Hey guys, as you probably know, Confederation between the colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Upper and Lower Canada was achieved in 1867. It was a day of historic proportion but it would have never happened if not for all the conferences and negotiations that went into creating the Confederation. So we decided to split the class into the different colonies and see if we would be able to achieve confederation once again so we could figure out the answer to the driving question of this project:
How and Why Did Canada Develop Into a Nation?
However, before we could even start to think about how our simulation would play out we first had to get into our colonies. I was put into the Nova Scotia Colony with Kaden, Ally, Rhiann, and Gabe and right away I could tell this would be a fun group. Everyone in the group was comfortable around at least one person so we were all a lot more talkative and open to sharing ideas which I think really helped us create a great end product. This end product, if you were wondering, was to be a commercial that would present our proposals for confederation to the other colonies and would help Ms.Maxwell create a final confederation bill that could maybe help or hinder our colonies.
To come up with our proposals we had to consider what our colony would need for joining to be a good investment. In Nova Scotia we have the only 365 day port in all the British Colonies making it a great place for ships to land and go trade with us and sometimes other colonies as well based on the time of year. Because we would be so busy we wanted to be able to tax all ships that would come into our harbour because otherwise boats could just dock and pay nothing for the upkeep and management of the port. However, even though we want to tax people for using our port doesn’t mean we want to tax everything which is why we also wanted free trade between all of Canada. This would mean there would be an incentive between all the colonies to trade with each other instead of other countries such as the United States.
Speaking of the United States, Nova Scotia is extremely close to the Americans who are currently having a civil war. Britain has also decided to support the south in this conflict, the side that opposes everyone in the north who, by chance, are on the border of Canada. To retaliate the north may decide to invade and take over the British Colonies which would include Nova Scotia so to prevent that we said we would also like military protection provided by the rest of Canada. You may be wondering how we would be able to send over traded goods to other colonies and bring in the military since we’re an island colony. Well, that’s exactly what our next proposal is about. We wanted the Intercolonial railway to be allowed to start construction and for it to stop in Halifax since we would probably end up being one of the main importing and exporting city in Canada.
Since we are such a small colony we would want representation in Congress that would allow us to have an equal hand in making decisions as Canada East and West. This would mean that the smaller colonies wants and needs wouldn’t be overshadowed by Canada East and West and be fairer to the other colonies. Finally, we wanted Halifax to be the capital of Canada since it’s easily accessible to the rest of the colonies and since it would be dealing with most of Canada’s imports and exports this would make it easier to manage all the finances. Everything I just said was the justifications my team used when pitching our proposals to the class, and can you guess which one we had the most problems defending? It was that Halifax should be capital.
If I were to guess the reason our proposal for Halifax to be capital was so badly received was because of our lack of using the evidence competency. The Evidence competency states: How do we evaluate evidence to decide if it is adequate to support a historical conclusion? And we did an awesome job at using this competency for the rest of the justifications because we researched them and checked for historical accuracy. However, although we did some research into why Halifax could be a good capital city we didn’t think about why it may not be a good capital city. We didn’t look at all the evidence before coming up with our justifications so we weren’t ready to support our conclusion that Halifax should be the capital of Canada. However with some persuasion from Canada West we decided that we would change our capital of choice from Halifax to Ottawa since the justifications for this choice were much more thought out and used the evidence competency much better than we did.
Once we knew what our final proposals were going to be all we had to do was create our commercial to try and sell the other colonies on said proposals. This part of the project was mainly focused on the Create competency which states: What literacy skills am I using to write, speak, and represent in the texts I create? I think that we had a mixed success rate of using this competency during the creation of this commercial. One of the main times of learning for me using the competencies during the project was probably while writing our script for the video. We wanted our video to represent what Nova Scotia was all about which was hard because our main objective was to share our proposals with the other colonies. I struggled with this for a bit until I came up with the idea that we could represent Nova Scotia by adding in small lines that talked about one of the main things we were proud of which was our 365 day port. I think this is a good use of the Create competency because we were able to represent Nova Scotia within the video by select wording in the script and video.
However you probably are dying to see this ‘amazing’ video I’ve been talking about this whole time so without further adieu here is the Nova Scotia Confederation Infomercial!
In the end, only two out of the six colonies only two signed the bill for confederation, Nova Scotia wasn’t one of them. Since not enough people signed the bill fell through so Canada would have never become a country if our class was running the government. Luckily we weren’t. However, even after all the fun of debating and negotiating I still managed to learn a lot. The main thing I learned was how important evidence and justifications are. I know this may sound tacky but it’s true. By doing this project and having to listen to other groups have no explanation to their proposals other than a very basic outline and getting ridiculed ourselves for the same thing. I now understand how important it is in the real world the have evidence to back up your claims or else people won’t take you seriously and will start to overlook your plaint of view. But as always, to answer the driving question, Canada developed into a nation because the colonies all had similar interests. Even though the colonies fought about what should be in the bill at the end of the day the interests were the same.