Presentation on theme: "Road to Responsible Government. Lord Durham's Report Canadians wanted to have responsible government, one that answered to elected representatives of."— Presentation transcript:
Road to Responsible Government
Lord Durham's Report Canadians wanted to have responsible government, one that answered to elected representatives of the people Britain decided it should investigate the causes of the unrest and rebellions They sent Lord Durham to Canada in 1838 He was a wealthy politician and noble He was tasked with finding answers Durham was in Canada for five months He tried to understand the issues He shared his findings in what was called the Durham Report The report called for two main recommendations Unite Upper and Lower Canada into a single colony Grant the colonies responsible government
The Union of the Canadas Durham blamed the troubles in Lower Canada on one thing: conflict between French and English “...two nations warring in the bosom of a single state” Durham was quite prejudiced in his report, unfortunately Canadiens were “a people with no history and no literature.” He failed to notice that they had a distinct culture and identity Durham wanted to get rid of the French language in Quebec He thought this would be accomplished by uniting the two colonies In 1841 the Act of Union created a single colony with two provinces Lower Canada = Canada East Upper Canada = Canada West English became the only official language of the colony
Achieving Responsible Government In responsible government, elected representatives in the Assembly would state the wishes of the citizens who voted for them The governor would then follow these wishes This would keep the governor's power in check Britain opposed this idea at first, but in 1848 reformers won a huge election victory It was readily apparent that the people wanted change Governor Lord Elgin chose two reformers to lead a new government Robert Baldwin Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine Elgin decided to take their advice; he even passed the Rebellion Losses Bill, although he did not like it Responsible government had been achieved!