British Colonists and Imperial Interests in Lower Canada, 1820-1841

Type of resource
British Colonists and Imperial Interests in Lower Canada, 1820-1841
Between 1820 and 1841, British imperial policy towards Lower Canada had to cope with the collapse of the traditional French Canadian elite as reliable supporters of imperial interests, the persistent hostility of the new Canadien leadership towards commerce and immigration, and the increased restlessness of the growing minority of English-speaking colonists. The author points out that the political divisions within the English-speaking Lower Canadian community encouraged the Canadiens to seek greater autonomy for the colony, and British policy after 1828 favoured concessions to the Canadiens as the best way to smooth out political obstacles to social and economic change. However, after the Rebellions 1837 and 1838, the imperial government was more anxious to conciliate the growing English-speaking population. The author argues that the growth of liberal attitudes in the English-speaking population brought impatience towards the colony's antiquated civil law and hastened the creation of suitable conditions for the growth of a modern commercial state. Britain imposed a new constitution giving greater powers to the fast-growing colony of Upper Canada and to the English-speaking merchants and settlers of Lower Canada.
PhD dissertation
Queen Mary College, University of London
London, England
Goldring, Philip. “British Colonists and Imperial Interests in Lower Canada, 1820-1841.” PhD dissertation, Queen Mary College, University of London, 1978.
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