British North America, the term usually applied to the British colonies and territories in North America after the US became independent in 1783 until Confederation in 1867. At first it consisted of the provinces of Québec, Nova Scotia, St John's Island [Prince Edward Island], Newfoundland, the Hudson's Bay Company territories, and lands belonging directly to the Crown.

The influx of Loyalist settlers from the US into Nova Scotia resulted in the creation of New Brunswick and Cape Breton Island as separate colonies in 1784. The division of the Province of Quebec into Upper Canada and Lower Canada in 1791 separated the people of predominantly British and American origin in the west from those of mainly French origin in the east.

In 1799 St John's Island was renamed Prince Edward Island. In 1820 Cape Breton Island was reunited with Nova Scotia and in 1841 Upper and Lower Canada were united to form the Province of Canada. On the west coast the HBC colony of Vancouver Island was established in 1849 and what is now southern British Columbia became another crown colony in 1858. In 1866 the two were united as British Columbia, a single colony with enlarged boundaries.