May 24 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria, during whose 63-year reign Canada moved from colony to confederation—mostly peacefully, thanks in large part to her.
Perhaps she was predisposed to fondness for the colony, as her father, Edward, Duke of Kent lived in Canada in the 1790s, eventually becoming commander-in-chief of the British North American forces. Prince Edward Island is named for him.
In 1837 and 1838, the years Victoria ascended to the throne and was crowned, bloody rebellion was quashed in the British colonies of Lower and Upper Canada (Quebec and Ontario today). Rebels, unhappy with the ruling elite, wanted more control over raising and spending of revenues in their colonies.
The ill-organized rebellions were put down by British soldiers and mi...