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Background to Confederation in The Canadas Sources: –Careless: The Union of the Canadas –Careless: Brown of The Globe –Creighton: The Young Politician.

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Presentation on theme: "Background to Confederation in The Canadas Sources: –Careless: The Union of the Canadas –Careless: Brown of The Globe –Creighton: The Young Politician."— Presentation transcript:

1 Background to Confederation in The Canadas Sources: –Careless: The Union of the Canadas –Careless: Brown of The Globe –Creighton: The Young Politician

2 Background to Confederation in The Canadas The Rebellions & Union The Durham Report: “The quarrel, which I was sent for the purpose of healing, had been a quarrel between the executive government and the popular branch of the legislature. The latter body had, apparently, been contending for popular rights and free government. The executive had been defending the prerogative of the Crown...”

3 Background to Confederation in The Canadas The Rebellions & Union The Durham Report: “... there existed a far deeper and more efficient cause, – a cause which penetrated beneath its political institutions and into its social state... I expected to find a contest between a government and a people: I found two nations warring in the bosom of a single state: I found a struggle, not of principles, but of race...” Lord Durham’s Report II, p

4 Background to Confederation in The Canadas The Rebellions & Union The Durham Report: “...I perceive that it would be idle to attempt any amelioration of laws or institutions until we could first succeed in terminating the deadly animosity that now separates the inhabitants of Lower Canada into hostile divisions of English and French.” Lord Durham’s Report II, p

5 Background to Confederation in The Canadas The Rebellions & Union Durham makes two key recommendations: 1.Responsible Government 2.Assimilation of French Canadians British Government keener on 2 nd : Act of Union 1841

6 Background to Confederation in The Canadas The Union of the Canadas Institutional element of assimilation was “legislative union” –Upper & Lower Canada fused –Single legislative assembly –42 seats for each “section” –Under-represented Lower Canada (Quebec)

7 Background to Confederation in The Canadas The Struggle for Responsible Government British balked at Responsible Government: “...although you consult with them [the Exec Council], and are willing to pay due deference to their advice, you are yourself the head of your administration… not even bound to adopt their advice, although always bound to receive it.” Lord Stanley to Metcalfe (Quoted in Careless 1967, 79)

8 Background to Confederation in The Canadas The Struggle for Responsible Government Struggle for responsible government marks 1840s Cohesive alliance of Reformers in Upper & Lower Canada defeat Tories & Ultramontanes Highly polarized political system with elections marked by overt corruption and violence

9 An Ideological Map of The Province of Canadas in the 1840s

10 The 1 st Parliament ( ) Oppose Governor Support Governor Reform & Responsible Government Family Compact & Chateau Clique

11 An Ideological Map of The Province of Canadas in the 1840s The 1st Parliament ( ) Reform Government... notice its regional basis Tory Opposition Reform & Responsible Government Family Compact & Chateau Clique

12 An Ideological Map of The Province of Canadas in the 1840s The 2 nd Parliament ( ) Reform Opposition Tory Government

13 Background to Confederation in The Canadas The Struggle for Responsible Government Struggle for responsible government marks 1840s Cohesive alliance of Reformers in Upper & Lower Canada defeat Tories & Ultramontanes at elections The battle for Responsible Government won, the division between the Reform coalition (on the left) and their Tory opponents (on the right) weakens Unleashes potentially chaotic and complicated political landscape marked by sectarian and regional as well as political divisions

14 Background to Confederation in The Canadas Sectionalism & Gridlock A series of contentious bills reveals how polarized and unstable the political situation is: i.Rebellion Losses Bill, 1849 ii.Annexationist Manifesto iii.Common Schools Bill, 1850 iv.Seigneurial Bill, 1853 v.Clergy Reserves Act 1854

15 Background to Confederation in The Canadas Sectionalism & Gridlock...and what a lot of English Canadians in Lower Canada thought about the Rebellion Losses Bill:

16 Background to Confederation in The Canadas Sectionalism & Gridlock A series of contentious bills reveals how polarized and unstable the political situation is: i.Rebellion Losses Bill, 1849 ii.Annexationist Manifesto iii.Common Schools Bill, 1850 iv.Seigneurial Bill, 1853 v.Clergy Reserves Act 1854

17 Background to Confederation in The Canadas Sectionalism & Gridlock 1850s marked by sectionalism, gridlock, unstable government Tensions are: –Religious (1): Catholic vs Protestant –Religious (2): Church vs. State –Constitutional: Republican vs British Government –Regional: West vs East Situation is problematic because: –No majority party –Parties are not disciplined –Alliances are made & broken by patronage & quid pro quo

18 Background to Confederation in The Canadas Catholic Protestant British Republican Church State An Ideological Map of The Province of Canadas

19 Background to Confederation in The Canadas The 3 rd Parliament ( ) of the Province of Canada The Reformers problem is that their coalition gets too big and internally heterogeneous

20 Background to Confederation in The Canadas Catholic Protestant British Republican Church State An Ideological Map of The Province of Canadas in the 1850s Rouges Blues

21 Background to Confederation in The Canadas Catholic Protestant British Republican Church State An Ideological Map of The Province of Canadas in the 1850s Rouges Blues Liberal - Conservatives Clear Grits

22 Background to Confederation in The Canadas Catholic Protestant British Republican Church State An Ideological Map of The Province of Canadas in the 1850s Rouges Blues Liberal - Conservatives Clear Grits Reformers

23 Background to Confederation in The Canadas Catholic Protestant British Republican Church State An Ideological Map of The Province of Canadas in the 1850s Rouges Blues Liberal - Conservatives Clear Grits Reformers ?

24 Background to Confederation in The Canadas Sectionalism & Gridlock Situation often exacerbated by: –Ongoing Sectarian tension: University Endowments –Sectional Strategies: Movement of Capital –Events: Gavazzi Riots, 6 June 1853 “£10,000 Job” Scandal

25 Background to Confederation in The Canadas Chaos (Instability) in Multiple Dimensions No equilibrium in 2+ dimensions Clearly, not all alliances possible, but –Opposition could always break coalitions –Vulnerable to events –Hamstrung by institutions: The double-majority!

26 Background to Confederation in The Canadas Catholic Protestant The Double Majority & Veto Points Median voter pivotal in 1 dimension With simple majority, 43 rd member determines outcome

27 Background to Confederation in The Canadas Catholic Ultra Montane Protestant (High Tory) The Double Majority & Veto Points Double-Majority: majority overall & majority in each section! Creates multiple pivotal voters Each pivot is a potential veto point 22 nd Lower Canada Member (PIVOTAL) Median Voter (43 rd Member) 22 nd Upper Canada Member (65 th Member) (PIVOTAL)

28 Background to Confederation in The Canadas Escaping Gridlock & Chaos Brown & Macdonald searching for stable solution: –Step-by-step elimination of political dimensions –Move to uni-dimensional politics or dimension-by- dimension median

29 Background to Confederation in The Canadas Brown’s Problem: Sectarian appeals (No Popery!) give Brown solid but limited support How can Brown expand his appeal?

30 Background to Confederation in The Canadas Brown’s Strategy: The Globe champions Tory-Blue alliance on church-state dimension (1851) Events & issues undermine this strategy: –Supplementary School Bill, 1852 –Ecclesiastical Corporations Bill, 1853 –Gavazzi Riots, 1853

31 Background to Confederation in The Canadas Macdonald’s Problem: English-French coalition a fixed fact: “No man in his senses can suppose that this government can for a century to come be governed by a totally unfrenchified government.” (Careless 1967, 189) How to remove issues that exacerbate French-English tension…and still get elected?

32 Background to Confederation in The Canadas Macdonald’s Strategy: Build moderate Liberal-Progressive party Sideline Tories by supporting secularization against Hincks-Morin cabinet (i.e., turn on old allies!) Focus on shared commercial (rail) interests

33 Background to Confederation in The Canadas Catholic Protestant British Republican Church State An Ideological Map of The Province of Canadas in the 1850s Rouges Blues Liberal - Conservatives Clear Grits Reformers ?

34 Background to Confederation in The Canadas Catholic Protestant British Republican Church State An Ideological Map of The Province of Canadas in the 1850s Rouges Blues Liberal - Progressives Clear Grits Reformers 18 High Tories

35 Catholic Protestant Commercial Rural Rouge Clear Grits Blues Ind. Reform Liberal-Progressives Tories Background to Confederation Macdonald’s Ideological Vision

36 Background to Confederation in The Canadas Brown’s Alternative Strategy: By 1852 Canada West underrepresented “Rep-by-Pop” –Removes Catholic “advantages” –Limits church influence in state affairs –Avoids gridlock of “double-majority” Rep-by-pop “without regard to a separating line between Upper and Lower Canada” lost (March 1853)

37 Double-Majority Rep-by Pop Commercial Rural Rouge Clear Grits Blues Ind. Reform Liberal- Progressives Tories Background to Confederation Brown’s Ideological Vision

38 Background to Confederation in The Canadas Brown’s New Problem: Can he ally with Rouges? “It is clear that the natural allies of the Reformers of Upper Canada are the Rouges.” Brown to Sandfield Macdonald (1854) (Careless 1960, v. 1, 191)

39 Background to Confederation in The Canadas Collapse of Hincks’ Government The double-majority principle brings down government –Hincks’ resignation: “I could not command the confidence of the section of the province to which I belong.”(Careless 1967, 210) Is double-majority a constitutional rule? –Hincks: “exceedingly desirable in practical politics, but quite absurd as a constitutional requirement.

40 Background to Confederation in The Canadas Advantage Macdonald Hincks loses vote on speaker, (5 Sept 1854) BUT supports Macdonald’s coalition! “Of all the abortions it could enter the mind of men to conceive – it is the greatest.” The Globe, Sept 12, MPs condemn new cabinet

41 Background to Confederation in The Canadas Move and Counter-move: Macdonald gets rid of sectional issues (e.g., Clergy Reserves, Seigneurial Bill ) Brown builds bridges: –Supports Clergy Reserves & Seigneurial Bill –Invites Grits to form united Reform party, 1856

42 Background to Confederation in The Canadas The Double-Shuffle Difficult to hide sectionalism: –Taché Act, 1855 –Corrigan murder trial, –Movement of Capital Question 21 May 1955 – won by 70-47, but no double- majority Ask Queen to decide!

43 Background to Confederation in The Canadas

44 Dorion & Brown: Dorion (Rouge leader) opines on federation in 1856 Brown writes Holton: “No honest man can desire that we remain as we are. Yet what other way out of our difficulties can be suggested but a legislative union with rep by pop – a federal union – or dissolution.” (Careless 1960, 253)

45 Background to Confederation in The Canadas The Double-Shuffle Queen chooses Ottawa… Ottawa! Rouge motion that Ottawa unacceptable (July 28, 1858) 1.Montreal should be capital, not Ottawa 2.Ottawa should not be the capital Splits Blues and passes Cabinet calls adjournment: 61-50

46 Background to Confederation in The Canadas The Double-Shuffle Macdonald & Cartier resign! Head sends for Brown: –“The Governor General gives no pledge or promise, express or implied, with reference to dissolving Parliament.”

47 Background to Confederation in The Canadas The Double-Shuffle Brown & Dorion weak Ministers have to face by-elections Lose confidence vote Independence of Parliament Act, 1857


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