SS9M: 9 Feb

Click here for the slides from today’s class. The slides may be useful for jogging your memory but I delivered most of the material for today’s class orally. We will review this information before the unit test but it is your responsibility to keep your own notes. The notes templates are designed to help focus your attention during lecture so that you don’t have to write down every single thing I say. They are only as useful as you make them.

Your Historical Perspective work on the annexation of Rupert’s Land was excellent. I answered a few questions but you all worked well and stayed focused. I’m very impressed. Here are some highlights from this exercise:

  • Canadian Government
    • Benefits of Canada purchasing Rupert’s Land:
      • More room for settlement will lead to more immigration
      • Rupert’s Land has room to push the Métis off the prime land and expand the settler population
      • Rupert’s Land has extremely high quality farmland.
      • Expanded settler population will expand trade routes, eventually as far as the Pacific Ocean and Asia.
      • Increased settlement will improve the economy. Farmers, industrialists, and land speculators will all make profits.
    • Drawbacks of Canada purchasing Rupert’s Land: 
      • Purchasing Rupert’s Land costs money! We are a young nation in the midst of an economic depression and we just paid $1.5 million (today’s equivalent: ~$40 million dollars)
      • Purchasing Rupert’s Land means that we have to administer it, which will be difficult. The HBC wasn’t able to stop settlers from arriving and claiming land. How are we going to judge disputes between citizens? Increased population means increased revenue, in theory, but h ow are we going to collect taxes?
      • Métis might fight back against our expansion; one way or the other, we have to deal with the Métis
      • Economic depression hits shortly after Confederation; buying Rupert’s Land is a risky move to undertake at this time.
  • Métis:
    • Benefits of Canada purchasing Rupert’s Land:
      • Canada is already a dual nation of Anglophones and Francophones; could probably keep our language and some of our culture
      • We could gain representation in Canadian Parliament
      • Our trading partnerships would be expanded.
      • Our lives have been drastically changed through access to manufactured goods. Presumably that trend would continue.
    • Drawbacks of Canada purchasing Rupert’s Land: 
      • Can we trust the Canadian government? They didn’t even let us know they were purchasing Rupert’s land
      • If we can’t trust the Canadian government, what will we do? Can we negotiate or will we have to fight to defend our rights?
      • The Canadian government might have legal control of Rupert’s Land but how will they stop settlers from coming and taking away our land?
      • We do not want to assimilate to the Anglo-Canadian culture. We are a proud people with a long history and we want to continue celebrating that.
      • The recent Protestant (Orange Order) immigrants tend to look down upon us. We don’t want to become part of a country where we are second-class citizens.
  • Hudson’s Bay Company
    • Benefits of Canada purchasing Rupert’s Land:
      • We get $1.5 million in cash from the Canadian government.
      • We can still trade in that area without the expense and hassle of trying to administer the area.
      • Our trading operations will benefit from any infrastructure (roads, railways, ports, etc.) built by Canadian government.
    • Drawbacks of Canada purchasing Rupert’s Land: 
      • Our trade relationships with the Métis and First Peoples might suffer.
      • We no longer have exclusive control of the land.


“No explanation it appears has been made of the arrangement by which [Rupert’s Land] is to be handed over. All these poor people know is that Canada has bought the country from the Hudson’s Bay Company and that they are handed over like a flock of sheep to us.”

– John A. MacDonald, Prime Minister of Canada, in 1869