Samples Canada The Building of Canada

The Building of Canada

855 words 3 page(s)


The history of Canada, much like any other country, is one filled with rich tales of both success and strife, all of which have made it into the strong nation that is today. From the Rebellions of 1837 to the its establishment as a sovereign nation three decades later and so on, Canada’s past, unlike many other countries, was comparably more peaceful and though they experienced times of hardship, it was never as severe as their neighboring countries to the south. This article will explore the history of Canada from the Rebellions of 1837 and identify the key moments that contributed to the birth of this nation. Furthermore, it will examine the various acts and agreements that were integral in building Canada into the nation that it is today, emphasizing the most notable and important documents and key points that contributed to the birth of this nation.
Key words: Canada, agreements, Rebellions of 1837, sovereign nation, history

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Canada, though receiving its status as a nation relatively later in comparison to its neighboring countries to the south, was officially established as a sovereign nation on July 1st, 1867. However, before Canada was officially a nation, it was divided into two parts, Lower Canada and Upper Canada. Split into two in 1791, Canada was under British rule, but much like the United States during the Revolutionary War, tensions began to rise against the British monarchy resulting in the Rebellions of 1837, a pivotal point for the colonies of Canada and its first step into becoming a sovereign nation.

The Rebellions of 1837, also known as the Rebellions of 1837-1838, though it was not the only event in Canadian history that had great influence on the colonies of Canada, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, also known as the Confederation, becoming a united nation, it was the most influential. According to Buckner and Foot, ”both events inspired the pivotal Durham Report, which in turn led to the union of the two colonies and the arrival of responsible government’critical events on the road to Canadian nationhood (Buckner & Foot, 2019).’ Before the rebellions, Canada was split into two sections, Upper and Lower Canada. Both experienced the rebellions differently. According to Buckner and Foot, ‘The Rebellion in Lower Canada was led by Louis-Joseph Papineau and his Patriots, as well as more moderate French-Canadian nationalists’ (Buckner & Foot, 2019).’ Though, in the beginning, Papineau and his fellow Canadian nationalists protested peacefully against the British monarchy, their pleas for a more responsible government fell on deaf ears so in November of 1837, the first outbreak of violence began, thus starting the Rebellions of 1837. Though the Papineau and his fellow nationalists put up a good fight, they defeated and those that survived fled to America.

In Upper Canada, the Rebellions were led by William Lyon Mackenzie. Though they fought for the same issues, i.e. political reform and a more responsible governing body, Upper Canada also fought against the unfair governmental bias that often favored the British. According to Buckner and Foot, British settlers were often given preferential treatment in terms of land grants. It was an unfair and unjust system that catered towards the British, leaving those with no ties to the British mainland often wanting. Mackenzie and his followers, unlike Papineau and his followers, took a more pacifistic approach. It wasn’t until December 1837, a month after the Rebellions began in Lower Canada, Upper Canadian citizens began to take a more violent approach, rallying and unionizing to overthrow the governing body and declare themselves a republic, however, they were eventually defeated only three days after their unionizing; Mackenzie and his followers, those that survived, fled to the United States, the Rebellions soon fading in terms of severe violence within a year thereby ending the Rebellions of 1837.

The Rebellions were not the only influential event that helped Canada achieve nationhood. A year after the unsuccessful rebellions, 1838, a British politician by the name of John George Lambton, also known as Lord Durham, as he was the governing earl of Durham, England, was sent over to find out the cause of them. After documenting his findings, labeling it the ‘Durham Report’, he reported back to the mainland where his report was distributed amongst the monarchs and reform began to take place. Though it took three decades, eventually the four colonies of Canada were joined in Confederation on July 1st, 1867. Over the next eighty years, the nation would be joined by various provinces including Manitoba in 1870, British Columbia in 1871, Prince Edward Island in 1873, Alberta and Saskatchewan in 1905 and Newfoundland in 1949. Canada, though young in comparison to its neighboring nations, is one filled with a rich and bountiful history. Its struggles and triumphs are what has shaped it into the strong and proud nation it is today.

  • B. B. C. (2012, January 26). Timeline: Canada. Retrieved from
  • Buckner, P. A., & Foot, R. (2019). Rebellions of 1837. Retrieved from
  • Encyclopedia, C. (2019). Significant Events in Canadian History. Retrieved from
  • Mills, D. (2006, February 7). Durham Report. Retrieved from