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Alternate History

Dominion of Canada (The North American War)

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Dominion of Canada

Capital: Toronto

Major cities: Ottawa ON, Berlin ON, Winnipeg MN, Prince Albert SK

Provinces: Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Northern Territories

Independence from Great Britain: July 1, 1867

Languages: English (official), French, various aboriginal and eastern European languages

Currency: Dollar

History

The separation of the Maritimes provinces from the other former colonies of British North America left the two Canadas (Lower Canada, now the Dominion of Quebec, and Upper Canada, now the Dominion of Canada) to decide their own futures after independence. From the back rooms of the Charlottetown Conference came the decision to create two independent Canadas, based on a recognition of the cultural differences between Upper Canada, a blend of American immigrants and descendents of British settlers, and Lower Canada, a mix of people of British and French extraction. Initial pressure from Upper Canada's American population to join one of the American states to the south was counterbalanced by the decidedly monarchist sentiments of the large and loyal population of British extraction. The historical core of the Dominion of Canada is Upper Canada, and the aim of Upper Canada after independence was to seek a happy medium between the desires of these two groups: a constitutional monarchy based on British traditions but with close cultural, economic, and political ties both to Great Britain and to the various American states.

Westward expansion from Upper Canada led to the 1869 uprising of the Metis of the Hudson Bay Company's former territory of Rupert's Land. Anger among Upper Canadians at the death of settler Thomas Scott led to a dramatic crackdown by the Upper Canadian government, the first military action by any former British North American colony since independence. The uprising was crushed and its leaders executed, imprisoned, or driven into exile, but in a placating gesture to the Metis Rupert's Land was added to the new Dominion of Canada as the province of Manitoba in 1870.

Seeking to enforce British North America's old sovereignty over the Prairies north of the 49th parallel, beginning in the 1870s the Canadian government sought to encourage westward expansion through construction of a railroad west from Ontario to the newly-created province of Saskatchewan as well as a vigourous advertisement campaign in overpopulated eastern Europe meant to encourage immigration to the fertile but harsh Prairies. To police these fragile territories (and to protect against American encroachment on land considered rightfully to belong to Canada), the Royal Canadian Mounted Police was created, demarcating a border along the 49th parallel and constructing forts and police stations throughout the fledgling Prairie settlements. The Dominion's efforts were too slow, however, to prevent Alberta, with a sizeable, fiercely independent American settler community based in Calgary, from declaring itself a republic. Disputes and negotiations with the Albertan government continued until 1905, when the Canadian government recognised Alberta's right to its own independence in exchange for the promise that the Republic would never join any American state, extending American territory north of the 49th parallel.

Politics

The Dominion of Canada is a constitutional monarchy, with a two-house federal legistlature based in Winnipeg, headed by a prime minister (leader of the majority political party). The official head of state is the monarch of Great Britain, represented in Canada by a governor-general appointed by the monarch and approved by the prime minister. The Dominion of Canada consists of three provinces: Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. Each is governed by a provincial legistlature headed by a premier (similarly to the prime minister, the head of the majority provincial political party) and a lieutenant-general (like the governor-general, the representative of the British monarchy in the province). The Northern Territories are governed by the federal minister for the interior through a commissioner appointed by the minister and consist of the two districts of Mackenzie and Keewatin.

Population

Initially a mix of peoples of Britih and American extraction, the population of the Dominion of Canada has since grown to include a large community of eastern European immigrants and their descendents. These people largely cntinue to speak their own languages, though English is the only official one. French is also spoken in the boder region withthe Dominion of Quebec, and traditionally by the Metis of Manitoba. By the time of independence, most of the aboriginal peoples of Upper Canada had been resettled on reserve communities throughout the country, though many still live and work in the fur industry of the northern forests. Beyond the continental treeline, in the Northern Territory, live the Inuit, many still living their traditional nomadic lifestyle across the Canadian tundra.

Economy

The majority of the Dominion's trade is conducted with the American states, especially manufactures, although Great Britain remains the largest market for western grain. The majority of industry is located in southern Ontario, while grain farming dominates the economy of the western provinces. The northern forests of Manitoba and Ontario contribute furs and lumber, while the Northern Territory is still being evaluated by the federal government for any economic uses.

Defense

The American states remain the biggest traditional threat to the Dominion of Canada, although Great Britain's pledge to protect the sovereignty of is former colonies is a strong guarantor of Canada's safety. Still, a string of old colonial forts along the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes protects the Dominion's southern border. Along the Prairie borders with the Republc of Alberta and te American states, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police still maintain patrols between their string of old forts. The RCMP is also responsible for policing the Northern Territory and the northern parts of Ontario. Currently the RCMP is undertaking the effort to extend its control into the Northern Territory.

The Dominion of Canada maintains a small navy based in various Great Lake ports meant to police Canadian fishing rights and trade routes with the American states. The majority of these were produced domestically. In Ontario, the army is still based on the colonial militia, though active participation, when necessary, is voluntary. The Dominion also operates a small, professional, voluntary army.

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