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Upper & Lower Canada (1815-1838)

By: Cheryl, Derek, Henry, Lynn, Siyan, and Tharshanan
by

Henry Jia

on 31 January 2013

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Transcript of Upper & Lower Canada (1815-1838)

Upper & Lower Canada
(1815 - 1838) By: Cheryl, Derek, Henry,
Lynn, Siyan & Tharshanan

The Canadas is the collective name for Upper Canada and Lower Canada, two British colonies in present day Canada. Introduction to the Canadas Lower Canada covered the south-eastern portion of the modern-day Province of Quebec, Canada, and (until 1809) the Labrador region of the modern-day Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Upper Canada covered what is now the southern portion of the Province of Ontario, and the lands bordering Georgian Bay and Lake Superior. They were both created by the Constitutional Act of 1791 and abolished in 1841 with the union of Upper and Lower Canada. Their names reflected their positions relative to the headwaters of the St. Lawrence River. The Great Migration The first major change to Upper & Lower Canada was The Great Migration. The Great Migration of Canada was a period of high immigration to Canada from 1815 to 1850, involving over 800,000 immigrants. Many of the French, British and Americans settled in Lower Canada Though Europe was becoming richer through the Industrial Revolution, population growth made the relative number of jobs low, forcing many to look to the New World for economic success. Whereas settlers from Ireland, Scotland, and Wales settled in Upper Canada The Timber Trade The Fur Trade Governmental Power The second major change in the early 1800's occurred because the pioneers began to use the forests as a way of making a living. Before that time they had used some trees to build their homes, but most were cut down and burnt in order to clear land for planting crops. In 1839, wood made up 80% of all goods exported from Upper and Lower Canada. It provided jobs for thousands of people in Lower Canada. Much of the wood was sold to Britain, some of it was sold to the U.S, and the rest was in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in the Shipbuilding industry. New Brunswick was a world leading exporter of timber. Wood 101 Potash made from ashes of trees was used for making soap and glass in Europe. Masts made of white pine were needed for the ships of the British Royal Navy. Until 1815, a supply of new masts was particularly needed, because Britain was involved in European wars. Square timber was needed in Europe for building. The men would fell the trees, cut off the limbs, and square the trunks. Next, they would lash the timber together in huge rafts that could hold as many as 50 or 60 men and then float the rafts downstream to the ports of Quebec and St. John, New Brunswick. There the timber was loaded onto large ships, and transported to Europe. By 1854, there were 1618 sawmills in Upper Canada. The third major change in the Canadas in the early 1800's involved the fur trade. The fur trade was still an important part of the economy of Lower Canada. The rivalry over the fur trade could have ended in 1763 when the British took control of New France, but it did not. Instead, the traders from Montreal returned to the woods and extended the vast fur-trading system even farther than before. In 1783, a group of Montreal merchants formed the North West Company to compete for furs with the Hudson's Bay Company. The North West Company proceeded to build trading posts far to the west so that it would be easier for the Native people to bring in their furs. The Hudson's Bay Company was forced to build posts inland as well. Sometimes the trading posts of the two companies were in sight of one another, causing a bit of tension. The Hudson's Bay Company had an advantage in that it had posts on Hudson Bay itself and could ship furs and trading goods in and out of the Bay. Whereas the North West Company had to use the slower overland route to Montreal. The fur frontier was moving farther north all the time. This meant that it was becoming more and more expensive to transport trading goods and supplies to the trading posts. In 1821, the rival companies decided to unite under the name of the Hudson's Bay Company. The new company took over all the trading posts in the West, optimizing profit and trade goods for their homelands. Life in Lower Canada There were 3 major groups in the male-dominated society of Lower Canada at this time. They were the French-speaking habitants, the English-speaking merchants, and the French-speaking professional men. Each group had special concerns they wanted the government to recognize. The French-speaking habitants continued to live much as they had done for the past 150 years. They worked their long, narrow farms and paid their dues to the seigneur. But change was threatening their lifestyle. Population growth was filling up the available farmland. The narrow farms were becoming even narrower as farmers divided them among their sons. New rows of farms appeared behind the original fronting on the St. Lawrence, Richelieu, and Ottawa rivers. Extreme poverty was common after 1810. The economic situation was made worse by the low prices fetched by wheat at the time. The huge number of English-speaking newcomers made them fearful of losing their French language, Roman Catholic religion, and agricultural way of life. Compared to the habitants, the English-speaking merchants were newcomers to Lower Canada. They had arrived following the events in 1763, when New France became a British colony. The merchants were rich and powerful. They had made their money from the export of furs, grain and later timber. They wanted improvements, such as harbours, canals, and roads, all of which were to be paid for by government taxes. The French-speaking professionals were the newest group of Lower Canada. They were educated people, mostly lawyers and doctors. They wanted to be leaders of the colony and they believed that they spoke for all the French-speaking people of Lower Canada. This nation would preserve the French-Canadian way of life: the French language, Roman Catholic religion, and traditional agricultural lifestyle. They saw the British as a cultural threat. They formed a new political party called the Parti Canadien. Government in Lower Canada The system of government in Lower Canada during this time was that which had established by the Constitutional Act of 1971. The power of the elected Legislative Assembly was limited by the governor and the councils. After 1817 the Legislative Assembly controlled revenues in Lower Canada. However, bills recommending how money was to be spent could be vetoed by the Legislative Council and the British appointed governor. Members of the Legislative Council and the Executive Council were appointed by the governor, so they could not be voted out at election time. Since the governor was English-speaking, the council members appointed by him usually spoke English. Their interests and concerns were usually different from those of the Canadien habitants and professional men. Chateau Clique One group in Lower Canada held most of the power in the government. This group came to known as the Chateau Clique. Chateau meant castle and clique meant a small group unfriendly to outsiders. The Chateau Clique was a small group of powerful people in Lower Canada, members were either of British background or wealthy Canadiens who were allied with the British. They wanted the Roman Catholic Church to stay powerful; in turn the Church supported their political arms, favoured the British point of view and government, and wanted more English-speaking settlers in the colony. Parti Canadien Many people in Lower Canada wanted to maintain traditional Canadien ways, such as the Roman Catholic religion and the seigneurial system. However, they also wanted changes to government. They celebrated the granting of representative government in 1791. They pushed to increase the power of the Legislative assembly and to reform government to make it more democratic. They appealed especially to the Canadien professional elite. The Parti Canadien was predominately Canadien, but there were a few English-speaking people who took up the case. The leader of the Parti Canadien was Louis-Joseph Papineau. Shortly after 1800 the Canadien professional group won control of the Legislative Assembly. Even though the Legislative Assembly had little power they were able to vote against improvements planned by the merchants in the Chateau Clique, such as canals. Unrest in Lower Canada The French-speaking people and the English-speaking merchants wanted different things for Lower Canada. For instance, the merchants wanted to improve canals, harbours, and roads to make it easier to transport wheat and timber to Britain. They suggested that all landowners be taxed to pay for these improvements. The habitants were not interested in these improvements, which they felt would help only the merchants. If enough immigrants arrived, the French-speaking inhabitants of Lower Canada could lose their language right and protection of their Roman Catholic religion. In June of 1832, an immigrant ship brought a deadly disease, cholera, which resulted in an epidemic in the colony. By September, it had claimed almost 5500 victims. Another area of concern for the French-speaking people of Lower Canada was the fact that the Executive Council and the Legislative Council were dominated by people who either were English-speaking or supported by Great Britain. It was difficult for the Legislative Assembly to get its bills passed into law when the goals and values of the council members and the governor were so different from the members of the Legislative Assembly, the majority of whom were French-speaking. Appeal to Great Britain In 1822, the English-speaking merchants asked Britain to unite Upper and Lower Canada. They wanted canals, harbours, and roads to be built. They thought that combining the English vote from the two colonies would increase their power. In response, Papineau took a protest petition to Britain. He managed to persuade the British Parliament to forget the idea of uniting the two colonies, at least for the time being. In 1834, the Legislative Assembly put together a list of its grievances, which they called the Ninety-Two Resolutions. They decided that they would vote for no taxes until their concerns were resolved. Many people in Lower Canada faced starvation. In January of 1837 Governor Gosford sent a report of his study on the Ninety-Two Resolutions to Britain. In response, the British Colonial Secretary issued 10 resolutions. It was also decided that if the Legislative Assembly refused to vote for taxes, the governor could simply take from the treasury the money needed to pay his officials. Then, later in 1837, economic depression hit the United States, Britain, and British North America. Prices dropped and many businesses failed. The situation had a disastrous effect on the rich Canadian timber trade. Armed Rebellion in Lower Canada By the end of November, the Canadiens were ready to fight. The actual rebellion in Lower Canada lasted only a few weeks. It began on November 23 1837, at St Denis, where the rebels won a victory. Following this battle, about 200 of the rebels built a log fort at the village of St.Charles. But this battle was not nearly as successful for them. The British troops fired their cannon, charged and the rebels fled. Of the Patriots, 40 were killed, 30 wounded and over 500 captured. Papineau and the other rebel leaders fled to the United States. The biggest battle took place on December 14 at St. Eustache. Over 1000 Patriots gathered there and fortified the church and several other buildings. The British attacked the church with cannons and then set fire to it. The rebel leader, Dr.J.O. Chenier, and 70 other rebels died as they tried to escape the flames. This ended the rebels’ hoped for a successful rebellion. Papineau and others had fled to the United States were sentenced to be executed if the returned to the Canadas. Daily Life on a Pioneer Homestead The land the pioneers selected for their homesteads was still in its natural state-an uncleared dense forest. As the pioneers cut trees and drained swamps, the wildlife was forced farther inland, away from newcomers who were making Upper Canada their home. Clearing a forested area of thousands of trees and building a new home was a time-consuming and difficult task. The first house of a pioneer family was usually a one-room log cabin with a dirt floor and a wooden chimney. A blanket might be used to divide the room into two for sleeping purposes. As the logs dried, they shrank, making the gaps between them even larger. These gaps were filled with mud or lime plaster, which had to be replaced every year. After a year or two, when there was a little more time, a larger and more comfortable house would be built. It would have several rooms on the main floor, with a loft or an attic as well. The fireplace would be stone or brick. Once this house was finished, the old log cabin might be used as a shelter for pigs or other farm animals. Daily Life Cont'd A few years later, the family might add on to the log house, or build a new home or fieldstone or sawn lumber, ir there was a sawmill in the district. This house would have glass windows instead of oiled paper or rags, such as covered the windows of the other houses. Glass was expensive because, until 1825, it had to be imported. Most inhabitants lived on the forest frontier, used physical labour to fell the trees and remove the stumps. Daily Life in the Towns of Upper Canada

As more fields were cleared in Upper Canada, more wheat was grown. Villages began to grow at places that were convenient for the farmers, like crossroads or mill sites. In the villages the farmers could sell their wheat and purchase goods with the money. A fairly large village could be expected to provide the following services for its local farmers: stores, taverns, shoemaker, blacksmith, miller, carpenter, lawyer, doctor, etc. Kingston developed as a British military and naval base for Lake Ontario and was the largest and most important town in Upper Canada for many years. In 1834, it was renamed Toronto. Despite damage caused by American invaders in 1812, York became more important as newcomers moved westward.
Family Compact Just as Lower Canada had its elite of powerful people called the Chateau Clique, Upper Canada also had an elite. This group came to be known as the Family Compact. Members of this group were in the Executive Council and Legislative Council, so they had the power to veto or stop any bills passed by the Legislative Assembly that they did not like. They took for themselves and gave to their friend’s favors such as jobs, land, and contracts for canal and roadwork. They did not want Americans to be part of government of Upper Canada and some even said that Americans should have their land taken away from them. The Family Compact
-was a small group of powerful people in the colony of Upper Canada
-along with friends and supporters, were known as Tories
-did not want people from the United States to be part of the government of Upper Canada
-defended tradition (the things that had always been done) and opposed change
-believed power should be in the hands of a few capable people (themselves)
-believed the Anglican Church (Church of England) should be powerful in the colony
-was loyal to Great Britain and to the British system of government. Government in Upper Canada Local government in the Province of Upper Canada was based on districts. In 1788, four districts were created:
Lunenburgh District, late "Eastern"
Mecklenburg District, later "Midland"
Nassau District, later "Home"
Hesse District, later "Western"
The name changes all took place in 1792. Justices of the Peace were appointed by the Lt. Governor. A Court of Quarter Sessions was held four times a year in each district composed of all the resident justices. The Quarter Sessions met to oversee the administration of the district and deal with legal cases. They formed, in effect, the municipal government until an area was incorporated as either a Police Board or a City after 1834. Additional districts were created from the existing districts as the population grew until 1849, when local government mainly based on counties came into effect. At that time, there were 20 districts; legislation to create a new Kent District was never completed. Up until 1841, the district officials were appointed by the lieutenant-governor, although usually with local input. Robert Gurlay Robert Gurlay arrived in Upper Canada in 1817 from Scotland. He had a plan to bring poor people from Britain over to farm. He said that without land, no good can be expected of us. Gurlay sent a questionnaire to farmers in Upper Canada, asking them about their progress in clearing land, the number of animals they owned, and so on. He also asked them to name things they felt prevented the improvement of their township or province. Gurlay was criticized by members of the Family Compact for attempting to stir up discontent. Farmers began to have meetings to voice their concerns over the land. There was a great deal of land in Upper Canada that was not available for farming, between the clergy reserves, the Crown reserves, and the land owned by rich people who did not work on it. These land reserves made it difficult to build roads and it took farmers much longer than necessary to get their crops to market. The Family Compact saw Gurlay as someone who caused trouble. He was thrown in jail then banished from Upper Canada in 1819. William Lyon Mackenzie Mackenzie was another Reformer. He was born in Scotland and came to Canada in 1820. He began as a shopkeeper, but in 1824 he established The Colonial Advocate, a newspaper for which he was publisher, editor, writer, and paper carrier. He used his newspaper to speak out on the land problems, the power of the Family Compact, and the question of who was an Upper Canadian. Mackenzie was first elected into the Legislative Assembly in 1828. He used his new position to suggest government changes. He thought that the elected people in the Legislative Assembly did not have enough power and later suggested that Upper Canada adopt the American system of government. Mackenzie was expelled from the Legislative Assembly a total of six times and each time people re-elected him. As the 1830s wore on, Mackenzie became more radical. He decided to resort to armed rebellion in an attempt to destroy Upper Canada’s system of government Sir Francis Bond Head Sir Francis Bond Head was appointed lieutenant-governor of Upper Canada in 1835. At first he was welcomed as a friend and ally by the Reformers. When Head ignored his council’s advice, it resigned. The Legislative Assembly decided not to co-operate with him. The Reformers would not vote to pass money bills. As a result, without money, all work on bridges, roads and docks came to an immediate halt. The lieutenant-governor called an election in which he personally campaigned on behalf of the Tories. The people of the colony, worried about their roads and bridges and the Pro-americanism of the Reformers, voted for the Tories. Mackenzie and many other Reformers went down in defeat in this 1836 election. Some moderates, like Robert Baldwin, did not support the more radical Mackenzie but also felt they could not support Head or the Tories, so they retired from political activity. Elections in Upper and Lower Canada Election violence in the 1830s was very common. There was no of voting in private booths and then depositing their ballots into a box, the voters shouted out their choices for everyone to hear. The choice was often greeted by insults from people who were voting for an opponent. Voters threw stones and even swung clubs at one another. In Montreal in 1832, one candidate hired bullets who threatened and beat anyone who declared his support for the opponent. The resulting riot caused deaths for three people. Armed Rebellion in Upper Canada Mackenzie decided to take advantage of the political unrest. He began to ride around the countryside north of Toronto, stirring up people against the government. Those who became most rebellious were called Radicals. They wanted Upper Canada to have a government like the Americans had in the United States. On October 9, 1837, news came that Papineau’s Patriotes in Lower Canada were ready to spring into armed action. British troops had left Toronto to defend the government of Lower Canada and thousands of weapons left unguarded in Toronto. Mackenzie decided the time was ripe for armed rebellion. He suggested to his followers that they seize the weapons, capture Sir Francis Bond Head, the lieutenant-governor of Upper Canada, and proclaim a new government. On, December 5, Mackenzie, wrapped in several overcoats to keep out bullets, led a group of about 800 men down Yonge Street into Toronto. A few of the men had guns. Others carried pitchforks, clubs, and even carving knives strapped to poles. In response to the attack, the leading rebel riflemen threw themselves down and returned fire. In the confusion, those behind thought the riflemen had been killed. On December 6, with cannons and rifles, 600 of the colony’s militia marched up Yonge Street. Mackenzie stayed until the bitter end. Then, in spite the fact that Sir Francis Bond Head had offered a 5000$ reward for his capture, he escaped to the United States. Then, he tried to raise an army to liberate Upper Canada by offering 120 Hectares of free land to anyone who would join him. He was arrested for breaking the legal neutrality between the Province of Canada and the United States and was imprisoned for 11 months. Aftermath of the Rebellions After the rebellion, at least temporarily, Lower Canada ended up worse than before. The colony’s Legislative Assembly was suspended until 1841, and the governor had a Special Council ruled. The British government was shocked by the rebellions in Upper and Lower Canada. The prime minister sent John George Lambton to take over as a governor general. Lord Dunham was told to investigate the causes of the rebellions and suggest solutions to the problems. Only after, was he finally able to use his abilities to persuade the people of Canada to begin anew. THANK YOU FOR WATCHING! Bibliography http://www.canadahistoryproject.ca/1791/1791-06-upper-lower-canada.html http://historysite78.webs.com/whatwaslowercanada.htm http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/confederation/023001-2100-e.html http://www.cbc.ca/history/SECTIONSE1EP7CH5LE.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Canadas http://www.histori.ca/peace/page.do?pageID=341 http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/articles/rebellions-of-1837 http://members.shaw.ca/rayandliz/1800scanada.htm http://www.biographi.ca/009004-119.01-e.php?id_nbr=5997 Grade 7 Canada Revisted Textbook
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