To begin the explanation of the British North American Act of 1867 there is a need to understand the circumstances in British North America in the previous years of the Act. With the Treaty of Paris in 1763, Quebec, Newfoundland, and Nova Scotia, of eastern North America, all became British Territory. Treaties as early as 1763, politics, economics, and wars all played key roles in the formation of Canada. To fully understand the entrance of the confederation, these issues must be looked at in detail prior to 1867 and after. .
Many years after the Treaty of Paris, in 1791, London administered the Constitutional Act that divided Quebec into Upper and Lower Canada, " with the dividing line running from a little west of Montreal Island to Ottawa and up to Hudson's Bay Company territory- . Within the Act London appointed a lieutenant governor, executive council, legislative council, and a house of assembly, in every province. Upper Canada consisted of mostly francophone and native populations. Lower Canada also had a Parliament with the same structure of government as Upper Canada with mostly an English speaking population. .
For many reasons the government set up by the British did not work out as planned and many conflicts arose. Upper Canada had no seaports and had to depend upon Lower Canada for shipping. The political parties in Lower Canada were also in conflict, which brought about ideas for a democratic organization. This conflict arose because the French was overriding the English minority and the Constitutional Act didn't serve its purpose in setting up a democracy. However, an English-dominated council ran the government in Lower Canada. As stated by Peter Wait in, The Illustrated History of Canada, "A proposal for unification of the Canada's, pressed forward by colonial officials and English merchants in 1822, had only heightened French-Canadian fears of being enveloped by the English.