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Family Compact | Lower Canada  | Upper Canada | William Lyon Mackenzie | Louis Joseph Papineau | The Maritimes | Durham Report

The Family compact was a group of powerful men in Upper Canada who held power through the legislative assembly and the executive council. They were men who controlled the business, the politics and the religious affairs of the colony. The executive council was appointed by the Governor of the colony under the general recommendations of the legislature. The legislature was elected from the general eligible voters but through pressure, blackmail, bribery and other methods, the Family Compact insured that it was their people who were elected and the executive council also threw their support behind the compact candidates.

Their power had grown after the end of the war of 1812 - 1815 and they managed to hold power until around 1848 when responsible government was final granted and fair election could be held.

A reform opposition grew developed from the general population who were taken advantage of for the benefit of the Family Compact. The newly arriving immigrants from both Canada and the United States found themselves cut off from power and hence they also began to support the reform party.

The religious aspects of this situation also embittered the situation due to the fact that the Family Compact was almost entirely Anglican church members so the other religions were not support by the compact.

One of the most vocal opponents of the Family Compact was William Lyon Mackenzie who published the Colonial Advocate which he had relocate to York in 1824 which was the main area of support for the Family Compact.