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2T03 Lecture October 29.docx

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Maxime Dagenais

2T03 Lecture October 29 The Special Council of Lower Canada, Union and Responsible Government Special Council a) Creation and Authority After Lower_canad aRebellion, British Government dissolved assembly, suspended the constitution and adopted a Special Council Special council was the only body that governed the affairs of the colony 1838-41 It was an appointed council and acted like an authoritarian body It could pass laws without worry about the people’s opinions b) Sir John A Colborne first to sit at the head of the Special Council His council befriended the constitutionalists – a trend that continued with Durham and Thompson Constitutionalism: rallying point for Anglos in the 1830s – opposed French-Canadians, believed they were the root of all evil - Wanted to annihilate their political rights - Aimed to do this with Union between Upper and Lower Canada - Dominated the council c) Durhand took over the council in June 1838 - Although he vowed to remain neutral, he soon favoured the constitutionalists - His most important ordinance was the Bermuda ordinance – banned some rebel leaders to Bermuda and allowed all others to return home – very controversial - Durham report tried to explain the rebellion – put all blame on the French-Canadians and suggested that peace could only be achieved through assimilation of French-Canadians - Suggested unification of the two Canadas d) Colborne returns to head the council from 1838 to 1839 and started the process that eventually led to the end of the Seigneurial system - Seigneurial ordinance: one of the largest landowners in Montreal, the Seminary of Saint Sulpice, was created into an Ecclesiastical Corporation - Came at a price – if any censistaire wanted to stop living under the Seigneurial system, the Seminary had to allow it - To be free, they had to pay debts and a mortgage - He also invested in the colony’s economy – financed several of the constitutionalists’ projects e) In November 1839, Char
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