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Colonies in the Wilderness
Transcript of Colonies in the Wilderness
- Senator Maurice Bourget
official ceremony inaugurating the new Canadian
flag (February 15, 1965)
***Agree or Disagree? Why?*** Nine Facts about the National Flag of Canada:
- During the medieval crusades, each nation was
distinguished by a cross of a different colour.
- France had a red cross on its banner while England
used a white cross.
- Time and time again, red and white are found as
the colours of France and England.
- Red and white were approved as Canada’s official
colours by King George V in 1921.
- According to many historians, the maple leaf
began to serve as a Canadian symbol as early as
- Well before the coming of the first European
settlers, Canada's aboriginal peoples had
discovered the food properties of maple sap, which
they gathered every spring.
- Although the search for a Canadian flag started in
1925, it wasn’t until 1965 that the Canadian
government agreed upon what national flag to
- During World War One and Two, many Canadian
soldier wore maple leafs on their military badges.
It was Dr. George Stanley who argued that the use
of red and white on the national flag would be
- The current national flag of Canada was
intentionally created to be a vehicle to promote
national unity. Upper & Lower Canada The lands west and north of the Great Lakes were reserved for the fur trade.
In 1820, less than twelve people lived west of the Great Lakes who were not Metis (some of French and Native ancestry), Native, or who didn’t work in the fur trade.
All three of these groups of people were against settlement because settlement meant that each group would be forced out of their way of life in order to make room for roads, canals, schools, and European owned plots of land. The Background: The Fur Trade The fur trade first began in the sixteenth century when explorers brought back furs from Canada.
Ever since this, furs had been a
precious commodity in Europe and Asia.
In 1821 the two largest companies involved in fur trade merged.
These two companies were the Northwest company, and the
Hudson Bay company. The Fur Trade This was a British Colony made up of southern and eastern Ontario.
After American Independence and the War of 1812 the population of Upper Canada had risen rapidly because many British Loyalists were no longer welcome in the United States.
Many immigrants from Europe and the United States arrived to take advantage of cheap land. Upper Canada During the American Revolution and the War of 1812, Canada had been invaded and this reinforced ties to the British Empire.
Many people viewed the US as a possible enemy of Canada. However, many settlers in Canada were American and trade with the country was very important. Upper Canada (cont.) The ruling class in Upper and Lower Canada tried to accumulate wealth and power and to stay within British governmental and societal norms.
This meant that people from Britain often received the best and largest pieces of land, meaning that they held most of the power in Upper Canada and Lower Canada.
This caused much conflict between British immigrants, American immigrants, and immigrants from other parts of Europe. Among the French in Lower Canada Rebellions eventually break out. Early Canadian Society To European settlers this area was a wilderness.
The land was heavily forested, and cutting down all the trees on your land took years.
Life was hard and often lonely. People looked forward to visits from travelling clergy because neighbour farms were often very far away.
When communities did form, they were small. Usually with one small church and one small
Life was quiet and filled with work.
Often people had to mortgage out their crops before they had even grown them in order to trade for supplies
This created a barter economy – an economy that works by trading of products and services. What was Life Like? Settlement on Long Island on the Rideau River, Upper Canada, 1830 Upper Canada had a way of leveling out the classes.
Both upper class and lower class citizens found themselves settling in the colony and life was very different from what it was in Europe.
Cheap labor and servants were hard to come by, so people had to build and maintain their farms on their own.
Upper and lower class people socialized out of the need to. It was barren and lonely and often your neighbor was the only source of help for kilometers. So necessity won out over social class. Social Class Many of the settlers who came to BNA were not English. Many were Irish, Scottish, African American.
However, English people at the time were what we would consider racist. They believed it was their duty to civilize the world, thus many groups of people were not accepted, nor welcomed into BNA. Multiculturalism What was life like for women? Susanna Moodie and Anna B. Jameson Defined themselves in terms of their social class, which was determined by the success or failure of their husbands.
Marriage was generally not about love, but about finding a husband who would benefit you and your family.
No matter whether you were upper class or lower class you were required to work, usually helping your husband set up the farm and housework.
Again, social classes broke down.
Main duty was to have children! (more children meant more help on the farm)
John Strachan (one of five leading members of the Family Compact. The Family Compact was a small group of officials who helped run Upper Canada. They saw themselves as superior to others.
They were descendants of Loyalist settlers and believed in the rightness of the aristocracy and the importance of ties to Britain.
On a social level, members were snobbish and it was very hard to become a part of this “private club.”All members knew one another, and were often related.
Similar group in Lower Canada known as
the Chateau Clique. Was there an Upper Class?
The Family Compact "The general interest, once excited, was industriously kept alive by pamphlets, published by interested parties... while they carefully concealed the toil and hardship to be endured in order to secure these advantages [in Canada]."
- Susanna Moodie, 1852 What is Susanna Moodie talking about?
Do you think new immigrants to Canada today might have an opinion like this too? Why or why not? Think/Pair/Share Discussion Question: "Is this an accurate portrayal of life in Upper Canada? Why or why not?" ( Provide 5 reasons on half a piece of paper) The Need for Reform Colonial Government Form of government in which the power lies in the hands of a small group of influential men
Britain appointed a governor who was supposed to control the oligarchy
In reality, he ruled according to the wishes of its members
These men were the aristocracy and had little idea what it was to be the ordinary farmer who made up the bulk of the population.
It was not representative Oligarchy Established in 1791 by the Constitutional Act
It divided Upper Canada from Lower Canada
Gave the colony an elected law-making assembly called Legislative Assembly
The only people who could vote were English, landowning males. How representative is this?
Also, a governor chosen by the British, who had two chosen councils. The Government of Upper Canada This seems democratic; however, the actual power was held by the governor and his chosen councils, who could veto any laws or regulations proposed by the assembly
The Assembly wanted to benefit the ordinary people, the councils (made up of Family Compact) wanted to benefit themselves
This led to calls for reform! The Government of Upper Canada (Cont.) Grievances in Upper Canada The biggest grievance was land!
Speculators – those who buy property at a low price and sell it at a higher price without spending much of their own money
Absentee landowners – land that was owned by the rich and rented out to the poor.
Crown and clergy reserves – blocks of land set aside to provide income for the government and for the Anglican church. They blocked road development, often tied up prime, farmland! Robert Gourlay, a Scottish land agent, surveyed farmers about life in Upper Canada.
He found widespread discontent -- people were fed up with the government and its land policies.
He drew up a list of grievances and a petition.
He was arrested and sent out
of the country! Grievances in Upper Canada (Cont.) William Lyon Mackenzie, a leading radical Scottish reformer took his place
He started a newspaper called The Colonial Advocate. In this, he criticized the government and The Family Compact
He became the center of a group who wanted a more American style of government, but one still loyal to Britain
His views were Republican (democratic, without a monarch as the head of state)
He became a leader of the reform movement! William Lyon Mackenzie What Lot do you think are Crown and Clergy Reserves? Why? Discussion Question: Based on what you've seen in the video clip, what were some of the challenges of early settlers to Canada? List of Grievances Activity Imagine you are Robert Gourlay and you are preparing a list of grievances to bring to the government's attention.
In groups you must:
- Make a list of grievances against the Government of Upper
Canada on a chart piece of paper
- Write down eight grievances based on what we've
- Be prepared to present your grievances to the class Grievance: a feeling of resentment or injustice at having been unfairly treated The French population of LC had not completely adjusted to British conquest. Language and Cultural differences.
Control was in the hands of a few, English speaking merchants who formed an oligarchy know as the Chateau Clique.
Old power structure based on the seigneurial system (old system of New France whereby seigneurs or lords, were granted parcels of land by France) was changing slowly.
Seigneurial families, and the church had considerable influence in LC and were thus bribed by the Chateau Clique.
The power lay with the English-speaking people. Stirrings in Lower Canada The English seemed to have the most advantages, despite being the minority (80, 000 English in a population of 420, 000)
Majority of the population thought that the seigneurs and the Church had sold out to English interests.
Most of all they felt that their way of life was being attacked.
They were beginning to feel like a French minority in a larger English colony Grievances The government tried to change the Seigneural system (the old system of New France whereby seigneurs, or lords were granted parcels of land by France)
The government did this by offering land in the Eastern Townships to people of the British Isles. Feelings of Nationalism French-Canadians feared that Great Britain was trying to alleviate the “French Problem” by bringing more English speaking immigrants to the colony.
They felt discriminated against both economically and politically because of their culture, language, and ideas.
The British tried to increase the taxation on land (majority of French were farmers), but not on business (majority of business owners were English speaking). Feelings of Nationalism (cont.) 1. discrimination against the French.
2. unequal taxation.
3. lack of power within the government. Focus of Reform in Lower Canada The leader of the radical reformers in LC.
He was a powerful public speaker.
Along with Wolfred Nelson (English physician) and Edmund O’Callaghan (Irishman who started a reform newspaper The Vindicator), the reformers believed that the Assembly should have complete control of the government’s budget, and they wanted a more American-style republic. Louis Joseph Papineau The government arrested those who criticized it.
After British soldiers shot protesters in Montreal in 1832, Papineau and other reformers in the Assembly submitted their “Ninety-two Resolutions” to the governor.
It demanded a complete change in the way the colony was governed!
IT WAS DENIED! Ninety-two Resolutions Rebellion is to come! Tensions are building….. The Union of Canada Lord Durham’s Report After the Rebellions... Even though the British government defeated the rebels, Britain realized that the old ways of running the colonies would have to change.
The British cabinet established a commission to investigate the situation and to recommend solutions. Lord Durham This was led by John Lambton, the Earl of Durham, an aristocrat and reformer politician who was appointed Governor-in-Chief of the Canadas.
Most Governors had blended in with both the Chateau Clique and the Family Compact; however, Durham was seen as an independent representative of a powerful empire. Lord Durham He set up an office in Quebec city and opened his door to all French Canadians.
He listened to their grievances.
He treated captured rebels as leniently as possible, and pardoned most of them.
Although this was beneficial, those who had their property destroyed by the rebels were upset and complained. The Report Durham saw that he had little support in the Canadas, so he resigned and went home. He was only in Canada for five months!
He completed his report, which
1. that the colonies be joined together
and they be given responsible
2. the assimilation of the French into
English culture. Union of Lower Canada and Upper Canada Durham’s proposal for Union was accepted by
the British government, and by his successor, Lord Sydenham.
The French Canadians in Lower Canada were not pleased with the idea of Union (many Quebecois are still upset about it to this day), but Sydenham pressed for it anyways.
In 1840 the Act of Union united Lower Canada and Upper Canada: they became United Canada in 1841, with the capital in Montreal. Issues Lower Canada (now Canada East) had a bigger population,
so it wasn’t fairly represented!
French language was no longer allowed to be used by the government!
Discontent amongst the French Canadian population! New Government Lower Canada and Upper Canada were brought together to form one government.
Canada East (Que.) received 42 seats and Canada West (Ont.) Received 42 seats with the Legislative Assembly of the new responsible government.