Rupert's Land Act

Partitioning the North Pacific

the Arctic 1870.0715

Rupert's Land Act

Alaska Purchase, Rupert's Land Act, Amur, Opening of Japan (15 July 1870)

Historical Map of the Arctic & the Far North

The threat posed by the Alaska Purchase helped encourage the British to assent to the creation of a united, self-governing Dominion of Canada. Canada quickly expanded as Britain began to transfer its other North American possessions to the dominion. First up were Rupert's Land and the North-Western Territory, which were sold to Canada for £300,000. The Rupert's Land sale antagonized the mixed ancestry Métis of the Red River Colony, who asserted themselves under Louis Riel but were mostly placated when Canada agreed to their demands and created the province of Manitoba.

Main Events

Fort Whoop-Up

J.J. Healy and A.B. Hamilton, traders from Montana Territory, United States, built Fort Hamilton in southern Rupert's Land, near what is now Lethbridge, Alberta. The fort soon became an illegal whiskey trading post and was nicknamed Fort Whoop-Up.

Annexation of Hokkaido

The Empire of Japan formally annexed Ezochi, renaming the main island Hokkaido (previously the northern lands had been divided between the Japanese Wajinchi in southern Hokkaido and the Ainu Ezochi covering the rest of Hokkaido, southern Sakhalin, and southern Kuril Islands).

Red River Rebellion

In response to the Rupert's Land Act, the mixed French-Indian Métis of the Red River Colony form the Métis National Committee under Louis Riel to assert their rights. In November, they declared a provisional government and occupied Fort Garry. A British-Canadian expedition under Colonel Garnet Wolseley set off in May 1870 to suppress the rebellion; on its arrival in August, Riel and his followers fled, ending the revolt.

Manitoba Act

In response to Métis' concerns over self-government following the absorption of the British territory of Rupert's Land into Canada, the Red River Colony became the Canadian province of Manitoba.

Rupert's Land Act takes effect

In accordance with the Rupert's Land Act of 1868, the sparsely-populated British territories of Rupert's Land and North-Western Territory were transferred from the control of the Hudson's Bay Company to the Dominion of Canada. The transfer was consummated by the payment of £300,000 to the Company. The territories were reorganized by Canada to become the North-West Territories and the Province of Manitoba.

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