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that flowed into the Dominion. The population
of British Columbia in 1901 was only 178,000,
including Chinamen and Indians.

The Canadian Northern and the Grand Trunk An era
Pacific railways were constructed across British ^ w&
Columbia, and their termini established at New building
Westminster, Vancouver, and Prince Rupert, in andin '

* creased

the years between 1907 and 1914. The great immi-
increase in the population of the prairie provinces, s*** 1011
and this railway construction, aided the develop-
ment of British Columbia. Lumber, coal, fish,
and fruit were in increasing demand in the grain-
growing provinces.

In these years, with improved railway com-
munication and with prosperity all over the
Dominion, British Columbia became increasingly
the pleasure ground of Canada; and the first
boom in its history a boom at the height of
which prices for real estate in Vancouver and
Victoria mounted as high as prices for real estate
in central London continued until within a
year of the war.

The resources of British Columbia are lumber, A pro-
coal, fish, and fruit. It exports all these products *^^f
oversea. In the decade before the war it marketed
lumber, fish, and fruit in the prairie provinces,
and to some extent also in eastern Canada.
British Columbia was a protectionist province
in the pre-Confederation era. It was almost as
protectionist as Ontario; and as a result of the



protection of its lumber and fruit-growing indus-
tries by the Dominion tariff, it is politically
allied with central Canada and Nova Scotia and
New Brunswick, and not with its neighbors
immediately east of the Rocky Mountains the
agrarian, radical, and free-trade provinces of
Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.



OF CANADA. 1783 TO 1840

THE loss of the American colonies ended one A new
era in British colonial history and began JJJJ^
a new one. It began the eventful and beneficent colonial
era that extended from 1783 to 1914 an era history
parallel to, and greatly influenced by, the era
of constitutional reform and progress towards
democracy in Great Britain that extended from
1832 to the outbreak of the war.

British colonies at the end of the American British
revolution were Canada, Newfoundland, the Jjjj^
British West Indies, Australia and New Zealand, sions at
and a number of smaller possessions now in the ^ e t ^ d
crown colony division of the colonial office. India American
in 1783 was under the control of the East India "^
Company. It was not transferred to the im-
perial government until 1858.

At the beginning of the new era there were no Canada
British settlements in either Australia or New tal788
Zealand. Canada included the vast territory
under the rule of the Hudson Bay Company;
Quebec, which then extended from the Detroit
River to the western boundary of what is now the
province of New Brunswick; Nova Scotia; and
Prince Edward Island.



Popu- The only white inhabitants of the country

west of the Detroit River were the factors or

Of tllC

British agents and other employees of the Hudson Bay
American Company. I n Quebec the white population did
provinces not exceed H3,ooo, of whom it was estimated
endrf I 5' were of British origin. Nova Scotia,
American which then included New Brunswick and Prince
revolution Edward I s l an d, had a population of 42,700.!
In Newfoundland there were about 10,000
inhabitants. In all the oversea possessions of
Great Britain at the end of the American revolu-
tion, the white population was not more than
170,000, more than half of whom were French-

I. Influence of the American Revolution on
British North America

impelling Enthusiasm for colonial possessions was damped
by the loss of the American colonies; and a period

towards J . r

coioni- of indifference and stagnation in regard to them
might have begun in 1783 had it not been for
two conditions which arose out of the war with
the American colonies. One of these conditions,
the convicts in England, who during the war

1 For these statistics of population I am indebted to
Mr. William Smith, secretary to the board of publications,
public archives of Canada, Ottawa. The United Empire
Loyalists, about 15,000, are not included in the population
statistics for Canada. In those for Nova Scotia, the then
recently arrived United Empire Loyalists, as well as disbanded
troops, in all 28,000 men, women, and children, are included,
as are also 400 Acadians.



had been temporarily detained in hulks awaiting
penal transportation oversea, created a seriously
embarrassing domestic problem. The second
condition, the obligation of the British govern-
ment to the Tories or United Empire Loyalists
of the revolution, existed in the United States,
in Canada, and in Nova Scotia; and after the
peace of 1783 presented a problem that admitted
of no delay in solution.

Convicts had been sent out from England to Convict
the American colonies from as early as 1618 to settle ~

. ments In

1776. They were coming at the rate of 400 or Australia
500 a year in the decade which preceded the .
revolution. At the end of the war the British
government determined to establish a convict
settlement in Australia.

Seven hundred men and women, and boys The first
and girls, condemned to transportation under J^J^^
the revoltingly brutal code of the eighteenth cen- colonies
tury, were sent to Port Jackson, the present site J^^
of Sydney, New South Wales, in 1787; and be- revoiu-
tween then and 1830, 25,000 convicts were trans- tion
ported to New South Wales and Van Dieman's
Land. The successful revolt of the American
colonies thus led almost immediately to the
colonization of Australia; for in 1788 New South
Wales was formally proclaimed a British colony.
It was under crown colony rule until 1855; and
convicts were transported thither until iS/j.!. 1

1 Cf. "The Oxford Survey of the British Empire Gen-
eral Survey," VI, 152-153.



United A large immigration of United Empire Loyal-

f mp u e * i sts fr m tne United States to the British North

Loy 3.11st s

as wards American provinces, and the Quebec act of 1791,
o f th were the developments in the solution of the


govern- second of these problems arising directly out
ment of the war of 1776-1783. The United Empire
Loyalists became the wards of the British gov-
ernment after the treaties of Versailles and Paris;
and they remained the peculiar care of the Brit-
ish government for a decade after the revolution.
The British government arranged for and
financed the transportation to Canada of all the
United Empire Loyalists who wished to leave the
United States. It offered them houses and lands
in Nova Scotia and Quebec. It maintained many
of them while they were reestablishing them-
selves; and it also appointed a royal commission
to award compensation to them for the material
loss they had incurred in the American revolu-
tion. Most of the United Empire Loyalists were
too poor to go to England. Canada seemed to
them the most hopeful country of refuge.
Exodus to The exodus to Canada an exodus regarded
ITU HM k v Canadian historians as comparable with the
exodus of the Huguenots from France l had
begun before the treaty of peace was signed at
Versailles. Nine transports sailed from New
York for Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, in April,
1782. Another company of 7000 men, women,
and children sailed from New York in April,
1 Cf. Wallace, "The United Empire Loyalists," 3.



1783. Half of them went to what is now St.
John, New Brunswick, and the other half to
Port Roseway, Shelbourne County, Nova Scotia.

By the end of September, 1783, 18,000 of the Move-
loyalists had reached Nova Scotia; and as late e ^ va
as January, 1784, they were still arriving at St. Scotia
John. Canadian historians compute that the
total immigration of 1782-1783 into what are
now the Maritime Provinces was about 35JOOO. 1

There was an immigration of loyalists into inroad
Quebec as early as 1776. A stream of immigra- Q^ ebec
tion began after the defeat of Burgoyne, at Sara-
toga, in 1777. By the end of that year 3000
loyalists were in the province most of them in
the neighborhood of Three Rivers, where "every-
thing in reason was done to make the unfortu-
nates comfortable."

After the treaty of peace had been concluded,
the stream of immigration overland to Quebec
greatly increased in volume. There were nearly
7000 United Empire Loyalists in the French
province in the winter of 1783-1784; and the
resources of the British government were strained
to the utmost to provide for the necessities of the
thousands who had thus flocked over the border
line from the United States. 2

At the time the exodus from the United States
began, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward
Island were the only organized provinces in
Canada. In only two of them, Nova Scotia and

1 Cf. Wallace, 63. * Cf. Wallace, ibid., 92^93.

[6 3 ]


Political Prince Edward Island, was there organized civil

government in which the colonists had any part

British through elected legislatures. In 1758 a legisla-

A^erican t ^ ve assem bly had been established at Halifax,

provinces for the province of Nova Scotia; and there had

r784 783 come mto being a legislature which today has

the distinction of being the oldest law-making

body in any of the British oversea dominions. 1

Prince Edward Island had been created a
separate colony in 1769, at a time when there
were only about 150 families on the island; 2 and
in 1773 a legislature, with an elected assembly,
had been established at Charlottetown.
Quebec The wide but sparsely populated province of
tion StltU " Q ue b ec was administered at this time, and until
of 1774 1791? under a constitution framed by the British
government, and enacted by parliament at West-
minster in 1774. Under this constitution, which
had aroused much opposition from Chatham,
Burke, Townshend, Dunning, and Barrie, and
the Whigs as a party, all power was vested in the
governor. There was a nominated legislative
council, with extremely restricted powers with
less legislative power than is exercised today by
Canadian municipal councils. 3

It was a nominated council, because as North

1 Cf. Burpee, "Sandford Fleming, Empire Builder,"

2 Cf. Weaver, "A Canadian History," 125.

3 Cf. Egerton, " Historical Geography of the British Colo-
nies," Vol. V, pt. ii, 12, 13.

[6 4 ]


told the house of commons in 1774, there was at
the time not a sufficient number of English people
in Quebec to elect a legislature similar to that
which had been established at Halifax. No pro-
vision was made in the Quebec constitution
a constitution which Chatham declared "tore
up justice and every good principle by the roots"
for habeas corpus, or for the trial of civil cases
by jury. 1

The constitution recognized and continued the Position
Roman Catholic church in Quebec as an estab- j^
lished church, collecting tithes and church levies, catholic
and enforcing its own decrees as to marriage and ^ > ^ c i
the nullification of marriage. These were great
advantages for the church, especially when they
were compared with the constitutional disabili-
ties which were the lot of the adherents of the
Roman Catholic church in England, Ireland, and
Scotland in the last quarter of the eighteenth cen-
tury. They were advantages that partly account
for the hostility of the church in Quebec to the
American revolution; for it was realized by the
clergy that all these valuable privileges enjoyed
under the constitution of 1774 must come to an
end if Quebec became a state in the American

French-Canadians, and in particular the hier-
archy of the church, from 1783 to 1791, had no
complaint against the constitution of 1774. It
was the large inflow of United Empire Loyalists
i Cf. W. R. Riddell, "The Constitution of Canada," 9-14.



United that made a new constitution imperative. A

Locusts g vernment with an elected legislature had been

demand established for New Brunswick a province

a new carved out of Nova Scotia in 1784, almost

constitu- r r TT i

tion for before the stream of immigration of United
Quebec E mp i re Loyalists to the St. John River country
had come to an end.

Before the Quebec act of 1774 was passed by
parliament, English colonists at Three Rivers,
Quebec, and Montreal had urged the establish-
ment of a legislative assembly. There were
agitations for an assembly in 1769, and again
in 1773; for military rule, such as existed from
1763 to 1774, never commended itself to colonists
of British origin.

II. Upper and Lower Canada under the
Constitutions o

Potency For 130 years America has influenced political
f and economic thought in Canada; and this

American . to . ,

influence influence can be traced almost from the time the

loyalists settled in Quebec. These newcomers of

from 1778-1784, joined as they soon were by many

ITS* t0 loyalists wno had first emigrated to New Bruns-

wick, soon began to demand such British institu-

tions as they had been accustomed to in the

American colonies.

In particular they desired (i) an elected legis-

lative assembly; (2) trial by jury in civil cases;

and (3) the division of Quebec into two provinces,

an English and a French province. The larger



number of United Empire Loyalists had settled
west of the Ottawa River, in what is today the
province of Ontario, and they were desirous that
this should be an English province.

The first colonial constitution of the new era First
in British colonial history the era of 1783- ^j^
1914 was that of 1784 for New Brunswick, tions
The second constitution, much more elaborate, *
was that embodied in the Quebec act of 1791.
This act created the political divisions of Upper
and Lower Canada, which were continued under
these names until the reunion of the two prov-
inces in I84O. 1

The constitutions of these provinces were
similar. Each provided for (i) a governor and
executive council; (2) a nominated legislative
council; and (3) a popularly elected legislative

The qualifications for electors of the legislative Quaiifi-
assembly, it was provided by the act of 1791, cations
were to be the same as those in England at that electors
time for electors of knights of the shire. In
counties of Lower and Upper Canada, the elect-
ors were the owners of land of a rental value
of forty shillings a year. There was at that time
no uniformity in England as regarded the quali-
fications of parliamentary electors in the bor-
oughs; but it was provided that electors in the
three towns of Lower Canada, and the two of

1 Cf. Riddell, "Constitution of Canada," Note XVI,

[6 7 ]



of Roman


of the




Upper Canada, should be the owners ,of houses
of a rental value of five pounds, or occupiers of
houses of which the rent was not less than ten
pounds a year.

In England and Scotland in 1791, and until
1829, the oath against transubstantiation ex-
cluded Roman Catholics from the exercise of the
electoral franchise, and also from parliament. No
such oath was imposed by the constitution of
1791 on electors in Upper and Lower Canada,
or on members of the legislature.

Wages had not been paid to members of the
house of commons in England since the seven-
teenth century, and the system of paying the
traveling expenses of members to and from
parliament had been in desuetude for a much
longer time. In Upper and Lower Canada wages
and traveling expenses were for many years a
charge on the electorates.

Property qualifications were necessary for
members of the house of commons at West-
minster from 1710 to I858. 1 There was no
provision in the Quebec act for property quali-
fications for members of the legislative assembly;
nor was there any provision that members should
be resident in the constituencies from which they
were elected.

Two departures in colonial constitutions char-
acterized Pitt's Quebec act of 1791. The first

1 Porritt, "The Unreformed House of Commons," I, 168-



Pitt's was an attempt, long persisted in, to establish a
attempt connection between state and church, such as
establish exists in England to establish the Church of
Eniish E n gl an d as a state-supported church in Lower
church in and Upper Canada. The second was an attempt,
andto & but nothing more than an attempt, to create a
create an hereditary aristocracy and a governing class
aristoc- s j m il ar to that which then existed and still exists

in England.

clergy By the thirty-sixth section of the act of 1791,

reserves p rov J s i O n was made for reserving out of all
grants of public lands an allotment for the sup-
port of a Protestant clergy. The allotment was
to be equal in value to the seventh part of the
lands granted. These allotments were known as
the "clergy reserves." The rents and profits
from them were to be applicable solely to the
maintenance and support of a Protestant clergy.
Provision was also made for the endowment of
rectories out of the proceeds of the sale of public

Sixty In the first half of the nineteenth century these

years of provisions in the act of 1791 were prolific of

sectarian f. . ' y . f \

strife bitter political and sectarian strife in Upper
Canada. The setting aside of the clergy lands
in the settlement of townships caused great hard-
ship to pioneer homesteaders. It retarded the
development of Upper Canada. It divided the
inhabitants both in town and country into two
hostile camps. It was one of the contributing
causes of the rebellion of 1837. It entailed much



trouble for the legislatures of Upper Canada,
and of the United Provinces, and also for the
colonial office and parliament at Westminster.
The clergy reserves were persistently disturbing
issues in Canadian politics until Pitt's attempt
of 1791 was finally abandoned in I854. 1

From every point of view economic, social,
and political Pitt's attempt to create an estab-
lished church was unfortunate. It was especially
unfortunate for the Episcopal church in Canada,
which did not begin to make the appeal, of which
it is eminently capable, until the great im-
migration from England of 1901-1914. By that
time the disturbing controversies of 1820-1854
were forgotten, and the clergy reserves were a
memory with only the elder generation of
Canadians. 2

Pitt's plan for an aristocracy and a governing
class was that the dignity of membership of the
legislative councils was to be coupled with every
title of honor conferred in Canada by the crown. 3
Pitt knew little of England outside London. He
knew nothing of social conditions in a new coun-

1 Cf. Stimson, " History of the Separation of Church and
State in Canada," 27, 28.

* Cf. "The Days of the Glebe," Globe, Toronto, November
23, 1911.

8 "There was a very curious provision in the act of 1791,
which might have proved mischievous. This right was never
exercised, and the Canadas fortunately escaped an heredi-
tary second house of parliament." Riddell, " Constitution
of Canada," Note XVII, 46.


for the

to create
a gov-


try like Canada 1 where there were hundreds of
thousands of square miles of unoccupied land and
consequently no renters and no rural laborers
to support an aristocracy. 2

Family Canada since the American revolution was

ofiwo* 8 never l n without a governing class. It first

1840 emerged from the United Empire Loyalists and

the first generation of their descendants. These

men formed oligarchies known at Toronto,

Quebec, Halifax, and Fredericton, from 1820

to 1840, as the "Family Compacts." 3

Present- Since Confederation, and especially since 1879,

ernin V " t ^ ie g overmn g c l ass f tne Dominion has been
class composed of the bankers, the railway magnates,

Dominion an< ^ t ^ e manu f acturers wno have their head-
quarters in Toronto and Montreal. Pitt's plan
of 1791 for an aristocracy was no factor in the
creation of either the governing class of 1820-
1840 or in that of 1879-1914.

From as early as 1829 knighthoods were some-
times bestowed on judges of the higher courts.

1 "The history of the thirteen colonies was full of evi-
dence to show that an executive and an upper house inde-
pendent of popular control in colonial constitutions were
fruitful sources of conflict, disorder, and even of the paraly-
sis of government. There was evidence also to show the
impossibility of a colonial hereditary nobility." George
Burton Adams, "The Influence of the American Revolution
on England's Government of her Colonies." Report of
American Historical Association, 1896, Vol. I, 375-389.

2 Cf. Boyd, "Sir George Etienne Cartier," 7.

3 Cf. Egerton, Vol. V, pt. ii, 158-164.



The title of knight lapses with the death of its Heredi-
holder. Only baronetcies and peerages are he- ^ sln
reditary; and the Quebec act of 1791 had been on Canada
the statute books for over sixty years, and had
been superseded by the constitutional legisla-
tion of 1840, before there were in Canada men
sufficiently wealthy to assume the family, social,
and financial responsibilities of a hereditary
title. 1

It was 1854 before a baronetcy was conferred
on a Canadian. It was 1891 before a Canadian
received a peerage. 2 Long before the first baron-
etcy was conferred on a Canadian, Pitt's plan
of 1791 had been forgotten; and today member-
ship of the nominated senate at Ottawa, and of

1 Only three peerages were bestowed on native-born
Canadians between 1783 and 1917. Commenting on a peer-
age bestowed on a Montreal newspaper proprietor in Febru-
ary, 1917, N. W. Rowell, K. C., leader of the Liberal party
in the province of Ontario, said: "I venture to think that in
the free democracy of Canada we are not improving condi-
tions by importing hereditary titles, passing from father to
son. I hope it may be the last. I think when we are fighting
the battle of democracy the world over the tendency will be
in the Old Country to bring themselves into harmony with
our spirit of democracy rather than for us transplanting part
of the old feudal system into Canada." Gazette, Montreal,
February 16, 1917.

2 Sir John Beverley Robinson, chief justice of Upper
Canada, 1829-1863, was the first Canadian to receive a baron-
etcy. The first Canadian peer was a woman, Baroness Mac-
donald of Earnscliffe, widow of Sir John A. Macdonald, who
at the time of his death in 1891 was premier of the Dominion.



the nominated legislative councils of Quebec
and Nova Scotia the only provinces in which
legislative councils or upper houses survive
is not affected by baronetcies or peerages con-
ferred on Canadians.

Five The Quebec act of 1791, by the division of

North 1 Quebec into Lower and Upper Canada, increased
American the number of British North American prov-
ofi79i eS i nces to five- 1 It remained at this number until
1881 1851, when British Columbia was organized as

a province.

Political In the period from the incoming of the United

mentor Empire Loyalists to Confederation, Nova Scotia

Nova and New Brunswick each made some contribu-

Jcotia t j on to j-jjg constitutional development of the

Bruns- Dominion. In each, as in Upper Canada, there

**** was a struggle, finally successful, against efforts

to establish and maintain a privileged position

for the church of England. 2 It was, moreover,

the conference in Charlottetown, organized by the

Maritime Provinces in 1864 for the purpose of

establishing a legislative union of these three

provinces, that brought Confederation of all

the British North American provinces within the

realm of practical politics in Canada and at


1 Cape Breton was organized as a separate province in
1784. It was reunited with Nova Scotia in 1820. As an
island province it had no particular part in the constitutional

Online LibraryEdward PorrittEvolution of the Dominion of Canada; its government and its politics → online text (page 5 of 34)