Docstoc

Background to Confederation in the Canadas

Document Sample
Background to Confederation in the Canadas Powered By Docstoc
					Background to Confederation in The Canadas


 Week 6-8 Readings :
      1.   Careless, The Union of the Canadas, Chapter 11; Moore,
           1867: Preface, Ch. 1
      –    http://canadiana.org/citm/themes/constitution/constitution11_e.html


      1.   Moore, 1867: Ch. 2, 5

      2. Moore, 1867: Ch. 6; Riker, Strategy of Rhetoric, Ch. 5
Background to Confederation in The Canadas


 The Rebellions & Union

     The Durham Report:
     “The quarrel, which I was sent for the purpose of healing, had
     been a quarrel between the executive government and the
     popular branch of the legislature. The latter body had,
     apparently, been contending for popular rights and free
     government. The executive had been defending the
     prerogative of the Crown...”
Background to Confederation in The Canadas


 The Rebellions & Union

     The Durham Report:


     “... there existed a far deeper and more efficient cause, – a
     cause which penetrated beneath its political institutions and
     into its social state... I expected to find a contest between a
     government and a people: I found two nations warring in the
     bosom of a single state: I found a struggle, not of principles,
     but of race...”


     Lord Durham’s Report II, p 14-16.
Background to Confederation in The Canadas


 The Rebellions & Union

     The Durham Report:


     “...I perceive that it would be idle to attempt any amelioration
     of laws or institutions until we could first succeed in
     terminating the deadly animosity that now separates the
     inhabitants of Lower Canada into hostile divisions of English
     and French.”

     Lord Durham’s Report II, p 14-16.
 .
Background to Confederation in The Canadas


 The Rebellions & Union


 •     Durham makes two key recommendations:
      1.   Responsible Government
      2.   Assimilation of French Canadians


 •     British Government keener on 2nd: Act of Union 1841
Background to Confederation in The Canadas


 The Union of the Canadas

 • Institutional element of assimilation was “legislative union”


      – Upper & Lower Canada fused
      – Single legislative assembly
      – 42 seats for each “section”*
      – Under-represented Lower Canada (Quebec)
Background to Confederation in The Canadas


 The Struggle for Responsible Government

 • British balked at Responsible Government:

     “...although you consult with them [the Exec Council], and are
     willing to pay due deference to their advice, you are yourself
     the head of your administration… not even bound to adopt
     their advice, although always bound to receive it.”

     Lord Stanley to Metcalfe (Quoted in Careless 1967, 79)
Background to Confederation in The Canadas


 The Struggle for Responsible Government

 • Struggle for responsible government marks 1840s

 • Highly polarized political system with elections marked by
   overt corruption and violence

 • Governor (Sydenham) uses a variety of under-handed tatics
   (gerrymandering, intimidation via army) to ensure first
   elections give victory to the pro-Governor party
 An Ideological Map of The Province of Canadas in the 1840s: 1841-43


                                                          Reform &
                                                          Responsible
                                                          Government
 Support
 Governor                                                   Oppose
                                                            Governor




Family Compact &
Chateau Clique
Background to Confederation in The Canadas


 The Struggle for Responsible Government




 • Reformers (led by Lafontaine and Baldwin) enjoy
      – A series of by-election victories
      – Cohesive, co-ordinated action in legislative assembly

 • Pro-Governor faction cannot maintain a cabinet

 • At then end of 1842, the Governor (Sir Charles Bagot) is
   forced to accept Lafontaine into the cabinet.
An Ideological Map of The Province of Canadas in the 1840s (1843-44)


                           Family Compact &
                           Chateau Clique




             Tory                                               Reform
             Opposition                                         Government...
                                                                notice its
                                                                regional basis
                                            Reform &
                                            Responsible
                                            Government
Background to Confederation in The Canadas


 The Struggle for Responsible Government


 • Bagot‟s replacement (Metcalfe) was dead-set against
   Responsible Government.
      – Lafontaine resigns in protest, Metcalfe dissolves legislative assembly
      – Metcalfe‟s interference in election (as Sydenham did in 1841) ensures
        Reformers defeated at 1844 elections
 • New assembly is:
      – Dominated by pro-Governor faction
      – run along single political dimensions: support for or against
        Responsible Government
An Ideological Map of The Province of Canadas in the 1840s (1844-47)




    Tory
    Government
                                                              Reform
                                                              Opposition
Background to Confederation in The Canadas




                  Dimension 1     Dimension 2
                                                The change in medians from
                    Median          Median
                                                1844 to 1848 shows: a) the
    1841-43          0.04            0.02       strong Tory/anti-Reform
                                                majority of 1844, and
    1844-47          -0.15           -0.12
                                                b) the equally strong majority
    1848-51          0.16            0.12       for Responsible Government in
                                                1848
    1852-54          0.05            -0.09
    1854-58          -0.04           0.04
    1858-61          -0.07            -0.1
    1861-63          -0.09            -0.1
    1863-66          0.15            -0.14
Background to Confederation in The Canadas


 The Struggle for Responsible Government

 • Cohesive alliance of Reformers in Upper & Lower
   Canada defeat Tories & Ultramontanes at 1847-48
   elections

 • The battle for Responsible Government won, the
   division between the Reform coalition (on the left)
   and their Tory opponents (on the right) weakens
     – Largely because the pro-Reform coalition is just too big and too
       ideological diverse to hang together in the absence of a common foe
Ideological Map of the Province of Canada: 1848-51

                                                     The Reformers problem is
                                                     that their coalition gets too
                                                     big and internally
                                                     heterogeneous
Background to Confederation in The Canadas


Sectionalism & Gridlock

•     The demise of the pro-Reform coalition unleashes politics
      marked by sectarian, ethnic, and regional tensions
•     1850s marked by sectionalism, gridlock, instablity
•     A series of contentious bills reveals political polarization and
      instability:
         i.    Rebellion Losses Bill, 1849
         ii.   Annexationist Manifesto, 1849
         iii. Common Schools Bill, 1850
         iv. Clergy Reserves Act 1854
Background to Confederation in The Canadas

Sectionalism & Gridlock
•     ...and what a lot of English Canadians in Lower Canada
      thought about the Rebellion Losses Bill:




•     ...but Lord Elgin does sign the Rebellion Losses Bill into law,
      reaffirming the principle of Responsible Government in the
      Canadas
Background to Confederation in The Canadas


Sectionalism & Gridlock

•     The demise of the pro-Reform coalition unleashes politics
      marked by sectarian, ethnic, and regional tensions
•     1850s marked by sectionalism, gridlock, instablity
•     A series of contentious bills reveals political polarization and
      instability:
         i.    Rebellion Losses Bill, 1849
         ii.   Annexationist Manifesto, 1849
         iii. Common Schools Bill, 1850
         iv. Clergy Reserves Act 1854
Background to Confederation in The Canadas


Sectionalism & Gridlock
• Resolution of Responsible Government reveals several deep
   social cleavage:
    – Religious:
         • Catholic vs Protestant
         • Church vs. State
    – Constitutional: Republican vs British Government
    – Regional: West vs East
• These social cleavages provide the basis for a complicated,
   multi-dimensional party system
Background to Confederation in The Canadas


 An Ideological Map of The Province of Canadas

                            Catholic
Church

                                                   Republican




 British
                                                 State


                           Protestant
The Party System of the Province of Canada, 1850s




                             Catholic
                                              Rouges
Church      Blues

                                                         Republican




 British
                                                       State


                            Protestant
The Party System of the Province of Canada, 1850s


 An Ideological Map of The Province of Canadas in the 1850s

                             Catholic
                                               Rouges
Church      Blues

                                                          Republican


                                                         Clear
                                                         Grits
             Liberal -
             Conservatives
 British
                                                        State
                                   Reformers


                               Protestant
Background to Confederation in The Canadas


Sectionalism & Gridlock
• Situation is especially problematic because:
    – No majority party
    – Parties are not disciplined
    – Heavy reliance on patronage to build and maintain cabinets
    – Variety of bases on which to make or break coalitions



• Situation often exacerbated by:
    – Ongoing Sectarian tension: University Endowments

    – Sectional Strategies: Movement of Capital

    – Events: Gavazzi Riots (6 June 1853); „£10,000 Job‟ Scandal
Background to Confederation in The Canadas


 Sectionalism & Gridlock
 •       In theory, no equilibrium in politics defined by 2+
         dimensions


 •       Politics of the United Province of Canada seem to bear this
         out this theoretical insight


 •       Clearly, not all alliances possible, but
     –      Opposition could always break coalitions
     –      Vulnerable to events
     –      Hamstrung by institutions: The double-majority!
Background to Confederation in The Canadas


 The role of Institutions
 •       The double-majority principle: measures passed the Legislative
         Assembly if and only if they secured a majorities among Upper and
         Lower Canadian sections


 •       Francis Hincks on the double-majority principle:


     –      “You are, of course, aware of how strongly Lafontaine holds to the principle
            of the two majorities, and to the federal system as Wakefield calls it. I think
            this is quite absurd... Nevertheless, I would have no objections to see it [the
            double majority principle] tried. It is a do-nothing policy that would serve
            us...” (Hincks to Baldwin in 1844; Longley 1943, 146).


     –      “exceedingly desirable in practical politics, but quite absurd as a
            constitutional requirement.”
The Spatial Logic of the Double-Majority Principle



                                     Median MP –
                                     supports Tory Gov‟t

               Refomers                        Tories



   Pro-                                                         Ultra-
   Reform                                                       Tory
                                         Median Upper
                Median Lower
                                         Canadian MP –
                Canadian MP –
                                         supports Tory Gov‟t
                opposes Tory Gov‟t


   • The double-majority principle creates two pivotal voters
       • Often worked to provide the (Lower Canadian) minority with a veto
       • These two pivotal voters occupied veto points
Background to Confederation in The Canadas

 Escaping Gridlock & Chaos


 •       Brown & Macdonald
         searching for stable solution:

     –      Step-by-step elimination
            of political dimensions

     –      Move to uni-dimensional
            politics or dimension-by-
            dimension median

     –      Building French-English
            majorities
Background to Confederation in The Canadas

 Escaping Gridlock & Chaos


 •       Brown & Macdonald
         searching for stable solution:

     –      Step-by-step elimination
            of political dimensions

     –      Move to uni-dimensional
            politics or dimension-by-
            dimension median

     –      Building French-English
            majorities
Background to Confederation in The Canadas

The Collapse of the Hincks Government


•       Francis Hincks maintains (precarious) control of the old
        Reform coalition
    –      Which of these 3 camps will displace Hincks-Morin coalition

    –      How will they do so?
Background to Confederation in The Canadas

Sandfield Macdonald – Sicotte Strategy


•       Attempt to maintain Lafontaine-Baldwin alliance
•       Moderate, especially in religious matters
•       Based on double-majority principle and nascent federalism
•       Key problems:
    –      moderate appeals did not resonate politically
    –      politics constantly polarised by events (as we‟ll see)
    –      median position not dominant in multi-dimensional setting
Background to Confederation in The Canadas

Brown‟s Problem:
•       Sectarian appeals (No Popery!) give Brown solid but limited
        support


•       How can Brown expand his appeal? The Globe champions
        Tory-Blue alliance on church-state dimension (1851)

•    Events & issues undermine this strategy:
    – Supplementary School Bill, 1852
    –      Ecclesiastical Corporations Bill, 1853
    –      Gavazzi Riots, 1853
Background to Confederation in The Canadas


 Brown‟s Alternative Strategy:


 •        By 1852 Canada West underrepresented
 •        “Rep-by-Pop”
      –      Removes Catholic “advantages”
      –      Limits church influence in state affairs
      –      Avoids gridlock of “double-majority”


 •        Rep-by-pop “without regard to a separating line between
          Upper and Lower Canada” lost 57-15 (March 1853)
Background to Confederation in The Canadas


 Brown‟s New Problem:


 •     Can he ally with Rouges?

       “It is clear that the natural allies of the Reformers of Upper
       Canada are the Rouges.”

       Brown to Sandfield Macdonald (1854)
       (Careless 1960, v. 1, 191)
Background to Confederation in The Canadas


 Macdonald‟s Problem:


 •     English-French coalition a fixed fact:


       “No man in his senses can suppose that this government
       can for a century to come be governed by a totally
       unfrenchified government.” (Careless 1967, 189)


 •     How to remove issues that exacerbate French-English
       tension…and still get elected?
Background to Confederation in The Canadas

 Macdonald‟s Strategy:



 •     Build moderate Liberal-Progressive party


 •     Sideline Tories by supporting secularization against
       Hincks-Morin cabinet (i.e., turn on old allies!)


 •     Focus on shared commercial (rail) interests
Background to Confederation in The Canadas

Collapse of Hincks‟ Government


•       The double-majority principle brings down government

    –      Hincks‟ resignation: “I could not command the
           confidence of the section of the province to which I
           belong.”(Careless 1967, 210)

•       Is this strategic hypocrisy (or just hypocrisy)?
    –      Recall Hinck‟s previous ambivalence to the double-majority
           principle: “exceedingly desirable in practical politics, but
           quite absurd as a constitutional requirement.
Background to Confederation in The Canadas


 Advantage Macdonald


 •     Hincks loses vote on speaker, 59-62 (5 Sept 1854)
 •     BUT supports Macdonald‟s coalition!


       “Of all the abortions it could enter the mind of men to
       conceive – it is the greatest.” The Globe, Sept 12, 1854

 •     38 MPs condemn new cabinet
Background to Confederation in The Canadas


 Move and Counter-move:


 •        Macdonald gets rid of sectional issues (e.g., Clergy
          Reserves, Seigneurial Bill )


 •        Brown builds bridges:
      –         Supports Clergy Reserves & Seigneurial Bill
      –         Invites Grits to form united Reform party, 1856
            •      Stifles talk of republicanism and annexation at Grit convention
The Brown – Macdonald Ideological Project



                        Catholic
Church

                                              Republican




 British
                                            State


                       Protestant
The Brown – Macdonald Ideological Project



                     Double-Majority




Commercial                                  Rural




                        Rep-by Pop
The Brown – Macdonald Ideological Project




Commercial                                  Rural
Background to Confederation in The Canadas


 The Double-Shuffle


 •        Difficult to hide sectionalism:
      –         Taché Act, 1855
      –         Corrigan murder trial, 1856-7
      –         Movement of Capital Question
            •     21 May 1855 – won by 70-47, but no double-
                  majority
            •     Ask Queen to decide!
Background to Confederation in The Canadas
Background to Confederation in The Canadas

  Dorion & Brown:


  •    Dorion (Rouge leader) opines on federation in 1856

  •    Brown writes Holton:


           “No honest man can desire that we remain as we are.
           Yet what other way out of our difficulties can be
           suggested but a legislative union with rep by pop – a
           federal union – or dissolution.” (Careless 1960, 253)
Background to Confederation in The Canadas


  The Double-Shuffle


  •    Queen chooses Ottawa… Ottawa!
  •    Rouge motion that Ottawa unacceptable (July 28, 1858)
      1.   Montreal should be capital, not Ottawa
      2.   Ottawa should not be the capital
  •    Splits Blues and passes 64-50
  •    Cabinet calls adjournment: 61-50
Background to Confederation in The Canadas


 The Double-Shuffle


 •        Macdonald & Cartier resign!
 •        Head sends for Brown:
      –     “The Governor General gives no pledge or promise,
            express or implied, with reference to dissolving
            Parliament.”
Background to Confederation in The Canadas


 The Double-Shuffle
 •     Brown & Dorion weak
 •     Ministers have to face by-elections
 •     Lose confidence vote 70-31
 •     Independence of Parliament Act, 1857


 Implication:
 •     Macdonald-Cartier camp could govern, but not in a stable
       fashion, and with opposition split between Brown-Dorion
       and Sandfield Macdonald-Sicotte camps, there was no
       (stable) alternative majority

				
DOCUMENT INFO