I-17498.1 | Lower Town from Durham Terrace, Quebec City, QC, 1865
Lower Town from Durham Terrace, Quebec City, QC, 1865
William Notman (1826-1891)
1865, 19th century
Silver salts on paper mounted on paper - Albumen process
10 x 8 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords: Cityscape (3948) , Photograph (77678) , view (1387)
Keys to History
In September 1864, delegates from the Maritime colonies had gathered in Charlottetown. Their idea of a legislative union was postponed in favour of a larger federal union of all British North America. The American Civil War, the end of the Reciprocity Treaty with the United States and a political breakdown in central Canada made the idea of a federal union attractive. Few weeks later, John A. Macdonald dominated the discussions at Quebec, where he was able to convince delegates of the advantage of a federal state that would harmonize the new country's diverse factions.
Source : Confederation: The Creation of Canada [Web tour], by Brian J. Young, McGill University (see Links)
The Quebec Conference outlined the 72 "Quebec Resolutions" which established the principles of a federal union, the representation structures for the different regions and the means of financing the new state. The new Canadian state was to be highly centralized.
The conference met on the site of what is now the Château Frontenac Hotel. Delegates had an inspiring view of the St. Lawrence Estuary and the distant Appalachian Mountains.
The Charlottetown Conference had begun on September 1, 1864 and was suspended to allow delegates to attend the alternate conference in Quebec City, which began on October 10.
Although Maritimers and French Canadians would later have much to resent in the federal state envisaged in Quebec, the conference generated receptivity toward the idea of a Confederation.