POLS 1400 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Flag Of Canada, Constitution Act, 1867, Quebec Act

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Issues in Canadian Politics: Chapter 2 – page 24-37
The Historical Context
Early Settlement and History:
Canada was first settled more than 10,000 years ago by the ancestors of contemporary First
The various Aboriginal groups developed a variety of languages and cultures
European settlement began in the 17th century and Britain and France vied for control over
7 year war between the two countries Britain won
British Rule:
Royal Proclamation 1763, established British rule over the former French colonies
Royal Proclamation declared that “Indians” were to be left undisturbed, established their own
exclusive hunting rights over a vast territory, and provided their lands couldn’t be sold without
the approval of authorized representatives of the monarch ! not often enforced by the
colonial governments
Aboriginal peoples in Canada were never conquered by the European powers and were not
subject to British or French laws and government policies
The British governors recognized the need to be conciliatory to the leaders of the French-
speaking people and left most of the laws and practices from the French regime intact ! the
Quebec Act, 1774
An Influx of Immigrants:
An American invasion in Quebec in 1775-1776 was eventually repulsed by the British Army
The success of the American revolutionists in gaining independence from Britain resulted in
many Americans who had remained loyal to the British Crown along with those who had
fought in the British army and Indians who had fought against the Americans, seeking refuge
in the British North American colonies
Newcomers to British North America added a substantial population to the colonies and a
greater diversity
British Parliament passed the Constitution Act 1791, dividing Quebec into two colonies:
Upper Canada & Lower Canada
The War of 1812:
Tensions between Britain and the United States didn’t end with the Treaty of Paris, in which
Britain accepted American independence
1812 the U.S. declared war as a result of the British Blockade of European ports that cut off
American trade with Europe
British soldiers successfully resisted American invasions into Upper and Lower Canada
War ended in 1814 without a clear victory for either side
Rebellions & Unifications:
Despite having elected assemblies, the British North American colonies were far from
British governors were expected to follow the orders of the British government
Appointed councils composed of powerful local elites provided advice to the governor, and
had the right to reject any legislation proposed by the elected representatives in the assembly
Democratic reform movements developed to challenge the power of the elites that dominated
the colonies and to increase the power of the assembly
This led to rebellions ! Upper Canada’s rebellion was small and quickly suppressed
! Lower Canada’s rebellion was more serious as it reflected tensions
between the English speaking minority who controlled most of the
economic and political power in the colony and the French-Canadian
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