Pros and Cons of Confederation of Canada in 1860
Some pros were that the colonies would be stronger and more independent. the colonies would have strong central government to control the defense, taxation, postage, currency etc. also the Britain abandoned the mercantilism so the colonies would have to unite in order to survive because Britain no longer provided the colonies with the guarantee on market and it got its material from other countries for a lower price. this made the colonies go in depression because people had no jobs and they needed someone to buy their goods and products . The reason for lack of support in England, of the colonies, was money.
England set the economies up where raw materials were imported form the colonies and the industries of England manufactured the goods selling them manufactured goods back to the colonies. They even imposed a manufacturing tax on anything manufactured in the colonies. This manufacturing tax existed through too and was replaced by the GST. When the economics of this old system no longer benefited England they terminated the arrangement. The Civil war had just ended in the US and the international boarder between the US and what is now Canada had not been settled. There was a very strong movement in the US –54 forty or fight emerged in the US.
This movement wanted the boarder at 54 degrees north 40 minutes which is roughly through the now community of McLeod Lake-nee Fort McLeod. For their part England wanted to retain their interest land and saw the formation of a new country, loyal to them, as their way out. The problem for them was they had little or no presence in the area west of the great lakes except for the the coast of what is now BC. “Victoria & Westminster” The mealtimes “PEI Nova Scotia & New Brunswick ” were an economic disaster having lost their secure market in England, Upper Canada. Ontario” was land locked in many respects and France had lost their interest in the new world.
They lost Lower Canada at the battle of “The Plains of Abraham” and then sold their claimed land in the south to the US, “The Louisiana Purchase” for something like 3 to 5 million dollars. Upper Canada was very loyal to the English crown. Lower Canada was a orphan and the maritime needed the market access to Upper and Lower Canada. The benefit for the maritimes was a secure market, for Upper Canada and the Colonies in what is now BC was to keep ties with England and the Crown and for Lower Canada Quebec, a way to maintain their culture.
Lower Canada was a strip of Land along the St Laurence River. The options for the people of lower Canada were very limited. The were too small to stand on their own, if US took over, their French Language, Laws based on the Napoleonic code would most likely be lost. Under Confederation they were guarantied the right to their legal system, Language and religion. The west joined upon being promised a railway connection, all in Canada to the east. The great pro of Confederation was that a country was created, Canada in what would surely been annexed by the US and for Lower Canada their language and Laws were preserved.
I am of the opinion that if Quebec were to separate, in short order they would become a quaint Little puddle in a sea of 360 million non Quebecers and the sooner the better. Pros: Common defence Resist American expansionism Common colonial market Chance to acquire the West State support for the Intercolonial railroad The British wanted it to happen Break the political deadlock in the Canadas Cons: Different economies in different colonies Cost of Confederation (taxes) No common national feeling