Table of contents


Introduction: Reconsidering Confederation
Daniel Heidt

Compact, Contract, Covenant: The Evolution of First Nations Treaty-Making
J.R. Miller

Ontario: The Centre of Confederation?
Daniel Hedit

Quebec and Confederation: Gains and Compromise
Marcel Martel, Colin M. Coates, Martin Paquet, and Maxime Gohier

The Maritimes and the Debate over Confederation
Phillip Buckner

Resisting Canada's Will: Manitoba's Entry into Confederation
Robert Wardhaugh and Barry Ferguson

"The interests of Confederation demanded it": British Columbia and Confederation
Patricia E. Roy

"It is better to have half than none at all": The Yukon and Confederation
P. Whitney Lackenbauer and Ken S. Coates

Creating New Provinces: Saskatchewan and Alberta
Raymond B. Blake

" A More Accurate Face on Canada to the World": The Creation of Nunavut
P. Whitney Lackenbauer and Andrew Legare

Confederation Quotes: Sources and Further Reading



July 1st 1867 is celebrated as Canada’s Confederation – the date that Canada became a country. But 1867 was only the beginning. As the country grew from a small dominion to a vast federation encompassing ten provinces, three territories, and hundreds of First Nations, its leaders repeatedly debated Canada’s purpose, and the benefits and drawbacks of the choice to be Canadian. Reconsidering Confederation brings together Canada’s leading historians to explore how the provinces, territories, and Treaty areas became the political frameworks we know today. In partnership with The Confederation Debates, an ongoing crowdsourced, non-partisan, and non-profit initiative to digitize all of Canada’s founding colonial and federal records, this book breaks new ground by integrating the treaties between Indigenous peoples and the Crown into our understanding of Confederation. Rigorously researched and eminently readable, this book traces the unique paths that each province and territory took on their journey to Confederation. It shows the roots of regional and cultural grievances, as vital and controversial in early debates as they are today. Reconsidering Confederation tells the sometimes rocky, complex, and ongoing story of how Canada has become Canada.


Much more than a basic outline of regional differences during the process of Confederation . . . Reconsidering Confederation provides a very extensive selection of excellently written articles that effectively interrogate the foundational debates of Confederation.
- Alex Gagne, BC Studies

An impressive reconceptualization of Canadian constitutional history, the work of both established and new scholars, here packaged in a particularly accessible way for anyone who teaches such things.

—E.A. Heaman, Historie sociale/Social History