Many people in BNA were unhappy because the responsible government of BNA in mid-1830's was not democratic. The Queen Monarch, who was at the top of the government was not elected by BNA people. Also, she was not from BNA but England, so she didn't care about BNA. Under the Queen, there was a Governor. He was also not democratic because he was not elected by BNA people and he was from England, so he didn't care about BNA. Under the Governor, there were Councils. They were also not democratic because they were chosen by the Governor, not by BNA people. Under the Councils, there was Legislative Assembly, they were democratic because they were elected by BNA people and they were came from BNA, so they cared about it. Under the Legislative Assembly, there were voters. They were kind of democratic because they had freedom to vote for Legislative Assembly, but the people who could vote was only males.
Joseph Howe was born in 1804 and died in 1873.
He was one of the famous politicians in Nova Scotia in mid-1800s. He was elected to the assembly as a liberal reformer.
He published a newspaper called Novascotian. He thought freedom of the press is a newspaper's right to print anything that is true, even if it is against the government. He also spoke how the power of the elite was unfair in his main day of trial.
In Upper Canada, William Lyon Mackenzie, who was a politician and a rebellion leader, heard that British soldiers were busy fighting in Lower Canada and cannot defend Upper Canada, so he decided have some moves for them. The Militia, which was a group of citizens who are not professional soldiers but act as soldiers in cases, easily defeated the rebels just in few days because they were lack of military training or weapons. Most of them were released or arrested, but some of them were hanged or sent to prison colonies in Australia, or banished from Canada.
In Lower Canada, the first rebellion started in 1837. The government awarded that and soon arrested them because they had heard that certain people might be thinking of rebellion. The British troops had easily defeated the Patriot’s rebels by the end of the year because the Patriots had few weapons. In the end, 800 Patriots were jailed and their homes were destroyed. Most of Patriots were released at the end, but some of them were hanged or sent to prison colonies in Australia and Bermuda.
Durham's report was mainly about joining the two colonies in Upper Canada and Lower Canada into one colony called Province of Canada, because Lord Durham thought that would give the British would have better control over the French. The reason why he wanted to have better control over French was that he hoped that the French culture would disappear and become more like British. Give the province of Canada responsible government. This was a very unusual idea for a British lord to suggest but he believed that people living with poverty should be given a chance for education and all people should have a say in their government. The British government took his advice and created the Province of Canada, made up of Lower Canada, but they didn't give them the new colony responsible government.
Nova Scotia had the first government in BNA. Since Joseph Howe had been elected to the Assembly in 1836, he helped responsible government to create a strong Reform Party in the colony. The Governor held an election in 1848 to see which party would form the majority in the Assembly and the Reform Party won. The Reform Party promised to make sure that the people had more say in how government spent the money. James Boyle Uniacke was the leader of the Reform Party, because he the leader of the party which won the election. He became the first premier of Nova Scotia and he had the right to choose members of Executive Council and the Assembly also.
Things didn't go well in the new Province of Canada. Though, the British government agreed to responsible government in 1847, but it didn't happen soon because Canada East and Canada West had so many different opinions against each other on how to run the government. In 1849, finally, Louis-Hipployte LaFontaine from Canada East and Robert Baldwin from Canada West joined to create a strong Assembly.
George Coles and Edward Whelan worked for reform in their colony. The Assembly in Prince Edward Island asked for responsible government several times, but were refused. The Assembly had to fought back by not passing any bills or voting any money for government use. With new ideas about reform, Britain gave in, and PEI achieved responsible government in 1851. George Coles became the colony's first premier.
One of the key issues for people in New Brunswick was the question of who would control how the income from timberlands would be spent. That was a quiet big income because the government received a share of the money from the province. The elite and the other people in the province had the same opinion about the issue, so the Assembly was given the right to control how this money would be spent.
There was a big difference in opinions between the English merchants, who were supposed to the Legislative and Executive Councils and the member who were elected to the Assembly. Many of them were fishers who lived with poverty. Some were professionals or members of the clergy. In elections, it was mostly Roman Catholics, Methodists, and people with no religions of England religious groups who were voted to the Assembly. The demand for responsible government in Newfoundland became strongest and decided to join together to fight for reform. Finally, Newfoundland was given responsible government in 1855.