Why did Charles Tupper want Confederation?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    The leader of the Conservative Party of Nova Scotia, James William Johnston, a fellow Baptist and family friend of the Tuppers, encouraged Charles Tupper to enter politics. As such, in 1855, Tupper ran against the prominent Liberal politician Joseph Howe for the Cumberland County seat in the Nova Scotia House of Assembly. Joseph Howe would be a frequent political opponent of Tupper in the years to come.

    Although Tupper won his seat, the 1855 election was an overall disaster for the Nova Scotia Conservatives, with the Liberals, led by William Young, winning a large majority. Young consequently became Premier of Nova Scotia.

    At a caucus meeting in January 1856, Tupper recommended a new direction for the Conservative party: they should begin actively courting Nova Scotia's Roman Catholic minority and should eagerly embrace railroad construction. Having just led his party into a disastrous election campaign, Johnston decided to basically cede control of the party to Tupper, though Johnston remained the party's leader. In the course of 1856, Tupper led Conservative attacks on the government, leading to Joseph Howe dubbing Tupper "the wicked wasp of Cumberland." In early 1857, Tupper succeeded in convincing a number of Roman Catholic Liberal members to cross the floor to join the Conservatives, reducing Young's government to the status of a minority government. As a result, Young was forced to resign in February 1857, and the Conservatives formed a government with Johnston as premier. Tupper became the provincial secretary.

    In Tupper's first speech to the House of Assembly as provincial secretary, he set forth an ambitious plan of railroad construction. Thus, Tupper had embarked on the major theme of his political life: that Nova Scotians (and later Canadians) should downplay their ethnic and religious differences, and instead focus on developing the land's natural resources. He argued that with Nova Scotia's "inexhaustible mines", it could become "a vast manufacturing mart" for the east coast of North America. He quickly persuaded Johnston to end the General Mining Association's monopoly over Nova Scotia minerals.

    In June 1857, Tupper initiated discussions with New Brunswick and the Province of Canada about an intercolonial railway. He traveled to London in 1858 to attempt to secure imperial backing for this project. During these discussions, Tupper found that the Canadians were more interested in discussing federal union, while the British (with the earl of Derby in his second term as prime minister) were too absorbed in their own immediate interests. As such, nothing came of the 1858 discussions for an intercolonial railway.

    An election was held in May 1859, with sectarian conflict playing a large role, with the Catholics largely supporting the Conservatives and the Protestants now shifting towards the Liberals. Tupper barely managed to retain his seat. The Conservatives were barely re-elected and lost a confidence vote later that year. Johnston asked the Governor of Nova Scotia, Lord Mulgrave, for a dissolution, but Mulgrave refused and invited William Young to form a government. Tupper was outraged and petitioned the British government, asking them to recall Mulgrave.

    For the next three years, Tupper was ferocious in his denunciations of the Liberal government, first Young, and then Joseph Howe, who took over from Young later in 1860. This came to a head in 1863 when the Liberals introduced legislation to restrict the Nova Scotia franchise, a move which Johnston and Tupper successfully blocked.

    Tupper continued practicing medicine throughout this period. He established a successful medical practice in Halifax, rising to become the city medical officer. In 1863, he was elected president of the Medical Society of Nova Scotia.

    In the June 1863 election, the Conservatives campaigned on a platform of railroad construction and expanded access to public education. The Conservatives won a huge majority, with 44 of the House of Assembly's 55 seats. Johnston resumed his duties as premier and Tupper again became provincial secretary. As a further sign of the Conservatives' commitment to non-sectarianism, in 1863, after a 20-year hiatus, Dalhousie College was re-opened as a non-denominational institution of higher learning.

    In May 1864, Johnston retired from politics, accepting an appointment as a judge, and Tupper was chosen as his successor as premier of Nova Scotia.

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  • 3 years ago

    Charles Tupper became into in many circumstances in charge for Nova Scotia transforming into a member of Confederation in 1867. A Father of Confederation, Charles Tupper became right into a delegate to the Charlottetown, Quebec and London conferences.

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