The Growth Of A Nation Canada Essay — страница 2

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parliamentary institutions in the territory governed by the Quebec Act of 1774. According to Grenville, the Bill’s general purpose was to assimilate each colony’s constitution to that of Britain. The Constitutional Act had four main purposes: “to guarantee the same rights and privileges as were enjoyed by loyal subjects elsewhere in North America; to ease the burden on the imperial treasury by granting colonial assemblies the right to levy taxes with which to pay for local civil and legal administrations; to justify the territorial division of the province of Quebec and the creation of separate provincial legislature; and to maintain and strengthen the bonds of political dependency by remedying acknowledged constitutional weaknesses of previous colonial governments.”3

Although this act temporarily improved life in the colonies, and made a lot of Loyalists happy, many Historians have considered the Act’s failure to create responsible government and its distribution of financial powers in favour of the appointed councils as the roots of the political problems in the early 19th century. Executive, Legislative Council and appointed Governors of the Canadas: The Constitutional Act of 1791 was a clear response by London to the American Revolution. The Act replaced Quebec by two provinces of Upper and Lower Canada. The western province of Upper Canada was English-speaking and received English law and institutions. It would become the modern province of Ontario. The eastern and mainly French-speaking province of Lower Canada, the present Quebec,

kept seigneurial tenure, French law, and the privileges of the Catholic Church granted by the Quebec Act. A lieutenant governor was established in each of the provinces, with an executive council to act as an upper house, and a representative assembly. The nominated executive council was appointed by the governor, whose responsibility was to the British Colonial Office rather than to the people or their elected representatives. Therefore, there was representative government, but without the executive council being responsible to the assembly. The Church of England was to tie the colonies more firmly to Britain. As well the Seigneurial System was permanently eradicated in Canada East.4 In all these political changes, (i.e. the Legislative Council), that were brought on by the

Constitutional Act were not directly accountable to the citizens of the Canadas or to the elected assembly, but to the Crown. This was all done by the Crown, in the Crown’s best interest. It took over a hundred years of documents, policies and acts to make Canada an independent nation. There was no revolution breaking our ties to Britain, in fact we are still part of the Commonwealth. Our diverse nation all began to come together over 200 years ago with Reformers, Radicals and Loyalists each wanting Canada shaped in a different way. Because of what the Crown wanted and because of what the independent minds in Canada desired is how we got where we are today. We are a country of evolution, we are the strongest nation in the world because of the people and events that began

painting our countries colors so long ago. 1. Canadian Encyclopedia, The, McClelland and Stewart Inc., Toronto, 2000. 2. Careless, J.M.S., Canada, A Story of Challenge, T.H. Best, Toronto, 1970. 3. Reid, J.H. Stewart, A Source-book of Canadian History, Longmans Canada Ltd., Toronto, 1967.