"By the West, for the West": And the Struggle for Provincial Rights in Alberta

By Thrift, Gayle | Alberta History, Winter 2011 | Go to article overview

"By the West, for the West": And the Struggle for Provincial Rights in Alberta


Thrift, Gayle, Alberta History


One year after the Confederation celebrations of 1867, Prime Minister John A. Macdonald sent a Canadian delegation led by George-Etienne Cartier to London, England, to negotiate the acquisition of the North-West Territories. The Hudson's Bay Company had been given control of the vast territory by a Royal Charter in 1670 in order to establish the fur-trade. Macdonald considered it critical for the young country to acquire the North-West due to the threat of American western expansion overtaking the Red River settlement and the Territories. These fears were fuelled by the purchase of Alaska by the United States government from Russia as the British North America Act was signed. Macdonald believed that a viable continental federation would provide a countervailing force to the annexationist ambitions of the United States. When title to the North-West Territories was successfully transferred to the Canadian government in 1869, a federally-appointed lieutenant governor and council administered the vast area virtually as a colony of Ottawa.

In the 1870s the North-West was sparsely populated by Native groups devastated by smallpox along with a scattering of Hudson's Bay trading posts and American whisky posts. (1)5 Treaties 1 through 7 signed between 1871 and 1877 gave the Dominion government formal title to the lands that it hoped to settle and develop. The first Dominion Lands Act of 1872 offered settlers freehold title to 160 acres of land in return for a $10 filing fee, the fulfilment of a three-year residence clause, ploughing 15 acres and building a domicile. In 1874, the North-West Mounted Police were sent west to eliminate the whisky trade and restore order to the territory. Telegraph fines were built between Red River and Edmonton. In 1878 plans for the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway to British Columbia rapidly progressed as part of Macdonald's National Policy.

The completion of the National Policy under the Liberal government of Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier and his Minister of the Interior, Clifford Sifton, in the late 1890s resulted in the arrival of thousands of European immigrants to the North-West. The dramatic increase in population would compel territorial leader, Frederick W. G. Haultain, to appeal to the Dominion government for a greater level of fiscal and political autonomy in order to respond effectively to the needs of the newly-arrived settlers. His decision to remain non-partisan in order to lead a united Territorial government in the pursuit of autonomy and full provincial rights eventually cost him the political reward of provincial leadership that many believed he rightly deserved.

Haultain's family emigrated to Canada in 1860 from England when his father, Lieutenant-Colonel Frederick W. Haultain, retired from the Royal Artillery. He and his wife, Lucinde Helen Gordon, settled near Peterborough, Ontario, with their children, Frederick, who was three years old, and Clara Eliza, his younger sister. The family grew in quick succession with the addition of three more children. Within a year of his arrival, Colonel Haultain, a capable individual with a well-developed sense of public service, was elected as a Conservative for the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada. He participated in the Confederation Debates of 1864 and was a proponent of George Brown's platform of 'representation by population' and responsible government. (2)

Having witnessed firsthand the governmental deadlock produced by partisan interests, Colonel Haultain favoured non-partisan politics and supported the Great Coalition initiated by Brown, Macdonald, and George-Etienne Cartier. Frederick grew up in an atmosphere charged with political debate over the plight of the colonial government and the rights and privileges of the provinces entering Confederation.

As a young man, Frederick was athletic, participating in soccer and cricket as well as being an outstanding scholar. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

"By the West, for the West": And the Struggle for Provincial Rights in Alberta
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.