Rebellion, Reform, and the Triumph of Liberalism Monday November 5, 2012
Huge change from 1800-1850: how did this change come to be? Through revolution.
Economic and political change that gives rise to rebellion and also, reforms in response to
the rebellions. Next week: social implications.
Lower Canada Economics: The birth rate in Lower Canada from the late 18 to early 19 th
century hit 50/1000 population. Post war “baby-boom”: 24/1000. The increase of population
makes interest for industry such as markets. Montreal loses role of fur trade: fur trade is
moving farther and farther west, thus more expensive. The fur trade is out—timber is in.
Not only is the economics changing—now we see a shift in the workforce: people are being
paid for labour—wage, a characteristic of capitalist society.
Midge bug comes in and infects the wheat—large reports of starvation. Lots of families are
forced out of the country side from their land with the expulsion of the seigneurial system—
forced to the city. Immigrants bring in disease—mixing in with cities of Montreal and
Quebec. Creating the perfect storm for an 1837 rebellion.
Upper Canada Economics: John Graves Simcoe—wants to build Upper Canada to be
reflective of Britain, proving that the states were wrong. His system highlighted by “the
family compact”. Land: crown reserves, clergy reserves, and military reserves for those who
served. Military officers could receive up to 5,000 acres, others in the army could reserve
200—no rules. Immigrants received 200 acres, but with many rules--build a home, clear a
portion, build a road. Some officers and people in the clergy felt they would hold on to their
land to pertain value—usually didn’t occupy the land. Empty, very valuable land, while
immigrants are performing hard labour to only clear 1.5-3 acres per year. When wheat
prices collapsed, UC farmers also had issues—the family compact had massive plots of land
while everyone is struggling.
In the 1830s political unease as the lower assembly, although elected had no power over the
legislative assembly or any branch as they are all appointed by the governor.
Lower Canada Politics: French Canadians dominate the lower assembly—they feel down
put as a higher level, English were placing them down. English dominated higher levels of
government and also over 60% of the merchant market.
Louis-Joseph Papineau: Middle class, wealthy man. However, understood the discontent of
the French Canadians. Had passionate speeches, which compelled many. Government
adopts his 92 resolutions.
10 resolutions passed to allow the governor to take money from the assembly without
gaining their permission.
November of 1837, rebellion finally breaks out. Troops sent in to crush the rebellion. Rebels
win at st. denis but Britain takes st-Charles. Thousands of rebels arrested.
Upper Canada: Alexander Lyon Mackenzie publishes attacking the family compact. Gains
political wings through his reform idea. Gains control of the assembly. Every time the
assembly passes something to improve farmers—executive members always vetoed. This gains more members and Mackenzie starts to get more radical. Wants to rid of bug land
companies and also ban