The Revolt of French Canada, 1800-1835: A Chapter of the History of the British Commonwealth

By Helen Taft Manning | Go to book overview

XVII
The Triumph of the Assembly

In British North America the effect of the Report of the C anada Committee of 1828, which was released officially in July, was little short of sensational. The leaders of the reform party in Upper Canada, whose grievances had received comparatively little attention during the hearings, were jubilant over the success of their fellow sufferers in the lower province. Neilson, on his return, was urged to go to Upper Canada to attend a banquet at which he would be the guest of honour, to celebrate the triumph of the cause which he had espoused 'so ably and indefatigably'. He was assured by W. L. Mackenzie that those members of the Upper Canada assembly who were opposed to 'Dr. Strachan's system of government' wished to maintain a close alliance with him and his colleagues.1 The leaders of the conservative group in the upper province and of the English party in Quebec and Montreal were correspondingly thrown into the depths of despair, and bemoaned the fact that the contents of the Report were treated as final even before the Report itself had been accepted by the House of Commons or the ministers. The condemnation of the Governor, and by implication of the Colonial Office, for using funds raised by provincial acts without the sanction of the assembly was acclaimed by colonists everywhere, and Stephen's testimony upholding the claim of the assembly to control over the revenues raised under the 14th of George III became generally known, in spite of the fact that the Canada Committee had not allowed it to be printed.2

Almost the only man in British North America whose emotions were unstirred by the Report was the new Governor, Sir James Kempt, who had arrived from Nova Scotia in time to be greeted by his old friend and compatriot, Lord Dalhousie, but who had been fully prepared for a change of policy by Huskisson's confidential letter written in May. Kempt was a man of great ability who had served under Wellington in the Peninsula and had commanded a brigade of infantry at Waterloo. He was an engineer, the head of the commission of officers in charge of the building of the Rideau Canal, and he had expected to stay in North

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The Revolt of French Canada, 1800-1835: A Chapter of the History of the British Commonwealth
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • List of Illustrations ix
  • Maps x
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction xiii
  • Part I - The Setting 1
  • I - The Province of Lower Canada 3
  • II - Lord Grenville's Act 23
  • Part II - The Struggle in the Colony: Governor Versus Assembly 39
  • III - Governor, Electorate, Assembly 41
  • IV - The Popular Party 58
  • V - Sir James Craig, 1807-11 77
  • VI - The Francophile Governor Sir George Prevost, 1811-15 95
  • VII - Sir John Coape Sherbrooke, I816-I8 109
  • VIII - Lord Dalhousie, 1820-28 124
  • Part III - The Struggle in the Colony: The Fundamental Issues 149
  • IX - The Question of Union 151
  • XII - The Question of Representation 187
  • XII - The Attack on the Councils 207
  • Part IV - The Reaction in England 223
  • XIII - Reaction in War 225
  • XIV - Reaction in Peace 243
  • XV - The Politics of the Colonial Office 260
  • XVI - The Mind of Parliament 277
  • Part V - The Ascendancy of French Canada 297
  • XVII - The Triumph of the Assembly 299
  • XVIII - The Work of the Assembly 311
  • XIX - The Forces Dividing 321
  • XX - The Catastrophe 335
  • XXI - The Election of 1834 355
  • Conclusion 374
  • Appendix 378
  • Bibliographical Notes 384
  • Notes 390
  • Index 419
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