This archived Web page remains online for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. This page will not be altered or updated. Web pages that are archived on the Internet are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats of this page on the Contact Us page.
Photograph of a meeting of the defence commissioners, 1862
A despatch containing a report by the Minister of Militia and Defence for 1888, and a briefing book entitled "The Defences of Canada. 1 Jan. 1886"
In this section:
In 1862, a royal commission on the defences of Canada was appointed. In the following years, the escalation of the American Civil War compelled citizens of British North America to coordinate their defences in response to cross-border raids by radical military factions. This unified front contributed to the achievement of Canadian Confederation in 1867. Canada's military strategies, personnel and assets would remain a vital concern of the Canadian executive throughout the late nineteenth century. An order-in-council passed on the first day of Confederation created the Militia and Defence portfolio, and the corresponding department was established by statute the following year. In January 1888, the Privy Council received a report from the Minister of Militia and Defence, Sir Joseph Philippe René Adolphe Caron (1843-1908), in which he provided a detailed description of the "military system of Canada" together with a confidential briefing book entitled "The Defences of Canada. 1 Jan. 1886."