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Lecture 14

Lecture 14 - The Rebellions of 1837-1838

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University of Toronto St. George
Heidi Bohaker

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 o Change in the type of French-Canadian nationalism: Roman Catholic, seigneurs and French language --- by 1830s, the church is aiding the Chateau Clique so people moving away - authorize secular schools - church is outraged - now open admiration for American-style Republicanism  Economic Disparity - Habitants, Urban Business Interests o Droughts cause starving habitants o Merchants want urban expansion  92 Resolutions, 10 Russell Resolutions o British government takes 3 years to respond to the 92 Resolutions, and Lord Russell responds with 10…totally dismisses the 92 o Confirms status quo and the
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