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REBELLION & REFORMUPPER & LOWER CANADA 1815-1855
Chapter 1 & 2- Class Notes
Rebellions of Upper & Lower Canada
British North America
 Responsible Government
UNIT OBJECTIVES:
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Identify the geography, way of life, concerns &
interests of the peoples of Upper (U/C) & Lower
Canada (L/C);
Explain the concepts of “responsible” and
“representative” government;
Identify & explain the concepts of political protest,
reform, rebellion, & resolution;
Account for the events leading up to and including the
rebellions in the U/C & L/C;
Compare and contrast the concerns of the peoples of
U/C & L/C;
MORE UNIT OBJECTIVES:
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Examine the roles of Mackenzie, Papineau, Howe, Fontaine,
Baldwin, Durham, & Elgin in the rebellions & aftermath;
Compare & contract the Constitutional Act of 1791 & Act
of Union, 1841;
Explain & assess the Durham Report & its recommendations
Compare & contrast the governments of the 18 th & 19 th
centuries with Canada today
Formative Evaluation: Will be ongoing an include C.A.R.E.S
connections and assessments , various exit slips, and
critical thinking diagrams
Summative Evaluation: Unit will be concluded by a an
essay-format test that draws off these learning
objectives.....the week of March 2 nd
Creating a T-Chart Organizer:
We will create an on going T-Chart to help organize your
notes- other Graphic Organizers will all be offered as we
move along!
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T-Chart: Compare & Contrast /Similarities & Differences
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Concepts compared are Upper Canada (UC) & Lower Canada
(LC)
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Similarities & Differences:
1. Geography- Human & Physical
2. Government-U/C & L/C
3. People- Way of Life & Background
4. Concerns- Political/Social/Economic
5. Family Compact & Chateau Clique
6. Reformers- Papineau & Mackenzie
7. Aftermath
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I. GEOGRAPHY OF UPPER
AND LOWER CANADA
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Borders what is now New Brunswick; northeast
area of United States; & Great lakes
Upper Canada- Southern Ontario
Lower Canada- Quebec and Newfoundland
Remember- “Up” the river and “down” the river
Upper and Lower Canada both British Colonies
Created by Constitutional Act, 1791
Lower Canada mainly French speaking
“Canadiens”
Upper Canada mainly English speaking people
MAP OF UPPER & LOWER
CANADA
Copy Diagram- next page…..
unless you still have your
Map of Canada from Term 1that I told you to keep!
II. GOVERNMENT IN UPPER &
LOWER CANADACONSTITUTIONAL ACT, 1791
Copy Diagram- next page.
GOVERNMENT IN UPPER
CANADA CONTINUED.....
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Governor-British appointed
Legislative Council- English-speaking
merchants & land owners; friends of Governor;
appointed not elected; veto power
Legislative Assembly- voted by citizens- (male
property owners) government was
representative
Two political parties dominated:
Family Compact- Wealthy British Tories
(conservatives)
Reformers- Intellectuals & professionals
GOVERNMENT IN LOWER
CANADA
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Governor-British appointed
Legislative Council- ALL English-speaking
merchants and seigneurs; friends of Governor;
appointed not elected; veto power
Legislative Assembly voted by citizensrepresentative
Two political parties dominated - Chateau
Clique, Parti Canadien (Parti Patriote)
Chateau Clique- Wealthy British and French
who supported British rule; true power
brokers
Parti Canadien- Wealthy and poor French;
early separatists; intellectuals &
professionals; unhappy with power
GOVERNMENT OF UPPER & LOWER
CANADA- SUMMARY
Government of Lower Canada
 Established by Constitutional act in 1791
 Power limited by governors and councils
 Members of legislative councils were voted in for life
 English concerns were usually different from French concerns
 The group with the most power was Chateau Clique
 Believed that power should be in hands of a few capable people
 Wanted the Roman Catholic church to stay power
Government of Upper Canada
 In 1830 government remained the same as the constitutional act in
1791
 Two political groups the Tories and the Reformers
 Appointed Legislative council to Executive council
 Elected the Legislative Assembly
 The group with the most power was the Family Compact
III. People, Way of Life, Concerns
PEOPLE OF LOWER CANADA?
Lower Canada
• Population increased from: 250 000 in 1806 to 717 000 in
1841 (under 3x’s)
•Very high birth rates among French speaking population
•In addition British and American immigrants settled the
eastern townships that had been set aside for English speaking
farmers
•Britain, British rule and traditions were a direct threat to
their cultural existence
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Habitant: (French) tenant farmer; rent land; poor
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Seigneur: (French) land owner; wealthy and powerful
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Merchant: (English) business owner; fur & timber industry;
wealthy and powerful
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Professionals: (French & English) doctors, lawyers, etc.;
middle class; seeking democracy
CONCERNS IN LOWER
CANADA
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British merchants wanted to increase taxes for canals,
harbors and roads for merchant use - few roads were built
to help farmers
Increased immigration from Great Britain began to
threaten French culture and language
1832, immigrant ship brought disease cholera, killed 5500
Legislative assembly(French -speaking) hard to make laws
1836- crops failed- Canadians face starvation
1837- economic depression- English merchants blamed
PEOPLE OF UPPER CANADA.
Upper Canada
• Before 1812 Loyalists- Pro British settled upper Canada
• After 1812 a wave of settlers from great Great Britain
Great Migration took their place- from Ireland, Wales,
Scotland, England
• Brought virtues of limiting absolute power and importance
of parliament democracy in making decisions
• Population increased from: 71 000 in 1806 to 432 000 in
1841 (almost 6x’s)
• Pioneer homestead start from scratch and forced native
inland – new farms evolved
• Most inhabitants were subsistence farmers meaning they
only farm for their family
• Main towns- Kingston & York-was renamed Toronto
• Need for transportation – roads, canals
CONCERNS IN UPPER
CANADA
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Responsible government was the major concern!
Continued immigration to increase the English presence in
Canada
New immigrants from Great Britain bringing values of
parliamentary democracy
Reduction in the role of Church of England in taxes and
affairs
Reducing the power of values of traditionalism and
conservatism
Stronger voice for Elected Assembly
Reduce voice for the Family Compact
No veto powers
PEOPLES' HISTORY OF CANADA
REBELLION & REFORM- EPISODE 7
The Angry Men:
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEwZsar9W8k
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHvMJGZzc28
1. What role did William Lyon Mackenzie King, Louis Joseph
Papineau, & Joseph Howe play in the movement for reform
in B.N.A. Colonies during the 1830`s?
2. What did Mackenzie mean by the term Family Compact?
Why did he oppose it?
3. Did this type of group exist in other B.N.A. colonies as
well?
B-ritish
N-orth
A-merica
IV. POLITICAL PROBLEMS &
REBELLION:
FAMILY COMPACT
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Small group of powerful people in Upper Canada
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As well as friends and supporters known as Tories
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Didn’t want US government to be part of Canadian government
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Defended tradition and conservative values
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Believed power should be in the hands of few capable people
(themselves)
They had power to stop any laws passed by the legislative
assembly
Believed Church of England should have power
Loyal to Great Britain concept of monarchy rule
MACKENZIE & UPPER
CANADA
 William Lyon Mackenzie led the Reformers
against the Family Compact
 Did not support the Constitution Act of 1791
 Believed in responsible govt.
 Demanded 2 constitutional reforms
 Elected Legislative Council
 Executive council responsible to Assembly
 Reformers were against
 Clergy Reserves,
 Land grants to the oligarchies,
 Influence of the Church of England
 Power of the Banks
ARMED REBELLION OF UPPER
CANADA
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William Lyon Mackenzie turned people against
government in Northern Toronto
Used newspaper Colonial Advocate to challenge
government
Radicals wanted upper Canada like the American
government
December 5, 1837 Mackenzie led 800 men down
Yonge street in Toronto
In the United States Sir Francis bond head
tried to raise an army to liberate upper Canada
giving 120 hectares of land for whoever would
join him
Caught for breaking legal neutrality between
Canada and the US- jailed 11 months
PAPINEAU & LOWER
CANADA
 Louis-Joseph Papineau was Legislative Assembly
member & leader- and wealthy seigneur official
who led the Parti Patriote reformers
 Had strong support of French land owning and
political elite
 Strong supporter of the old French order in
Lower Canada- also Republican style government
 Led cultural conflict between French & English
dominated the Assembly, Councils
 Created the 92 Resolutions- making government
more respectful of cultural differences
 Started revolt in 1837 & 1838
 Papineau fled to USA, then France, returned &
Pardoned in 1845
THE UNREST IN LOWER
CANADA
 French and English speaking merchants wanted different things
for lower Canada
 Merchants wanted to improve roads, canals and harbours
 Immigration caused problems
 Chateau Clique was encouraging immigration from great Britain
 In 1832 and immigrant ship brought a deadly disease, cholera
 The disease 5500 victims
THE ARMED REBELLION IN
LOWER CANADA
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British Army versus Patriote Army (Rebels)
Began on November 23, 1837 at St. Denis; rebel
victory
Rebels built a fortress at St. Charles to fight the
British but lost there and later at Saint-Eustache
– Baker's Farm – Lacolle – Odelltown & Beauharnois
Papineau fled to U.S
After all the fighting 12 were hanged 58 were
sent to Australia and 12 hundred were set free.
THE ARMED REBELLION IN
UPPER AND LOWER CANADA
Lower Canada
 An a r m ed c o nf l i c t b et w een l o w er C a na da a nd t h e B r i t i s h
Co l o ni a l, p o w er o f t ha t p r o v i nc e
 T h e p o l i t i c a l l ea der w a s J o s ep h P a p i nea
 T h e Ca na di ans w er e r ea dy t o f i gh t o n N o v em b er 1 8 3 7
 B r i t i s h t r o o p s c h a r ged a nd t h e R eb el l i o ns l o s t
 T h e l a r ges t b a t t l e w a s h el d a t S t . E u s t a c h o n D ec em b er 1 4 ,
1837
 T h e R eb el l ea der , D r . J . Q . Ch eni er a l o ng w i t h r eb el s di ed
 T h e B r i t i s h r o b b ed a nd b u r ned t h ei r v i l l a ge
Upper Canada
 R eb el l i o n a ga i ns t t h e B r i t i s h c o l o ni a l go v er nm ent i n 1 8 3 7 a nd
1838
 Af t er t h e w a r o f 1 8 1 2 f a m i l y c o m p a c t o w ned m o s t l a nd
“ Cr o w n R es er v es” a nd “ P r o t es t ant Cl er gy ”
 T h e l o w er Ca na da b r o k e o u t i n a u t u mn 1 8 3 7 B o nd H ea d s ent
a l l B r i t i s h t r o o p s t o help s u p p res s i t
 S h o r t F i gh t ( l es s t h a n 3 0 m i nu t es ) t h e b a t t l e f i ni s h ed a nd
t h e r eb el f o r c es r et r ea t ed
 1 8 6 0 ’ s f o r m er r eb el s c o m p ens at ed b y t h e Ca na di an
go v er nm ent
PEOPLES' HISTORY OF CANADA
REBELLION & REFORM- EPISODE 7
Horrible Year:
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEwZsar9W8k
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHvMJGZzc28
1. What were the two competing parties in Montreal in the
1830’s?
2. Why did the struggle between them frequently take a
violent form?
3. What cause the cholera outbreak in 1832?
4. What methods did local authorities take to control the
disease?
THE AFTERMATH- LORD DURHAM &
HIS REPORT- ACT OF UNION
AFTERMATH OF THE
REBELLION
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Lower Canada became even worse than before the
rebellion
Upper Canada afraid to speak out because moderate
reformers were branded as rebels
Prime minister decided to send Lord Durham as
Governor General
Upper Canada was very short and disorganized
London government was concerned about Rebellion
Bond Head was recalled in 1837 he was replaced with
Sir George Arthur
Lord Durham was assigned to report grievances among
the colonists and find a way to appease them
Lord Durham’s report led to the union of Upper and
Lower Canada into the province of Canada in 1840
LORD DURHAM AND HIS
REPORT
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John George Lambton (Lord Durham) sent to Quebec
City as governor general.
Suggested solutions for rebellions in Upper and Lower
Canada.
Wrote “report on Affairs of British Canada” also known
as Durham report
"[In Lower Canada] I expected to find a contest between
a government and its people: I found two nations warring
in the bosom of a single state" Lord Durham
Recommended assimilating the French Canadians — whom
he called "a people with no literature and no history"
Named “Radical Jack” in British House of Commons
because of radical policies.
Upper and Lower Canada unite and become one colony,
called United Provin ce of Canada - would unite English
speaking people, would give them majority in gov’t
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New colony should have responsible government - Local
powers handled by colony: Imperial powers written,
Governor advised by Executive Council only .
THE ACT OF UNION, 1841
LORD DURHAM’S REPORT
Two Major recommendations in his report are:
1. The two colonies should become one called the United Province of
Canada
2.The United Colony should have a responsible government
 The British imperial powers(?) should be sent out in writing. All
other legal power(?)
 Would be handled by the colonies Executive council and would be
advised
 The governor stayed neutral but signed things by the executive
council
 The executive council was not picked from the government but was
chosen by leaders of other groups (legislative assembly) this is
called “Responsible government”
 Members of the executive council would stay in the council if half
of the legislative assembly supports them
Personal Information
 1792-1840
 Arrived in Quebec city as a governor general of British north
America in 1838
 Interested in education the poor
THE ACT OF UNION, 1841
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Aim: create single government, establish
English as official language
Was first step toward Confederation
Canada was split as Canada West (Upper
Canada) and Canada East (Lower Canada,
Ontario)
In 1847, Lord Elgin became governor
Executive Council/Cabinet got most power
and are responsible to Legislative Assembly
Many members formed political parties to
achieve power.
Nova Scotia:1847, New Brunswick: 1854,
Newfoundland:1855, Prince Edward Island:
1851. Received responsible gov’t in these
years.
II. GOVERNMENT IN UNITED
CANADA- ACT OF UNION, 1840
Copy Diagram- next page
THE ACT OF UNION (1841)
 Since the Rebellion wanted a better and responsible government
British passed a law called the Act of Union
 British government acted on one of Lord Durham’s recommendations
 The act of union joined in Upper and Lower Canada as the united
province
 The two aims of the British were to control the two colonies of
Canada into one and give the English people control of the newly
named colony and to have a new colony with a responsible government
 They also established English as the official language of government
PEOPLES' HISTORY OF CANADA
REBELLION & REFORM- EPISODE 7
Union of the Canadas:
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEwZsar9W8k
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHvMJGZzc28
1. What two recommendations did Lord Durham make for
the colonies?
2. What was the disagreement between Haliburton & Howe?
How did the settle their differences?
3. What problem did Lafontaine face and how did Baldwin
help him solve it?
REBELLIONS
UPPER AND LOWER CANADA
1837 & 1838
Key Events In Canadian History Which
influenced The Nation We Have Today
SUMMARY:
 Upper Canada
 William Lyon
Mackenzie
 The Reformers
 Vs. Family Compact
 Lower Canada
 Louis Joseph
Papineau
 The Patriots
 Vs. Chateau Clique
 Protesting against the Oligarchies control
 Desired a Responsible Government
 Wanted less Church control
 Assembly had to approve taxes or no
collection would occur
LORD DURHAM’S REPORT
 Durham's Recommendations
 to unite Upper and Lower Canada
to make the French a minority
 to assimilate or anglicize the French
majority in Lower Canada
 to grant responsible government
 Consequences of Durham's Recommendations
 Upper and Lower Canada were united in
1840
 Responsible government was granted in
1848 leading to Confederation in 1867
 Created the roots of today’s French
‘separatism’
REBELLIONS LOSSES
BILL 1849
 Reformers controlled the Assembly,
their bill
 sought to compensate those in what had been
Lower Canada for damages that resulted from
the rebellions.
 was controversial because the Tories objected
that many of the claimants were former rebels
who were against the Crown.
 was well received by French Canadians, but
British elements opposed it so strongly
that they attacked Elgin and burned the
parliament building down in Montreal
CONFEDERATION 1867
 The Province of Canada, (Ontario & Quebec)
New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince
Edward Island- 1867
 A system based on British Parliament
 Proposed limited central government balanced
by provincial power
 “Rep by pop” House of Commons and the Senate
represented regions
 Called for a two-chamber (bicameral)
parliament, including a (appointed) senate and a
(elected) house of commons.
GOVERNMENT IN CANADABRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT,
1867 (CANADA ACT, 1867)
Copy Diagram- next page
POST UNIT ESSAY TEST QUESTIONS:
 Copy down the following questions:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
What was the Act of Union and how did it help to unite
the Canada?
Who was Lord Durham? Why is he significant in Canadian
History? How did his report help form the identity and
culture of Canada?
Why was their unrest in Upper and Lower Canada? How
did this unrest lead to the Rebellions of 1837 -38?
What was the government in Upper Canada? What was the
government in Lower Canada? Were they similar?
Different? How so?
Compare and contrast government as established by the
Constitutional Act, Act of Union, and BNA.
THE END!

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