The Durham Report and Responsible Government

January 5, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Social Science, Political Science
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Changes in Colonial Government: The Durham Report and Responsible Government

Context and Key Questions Context: • Britain has lost 13 colonies, only 6 remain • Noted similarities between conditions leading to rebellions of 1837/8 and the American Revolution. • Critics of British government accusing it of neglecting the North American colonies in terms of leadership and in allowing local democracy. What geographic and cultural characteristics Key Questions discouraged cooperation • What did Durham identify as the causes of the 1837/8 rebellions? among the colonies? • What does responsible government mean and why did Durham recommend it? • How did the Act of Union affect the relationship among the five colonies? • How did responsible government come about in Nova Scotia, and the Canadas (Upper and Lower)?

Lord Durham The Man: • John “Radical Jack” Lambton • Powerful voice of reform in 1830s • Advocated for secret ballot and extended voting rights • Born 1792 Died 1840 The Job: • Head Commission of Inquiry into 1837/8 Rebellions • Make recommendations for the future of Canadas. • Serve as GG. • “People who wanted to see political change in the colonies were pleased by Durham’s appointment.” Why?

Lord Durham (II) The (Original) Idea: • Joining colonies of Upper Canada, Lower Canada and Maritimes into single legislative union. The Benefits: • Prevent local oligarchies from controlling political life. • Increased tax-base to fund large-scale projects The Reaction: • NO WAY. Why? The (Next) Idea: • Union of Upper and Lower Canada only. • Supported by William and Robert Baldwin.

Robert Baldwin

The Proposal Government IResponsible would ask Your Lordship,is… would the people of England endue any • A system where the government is responsible to the elected Assembly system of Executive Government over which they had less influence than and the people who elect them. that presentinexists [in the Canadas]? Your Lordship knows they • Awhich systematalready existence in Britain at this time. would not. Can you then expect the people of these colonies with their The Baldwin Brothers’ Proposal: English feelings and English sympathies to be satisfied with less.. They • Colonial Governor (British appointed) serves as Head of State can see a reason whychoose their relations foreign should be placed • Governor must Executivewith Council fromcountries the elected members of thehands: Legislative Assembly. in other but none why their domestic concerns should not be managed • Governor must accept the advice of the council on domestic matters. upon similar principles to those applied in the administration of the • Governor (and Britain) maintains control over foreign affairs. Imperial • WhereGovernment…” does the true (domestic) power lie with this system?

Robert Baldwin to Lord Durham August 1838

The Proposal (II) Baldwin’s Proposal

Existing Structure

The Baldwin’s Proposal Appeals to Durham… 1. Form of government similar to Britain’s (familiarity). 2. Responsible government for local issues (thus silencing complaints). 3. Acceptable to important leaders in all 6 colonies. One exception… 1. No responsible government extended to Lower Canada. Why? • Unfavourable view of Canadiens, and yet treated rebel leaders leniently.

The Report Causes of Conflict in Lower Canada • Industrial Economy vs. Agricultural Economy “I expected to find a contest between a government and a people: I found two nations warring in the bosom of s ingle state…It will be acknowledged…that sooner or later the English race was sure to predominate even numerically in Lower Canada.”

Causes of Conflict in Upper Canada • Clergy Reserves “as most emigrants are not members of the COE, the disproportion is likely to increase…I know of no mode of this question being settled but by repealing all provisions in Imperial Acts that relate…to the clergy reserves…”

On the Union of the Canadas • Solution to political, cultural and economic problems: assimilation. “I have little doubt that the French, when once placed by legitimate course of events and the working of natural causes, in a minority, would abandon their vain hopes of a nationality.”

On Responsible Government • Noted envy of colonists of economic prosperity and democratic system of USA. • Annexation a real threat. “this is the last effort of their almost exhausted patience…and that the government of the colony should henceforth be carried on in conformity with the views of the majority of the Assembly.”

The Report (II) Reactions: • Oligarchies (FC, CC) • Fearful • See pg. 61 • Atlantic Colonies • Supportive • “two prime recommendations, being perfectly simple and eminently British.” • Reformers (British, Colonial) • Content • “Death to the Family Compact and up with the Durham Constitution!” • Canadien leaders • Insulted • Tories (British, Colonial) • Saw as an attack on their privileges and power. Questions 1-4 on Page 61.

The Act of Union

Colony vs. Nation

The Act of Union (II) Accepted • Union of Canadas into one colony • Debts merged into one. • Canada West and Canada East. • One elected Legislative Assembly- each Canada had equal representation. **

Denied • Structures to impement Responsible Government.

The Act of Union (III) Opposition • Canadien moderates. • Catholic Church Supporters • British government • Approved 1840 (July), Proclamation 1841 • British minority in the Canadas. Why? • Industrialisation vs. agriculture • Bigotry • Editorials on voting rights qualifications • Tory-dominated Assembly in Upper Canada • Qualifications: • Loan to cover newly combined debts. • Relocation of capital to Kingston • English the only official language.

Responsible Government: Maritimes Joseph Howe Powerful Elites No bitter French/ English divide

• •

No large recent immigration

• • • • •

Twice led non confidence votes against Governors Appointed to Executive Council Forced withdrawal of 3 governors 1847 ElectionReformer Victory 1848- NS 1849- NB 1851- PEI 1855- NL

Responsible Government: Canadas Baron Syndenham

• First governor of United Canadas • Two tasks 1. Bring economic prosperity. • Success! 2. Prevent introduction of responsible government. • Forced to end practice of lifetime appointments to Executive Council. • Divided Clergy Reserves amongst all LA Churches. Support • Clergy Reserve Revenues used to fund schools. • District Council Act 1841.

Responsible Government: Canadas (II)

Robert Baldwin (Canada West)

Reformers /Opp.



Syndham GG Dies

Lafontaine (Canada East)

Responsible Government: Canadas (III)

Robert Baldwin (Canada West)


Lafontaine (Canada East)

Seeks support: invites to Executive Council Reformers /Opp.


Bagot GG Resigns

Responsible Government: Canadas (III)

Robert Baldwin (Canada West)

Reformers /Opp.



Metcalfe GG Appoints friends to power

Lafontaine (Canada East)

End of mercantilist system

Responsible Government: Canadas (IV) Election 1844 • Tories win a majority. • Metcalfe (GG) appoints Tories to Executive Council Election 1848 • Refomers win large majority. • Metcalfe has resigned, GG is now Elgin (Durham’s son in law), Secretary is now Grey (Durham’s brother in law). • Elgin calls upon Baldwin and LaFontaine to form Executive Council. They select from their Assembly. Test #1 • 1849 Rebellion Losses Bill • Elgin did not favour passage; signs it. Test #2 • 1859 tariffs (20%) on imported goods to raise money for public works. • British merchants upset, British government threatens to dissallow, but eventually backs down.

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