Charles Fox Bennett: Confederation And The Quebec Resolutions

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Charles Fox Bennett was an eminent St. John’s merchant with a political career that enabled him to successfully impact Newfoundland’s decision to not join Confederation for many years. He was a respected and energetic representative of Newfoundland and shared similar views with many other Liberal party members, merchants, and individuals of Roman Catholic descent. Bennett inherited a position of power in his colony. He was involved with the advocacy of opposition against confederation by having some of the most outspoken opinions regarding the Quebec resolutions, and actively participating in the Anti-Confederation party during the campaign period for the Election of 1869.

In the 1860s, confederation with the other British North American colonies was a dominant political issue in Newfoundland. In 1864, 33 delegates from different colonies gathered in Quebec City to discuss the terms of Confederation. Bennett was an outstanding opponent of the suggested scheme when the Quebec Resolutions were published in St. John’s. In the years that followed, Bennett sent many letters to the press to indicate that, in his opinion, confederation would
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With two political parties divided on the issue, Premier Frederic Carter finally called for the “Confederation Election of 1869” to decide whether or not Newfoundland should join the Dominion of Canada. Most Liberals (representing districts dominated by Roman Catholics), along with a few Conservatives (that were mostly composed of merchants), formed the Anti-Confederate Party. Charles Fox Bennett was their leader and was responsible for their bitter, hard-fought, and ultimately, overwhelmingly successful campaign that was mounted against the confederates whose leader was Frederick