By Gordon T Stewart
The stipulations of colonial politics in Canada among 1760 and 1848 produced beneficial properties that grew to become everlasting landmarks of post-Confederation Canadian politics -- sharp partisan battles, severe use of patronage, powerful one-man dominance in celebration management, and a 'statist' orientation not just in govt in Ottawa but in addition in Ontario and Quebec. during this compelling booklet Gordon Stewart bargains with those themes in an unique means via putting Canadian politics in a comparative context opposed to the history of political and constitutional advancements in England and the USA among 1688 and the 1820's.
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Additional resources for The Origins of Canadian Politics: A Comparative Approach
Signs that the French Revolution was not going to be as respectable as England's "bloodless revolution" of 1688 and the beginnings of serious unrest connected with industrialization in England confirmed their fears of mob influence. And as they remembered their experiences in the thirteen now independent colonies, they recalled how the lower houses there had managed to gain so much ascendancy over the governors and executive councils. It was determined that the constitution of the Canadas would exclude the possibility of too much democracy and would be so constructed as to avoid a repetition of the American pattern.
Economic centres were more localized and scattered. Perhaps most important of all was the nature of the planter class in the south. Dispersed over the countryside, enjoying local status and prestige, they were not a suitable base upon which governors might hope to build a clientele dedicated to the strengthening of central authority. Like the parliamentary gentry of pre-1640 England, these local notables in the southern colonies wanted small government, low taxes, and as much freedom as possible to organize their estates and their labour.
One of the most incisive critiques of the 1791 system, all the more telling because it did not come from a Reformer, was that penned in 1839 by Poulett Thomson, the governor sent out to calm the post-rebellion atmosphere and prepare for whatever major constitutional changes his London masters decided upon as a solution to the troubles in Canada. Thomson was a conservative who considered himself a moderate, suspicious alike of the old, exclusive Toryism and the more forward Reformers, whom he judged to be Instability, 1828-1864 37 too democratic.