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Demands and Struggles in the British Colony
Transcript of Demands and Struggles in the British Colony
1791 - 1840
What made it possible to publicly express their ideas ?
The era will be marked by tensions between Nationalist Groups
But what is a nation?
These are countries or states; not necessarily Nations
A group of people linked by:
1. A common language
2. A shared territory
3. A common history
4. Shared values
Quebec is a good example of a Nation
But...it is not a country
The dominant Nationalist groups in Quebec were
French Canadien Nationalist
These interests were represented by the Merchant class
Represented by the Professional Bourgeoisie
Defended the interests of the Canadiens
The 92 Resolutions
1837 - '38
The Act of Union
Loyal to England
Desire to create a colony that resembled England
Defended the interests of the business elite
safeguarding the language and religious heritage
The rise of Liberalism
"Nos institutions, notre langue et nos droits"
The basic characteristics of 19th Century Liberalism
1. Freedom of the Press
2. Civil Rights
ability to participate in politics
the rule of law and representative forms of government
An Act to reform the government of Quebec
The reform was designed to accommodate . . .
The provisions of the Constitutional Act (1791)
1. The division of Quebec into Upper and Lower Canada
Predominately English Protestants
Much more complicated picture
The population is composed of a:
1. Canadiens majority
Mostly poor and largely rural
Small merchant Bourgeoisie
Mostly poor Irish immigrants
Centered in Montreal
2. The creation of Representative Government
The creation of Legislative Assemblies allowed citizens to be represented in government
Wrote and passed laws
White men who owned property
But in the 18th and 19th century not everyone is a citizen
Administered the Laws and the public funds
The King's representative
1. Appointed members to the Executive
2. Power to Veto or disallow laws passed by the Assembly
This system could more accurately be described as a ...
The Constitution was written by the Rulers
Demands for political changes
Demands made by the Assemblies
Presented to London
The era was marked by significant changes and challenges
1. A change in culture
The people are no longer subjects; they are Citizens
Increased expectations in Representative government
But the expectations fall short
2. Economic Inequalities
The Timber Trade
The merchants demand that government funds be used to build canals
Others demanded that funds be used for urban improvement
How would this play out?
Composed of French Canadiens who passed laws to defend:
1. The French Language
2. The well being of the people
Composed of rich English Merchants
1. Recommend that bills from the Assembly be vetoed
2. Used executive powers to push through their agenda
The Key Demand was for Responsible Government
Reformers ask for changes
Louis Joseph Papineau
Louis Hippolyte Lafontaine
What's in a name....
The Parti Canadien and Parti Patriot
What is Responsible Government?
A system of government that gives power to the elected Legislative Assembly
1. The Govenor would not possess Veto Power
2. The Legislative Assembly chooses the members of the Executive Branch
3. Only members of the Legislative Assembly can be in the Executive Cabinet
Lord Russell suspends the Legislative Assembly
orders the arrest of the leaders
The immediate cause was London's rejection of the 92 Resolutions
The rebellions were easily put down
What were the consequences?
The report makes 3 recommendations
1. Assimilate the Canadiens
2. Unify Upper and Lower Canada
3. Grant Responsible Government
I ordered a halt to the executions and they didn't even name a street for me...
Think of today's Prime Minister!
Combining the 2 increased English dominance
1. The colonies are unified
The United Province of Canada
2. The L.A. still subject to the Governor's veto power
But it did not turn out the way the British planned
1. Reformers still pushed for Responsible Government
An alliance between members from Canada East & Canada West protect French Canadien interest
The Baldwin and Lafontaine coalition showed England that the colony would not give up their demand for Responsible Government
2. England became tired of spending so much effort in governing British North America
up until 1848 British North America benefited from preferential tariffs
England repealed protectionist laws and adopted a free trade policy
Responsible Government was granted as a concession to all the colonies
Asked Lafontaine & Baldwin to form a government
United Canada was free to govern its domestic policy
Free at last to make decisions for itself & this is the result