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

The opposition to the entrenched powers or Family Compact, in Upper Canada, was known as the reform party. This group evolved as a reaction to the abuses of the system and the colony by the Family Compact and was led by William Lyon Mackenzie. Once the 1837 rebellion in Upper failed Britain sent Lord Durham to the colony to investigate the causes and forces behind the rebellion. The result of this action was the Durham Report.

Two of the main recommendations of the Durham report were the Union of Upper and Lower Canada and the development of responsible government in the colonies. Durham felt that the French Majority in Lower Canada  were an issue that cold only be addressed if they were assimilated in a large English population which could only be achieved by uniting the two colonies.

The solution to the Upper Canada issues was responsible government and in the back of the British politician's minds they were reflecting upon the end result of not reacting to popular opinion in the 13 colonies. Upper Canada was ready for responsible government and the Act of Union in 1840 addressed many of the issues that the rebellion of 1837 had been caused by and started Canada down the road to real unification with the other British colonies in North America.