By Barbara Messamore
Oft-ignored within the examine of Canadian historical past or disregarded as a vestige of colonial prestige, the governor general's workplace offers crucial old perception into Canada's constitutional evolution. within the 19th century, as at the present time, person governors basic exercised substantial scope in analyzing their method of the workplace. The period 1847-1878 witnessed profound alterations in Canada's courting with Britain, and during this new publication, Barbara J. Messamore explores the character of those alterations via an exam of the function of the governor general.
Guided by way of outdated directions and constitutional conventions that weren't but firmly demonstrated, the governors normal of the time - Lord Elgin, Sir Edmund Head, Lord Monck, Lord Lisgar, and Lord Dufferin - all wrestled with the consequences of colonial self executive. The imprecision of the viceregal position made the nature of the appointee specifically very important and biographical info are hence necessary to an knowing of ways the hot scan of colonial self-government was once placed into perform. Messamore's publication marries constitutional historical past and biography, delivering illumination on the various key figures of nineteenth-century Canadian politics.
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Additional info for Canada's Governors General, 1847-1878: Biography and Constitutional Evolution
The awkward state of being simultaneously directed by two sets of ministers had ended. Yet this did not herald his sudden irrelevance, nor his transformation into a rubber stamp, as some historians mistakenly infer. This conclusion stems from a muddled grasp of the two distinct areas of gubernatorial responsibility. 82 28 Canada's Governors General The first, and even more significant, constitutional watershed came in 1848. From this time the principle was introduced that in domestic matters not affecting imperial interests, the governor general would act in accordance with the advice of his Canadian administration.
If the governor saw 'sufficient cause to dissent from the opinion of the major part... of ... said Privy Council' he was authorized to execute his powers in opposition to their opinion, although the Privy Council was to record the reasons for any advice. The Privy Council was to keep a full journal of all its proceedings. The governor was to ensure that all laws assented to by him in the Queen's name were transmitted to Her Majesty, accompanied by any explanations necessary. He was also to transmit copies of the proceedings of Canada's parliament.
While based in Turkey, Elgin fell victim to a mysterious ailment that ate away his nose. 8 While detained in Paris by Napoleon's forces, she sought comfort in the arms of Robert Fergusson, the young and handsome heir to an estate in Fife. Her husband learned of her adultery through correspondence intercepted by friends and began divorce proceedings. He sought damages of £20,000 from her seducer, and all the sordid details were aired in court. Servants were called upon to testify about mysterious stains on sofa cushions, and newspapers promised 'All the details of her Ladyship's private life!