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CHV 2O The Origins of Democracy in Canada Part 2

The Origins of Government in Canada
The history of government in Canada can be divided into four distinct eras - the aboriginal people, the French colonial government, the British colonial government, and the Canadian government

The Aboriginal People
The aboriginal people of Canada used a tribal system of government! in many cases the Chief "as chosen on the basis of his mother#s family $n small communities consensus "as the %ey to decision ma%ing $n &unavut and the &orth"est Territories there are still no political parties, and consensus is still the preferred method of government Follo"ing the 'discovery( of the &e" )orld by the *uropeans, three ma+or po"ers - ,pain, *ngland, and France - moved -uic%ly to establish colonies in &orth .merica They "ere motivated by the desire for more territory, control of larger populations, and the rich natural resources that the largely undeveloped land had to offer Canada "as coloni/ed by the French and the *nglish

French / English conflict
France and *ngland "ere often bitter rivals, at home in *urope and in their various colonies On many occasions this rivalry resulted in "arfare $n 1788 French and $ndian raiding parties attac%ed *nglish colonists in 9oha"% Valley of &e" :or% The conflict "hich follo"ed ;'the ,even :ears )ar( 1782 to 1723< "as fought on the "orld#s oceans and in *urope, .sia, the Caribbean, and &orth .merica The "ar in Canada initially "ent "ell for the French and Canadiens as they adopted guerilla "arfare tactics Ho"ever, the British, "ith their larger colonies to the south, greater resources, and the po"erful =oyal &avy, "ere able to turn the tide against the French $n 178> they captured the Fortress of 5ouisbourg on Cape Breton $sland! in 178? the British under 6eneral )olfe captured @uebec City $n the subse-uent peace treaty France gave up all of its claims in Canada

The French Colonial Government
)hat started as small French colonies and forts gre" and e0panded until &e" France included most of the &orth .merican continent The French colonists brought "ith them their culture - their language, music, religion, technology, legal traditions, and system of government $n 1223 4ing 5ouis declared &e" France a royal province .s in France, there "as nothing resembling a democratic system of government in the colony The senior official "as the governor, appointed by the %ing $n the e0ercise of his almost absolute po"er he "as more responsible to the %ing in France than to the people he governed The governor "as usually a nobleman, often "ith military e0perience $n addition to the governor, there "ere t"o other very po"erful men in the colony - the bishop, "ho "atched over religious and moral education! and the intendant, "ho ensured that the colony established a +ustice system, prospered economically and e0panded in population The 6overnor "as advised by the Sovereign Council "hich consisted of t"elve appointed Canadien seigneurs, property o"ners "ho "ere responsible for the settlement of large areas of &e" France The ordinary people or habitants had no say in the decision ma%ing process

Government under British Rule
One of the first problems facing British 9ilitary 6overnor Aames 9urray "as ho" to secure the colony "ith a relatively small army 9urray deported the 6overnor, senior administrators of the government, and military officers bac% to France The rest of the colonists "ere assured that they "ould not be deported if they %ept the peace The Canadiens "ere allo"ed to %eep their property *nglish "as made the official language of the ne" British Colony of @uebec, but French "as tolerated ,imilarly, the Church of *ngland became the official religion of the ne" colony, but the =oman Catholic priests "ere allo"ed to continue ministering to their congregations

6eneral 9urray implemented a government "ith an appointed council, "ith the promise of an elected assembly "hen the conditions permitted The previous French civil and criminal la"s "ere replaced by *nglish la" 6en 9urray#s replacement "as ,ir 6uy Carleton Carleton %ne" that the Canadiens "ould become upset if he tried to force them to change their French "ays He "as also concerned "ith securing the colony from a gro"ing threat to the south The .mericans "ere gro"ing increasingly angry "ith being ta0ed "ithout representation, and "ith being ignored by 5ondon ,ome more radical .mericans "ere even ma%ing suggestions that perhaps they should become an independent country Carleton "as afraid that unhappy Canadiens might be convinced to +oin a rebellion Therefore he convinced the British government to pass The uebec Act of !""#$ This act officially recogni/ed the French culture $t guaranteed the French the right to use their language $t enshrined their right to o"n land $t restored the tithe to the Catholic Church, and guaranteed freedom of religion $t allo"ed Catholics to hold government office The colony "ould use *nglish criminal la", but the Canadiens could use French civil la" again in @uebec The @uebec .ct is significant because it helped the French Canadian culture to survive in a &orth .merica dominated by the *nglish )ithin a year of the passing of the @uebec .ct, the 13 Colonies rebelled The =evolutionary )ar "as a civil "ar - neighbours fighting neighbours ,ome of the colonists ;Batriots or =ebels< "anted independence from Britain Others ;5oyalists or Tories< "anted to remain part of the empire )hen the .mericans "on the "ar and peace "as established in 17>3, many thousands of 5oyalists left the ne"ly created Cnited ,tates They settled in the British colonies of &ova ,cotia and in the unsettled land of "estern @uebec, above the ,t 5a"rence rapids and north of 5a%e Ontario 38,DDD 5oyalist immigrants settled in the 9aritimes "hile another 8,DDD 5oyalists crossed into @uebec from &e" :or% This huge influ0 of settlers mar%ed the first ma+or "ave of immigration by *nglish-spea%ing settlers into the area "e no" %no" as Ontario 9any of the 5oyalists had suffered great hardship and financial losses "hen they abandoned prosperous farms and businesses in the Cnited ,tates They hoped that the Cro"n "ould be generous "ith compensation for their sacrifices They "ere given grants of land, ;usually about 2DD acres< The colonial government also gave the 5oyalists some farming

tools, food, and clothing Finally, each male head of a household "as given a small silver medal, and all 5oyalists and their descendants "ere given the honour to use the initialsC * ;designating 'Cnity of the *mpire(< “in perpetuity”. $t "as hardly the compensation that the 5oyalists had sought

The 5oyalists "ho arrived in @uebec "ere shoc%ed by "hat they sa" The Canadiens spo%e French =oman Catholicism "as the dominant religion French civil la" "as used for everyday business, property la", contracts, marriages, and "ills Farming, forestry, and the fur trade "ere the main economic activities, but the amount of trade "ith the mother country "as very limited The 6overnor "as appointed from *ngland! and there "as no elected assembly The 5oyalists "ere *nglish spea%ing Brotestants ;mainly .nglicans< They "ere used to a British system of representative government, and a British system of la" 9any had been successful businessmen in the 13 colonies, and "anted to recoup their losses They "anted to prosper under the British flag .nd they did not li%e the Canadiens Berhaps it "as ethnocentrism and the long history of conflict bet"een the French and *nglish )hat ever the reason, many 5oyalists "ere very unhappy "ith being part of @uebec They lobbied the Colonial Office in 5ondon for a solution $n 17?1 the British Barliament enacted the Constitutional Act, "hich split @uebec into the t"o provinces of Cpper and 5o"er Canada *ach of these "as to be governed a British 6overnor, assisted by an appointed legislative council and a legislative assembly elected by the people This system of representative government satisfied many of the Colonists until the 1>3DEs The 6overnor "as usually a British noble, often "ith little e0perience in the "ays of the colony The legislative

council "as dra"n from the prominent families and lando"ners in the colony $t "as their duty to advise

and assist the 6overnor The legislative assembly "as elected by the people of the colony &orth .merica 5ord Furham#s report on the rebellion hadrecommended that the colonies be granted 'Responsible Government(, and the ne" @ueen, Victoria, gave her assent He also suggested that Cpper and 5o"er Canada should be +oined together into one colony - 'Canada( $t "as his hope that by combining the t"o together the s-uabbling bet"een the French and *nglish "ould be eliminated The Act of %nion in 1>G1 implemented these reforms in order to solve these problems, but it also laid the foundation for future difficulties

The problem arose "hen the appointed legislative council ignored the "ishes of the elected legislative assembly Often the legislative council ;%no"n as the Family Compact in Cpper Canada< made decisions "hich favoured their friends and family For e0ample, Toronto had gravel streets and side"al%s, "hile people in more distant areas did not even have roads or schools The legislative assemblies in Cpper and 5o"er Canada petitioned the British 6overnment to reform the system by abolishing the legislative council and ma%ing the elected representatives responsible to the people Their re-uests "ere ignored The leader of the reform movement in 5o"er Canada "as 5ouis Aoseph Bapineau! in Cpper Canada the reformers "ere led by )illiam 5yon 9ac4en/ie By 1>37 their frustration gre" to open rebellion $n 5o"er Canada the rebellion "as short, but bloody $n three s%irmishes "ith the British .rmy the Patriotes "ere defeated $n Cpper Canada the rebellion "as almost a farce - in a half hour battle the government forces defeated a rag-tag army of rebels Ho"ever, the government did not ta%e the rebellion lightly Bapineau and 9ac4en/ie fled to the Cnited ,tates, many of the their supporters "ere imprisoned, deported, or in some cases hanged The =ebellion of 1>37 had spurred the Colonial Office of the British 6overnment to reconsider its stance on self government for the colonies of British

$n its earliest years the elected assembly still had to struggle at times "ith the appointed governor Ho"ever, "ith the passage of the '=ebellion 5osses Bill( in 1>G? by 5ord *lgin ;"ho personally opposed the bill< the principle that the governor should respect the decisions of the elected assembly "as firmly established ,ince then the monarch#s appointed representative ;the 6overnor 6eneral or 5ieutenant 6overnor< has al"ays given assent to the bills passed by the elected Barliament .nother reform from this era "as the introduction of the secret ballot Brior to this a voter had to publicly declare his vote Often politicians or their supporters "ould hire goons to intimidate people "ho might vote for the opposition The secret ballot allo"ed a voter to ma%e his decision "ithout fear of being beaten up The -ualifications for voting "ere also changed to allo" more men, not +ust the rich property o"ners, the right to vote The ne" Barliament of Canada had 1DD seats 8D for Canada )est, and 8D for Canada *ast .t times the *nglish and the French agreed on an issue, and bills "ere passed in the Barliament Ho"ever, there

"ere many times "hen the t"o sides disagreed, and voted along linguistic lines This led to a number of tie votesin Barliament, "hich had to be resolved by calling a ne" election $n the period from 1>8? to 1>2G there "ere eight different electionsH This led to political deadloc& - nothing "as being accomplished $n addition, the population of Canada )est had outgro"n the population of Canada *ast, yet they both had the same number of seats in Barliament 9any people called for a redistribution of seats based on the population of a place - '=ep by Bop( Both of these issues needed some sort of solution .nother concern at the time "as defence $n 1>21 Civil )ar had bro%en out in the C , bet"een the &orth and ,outh over the issue of slavery Britain had close economic ties "ith many of the ,outhern states buying cotton and tobacco from them and selling them manufactured goods including guns and munitions in return The &orth had attempted to bloc%ade the ,outhern ports, but British merchant ships refused to respect the bloc%ade, and the British =oyal &avy stood by to protect them The &ortherners greatly resented the British for helping their enemies, but lac%ed the ability to stri%e bac% at distant Britain The colonies of British &orth .merica "ere near by, and furthermore they "ere very "ea% militarily "ith an army of only a fe" thousand compared to almost 2 million men under arms in the Cnion .rmy 9any people in British &orth .merica "ere "orried about the C , ta%ing its anger to"ards the mother country out on them .dditional concerns in the colonies "ere @uestions ;ans"er in your noteboo%<

tradeand economic development The economies of the colonies "ere gro"ing - businesses "ere developing, and factories "ere being built $n order to ma%e money the colonies needed customers, but their populations "ere simply too small They could trade "ith their neighbours, but every time an article crossed a border from one colony to another a tariff ;a ta0 on imports< "as added This made goods more e0pensive and discouraged trade $f the borders "ere eliminated the tariffs "ould also disappear The last ma+or issue of the time concerned the construction of an 'ntercolonial railroad Typical roads of this time "ere dirt trails - gravel roads "ere considered top of the line Travel by road "as a slo", tedious affair, and it "as difficult to transport goods long distances .s a result economic development in the colonies "as slo"ed The railroad "as a phenomenal technological improvement - it "as much faster and considerably more comfortable $t could transport goods out, immigrants in, and could even be used to move troops from place to place for defence Ho"ever, railroads re-uired a large investment of capital ;money<, "hich the individual colonies did not have $f they pooled their resources, and used their combined credit then an $ntercolonial railroad became feasible $n 1>2G representatives from the various colonies of British &orth .merica met in Charlotteto"n, B * $ and @uebec City to discuss the possibility of +oining together - Confederation

1< )hy "ould the aboriginal people use a consensus system of governmentI )hat advantages J disadvantages "ould it offerI )ould it be practical in Canada todayI 2< )hat type of government ;authoritarian or participatory< e0isted in &e" FranceI )hyI ;)here did this system come fromI< 3< Ho" did most of &orth .merica come under British controlI G< 6eneral 9urray and later ,ir 6uy Carleton allo"ed the Canadiens to %eep many aspects of their culture )hyI Ho" has this influenced Canada todayI 8< Ho" "ere the 5oyalists different from the CanadiensI )hat "as their solution to the challenges of having t"o different cultures in the same colonyI 2< )hat problem did the appointed 5egislative Council pose in decision ma%ing in the colonies of British &orth .mericaI - )hat solution did reformers such as Bapineau and 9ac%en/ie proposeI - )hat event occurred "hen their re-uests "ere ignoredI 7< Ho" "as the government 'post-=ebellion( different from the government 'pre-=ebellion(I ;loo% carefully at the diagrams< )hat is another name for the post-=ebellion type of governmentI >< )hat "as another very important reform from the 1>GDsI *0plain "hy this is important to voters today ?< )hat "ere the four important issues "hich helped to motivate the colonies of British &orth .merica to consider +oining togetherI