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

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

The Maritimes developed in a relatively peaceful manner between 1815 - 1850. The various colonies had slightly different characteristics and only Nova Scotia with the strong voice of Joseph Howe was asking for real responsible government.

The former French colony of Île Saint-Jean became Prince Edward Island when the British defeated the French in 1863. The Acadians were rounded up and expelled as were the ones in Nova Scotia, but some managed to avoid the process and only re-emerged from hiding when the expulsion was finished. They remained the main stay of the population until  1770 - 73 when just over 800 Scottish settlers arrived and established themselves.

Much of the land in PEI was granted to English people who had performed an outstanding service for their country or as patronage for those in the circles of power in London. This created an absentee landowners situation which remained a major issue until PEI'S entry into Canada in 1873.

By 1801 the Legislative Assembly was given the right to determine the laws regulating the right to vote but hesitates to move on this issue quickly in order to avoid being overwhelmed by Catholic and non-English votes. It is only in 1830 that the non-protestants are given the vote and in 1836 women are specifically denied the vote by the legislature.

Nova Scotia established it's first elected assembly in 1758 with very few restrictions. You had to be over 21, a protestant and own land of any value. For the times this was very liberal. and by 1783 the Nova Scotia Assembly was granted the statutory control of the franchise and of the rules for representation.

The campaign for responsible government would take another 70 years and the process was much the same as in Upper and Lower Canada with the major exception that Nova Scotia avoided violent rebellion. Joseph Howe was the strong reasonable voice that fought for responsible government and in 1848 it was achieved. The colony of Cap Breton which was separated from Nova Scotia in 1784 and was ruled without representation was merge with Nova Scotia in 1820 but it was not treated in the same manner as the rest of the colony due to the high number of French inhabitants.. They were not to be separated again.

New Brunswick was a frontier colony in the 1763 brought the same expulsion of Acadians as in the other colonies but many in New Brunswick escaped the round up and because it was sparsely populated the authorities did not maintain a consistent effort. It was also merged with Nova Scotia in 1763 for administrative purposes and was not separated until 1785 when the war against the Americans had finished. The boundary between the US and the British colony of New Brunswick was ill-defined and was not determined until 1794 in the context of Jay's Treaty but not finalized until 1831 through arbitration. The arrival of loyalists increased the number of English colonists but New Brunswick did not receive as many as the other colonies.

1785 also witnesses the first elected assembly in New Brunswick but in a disputed election in 1786 the votes of Roman Catholic Acadians was not allowed. The vote was expanded to Catholics and Jews in 1810 and defined as excluding women in 1848. Although no strong voice arose for responsible government and no violence occurred, the colony was considered in the same group as the other British American colonies.