ዶ Free Read Format Kindle ಯ The Promise of Canada: People and Ideas That Have Shaped Our Country  ፘ Kindle Author Charlotte Gray ፭ ዶ Free Read Format Kindle ಯ The Promise of Canada: People and Ideas That Have Shaped Our Country ፘ Kindle Author Charlotte Gray ፭ The Promise of Canada Chapter 1 A Tapestry of Peoples George tienne Cartier and the Idea of Federalism In our own Federation we will have Catholic and Protestant, English, French, Irish and Scotch, and each by his efforts and his success will increase the prosperity and glory of the new Confederacy I view the diversity of races in British North America in this way we are of different races, not for the purpose of warring against each other, but in order to compete and emulate for the general good George tienne Cartier, Confederation Debates 1865 Everyone acknowledges that Canadian Confederation has been a great success, and those who had the greatest doubts about the venture are now ready to confess that the plan was a wise one Globe Dominion Day, 1877 Lets start with one of the most famous images in Canadian history the photograph taken in September 1864 of the Fathers of Confederation on the steps of the lieutenant governors mansion in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island If I didnt know what this old fashioned picture recorded, Id give it barely a glance Our public institutions are full of similar compositionsa bunch of men standing in front of a sturdy classical building They could be school trustees or railway engineers It is an excruciatingly exclusive image a blur of white haired, bearded patriarchy, with not a woman, non white person, or Indigenous Canadian in sight That was official Canada 150 years ago But I do know that this particular photo records a momentous event Those men had just invented a new country called the Dominion of Canada There were still plenty of details to work out, and it would be another thirty months before the British North America Act would be signed on the other side of the Atlantic Yet these twenty three sombrely clad lawyers, farmers, and merchants, from five British colonies, had listened carefully to each other and reached consensus No wonder they decided it called for a commemorative picture Today, there would be lights, video cameras, and reporters on the spot Back then, in the cozy little island capital, there was one local photographer with a cumbersome camera that laboriously captured images on glass plates When I look closely, I see interesting dynamics in this image Most of those posed on the porchprovincial premiers, cabinet members, opposition leadersradiate the self assurance of powerful men However, at least a third of them are looking not at the camera but at the figure who is dead centre in the group John A Macdonald, who had just used his extraordinary negotiating skills to broker an agreement The man who would now become the first prime minister of post Confederation Canada draws all attention to himself as he sprawls on the steps in the nonchalant pose of a matinee idol Very clever, John A However, my eye is also caught by another figure, standing to Macdonalds right and sporting a stylish tailcoat, a well groomed shock of white hair, and an air of private triumph This is George tienne Cartier As bold as a lion is how Macdonald himself described his elegant French Canadian colleague Macdonald even admitted, But for him Confederation could not have been carried.1 Without question, John A Macdonald had the original vision that a country like Canada could exist But it was the brains and quiet persistence of George tienne Cartier that turned the vision into reality Astute and elegant, George tienne Cartier ensured that French Canadian interests would be protected within the new Dominion.George tienne Cartier, a shrewd Montreal lawyer, is the man we have to thank for making Canada a federation Unlike the Mother Country, as his contemporaries called Great Britain, the Dominion of Canada would not be a unitary state with one central government Instead, the new Dominion would be designed with two levels of government a federal government in Ottawa, to handle matters that affected the whole federation relations with Westminster, interprovincial railways, and trade , and a local government in each province that joined up Unlike British counties, French dpartements, or even American states in the late nineteenth century, Canadian provinces would have an extraordinary degree of control over their own affairs By pushing such a federal system, Cartier ensured that Quebec would join the Dominion French speaking Canadians living in the new province of Quebec were reassured that they would run everything that was essential to the survival of their culture His major challenge was to find the right partner to help him achieve his goal He found such a partner in Macdonald, the charismatic lawyer from Kingston, Ontario At Charlottetown, Cartiers idea was the most crucial component of Macdonalds vision One hundred and fifty years later, the federal system that Cartier envisaged is the basic building block of Canadas uniqueness It is Cartier that we can thank for developing the government structure that in our countrys early years allowed two very different groups of immigrantsthe French who had started settling the St Lawrence Valley three centuries earlier, and successive waves of British who had scattered elsewhere, particularly after the mid eighteenth centuryto live alongside each other That same federal structure has helped Canada absorb endless new stresses dramatic expansion across the continent, a troubled relationship with Indigenous peoples, demands from regions that felt ignored, shifting economic patterns, surges of immigrants from every corner of the globe In any discussion of what has shaped the character of our countrynot just the structure of Canadian government, but the pluralism and tolerance for difference that are still hallmarks of CanadaCartiers contribution forms the bedrock That is why I decided that his vision for Canada should kick off my exploration of this countrys enduring potential Over the course of the past century and a half, Cartiers reputation has been overshadowed by that of John A Macdonald, the man who made us, according to Macdonalds biographer Richard Gwyn When Cartier is remembered at all, it is as Macdonalds sidekick In my hometown, Ottawa, we have the Macdonald Cartier International Airport and the Macdonald Cartier Bridge In George tienne Cartiers own province of Quebec, nationalists have tried to eradicate him from collective memory But if he shaped Canada, what shaped George tienne Cartier Who was this enigmatic figure in the Confederation photograph, who started his adult life as a rebel and ended it as a British baronet with a valet, a country estate, and a coat of arms Quebecs Richelieu River is modest compared with the great rivers flowing through the Canadian landscape, such as the St Lawrence, the Fraser, and the Mackenzie The Richelieu, rarely than half a kilometre wide and not particularly deep or fast flowing, reminds me of a European waterway, with oaks and weeping willows along its banks and plenty of evidence of human habitation These days, heavy traffic flows in and out of nearby Montreal along autoroutes, leaving the river to pleasure boats and fishing enthusiasts From the water, I glimpse the silver steeples of churches and houses with the steeply sloping roofs that characterize Quebec rural architecture Behind them stretch fields planted with corn and soybeans George tienne Cartier was born on the fertile banks of this river on September 6, 1814, in the village of Saint Antoine sur Richelieu Today, a bronze bust of him stands here on a granite plinth, surrounded by red impatiens flowers the inscription reads, Cartier Son Village Natale, La Patrie Reconnaissante The bust features mutton chop whiskers and a truculent expressionevery inch a senior statesman But when he was growing up here, the community knew him first as a rambunctious little boy, and then as a young man with attitude Only his familys status protected him from several cuffs on the ear George tienne was the seventh of eight children of a grain merchant, who claimed on scant evidence that he was a descendant of the Jacques Cartier, the great French navigator who in 1534 became the first European to map the Gulf of St Lawrence George tiennes family was probably not quite so venerable, but it undoubtedly had deep roots in North American soil his great grandfather, Jacques Cartier I, left Europe for Quebec City, New Frances most important city, in 1735 The Cartiers built up a lucrative grain business, then moved it closer to the rapidly expanding commercial city of Montreal Their life in the bucolic Richelieu Valley was comfortable and privileged Compared with most of their Saint Antoine neighboursfarmers and tradespeoplethe Cartiers were important and worldly They lived like country squires in a large stone house, and when guests arrived, the brandy flowed and the tables groaned Youngsters raised in such comfortable circumstances acquire a sense of entitlement Known as the House of the Seven Chimneys, the Cartier mansion was a landmark for boatmen on the nearby Richelieu River and had its own private wharf.But George tienne would also have been aware of the battle scarred history of his region Originating in Lake Champlain and flowing north into the St Lawrence River, the Richelieu River had been an important trade route for centuries Before Europeans arrived, Haudenosaunee Iroquois , Wyandot Huron , and Algonquin peoples regularly paddled along its length Because the river teemed with bass, sturgeon, and pike, they named it Masoliantekw, which means water where there is plenty of food in the local Abenaki tongue Once French and English traders showed their faces, it also brimmed with conflict The rivers strategic position between New France and New England meant that it was frequently the site of murderous clashes between French and Haudenosaunee, and French and English The scuffles subsided only after the 1759 defeat by the British of the Canadiens as inhabitants of New France were known on the Plains of Abraham When George tienne and his brothers paddled upriver, they saw the ruins of several forts, both French and English, scattered among the willow trees and prosperous farming communities However, they rarely caught sight of the regions Indigenous inhabitants Depleted by disease and hunger, most had retreated west Local Mohawks kept to themselves in their communities at Kanesatake, on the Ottawa River, and Kahnawake, on the south shore of the St Lawrence opposite Montreal For the small boy, the solid stone house in Saint Antoine sur Richelieu and his extensive network of uncles and cousins were his whole world There were plenty of diversions for a wealthy family like the Cartiersdances and balls in each others mansions, contacts with fellow merchants in Boston and New England However, Lower Canada as Quebec was then known was a small enclave in a larger backwater far from any power centres In the year of his birth, the combined population not including Indigenous people of all the British colonies on the North American mainland was only about five hundred thousand, of whom perhaps three hundred thousand were French speaking Unlike the Cartiers, most colonists spent their days tilling the land, logging the forests, fishing the rivers and oceans, or shipping furs, grain, and logs Montreal, which was now the largest city in British North America, had only twenty thousand residents Compared with the booming republic to the south, with eight million citizens and big ambitions, British North America was poor, backward, and isolated Only Halifax in Nova Scotia, with its British military base, and Quebec City, with its wealthy Roman Catholic seminaries and cathedral basilica, offered any competition to cities like Boston or Philadelphia Nevertheless, Lower Canada was rich in tradition as well as a larger population, it boasted history and culture, and a higher birth rate, than any of the other impoverished British coloniesNova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, and Upper Canada todays Ontario George tiennes father, Jacques Cartier III, filled his son with pride in his people Although he named the son born in 1814 George after the reigning British monarch, King George III on the birth certificate, the name is spelled in the French style, Georges , he loved to belt out voyageur paddle songs and point to the sturdy survival of Lower Canadas habitants And there was no shortage of village elders who reminisced about the old days, when their region was part of New France, owing allegiance to Paris and enjoying wine exported from French ports such as Le Havre and La Rochelle To a small boy, the rhythms of Canadien rural life must have seemed timeless However, dramatic changes lay just over the horizon Imperial power brokers in Westminster were losing interest in British North America In their view, the North American colony was important only as a source of masts for the Royal Navy and as a dumping ground for demobilized soldiers and destitute Irish peasants As the costs of maintaining troops and separate colonial governments in each colony rose, enthusiasm for these distant, frozen lands fell When he was ten years old, Cartiers life changed abruptly he was shipped off to the care of the most powerful institution in Lower Canada, the Roman Catholic Church He was too young to recognize it at the time, but his political indoctrination had begun George tienne and his brother Damien were enrolled at the Collge de Montral, run by the Sulpician Fathers, the dominant religious order in Quebec after the Jesuits were expelled in 1762 The college was the pre eminent seat of learning for French speaking boys in Lower Canada Although it has changed dramatically since George tienne entered its doors, it is still considered one of the best high schools in Montreal The two Cartier youngsters would spend the next six years within the colleges forbidding stone walls and tightly disciplined routines Their teachers, all born and trained in France, gave them a superb classical education in language, science, religion, and music The college bridged the two solitudes of Quebec society, since it catered to the sons of the English speaking as well as French speaking merchant class As a result, Cartier emerged from his years there with a strong sense of linguistic duality as well as a sturdy old boys network He also absorbed a firm commitment to the idea of survivance de la race the Canadiens must fight to protect their language, their culture, and their church They must resist any attempt to drown them in a sea of Protestant English That lesson became the lodestar of George tiennes approach to public life It would, in turn, shape the country that we live in today After graduating from the college, what next For the fifth son of a good Canadien family, there was only one course the law In 1831, just before his seventeenth birthday, Cartier began studying for the bar in Montreal with douard tienne Rodier he would be called to the bar four years later Rodier was another Collge de Montral graduate who was already a member of the Legislative Assembly in Quebec City, the capital of Lower Canada Cartier also found a niche within the influential network of college alumni who hung out in the taverns and coffee shops around Montreals Place Jacques Cartier This band of well educated, French speaking Quebecers chafed at the power of the Chteau Clique, a group of unelected and predominantly English speaking politicians in Quebec City The cliques patronage machine excluded them from government jobs As one of the young firebrands told an English visitor, I can show you a hundred young men of family, with cultivated and honourable minds, absolutely running to seed for want of occupation.2 If I had time travelled back to one of those smoky taverns, would I have picked George tienne Cartier as the man to watch Was he obviously a leader who would influence the emergence of British North America as it cut most of its ties with Westminster No At age twenty he was unimpressive About five feet six inches tall and oddly shaped, with an enormous head and short limbs, he was awkward, belligerent, and prone to interrupting others Everybody acknowledged that he was clever and likely to go places a fastidious dresser in later life he favoured striped pants and a silk hat , he kept his thick dark hair neatly cut and brushed straight back from his wide brow But he had a tiresome manner and a screechy voice Others in the room had gravitas However, George tienne Cartiers fundamental commitment to his fellow Canadiens was already established, and Confederation was still a long way down the road He would spend the next few years deciding how best to protect the interests of French speaking Canadians He would learn to curb his tongue and his tendency to annoy people The stirrings of nationalism in Lower Canada were as intoxicating to French speaking romantics in Cartiers day as they would be to Quebecers in the second half of the twentieth century George tienne Cartier was soon branded a radical because he was active in the Patriote movement The fiery Patriotes demanded that the emerging French speaking elite should replace the autocratic Chteau Clique At this stage, young Cartiers most notable contribution to the noisy Patriote meetings in Montreal taverns was the chest thumping patriotic songs he composed, with titles like O Canada, Mon Pays, Mes Amours and Avant Tout Je Suis Canadien The name Canada, at this point in our history, referred only to present day Quebec Resentment against unelected British officials exploded in both Upper and Lower Canada in the autumn of 1837 In Lower Canada, several hundred ardent Patriotes organized themselves into a paramilitary force they called Fils de la Libert, which came to blows with British troops in the Richelieu Valley, Cartiers home turf In Upper Canada, the red haired, reckless William Lyon Mackenzie led a march of rebels down Yonge Street Both uprisings were summarily defeated George tienne Cartier had participated in several of the Richelieu Valley clashes Learning that a price had been put on his head, he went into hiding near Saint Antoine Six of his fellow Patriotes were hanged others were exiled to Bermuda or Australia Soon there were rumours that Cartier was dead, and an obituary in a Quebec City paper mourned the loss of a young man endowed in the highest degree with qualities of heart and mind and before whom a brilliant career opened.3 In fact, he had fled to Vermont to avoid capture by British troops And that was the end of our pugnacious young lawyers fling with revolutionary fervour Whether it was the shock of being officially declared a traitor, fears for his future in the law, or the dawning awareness that an American style revolution was not going to happen, the reason for his change of direction is unclear But Cartier now adopted a different course However, to the exasperation of British authorities, he loved to brag about his days as a rebel Cartier quietly reappeared in Montreal in the summer of 1838 From now on, the clever young lawyer focused on two goals The first was to achieve non violent change that would give Lower Canada a degree of self government The second was to become a successful corporate lawyer The obstacles to the first goal multiplied immediately after the 1837 uprising On the advice of Lord Durham, a British grandee sent across the Atlantic to quell colonial unrest, the Westminster government reorganized the political map It merged the provinces of Upper Canada and Lower Canada into one colony with a single legislative assembly serving both English and French speaking Canadians The intent was clearly to assimilate the French Cartier and his fellow Patriotes had to find a way for their region to survive as an autonomous, French speaking nation within North America Some of the rebels floated the notion of union with the United States But there was already a chilling example of what had happened to a French speaking society in the great Republic By the 1840s, the former French colony of Louisiana had lost most of its unique francophone culture In 1870, Cartier would express a strong opinion on American attitudes Individually, the Americans are good neighbours, but as a nation, there are no individuals who are less liberal towards other peoples, except the Chinese.4 For the next few years, Cartier kept his head down and concentrated on his second goal getting rich He had his grandfathers savvy mercantile instincts he could see that if Montreal was going to remain the most important city in British North America, it needed to become a hub in the rapidly spreading network of railways So he acquired property and promoted railways As early as 1845, he invested in the railroad that would link Montreal to the ice free harbour of Portland, Maine, to ensure that western produce would be routed through Montreal rather than an American hub When the railroad was bought out by the Grand Trunk Railway, he became the GTRs solicitor His stocky figure might be seen swaggering around railyards in Point St Charles to inspect newly laid tracks and freight cars loaded with grain At the same time, he made it his business to become tight with English speaking entrepreneurs like Alexander Galt and J J C Abbott, and he was welcomed at their social events such as the Saint Jamess Club ball However, I dont think he went overboard with eagerness to merge into the Scots elite there is no evidence that he sported a kilt at the fancy St Andrews Ball Hugh Allan, the Scots shipping magnate and banker, began to use the services of this hard nosed young French lawyer as a fixer, a lobbyistthe francophone lawyer with influence in both church and government circles But Cartier also kept close ties with the Roman Catholic Church he was the Sulpicians lawyer too Despite his growing respectability, Cartier remained in constant communication with his former Patriote comrades, especially Louis Hippolyte LaFontaine, another Patriote turned moderate reformer LaFontaine had struck up a powerful alliance with the Upper Canadian reformer Robert Baldwin Cartier became his propagandist and arm twister.5 In 1848, thirty four year old Cartier yielded to pressure from his former comrades and took the plunge into politics He ran for the Legislative Assembly of the united Province of Canada in a by election in the Richelieu Valley riding of Verchres, which included his hometown of Saint Antoine He took his seat under the banner of the Liberal Reformersa Lower Canada coalition that despite its name was in fact conservative and was known as les bleus The bleus would demonstrate that Lower Canada now officially called Canada East could enjoy the benefits of commerce, education, and agricultural reform without threatening the pillars of French Canadian society the Roman Catholic Church, the Montreal business community, and the habitants almost spiritual connection with the land Even the most impulsive firebrands simmer down with time, especially if they find other ways to reach their goals Over the next few years, the honourable member for Verchres became an agile player in a complicated bilingual political arena He travelled regularly to Toronto and Kingston and mingled comfortably with English Canadians who never set foot in Montreal He was impatient, full of himself, and short on charisma, but people listened to him because he had a string of successes to his name Thanks to his efforts, the educational and judicial systems of Canada East were strengthened, and all its residents, whatever language they spoke, were subject to the French Civil Code Soon Cartier was acknowledged as a leader of Canada Easts bleus At the same time, Cartier pursued his business interests He manoeuvred himself into the chair of the legislatures all important Railway Committee while continuing to act on behalf of railway companies Before the adage No conflict, no interest was coined, he was a skilled practitioner And he learned to hold his tongue when necessary The leading Upper Canadian Reform politician George Brown, publisher of the Toronto Globe, repeatedly mouthed off against Roman Catholic Canadiens, and he allowed his newspaper to rant, Rome is blindness Rome is intolerance Rome is despotism.6 Cartier did not react in public Most important, Cartier struck up a partnership that would become, in the words of his biographer Alastair Sweeny, the most significant relationship in Canadian history.7 In 1855, he had joined a Conservative cabinet that also included John A Macdonald, the Scots born Tory lawyer from Kingston, who was English Canadas craftiest politician Each man swiftly recognized a kindred spirit together, they could help each other achieve not only personal ambitions but also an incredibly bold long term dream a viable state in the northern half of the continent The partnership of John A Macdonald and George tienne Cartier proved sufficiently sturdy to overcome language, religious, and legal tensions.Such a dream seemed ridiculous to many of their contemporaries Canada was divided between French and English, Catholics and Protestants, Maritimers and central Canadians the continents Indigenous inhabitants did not even feature in the debate How could this strange agglomeration of peoples ever be fashioned into a nation Yet Cartier and Macdonald pursued the dream because, for different reasons, neither of them liked the alternatives What a pair they were the wild haired, charming Scots pragmatist, always ready with a quip or a compliment, and the dapper, abrasive French Canadian who worked fourteen hours a day and was a bit of an autocrat They had much in common they were both tough minded operators who preferred mens company to womens, who often drank to excess although Cartier rarely went on binges , and who enjoyed each others sense of humour And they were both consummate politicians, with complementary skills In the Legislative Assembly, Cartier would labour until after midnight to assemble the facts and claims required to push an argument, then hammer it home in his grating, high pitched voice A critic described his speeches as horrible, incomprehensible, untranslatable and unrepeatable.8 One lasted for fourteen hours seven hours in English, followed by seven hours in French Macdonald would rely on Cartiers careful preparations, but then he would take over and prove himself the ultimate people manager, cajoling colleagues with compelling reasons or quiet bribes Macdonald needed Cartier because of the votes he controlled in the assembly he was the most important politician from the largest demographic group Macdonald referred to the Canadien members as his sheet anchor Cartier needed Macdonald because he was one of the rare English speaking Canadians who appreciated, as Sweeny points out, the justice as well as the political advantages to be found in Cartiers demands for the French Canadians The Cartier Macdonald alliance was consummated when the two became joint premiers in 1857 But even their sturdy partnership could not save the uncomfortable amalgam of the future Ontario and Quebec from a roller coaster of legislative crises six different ministries were upended in the six years leading up to 1864 How could the British colony achieve the social stability and economic expansion it desperately needed Schemes of federation for the British colonies had been floating around for years The United States had adopted a federal system of government than half a century earlier, but this example didnt inspire confidence since the country had lately been locked in a brutal civil war For the previous three years, battlefields had been littered with thousands of bloody corpses as the southern Confederacy fought the Union composed of northern states over the degree of autonomy it should be allowed, particularly in its treatment of slaves Nevertheless, Cartier realized a federation might achieve his own long held goal to protect the interests of French Canadians The need for a bold step was growing urgent with thousands of immigrants from the British Isles, particularly Ireland, moving into unsettled British land, Canadiens were being outnumbered by Upper Canadas swelling population Macdonald began as a total skeptic about such a federal system of government but then took a closer look at it when he, in turn, realized that a federation might be the solution to his own challenge to prevent British North America from becoming an outpost of the United States However, such a dramatic political reorganization could take place only if the colonial secretary in faraway London approved So Cartier travelled across the Atlantic in 1858 to make the proposal The colonial secretary brushed off the notion, saying that he needed evidence that the smaller Atlantic colonies wanted such a system But Cartier loved the trip the sophistication of the capitals tailors, doctors, libraries, and social life appealed to his tastes He announced with gusto, during an audience with Queen Victoria, that a Lower Canadian was an Englishman who speaks French.9 Although Canadien chauvinists might interpret this as cringing deference, for Cartier himself it was a bold statement that French Canadians were entitled to all the same rights as Englishmen.10 It also reflected his innate conservatism In his view, a monarchy was far preferable to the republicanism that characterized Paris Back home, Cartier impressed Upper Canadians with his unabashed anglophilia he was a passionate monarchist who named his third daughter Reine Victoria and believed that the Conquest in 1763 had saved Lower Canada from the misery and shame of the French Revolution Then and now, these statements are anathema to Quebec nationalists The year 1864 was crucial, for Cartier and for the future country of Canada By June of that year, politicians from all sideseven the intemperate George Brownhad had enough of constitutional deadlock A ministry that called itself the Great Coalition was formed It was a remarkable compromise since it included Macdonald, Cartier, and Brown Better still, the three leaders undertook to bring in a measure during the next session for the purpose of removing existing difficulties by introducing the federative principle into Canada Moreover, the leaders were thinking big They made a bold commitment that went beyond the borders of their own colonies They were prepared to explore such provisions as will permit the Maritime provinces and the North West Territories the area that would eventually become Manitoba and northern Ontario to be incorporated into the same system of government.11 Federation was a gamble George Brown crowed to his wife that French Canadianism would be entirely extinguished Cartiers opponents in his own province regarded the federative principle with deep suspicion and derided him as a spokesman for railway interests and the dupe of Upper Canadians who would throw him aside like a worn out towel.12 Cartiers confidence remained undented He waved aside others concerns, and when a colleague reproached him for acting alone, he shrugged That is quite correct, I do not consult anybody in making up my mind His alliance with Macdonald promised a solution to the problem he had wrestled with since the 1837 Patriote rebellion how to guarantee the preservation of French language and culture within British North America He anticipated that Montreal, with its booming industrial sector and powerful English speaking population, would become the centre of the new country He ignored his critics and marshalled all important support from the future Quebec for this bold new idea He knew that the Canadiens could make a federal system work to their advantage if they stuck together So far, Ive explored the influences that shaped George tienne Cartiers political career But there is another side to this man that Im determined to bring in here, not least because it shows how clever he was at juggling different interests It is also an irresistible piece of historical gossip, of which there is too little in Canadian history not because we dont do scandal, but because Canadian historiansunlike those elsewhereoften regard it as unimportant Cartier had a complicated private life Two years before he entered politics, he made a strategic marriage His bride was a pretty eighteen year old named Hortense Fabre, who was the daughter of a successful Montreal publisher, printer, and bookseller Fabre pre had been a fellow rebel in 1837 but now held the powerful position of mayor of Montreal The wedding at the Sulpician Church of Notre Dame was a notable social event, and the Quebec newspapers reported that the couple had left for a three week honeymoon in New York and Washington The Cartiers would have three daughters Josephine, Hortense, and Reine Victoria who died as an infant Perhaps the marriage was doomed from the start Hortense was deeply religious, rather prim, and utterly bourgeois By now her husband, fourteen years her senior, was a self assured and wealthy man who liked to throw his weight around For all his public discretion, in private he often picked fights He once fought a duel His wifes pursed lips and angry reproaches drove him into the boisterous company of his male friends Soon Cartier was spending all his evenings working late or going to his club, rather than returning to his silent, stuffy mansion on Montreals Notre Dame Street Much fun to entertain his friends at raucous parties Mr Cartier sang or croaked after dinner, harrumphed an unfriendly dinner companion, and made every one he could find stand up, hold hands, and sing a chorus The wretched servants brought in tea, and he pushed them away till after his song was over He pushed one on his arm lightly, and I saw the servant rubbing his arm much annoyed, and looking like a dog with a trodden on tail.13 In his later years, in his Ottawa house on Metcalfe Street, he threw the best stag parties, which were enjoyed by John A.s son Hugh John Macdonald.14 Yet George tienne Cartier liked women he once admitted to the governor generals sister that he adored les activits de la coeur Women liked his flirtatious manner, and at official balls, he was a popular dance partner In the early 1860s he embarked on a love affair with Luce Cuvillier, the daughter of a Montreal businessman whom Cartier had met through politics Soon Cartiers colleagues were uncomfortably aware that the bleu leader had a mistressand this was no lighthearted fling Today, the Cartier Cuvillier relationship would be catnip to the paparazzi Luce Cuvillier had real shock value Eleven years older than Madame Cartier, Cuvillier was educated, unconventional, and far sophisticated than her lovers wife Widely read, she particularly admired the French writer George Sand the pen name of Aurore Dupin In imitation of Sand, she smoked cheroots and wore trousers in the privacy of her country home Cartier and his mistress flaunted their liaison they travelled around together in complete disregard of the Victorian proprieties Journalists often reported that Monsieur Cartiers wife had not accompanied him to this or that event, but that Mademoiselle Cuvillier was among the other guests.15 Luce Cuvillier was a spirited, intelligent woman with little time for bourgeois convention.Yet the affair never grew from a topic of gossip to a public scandal Newspapers of the day got excited by partisan invective than by personal peccadilloes For nineteenth century Canadians, let alone Roman Catholic Montrealers, divorce was impossible, sanctioned by neither church nor state But George tienne Cartiers double life reflects than the straitjacket of contemporary s and religion It shows how he could juggle competing interestsa skill, subsequent prime ministers would discover, that was crucial to success within Canadian politics Think of William Lyon Mackenzie Kings artful compromise on an explosive issue such as conscription in the Second World War Just as Cartier combined devotion to francophone interests with loyalty to the British monarchy, so he balanced convention and inclination Events moved with stunning rapidity after June 1864, once George tienne Cartier, John A Macdonald, and George Brown had formed their Great Coalition and committed themselves to exploring the idea of federalism A remarkable aspect of this story is that the Fathers of Confederation had few models to follow The only countries that had established two level systems, with one central government plus several regional ones, were Switzerland and the United States British North Americans had watched the American Civil War sap British North Americas fragile economy and spawn fears of American expansionism In London, the colonial secretary had declared that he was sympathetic to the idea of regional consolidation in Britains American coloniesas long as any scheme had the consent of all concerned By now, the British government was impatient to withdraw its expensive red coated battalions from Canada The Times sniffed, Our colonies are rather too fond of us, and embrace us, if anything, too closely.16 Then the Great Coalition leaders heard that the four Maritime provinces were planning a conference to discuss Maritime union They decided to crash the party, and they sat down in the cabinet offices in Quebec City to draft proposals for a federal constitution On Monday, August twenty ninth, in the warmth of a summers evening, George tienne Cartier made a formal farewell to his wife and daughters and joined Macdonald, Brown, Galt, Hector Langevin, and William McDougall on board the Queen Victoria, a Canadian government steamer As the ship weighed anchor and proceeded downstream, the gaggle of politicians watched the silver steeples, curved roofs, and well tilled land of the le dOrlans slip by By dawn on Thursday, the Queen Victoria had traversed the Gulf of St Lawrence, and the red ochre bluffs of Prince Edward Island were in sight The following day, in the islands legislative building, George tienne Cartier rose to present the case for a federal union Cartiers arguments overwhelmed his deficiencies as a speaker He explained to Maritimers that he supported the federal system because it split the united Province of Canada into two, returning its two original components, Upper and Lower Canada, to their pre 1841 state This meant that French Canadians could preserve their nationality because they would have their own provincial legislature The canny Maritimers listened carefully and realized that this system would suit them fine, because each of the other British North American colonies would also get its own legislature, under the federal umbrella Maritimers had made it plain that they would resist any attempt to absorb their small colonies into a unified Canadian state in fact, they werent even prepared to join together into a Maritime union To this day, the idea is unacceptable But Cartiers proposal was a solution that would work for them too, because it would preserve their provincial autonomy There were a few hours of discussion, and deals to be made about financial arrangements for railways and tariffs But by Friday afternoon the thirty three delegates were enjoying a champagne lunch on the Queen Victoria, now nicknamed the Confederate Cruiser And in no time at all, Cartier broke into his song O Canada, Mon Pays, Mes Amours.17 The details would be hammered out in Quebec City a month later Macdonald, the skilful manager of discussion, took the lead here, allegedly drafting fifty of the seventy two resolutions that would become clauses in the British North America Act George Brown, an impulsive fountain of ideas, kept interrupting, then retreating Cartier stayed silent, knowing that he controlled enough votes to ensure that his agenda was never derailed.18 Macdonald was keen on establishing a strong central government and giving very limited powers to the provinces However, Cartier would not let his colleague dilute federal principles or the status of the French language He successfully ensured provisions guaranteeing the official use of French in Parliament, the federal courts, and the courts and legislature of Quebec, as well as the continuance of Quebecs Civil Code.19 He also ensured important constitutional guarantees to Quebecs English speaking minority for schooling and political representation In 1867, the British North America Act sailed through the Westminster Parliament, and the Canadian Confederation became a legal entity In London, Cartier crowed with delight We have founded a great empire which will extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean we intend that all that immense territory will be well governed and governed not merely as a selfish principle as applied to us, but in order to add to the power and to the prosperity of the Mother country But there was a further challenge for the wily Montreal lawyer He had to sell the deal to his fellow French speaking Canadians in what would soon be called Quebec He had to persuade them that Confederation was the key to the preservation of their unique identity, not the first step in its gradual dissolution How did he succeed A crucial element was support for the new Dominion from Quebecs Roman Catholic Church But Cartier also developed a subtle argument In a speech in Montreal he made no mention of the Mother Country, and he quietly introduced a concept that at the time, in any of the European nation states let alone the United States , would be considered bizarre if not revolutionary He distinguished between political and cultural nationality, arguing that the establishment of a federal government will strengthen the culture that is dear to us A federal government is the only system in which the survival of French Canada will be secure.20 On July 1, 1867, French and English speaking Canadians celebrated the birth of the Canadian Confederation with bonfires and parties But were they celebrating the same thing In the new province of Ontario, George Browns Globe told its English speaking and largely Protestant readers, With the first dawn of this gladsome midsummer morn, we hail the birthday of a new nationality Meanwhile, in Quebec, the editor of La Minerve, a strong supporter of Cartiers, declared that Confederation had achieved autonomy for Lower Canadas French speaking residents On July 1, La Minerve observed, In giving ourselves a complete government we affirm our existence as a separate nationality What an incredible juggling act Cartier had achieved his goal and ensured that the new country of Canada was a political unit in which different peoples could cohabit and protect their own culture In time, this would become a template for federalism beyond Canadian bordersa political system in which political and ethnic nationalisms could coexist without necessarily overlapping Other British colonies, such as Australia and South Africa, drew lessons from the Canadian experience as they moved towards independence Cartier cared only about the language, laws, political institutions, and culture of French speaking Canadians in Lower Canada French speaking Canadians elsewhere in the new Dominion would not enjoy the same protections But in the Confederation Debates, Cartier explicitly spoke of a political nationality in a speech that has an astonishingly modern ring of inclusivity, even if the groups mentioned dont seem particularly diverse today He argued that the idea of unity of races was utopianit was impossible Distinctions of this kind would always appear In our own federation we should have Catholic and Protestant, French, English, Irish and Scotch, and each by his efforts and his success would increase the prosperity and glory of the new confederacy.21 The concept of Canadians sharing a political nationality but not necessarily a culture was now part of Canadas DNA, as Macdonalds biographer Gwyn put it.22 The newborn Dominion of Canada had teething problems Before those whiskered patriarchs had even left Charlottetown, Newfoundland had walked away from the whole idea of Confederation Prince Edward Island refused to sign the deal New Brunswick nearly went AWOL before the vote at Westminster Nova Scotia tried to secure the repeal of the union after it had taken place As the journalist Blair Fraser wrote a hundred years later, The fight for Canadian independence was never directed against the British It was always a running fight among Canadians.23 But in the end, Confederation stuck and grew In retrospect, it seems solid from the start Yet for all the biblical magnificence of its name, the new Dominion of Canada would be unrecognizable to twenty first century Canadians First, it occupied only a third of present day Canada it reached from the Atlantic Ocean to just beyond the Great Lakes Newfoundland had opted to remain an independent British colony Most of the vast area between the border of Ontario and the Pacific Ocean, home to thousands of peoples from various Indigenous groups, was an uncharted wilderness that belonged to the Hudsons Bay Company, which made the HBC about the largest landowner in the world Beyond the HBCs string of fur forts across its territory, and perched on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, was the British colony of British Columbia, which wasnt even invited to send representatives to Charlottetown The only way to reach the distant British colony was to travel, by rail and wagon, through the United States Next, the new Dominion had only a tenth the population of our country today the combined population of Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island was three and a half million Most people were dirt poor Ottawa, the federal capital, already had its splendid Gothic Parliament Buildings, but they looked wildly out of place They towered above a boisterous and smelly lumber town of 20,000 inhabitants who complained incessantly about the bitter winter cold and the suffocating summer humidity The rest of the Dominions citiesHalifax, Saint John, Quebec City, Montreal, Kingston, and Torontohad poor drainage, few amenities, and only a handful of buildings of any style Even the largest Montreal, with 115,000 residents was swept regularly by smallpox and typhoid epidemics The only type of facility of which there was a surfeit was tavernslined with spittoons and serving rotgut liquor and home brewed beer Most of us cannot imagine a world with no automobiles, telephones, electric deviceslet alone airplanes, computers, Internet So by our standards, the Canada of 1867 was a stark, silent, and lonely country The wail of steam engines was starting to be heard in populated areas in Canada, and entrepreneurs were eagerly stringing the first telegraph wires between buildings, but travel and long distance communication were difficult Most of the Dominions residents preferred to stay put rather than travel by wagon or carriage over primitive, unlit roads unpaved in the countryside, cobblestoned in cities to other provinces Canadians remained strangers to each other Who were their neighbours in this vast new land Over a hundred thousand of the residents of the northern half of North America were invisible to the Canadians enumerated in the 1861 census As immigrants continued to arrive and settle in populated areas or push westward into the prairies, Indigenous peoples including Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, and dozens of other groups found themselves squeezed to the margins, while northerners like Inuit and Innu were ignored altogether The Fathers of Confederation had made no provision for them, except to identify Indians as a subject of federal, not provincial, jurisdiction Only the Royal Proclamation of 1763 afforded them some protection, in its declaration that Indians should not be molested or disturbed on their historic hunting grounds Those Canadians enumerated in the censusimmigrants themselves, or descendants of European immigrants to North America over the previous three centurieslived narrow, hardscrabble, and often illiterate lives Four out of five of them were settled on isolated farms and in villages, usually in dirt floored one room shacks The men spent long days planting, harvesting, fishing, or working in the lumber industry the women worked equally long hours, raising and feeding families and looking after hens, pigs, and vegetable gardens Winter was a time of hibernation flour mills and lumber mills shut down when the freeze up started Prosperous farmers might enjoy visiting each other, sleigh bells jangling as they sped over smooth ice roads to feasts of carefully preserved pork, fruits, and vegetables For the less successful, winter could be a killing time In January 1872, the Montreal Gazette reported two children frozen to death in a wretched slum one bitterly cold night.24 Religion was central to most peoples lives, and churches Roman Catholic or Protestant were usually the focus of community activities Nevertheless, the new Dominion was on the cusp of change Soon education would be made compulsory in most provinces, and public health programs would reduce the incidence of diseases like typhoid, smallpox, and diphtheria Rapid industrialization would fuel the growth of cities and incomes though the economy grew in fits and starts, and a major depression hit North America in the 1880s and 1890s But there would be no sense of shared identity until the following century British North Americans clung to their self images as Islanders, Nova Scotians, New Brunswickers, Canadiens, or Upper Canadians In 1867 the Maritime provinces were separated from Quebec and Ontario by forested wilderness there were no road or direct rail links Only the St Lawrence River gave a direct connection when most of that mighty waterway was frozen during the winter months, Maritimers could reach central Canada only by travelling through Maine Since most residents of the eastern seaboard boasted deeper roots in North America than Ontarians, they regarded English speakers in central Canada with chilly skepticism Meanwhile, Newfoundland turned its back on the new Dominion and continued as a self governing British colony, with its own House of Assembly In 1907 it proudly acquired new powers as the Dominion of Newfoundland and claimed equal status with the Dominion of Canada The term Dominion had a lovely biblical ring, but it was still a wobbly idea In 1867 the Dominion of Canada was not an independent country Britain remained the Motherland Canada had no say in its foreign affairs they would remain in British hands until the 1931 Statute of Westminster The Dominion was united by neither language nor ethnic homogeneity it was cobbled together out of English speaking and French speaking peoples, with hundreds of Indigenous groups living on its fringes And it had a large and hungry neighbour waiting for Confederation to fall apart When the experiment of the Dominion shall have failed, as fail it must, stated the New York Times soon after the British North America Act had been proclaimed, a process of peaceful absorption will give Canada her proper place in the Great North American republic.25 The truth was that the central government was almost irrelevant to most peoples lives Citizens expected little from the new federal government in Ottawa municipalities provided most policing provincial governments administered most laws people looked to churches and service clubs for charity There was only one national symbol in the Dominion, and that was a symbol that resided elsewhere In parlours across Canada, you would likely find a picture of Queen Victoriadumpy, unsmiling, but a crucial part of Canadian federalism Loyalty to the distant monarchy was a defining difference between Canadians and Americans What could knit together this sprawling transcontinental country After John A Macdonalds skilful leadership through constitutional negotiations in Charlottetown, Quebec City, and London, he was the Crowns inevitable choice to form the new nations first government Macdonalds closest ally, George tienne Cartier, became Canadas first minister of militia and defence However, Cartier held on to the chairmanship of the all powerful Railway Committee Since his earliest years as a Montreal lawyer, Cartier had understood that economic growth was possible only if markets were linked together by railways now he set to work to build the railways that would glue the whole Dominion together He had remained in London after the British North America Act received royal assent in order to arrange financing for the Intercolonial Railway Cartier was back in Canada for the first celebration of the new Dominion on July 1, 1867 But he was in a foul mood Governor General Lord Monck had announced that the new prime minister would receive a knighthood, becoming Knight Commander of the Bath, while Cartier along with five others would be awarded the lesser honour of Companion of the Bath Cartier bluntly declined to accept, on the grounds that it was an insult to French Canadians Sir John A., as Macdonald was now universally known, needed Cartiers support too much to shrug this off as a temporary outburst Within months, thanks to Macdonalds intervention, Cartier leapfrogged over his colleague in rank he was created a baronet This gave him the title Sir, which could be handed down to any male heirs Not much comfort to the father of daughters only, but Cartier was far too much of a Victorian conservative to question archaic British rituals By now Sir George tienne Cartier was the smartly tailored, silver haired figure of the iconic Charlottetown Conference photograph he had been in elected politics for than two decades, and like anyone who has been so powerful for so long, his success outshone his arrogance The prime minister depended on him heavily Cartier often replaced Macdonald as prime minister when the latter was either on official business elsewhere, on an alcoholic binge, or sick Sir Stafford Northcote, governor of the Hudsons Bay Company, noted in 1870, during a prolonged Macdonald absence due to gallstones, that Cartier was behaving remarkably well at the present crisis, taking the whole responsibility of negotiations upon himself, but refusing to supplant Macdonald Other ministers had asked Cartier to take the Premiership, but he had refused to do so, and had kept the Cabinet together.26 When he was awarded his baronetcy, Cartier had chosen as his motto Franc et sans dol frankness without deceit , and that is how he struck others Observing the bluff French Canadian at dinner one night, Northcote admired his manner He has the happy quality of being always thoroughly well satisfied with himself, and this makes him very good humoured with other people But he is much than good humoured He has the great merit of being thoroughly honourable and loyal Everyone says that once he has given his word, he is quite sure to keep it if he can Northcote also noted, The misfortune is that being very sanguine he sometimes makes promises which he cannot perform Lady Macdonald, usually a harsh critic of her husbands colleagues, echoed this assessment she called Cartier the fairest of men He always seems to me full of life and pleasant chattiness but extremely egotistical But she also recognized that, unlike her husband, he was not a popular favourite despite his being respected for his moral strength, qualities which please are wanting.27 With the British North America Act firmly secured, the Montreal lawyer threw himself into the nation building project with a vigour at least as forceful as his bosss Like Macdonald, Cartier recognized that if Canada was to survive, it had to stretch beyond its present boundaries, to cross the prairies and the Rocky Mountains until it occupied an unbroken line from Atlantic to Pacific And the former rebel also knew that only the survival of the fledgling nation would guarantee the sure survival of the French Canadian people otherwise, both French and English Canadians would tumble into the North American melting pot Control of the West was the first challenge, particularly in the face of American expansionism With the end of the Civil War in 1865, politicians in Washington looked north with barely concealed greed The admission of Nebraska as the thirty seventh state in the Union in 1867 was immediately followed by the American purchase of Alaska from the Russians This put the squeeze on the vast lands in the North and West of North America than a quarter of the continentthat had been granted to the Hudsons Bay Company two centuries earlier Which Canadian politician hurried over to London in October 1868 to negotiate the acquisition of these lands from the HBC George tienne Cartier Everybody wanted the deal to happen, so Cartier held his bulldog instincts in check as he met the new colonial secretary, Lord Granville, whose suave manner had earned him the dangerous nickname Pussy The Hudsons Bay Company handed over its territory in return for the handsome sum of 300,000 and about one twentieth of the land Canada now stretched to the foothills of the Rockies, and Cartier had not yet finished He returned in triumph to Canada and presented the deal he had made to Parliament with the words The British North America Act will soon apply to a chain of provinces extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific I hope we shall no longer hear of annexation The only problem was that nobody had consulted the inhabitants of this vast acquisition The Canadian government made a clumsy attempt to occupy the new western territories and quickly ran up against armed resistance from the French speaking Mtis of Red River, offspring of European voyageurs and Indigenous people Their leader was twenty four year old Louis Riel, a tall, curly haired, charismatic man Like Cartier, Riel had been educated by the Sulpician Fathers in Montreal, and he hero worshipped the leader of the Quebec bleus There is no evidence that Cartier and this intense young warrior ever met Nevertheless, Cartier certainly sympathized with Riels complaints on behalf of the Mtis people that their territory was being overrun by English speaking Upper Canadians, that their farms were being surveyed and broken up for the new settlers, that their rights and Catholic religion were not being respected Louis Riel, educated, like Cartier, by the Sulpician Fathers in Montreal, fought to protect Mtis rights and land.Thanks to Cartiers intervention, a settlement was negotiated that created the new territory of Manitoba, in which the Mtis were guaranteed land, the rights of both English and French were recognized, and a political and administrative system analogous to that of Quebec was put in place The settlement allowed Cartier to tick off two of his concerns it secured a Canadian presence on the Red River, and it offered a congenial new area of settlement for Quebecers But it left one dangerous, dangling thread the fate of Louis Riel himself During the Riel led uprising of 186970, an obstreperous surveyor from Ontario named Thomas Scott had been involved in clashes between Mtis and Canadian militia Scott was captured by the Mtis, and after a travesty of a trial, Louis Riel authorized his execution Protestant Ontario rose up in rage against the Mtis leader, demanding his arrest for murder Cartier knew that such an arrest, followed by a trial, had the potential to inflame a vicious English French, Protestant Catholic battle, and he quietly arranged for the tempestuous young leader to go into exile Memories of his own rebellious youth must have resonated with the silver haired statesman For the rest of his life, he pressed the British government to grant an amnesty to Riel, as he himself had been unofficially pardoned after the 1837 Patriote rebellion There was still one leap to be taken in the Canadian march westward the giant step over the Rocky Mountains Here again, Cartier was the man who made it happen In June 1870 a delegation from New Westminster, capital of the tiny colony of British Columbia, came to Ottawa for a meeting in the Privy Council chambers There they found Sir George tienne Cartier, in his shirtsleeves, hard at work he gave them a warm welcome and pressed glasses of sherry on the three delegates.28 The delegation told the acting prime minister that the three year old federal government was welcome to extend its control right across the continent However, there were conditions Ottawa must assume the colonys crippling debt of over 1 million, undertake a public works program, build a carriage road, and begin construction of a transcontinental railway This was quite a package of demands But to the delegates amazement, they got all they asked for and Cartier urged them to ask for a railway to be begun in two years and completed in ten The British Columbians were astonished by Ottawas pledge to lay the 4,345 kilometre line in so short a time Macdonald, recuperating from ill health in faraway Prince Edward Island, might have given a similar welcome to the delegation, but it was Cartier, with his deep commitment to the countrys steel spine, who made the extravagant offer On July 20, 1871, British Columbia formally entered Confederation as its sixth province Macdonald and Cartier had solidified their dream a Canada that stretched from coast to coast Before very long, Cartier prophesied, the English traveller who lands at Halifax will be able within five or six days to cover half a continent inhabited by British subjects.29 To head off anger in Ontario at the cost of this deal, the government announced that the railway would be built not by government but by a private company to which it would give subsidies and land grants In the spring of 1872, Cartier introduced a bill into the House of Commons to authorize the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway with the exultant cry All aboard for the West The British Columbia deal was Cartiers finest hour From then on, his luck began to run out Ill health and tangled railway politics would sap both his energies and his reputation Cartier had relied on Sir Hugh Allan, the flamboyant and ruthless shipping magnate who was an old friend from his days as a successful Montreal lawyer, to organize and head the Canadian Pacific Railway Company Allan could expect to make millions of dollars from the CPR contract, but he was also expected to show his gratitude During the 1872 elections it emerged that, in expectation of receiving the CPR contract, Allan had funnelled large sums into Conservative Party funds Cartier had been the conduit he himself had received 85,000 For the first time in his life, he suffered the humiliation of defeat in his Montreal East constituency Within weeks he sailed for England ironically, on one of Sir Hugh Allans steamers to get treatment for a chronic kidney condition that had been bothering him for some months Between 1881 and 1884, about 15,000 Chinese labourers were brought to Canada to work on the Canadian Pacific Railway They were paid half the regular wagesand given the most dangerous jobsbut the railway was finished on time.Cartier left Sir John A to deal with the outrage that the patronage deals and slippery electoral financing triggered The uproar caused Sir John A.s defeat at the polls and kept him out of power for five years But in the end, Cartier would shoulder much of the blame for the Pacific Scandal, allowing Macdonald to emerge tarnished but vigorous In 1878 the Kingston lawyer was back in office, ready to continue the weighty task of making the Dominion of Canada a national as well as a constitutional reality As a biographer, I am always sad to say goodbye to my subjects I try not to be an advocate so much as a mediator between their times and ours, but I have found it hard not to morph into George tienne Cartiers champion He himself watched his role in the creation myth of Canada being belittled when he was not awarded a knighthood at Confederation Over the years, Cartiers significance has faded while Macdonalds importance has been hammered into the boilerplate of Canadian history Why has this happened Confederation launched Macdonalds remarkable career as prime minister, an office he would hold for nineteen of the next twenty four years But Cartier, his indispensable partner in the Confederation project, was by his side for only six years after the 1867 celebrations Cartiers single minded zeal for a federal system has been progressively forgotten There are two thorough biographies of him in English, by Alastair Sweeny and Brian Young, but both were written than thirty years ago and have been unable to halt the slow fade And Quebecs francophones are ambivalent about Cartiers achievements His unabashed devotion to the monarchy, the British Empire, and London doesnt sit well with modern Quebecers Even defenders within his own province are apologetic When we judge him, wrote J C Bonenfant in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, we must place him in his time and avoid condemning him in the light of the events that have taken place in the last 100 years, and that he could not reasonably have foreseen.30 Moreover, I have to admit that John A Macdonald was the attractive personality, and his charisma resonates down the years Without Macdonalds exceptional negotiating skills, plus that easy charm, the path to Confederation would have been rockier Unlike his co premier, Cartier lacked that quality that was as important in politics 150 years ago as it is today likeability Macdonald sheathed his ruthlessness Cartier was brutally tough He held many views that are anathema today he opposed frequent elections, the secret ballot, and universal suffrage, and he would have been appalled at proposals to give the vote to either women or Indigenous Canadians Yet within his own lifetime, Cartiers significance was acknowledged by his peers At a Montreal banquet in November 1866, Cartiers colleague Thomas DArcy McGee gave an effusive toast to him The Irish born poet and politician, who was one of the first to embrace the notion of a Canadian nationalism and who had played a crucial role during the Confederation debates, observed that one of the main obstacles to Confederation has arisen from the conflict, real or imagined, between racial interests, religions and languages, existing in Canada today McGee then went on to say, And this conflict could not have been avoided except by the utmost firmness, and a great deal of mutual liberality, and by a large amount of impartiality in the administration of the country, and it is above all to the Hon Mr Cartier that we are indebted for the happy consequences of this enlightened and far seeing administration.31 Eight months after Cartier sailed for England, he was dead of Brights disease When Macdonald received the news by telegram on May 20, 1873, he wept Then he entered a crowded House of Commons and took his seat next to Cartiers empty desk As the House fell silent, Macdonald wearily rose to his feet Mr Speaker, I have a painful duty to fulfill to this House I have received a telegram which I will read to the House Sir George Cartier had a relapse last Tuesday and he died peacefully at six oclock this morning His body will be sent by Quebec steamer on the 29th The prime minister paused for a few seconds, then said, I feel myself quite unable to say at this moment Sobbing uncontrollably, he placed his right arm on Cartiers desk and buried his head on his left arm, while his whole body shook with grief.32 Macdonald was never able to find another Canadien partner with whom he could work in such equilibrium and mutual trust, and Canada was the poorer for it Cartier left many what ifs behind him If he had remained in charge of railway policy, would there have been control over the proliferation of small, money losing lines that sapped shaky local economies If he had been alive in 1885, would he have saved Louis Riel from the gallows and prevented the profound alienation of French Canadians from the Conservative Party If he had been at Macdonalds side throughout the 1870s and 1880s, would his fellow Quebecers have felt confident that their voices counted within the federal government Hard to know But George tienne Cartier confirmed Quebecs role at the heart of Confederation and guaranteed the survival of its laws, language, and customs Je me souviens on Quebec licence plates has many implications, but without Cartier there might have been nothing to remember And for succeeding generations, Cartiers vision of Canada as a country whose citizens share a secular identity that transcends but does not crush religious and ethnic identities would have an even powerful impact It has become a key element within the pluralist Canada of today.Painstakingly researched and thoroughly engaging, The Promise of Canadais a pleasurable read, and, whats , its edifying The Globe and Mail A true feat and it manages to highlight some of our most important stories Some readers might feel that Gray left out a cause, symbol, or person for example, theres nothing on hockey here but she does a good job of packing in as much in as possible The Globe and Mail Abeautiful, slightly different and very successful way of looking at things by looking at the people, places and stories she feels helped bring us together The Winnipeg Free Press This book is a masterpiece It tells us about ourselves and our country than any comparable work I know of, accomplishing this by style and wit and unconstrained intelligence all made credible by abundant detail This is an inexhaustibly interesting book about an inexhaustibly interesting country Richard Gwyn Once again, Charlotte Gray helps us better understand who we are as an evolving nationa country for all that will thrive well beyond the next 150 years Naheed Nenshi, Mayor of Calgary Charlotte Gray writes of Canada with an immigrants passion and an insiders knowledge With her lively profiles, provocative ideas, and unabashed love of country, The Promise of Canada is a promise kept Christopher Moore Amazing In weaving her own fascinating story throughout deft and telling profiles of critical Canadians over the past 150 years, Charlotte Gray has succeeded in giving us a remarkable biography of her adopted country She now joins the likes of Pierre Berton, Peter C Newman and Bruce Hutchison as guardians of the national mirror A marvelous read Roy MacGregor If I had to get Canada a gift for its 150th birthday, this book would be at the top of my list With the richly told stories of these extraordinary Canadiansmen and women from all walks of lifeCharlotte Gray tells us whats extraordinary about Canada itself Its a promise that we can see fulfilled around us every day Susan Delacourt Ive had a literary crush on Charlotte Gray for years Shes smart, funny, insightful This fascinating collection of biograpy as history takes us from West Coast art to strong jawed Mounties, from Margaret Atwood to Preston Manning, with equal aplomb Wonderful Will Ferguson PRAISE FOR THE MASSEY MURDER Narrated with a great sense of presence, irony, and verve, this book recreates a vanished world of Canadian jurisprudence and politics, invests it with life, and makes it memorable The Globe and Mail Promise Definition of Promise by Merriam Webster definition is a declaration that one will do or refrain from doing something specified How to use promise in sentence See the full SINCE Menu JOIN MWU The IMDb Apr , Watch videoSet during last days Ottoman Empire, The follows love triangle between Michael, brilliant medical student, beautiful and sophisticated Ana, Chris renowned American journalist based Paris film Wikipedia historical drama directed Terry George starring Oscar Isaac, Charlotte Le Bon Christian Bale, set Free Dictionary Synonyms promise, pledge, swear, vow These verbs mean declare solemnly follow particular course action promises write soon pledged uphold law swore get revenge vowed fight finish What are God GotQuestions Promises Old Testament promised bless Abraham and, through his descendants, whole world Genesis This called Abrahamic Covenant, pointed coming Messiah for whom looked John Israel be their make them His people Leviticus Vaping Rise Juul New Teens have taken technology was supposed help grownups stop smoking invented Universal Basic Income Its idea country should provide its citizens with an infusion cash on regular basis has cropped up repeatedly over history, starting Tudor England, when Sir Thomas Pencil Ordinary Person Can Adam Braun Founder Pencils Promise, award winning purpose organization built than schools across Africa, Asia, Latin America delivered million educational hours children poverty Commonwealth Pennsylvania Department Human Services offers state art PROMISe claims processing management information system Please take advantage online training Rotten Tomatoes tells important story acting costumes reasonably good, but it seems as if might been bit watered down almost like Hallmark presentation Armenian genocideCharlotte Gray Jan videoDirected Gillian Armstrong With Cate Blanchett, James Fleet, Abigail Cruttenden, McDougall A young Scottish woman joins French Resistance World War II rescue In London middle Blitz city blacked out bombs shatter night ordinary who travels Scotland see how she can New York Times bestseller author Birdsong remarkable becomes caught effort liberate Occupied France Nazis while pursuing perilous mission her own Records Found Spokeo Find phone number, address, email photos Spokeo leading search directory contact public records Warner Bros Movies s assignment could first many Or fatal meets friends insidious traitors Trained undercover courier straps parachute falls sky into Vichy There assist defiance Nazi occupation Sebastian Faulks Goodreads ratings reviews Violet said Bewildered this such decent rating Perhaps everyone forgot heavy handed, sloppy Roger Ebert Consider now wondrous actress Born Melbourne honored stage work Australia, survivor TV Police Rescue, made Paradise Road, about female prisoners war Pacific then arrived immediately at stardom title role Elizabeth Full Cast Crew cast crew credits, including actors, actresses, directors, writers novel FaulksFaulks completes loose trilogy books adventures Scotswoman, Gray, agent Britain Special Operations Executive SOE assigned IIThe The Promise of Canada: People and Ideas That Have Shaped Our Country

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