Patriots in Lower Canada
Quebec is known as the homeland of the French-speaking Canadians. Its uniqueness in culture was guaranteed by the British North American Act and is a cornerstone of Confederation. Prime Minister Pearson encouraged and advertised the idea of making the Canada as a homeland for French-Canadians and not merely for the Quebec. 1 In 1837, both Upper and Lower Canada had their rebellion opposing the proposed union between the two halves of Canada.
The Canadian Patriots who are the Quebecers would like to separate from the British colonialism and led themselves in any affair which for their own benefits. This rebellion was not materialized and there were twelve Patriots in Lower Canada who were put to death and hung in Montreal. Aside from that, there were sixty patriots who were exiled to Australia. In Upper Canada’s case, the rebels who had rebellion were also sent to Australia. After this incident, the Durham report came out and tried to have solutions for the French-Canadian feud.
2 According to Claude Belanger that Durham suggested the “joining of the Upper and Lower Canada into one legislative union having two administrations to institute responsible government as to remove a major source of friction that had existed between the government and elected officials prior 1837 to assimilate the French”. 3 _______________________ 1. Opinion; Bridging the Solitudes. www. uni. ca/threads/d12. html 2. ibid. 3. C. Belanger. The Durham Report, the Union Act and the Birth of the Separatist/Federalist Attitudes. http://www2. marianopolis. edu/quebechistory/readings/durham.
htm *Durham Report Durham report contributed much in the history of Canada. It was able to analyze the root causes of rebellions. Durham’s report has four main topics; these are the causes of conflict in Upper Canada, causes of conflict in Lower Canada, the Union of the Canadas and responsible government. 4 The earl of Durham whose name was John George Lambton introduced the Durham report to the Colonial Office in February 4, 1839 but Durham report was consummated in January 1839 that was why it was officially introduced in the following month by the said earl of Durham.
5 After the rebellion in 1837, earl John George Lampton was designated as governor general of British North America with special power as lord high commissioner6 to inspect colonial grievances. He arrived in the spring of 1838 in Quebec. The report of earl John George Lampton called “Report on the Affairs of British North America” was one of the most significant documents in the British Empire history. 7 The report on the affairs of British North America made by Durham report suggested reforms as the creation of municipal governments and a supreme court.
According to David Mills on his website that Durham condemned the “defective constitutional system in Upper Canada where power was monopolized by a petty, corrupt, insolent Tory clique”. Durham was able to narrate the dilemmas as racial and not political based in Lower Canada. He was able to found out that there were two nations fighting in the heart of one state. 8 __________________________ 4. Radical Jack and the Union of the Canadas. www. sd22. bc. ca/vss/library/CBenz/8-3. html 5. D Mills, Durham Report. The Canadian Encyclopedia. Thecanadianecyclopedia. com/index. cfm? PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0002473 6.
The History of Canada. Durham Report. www. linksnorth. com/canada-history/thedurham. htm 7. ibid. Durham suggested the assimilation of the French Canadians through the legislative union of the Canada to secure harmony and progress9 which they have had between 1791 and 1837. 10 This report of Durham was favored by the reformers in UC and NS which in favored the idea of responsible government but was not accepted by the Upper Canada’s Tory elite. The Montreal Tories showed their support to the union for having a reason of finding it as a way of overcoming the French Canadian opposition for their plans in economic development . 11
Durham report was mistakenly perceived about its suggestion in assimilating the French Canadians that it came from an intolerant, racist attitude. Durham had his three reasons why he suggested assimilation. The following reasons of Durham report are taken from Claude Belanger: “*There was, for a variety of reasons, some of which disclose intolerance on the part of Durham, a deadly animosity between the English and the French and this made efficient government of the province impossible. *One should consider who will dominate eventually on this continent; the French of Canada will suffer the fate of the Acadians of Louisiana.
If the French cling to their ancestral ways and language, in a continent increasingly dominated by the English, they will put increasingly in a position of hopeless economic and social inferiority. *Because they are French, a spirit of __________________________ 8. Mills, op. cit. 9. ibid. 10. Belanger, op. cit. 11. ibid. exclusion (read: they have been victims of discrimination) has kept them out of the better positions in government and business and has furthered their position of inferiority”. 12
As a whole, Durham report regarding his recommendations for separation of powers between colonial and imperial obligations was not accepted. He has one significant mistake of judgment when he stated that the French-speaking Canadians might be influenced by a growing English-speaking majority. 14 When Earl John George Lampton was in Quebec for his few months of staying there, he was busy gathering information which was needed for his report. On the other hand, he was attacked by his political opponents at his own homeland and received great criticism from them.
15 After few months of investigation, Earl John George Lampton was able to go home, England, to give his findings about the dilemmas in Canada. He was not able to witness the action that was taken according by his report because he was ill and died after. 16 But indeed, Durham report was able to played a significant role in the progress of Canadian autonomy. 17 12. Mills, op. cit. 13. C. Belanger 14. Mills, op. cit. 15. History of Canada, op. cit 16. … 17. ibid. References 1. Opinion, Bridging the Solitudes.
www. uni. ca/threads/d12. html 2. Claude Belanger. The Durham Report, the Union Act and the Birth of the Separatist/FederalistAttitudes. http://www2. marianopolis. edu/quebechistory/readings/durham. htm 3. D Mills, Durham Report. The Canadian Encyclopedia. Thecanadianecyclopedia. com/index. cfm? PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0002473 4. The History of Canada. Durham Report. www. linksnorth. com/canada-history/thedurham. htm 5. Radical Jack and the Union of the Canadas. www. sd22. bc. ca/vss/library/CBenz/8-3. html