- National Unity
- A Strong Central Government
- Minority Rights
- National Expansion
- Railways and Economic Development
- Cultural Nationalism
A central goal of John A. MACDONALD, George-Étienne CARTIER, and the other Fathers of Confederation was to bring the different ethnic, religious, and regional groups of British North America together in a new polity that would establish a common Canadian identity while respecting minority rights [see The Charlottetown and Quebec Conferences of 1864]. “If we unite,” said Cartier in February 1865, “we will form a political nationality independent of the national origin and religion of individuals.” This section examines the challenges to this objective that arose between the achievement of confederation in 1867 and the end of the First World War in 1918.
To find out about national unity as envisioned by the Fathers of Confederation, see the following biographies.