smc 313

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St. Michael's College Courses
Patrick Mc Gowan

Smc 313- the origins of SS question in ont  In quebec the school system is religious o In ont CS are undenominational and the existence of SS is an exception to the doctrine of popular sovereignty stemming from political and social conditions which arose under the act of union of 1841 o During 1841 RC church’s control of all phases of edu in lower Canada was complete and unquestioned  Protestant schools did exist but didn’t have much of a system  In this yr general Lord Sydenham reminded the members that a due provision for edu was the duty of state  The common school bill of 1841 was introduced by General Day  Originally the bill contained no mention of SS but opposition arose  The RC bishops of Kingston and quebec objected to the principles of the bill. John Strachan petitioned strongly that the edu of Anglican children should be entrusted to anglican teachers only  In the end all petitions resulted in the bill allowing any religious minority to establish dissentient schools  In 1843 two bills were introduced establishing a new system of elementary schools for upper Canada o The new plan provided that 10 or more freeholders(taxpayers), protestant or RC might establish a SS only of the CS teacher belong to the other major body of Christians. o The bill added that no child need read any book or join in any devotional exercises objectionable to the parents o Only opposition of this bill was from Strachan requested a denominational division of all CS funds  In 1844 ryerson became superintendent of edu; VERY important event that happened o In his report of a system of public elementary edu, he asserted that edu must be universal and practical and established on religion and morality esp the truth of the bible o He conceived of SS as the exceptional means of protecting religious minority rights within the unitary whole of the provincial system o He drafted a school bill in 1846 for his national system w.o altering the existing SS arragenments. o Next step was creation of school board  Strachcan refused to be a member b/c this would only encourage opposition to the board but he gave full support to Power o Power’s death proved disastrous to Ryerson’s plan  Power had the same view as Ryerson: SS were not an essential principle  The common school act of 1846 functioned reasonably well for more than two years o Strachan still opposed the principle to mixed schools and said he preferred SS  In 1849 the passing of Robert baldwin’s municipal corporations act necessitated a revision of the common schools act o Cameron introduced a bill for what he described as a systematic code of CS legislation o His bill excluded the clergy and destroyed the SS simply by failing to mention them o His bill also destroyed ryersons plan for a provincial system of elementary edu and did way with ryerson’s position; Cameron was a well known enemy of
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