Talk:List of Canadian monarchs

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Why treat Newfoundland as a part of Canada prior to 1949? We already decided that Spanish-claimed lands that are today in Canada don't count for the purposes of listing monarchs. Srnec (talk) 00:42, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

  • This article is about Canada, not its present day constituent parts. We don't list the sovereigns of the Colony of Vancouver Island, or of British Columbia, etc. If deemed notable and supporting references could be found, then it would belong in a separate article. trackratte (talk) 01:58, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
  • This article is about monarchs that have reigned over territory that is now part of Canada; that includes monarchs that reigned over Newfoundland. If we had separate articles for post-1931 Canadian monarchs versus historical monarchs, then I would agree that the Newfoundland period shouldn't be in the Canadian article. But if we're going to include monarchs who reigned over Acadia and Rupert's land, why wouldn't we also include monarchs who reigned over Newfoundland? --—Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 03:26, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
  • If you look at an early 16th century map depicting North America, you will see an entity named "Canada" marked on it. That entity had a monarch. Newfoundland was not part of that entity, and nearly everything West of Canada was unknown/uncharted. Over time Canada grew geographically, encorporating other entities (colonies of NB, NS, VI, BC, PEI, NFLD), and territories (Ruperts Land/NWT), however geographical expansion or contraction has no bearing on the status of the Crown of Canada (ie Nfld joining confederation had zero impact on the Canadian Crown, but the Statute of Westminster 1931 did). An article listing every single monarch of every single former colony/territory before it became part of Canada is not what this list is about. Although it could be created elsewhere, it would largely be redundant. trackratte (talk) 17:02, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
  • @Trackratte: Throughout the debates on this article, people have had a number of different ways of looking at the topic. As far as I can tell, the various interpretations are as follows: (1) monarchs of the Canadian Crown (i.e., post-1931); (2) monarchs of the federation of Canada (i.e., post-1867); (3) monarchs of territory that used the name "Canada" (i.e., the Canadas, the Province of Canada, and the federation of Canada), and (4) monarchs who reigned over land that is now part of Canada. If I understand our disagreement, you are advocating for #3 whereas I am advocating for #4. I think that all four topics are encyclopedic, and a reader might be looking for any of those four topics. That raises the question: how do we organize this in a way that makes it easy for a reader to find whichever of the four topics they want? Should we split this into multiple articles? If so, what should each of those be named? Should this article be a disambiguation page to the new lists? Or, if we want to keep this as one article, how do we clearly show in the list which monarchs reigned over something called "Canada", which held the title "Queen/King of Canada", and which reigned over something that is now part of Canada? --—Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 21:22, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
I thought the result of the previous discussion was to do what the references do, which is the evolution of the Canadian crown from the French and British crowns. Otherwise Spain would be included, as Srnec pointed out, and the list would be WP:OR. 117Avenue (talk) 02:51, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
117Avenue: I don't think WP:OR is an issue here, we could easily find sources for the Newfoundland and Spanish monarchs. The question is what we want to talk about on Wikipedia. I'm starting to lean towards having two articles so that we can make everyone happy: one for post-confederation (which in turn would be divided into pre- and post-1931), and one for pre-confederation (which could include the Spanish and 20th Century Newfoundland monarchs). —Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 03:11, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
Two articles is two more than I want, so that would hardly make everybody happy. Srnec (talk) 03:13, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
  • @Arctic.gnome:I think that the dates and divisions are fairly straight forward and supported by the whole of the referenced sources. I would be against dividing the list up into separate articles simply due to the 'fuzzy' nature of Canadian constitutional studies. For example, it is accepted fact that the 1931 Statute of Westminster created a uniquely Canadian crown, however the Government of Canada in the 1950s still did not believe this to be the case. Or the debate over bill C-53, where even our most expert constitutional and legal minds disagree on its extent, application, and legality. Dividing up this list into multiple list articles according to fixed dates would be problematic, as our constitutional history is evolutionary with very few 'fixed' dates being available.
Second, I think the list's title, 'Sovereigns of Canada' is more or less self explanatory, with any Sovereigns of territory outside of Canada not being eligible for inclusion. The "Territorial Changes" boxes do a good job I think, of describing the geographic changes to Canada throughout the timeline, including the inclusion of Newfoundland. There is unfortunately no graphic representation of these changes in the timeline, but I'm sure you can imagine it going from a relatively small parcel of red, and gradually expanding to what we have today. Also, I don't understand your argument about including Newfoundland since monarch's who reigned over Acadia and Rupert's land are included, since they're not. Canada was a colony within New France just as Acadia was, so has nothing to do with the colony of Acadia and everything to do with the colony of Canada. Rupert's land was outside of Canada, but obviously shared the same monarch as both fell within the British Empire.
Finally, for your question about how we list which monarchs reigned over Canada, which reigned over territories which are currently part of Canada, and which actually held the title of Sovereign of Canada, I think that it already quite clear with the lead to the article (Elizabeth II only monarch to be so officially titled), and the territorial changes boxes describing geographic change. Also, we must keep in mind that this is a list article, essentially an annex to a larger topic, and is not supposed to provide the reader with a deep and nuanced understanding of the grander topic but is only supplementary to it. If the reader desires to delve deeper into the topic, then that's what the non-list topic articles are for, such as "Monarchy in Canada", "Constitutional history of Canada", etc in the 'See Also' section (in addition to the in-text wiki-links). trackratte (talk) 16:06, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
  • @Trackratte: If we aren't including monarchs of Acadia and Rupert's land, then I disagree that the title is clear. You want the title to mean "monarchs of places called Canada", whereas many readers will assume that the title "monarchs of Canada" means either "monarchs of the federation" or "monarchs of land that is now part of Canada".
Saying that we will include monarchs of just one of the places that joined Canada is like having List of British monarchs list all of the pre-union Kings of England but not pre-union Kings of Scotland. The history of Great Britain isn't just a continuation of the history of England, and similarly the history of the federation of Canada isn't just a continuation of the histories of Upper and Lower Canada. If this article is going to only cover monarchs that ruled over places called Canada, then I think we need another article where the Spanish and Newfoundland monarchs can be listed. But that new article would have far too much overlap with this one, which is why I suggested one article for the federation and another article for the components. After the split, if someone is interested in monarchs of places called Canada, they just have to look at the "Ontario and Quebec" section of the pre-Confederation article. —Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 22:00, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
1. I think we're approaching this a lot differently than I first expected. What do you mean "just one of the places that joined Canada"? In the 1500s the first inhabitants (aboriginal peoples) that the French encountered were called Canadians, and later this term came to encompass the French born in Canada, and after that both English and French born in Canada, to today where it has its present meaning. Canada started as the colony spanning the St-Lawrence river and grew from there. Ie Canada is an entity which came into existence at the beginning of the 16th century.
2. I don't see this article as sovereigns who have "ruled over places", but instead of sovereigns of a singular entity. You say "places called Canada", where I don't understand the plural. Canada as an entity is independent of geography (place). If, hypothetically, the entire country were to separate from Canada, leaving only the city of Ottawa for example, Canada as an entity would be unaffected, just as the Canadian Crown, the present sovereign, and this list, would be completely unaffected.
3. I also don't understand your desire to split the list up by one for the federation and one for the 'components'. Canada existed for hundreds of years prior to Confederation and exists, once again, as an independent idea. The colonies of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia joined with Canada in forming a new Dominion, but this was not the formation of Canada itself. Canada in 1867 and Canada today, although starkly different geographically and having a lot more 'components', is still the same unchanged entity.
4. I don't see the point then, of including sovereigns of outside entities to this list. Especially when this list is sourced from academic and official sources which do not include any of these extraneous sovereigns which you wish to include. trackratte (talk) 23:03, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
  • @Trackratte: I'm going to have to disagree with your claim that Canada existed for hundreds of years prior to Confederation. The reason for my plural in "places called Canada" is that "the Canadas" (Ontario and Quebec) is not the same thing as the political union which is also called Canada. A new entity was created upon confederation. For example, the same is true of the United Kingdom: yes England, Scotland, and Ireland each have a long histories, but the entity of the "United Kingdom" didn't exist until the union happened, so you can't say that the "United Kingdom" as an entity existed for thousands of years. It's the same with the European Union: yes there is tonnes of history in Europe, but the history of the "European Union" didn't start until the treaty creating the EU was signed. Canada is a bit strange because one of the members of the union was also called "Canada", but that doesn't mean that the Federation of Canada is a continuation of the Colony of Canada, it just means that one was named after the other. The union could easily have chosen one of the other proposed names, like Borealia, and then the situation would be clearer (but we would have a silly name). The terms of union were pretty clear that they were creating a federal entity, not having the smaller colonies join the bigger one. —Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 05:26, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
  • @Arctic.gnome:To be perfectly honest, probably due to my highschool education (lacking) and the fact that we celebrate 'Canada Day' as "Canada's birthday", I spent my entire life thinking that there was no such thing as Canada prior to 1867. However, during university I began to hit a few things that gradually changed my mind the further I looked into it. Also, as this medium lacks emotional context, please construe my typing as nothing but respectful. A few things that I could pull off the top of my head:
  • "The Executive Government and Authority of and over Canada is hereby declared to continue and be vested in the Queen" Justice Canada. The Act was passed by the Canadian Government, whose role, and its sovereign's, were said to "continue", not be "created" or "established".
  • "The Canada Gazette has been published as the official publication of the Government of Canada since 1841" Canada Gazette The Government of Canada's official publication, which continues to this day, pre-existed Confederation, as did the Government of Canada itself. Also see Canada Gazette June 1867 vs Canada Gazette July 1867, the only difference being that one is volume 26 and the other is volume 1. Both sessions were held in the same building, lead by the same people, using the same conventions, procedures, and rules, serving the same nation and the same sovereign, under the same name. The difference being between Canada as a colonial province and Canada as a larger colonial dominion. (I can't remember where I read about them using the same procedures manual for quite some time, maybe Smith's "The Peoples House of Commons"?).
  • The [history template] discusses aspects of the Canadian constitution established in the 18th century which continue to this day, and continue to form part of our constitution. If the Canada of 1867 is not the same entity as that of 1866 then its peculiar how its Government, its Constitution, and its Sovereign carried over all the same, and how our current official and academic bodies of knowledge stress the "evolution" of Canada from the 16th or 18th centuries to the present.
  • If the Canada of 1866 is a different entity based on its geographic change, then the Canada of 1867 would be a completely different entity of that of 1941.
  • If the Canada of 1866 is a different entity based on the passing of a Constitutional Act, then the Canada of 1867 would be a completely different entity than the Canada of 1982.
  • Yes, the Constitution of 1867 probably had a much greater impact on the formation of the modern-day independent state than the Constitution Acts of 1791, 1840, or 1982 did, but that did not mean the wholesale creation of a new entity.
  • Also, it was issued in the Gazette on the 8th of June 1867 that on March 29th of that year there was passed "An Act for the Union of 'Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and the Governments thereof and for purposes connected therein' ...the Provinces of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick shall 'form and be One Dominion under the name of Canada and on and after that day those Provinces shall form and be One Dominion under that Name accordingly". This Act was passed by the Government of Canada prior to the existence of the Dominion of Canada. It says nothing about the creation of a new entity, but only of the joining of "Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick" into "One Dominion under the name of Canada".
  • We have a whole host of academic and official sources which explicitly list the "33 sovereigns of Canada", specifically outlining each sovereign as Canada's monarch from the 1500s to the present under a progression of French, British, and Canadian Crowns. trackratte (talk) 00:29, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
  • @Trackratte: With respect, there are a number of problems with your analysis. Note that I'm speaking strictly from a legal point of view; there were definitely people at the time who saw Confederation as a de facto absorption of the small provinces into the big one (the NS and NB politicians who opposed union certainly saw it that way). To name a few counter-arguments: (1) The act passed on March 29 1867 was an act of the UK Parliament, not the Province of Canada Parliament. (2) All of the Constitutional documents in the template prior to 1867 were acts of the Imperial Parliament, and were thus binding on all of the colonies and continued to be binding on their union government. (3) The fact that a new entity was created in 1867 does not mean that a new entity is created every time a new colony joins or the Constitution is amended; it's similar to how the EU became a new entity when the treaty was signed, but it didn't become a new entity when Estonia joined or when the EU treaty is amended. (4) The fact that the Canada Gazette decided to continue as a federal institution rather than a provincial one doesn't mean anything other than the fact that they made that administrative decision; I could give the counter example of the Law Society of Upper Canada, which decided to represent Ontario after Confederation rather than becoming a federal entity. I could go on and give more detail in my arguments, but I think at this point it might be useful to take a step back and ask what would produce the most useful content for readers. Certainly, a lot of readers will come here looking for monarchs of the Colony of Canada and the Federation of Canada as one long line, as you suggest, and this article gives them that. However, other readers will come here wanting to see all monarchs that have reigned over what is now Canada, and this list is incomplete for that. Other readers will come here wanting to see what monarchs reigned over where they live. For readers from Nova Scotia to Alberta, they can piece that information together using the "territorial changes" box, although that is a somewhat awkward way of doing it. For readers in BC and Newfoundland, this article doesn't tell the whole story. Even if Canada-the-federation were a de jure continuation of Canada-the-colony (which I'm confident it wasn't), this list would still be lacking information that readers might be looking for. The Spanish and Newfoundland monarchs should be listed somewhere on a Canadian history list on Wikipedia, and we need some kind of chart or table column to quickly look up who was monarch when for any given region that is now part of Canada. These could either be done by splitting this list, or by adding the Spanish and Newfoundland to this list and creating an extra column to make clearer who reigned over what and when. —Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 03:01, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
  • @Arctic.gnome: 1. So are we agreed that it was a de facto continuation? Other points in that regard that I forgot to mention was that Canada's prime minister (co-head of government) in 1866 was John A Macdonald, as it was after confederation. The Governor General of Canada was Viscount Monck before and after Confederation as well (if you look at List of Governors General of Canada you'll see it starts in 1602). The Canadian Dollar remained the official currency from 1857 until present, Parliament consisted of a lower and upper chamber with Queen Victoria as Queen of the UK and GB as its head pre and post Confederation and was held at Centre Block. Its political system was one of constitutional monarchy before and after. The capital of Canada was Ottawa pre-and post Confederation, etc. Also, laws passed prior to Confederation were still in effect post-Confederation. So, if Canada kept the same name, system of government, principal political actors, sovereign, governor general, prime minister, laws, currency, official publications, capital, assembly (Centre Block), military (units, establishments, and structure), etc, then how could it possibly be a completely different and unconnected entity? The fact is it was an evolutionary change, not a wholesale creation.
2. Your reasoning that the "union could easily have chosen one of the other proposed names, like Borealia, and then the situation would be clearer" is an oversimplification. It was specifically debated, and I don't have the hansard in front of me here, but there was a reason why 'Canada' was chosen, as it was not seen as a 'from scratch' creation of a whole new entity, but of a significant step (leap?) along the journey of nation building.
3. With regards to your point about whether or not it was de jure change, I don't see any evidence it was. For something to be de jure it has to be passed into law or established through case law. Granted I haven't really looked into it, so there could quite a bit out there I'm sure. However, all I have so far is the Constitution Act, 1867 which states "Executive Government and Authority of and over Canada is hereby declared to continue".
4. Laws were created by the Parliament of Canada and officially enacted by the Imperial Parliament. For example, the Constitution Act of 1982 was enacted by the Parliament of the UK as the Canadian Parliament did not have the authority to enact constitutional amendments at the time. However, no one would say that the Constitution Act, 1982 is not a Canadian Act passed by our Parliament. This holds true for all of the various constitution acts 1867-1982, including the Act of 1867 itself.
5. Your point about providing information to the proverbial reader is well taken. However, the purpose of a list page is not to "tell the whole story", but simply to list a series of things. In light of this, and to use the example that you brought up for readers from British Columbia and Newfoundland, I think those respective pages, ie Monarchy in British Columbia and Monarchy in Newfoundland and Labrador, would be much better suited to contain any such lists. This would also allow any debates with regards to specific provinces to be held there, instead of potentially having 10 different debates happening concurrently here. Finally, as I've mentioned before, the list outlined at this page is explicitly sourced, ie every monarch on this list, the order presented, the succession of crowns, and the dates, are all taken from the whole of 6+ explicit official and academic sources. Throwing Spanish sovereigns (which, quite frankly, never had anything to do with Canada, and is nowhere sourced as having such) into this list is contentious and OR. However, if you have various sources and feel that Spanish monarchs should be included at the Monarchy British Columbia page for example, then that discussion could certainly happen there. This way the integrity of this list is maintained and properly sourced (and is limited only to Canada), while the information that you wish to have displayed would be. We could certainly add the pertinent articles in the See Also section, or blue link provincial names within the Territorial Change boxes, or something to that extent. I think if we work on the 10 Monarchy in Province pages, we could quite easily come up with the fine-grained level of detail you desire, while neatly having them within their respective already existing article pages. Let me know what you think. trackratte (talk) 21:08, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
  • @Trackratte: The 1982 Act was certainly written by Canadians and passed by the British. The acts before 1931 were more of a joint effort; the Imperial Parliament didn't fully trust colonial riff-raffs with their own constitutions back then (or constitutional courts, for that matter). As for items like the dollar, well-established institutions from the Province of Canada were transferred to the federation, but that's just good sense. All-in-all, I imagine what people thought was happening de facto at the time would depend on who you asked and whether they wanted the union, but I still understand the point of the union in law was to create a new entity, albeit one that cannibalized a number of Province of Canada institutions. I could go through the rest of your points one-by-one, but that probably wouldn't get us anywhere. This debate is really just academic; if there was an unambiguous datum showing one way or the other, one of us would have quoted it by now. This article as it is probably does cover what most readers are looking for, so most of the additional information needed could be covered by re-arranging some parts and adding some "see also" links. The first recommendations that come to mind are:
    1. Mention in the intro that the list is specific to the historical Canadas, and other monarchies can be found in the province-specific articles (and articles about Aboriginal monarchies, if we have any).
    2. Group the page by political entity, like at List of Governors General of Canada. So the first-level headings would be (1) New France & Province of Quebec, (2) the Canadas & Province of Canada, (3) federation of Canada. We could then use the existing crest-image system to differentiate French, English, British, and Canadian lines within each list.
    3. If we can find a way of doing so non-obtrusively, make it clear for each monarch's row which BNA colonies outside of the Colony of Canada they controlled. —Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 08:01, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
@Arctic.gnome:From Sen. Eugene Forsey's "How Canadians Govern Themselves": "When the men who framed the basis of our present written Constitution, the Fathers of Confederation, were drafting it in 1864–67...". Also, your point that continuing Canadian institutions post-Confederation is "just good sense" is in line with my point, it was "just good sense" to carry forward the constitutional process started in 1792 through 1840 to 1867 (and eventually to 1982), ie constant constitutional evolution vice starting something anew from scratch.
In any event, I like your overall intent to clarify things for readers. Although I think that the dates in the reign column make it pretty explicitly clear that we're talking about the contemporary Canada within those dates, it could certainly be helpful to somehow direct the reader to information regarding monarchies outside the Canadian scope, but nonetheless reigning over areas that Canada now encompasses. I also like the mention of aboriginal monarchies if such can be found. I'm not sure about the grouping by political entity or how exactly that would work. Would you be willing to do a shortened example list in your sandbox to demonstrate? Or in line with your last point, maybe simply adding another column with a title like "Reign over BNA Territory Outside of Canada" or something to that effect for general info? I'm leaning towards the latter, as I think that clearly outlines the information that you wish to present, while maintaining the integrity of the list and its sources. trackratte (talk) 23:11, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

List of Sovereigns of Canada[edit]

Copied here from my talk page. —Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs)


I restored a previous version of the list from that which you worked on. I apologise in advance as I realise it probably took you a bit of time. I looked over it to try and incorporate your changes while maintaining the overall framework. I incorporated one element but left the rest for now. The central reasoning is simply that 1. This is a list. Adding in depth text which can be found on the respective articles is redundant here (and if it isn't there then we should be adding the material there, not on a list), and 2. This article is specific to Canada, not to the BNA. In depth discussions about colonies and territories outside of Canada are outside of the list's scope.

Also, I think that you divided the list up in consequence to territorial and monarchical changes to the BNA. However, in line with my point above, the way the list is presently divided is to illustrate the changes in specific relation to the Crown for the Colony/Dominion of Canada. One example is "Monarchs of the BNA colonies" as outside the scope of the list, and another being that the list is not divided within 'English Crown' and 'British Crown', as this political change was largely transparent to Canada (ie. there was no change to the Crown in Right of Canada in 1707 as both the sovereign herself and the constitutional system within Canada remained unchanged).

Finally, the banners themselves as they are now (with the shields) were implemented by someone, I can't remember who, and thinking they looked quite nice, I expanded their use slightly. They also serve to break up the list once again according to the constitutional changes vis a vis the Crown that took place throughout Canada's history from simply a marked place on a map, to a colony, to a dominion, to the independent and sovereign 'kingdom' that it is today.

Please don't take my restore as malicious and I hope to hear your thoughts. trackratte (talk) 00:48, 23 April 2014 (UTC)


Regarding your first point: this is indeed a list page, but nothing in MOS:LIST says that subsections cannot have intros to explain the organization of the subsection. In fact, general Wikipedia policy would encourage it. If the intros were long enough to blur the line between list and article, that might be a problem, but my subsection introductions were each only a few sentences long.

As for subdivisions of the section about British monarchs, it comes back to our discussion about how we define "Canada" prior to Confederation. I'm now in a bit more agreement about your point that some institutions of the Confederation were continuations of existing institutions rather than being completely new. I think the key of these is the Governor General: I can agree that when the Governor-in-Chief was created in 1786 and the colonial Governors were demoted to Lieutenant Governors, there did exist a political entity called "Canada", which included the Canadas, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and PEI. That entity was a new creation, and immediately prior to its creation there was no political entity officially called "Canada". I think that change is notable enough to put a break in the table the same way we put a break at the point of Confederation.

The remaining issue is how we define the term "Canada" before 1786. In the 16th century, "Canada" specifically referred to the area controlled by the Stadacona Iroquois. From the early 17th century until 1763, it was the name of a Colony of New France. From 1763-1786 there was no political entity that used the name and it was only used unofficially. I see three options. (1) If we want to limit this list to the monarchs of the place called "Canada" (even in the years when the name wasn't official), we should remove British monarchs prior to 1763. (2) If we want to keep the pre-1763 British monarchs, then we are including areas that were not part of Canada and we should add the Dominion of Newfoundland monarchs and Spanish monarchs. (3) We remove the British monarchs prior to 1763 but add a new section at the bottom of the article where we list other monarchs who reigned over what is now Canada in a much more succinct way, like through a bulleted list. I personally like the third option because it gives the main list a clear purpose while also providing information about other BNA monarchs that some readers may be looking for. Even if this list is about BNA in general, there is a good chance that people who look up this article would be interested in BNA monarchs, so it would be helpful to briefly list them if we can do so without making the article too long. —Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 05:50, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

I added in most of the content that you had placed in as notes for now, so that in the interim, most of the information that you want presented is still there, while a wholesale change of the list's structure and scope is discussed.
An issue that I have is that this list is in chronological order, so I find any mention of Newfoundland prior to 1949 for example, placed out of context. Since this list is clearly divided by date, ex Queen Victoria with Canada 1837-1901, then we are clearly talking about the polity in relation to the territory it occupied at that time, not Canada 1949-present. So to be clear, I have no problem mentioning Newfoundland (or placing explanatory notes before 1949), but in listing or adding text explaining Newfoundland before it was even part of Canada. As it is now, we see territories added to the polity (Canada) as we scroll down the list in chronological sequence.
The sections are currently divided by Crown (French, British, Canadian), with banner breaks placed within the sections to mark constitutional changes (ie Canada as a colony, Canada as a dominion, Canada as an independent Dominion), I don't see why we would break up the list at 1786 based on a change in role of the governor general, since there was no constitutional change within Canada.
The question as to whether or not Canada existed prior to 1786 is one which is largely irrelevant, I think, since we know that "Canada" was marked on European maps in the 1500s, and since the sources behind the list state "sovereigns of Canada" or something similar, and then list the monarchs here, some using the same French/British/Canadian divisions. Just because there was no official Canadian government from 1763-1786, does not mean that an entity called Canada ceased to exist during those years.
With regards to your suggestion of removing all monarchs prior to 1763, that would not be in agreement with the sources on which this list is based. If we list all monarchs who have ever laid claim on territories which now fall within Canada, then we are essentially doing away with the chronological aspect of the list, and are no longer talking about Canadian monarchs/sovereigns of Canada, but of 'Monarchs who have laid claim on North America'.
While I do not agree that this list is about 'the BNA in general' given its name, I do agree with your point that we should give "the main list a clear purpose while also providing information about other BNA monarchs that some readers may be looking for", completely valid. Could we reword the lead to make this clear? Add a blurb at the outset explaining the article's scope and where to find further information? Or change the scope (and thus the title) completley? trackratte (talk) 01:25, 24 April 2014 (UTC)

C'est quoi "Canada"?[edit]

Before we can decide on anything else, I think we have to reach an agreement about what we mean by "Canada". There are probably sources for any of these definitions, so the question here is really about what we want this article to be. The options that I see are:

  1. The area around Quebec City that was originally called Canada.
  2. The area called "Canada" on a majority of maps at the time, regardless of whether the name refers to a legal area with borders or is an unofficial term. This would be the Quebec City area in the 16th century, south Quebec and Ontario from 17th-19th century, and the Confederation afterwards.
  3. Colonies and states legally called "Canada". This would include the New France colony of Canada, nothing from 1763-1791, the Canadas from 1791-1867, and the Confederation thereafter. Importantly, if were are talking about real political entities, I think we would have to limit the list to only the monarchs of those political entities and not monarchs who just laid a claim to the area.
  4. Any kind of legally-recognized area with legal borders called "Canada". This would be like the above option, except it would include all of the colonies under the control of the Governor General of Canada from 1786 onwards. Like the above option, I think we would have to exclude monarchs who laid a claim but didn't have a government.
  5. A legal-based option like in #3 or #4, but filling in the gaps of time where no colony used the name "Canada" by assuming that the British colony of Quebec was a continuation of the French colony of Canada until a new colony started using the name Canada.
  6. Any land that would become part of modern-day Canada.
  7. Only the Confederation beginning in 1867. If we chose this option, we should move the other monarchs to a new article called "List of monarchs who claimed sovereignty over the Canadian colonies" or something similar.
  8. Only the Canadian Crown beginning in 1931. As above, this would require a new article to be created.

Only after we figure this out can we really make a decision on anything else. Anyone keeping an eye on this article should feel free to chime in (notably @Trackratte, Mr Serjeant Buzfuz, Miesianiacal, 117Avenue, Srnec, DrKiernan, Gealstrix:). —Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 05:05, 24 April 2014 (UTC)

Good job breaking it down so succingtly. Option 2 is the only one that fits with the 6 or so sourced lists on which this entire list is based off of. My concern then, is if we start using something other than option 2 for this list, we fall away from the referenced list and into the realm of OR. trackratte (talk) 19:38, 24 April 2014 (UTC)
For ease of reference here, I'm talking about the lists linked in footnotes 24 through 29. trackratte (talk) 19:40, 24 April 2014 (UTC)
I don't think OR is really an issue here. We need sources to claim who was monarch of where and when, but we can get that no matter what. We can define the scope of the list however we want, so long as the scope isn't arbitrary or misleading. Hypothetically, we could make a bunch of lists called "List of monarchs of places named Canada" and "List of past monarchs of territory that is now within Canada" and "List of monarchs of the Dominion of Canada". Those would all be valid topics. However, I doubt any of us think that having eight articles is a good idea, so the question should be what scope we think would be most useful to our readers. —Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 20:19, 24 April 2014 (UTC)
I still think this article is pointless. There isn't a person on it who wasn't monarch of something else as well (and appears on that list). Only one person has ever held a Canadian royal title. So rather than eight articles, how about zero? Just explain the situation at Monarchy of Canada and provide links to the appropriate lists that already exist (and are indisputably needful). Srnec (talk) 23:46, 24 April 2014 (UTC)
This article is largely duplication. The sovereign of any territory in North America was always the sovereign of the European nation whose colony it was. TFD (talk) 01:17, 25 April 2014 (UTC)