Confederation top story on July 1, 1867

Thanks to the “Almighty Disposer of Events,” Canada became a nation 150 years ago on July 1, 1967.

Thanks to the “Almighty Disposer of Events,” Canada became a nation 150 years ago on July 1, 1967.

An article on that day’s front page of The Globe celebrated the event in purple prose:

“With the first dawn of this gladsome midsummer morn, we hail the birthday of a new nationality. A united British America, with its four millions of people, takes its place this day among the nations of the world. Stamped with a familiar name, which in the past has borne a record sufficiently honourable to entitle it to be perpetuated with a more comprehensive import, the DOMINION OF CANADA, on this First day of July, in the year of grace, eighteen hundred and sixty-seven, enters a new career of national existence. Old things have passed away. The history of old Canada, with its contracted bounds, and limited divisions of Upper and Lower, East and West, has been completed, and this day a new volume is opened, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia uniting with Ontario and Quebec to make the history of a greater Canada, already extending from the ocean to the head waters of the great lakes, and destined ere long to embrace the larger half of this North American continent from the Atlantic to the Pacific.”

The reporter, who was not afforded a byline, goes on to “gratefully acknowledge the hand of the Almighty Disposer of Events in bringing about this result.”

The front page was reproduced by The Globe 100 years later, in 1967, and the reproduction offers a look back at the state of Canada when it first became a nation.

It includes data from the 1961 census, such as population data:

Upper Canada 1,396,091

Lower Canada 1,111,566

New Brunswick 252,047

Nova Scotia 330,657

Total 3,090,561

And includes occupational data for the nation’s adult males:

Farmers 320,952

Labourers, including lumbermen 209,909

Mechanics 115,272

Trade and commerce 32,619

Marines and fishermen 25,009

Professional men 10,118

Miners 1,207

Miscellaneous 30,543

Total 715,630

The article celebrated Canada’s history leading to confederation, and expressed enthusiasm for the new nation’s future.

In his conclusion, the reporter wrote:

“We conclude by recording the hope that the future history of the people who now, or shall hereafter, inhabit the Dominion of Canada, may be worthy of the signally advantageous position assigned them by Providence, and that through the ages to come, the teeming millions who shall populate the northern part of this continent from the Atlantic to the Pacific, shall, under a wise and just Government, reap the fruits of well-directed enterprise, honest industry, and religious principle, in the enjoyments in a high degree, of the blessings of health, happiness, peace and prosperity.”

 

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