United Colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia

United Colonies Of Vancouver Island And British Columbia

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United Colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia

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The United Colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia is the name given to the de facto amalgamation of the two crown colonies from 1866 until their incorporation into the Canadian Confederation in 1871. Its proper name was simply the Colony of British Columbia but is given this name here to distinguish it from its mainland portion, which had had the same name.

Background

Main Article: History of British Columbia

The Colony of Vancouver Island had been created in 1849 to bolster British claims to the whole island and the adjacent Gulf Islands, and to provide a North Pacific home port for the Royal Navy at Fort Victoria. By the mid-1850s, the Island Colony's non-indigenous population was between 500 and 1000 — a mix of mostly British, French-Canadian, Metis, Hawaiians, but with handfuls of Iroquoians and Cree in the employ of the fur company, and a few Belgian and French Oblate priests. Three years earlier, the Treaty of Washington had established the boundary between British North America and the United States of America west of the Rocky Mountains along the 49th parallel. The mainland area of present-day British Columbia, Canada was an unorganised territory under British sovereignty until 1858. The region was under the de facto administration of the Hudson's Bay Company, and its regional chief executive, James Douglas, who also happened to be Governor of Vancouver Island. The region was informally given the name New Caledonia, after the...
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