Responsible Government

Responsible Government
   The period of responsible government in Canada dates from the union of 1841; in Nova Scotia, from 1848; in New Brunswick, the same year; in Prince Edward Island, 1851. The agitation for responsible government, from its very nature, cannot be limited to an exact period. It was a gradual growth, whose roots ran back almost to the beginning of the period of British rule in Canada. The Quebec Act of 1774, the Constitutional Act of 1791, the Ninety-Two Resolutions of 1834, the Rebellion of 1837, and Durham's Report, were mile-stones on the road to responsible government.
   Index: Mc Rattray on, 5, 6; Lord John Russell on, 19, 20; resolution refusing, passed by Imperial House, 20; Lord Glenelg opposes, 21; Erskine May's review, 21; Bond Head on, 22; Lord Durham justified in demanding, 61, 67-69; the "true remedy," 61, 63; Durham's Report favours, 81; Mackenzie urges, 81; Mackenzie advocates, 148, 166, 177, 244, 279; Seventh Report on Grievances, 273; Lord Glenelg on, 279-286; Lord Russell opposes, 325; comes at last, 409; May on value of, 490. Md Its principles accepted in Act of Union in 1840, 17, 22; established under Elgin, 32-33; principles of, outlined by Lord Grey in despatch to Sir John Harvey, 47-50. W History of movement for, in New Brunswick, 99-130. Sy Effects of its introduction foreseen, 81; not fully understood, 82, 107; idea opposed in reports of committees of both Houses of Upper Canada Legislature, 100-103; Sydenham's great tact in dealing with question of, 104; limited views of its more ardent advocates, 105, 230; open to theoretical objections, 105-107; advocated by Hincks and Howe, 107; problem not theoretically solved, 108; responsible government favoured by French-Canadians, 117; opposed by English element in Lower Canada, 117; favoured by Reform party in Upper Canada, 117; agitation on subject of, 124; Sir George Arthur opposes, 125; inhabitants of Gore district pass resolutions in favour of, 125; Lord John Russell's despatch on the subject, 169-172; misunderstood by Conservatives and Reformers alike, 172, 173, 219, 230; absence of, in Canada, 175, 176; Russell's despatch on tenure of office brings it nearer, 184; the sole issue on which Reformers were united, 185; could be introduced only gradually, 189; not clearly defined in Durham's Report, 223; Sydenham's view of, 224; excitement on the subject diminishing, 225; unity in the Cabinet a necessary condition of, 227-229; question of, in Nova Scotia, 257-264; French-Canadians indifferent to, 305; appreciation of, in Upper Canada, 305; resolutions on, adopted by Legislative Assembly, 310, 311. B Explained in the Banner, 9; Durham's remedy for political unrest, 12; withheld by Metcalfe, 20-25; introduced by Elgin, 33, 35; Hincks's and Morin's services in cause of, 67; George Brown's views on, 67. C La Fontaine's fight for, 97; Lord Elgin's good work for, 98. H Fight for, in Nova Scotia, 18-19, 30-31; only partially conceded by Union Act of 1841, 53; triumph of, in Nova Scotia, 111; in Canada, 111; Sir John Harvey on, 112-113; Joseph Howe's fight for. See Howe. BL Baldwin's "one idea," ix; the corner-stone of the British Imperial system, ix; evolution of, in Canada, ix; impossible in early days of British rule, 1-2; Head calls it the "smooth-faced insidious doctrine," 38; the desire for, at the root of both constitutional and armed movements in Canada, 52; recommended by Durham, 56-58; advocated by Hincks in the Examiner, 58; Union Bill identified with, by Reformers of Upper Canada, 61; Sydenham's views on, 64-67; favoured by La Fontaine, 70; discussion on, in Legislature of 1841, 90-95; the Baldwin resolutions, 108-110; history of, 137-143. See also Brown, George; Howe, Joseph; Baldwin, Robert; Hincks, Sir Francis; La Fontaine, Sir L. H.; Elgin, Earl of; Head, Sir F. B.; Sydenham; Metcalfe; Bagot; Durham; Stanley; Papineau, L. J.; Cartier, Sir G. E.; Ninety-Two Resolutions; Twelve Resolutions; Representative government; Constitutional Act, 1791; Union Act, 1840; British North America Act, 1867; Mackenzie, W. L.; Union of 1840.
   Bib.: Bourinot, Constitutional History of Canada; Shortt and Doughty, Constitutional Documents of Canada; Egerton and Grant, Canadian Constitutional Documents; Dent, Last Forty Years; Durham, Report; Kingsford, History of Canada.

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