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Confederation had been achieved but the anti-confederation forces were strong in some areas of the new country. New Brunswick and Nova Scotia had been vey hesitant about joining in 1865 but with generous funding from the Canadas to counter American money supporting the anti-confederation forces, the two colonies had become a part of the BNA Act in 1867.

On September 18th, 1867 Nova Scotia held its elections for both the Provincial Legislature and the Federal government. The provincial election returned only 2 pro-Canada members out of 38 while in the Federal results only one pro-Canada member, Charles Tupper, was elected out of 18. Joseph Howe had run in the Federal election as an anti-Confederationist and had won. Macdonald had won good support in every other part of Canada so on November 7th, 1867 when the Canadian Parliament convened for the first time, his only real source of dis-comfort was from the Nova Scotia members.

One of the first orders of business was to pass the Bill which approved the building of the Inter-colonial Railway which would connect Nova Scotia with the Ontario and Quebec and hence open up new markets for all. This made little impression on Howe who was determined to see Nova Scotia out of Confederation. Howe developed several arguments to achieve this objective and on February 14th 1868 departed for London to lay them in front of the Imperial authorities. Howe was joined by three other anti-confederationists, the Premier of Nova Scotia, William Annand, J.C. Troop, and H.W. Smith. Once Macdonald realized what was going on he quickly dispatched Charles Tupper to London to counter the efforts of Howe.

Howe tried every avenue he could to convince the Colonial Office to repeal the inclusion of Nova Scotia in Confederation including having John Bright propose a motion to form a Royal Commission to investigate the appeals of Nova Scotia in both the House of Lords and the House of Commons. Both motions were decisively defeated. By June Howe realized that he was not going to achieve his aim of pulling Nova Scotia out of Confederation. He met with Tupper in London who booked passage back to Canada on the same ship that Howe was booked on. They had many talks while on board and slowly Howe was brought around to accepting the fact that Canada was not going to let Nova Scotia go and that perhaps he could achieve more inside the government as a Cabinet Minister than outside as an anti-confederations.

In August John A Macdonald, Tupper, Cartier and the tentative leader of the opposition in the Federal government John Sandfield Macdonald all travelled to Halifax to appeal to Howe to join the cause of Canada. By August of 1869, Howe was ready to compromise and he was sworn in as a Cabinet Minister in MacDonald's government.  ova Scotia also received an increase in their Federal subsidy to match that given to New Brunswick.  The anti-Confederation forces in Nova Scotia had been decisively turned back.