and John A.
By Leah Cheverie
-First Prime Minister of Canada
and served for 19 years
-January 11th 1815-June 6th 1891
-Born in Scotland
-Leader of the Tory Conservative
• The National Policy was a Canadian economic program introduced
by John A. Macdonald’s Conservative Party in 1876 and put into
action in 1879.
The National Policy consisted of
1. Protective tariffs against foreign
2. A transcontinental railway.
3. Greater immigration and
settlement of the West.
Manufactured goods had the highest tariffs.
A duty of more than 40 percent was levied on products such as
carriages, agricultural machinery, railway cars, and woollen clothing.
These duties were intended to be protective tariffs, they were placed on
products that were being produced by some of Canada’s growing
industries but leaving our country to sell to other markets. Macdonald
wanted to keep business in Canada to keep our markets healthy.
• The depression of the 1870s led many Canadians to believe that the
country’s economy had become overly dependent upon the exploitation of
staples products including lumber, coal, steel, fish, and fur.
• Many of the markets for Canadian timber, wheat, and fish were
disappearing due to a decrease in spending brought about by a worldwide
• As a result between 1873 and 1879, Canadian exports fell by 20 percent.
• Business leaders believed that the economy needed to diversify to include
more secondary manufacturing. Business owners wanted to not only
produce primary products, they wanted to manufacture them.
• Business leaders also feared a growing manufacturing sector would not
survive American competition, which had the advantage of large-scale
production facilities, lower transportation costs, and a transcontinental
• They were convinced that lower-priced American goods had to be kept out
of Canada in order to keep Canadian markets strong.
Essential to this economic strategy was the building of the
Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), which Macdonald had
promised during his first term in office.
Take out a piece of
Write down something
you learn from
watching the following
Take 5 minutes.
Canadian Pacific Railway
There were many immigrants involved in the building of
• When the Liberals came to power, they made little
progress with the railway.
• When Macdonald came back to power in 1878, he
wanted to complete the building of the railway as soon
as possible because the lands to the west were
considered vulnerable to American political and
• Since acquiring the western territories, the Canadian
government had been relatively unsuccessful in
• The railway was needed to move settlers west.
• Investors needed assurances that the railway would
eventually pay for itself.
• The National Policy’s
blueprint for prosperity
was designed: it would
establish a strong
manufacturing base in
central Canada that
received its supplies
from the rich natural
resources of the East
The Effects of the National Policy
• The National Policy’s
most immediate and
concrete result was the
completion of the
• To the federal
backbone of a new
• To facilitate it’s construction, the government offered
concessions to a new Canadian Pacific Railway
• Among these concessions were $25 million in grants,
$25 million acres of land, tax-exempt status, and a 20
year guarantee against competition from other railways.
• These terms were generous, but Macdonald viewed
them as the price to be paid to compensate for the
risks of building the world’s largest railway.
• Once major investments in the project had been made
(ironically, by Americans), construction on the railway
• Describe the features of this
• What is the issue (s) being
• What supporting evidence is there?
• What is the opinion or perspective
of the cartoonist?
• How do these issues impact
Halifax, Canada, and the world?
• Most of the labourers came from Canada, the
United States, and Ireland, but the most
dangerous jobs, such as planting explosives,
were assigned to Chinese workers, thousands of
whom died during construction.
• Heritage Moment
• By 1885, the work was done and the visionary
CPR was complete.
Do you think appreciation and credit was given to
individuals who worked on the railway?
(CPR found in B.C.)
“Wherever it went, the railway quickened the
pace of economic life and laid the
foundations for a national economy
dominated by the banks and businesses in
Montreal and Toronto”
-Alvin Finkel and Margaret Conrad,
The Creation of an Industrial
• Heartland-A region that is the economic centre of
• The National Policy led to the creation of an
industrial heartland in central Canada, with the
nation’s primary manufacturers centered in
Toronto and Montreal.
• Tariff protection provided security for investment
capital and allowed Canadian entrepreneurs to
establish new industries that were not affected
by American competition.
• The completion of the railway ensured that
central Canada had easy access to markets in
both the East and the West.
• By 1901, half of the country’s manufacturing was
located in Ontario, with an additional one-third
located in Quebec.
• Central Canada’s role as the industrial heartland
has remained an economic reality for over 100
The National Policy in the
• Hinterland-A region that provides the resources
needed by the heartland.
• If the National Policy made central Canada the
country’s financial and industrial heartland, it
made the Maritimes and the West the nation’s
• In the beginning the CPR promised to bring new
trade possibilities to Atlantic Canada.
• Nova Scotians anticipated an increase in
commerce or business through the province’s
ports due to the new railways.
• In theory, the ice-free
Halifax harbour would
be the port of call for
ships that could not
navigate the St.
Lawrence River during
• Incoming and outgoing
goods would pass
through Halifax as they
connected with the rail
links to and from
Montreal and Toronto.
• It appeared that the National Policy and the
railway did indeed stimulate financial growth in
the Maritimes, which saw growth in capital
investments in the 1880s and 1890s.
• Recognizing the potential for large markets in
central Canada and the West, Maritime
entrepreneurs invested the money they had
made in the shipping business in a variety of
• Towns located along
Railway, such as
Truro, New Glasgow,
and Sydney, became
the hubs of this new
• Factories producing everything from iron and
steel to textiles and pianos sprung up in these
• Maritime prosperity did not last.
• Some historians suggest that the consolidation
of Maritime businesses by central Canada and
international business interests led to the
• Management decisions were based on profit and
loss rather than economic well-being of Maritime
• Central Canadian firms began absorbing Maritime
financial institutions and moving them to Toronto and
• This loss of important financial institutions was
connected with the flight of investment away from the
• Another cause of economic decline in the Maritime provinces
centred on the coal industry.
• In the late nineteenth century, the growth of Canadian urban
centres increased the demand for coal.
• Once the manufacturing sector declined, the Nova Scotia
economy turned to coal mining and other related industries of
iron and steel.
• This industry was supported by protective tariffs
• In the early twentieth century, however, these protectionist
measures were eliminated, allowing the industrial heartland of
central Canada to import virtually all of its coal tariff-free while
the domestic coal industry suffered.
• As prosperity in the Maritimes began to lag further
behind economic success in other parts of Canada, a
growing number of people began to move away from
• Between 1881 and 1931, the Maritimes suffered a
steady net migration: more than 500 000 people left in
search of better opportunities south of the border in
the Boston states also known as New England.
Does this out migration sound familiar?
The Impact in the West
• Like the Maritimes, prairie communities did not develop into industrial centres that
could compete with Montreal and Toronto.
• Distance from the large markets of central Canada was a major factor in the growth of
• Also, the immigration thought to follow after the completion of the railway did not
• In fact, there was a net loss of migration.
• The economic depression of the 1870s and 1880s reduced the demand for Canadian
wheat in international markets.
• This, along with the easy availability of land in the American West, temporarily slowed
settlement on the Canadian prairies.
• It was not until the changing fortunes of the 1890s and 1900s that the potential of the
West began to be realized!
• The West did take advantage both of the railway and
of federally subsidized shipping rates in order to
develop its considerable wheat and grain-growing
• As a hinterland region, its primary role, like the East,
was to provide a market for manufactured goods
produced in the heartland.
• The building of the railway and western settlement also impacted
Aboriginal peoples and the Metis.
• New settlers encroached on the lands that had been reserved for
the Metis in the Manitoba Act of 1870, forcing them to move
westward from Manitoba to Saskatchewan.
• Accustomed to the way of life associated with following the buffalo,
the Metis and First Nations found it difficult to adjust to farming on
the small areas of land reserved for them as permanent settlements.
• These people felt that the completion of the railway and expansion
and settlement of the West, violated their treaties.
• Metis family in 1908
A People’s Canada
Ocean to Ocean
• Ocean to Ocean 1886
• John A. Macdonald brought a _____________ to Crow Foot leader
waiting his arrival.
• What does Crow Foot really want? _____________.
• The Aboriginal children were forcibly taken to _______________
• How did Crow Foot’s 8 children die? ____________________.
• Macdonald is brutally frank about _______________________ in
• How many times did Macdonald visit the West? __________.
• What date did Macdonald die? _____________________.
Worksheet for National