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Canadian Theme Unit
British Columbia and Confederation



British Columbia and Confederation
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.55

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    economic, counsel, union, mining, rushes, mainland, province, settle, assembly, government, debt, responsible, provision, trade, based, western
     content words:    British Columbia, First Nations, Vancouver Island, Bay Company, Frazer River, Bay Co, United States, Amor De Cosmos, John Robson, British Colonial


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British Columbia and Confederation
By Mary Lynn Bushong
  

1     The first people to settle British Columbia were First Nations. Then in the late 1700's, and into the 1800's, Europeans began to arrive. The first British colony was established on Vancouver Island in 1849.
 
2     Fort Victoria was home to just a few hundred British. It was a Hudson's Bay Company fort, so many of the people there were employees.
 
3     Victoria's quiet life was changed when gold was found in the Frazer River in 1858. People began to rush in from all over.
 
4     The population jumped from 500 to almost 5,000 in just a short time. The trade base changed too. Until the gold rush, everything was based on the Hudson's Bay Co. fur trade.
 
5     The nationalities of people in the area changed as well. Suddenly there were American, Chinese, and Hispanic people where there had been only British and First Nations.
 
6     The population spilled over onto the mainland. There were so many other nations that the British felt compelled to start another colony there. If they didn't, they ran the risk of losing British Columbia to the United States.
 
7     With the gold rush came an economic boom. Other industries like coal mining and lumber began to take hold.
 
8     Like all gold rushes, this one too ended. In the mid 1860's, the gold was mostly gone, and the area sank into a recession.

Paragraphs 9 to 18:
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