European settlements in british columbia

Document Type:Research Paper

Subject Area:History

Document 1

At that time, Fort Victoria had few British Settlers who were working as employees in Hudson’s Bay Company. 1 The Vancouver Island colony was ruled by a governor with the help of an elected assembly and an appointed council. According to the context on European Settlement in British Columbia by Fischer, there was a depiction of conflicts between Indians and the early European settlers. However, the settlement of early Europeans in this region was a highway to economic, social, and political developments as experienced during the onset of gold rush era. Long before the arrival of its first European settlers, British Columbia was one of the most multicultural regions in North America. 2 Later, George Vancouver chartered the mainland’s coastline as he also circumnavigated Vancouver Island.

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This was a clear indication of Great Britain’s interest in the area. Simultaneously, other British fur traders from the east made their way into the region. Mackenzie Alexander penetrated into the region via its winding waterways as he later arrived at the mouth of Dean Channel in 1773 located on the central coast. This marked completion of his first overland visit across the entire continent. Victoria was slightly affected by 1850s economic boom and it emerged as a wood supplier of the California gold rush. The nature of the colony was abruptly changed by a massive influx of miners who arrived by ships and created another Victoria bigger windfall. Farmer’s progressed and successful merchants advanced by meeting the demands of miners who stopped at Victoria on stocking up of provisions.

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First, in practice, HBC lost its economic monopoly of the region before Great Britain’s decree. 3 British feared annexation by a large number of Americans who had flooded into the Fraser fields of gold mines and so, they proclaimed a second crown colony in 1858 on the mainland. This resulted in an increased population at Fort Victoria to a point of Britain establishing the British Columbia colony on the mainland so as to strengthen its control. 4 Fort Victoria rapidly grew into a city as it opened mainland settlement and its frontier was transformed into a dynamic and prosperous society. The period of gold rush brought in so many individuals from different ethnicities including the Chinese and Hispanic. All the hordes of gold seekers from Australia, parts of Pacific community and California joined with Canadian and British migrants to work in the deposits of alluvial gold on lower sides of Fraser River.

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People came from other parts of British North America and the United States. In 1866, British Columbia merged with Vancouver Island forming a single colony called British Columbia. Later in 1871, it was included as a province in the Canada Dominion with a provincial capital based in the chief city of Vancouver Island. 5 In 1885, a new era was initiated by the arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railway at the east of Vancouver a place called Port Moody. Along the railway route, lumbering settlement and permanent railroad sprang up massively. 1887 marked the completion of extension line into Vancouver as well as the incorporation of the city. Scarcely recovery from a period of war, the economic depression of the 1930s had swept all province’s newly acquired markets.

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The recovery initiatives had to wait till 1939 when their economy was stimulated by the war. This time, the extensive military demands were enough to affirm progressive prosperity of the province’s industry far much beyond the Second World War period. 6 Post-war political realignment and consolidation The economic prosperity on the post-war period resulted in a political change. In order to meet the depression-born political threat, the liberals and conservatives during the war years combined forces towards forming a coalition government under the umbrella of CCF (Cooperative Commonwealth Federation). 7 Conclusion As seen in the context, the British Colony which later constituted a crown colony of Britain was concerned about the impact of an influx from the United States of gold prospectors. This enforced the colony to join the Canadian Confederation as massive economic advancements were marked throughout the region by the European settlers.

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