The Effect Of The Railway On Canada

1022 Words5 Pages
The Railway had an enormous impact on Canada prior to 1914. The Railway connected the former colonies within the nation of Canada. Not only were the colonies geographically distant from each other, but their peoples spoke different languages, had different religions and were culturally diverse. The railway connected these juxtaposing peoples politically and economically. The railway made the Dominion of Canada successful. Without the railway, the cohesion of the Dominion would not have happened. The Railway was a large part of the Conservatives’ 1869 “National Policy” which cemented the bond between the regions of the Dominion. As a result of the policy, and through the use of the railway, the West was populated. Though Canada was a patchwork of former colonies, the railway created unity and helped Canada grow past its conception and infancy. In 1867 Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Canada East (present day Quebec) and Canada West (present day Ontario) passed the British North America Act and became the Dominion of Canada. The inhabitants of the Dominion of Canada did not truly know each other and feared losing their regional identities. French and English speaking Canadians were especially alien to each other. They were separated by language, religion and culture. Pierre Chauveau, Quebec’s first premier from 1867-1873 is quoted as saying “English and French …. we climb by a double flight of stairs toward the destinies reserved for us on this continent, without knowing each other, without meeting each other, except on the landing of politics.” (Pg 18 destinies Book). George-Etienne Cartier, a French nationalist, when defending the Dominion of Canada stated to Quebecers, “the new nationality would be a political nationality and not a cultural nationality”(Destinties page6). The Fathers of Confederation understood the differences of the people they were binding and as
Open Document