Canada Historical and Administrative Divisions

As in the United States, political and administrative divisions are usually delimited by artificial borders and therefore do not correspond except roughly, or exceptionally, to natural units. Regions that in a certain sense recall the historical individualities of our countries are found only in the eastern territories, with older populations and better defined, also because they are more clearly isolated, in their geographical characteristics (Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, peninsula of Ontario). The different nature of the relationships between the units that make up the Dominion (territories, districts, provinces) and the central government – relationships that follow and document the economic-political evolution of the various regions from which those units developed – has led to that internal borders have also undergone and continue to undergo changes.

According to collegesanduniversitiesinusa, when we limit ourselves to considering only the main lines, it must be recognized that the maritime regions are quite distinctly distinguished from the contiguous continental provinces (Quebec and Ontario), and these, in turn, from the central (prairies) that the bulwark of the Rockies separates, from all points of view, from the mountainous belt to the Pacific. A more minute and in any case better accentuated fragmentation – regardless of the still incipient economic development of large areas of Canada – is opposed above all by the lack of ethnic differentiation, made impossible by the same mosaic of different nationalities to which the newcomers belong: also where the historical events created it or sharpened the contrasts, these soon ended by fading away or they were completely composing themselves.

Of course, the territorial units of the Dominion, at least the largest ones, tend to affirm in ever more decisive ways, with the help of the autonomies they enjoy, their individuality, and therefore their political-economic independence, one in front of the other. ; but the coexistence within a greater unity, directed to the defense of common interests – one of the most powerful state organisms of our day is beyond the frontier – moderates and balances the inevitable conflicts, allowing at the same time the single cells to maintain, in the contribution of a common contribution, the different and often contrasting characteristics that are theirs. In this is, at the same time, the originality of the Dominion and the certainty of its future; originality that can now be defined as national, even if a real national conscience does not seem to be the case yet to speak: and moreover with this attribute the Dominion has become part of the League of Nations, while, despite its dependence by right on the mother country, it maintains now it has its own representation abroad, completely distinct from the British one. That evolution in this sense still is in progress no wonder, when you consider the recent date of the Dominion’s constitution. Nova Scotia and New Brunswick (equivalents of ancient French Acadia) came to England with the Peace of Utrecht (1713), Prince Edward Island (formerly St John’s Island) in 1758, Canada proper (Quebec and Ontario) after the Seven Years’ War (1763); but only over a century later, in 1867, the different members came together and formed into a single organism, with a solemn statutory act. Back then, however, the Dominion ended just W of Lake Superior, with just a small strip of southern Labrador. The colonization of the prairies, which began with many difficulties at the beginning of the last century (the first settlement, founded by Lord Selkirk in 1812, not far from the current Winnipeg, tragically ended in 1816, due to commercial jealousies) remained, it can be said, a private enterprise (Hudson’s Bay Company) until sixty years ago. Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta were created “districts” in 1882, and their respective provinces were demarcated between 1905 and 1912, while British Columbia was admitted as such in the Dominion until 1871. Thereafter the provincial boundaries were retouched (those of Manitoba were pushed up to 60 ° N.), being recent the solution of the long dispute with Newfoundland, which was definitively assigned, in 1927, a large strip of Labrador along the Atlantic and on the Hamilton river.

Constitution and administration. – The Dominion of Canada is a federation of 9 provinces and two territories, regulated by the British North America Act of 10 July 1867, which is its fundamental statute. Executive power rests with the Crown and is exercised by a governor general appointed by the king, resident in Ottawa, the capital, and assisted by a private council; the legislative one has a parliament, made up of the Senate, chosen by the government, and the House of Commons, elected for five years by direct general suffrage, for men and women. The number of members of the two fora is not fixed, but varies in relation to the importance of the provinces and their population: currently the Senate has 96 representatives (24 for Ontario and Quebec, 10 for Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, 4 for ‘Prince Edward Island, 6 to Manitoba, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan) and 245 the House of Commons, to which women are also admitted. The representatives of the Chamber (House of Commons) are 82 for Ontario, 65 for Quebec, 14 for Nova Scotia, 11 for New Brunswick, 17 for Manitoba, 14 for British Columbia, 4 for Prince Edward Island, 21 for Saskatchewan, 16 for Alberta and 1 for the Yukon Territory.

The nine provinces each have a separate parliament (two the province of Quebec); they enjoy a very large administrative autonomy, and are linked to the central government by means of the deputy governor (Lieutenant Governor), who is appointed by the governor general to exercise executive power. The two districts, on the other hand, depend on a commissioner, assisted by a deputy and a certain number of councilors. As was to be expected, the ties with the mother country have been loosening over time: the solidarity shown by Canada to the British cause during the great war did not prevent that, after this war, the trend towards independence was accepted even better. more effective, which is basically common to the politics of all Dominions. D ‘ on the other hand, this process will not easily lead to an intimate rapprochement with the powerful neighbors, to which Canada is binding for economic reasons, because this would lead to a subjection that the Dominion, like the mother country, has every interest in averting. The Canadian provinces and territories, with the surface area, the number of residents and the respective capitals, are indicated in the following mirror.

Canada Historical and Administrative Divisions

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