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POL2101 (222)

The Canadian Constitution and the Canadian Community

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Political Science
Luc Turgeon

Jan. 10, 2014 The Canadian Constitution and the Canadian Community Key words (explain on exams) • Royal Proclamation: key historical event with indigenous people • QuebecAct: key historical event with Quebec – Quebecers and Catholics are given rights and promised not to be assimilated • Act of Union: British NorthAmericaAct • Confederation/BNAAct (ConstitutionAct 1982) • Compact theory • Meech Lake/Charlottetown Accord • *Multinational state • Canada First Movement • Hartz-Horowitz Thesis Key Questions  What are sme of the ey moments in the formation of the Canadian political community?  What are some of the defining values of the Canadian political community embodied in our Constitution (and constitutional history)?  What are the different conceptions of the Canadian political community? (key question over the next few weeks  How have Canadians conceptualized the difference between Canada and the United States? Canada: Geography matters  Territory matters greatly in Canadian politics… -Size -Distribution of the population -Economy • Federal government and provinces (divided government because the country is so large) • Very regionalized politics (different people and economies) • Different immigrants settled over different times with different values and interests • Quebec and Ontario constituted the majority of the population  Resources matter greatly in Canadian politics… • Key aspect of Harold Innis’approach to Canadian politics • Still important! We provided fur, wheat, and now oil  Who occupied the territory…? • Who was here first • Who came after • Created a certain political dynamic • Up until the 1960s, Canada mostly only accepted white immigrants Presence of indigenous peoples/European settlement (more details next week) • Contact between nations – The British & French meet the indigenous people (Iroquois and Cree) occupying Canada at the time • 1760 – The British Army defeat the French and conquers New France (Quebec) • Royal Proclamation that recognized land rights – the Crown agreed to protect their land rights • Royal Proclamation not upheld upon arrive of more European immigrants • Massive displacement and depopulation (settlers displace indigenous people – due to diseases brought over by European settlers, 70% of the indigenous population dies) • Uneven coverage of treaties – Royal Proclamation gave rights to indigenous people, but took away rights from the French people Francophone-Anglophone Relations: The Road to Confederation • “La Conquête” and the Royal Proclamation • Catholics could play no role in the development of government • Francophones must be assimilated • Defining moment: QuebecAct -Murray decides not to forcefully assimilate French Canadians -QuebecAct revokes the Royal Proclamation -Quebec civil law will be respected -Roman Catholic Church can practice activities (charity and church) • TheAmerican Revolution and the 1791 ConstitutionAct (the QuebecAct takes some American territory) • Tories (American Brits) flee to Ontario – don’t want to share power with the French • 1) Divides Canada into Upper Canada (Ontario) and Lower Canada (Quebec) • 2) • The British Parliament does not possess real power • 1837 Rebellion and theAct of Union (1840) • People demand responsible government – that they govern their own affairs and not by a clique in London – demand for democracy – creates massive rebellions • Rebellions are defeated – Lord Durham’s report on francophones – “a people with no history and no literature” (uncivilized) – don’t deserve to be a separate people – recommends that they be assimilated • Rebellions came from irresponsible government, so give them responsible government • Upper Canada and Lower Canada merge and become Canada • English becomes the only official language and the French are assimilated • Lafontaine-Baldwin Union -example of consociationalism -French is brought back as an official language -DEAL: the French and the English each have a veto – all legislation passed must have the agreement ofAnglophone and Francophone. Each linguistic group should have the same amount of representation (indigenous people are completely excluded from this arrangement) Maurice Seguin on the QuebecAct “Whether they were seigneurs or men of the legal profession, the repeal of the Royal Proclamation and later the QuebecAct of 1774 provided Canadian leaders with a constitutional text, a “grand charter” that they later exploited to the benefit of the French-
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