In 1866 the US had just ended its civil war. Tensions between the British and the US had grown during the war as Confederate agents were operating out of BNA. A number of incidents whereby Confederate agents had raided in the US had convinced some that Britain and the Canadas were less than sincere about enforcing the neutrality laws.
In order to placate the US and to ensure that it would not invade, BNA enacted some stricter measures to enforce neutrality which included a dedicated border patrol and the arrest of Confederates who had engaged in raids like the one at St. Albans, Vermont. So angered were some in the military that there had been a standing order to pursue Confederates across the line into Canada should they have raided in the US and were running for safety. General John Dix and General Joseph Hooker were proponents of an immediate seizure of BNA.
In that atmosphere, the Canadas, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick were negotiating to form a Confederation. Some in the US were opposed to that as they felt that the joining of BNA with the US was inevitable.
And so an annexation bill was written for debate in the House of Representatives.
The US was always willing to buy before initiating military filibustering to seize territory. I was struck by the huge expenditure that was proposed with money going to each of the new states. Promises were made to build railways and to expand canals.
Of note the US proposed to build a precursor to the St. Lawrence Seaway.
The proposed improvements to parts of BNA were extensive and exciting. And yet the provinces of BNA did not bite. They hoped that a Confederation would deter the US from considering a military intervention to seize these colonies.
And of course, the bill did not pass in the US and if someone knows why, please weigh in.