Confederation: A Short History of Canada's Constitution


52 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Maps, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 1-895642-00-0
DDC 342.71'029





Reviewed by Agnes C. Farrell

Agnes C. Farrell is an elementary-school teacher in Richmond, B.C.


Desmond Morton, a noted authority on Canadian history, has managed in
fewer than 50 pages to clearly define the struggle over the Canadian
Constitution. The first four chapters trace the history of
Confederation, using period photographs, cartoons, and newspaper
clippings. The writing is clear and concise, and the many sidebars offer
interesting historical information. The final chapter outlines the
struggle for constitutional reform, from the Constitution Act of 1982 to
the post–Meech Lake traumas.

All sides of the issue are clearly presented, and the author refrains
from making judgmental statements. He concludes with a list of the main
constitutional questions facing Canadians today. There are also concise
biographies of many of the people who have been involved in Canada’s
constitutional struggles, and five pages of questions for discussion.

Morton has compressed a great deal of information into this small book.
It should be welcomed by all teachers of Canadian history whose students
find the average history text almost impossible to read. Recommended.


Morton, Desmond., “Confederation: A Short History of Canada's Constitution,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 23, 2024,