 1696 and forced these proud savages to sue for peace. But in the next year was made the treaty of Ryswick, which brought a pause in the conflict, and in 1698 Frontenac died.
After Frontenac the Iroquois, though still hostile to France, are formidable no more, and the struggle for the continent is frankly between the English and the French. The peace of Ryswick proved but a truce, and when in 1701, on the death of the exiled James II., Louis XIV. flouted the claims of William III. to the throne of England by proclaiming as king James’s son, renewed war was inevitable. In Europe it saw the brilliant victories of Marlborough; in America it was less decisive, but France lost heavily. Though the English, led by Sir Hovenden Walker, made in 1711 an effort to take Quebec which proved abortive, they seized Nova Scotia; and when the treaty of Utrecht was made in 1713, France admitted defeat in America by yielding to Britain her claims to Hudson Bay, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. But she still held the shores of the St Lawrence, and she retained, too, the island of Cape Breton to command its mouth. There she built speedily the fortress of Louisbourg, and prepared once more to challenge British supremacy in America. With a sound instinct that looked to future greatness, France still aimed, more and more, at the control of the interior of the Continent. The danger from the Iroquois on Lake Ontario had long cut her off from the most direct access to the West, and from the occupation of the Ohio valley leading to the Mississippi, but now free from this savage scourge she could go where she would. In 1701 she founded Detroit, commanding the route from Lake Erie to Lake Huron. Her missionaries and leaders were already at Sault Ste Marie commanding the approach to Lake Superior, and at Michilimackinac commanding that to Lake Michigan. They had also penetrated to what is now the Canadian West, and it was a French Canadian, La Vérendrye, who, by the route leading past the point where now stands the city of Winnipeg, pressed on into the far West until in 1743, first recorded of white men, he came in sight of the Rocky Mountains. In the south of the continent France also crowned La Salle’s work by founding early in the 18th century New Orleans at the mouth of the Mississippi. It was a far cry from New Orleans to Quebec. If France could link them by a chain of settlements and shut in the English to their narrow strip of Atlantic seaboard there was good promise that North America would be hers.
The project was far-reaching, but France could do little to make it effective. Louis XV. allowed her navy to decline and her people showed little inclination for emigration to the colonies. In 1744, when the war of the Austrian Succession broke out, the New England colonies planned and in 1745 effected the capture of Louisbourg, the stronghold of France in Cape Breton Island, which menaced their commerce. But to their disgust, when the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle was made in 1748, this conquest was handed back to France. She continued her work of building a line of forts on the great lakes—on the river Niagara, on the Ohio, on the Mississippi; and the English colonies, with the enemy thus in their rear, grew ever more restive. In 1753 Virginia warned the French on the Ohio that they were encroaching on British territory. The next year, in circumstances curiously like those which were repeated when the French expedition under Marchand menaced Britain in Egypt by seeking to establish a post on the Upper Nile, George Washington, a young Virginian officer, was sent to drive the French from their Fort Duquesne on the Ohio river, where now stands Pittsburgh. The result was sharp fighting between English and French in a time of nominal peace. In 1755 the British took the stern step of deporting the Acadian French from Nova Scotia. Though this province had been ceded to Great Britain in 1713 many of the Acadians had refused to accept British sovereignty. In 1749 the British founded Halifax, began to colonize Nova Scotia, and, with war imminent, deemed it prudent to disperse the Acadians, chiefly along the Atlantic seaboard (see Nova Scotia: History). In 1756 the Seven Years’ War definitely began. France had no resources to cope with those of Britain in America, and the British command of the sea proved decisive. On the 13th of September 1759 Wolfe won his great victory before Quebec, which involved the fall of that place, and a year later at Montreal the French army in Canada surrendered. By the peace of Paris, 1763, the whole of New France was finally ceded to Great Britain.
With only about 60,000 French in Canada at the time of the conquest it might have seemed as if this population would soon be absorbed by the incoming British. Some thought that, under a Protestant sovereign, the Canadian
possesion. Catholics would be rapidly converted to Protestantism. But the French type proved stubbornly persistent and to this day dominates the older Canada. The first English settlers in the conquered country were chiefly petty traders, not of a character to lead in social or public affairs. The result was that the government of the time co-operated rather with the leaders among the French.
After peace was concluded in 1763, Canada was governed under the authority of a royal proclamation, but sooner or later a constitution specially adapted to the needs of the country was inevitable. In 1774 this was provided by the Quebec Act passed by the Imperial parliament. Under this act the western territory which France had claimed, extending as far as the Mississippi and south to the Ohio, was included with Canada in what was called the Province of Quebec. This vast territory was to be governed despotically from Quebec; the Roman Catholic church was given its old privileges in Canada; and the French civil law was established permanently side by side with the English criminal law. The act linked the land-owning class in Canada and the church by ties of self-interest to the British cause. The habitant, placed again under their authority, had less reason to be content.
In 1775 began the American Revolution. Its leaders tried to make the revolt continental, and invaded Canada, hoping that the French would join them. They took Montreal and besieged Quebec during the winter of 1775–1776; but the prudent leadership of Sir Guy Carleton, afterwards Lord Dorchester, saved Quebec and in 1776 the revolutionary army withdrew unsuccessful from Canada. Since that time any prospect of Canada’s union to the United States has been very remote.
But the American Revolution profoundly influenced the life of Canada. The country became the refuge of thousands of American loyalists who would not desert Great Britain. To Nova Scotia, to what are now New Brunswick (q.v.) and Ontario (q.v.) they fled in numbers not easily estimated, but probably reaching about 40,000. Until this time the present New Brunswick and Ontario had contained few European settlers; now they developed, largely under the influence of the loyalists of the Revolution. This meant that the American type of colonial life would be reproduced in Canada; but it meant also bitter hostility on the part of these colonists to the United States, which refused in any way to compensate the loyalists for their confiscated property. Great Britain did something; the loyalists received liberal grants of land and cash compensation amounting to nearly £4,000,000.
A prevailingly French type of government was now no longer adequate in Canada, and in 1791 was passed by the British parliament the Constitutional Act, separating Canada at the Ottawa river into two parts, each with its own government; Lower Canada, chiefly French, retaining the old system of laws, with representative institutions now added, and Upper Canada, on the purely British model. (For the history of Lower and Upper Canada, now Quebec and Ontario, the separate articles must be consulted.) Each province had special problems; the French in Lower Canada aimed at securing political power for their own race, while in Upper Canada there was no race problem, and the great struggle was for independence of official control and in all essential matters for government by the people. It may be doubted whether at this time it would have been safe to give these small communities complete self-government. But this a clamorous radical element demanded insistently, and the issue was the chief one in Canada for half a century.
But before this issue matured war broke out between Great Britain and the United States in 1812 from causes due chiefly to Napoleon’s continental policy. The war seemed to furnish a renewed opportunity to annex Canada to the American Union, and Canada became the chief theatre of conflict. The struggle was most vigorous on the Niagara frontier. But in the end the American invasion failed and the treaty made at Ghent in 1814 left the previous status unaltered.
In 1837 a few French Canadians in Lower Canada, led by Louis Joseph Papineau (q.v.), took up arms with the wild idea of establishing a French republic on the St Lawrence. In the same year William Lyon Mackenzie (q.v.) led a similar armed revolt in Upper Canada against the domination of the ruling officialdom called, with little reason, the “Family Compact.” Happening, as these revolts did, just at the time of Queen Victoria’s accession,
Durham. they attracted wide attention, and in 1838 the earl of Durham (q.v.) was sent to govern Canada and report on the affairs of British North America. Clothed as he was with large powers, he undertook in the interests of leniency and reconciliation to banish, without trial, some leaders of the rebellion in Lower Canada. For this reason he was censured at home and he promptly resigned, after spending only five months in the country. But his Report, published in the following year, is a masterly survey of the situation and included recommendations that profoundly influenced the later history of Canada. He recommended the union of the two Canadian provinces at once, the ultimate union of all British North America and the granting to this large state of full self-government. The French element he thought a menace to Canada’s future, and partly for this reason he desired all the provinces to unite so that the British element should be dominant.
To carry out Lord Durham’s policy the British government passed in 1840 an Act of Union joining Upper and Lower Canada, and sent out as governor Charles Poulett Thompson, who was made Baron Sydenham and Toronto In the single parliament each province was equally represented. By this time there was more than a million people in Canada, and the country was becoming important. Lord Sydenham died in 1841 before his work was completed, and he left Canada still in a troubled condition. The French were suspicious of the Union, aimed avowedly at checking their influence, and the complete self-government for which the “Reformers” in English-speaking Canada had clamoured was not yet conceded by the colonial office. But rapidly it became obvious that the provinces united had become too important to be held in leading strings. The issue was finally settled in 1849 when the earl of Elgin was governor and the Canadian legislature, sitting at Montreal, passed by a large majority the Rebellion Losses Bill, compensating citizens, some of them French, in Lower Canada, for losses incurred at the hands of the loyal party during the rebellion a decade earlier. The cry was easily raised by the Conservative minority that this was to vote reward for rebellion. They appealed to London for intervention. The mob in Montreal burned the parliament buildings and stoned Lord Elgin himself because he gave the royal assent to the bill. He did so in the face of this fierce opposition, on the ground that, in Canadian domestic affairs, the Canadian parliament must be supreme.
The union of the two provinces did not work well. Each was jealous of the other and deadlocks frequently occurred. Commercially, after 1849, Canada was prosperous. In 1854 Lord Elgin negotiated a reciprocity treaty with the United States which gave Canadian natural products free entrance to the American market. The outbreak of the Civil War in the United States in 1861 increased the demand for such products, and Canada enjoyed an extensive trade with her neighbour. But, owing largely to the unfriendly attitude of Great Britain to the northern side during the war, the United States cancelled the treaty, when its first term of ten years ended in 1865, and it has never been renewed.
Under the party system in Canada cabinets changed as often as, until recently, they did in France, and the union of the two provinces did not give political stability. The French and English were sufficiently equal in strength to make the task of government well nigh impossible. In 1864 came the opportunity for change, when New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island were considering a federal union. Canada suggested a wider plan to include herself and, in October 1864, a conference was held at Quebec. The conference outlined a plan of federation which subsequently, with slight modifications, passed the imperial parliament as “The British North America Act,” and on the 1st of July 1867, the Dominion of Canada came into existence. It was born during the era of the American Civil War, and was planned to correct defects which time had revealed in the American federation. The provinces in Canada were conceded less power than have the states in the American union; the federal government retaining the residuum of power not conceded. (G. M. W.)
When federation was accomplished in 1867 the Dominion of Canada comprised only the four provinces of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Lord Monck was appointed the first governor-general, and at his Canada since federation. request the Hon. John Alexander Macdonald undertook the formation of an administration. A coalition cabinet was formed, including the foremost Liberals and Conservatives drawn from the different provinces. Under a proclamation issued from Windsor Castle by Queen Victoria on the 22nd of May the new constitution came into effect on the 1st of July. This birthday of the Dominion has been fixed by statute as a public holiday, and is annually observed under the name of “Dominion Day.” Seventy-two senators—half Conservatives and half Liberals—were appointed, and lieutenant-governors were named for the four provinces. The prime minister was created a K.C.B., and minor honours were conferred on other ministers in recognition of their services in bringing about the union.
The first general election for the Dominion House of Commons was held during the month of August, and except in the province of Nova Scotia was favourable to the administration, which entered upon its parliamentary work with a Nova Scotia question. majority of thirty-two. The first session of parliament was opened on the 8th of November, but adjourned on the 21st of December till the 12th of March 1868, chiefly on account of the fact that members of the Dominion parliament were allowed, in Ontario and Quebec, to hold seats in the local legislatures, so that it was difficult for the different bodies to be in session simultaneously. It was not till 1873 that an act was passed making members of the local legislatures ineligible for seats in the House of Commons. Immediately after the completion of federation a serious agitation for repeal of the union arose in Nova Scotia, which had been brought into the federal system by a vote of the existing legislature, without any direct preliminary appeal to the people. Headed by Joseph Howe (q.v.), the advocates of repeal swept the province at the Dominion election. Out of 19 members then elected 18 were pledged to repeal, Dr Tupper, the minister responsible for carrying the Act of Union, alone among the supporters of federation securing a seat. The local assembly, in which 36 out of 38 members were committed to repeal, passed an address to Her Majesty praying her not to “reduce this free, happy and hitherto self-governed province to the degraded condition of a servile dependency of Canada,” and sent Howe with a delegation to London to lay the petition at the foot of the throne. Howe enlisted the support of John Bright and other members of parliament, but the imperial government was firm, and the duke of Buckingham, as colonial secretary, soon informed the governor-general in a despatch that consent could not be given for the withdrawal of Nova Scotia from the Dominion. Meanwhile Howe, convinced of the impossibility of effecting separation, and fearing disloyal tendencies which had manifested themselves in some of its advocates, entered into negotiations with Dr Tupper in London, and later with the Dominion government, for better financial terms than those originally arranged for Nova Scotia in the federal system. The estimated amount of provincial debt assumed by the general government was increased by $1,186,756, and a special annual subsidy of $82,698 was granted for a period of ten years. These terms having been agreed to, Howe, as a pledge of his approval and support, accepted a seat as secretary of state in the Dominion cabinet. By taking this course he sacrificed much of his remarkable popularity in his native province, but confirmed the work of consolidating the Dominion. It was many years before the bitterness of feeling aroused by the repeal agitation entirely subsided in Nova Scotia.
A gloom was cast over the first parliament of the Dominion by the assassination in 1868 of one of the most brilliant figures in the politics of the time, D’Arcy McGee (q.v.) His murderer, a Fenian acting under the instructions of the secret society to which he belonged, was discovered, and executed in 1869.
The reorganization of the various departments of state, in view of the wider interests with which they had to deal, occupied much of the attention of the first parliament of the Dominion. In 1867 the postal rates were reduced and unified. In 1868 a militia system for the whole Dominion was organized, the tariff altered and systematized, and a Civil Service Act passed. The banking system of the country was put on a sound footing by a series of acts culminating in 1871, and in the same year a uniform system of decimal currency was established for the whole Dominion. While the new machinery of state was thus being put in operation other large questions presented themselves.
The construction of the Inter-Colonial railway as a connecting link between the provinces on the seaboard and those along the St Lawrence and the Great Lakes was a part of the federation compact, a clause of the British Inter-Colonial railway. North America Act providing that it should be begun within six months after the date of union. The guarantee of the imperial government made easy the provision of the necessary capital, but as this was coupled with a voice in the decision of the route, it complicated the latter question, about which a keen contest arose. The most direct and therefore commercially most promising line of construction passed near the boundary of the United States. Recent friction with that country made this route objected to by the imperial and many Canadian authorities. Ultimately the longer, more expensive, but more isolated route along the shores of the Gulf of St Lawrence was adopted. The work was taken in hand at once, and pressed steadily forward to completion. It has since been supplemented by other lines built for more distinctly commercial ends. Though not for many years a financial success, the Inter-Colonial railway, which was opened in 1876, has in a marked way fulfilled its object by binding together socially and industrially widely separated portions of the Dominion.
Within a month of the meeting of the first parliament of the Dominion a question of vast importance to the future of the country was brought forward by the Hon. W. McDougall in a series of resolutions which were adopted, and on Hudson’s Bay Company territories. which was based an address to the queen praying that Majesty would unite Rupert’s Land and the North-West Territories to Canada. A delegation consisting of Sir G. E. Cartier and the Hon. W. McDougall was in 1868 sent to England to negotiate with the Hudson’s Bay Company (q.v.) for the extinction of its claims, and to arrange with the imperial government for the transfer of the territory. After prolonged discussions the company agreed to surrender to the crown, in consideration of a payment of £300,000, the rights and interests in the north-west guaranteed by its charter, with the exception of a reservation of one-twentieth part of the fertile belt, and 45,000 acres of land adjacent to the trading posts of the company. For the purposes of this agreement the “fertile belt” was to be bounded as follows:—“On the south by the U.S. boundary, on the west by the Rocky Mountains, on the north by the northern branch of the Saskatchewan river, on the east by Lake Winnipeg, the Lake of the Woods, and the waters connecting them.” An act authorizing the change of control was passed by the imperial parliament in July 1868; the arrangement made with the Hudson’s Bay Company was accepted by the Canadian parliament in June 1869; and the deed of surrender from the Hudson’s Bay Company to Her Majesty is dated November 19th, 1869. In anticipation of the formal transfer to the Dominion an act was passed by the Canadian parliament in the same month providing for the temporary government of Rupert’s Land and the North-West Territories. On the 28th of September the Hon. W. McDougall was appointed the first governor, and left at once to assume control on the 1st of December, when it had been understood that the formal change of possession would take place.
Meanwhile a serious condition of affairs was developing in the Red river settlement, the most considerable centre of population in the newly acquired territory. The half-breeds regarded with suspicion a transfer of control concerning Red river rebellion. which they had not been consulted. They resented the presence of the Canadian surveyors sent to lay out roads and townships, and the tactless way in which some of these did their work increased the suspicion that long-established rights to the soil would not be respected. A population largely Roman Catholic in creed, and partly French in origin and language, feared that an influx of new settlers would overthrow cherished traditions. Some were afraid of increased taxation. A group of immigrants from the United States fomented disturbance in the hope that it would lead to annexation. Louis Riel, a fanatical half-breed, placed himself at the head of the movement. His followers established what they called a “provisional government” of which he was chosen president, and when the newly appointed governor reached the boundary line he was prevented from entering the territory. Several of the white settlers who resisted this rebellious movement were arrested and kept in confinement. One of these, a young man named Thomas Scott, having treated Riel with defiance, was court-martialled for treason to the provisional government, condemned, and on the 4th of March 1870, shot in cold blood under the walls of Fort Garry. This crime aroused intense excitement throughout the country, and the Orange body, particularly, to which Scott belonged, demanded the immediate punishment of his murderer and the suppression of the rebellion. An armed force, composed partly of British regulars and partly of Canadian volunteers, was made ready and placed under the command of Colonel Garnet Wolseley, afterwards Lord Wolseley. As a military force could not pass through the United States, the expedition was compelled to take the route up Lake Superior, and from the head of that lake through 500 m. of unbroken and difficult wilderness. In August 1870, the force reached Fort Garry, to find the rebels scattered and their leader, Riel, a fugitive in the neighbouring states. Meanwhile, during the progress of the expedition, an act had been passed creating Manitoba a province, with full powers of self-government, and the arrival of the military was closely followed by that of the first governor, Mr (later Sir) Adams G. Archibald, who succeeded in organizing the administration on a satisfactory basis. Fort Garry became Winnipeg, and there were soon indications that it was destined to be a great city, and the commercial doorway to the vast prairies that lay beyond. Meanwhile, till adequate means of transportation were provided, it was seen that city and prairie alike must wait for any large inflow of population.
Provision was made in the British North America Act to receive new provinces into the Dominion. Manitoba was the first to be constituted; in 1871 British Columbia, which had hitherto held aloof, determined, under the persuasion of a sympathetic governor, Mr (later Sir) Antony New provinces. Musgrave, to throw in its lot with the Dominion. Popular feeling in British Columbia itself was not strongly in favour of union, and the terms under which the new province was to be received were the subject of much negotiation with the provincial authorities, and were keenly debated in parliament before the bill in which they were embodied was finally carried. The clause on which there was the widest divergence of opinion was one providing that a trans-continental railway, connecting the Pacific province with the eastern part of the Dominion, should be begun within two, and completed within ten years. To a province which at the time contained a population of only 36,000, and but half of this white, the inducement thus held out was immense. The Opposition in parliament claimed that the contract was one impossible for the Dominion to fulfil. The government of Sir John Macdonald felt, however, that the future of the Dominion depended upon linking together the Atlantic and the Pacific, and in view of the vast unoccupied spaces lying between the Great Lakes and the Rocky Mountains, open to immigration from the United States, their audacity in undertaking the work was doubtless justified. The construction of the Canadian Pacific railway, thus inaugurated, became for several years the chief subject of political contention between opposing parties.
Anticipating the order of chronology slightly, it may be mentioned here that in 1873 Prince Edward Island (q.v.), which had in 1865 decisively rejected proposals of the Quebec conference and had in the following year repeated its rejection of federation by a resolution of the legislature affirming that no terms Canada could offer would be acceptable, now decided to throw in its lot with the Dominion. The island had become involved in heavy railway expenditure, and financial necessities led the electors to take a broader view of the question. In the end the federal government assumed the railway debt, arrangements were made for extinguishing certain proprietary rights which had long been a source of discontent, and on the 1st of July 1873 the Dominion was rounded off by the accession of the new province.
Finally in 1878, in order to remove all doubts about unoccupied territory, an imperial order in council was passed in response to an address of the Canadian parliament, annexing to the Dominion all British possessions in North America, except Newfoundland. That small colony, which had been represented at the Quebec conference, also rejected the proposals of 1865, and, in spite of various efforts to arrange satisfactory terms, has steadily held aloof, and so has proved the only obstacle to the complete political unification of British North America.
A signal proof was soon furnished of the new standing in the empire which federation had given to the Canadian provinces. A heritage of differences and difficulties had been left to be settled between England, Canada and the Difficulties with the United States. American Union as the result of the Civil War. In retaliation for the supposed sympathy of Canadians with the South in this struggle the victorious North took steps to abrogate in 1866 the reciprocity treaty of 1854, which had conferred such great advantages on both countries. It followed that the citizens of the United States lost the right which they had received under the treaty to share in the fisheries of Canada. American fishermen, however, showed so little inclination to give up what they had enjoyed so long, that it was found necessary to take vigorous steps to protect Canadian fishing rights, and frequent causes of friction consequently arose. During the progress of the Civil War American feeling had been greatly exasperated by the losses inflicted on commerce by the cruiser “Alabama,” which, it was claimed, was allowed to leave a British port in, violation of international law. On the other hand, Canadian feeling had been equally exasperated by the Fenian raids, organized on American soil, which had cost Canada much expenditure of money and some loss of life. In, addition to these causes of difference there was an unsettled boundary dispute in British Columbia, and questions about the navigation of rivers common to the United States and Canada. In 1869 the government of Canada sent a deputation to England to press upon the imperial government the necessity of asserting Canada’s position in regard to the fisheries, and the desirability of settling other questions in dispute with the republic. The outcome of this application was the appointment of a commission to consider and if possible settle outstanding differences between the three countries. The prime minister of the Dominion, Sir John Macdonald, was asked to act as one of the imperial commissioners in carrying on these negotiations. This was the first time that a colonist had been called upon to assist in the settlement of international disputes. The commission assembled at the American capital in February 1871, and after discussions extending over several weeks signed what is known as the treaty of Washington. By the terms of this treaty the “Alabama” claims and the San Juan boundary were referred to arbitration; the free navigation of the St Lawrence was granted to the United States in return for the free use of Lake Michigan and certain Alaskan rivers; and it was settled that a further commission should decide the excess of value of the Canadian fisheries thrown open to the United States over and above the reciprocal concessions made to Canada. Much to the annoyance of the people of the Dominion the claims for the Fenian raids were withdrawn at the request of the British government, which undertook, to make good to Canada any losses she had suffered. To some of these terms the representative of Canada made a strenuous opposition, and in finally signing the treaty stated that he did so chiefly for imperial interests, although in these he believed Canadian interests to be involved. The clauses relating to the fisheries and the San Juan boundary were reserved for the approval of the Canadian parliament, which, in spite of much violent opposition, ratified them by a large majority. Under the “Alabama” arbitration Great Britain paid to the United States damages to the amount of $15,500,000, while the German Emperor decided the San Juan boundary in favour of the United States. The Fishery Commission, on the other hand, which sat in Halifax, awarded Canada $5,500,000 as the excess value of its fisheries for twelve years, and after much hesitation this sum was paid by the United States into the Canadian treasury. An imperial guarantee of a loan for the construction of railways was the only compensation Canada received for the Fenian raids.
The second general election for the Dominion took place in 1872. It was marked by the complete defeat of the Anti-Unionist party in Nova Scotia, only one member of which secured his election, thus exactly reversing the Canadian Pacific railway question. vote of 1867. While Sir John Macdonald’s administration was supported in Nova Scotia, it was weakened in Ontario on account of the clemency shown to Riel, and in Quebec by the refusal to grant a general amnesty to all who had taken part in the rebellion. Two important members of the cabinet, Sir G. Cartier and Sir F. Hincks, were defeated. Opposition to the Washington treaty and dread of the bold railway policy of the government also contributed to weaken its position. But a graver blow, ending in the complete overthrow of the administration, was soon to fall as the result of the election. In 1872 two companies had been formed and received charters to build the Canadian Pacific railway. Sir Hugh Allan of Montreal was at the head of the one, and the Hon. David Macpherson of Toronto was president of the other. The government endeavoured to bring about an amalgamation of these rival companies, believing that the united energies and financial ability of the whole country were required for so vast an undertaking. While negotiations to this end were still proceeding the election of 1872 came on with the result already mentioned. Soon after the meeting of parliament, a Liberal member of the House, Mr L. S. Huntingdon, formally charged certain members of the cabinet with having received large sums of money, for use in the election, from Sir Hugh Allan, on condition, as it was claimed, that the Canadian Pacific contract should be given to the new company, of which he became the head on the failure of the plan for amalgamation. These charges were investigated by a royal commission, which was appointed after it had been decided that the parliamentary committee named for that purpose could not legally take evidence under oath. Parliament met in October 1873, to receive the report of the commission. While members of the government were exonerated by the report from the charge of personal corruption, the payment of large sums of money by Sir Hugh Allan was fully established, and public feeling on the matter was so strong that Sir J. Macdonald, while asserting his own innocence, felt compelled to resign without waiting for the vote, of parliament. Lord Dufferin, who had succeeded Lord Lisgar as governor-general in 1872, at once sent for the leader of the Opposition, Mr Alexander Mackenzie (q.v.), who succeeded in forming a Liberal administration which, on appealing to the constituencies, was supported by an overwhelming majority, and held power for the five following years.
On the accession to power of the Liberal party, a new policy was adopted for the construction of the trans-continental railway. It was proposed to lessen the cost of construction by utilizing the water stretches along the route, while, on the ground that the contract made was impossible of fulfilment, the period of completion was postponed indefinitely. Meanwhile the surveys and construction were carried forward not by a company, but as a government work. Under this arrangement British Columbia became exceedingly restive, holding the Dominion to the engagement by which it had been induced to enter the union. A representative of the government, Mr (later Sir James) Edgar, sent out to conciliate the province by some new agreement, failed to accomplish his object, and all the influence of the governor-general, Lord Dufferin, who paid a visit at this time to the Pacific coast, was required to quiet the public excitement, which had shown itself in a resolution passed by the legislature for separation from the Dominion unless the terms of union were fulfilled.
Meanwhile a policy destined to affect profoundly the future of the Dominion had, along with that of the construction of the Canadian Pacific railway, become a subject of burning political discussion and party division.
policy.” During the period of Mr Mackenzie’s administration a profound business depression affected the whole continent of America. The Dominion revenue showed a series of deficits for several years in succession. The factories of the United States, unduly developed by an extreme system of protection, sought in Canada a slaughter market for their surplus products, to the detriment or destruction of Canadian industries. Meanwhile the republic, which had for many years drained Canada of hundreds of thousands of artisans to work its factories, steadily declined to consider any suggestion for improving trade relations between the two countries. In these circumstances Sir J. Macdonald brought forward a proposal to adopt what was called a “national policy,” or, in other words, a system of protection for Canadian industries. Mr Mackenzie and his chief followers, whose inclinations were towards free trade, pinned their political fortunes to the maintenance of a tariff for revenue only. After some years of fierce discussion in parliament and throughout the country the question was brought to an issue in 1878, when, with a large majority of followers pledged to carry out protection, Sir John Macdonald was restored to power. The new system was laid before parliament in 1879 by the finance minister, Sir Leonard Tilley; and the tariff then agreed upon, although it received considerable modification from time to time, remained, under both Conservative and Liberal administrations, the basis of Canadian finance, and, as Canadians generally believed, the bulwark of their industry. It had almost immediately the effect of lessening the exodus of artisans to the United States, and of improving the revenue and so restoring the national credit.
In October 1878 Lord Dufferin’s term of office expired, and his place as governor-general was taken by the marquess of Lorne, whose welcome to the Dominion was accentuated by the fact that he was the son-in-law of the queen, and that his viceroyalty was shared by the princess Louise. The election of 1878 marked the beginning of a long period of Conservative rule—the premiership of Sir J. Macdonald continuing from that time without a break until his death in 1891, while his party remained in power till 1896. This long-continued Conservative supremacy was apparently due to the policy of bold and rapid development which it had adopted, and which appealed to a young and ambitious country more strongly than the more cautious proposals of the Liberal leaders. As soon as the government had redeemed its pledge to establish a system of protection a vigorous Completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway. railway policy was inaugurated. A contract was made with a new company to complete the Canadian Pacific railway within ten years, on condition of receiving a grant of $25,000,000 and 25,000,000 acres of land, together with those parts of the line already finished under government direction. After fierce debate in parliament these terms were ratified in the session of 1881. The financial difficulties encountered by the company in carrying out their gigantic task were very great, and in 1884 they were compelled to obtain from the Dominion government a loan of $20,000,000 secured on the company’s property. This loan was repaid by 1887. Meanwhile the work was carried forward with so much energy that, five years before the stipulated period of completion, on the 7th of November 1886, the last spike was driven by Mr Donald A. Smith (Lord Strathcona), whose fortune had been largely pledged to the undertaking, along with those of other prominent Canadian business men, especially Mr George Stephen (Lord Mountstephen), Mr Duncan McIntyre, and Mr R. B. Angus. Under the energetic management of Mr (later Sir) W. C. Van Home, who was appointed president of the company in 1888, the new railway soon became the most prominent feature in the development of the country; lines of steamships were established on the great lakes and the Pacific; a stream of immigration began to flow into the prairie region; and the increasing prosperity of the railway had a poverful influence in improving the public credit.
Even before the Canadian Pacific railway was fully completed, it proved of great service in a national emergency which suddenly arose in the north-west. With the organization of Manitoba and the opening of improved communication immigrants began to move rapidly westward, and government surveyors were soon busy laying off lands in the Saskatchewan valley. The numbers of the half-breed settlers of this district had been increased by the migration of many of those who had taken part in the first uprising at Fort Garry. Influenced by somewhat similar motives, Riel’s rebellion. fearing from the advance of civilization the destruction of the buffalo, on which they chiefly depended for food, with some real grievances and others imaginary, the discontented population sent for Riel, who had been living, since his flight from Fort Garry, in the United States. He returned to put himself at the head of a second rebellion. At first he seemed inclined to act with moderation and on lines of constitutional agitation, but soon, carried away by fanaticism, ambition and vanity, he turned to armed organization against the government. To half-breed rebellion was added the imminent danger of an Indian uprising, to which Riel looked for support. The authorities at Ottawa were at first careless or sceptical in regard to the danger, the reality of which was only brought home to them when a body of mounted police, advancing to regain a small post at Duck Lake, of which the rebels had taken possession, was attacked and twelve of their number killed. Volunteers and militia were at once called out in all the old provinces of Canada, and were quickly conveyed by the newly constructed line of railway to the neighbourhood of the point of disturbance. Major-general Middleton, of the imperial army, who was then in command of the Canadian militia, led the expedition. Several minor engagements with half-breeds or Indians preceded the final struggle at Batoche, where Gabriel Dumont, Riel’s military lieutenant, had skilfully entrenched his forces. After a cautious advance the eagerness of the troops finally overcame the hesitation of the commander in exposing his men, the rifle pits were carried with a rush, and the rebellion crushed at a single stroke. Dumont succeeded in escaping across the United States boundary; Riel was captured, imprisoned, and in due course tried for treason. This second rebellion carried on under his leadership had lasted about three months, had cost the country many valuable lives, and in money about five millions of dollars. Clear as was his guilt, Riel’s trial, condemnation and execution on the 16th of November 1885, provoked a violent political storm which at one time threatened to overthrow the Conservative government. The balance of power between parties in parliament was held by the province of Quebec, and there racial and religious feeling evoked no slight sympathy for Riel. But while a section of Quebec was eager to secure the rebel’s pardon, Ontario was equally bent on the execution of justice, so that in the final vote on the question in parliament the defection of French Conservatives was compensated for by the support of Ontario Liberals. In the end 25 out of 53 French members voted in justification of Kiel’s punishment. With him were executed several Indian chiefs who had been concerned in a massacre of whites. Painful as were the circumstances connected with this rebellion, it is certain that the united action of the different provinces in suppressing it tended to consolidate Canadian sentiment, and the short military campaign had the effect of fixing public attention upon the immense fertile territory then being opened up.
The general election of 1882 turned chiefly upon endorsement of the national policy of protection; in that of 1887 the electoral test was again applied to the same issue, while Sir John Macdonald also asked for approval of the government’s Macdonald’s
policy. action in exacting from Riel the full penalty of his guilt. On both issues the Conservative policy was upheld by the electors, and Macdonald was continued in power with a large parliamentary majority. From the election of 1887 the Riel agitation ceased to seriously influence politics, but the fiscal controversy continued under new forms. Between 1887 and 1891 a vigorous agitation was kept up under Liberal auspices in favour of closer trade relations with the United States, at first under the name of Commercial Union and later under that of Unrestricted Reciprocity. The object in both cases was to break down tariff barriers between the United States and Canada, even though that should be at the expense of discrimination against Great Britain. The Conservative party took the position that commercial union, involving as it would a common protective tariff against all other countries, including the motherland, would inevitably lead to political unification with the United States. The question after long and vehement discussion was brought to a final issue in the election of 1891, and Sir John Macdonald’s government was again sustained. From that time protection became the settled policy of the country. On their accession to power in 1896 it was adopted by the Liberals, who joined to it a preference for the products of the mother country. Under the protective policy thus repeatedly confirmed, Canada gradually became more independent of the American market than in earlier times, and enjoyed great commercial prosperity. Soon after the election of 1891 Sir John Macdonald (q.v.) died, after an active political career of more than forty years. Under his direction the great lines of policy which have governed the development of Canada as a confederated state within the empire were inaugurated and carried forward with great success, so that his name has become indissolubly connected with the history of the Dominion at its most critical stage.
During the years which succeeded the death of Sir John Macdonald a succession of losses weakened the position of the Conservative party which had held power so long. The Hon. J. C. C. Abbott, leader of the party in the Macdonald’s successors. Senate, became prime minister on Macdonald’s death in 1891, but in 1892 was compelled by ill-health to resign, and in 1893 he died. His successor, Sir John Thompson, after a successful leadership of about two years, died suddenly of heart disease at Windsor Castle, immediately after being sworn of the imperial privy council. Charges of corruption in the administration of the department of public works, which led to the expulsion of one member of parliament, involved also the resignation from the cabinet of Sir Hector Langevin, leader of the French Conservatives, against whom carelessness at least in administration had been established. The brief premiership of Sir Mackenzie Bowell, between 1894 and 1896, was marked by much dissension in the Conservative ranks, ending finally in a reconstruction of the government in 1896 under Sir Charles Tupper. Breaks had been made in the Liberal ranks also by the death in 1892 of the Hon. Alexander Mackenzie and the withdrawal of the Hon. Edward Blake from Canadian politics to accept a seat in the British parliament as a member of the Home Rule party. But the appeal made to the electors in 1896 resulted in a decisive victory for the Liberal party, and marked the beginning of a long period of Liberal rule.
Sir Wilfrid Laurier (q.v.) became prime minister, and strengthened the cabinet which he formed by drawing into it from provincial politics the premiers of Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The administration Laurier. thus established underwent many changes, but after winning three general elections it was still in power in 1909. The period of Sir Wilfrid Laurier’s rule was one of striking progress in material growth, and a marked development of national feeling. While the federation of the provinces favoured the growth of a strong sentiment of Canadian individuality, the result of unification had been to strengthen decidedly the ties that bind the country to the empire. This was as true under Liberal as under Conservative auspices—as Canadians understood the meaning of these party names. The outbreak of the South African war in 1899 furnished an occasion for a practical display of Canadian loyalty to imperial interests. Three contingents of troops were despatched to the seat of war and took an active part in the events which finally secured the triumph of the British arms. These forces were supplemented by a regiment of Canadian horse raised and equipped at the sole expense of Lord Strathcona, the high commissioner of the Dominion in London. The same spirit was illustrated in other ways. In bringing about a system of penny postage throughout the empire; in forwarding the construction of the Pacific cable to secure close and safe imperial telegraphic connexion; in creating rapid and efficient lines of steamship communication with the motherland and all the colonies; in granting tariff preference to British goods and in striving for preferential treatment of inter-imperial trade; in assuming responsibility for imperial defence at the two important stations of Halifax and Esquimalt,—Canada, under the guidance of Sir Wilfrid Laurier and his party, took a leading part and showed a truly national spirit.
The opening years of the 20th century were marked by a prolonged period of great prosperity. A steady stream of emigrants from Europe and the United States, sometimes rising in number to 300,000 in a single year, Canadian expansion. began to occupy the vast western prairies. So considerable was the growth of this section of the Dominion that in 1905 it was found necessary to form two new provinces, Alberta and Saskatchewan, from the North-West Territories, the area of each being 275,000 sq. m. Each province has a lieutenant-governor and a single legislative chamber, with a representation of four members in the Senate and five in the House of Commons of the Dominion parliament. The control of the public lands is retained by the general government on the ground that it has been responsible for the development of the country by railway construction and emigration. With the rapid increase of population, production in Canada also greatly increased; exports, imports and revenue constantly expanded, and capital, finding abundant and profitable employment, began to flow freely into the country for further industrial development. New and great railway undertakings were a marked feature of this period. The Canadian Pacific system was extended until it included 12,000 m. of line. The Canadian Northern railway, already constructed from the Great Lakes westward to the neighbourhood of the Rockies, and with water and rail connexions reaching eastward to Quebec, began to transform itself into a complete transcontinental system, with an extension to the Hudson Bay. That this line owed its inception and construction chiefly to the joint enterprise of two private individuals, Messrs Mackenzie and Mann, was a striking proof of the industrial capacities of the country. To a still more ambitious line, the Grand Trunk Pacific, extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific, aiming at extensive steamship connexion on both oceans, and closely associated with the Grand Trunk system of Ontario and Quebec, the government of Canada gave liberal support as a national undertaking. The eastern section of 1875 m., extending from Winnipeg to Moncton, where connexion is secured with the winter ports of Halifax and St John, was, under the act of incorporation, to be built by the government, and then leased for fifty years, under certain conditions, to the Grand Trunk Pacific Company. The western portion, of 1480 m., from Winnipeg to the Pacific, was to be built, owned and operated by the company itself, the government guaranteeing bonds to the extent of 75% of the whole cost of construction. The discovery of large deposits of nickel at Sudbury; of extremely rich gold mines on the head-waters of the Yukon, in a region previously considered well-nigh worthless for human habitation; of extensive areas of gold, copper and silver ores in the mountain regions of British Columbia; of immense coal deposits in the Crow’s Nest Pass of the same province and on the prairies; of veins of silver and cobalt of extraordinary richness in northern Ontario—all deeply affected the industrial condition of the country and illustrated the vastness of its undeveloped resources. The use of wood-pulp in the manufacture of paper gave a greatly enhanced value to many millions of acres of northern forest country. The application of electricity to purposes of manufacture and transportation made the waterfalls and rapids in which the country abounds the source of an almost unlimited supply of energy capable of easy distribution for industrial purposes over wide areas.
Since confederation a series of attempts has been made with varying degrees of success to settle the questions in dispute between the Dominion and the United States, naturally arising from the fact that they divide between them Relations with the United States. the control of nearly the whole of a large continent and its adjoining waters. Considering the vastness of the interests involved, there is much cause for satisfaction in the fact that these differences have been settled by peaceful arbitrament rather than by that recourse to force which has so often marked the delimitation of rights and territory on other continents The Washington Treaty of 1871 has already been referred to. Its clauses dealing with the fisheries and trade lasted for fourteen years, and were then abrogated by the action of the United States. Various proposals on the part of Canada for a renewal of the reciprocity were not entertained. After 1885 Canada was therefore compelled to fall back upon the treaty of 1818 as the guarantee of her fishing rights. It became necessary to enforce the terms of that convention, under which the fishermen of the United States could not pursue their avocations within the three miles’ limit, tranship cargoes of fish in Canadian ports, or enter them except for shelter, water, wood or repairs. On account of infractions of the treaty many vessels were seized and some were condemned. In 1887 a special commission was appointed to deal with the question. On this commission Mr Joseph Chamberlain, Sir Sackville West and Sir Charles Tupper represented British and Canadian interests; Secretary T. F. Bayard, Mr W. le B. Putnam and Mr James B. Angell acted for the United States. The commission succeeded in agreeing to the terms of a treaty, which was recommended to Congress by President Cleveland as supplying “a satisfactory, practical and final adjustment, upon a basis honourable and just to both parties, of the difficult and vexed questions to which it relates.” This agreement, known as the Chamberlain-Bayard treaty, was rejected by the Senate, and as a consequence it became necessary to carry on the fisheries under a modus vivendi renewed annually.
In 1886 a difference about international rights on the high seas arose on the Pacific coast in connexion with the seal fisheries of Bering Sea. In that year several schooners, fitted out in British Columbia for the capture of seals in the North Pacific, were seized by a United States cutter at a distance of 60 m. from the nearest land, the officers were imprisoned and fined, and the vessels themselves subjected to forfeiture. The British government at once protested against this infraction of international right, and through long and troublesome negotiations firmly upheld Canada’s claims in the matter. The dispute was finally referred to a court of arbitration, on which Sir John Thompson, premier of the Dominion, sat as one of the British arbitrators. It was decided that the United States had no jurisdiction in the Bering Sea beyond the three miles’ limit, but the court also made regulations to prevent the wholesale slaughter of fur-bearing seals. The sum of $463,454 was finally awarded as compensation to the Canadian sealers who had been unlawfully seized and punished. This sum was paid by the United States in 1898.
As the result of communications during 1897 between Sir Wilfrid Laurier and Secretary Sherman, the governments of Great Britain and the United States agreed to the appointment of a joint high commission, with a view of settling all outstanding differences between the United States and Canada. The commission, which included three members of the Canadian cabinet and a representative of Newfoundland, and of which Lord Herschell was appointed chairman, met at Quebec on the 23rd of August 1898. The sessions continued in Quebec at intervals until the 10th of October, when the commission adjourned to meet in Washington on the 1st of November, where the discussions were renewed for some weeks. Mr Nelson Dingley, an American member of the commission, died during the month of January, as did the chairman, Lord Herschell, in March, as the result of an accident, soon after the close of the sittings of the commission. The Alaskan boundary, the Atlantic and inland fisheries, the alien labour law, the bonding privilege, the seal fishery in the Bering Sea and reciprocity of trade in certain products were among the subjects considered by the commission. On several of these points much progress was made towards a settlement, but a divergence of opinion as to the methods by which the Alaskan boundary should be determined put an end for the time to the negotiations.
In 1903 an agreement was reached by which the question of this boundary, which depended on the interpretation put upon the treaty of 1825 between Russia and England, should be submitted to a commission consisting of “six impartial jurists of repute,” three British and three American. The British commissioners appointed were: Lord Alverstone, lord chief justice of England; Sir Louis Jette, K.C., of Quebec; and A. B. Aylesworth, K.C., of Toronto. On the American side were appointed: the Hon. Henry C. Lodge, senator for Massachusetts; the Hon. Elihu Root, secretary of war for the United States government; and Senator George Turner. Canadians could not be persuaded that the American members fulfilled the condition of being “impartial jurists,” and protest was made, but, though the imperial government also expressed surprise, no change in the appointments was effected. The commission met in London, and announced its decision in October. This was distinctly unfavourable to Canada’s claims, since it excluded Canadians from all ocean inlets as far south as the Portland Channel, and in that channel gave to Canada only two of the four islands claimed. A statement made by the Canadian commissioners, who refused to sign the report, of an unexplained change of opinion on the part of Lord Alverstone, produced a widespread impression for a time that his decision in favour of American claims was diplomatic rather than judicial. Later Canadian opinion, however, came to regard the decision of the commission as a reasonable compromise. The irritation caused by the decision gradually subsided, but at the moment it led to strong expressions on the part of Sir Wilfrid Laurier and others in favour of securing for Canada a fuller power of making her own treaties. While the power of making treaties must rest ultimately in the hands that can enforce them, the tendency to give the colonies chiefly interested a larger voice in international arrangements had become inevitable. The mission of a Canadian cabinet minister, the Hon. R. Lemieux, to Japan in 1907, to settle Canadian difficulties with that country, illustrated the change of diplomatic system in progress.
Under the British North American Act the control of education was reserved for the provincial governments, with a stipulation that all rights enjoyed by denominational schools at the time of confederation should be respected. Provincial Education. control has caused some diversity of management; the interpretation of the denominational agreement has led to acute differences of opinion which have invaded the field of politics. In all the provinces elementary, and in some cases secondary, education is free, the funds for its support being derived from local taxation and from government grants. The highly organized school system of Ontario is directed by a minister of education, who is a member of the provincial cabinet. The other provinces have boards of education, and superintendents who act under the direction of the provincial legislatures. In Quebec the Roman Catholic schools, which constitute the majority, are chiefly controlled by the local clergy of that church. The Protestant schools are managed by a separate board. In Ontario as well as in Quebec separate schools are allowed to Roman Catholics. In Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Manitoba and British Columbia the public schools are strictly undenominational. This position was only established in New Brunswick and Manitoba after violent political struggles, and frequent appeals to the highest courts of the empire for decisions on questions of federal or provincial jurisdiction. The right of having separate schools has been extended to the newly constituted provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Secondary education is provided for by high schools and collegiate institutes in all towns and cities, and by large residential institutions at various centres, conducted on the principle of the English public schools. The largest of these is Upper Canada College at Toronto. Each province has a number of normal and model schools for the training of teachers. For higher education there are also abundant facilities. M‘Gill University at Montreal has been enlarged and splendidly endowed by the munificence of a few private individuals, Toronto University by the provincial legislature of Ontario; Queen’s University at Kingston largely by the support of its own graduates and friends. University work in the maritime provinces, instead of being concentrated, as it might well be, in one powerful institution, is distributed among five small, but within their range efficient universities. The agricultural college at Guelph and the experimental farms maintained by the federal government give excellent training and scientific assistance to farmers. Sir William Macdonald in 1908 built and endowed, at an expenditure of at least £700,000, an agricultural college and normal school at St Anne’s, near Montreal. While the older universities have increased greatly in influence and efficiency, the following new foundations have been made since confederation:—University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, 1877; Presbyterian College, Winnipeg, 1870; Methodist College, Winnipeg, 1888; Wesleyan College, Montreal, 1873; Presbyterian College, Montreal, 1868; School of Practical Science, Toronto, 1877; Royal Military College, Kingston, 1875; M‘Master University, Toronto, 1888. All the larger universities have schools of medicine in affiliation, and have the power of conferring medical degrees. Since 1877 Canadian degrees have been recognized by the Medical Council of Great Britain.
In her treatment of the aboriginal inhabitants of the country (numbering 93,318 in 1901) Canada has met with conspicuous success. Since the advance of civilization and indiscriminate slaughter have deprived them of the bison, so long their natural means of subsistence, Indian tribes. the north-west tribes have been maintained chiefly at the expense of the country. As a result of the great care now used in watching over them there has been a small but steady increase in their numbers. Industrial and boarding schools, established in several of the provinces, by separating the children from the degrading influences of their home life, have proved more effectual than day schools for training them in the habits and ideas of a higher civilization. (See Indians, North American.)
The constitution of the Dominion embodies the first attempt made to adapt British principles and methods of government to a federal system. The chief executive authority is vested in the sovereign, as is the supreme command of the military and naval forces. The Constitution. governor-general represents, and fulfils the functions of, the crown, which appoints him. He holds office for five years, and his powers are strictly limited, as in the case of the sovereign, all executive acts being done on the advice of his cabinet, the members of which hold office only so long as they retain the confidence of the people as expressed by their representatives in parliament. The governor-general has, however, the independent right to withhold his assent to any bill which he considers in conflict with imperial interests. The following governors-general have represented the crown since the federation of the provinces, with the year of their appointment: Viscount Monck, 1867; Sir John Young (afterwards Baron Lisgar), 1868; the earl of Dufferin, 1872; the marquess of Lome (afterwards duke of Argyll), 1878; the marquess of Lansdowne, 1883; Lord Stanley of Preston (afterwards earl of Derby), 1888; the earl of Aberdeen, 1893; the earl of Minto, 1898; Earl Grey, 1904. The upper house, or Senate, is composed of members who hold office for life and are nominated by the governor-general in council. It originally consisted of 72 members, 24 from Quebec, 24 from Ontario, and 24 from the maritime provinces, but this number has been from time to time slightly increased as new provinces have been added. The House of Commons consists of representatives elected directly by the people. The number of members, originally 196, is subject to change after each decennial census. The basis adopted in the British North America Act is that Quebec shall always have 65 representatives, and each of the other provinces such a number as will give the same proportion of members to its population as the number 65 bears to the population of Quebec at each census. In 1908 the number of members was 218.
Members of the Senate and of the House of Commons receive an annual indemnity of $2500, with a travelling allowance. Legislation brought forward in 1906 introduced an innovation in assigning a salary of $7000 to the recognized leader of the Opposition, and pensions amounting to half their official income to ex-cabinet ministers who have occupied their posts for five consecutive years. This pension clause has since been repealed. One principal object of the framers of the Canadian constitution was to establish a strong central government. An opposite plan was therefore adopted to that employed in the system of the United States, where the federal government enjoys only the powers granted to it by the sovereign states. The British North America Act assigns to the different provinces, as to the central parliament, their spheres of control, but all residuary powers are given to the general government. Within these limitations the provincial assemblies have a wide range of legislative power. In Nova Scotia and Quebec the bicameral system of an upper and lower house is retained; in the other provinces legislation is left to a single representative assembly. For purely local matters municipal institutions are organized to cover counties and townships, cities and towns, all based on an exceedingly democratic franchise.
The creation of a supreme court engaged the attention of Sir John Macdonald in the early years after federation, but was only finally accomplished in 1876, during the premiership of Alexander Mackenzie. This court is presided over by a chief justice, with five puisne judges, and has appellate civil and criminal jurisdiction for the Dominion. By an act passed in 1891 the government has power to refer to the supreme court any important question of law affecting the public interest. The right of appeal from the supreme court, thus constituted, to the judicial committee of the privy council marks, in questions judicial, Canada’s place as a part of the British empire.
The appointment, first made in 1897, of the chief justice of Canada, along with the chief justices of Cape Colony and South Australia, as colonial members of the judicial committee still further established the position of that body as the final court of appeal for the British people. The grave questions of respective jurisdiction which have from time to time arisen between the federal and provincial governments have for the most part been settled by appeal to one or both of these judicial bodies. Some of these questions have played a considerable part in Canadian politics, but are of too complicated a nature to be dealt with in the present brief sketch. They have generally consisted in the assertion of provincial rights against federal authority. The decision of the courts has always been accepted as authoritative and final.
1. English-Canadian Literature is marked by the weaknesses as well as the merits of colonial life. The struggle for existence, the conquering of the wilderness, has left scant room for broad culture or scholarship, and the very fact that Canada is a colony, however free to control her own affairs, has stood in the way of the creation of anything like a national literature. And yet, while Canada’s intellectual product is essentially an offshoot of the parent literature of England, it is not entirely devoid of originality, either in manner or matter. There is in much of it a spirit of freedom and youthful vigour characteristic of the country. It is marked by the wholesomeness of Canadian life and Canadian ideals, and the optimism of a land of limitless potentialities.
The first few decades of the period of British rule were lean years indeed so far as native literature is concerned. This period of unrest gave birth to little beyond a flood of political pamphlets, of no present value save as material for the historian. We may perhaps except the able though thoroughly partisan writings of Sir John Beverley Robinson and Bishop Strachan on the one side, and Robert Fleming Gourlay and William Lyon Mackenzie on the other. In the far West, however, a little group of adventurous fur-traders, of whom Sir Alexander Mackenzie, David Thompson, Alexander Henry and Daniel Williams Harmon may be taken as conspicuous types, were unfolding the vast expanse of the future dominion. They were men of action, not of words, and had no thought of literary fame, but their absorbingly interesting journals are none the less an essential part of the literature of the country.
Barring the work of Francis Parkman, who was not a Canadian, no history of the first rank has yet been written in or of Canada. Canadian historians have not merely lacked so far the genius for really great historical work, but they have lacked the point of view; they have stood too close to their subject to get the true perspective. At the same time they have brought together invaluable material for the great historian of the future. Robert Christie’s History of Lower Canada (1848–1854) was the first serious attempt to deal with the period of British rule. William Kingsford’s (1819–1898) ambitious work, in ten volumes, comes down like Christie’s to the Union of 1841, but goes back to the very beginnings of Canadian history. In the main it is impartial and accurate, but the style is heavy and sometimes slovenly. J. C. Dent’s (1841–1888) Last Forty Years (1880) is practically a continuation of Kingsford. Dent also wrote an interesting though one-sided account of the rebellion of 1837. Histories of the maritime provinces have been written by Thomas Chandler Haliburton, Beamish Murdoch and James Hannay. Haliburton’s is much the best of the three. The brief but stirring history of western Canada has been told by Alexander Begg (1840–1898); and George Bryce (b. 1844) and Beckles Willson (b. 1869) have written the story of the Hudson’s Bay Company. Much scholarship and research have been devoted to local and special historical subjects, a notable example of which is Arthur Doughty’s exhaustive work on the siege of Quebec. J. McMullen (b. 1820), Charles Roberts (b. 1860) and Sir John Bourinot (1837–1902) have written brief and popular histories, covering the whole field of Canadian history more or less adequately. Alpheus Todd’s (1821–1884) Parliamentary Government in England (1867–1869) and Parliamentary Government in the British Colonies (1880) are standard works, as is also Bourinot’s Parliamentary Procedure and Practice (1884).
Biography has been devoted mainly to political subjects. The best of these are Joseph Pope’s Memoirs of Sir John Macdonald (1894), W. D. le Sueur’s Frontenac (1906), Sir John Bourinot’s Lord Elgin (1905), Jean McIlwraith’s Sir Frederick Haldimand (1904), D. C. Scott’s John Graves Simcoe (1905), A. D. de Celles’ Papineau and Cartier(1904), Charles Lindsey’s William Lyon Mackenzie (1862), J. W. Longley’s Joseph Howe (1905) and J. S. Willison’s Sir Wilfrid Laurier (1903).
In belles lettres very little has been accomplished, unless we may count Goldwin Smith (q.v.) as a Canadian. As a scholar, a thinker, and a master of pure English he has exerted a marked influence upon Canadian literature and Canadian life.
While mediocrity is the prevailing characteristic of most of what passes for poetry in Canada, a few writers have risen to a higher level. The conditions of Canadian life have not been favourable to the birth of great poets, but within the limits of their song such men as Archibald Lampman (1861–1891), William Wilfred Campbell (b. 1861), Charles Roberts, Bliss Carman (b. 1861) and George Frederick Cameron have written lines that are well worth remembering. Lampman’s poetry is the most finished and musical. He fell short of being a truly great poet, inasmuch as great poetry must, which his does not, touch life at many points, but his verses are marked by the qualities that belonged to the man—sincerity, purity, seriousness. Campbell’s poetry, in spite of a certain lack of compression, is full of dramatic vigour: Roberts has put some of his best work into sonnets and short lyrics, while Carman has been very successful with the ballad, the untrammelled swing and sweep of which he has finely caught; the simplicity and severity of Cameron’s style won the commendation of even so exacting a critic as Matthew Arnold. One remarkable drama—Charles Heavysege’s (1816–1876) Saul (1857)—belongs to Canadian literature. Though unequal in execution, it contains passages of exceptional beauty and power. The sweetness and maturity of Isabella Valency Crawford’s (1851–1887) verse are also very worthy of remembrance. The habitant poems of Dr W. H. Drummond (1854–1907) stand in a class by themselves, between English and French Canadian literature, presenting the simple life of the habitant with unique humour and picturesqueness.
The first distinctively Canadian novel was John Richardson’s (1796–1852) Wacousta (1832), a stirring tale of the war of 1812. Richardson afterwards wrote half a dozen other romances, dealing chiefly with incidents in Canadian history. Susanna Moodie (1803–1885) and Katharine Parr Traill (1802–1899), sisters of Agnes Strickland, contributed novels and tales to one of the earliest and best of Canadian magazines, the Literary Garland (1838–1847). The Golden Dog, William Kirby’s (1817–1906) fascinating romance of old Quebec, appeared in 1877, in a pirated edition. Twenty years later the first authorized edition was published. James de Mille (1833–1880) was the author of some thirty novels, the best of which is Helena’s Household (1868), a story of Rome in the 1st century. The Dodge Club (1869), a humorous book of travel, appeared, curiously enough, a few months before Innocents Abroad. De Mille’s posthumous novel, A Strange Manuscript found in a Copper Cylinder (1888), describes a singular race whose cardinal doctrine is that poverty is honourable and wealth the reverse. Sir Gilbert Parker (b. 1862) stands first among contemporary Canadian novelists. He has made admirable use in many of his novels of the inexhaustible stores of romantic and dramatic material that lie buried in forgotten pages of Canadian history. Of later Canadian novelists mention may be made of Sara Jeannette Duncan (Mrs Everard Cotes, b. 1862), Ralph Connor (Charles W. Gordon, b. 1866), Agnes C. Laut (b. 1872), W. A. Fraser (b. 1859) and Ernest Thompson Seton (b. 1860). Thomas Chandler Haliburton (q.v.) stands in a class by himself. In many respects his is the most striking figure in Canadian literature. He is best known as a humorist, and as a humorist he ranks with the creators of “My Uncle Toby” and “Pickwick.” But there is more than humour in Haliburton’s books. He lacked, in fact, but one thing to make him a great novelist: he had no conception of how to construct a plot. But he knew human nature, and knew it intimately in all its phases; he could construct a character and endow it with life; his people talk naturally and to the point; and many of his descriptive passages are admirable. Those who read Haliburton’s books only for the sake of the humour will miss much of their value. His inimitable Clockmaker (1837), as well as the later books, The Old Judge (1849), The Attaché (1843), Wise Saws and Modern Instances (1853) and Nature and Human Nature (1855), are mirrors of colonial life and character.
(L. J. B.)
2. French-Canadian Literature at the opening of the 20th century might be described as entirely the work of two generations, and it was separated from the old régime by three more generations whose racial sentiment only found expression in the traditional songs and tales which their forefathers of the 17th century had brought over from the mère patrie. Folk-lore has always been the most essentially French of all imaginative influences in Canadian life; and the songs are the quintessence of the lore. Not that the folk-songs have no local variants. Indian words, like moccasin and toboggan, are often introduced. French forms are freely turned into pure Canadianisms, like cageux, raftsman, boucane, brushwood smoke, portage, &c. New characters, which appeal more directly to the local audience, sometimes supplant old ones, like the quatre vieux sauvages who have ousted the time-honoured quatre-z-officiers from the Canadian version of Malbrouk. There are even a few entire songs of transatlantic origin. But all these variants together are mere stray curios among the crowding souvenirs of the old home over sea. No other bridge can rival le Pont d’Avignon. “Ici” in C’est le ban vin qui danse ici can be nowhere else but in old France—le ban vin alone proves this. And the Canadian folk-singer, though in a land of myriad springs, still goes à la claire fontaine of his ancestral fancy; while the lullabies his mother sang him, like the love-songs with which he serenades his blonde, were nearly all sung throughout the Normandy of le Grand Monarque. The habitant was separated from old-world changes two centuries ago by difference of place and circumstances, while he has hitherto been safeguarded from many new-world changes by the segregative influences of race, religion, language and custom; and so his folk-lore still remains the intimate alter et idem of what it was in the days of the great pioneers. It is no longer a living spirit among the people at large; but in secluded villages and “back concessions” one can still hear some charming melodies as old and pure as the verses to which they are sung, and even a few quaint survivals of Gregorian tunes. The best collection, more particularly from the musical point of view, is Les Chansons populaires du Canada, started by Ernest Gagnon (1st ed. 1865).
Race-patriotism is the distinguishing characteristic of French-Canadian literature, which is so deeply rooted in national politics that L. J. Papineau, the most insistent demagogue of 1837, must certainly be named among the founders, for the sake of speeches which came before written works both in point of time and popular esteem. Only 360 volumes had been published during 80 years, when, in 1845, the first famous book appeared—François Xavier Garneau’s (1809–1866) Histoire du Canada. It had immense success in Canada, was favourably noticed in France, and has influenced all succeeding men of letters. Unfortunately, the imperfect data on which it is based, and the too exclusively patriotic spirit in which it is written, prevent it from being an authoritative history: the author himself declares “Vous verrez si la défaite de nos ancêtres ne vaut pas toutes las victoires.” But it is of far-reaching importance as the first great literary stimulus to racial self-respect. “Le Canada français avait perdu ses Ictlres de noblesse; Garneau les lui a rendues.” F. X. Garneau is also remembered for his poems, and he was followed by his son Alfred Garneau (1836–1904).
A. Gérin-Lajoie was a mere lad when the exile of some compatriots inspired Le Canadien errant, which immediately became a universal folk-song. Many years later he wrote discriminatingly about those Dix ans au Canada (1888) that saw the establishment of responsible government. But his fame rests on Jean Rivard (1874), the prose bucolic of the habitant. The hero, left at the head of a fatherless family of twelve when nearly through college, turns from the glut of graduates swarming round the prospects of professional city-bred careers, steadfastly wrests a home from the wilderness, helps his brothers and sisters, marries a habitante fit for the wife of a pioneer, brings up a large family, and founds a settlement which grows into several parishes and finally becomes the centre of the electoral district of “Rivardville,” which returns him to parliament. These simple and earnest Scènes de la vie réelle are an appealing revelation of that eternal secret of the soil which every people wishing to have a country of its own must early lay to heart; and Jean Rivard, le défricheur, will always remain the eponym of the new colons of the 19th century.
Philippe de Gaspé’s historical novel, Les Anciens Canadiens (1863), is the complement of Garneau and Gérin-Lajoie. Everything about the author’s life helped him to write this book. Born in 1784, and brought up among reminiscent eye-witnesses of the old régime, he was an eager listener, with a wonderful memory and whole-hearted pride in the glories of his race and family, a kindly seigneur, who loved and was loved by all his censitaires, a keen observer of many changing systems, down to the final Confederation of 1867, and a man who had felt both extremes of fortune (Mémoires, 1866). The story rambles rather far from its well-worn plot. But these very digressions give the book its intimate and abiding charm; for they keep the reader in close personal touch with every side of Canadian life, with songs and tales and homely forms of speech, with the best features of seigniorial times and the strong guidance of an ardent church, with voyageurs, coureurs de bois, Indians, soldiers, sailors and all the strenuous adventurers of a wild, new, giant world. The poet of this little band of authors was Octave Crémazie, a Quebec bookseller, who failed in business and spent his last years as a penniless exile in France. He is usually rather too derivative, he lacks the saving grace of style, and even his best Canadian poems hardly rise above fervent occasional verse. Yet he became a national poet, because he was the first to celebrate occasions of deeply felt popular emotion in acceptable rhyme, and he will always remain one because each occasion touched some lasting aspiration of his race. He sings what Garneau recounts—the love of mother country, mother church and Canada. The Guerre de Crimée, Guerre d’ltalie, even Castel-fidardo, are duly chronicled. An ode on Mgr. de Montmorency-Laval, first bishop of Quebec, brings him nearer to his proper themes, which are found in full perfection in the Chant du vieux soldat canadien, composed in 1856 to honour the first French man-of-war that visited British Quebec, and Le Drapeau de Carillon (1858), a centennial paean for Montcalm’s Canadians at Ticonderoga. Much of the mature work of this first generation, and of the juvenilia of the second, appeared in Les Soirées canadiennes and Le Foyer canadien, founded in 1862 and 1863 respectively. The abbé Ferland was an enthusiastic editor and historian, and Etienne Parent should be remembered as the first Canadian philosopher.
At Confederation many eager followers began to take up the work which the founders were laying down. The abbé Casgrain devoted a life-time to making the French-Canadians appear as the chosen people of new-world history; but, though an able advocate, he spoilt a really good case by trying to prove too much. His Pèlerinage au pays d’Evangéline (1888) is a splendid defence of the unfortunate Acadians; and all his books attract the reader by their charm of style and personality. But his Montcalm et Lévis (1891) and other works on the conquest, are all warped by a strong bias against both Wolfe and Montcalm, and in favour of Vandreuil, the Canadian-born governor; while they show an inadequate grasp of military problems, and practically ignore the vast determining factor of sea-power altogether. Benjamin Sulte’s comprehensive Histoire des Canadiens-français (1882) is a well-written, many-sided work. Thomas Chapais’ monographs are as firmly grounded as they are finely expressed; his Jean Talon (1904) is of prime importance; and his Montcalm (1901) is the generous amende honorable paid by French-Canadian literature to a much misrepresented, but admirably wrought, career. A. Gérin-Lajoie’s cry of “back to the land” was successfully adapted to modern developments in Le Saguenay (1896) and L’Outaouais supérieur (1889) by Arthur Buies, who showed what immense inland breadths of country lay open to suitable “Jean Rivards” from the older settlements along the St Lawrence. In oratory, which most French-Canadians admire beyond all other forms of verbal art, Sir Wilfrid Laurier has greatly surpassed L. J. Papineau, by dealing with more complex questions, taking a higher point of view, and expressing himself with a much apter flexibility of style.
Among later poets may be mentioned Pierre Chauveau (1820–1890), Louis Fiset, (b. 1827), and Adolphe Poisson (b. 1849). Louis Fréchette (1830–1908) has, however, long been the only poet with a reputation outside of Canada. In 1879 Les Fleurs boréales won the Prix Monthyon from the French Academy. In 1887 La Légende d’un peuple became the acknowledged epic of a race. He occasionally nods; is rather strident in the patriotic vein; and too often answers the untoward call of rhetoric when his subject is about to soar into the heights of poetry. But a rich vocabulary, a mastery of verse-forms quite beyond the range of Crémazie, real originality of conception, individual distinction of style, deep insight into the soul of his people, and, still more, the glow of warm-blooded life pulsing through the whole poem, all combine to give him the greatest place at home and an important one in the world at large. Les Vengeances (1875), by Leon Pamphile Le May, and Les Aspirations (1904), by W. Chapman, worthily represent the older and younger contemporaries. Dr Nérée Beauchemin keeps within somewhat narrow limits in Les Floraisons matutinales (1897); but within them he shows true poetic genius, a fine sense of rhythm, rhyme and verbal melody, a curiosa felicitas of epithet and phrase, and so sure an eye for local colour that a stranger could choose no better guide to the imaginative life of Canada.
A Canadian drama hardly exists; among its best works are the pleasantly epigrammatic plays of F. G. Marchand. Novels are not yet much in vogue; though Madame Conan’s L’Oublié (1902) has been crowned by the Academy; while Dr Choquette’s Les Ribaud (1898) is a good dramatic story, and his Claude Paysan (1899) is an admirably simple idyllic tale of the hopeless love of a soil-bound habitant, told with intense natural feeling and fine artistic reserve. Chief-Justice Routhier, a most accomplished occasional writer, is very French-Canadian when arraigning Les Grands Drames of the classics (1889) before his ecclesiastical court and finding them guilty of Paganism.
- The census is taken every ten years, save in these three provinces, where it is taken every five. Their population in 1906 was:— Manitoba, 360,000; Saskatchewan, 257,000; Alberta, 184,000.
- The areas assigned to Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and British Columbia are exclusive of the territorial seas, that to Quebec is exclusive of the Gulf of St Lawrence (though including the islands lying within it), and that to Ontario is exclusive of the Canadian portion of the Great Lakes. About 500,000 sq. m. belong to the Arctic region and 125,755 sq. m. are water.
- In Canada a city must have over 10,000 inhabitants, a town over 2000.
- The date of foundation is given in brackets.