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Charles Tupper: The Big Man

Charles Tupper: The Big Man

| 28 min
The History Makers
The History Makers
1961 6 films

From the most intrepid explorers to the fathers of Confederation, this series of 17 half-hour episodes tells the compelling early history of our great country.


This short historical reenactment is a portrait of Canadian Father of Confederation Charles Tupper. The film harks back to a time when the idea of a federal union was still hotly debated, when it was unclear whether Nova Scotia would come in or remain out. It studies a bigger-than-life politician who won over both his bitterest opponent, Joseph Howe, and the people of this Maritime province, to finally lead Nova Scotia into the Canadian Confederation in 1867.

  • director
    Morten Parker
  • producer
    Julian Biggs
  • executive producer
    Guy Glover
  • script
    Joseph Schull
  • camera
    John Gunn
  • sound
    Leo O'Donnell
    Ron Alexander
  • editing
    Dennis Sawyer
  • sound editing
    Karl Duplessis
  • music
    Jean Shannon
  • cast
    Robert Christie
    Eric Heath
    Budd Knapp
    William Needles
    Douglas Ney


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Ages 11 to 18

Study Guide - Guide 1

Civics/Citizenship - Federal/Provincial Government
History - Canada 1867-1914
History - Canada under British Rule (1764-1867)
History and Citizenship Education - Canadian Federation (1850-1929)

Consider viewing Joseph Howe: The Tribune of Nova Scotia first and note the changes that occur once Tupper becomes premier.  What are some of the challenges to Confederation that are presented in this film? How accurate is this depiction? What arguments are presented in favour of Confederation? What benefit/disadvantage would this present for Maritime provinces such as Nova Scotia? Charles Tupper is named as one of the Fathers of Confederation. Research his contribution to ensuring Confederation occurred. Following Confederation, Tupper continues in politics. Research his contributions in Canada and abroad.

Charles Tupper: The Big Man
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