Lower Canadian Constitutional Thought As Seen Through Le Canadien and the Quebec Mercury (1804-1823)

Type of resource
Author/collaborator
Title
Lower Canadian Constitutional Thought As Seen Through Le Canadien and the Quebec Mercury (1804-1823)
Abstract
Following the enactment of the Constitution Act of 1791, a debate arose within Quebec political factions as to whether the act had provided a constitution that was the "image and transcript" of the British Constitution, or whether the act was merely an imperial act designed to govern a distant, conquered colony. If it were the former, the argument went, then Lower Canada's legislative institutions must be likened to and function just as their models were evolving to become in Great Britain (a shift in supremacy for the Legislative over the Executive Branch). If it were the latter, then the colony's legislative bodies (the Legislative Council and the Legislative Assembly) must confine their activities to the strict limits set out by the Act. The Quebec Mercury, the journalistic voice of English-speaking merchants of Quebec City, took the latter view, while Le Canadien, the voice of the Popular Party in the Legislative Assembly, took the former view. The author examines how the debate was played out within the context of three crises in the first decades of the nineteenth century: the debate to exclude Judges from sitting and voting in the Legislative Assembly; the attempted impeachments of Justices Sewell, Monk and Foucher; and the debate over the Civil List or budget. The author describes the Quebec Mercury as the poor cousin in the debate, spending most of its time during this period defending Anglophone political supremacy within the province. However, it eventually came to view the Constitution Act of 1791 as the "image and transcript" of the British Constitution.
Type
Master's Thesis
University
University of Ottawa
Place
Ottawa, ON
Date
1975
# of Pages
ii-197p.
Language
en
URL
Citation
Guay, André L. “Lower Canadian Constitutional Thought As Seen Through Le Canadien and the Quebec Mercury (1804-1823).” Master’s Thesis, University of Ottawa, 1975. http://www.ruor.uottawa.ca/en/handle/10393/22618.
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