By: Vika • Essay • 845 Words • November 18, 2009 • 891 Views
Essay title: 1837 Rebellion
The Rebellion of 1837 was a battle between the habitants of Upper and Lower Canada and the Canadian government. More importantly it was a battle for righteousness between the French and the English. The habitants believed the problem with the government was the structure in Canada. All of Canada's power was derived from the Governor, the Executive Council and Legislative Council. British government appointed the two councils. The other chamber of legislature was the Legislative Assembly. The assembly was elected by the people and mostly composed of French Canadians. The crisis that triggered the rebellion first arose in Lower Canada. The population of Lower Canada was mostly French Canadians. They made up the Legislative Assembly, but their power in government was futile.
A strong voice in the Legislative Assembly was a Patriot, Louis Joseph Papineau. The Patriots were a party created to express the nationalist and democratic thoughts of French Canadians. Papineau made efforts to strengthen the Assembly and consequently creating equality for the French. In Upper Canada the colonial system wasn't as big of deal as it was in Lower Canada, mainly because the English populated Upper Canada more then in Lower Canada. In Upper Canada, many were to have thought that there was corruption in the government. This was mainly due to the fact that decisions were being made by what is known as The Family Compact. The Family Compact was made up of the social and economic elite. William Lyon Mackenzie, a former mayor of York (Toronto), didn't like the way the government was working and decided to instigate an armed rebellion to support the Patriots. There are only few in this world that would sacrifice lives to make a point of what they believe in. Is this really what it had to come down to, bloodshed between the government and Canada's people?
Joseph Louis Papineau was elected into the Lower Canada Legislative Assembly in 1809. Making efforts to lessen the strength of the council, Papineau composed a list called "The Ninety Two Resolutions." One of the demands on the list read that the assembly chooses the executive council. This would give the French equal representation in the government. Few years later the British government came up with ten resolutions, adopting policies the Patriots contested. They refused the demands for the assembly to choose the executive council. Papineau and the Patriots organized a French- Canadian revolt against the government in Lower Canada. Was there no other way to settle this matter?
In Mackenzie's early years he started a newspaper called "The Colonial Advocate." The newspaper was designed to speak for the people. His only goal was to spark change in Upper Canada. His writings were always witty and controversial but that is what made them exciting. In his very first issue he fearlessly stated: "Far
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