On July 1 1867 the British government granted Canadians the right to form their own government.  While they would still be tied to the British crown and government in a number of ways, they would have  home rule.  The Dominion of Canada (as it was now called) consisted of only 4 provinces:  New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Quebec.  All of these are in the eastern part of the country; the remaining provinces were incorporated between 1869 and 1949.

Canada now has 10 provinces and 3 territories; the main difference in these categories is that territories’ powers come from the federal goverement whereas the provinces gained their authority from the British North American Act of 1867 .

There are some historians who feel that this action by the British government showed that they did indeed learn the lessons of the American Revolutionary War; that by granting Canada this autonomy it would remain a steadfast and loyal member of the Empire.  This makes Confederation an evolutionary movement towards independence.   But, this might be placing too much focus on the US and not enough on the conditions in Canada and the rest of the empire.

So, today,  Canadians are having picnics and barbecue, and shooting off fireworks to celebrate independence while also singing ‘God Save the Queen.’  It’s a Canadian thing.