Confederation: The Creation of Canada

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Introduction M11588 M5524 MP-0000.1815.2 MP-1991.12.6 VIEW-2952 II-83294 M985.230.5033 C002-A_7-225.1
 

Introduction

Brian J. Young, McGill University, 2003

Confederation has played a large role in every history of Canada. Some have condemned it as a centralizing device that oppresses minorities. Quebec, for example, has had a particularly contentious relationship with the central government. Issues such as the fate of French-language schools outside Quebec, conscription in the two world wars and the rise of Quebec nationalism in the latter third of the 20th century have all placed Confederation under the historian's microscope. For a majority of Canadians, however, the British North America Act, which instituted Confederation, is probably seen as a federalist compromise unique in North America, as an experiment in balancing national and provincial goals within a constitution that rejects French and American republicanism.