By DUNHAM (A).

ISBN-10: 0771097107

ISBN-13: 9780771097102

First released in 1927, this account of the political struggles of higher Canada ahead of the uprising of 1837 is still a vintage piece of Canadian ancient scholarship.

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In the Canadas, indeed, certain features of the constitution were deliberately copied from the standard type -of government which had evolved in the old colonies to the south, and these features were embodied in an act of parliament. lIl, cap. XXXI), though it came to be regarded in the Canadas as the "Constitutional Act," was in reality only the corner-stone of the constitution. It created in each province a legislature consisting of a nominated council and an elected assembly, and defined the qualifi~ations for membership in each chamber, but it mentioned both the governor and the executive council only incidentally.

This was confined to licences, militia fines and certain duties on imports overland from the United States. There was no direct taxation except that levied by the quarter sessions. The local legislature had, therefore, very limited funds at its disposal. Not until 1816 did it vote a permanent annual grant of 22501. towards the civil service, which was henceforth accounted for with the rest of the crown revenue beyond the assembly's control. The only control which it exerted over the executive was by means of a grant of the annual expenses to cover the contingencies of the executive departments and of the law courts.

He declared that this list included all the judges, half the executive council, the speaker and eight members of the legislative council, the officers of the Canada Company, the president and solicitor of the bank and half the directors. He concluded: 'This famiJy compact surround the lieutenant-governor and mould 42 - POLITICAL UNREST IN UPPER CANADA him like wax to their will; they fill every office with their relatives. dependents and partisans; by them justices of the peace and officers of the militia are made and unmade; they have increased the numbers of the legislative council by recommending through the governor half a dozen of nobodies and a few placemen, pensioners and individuals of well-known narrow and bigoted principles; the whole of the revenues of Upper Canada are, in reality, at their disposal; they are paymasters, receivers, auditors, king, lords and commons.

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Political Unrest in Upper Canada, 1815-1836 by DUNHAM (A).


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