So in Socials class, we have finally moved on to another, new unit! Hurrah! We’re studying about the past of North America; how it started off, developed, what was different then, compared to now, etc. This is my first post for this unit, and the topic I chose is comparing North Amercia to the 1800s and now.
To make it simple, I will take one major point of to focus on: the political view. So how was North America politically different in the 19th Century? First of all, if we’re talking about BEFORE the War of 1812, then most of North America, including what is now the U.S., was controlled by the British. But AFTER the War of 1812, there were some significant changes made. United States became its own country and created their own democratic government, which was a huge deal.
North America, one could tell, was much different just by looking at the map from that time. First of all Alaska was Russian territory, and the Spanish had land in the States; mostly where California is today. There were almost no provinces in Canada; only the North-Western Territory, Newfoundland, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Rupert’s Land, and Upper and Lower Canada. Also the labelled “area of settlement” was only on the east side of the continent, which was incorrect. To put it simple North America’s land was really divided during the 1800’s.
You can visually see the segregated land if you click here: http://etc.usf.edu/maps/pages/2300/2381/2381.htm
Canada at that time was divided into Upper Canada and Lower Canada, and was still under British control. The settlers there were mostly colonists or other skilled workers from other European countries. Although it was supposedly claimed to have a completely new and free life with much potential, many people were disappointed to find that there was still a kind of class system like the ones in Europe. Because of the American Revolution, Britain tightened its ties with its colonies in North America, also with the similar laws.
In Upper Canada, where mostly British people lived, there was a “Family Compact”, compared to the “Upper Class” in Britain, had most of the good land, wealth and power that came with it. In Lower Canada, there was a Château Clique, which could remind you of the aristocrats France used to have. Those wealthy people made it very difficult for other colonists who had no good land left to buy and work on. It was unfair for others, similar to the old society in Britain. At that time there were also not as many guaranteed rights and freedom for the average civilian. It contrasts to Canada today, where it is known to be a “free country”.
Picture Sources: http://www.google.ca/imgres?um=1&hl=en&biw=1280&bih=610&tbm=isch&tbnid=sB0X8sqjJFFIHM:&imgrefurl=http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/articles/lower-canada&docid=uWZ6893BJeM6tM&imgurl=http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/media/lower-canada-map-269.jpg&w=341&h=300&ei=74t3UO_UK4qDiwLploDoDQ&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=696&vpy=149&dur=1988&hovh=211&hovw=239&tx=164&ty=118&sig=102392505531657465269&page=1&tbnh=150&tbnw=170&start=0&ndsp=17&ved=1t:429,r:3,s:0,i:75