When he swore to maintain the constitution, then in progress of construction, at the festival of the federation on the 14th of July 1790, he was at the height of his popularity.
In the same way the federation of Swiss cantons, of the states of the North American Union and of the present German Empire have served as means of reducing the number of possible parties to war, and consequently that of its possible occasions.
Although the bill drawn up by the convention of 1891 was not received by the people with any show of interest, the federation movement did not die out; on the contrary, it had many enthusiastic advocates, especially in the colony of Victoria.
The queen's frequent messages of thanks and greeting to her colonies and to the troops sent by them, and her reception of the latter at Windsor, gave evidence of the heartfelt joy with which she saw the sons of the empire giving their lives for the defence of its integrity; and the satisfaction which she showed in the Federation of the Australian colonies was no less keen.
All kindred organizations in the states gradually became amalgamated with this national body, and the federation was completed in 1839 by the adhesion of the Philadelphia Society (which now changed its name to the Pennsylvania Bible Society).
In 1865 he opposed the federation of the British American provinces, and, in his anger at the refusal of the British government to repeal such portions of the British North America Act as referred to Nova Scotia, made a speech which won for him the name of Haul-down-the-flag Jones.
On the fall of the Brown-Dorion administration in 1858 he was called on to form a ministry, but declined the task, and became finance minister under Sir John Macdonald and Sir George Cartier on condition that the federation of the British North American provinces should become a part of their programme.
The states forming the federation consist of the twenty provinces and municipal district of the empire, but the number may be increased or diminished by the states concerned with the approval of the national congress.
The following governorsgeneral have represented the crown since the federation of the provinces, with the year of their appointment: Viscount Monck, 1867; Sir John Young (afterwards Baron Lisgar), 1868; the earl of Dufferin, 1872; the marquess of Lorne (afterwards duke of Argyll), 1878; the marquess of Lansdowne, 1883; Lord Stanley of Preston (afterwards earl of Derby), 1888; the earl of Aberdeen, 1893; the earl of Minto, 1898; Earl Grey, 1904.
The chief concern of the Natal government was to remodel their native policy where it proved inadequate, especially in view of the growth of the movement for the federation of the South African colonies.