The Shift from Representative Government to Responsible Government


The Need for Change


The queen was at the top of the Representative Government. She was not voted for and made final decisions. She was from England and would only allow bills that would benefit her own country. She was not democratic at all.
The governor was chosen by the queen and puts Britain's wishes first. He decided when to hold elections and could veto any bill. He didn't care about BNA and would put their wishes behind. He was not democratic.
Under the governor was the Legislative and Executive Council members. They were chosen by the governor but couldn't veto any bill. They could advise the governor in which bills should become laws. They were not democratic.
The Legislative Assembly members were elected by the voters and their jobs were to suggest bills. They also raised money though taxes. They were a little bit democratic.
The voters were only male British citizens over 21. Very few black colonists could vote. That was a little bit democratic.
Once can say that the Representative Government was very little democratic because some people could vote but lots of people couldn't vote; the only elected party was the Legislative Assembly. Therefore the people of BNA needed change in the government.


The Impact of Joseph Howe


Joseph Howe was a journalist that owned a newspaper called the Novasoctian. He got advantage of freedom of press. In freedom of press, he could post anything true, even if it was against the government.


The Rebellions in Lower and Upper Canada

1837 - 1838

The rebellions are people that turn against the government violently. In 1837, rebellions tried to remove the Elites from power. Every time the rebellions asked for change, the British government would give more power to the Elites. Rebellions started when the government started to arrest people they thought could start a group of rebellions. The rebellions in lower Canada tried to attack twice, but both attacks failed. During the attacks in lower Canada, the rebellions tried to attack, but were defeated the the militia, a group of citizens that are not professionally trained but are used in times of needs.

Lord Durham's Report


It happened after the rebellions. Lord Durham was sent by the British government to investigate the situation in the colonies. He spent 5 months in the colonies and wrote a report to Great Britain saying that they should start Responsible Government. The British government kind of accepted his idea. They joined Canada East and Canada West into one colony: Colony of Canada, but they did not start Responsible Government.


Responsible Government Achieved in Nova Scotia


Responsible government was achieved in Nova Scotia thanks to Joseph Howe and James Boyle Uniacke. It happened through election and the first premier was James Boyle Uniacke.

Responsible Government Achieved in Province of Canada


Responsible government was achieved by creating an assembly and happened because of Louis-Hipployte LaFontaine and Robert Baldwin. The first premier was Louis-Hipployte LaFontaine.

Responsible Government Achieved in Prince Edward Island


Responsible Government was achieved in PEI when Britain accepted PEI's requests and allowed them to have Responsible Government. The main figures for this event were George Coles and Edward Whelan. The premier was George Coles.

Responsible Government Achieved in New Brunswick


Responsible Government was achieved in New Brunswick because Britain agreed with them. Key figures to this event were Lemuel Allan Wilmot and Charles Fisher. The first premier was Charles Fisher.

Responsible Government Achieved in Newfoundland


Responsible Government was achieved in Newfoundland when the Roman Catholics and Methodist politicians made a strong demand against Britain. Key figures to this change were Philip F. Little, the Roman Catholic church, methodists, and non-church people. The first premier was Philip F. Little.