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passive under the English rule--were found to be conspiring against it, and finally refused to take the oath of allegiance, they were removed in ship-loads. A few found their way back again, but from the date of the expulsion of the Acadians the population of Nova Scotia was distinctly British. Its territory included the whole of what are now New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. In 1758 it was granted representative government, and its first Parliament, which met in that year, consisted of twenty-two members. As a result, the Colony began to attract immigrants from New England, and the population increased rapidly. Prince Edward Island was separated from Nova Scotia in 1770, and received the grant of representative government in 1773 ; whilst New Brunswick was declared a separate Colony in 1784 and given a Constitution which entrusted the government to a Governor, a nominated Council of twelve members, and an elective Assembly of twenty-six representatives.
This separation of New Brunswick was directly due to the influx The Loyalists. of loyalists driven out of the American States at the end of the War of Independence. From the coming of the loyalists dates the era of prosperity in Canada. Large numbers of these refugees crowded into Upper Canada ; others settled in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Their immigration had a marked effect in changing the type of the population of the Provinces in which they settled. They represented the progressive spirit of the American, as opposed to the unenterprising contentment of the French, Colonist. Politically, the period immediately succeeding their coming was one of great unrest. In Upper and Lower Canada especially the discontent soon became acute. The Quebec Act of 1774, as we have seen, denied the Province representative government. The settlers demanded it as a right, and in this they were supported by the French Canadians, who foresaw that-as far, at least, as the lower part of the Province went-it would give them a monopoly of political power. On the question of Law, the settlers were fiercely opposed to the system established by the Quebec Act. The agitation resulted in the second great Constitutional Enactment of Canadian history.
The principle of this enactment was the separation of Upper from The ConstituLower Canada and a differentiation in legislation suited to their tional Act, 1791. respective populations. Thus Lower Canada—which had a population of about one hundred and twenty-five thousand, of which the large majority was French-was separated from Upper Canada, whose people numbered less than twenty thousand and were predominantly British. Each of the two new Provinces was given a separate Legislature, and an Executive Council. In each the Legislature consisted of two Houses—a Legislative Council, whose members were appointed by the Crown for life, and a House of Assembly. In Lower Canada there were fifteen members for the Legislative Council and fifty for the House of Assembly. The great majority of the members of the Lower House was French. Similarly, though the English Criminal Law and the Habeas Corpus Act were declared to be in operation in Lower Canada, the whole body
of the rest of the law of the Province remained French ; whilst the religion and language of the French Canadians remained undisturbed. But in order to safeguard to some extent the rights of the Protestant minority, a large portion of the wild lands was set aside for the support of the Protestant Clergy, and became known as the “Clergy Reserves.” On the other hand, Upper Canada was made in all respects a British Province, with British laws and a British system of land tenure. In proportion, also, to the smaller population of the Upper Province, its Legislative Council consisted of only seven, and its Assembly of only sixteen, members.
The five Provinces of Canada were, therefore, in 1792 all under representative government. But in each the principle of representation was applied only to a limited extent. The nominated
. Upper House; the restricted control of expenditure placed in the hands of the Lower House-which had no power in any Province over the revenue derived from Crown lands, nor over that derived from the lease of mines, etc., known as “Casual and Territorial Revenue"; and the complete absence of responsibility on the part of members of the Executive Council, together with the lack of knowledge of Colonial conditions which continually hampered the Governors sent out by the Imperial Government-all these were continual sources of friction between the representatives of the people in the Lower House of each Colony and the nominated officials. It would serve no useful purpose to trace in detail the political strife of this period. It is perhaps sufficient to say that not only in Upper and Lower Canada, but also in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, the conflict had become acute by the year 1807, when it was stilled by the threat of war between England and the United States; and that it broke out again as soon as that threat passed away, only to die down once more when, in the year 1812, war actually broke out.
With the war of 1812–1814 we have here nothing to do. But there can be no doubt that the success of the Canadian Provinces in repelling American invasion over the whole length of their borders—a success which was due in no small degree to the victories won by the Canadian Militia--did much to foster that spirit of self-reliance and national pride which is the necessary inspiration of any movement fruitful in union. As a historian of Canada has well said :
Canada gained by this baptism of fire a martial self-reliance, the germs of a new spirit of patriotism. She learned that whether of French or English blood, Scotch, Irish or German, her sons were one in loyal valour when the enemy came against her gates. Her devastated homes, the blood of her sons, these were not too great a price to pay for the bond of brotherhood between the scattered Provinces."
Apart from this growth of a common political sentiment, the immediate result of the war for Canada was a great increase in population. Just as the American Rebellion had driven large numbers of Loyalists to find a home in Canada, so from the year 1816,
* Mr. Roberts : History of Canada," p. 253.
Great Britain-casting round for some way of disposing of her disbanded soldiers and surplus labouring population at the close of the Napoleonic wars—hit upon the fortunate resource of promoting emigration to Canada. Beginning in 1816, this tide of immigration flowed into Canada in a constantly increasing volume, so that Mr. Roberts says:
_* “ It is estimated that in the four years beginning with 1829 the settlers seeking a home within our borders numbered no less than one hundred and sixty thousand. This period of our history is well named the period of the * Great Immigration.''
But side by side with this rapid increase of population went a corresponding aggravation of political feeling. For the half century succeeding the war, political struggles are (to quote Mr. Roberts again) :“almost the whole of Canadian history. The contestants are on the one side the people as represented by the Assembly ; on the other side the Executive and Legislative Councils, usually in alliance with the Governor. The strife went on in Upper Canada, Lower Canada, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, with such variations as chance and local differences might be expected to produce ; but, at the same time, with such similarities that we are forced to seek some one general cause as the base of all the quarrels. In one Province religious difficulties may seem, at first glance, to explain the trouble ; in another the root of the difficulty may appear to lie in antagonisms of race and language. But these, when looked at fairly, appear to be mere accidents. The struggle is, in fact, a constitutional one. It is for the reality of representative institutions—for what is known as Responsible Government. The Constitutions given to the several Provinces in the latter part of the preceding century had put the government nominally in the hands of the people, but by no means actually so. In fact, its functions were usurped by the Executive Council, whose members, as we have seen, held office for life and were responsible to no one. They represented the views and wishes of a small and exclusive class, and maintained a show of constitutional authority by their connection with the Legislative Council, wherein most of them held seats. They were, in name, the Governor's advisers; but circumstances and the support of the Legislative Council, and their own importance, and too often the Governor's ignorance of provincial affairs, combined to make them his directors. Their rule, whether wise or unwise, was the rule of a strict oligarchy. It was contrary to the whole spirit of Anglo-Saxon freedom.
“Whatever shape the struggle against this oligarchy might take on from time to time-Judges' Disabilities.' 'Civil List Bills, Clergy Reserves 'the ultimate object aimed at by the people was the control of the Governor's advisers. The people demanded that the Executive should be directly responsible to them ; in other words, that the Executive should be chosen from among the representatives elected by the people, and should retire from office on refusal of the people to re-elect them. This claim is now admitted as an inalienable right ; but in watching the stress and turmoil of the conflict by which that right was won, we must not forget that the question had two sides. The men who strove with voice and pen in the cause of Canadian freedom deserve our grateful remembrance ; but we must not forget that some of them put themselves much in the wrong by violence and tolly, and even, in one or two cases, were so far misled by fanaticism or personal ambition as to stain their hands with treason in the sacred name of patriotism. Their opponents, on the other hand, were not without weighty arguments in support of their position, and they included in their number many conscientious, patriotic and able men whose memories stand far above any charge of greed or self-seeking. The oligarchy in Upper Canada, on account of the close relationship between its members and the jealous ex
History of Canada," p. 259. † “ History of Canada," p. 259.
In Lower Canada.
clusiveness with which their circle was guarded, came to be known as 'the Family Compact.' This title was gradually extended to the like classes existing in each of the other Provinces. In New Brunswick, indeed, it seemed hardly less appropriate than it was in the Province by the Lakes."
So acute did this political struggle become in Upper and Lower Canada during the fifty years after the war that it culminated in both Provinces in rebellion, and thus led directly to the writing of Lord Durham's report and thence, by a clearly logical sequence of events, to the creation of the Dominion. It is necessary, therefore, at this point to trace the course of events during those years in each of the two Provinces. In Lower Canada, as has been said already, the French Canadians had an overwhelming majority in the House of Assembly, and the English Governors were naturally in the habit of nominating the members of the Executive and Legislative Councils from the English minority. This practice, combined with a certain air of superiority habitually affected by the English minority, aggravated the purely political difficulties of the Province; though it is a remarkable fact that, until the leaders of the French majority in the Assembly began to take a course which clearly led straight to rebellion, they numbered among their supporters in the conflict with the Executive Council the majority of the English members of the Lower House. The conflict centred round the question of control of revenue. The Province had three main sources of revenue : a tax imposed under the Permanent Revenue Act of 1774 on spirits and molasses ; what was known as “ Casual and Territorial Revenue,” derived from Crown lands and mining leases; and customs duties. The Assembly had control only over the third of these three sources ; and though in 1816 it had been granted the right to pay the salaries of the nominated officials—upon the express directions of the Imperial Government—it had no means of controlling the amounts of those salaries except by demanding that the grant of such control should be a condition precedent to the passing of the Appropriation Bill. In 1820, on the accession of George the Fourth, two events occurred which were to have a combined effect in bringing the political conflict in Lower Canada to a head. Lord Dalhousie was made Governor of the Province ; Louis Papineau became Speaker of the House of Assembly. The Governor had an arbitrary conception of his powers. He demanded that the Assembly should provide for the payment of official salaries by a Permanent Appropriation ; that is to say, that it should give up its claim to an annual scrutiny and grant of the amounts required for such salaries. The Assembly refused. Lord Dalhousie paid the salaries out of the revenue derived from the tax on spirits and molasses and from the “ Casual and Territorial Revenue. Thereupon ensued a yearly deadlock between the two Houses of the Legislature. “The Assembly amended the Council's bills; the Council threw out the amended bills; the Governor went on appropriating the permanent revenues to pay the Civil List." Finally, in 1827, after a general election, Lord Dalhousie refused to accept Papineau--the leader of the French Canadians-as Speaker of the Assembly.
This step caused an outcry which the Imperial Government could The "Canada not ignore. At the same time the trouble in Upper Canada became
Committee." acute. The British Parliament appointed a “Canada Committee to inquire into the whole question. Its report applied both to Upper and Lower Canada. It recommended that the revenue derived from the spirits and molasses tax should be placed under the control of the Lower House, on condition that permanent provision should be made for the salaries of officials; that accounts should be examined by auditors appointed by the Lower House ; that the Executive and Legislative Councils should be enlarged and made more representative ; and that in Lower Canada the French Canadian majority should have a fair representation. These recommendations were carried out. Dalhousie was recalled. Prominent French Canadians were summoned to the Executive Council. These reforms seem to have satisfied the English representatives in the House of Assembly. They did not satisfy Papineau and his French-Canadian followers. The “Casual and Territorial Revenue" was still free from the control of the Assembly. Papineau seized on this grievance and added a demand for an elec
a tive Legislative Council. From 1831 to 1837 the majority in the Assembly refused to grant supplies unless the two conditions were complied with. In 1834 it drew up a statement of its grievances in the most violent terms called the Ninety-two Resolutions. They stated only the French-Canadian side of the case-as was shown by a counter-address passed by the British party in the Provinceand embodied a veiled threat of rebellion. A Commission of Inquiry under Lord Gosford was sent to Canada in 1835. In 1837 its report was laid before the Imperial Parliament, and on the 16th January, 1838, Lord John Russell introduced a bill to suspend the Constitution of Lower Canada; to vest the legislative power in a special Council; and to apply £142,000 from the Provincial treasury to the payment of official salaries, which were greatly in arrears owing to the refusal of the Assembly to grant supplies and the insufficiency of the “Casual and Territorial Revenue" for the purposes of the Civil List. Meanwhile the discontent in Canada broke into open rebellion. But after some fighting at St. Denis and St. Charles the rebels were dispersed with small loss of life on either side. This was the Canadian Rebellion. Into this state of affairs Lord Durham, who was appointed Governor-General of all the Canadian Provinces under Lord John Russell's Act, was commissioned to inquire.
In Upper Canada, as we have already seen, political power was, In Upper during the years immediately following the war, in the hands of a Canada. . clique known as “the Family Compact.” In this Province there was no racial conflict, but political conflict was almost as bitter as that in the Lower Province. The “Family Compact," composed of men who were either themselves Loyalists or the sons of Loyalists, held the rigid views of their duty to the Crown that had been the fashion in the last days of the 18th century. Their opponents were to a large extent later settlers from America who favoured more republican theories, and whose loyalty to Canada was not alto