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Lecture 2

POL 2101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Visible Minority, Neoliberalism, Secret Ballot

Political Science
Course Code
POL 2101
Joseph Roman

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September 8, 2014
The Canadian State: From Colony to Full Statehood
From the Beginning…
-Canada first settled by Aboriginals who had crossed from Asia to the Americas on
a frozen Bering Strait at the end of the Ice Age approx. 10 to 30 thousands years
-Population of Aboriginals in the Americas is estimated to have ranged from 30
million to 100 million.
-Aboriginal societies were diverse, complex, and had run the gamut of forms of
social and political organizations.
-Extensive lines of trade amongst Aboriginals throughout the Americas, e.g.
Excavations at Coteau-du-Lac near the Ontario-Quebec border found artifacts that
did not originate from the border. Found conch shells from the Gulf of Mexico,
copper from Lake Superior, and projectile points unique to Labrador.
Colonization and a New Civilization
-Canada as a white settler society.
-Norse Vikings briefly settled in Newfoundland in the 11th century.
-French and Italian explorers arrived in Canada in the 1550s
-Permanent European settlements in the 1600s as French settlers established New
-The fur trade is what brought the French and then the British into contact with
Aboriginals, leading to a fundamentally new civilization.
oMix of practices and technologies being combined with one another.
-French survival depended on learning from Aboriginals
-Transformation of Aboriginal societies due to 1. Disease and 2. The adoption of
European technologies.
-British settlement followed French settlement as the Hudson’s Bay Company was
granted a trading monopoly by King Charles II over Rupert’s Land (1670).
From a French Colony to a British Colony
-European wars affected the New World.
-The Treaty of Utrecht of 1713, which resolved the War of the Spanish Succession,
passed what is now Nova Scotia and Newfoundland into British hands.
-The Seven Year’s War brought a European conflict onto the New World’s soil.
-Acadians expelled from Nova Scotia.
-The conclusion was decided during the Battle of the Plains of Abraham and New
France would become part of British North America in 1759.
-France’s presence in the New World was reduced to Saint-Pierre and Miquelon.
Consolidating British Rule in North America: The Royal Proclamation of 1763
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-The first document establishing the rules of government.
-New France was renamed the Province of Quebec.
-The French language and the Roman Catholic religion received protection.
-Any new settlements west of the Appalachian Mountains could only occur with
the Crown negotiating with Aboriginals.
-The proclamation recognized Aboriginals as nations in their own right who had
title to lands.
-Lands could only be obtained by the Crown through treaties.
Creating Government: The Quebec Act of 1774
-Quebec Act of 1774 was the first act to establish a colonial government.
-A council would be comprised of appointed French and English speakers and they
would advise the governor of Quebec.
-The Quebec Act also enshrined the civil law tradition in private matters, restored
the rights of the Catholic Church, and expanded Quebec’s frontiers.
-The bi-national and bicultural character of what would become Canada had been
recognized too.
Effects of the American Revolution: The Constitutional Act of 1791
-United Empire loyalists fleeing the American Revolution had been accustomed to
elected assemblies but nonetheless viewed the crown as providing order and
guaranteeing respect for group difference.
-Reward French inhabitants for refusing an invitation to join the American
-Canada would have 1. A governor, 2. An executive council, 3. An appointed
legislative council, and 4. A locally elected assembly.
-Despite elected assemblies, the real power continued to lie in the hands of the
colonial governor.
-Divided the Province of Quebec in Upper Canada (Ontario) and Lower Canada
The Rebellions of 1837 & 1838
-Resentment over London’s heavy-handedness towards governing British North
-William Lyon Mackenzie and Louis-Joseph Papineau led the rebellions in Upper
and Lower Canada respectively.
-Upper Canada fought against the Family Compact.
-Lower Canada resented the Chateau Clique, who were the wealthy British
merchants inhabiting the legislative council and supported the assimilation of the
The Durham Report of 1839
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-John George Lambton, Earl of Durham, investigated why the rebellions happened.
-The Durham Report, formally known as the Report on the Affairs of British North
America, made several recommendations.
-Two recommendations were responsible government and uniting upper and lower
Responsible Government
-Durham cited politics as a cause of the Rebellions
-Responsible government should be implemented, i.e. the executive is answerable
to the legislature and it can govern so long as it enjoys the confidence of a
majority of the legislature.
-The executive would be drawn from the legislature.
-Responsible government would be the model for all other White settle colonies.
Uniting Upper and Lower Canada
-Durham argued the Rebellion in Lower Canada was due to race, not politics.
-The French were described as “a people with no literature and no history”.
-Unite Upper and Lower Canada in order to assimilate the French.
-Led to the Act of Union of 1840, which created the Province of Canada.
-Canada East (Quebec) and Canada West (Ontario) were created to maintain the
two distinct legal systems.
-The use of French in the legislative assembly was banned.
-French Canadians opposed the Act.
-Montreal businessmen supported it because it would overcome obstacles to
economic development.
-The ban on the use of French was overcome due to responsible government.
-French and English politicians agreed that providing the less populous Canada
West with the same number of seats as Canada west was an injustice.
-The first real Canadian government was formed in 1848 with Robert Baldwin and
Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine combining with one another to win on the principle
of responsible government.
-Lafontaine becomes the first Prime Minister of the Province of Canada.
Why Confederation? Economic Factors
-The UK discontinued colonial trading preferences.
-The renewal of the Canadian-American Reciprocity Treaty of 1854 was unlikely.
-Uniting British North America into a country would create a new and large
internal market.
-Railway construction would link Atlantic Canada with central Canada.
Political Factors
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