I-17498.1 | Lower Town from Durham Terrace, Quebec City, QC, 1865

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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)
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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)

  • What

    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.

  • Where

    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.

  • When

    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.

  • Who

    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.