Canada History

Canada History   timelines 
AskAHistorian    blog 




Prehistory | 2 Worlds Meet | New France | England Arrives | Clash of Empires | Revolution | British America | Reform/Revolt | Responsible Government | Confederation | Nation Building | Laurier | The Great War | Roaring 20's | Great Depression | WWII | The Peace | Cold War | Trudeau | PC's in Power | Modern Canada

Responsible Government | Lord Elgin | Responsible Government Maritimes | Union of the Canada's | Newfoundland | Barkerville | Stalemate

In February of 1841 the Union of the Canada's took place and Upper and Lower Canada were united as Canada West and Canada East as Canada. The capital of the new Union was in Kingston where the Legislative assembly was to meet in the newly designated legislative assembly which was a large building built as a hospital but never used.

Both Canada East and Canada West were to have 42 representatives in the Assembly even though the predominately French speaking Canada East spoke French and had  200,000 more people then Canada West. The Assembly conducted business in English only which was one of the recommendations of the Durham Report which argued that assimilating the French population was important in order to maintain the peace of the land. Canada West was growing much faster then Canada East and it was felt that this would also eventually overwhelm the French minority.

Upper Canada had spent its way in to debt as it's quick expansion and growth had required infrastructure development. Some of this development was not so much essential for the province as a scam to make money for some of the business interests or Family Compact members who control the purse strings. Lower Canada was financially sound and had been relatively well run with it's more established society and more stable growth rate. The Union was a political solution for reducing the per capita debt of Upper Canada by rolling it into the books of Lower Canada. This was also to be an issue 20 years later when a larger confederation began to be debated.

The first election of 1841 also witnessed intimidation of French Canadian voters at the polling booth in an attempt to discourage French Canadian voters. This was particularly effective through placing the voting booths some distance away from the French population and close to English centres.

The Union was achieved and the Canada's would learn how to deal with the regional and federated issues as French, English, merchant, religious and many other interest groups.