Views of Annexation of the North West Territories and Rupert's Land to Canada
Lee, Mary MacGillivray
It will be our endeavour to show that the acquisition of Rupert's Land and the North-West by the Dominion of Canada was not a fortunate after-thought of Confederation, but that there were men who recognized the value of opening the west for settlement while Confederation itself was still only a pleasant dream. We wish to draw attention to the fact that there were men who made Rupert's Land a subject of their interest, who recognized the difficulties involved in breaking the monopoly of the Hudson's Bay Company, and who saw the need of opening a means of communication through British North America to the Pacific Ocean. These men were also cognizant of the dangers inVOlved in allowing the United states to encroach on this territory lying to its north. The period with which we deal in tracing the general trend of feeling of Canadians towards the west embraces the years from 1843 to 1870. In our discussion there are numerous factors to be considered, the question of the validity of the charter of the Hudson's Bay Company upon which it based its monopoly and which was so often called into dispute, the attitude of the British Government which wished to deal fairly with both Canada and the Company and act in the best interests of both, and the general trend of events in the Red River Settlement itself. But above all it is our object to trace the awakening of interest in Canada, the general movement towards the consummation of the aim of those Canadians who wished to see the North-West joined by ties of government and of national feeling to themselves.