HIS263Y1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 14: Francis Bond Head, Bradford West Gwillimbury, Louis-Joseph Papineau

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6 Apr 2012
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The Rebellions of 1837-1838
Lower Canada: Unrest & Rebellion
Secret ballot doesn’t happen until 1873, so the elections are open and public
Crowd either says yay or nay to elect
Often physical fighting
Late fall 1837, the rebellions break out
More serious than the Upper Canada rebellion
It was treason and a crime against the crown
Both Upper and Lower were frustrated with the government structure
The structures were elected representatives of government, but the Legislative Assembly
had very limited powers --- the Executive Council and Legislative Council (appointed) and
controlled government jobs, timber licenses etc.
Form of democracy, and if you had the land qualification, you could run for office, but
there is not a lot you can really do
1820s and 1830s there were protests to get the British Parliament to make constitutional
changes to give more voice for reps in the Legislative Assembly
Moderate reform, but by 1837 there were enough people that wanted more dramatic
action that actually wanted an active rebellion
Legislative Council to be elected - wanted Executive Council to be drawn from the
Legislative Assembly, and to be responsible for the Legislative Assembly so they can be
punished by the Assembly
Tempting to characterize the rebels as a fringe group and not upstanding members of
society, but they were active members of the Assembly
Seigneur Louis Joseph Papineau was the leader in Lower Canada
Could and would lose your life if found guilty
Rebellions should be given more importance
Lead to some constitutional changes
These are people with reputations willing to put it on the line to secure more rights
You would at least be banished to Australia
Political Rivalry - Patriotes, Chateau Clique
o Party Canadien want to open up the land to Habitant families to have
o Popularity rose in 1822 and worked with the clergy to stop a planned union of upper
and lower Canada
o Saw problems with corruption, supported the English who were upset with the
Chateau Clique
o 1826 changes its name to Parti Patriote - 90% seat win, and people getting more
radical and push the moderate reformers out of the party and request key changes
o Legislative Assembly uses its power of funding stop choose not to fund canal
projects of the merchant elite (most of the Assembly are Patriote)
o Merchants vs Patriotes
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