Constitutional Act, 1791


Constitutional Act, 1791
   The Act was designed to harmonize the conflicting interests of French and English by dividing Quebec into two provinces,--Upper and Lower Canada,--thereby giving to each a larger control of its own local affairs. It established in each province a Legislative Council, appointed by the crown for life, and a Legislative Assembly, elected by the people.
   See other constitutional acts: Quebec Act, 1774; Union Act, 1840; British North America Act, 1867.
   Index: E Racial and political difficulties arising out of, 17, 18; Clergy Reserves granted by, 102, 119, 145, 150, 151, 158. C Its weak points, 6; constitution suspended after Rebellion of 1837, 11; its faults exposed by Durham, 12-13. B Clergy Reserves originate in, 51, 52. Sy A fatal compromise, 68; meant to confer privileges of British constitution, 73; its actual operation, 74-84; greatly increases power of French majority in Lower Canada, 72, 80. S Introduction of, 1; discussion of, 5-9; passed, 10; provisions of, 10-12; its far-reaching effects, 13; put in force by proclamation, 48. R Its terms and how they were applied, 29-35; Clergy Reserves, 46-47; Ryerson's interpretation of, on question of established church, 78; its effect on religious questions, 103. BL Its terms, 6-7; Pitt and Burke on, 6; Grenville on, 7; Simcoe on, 7; its results, 8; intended to obviate racial conflict, 8; makes landed provision for Church of England, 42, 343-344. P Divides Canada into two provinces, 21; its shortcomings, 21-23; abuse of personal power under, 24; constitution suspended, 25; suspension recommended by Sir James Craig, 29; Papineau's eulogy of, in 1820, 34-38. Mc Its objects, 48, 49; debate on the bill, 49, 50; handiwork of Pitt, 51; germ of the federal system, 51; divided Canada into two provinces, 52; created Legislative Assembly, 52; created Legislative Council, 52; created Executive Council, 53; General Simcoe on, 54; Goldwin Smith on, 54; Durham's commentary on, 53, 56; recommends revision of, 57; provisions creating Clergy Reserves, 70; effect on parliamentary rule summarized, 71, 72; Mackenzie declares war against, 72; silent on question of executive responsibility, 80; evils of system of government summarized, 73-75; Durham on evils of, 76, 77.
   Bib.: Bourinot, Parliamentary Procedure and Government and Manual of the Constitutional History of Canada; Houston, Canadian Constitutional Documents; Dominion Archives Report, 1890; Watson, Constitutional History of Canada; Durham, Report; Bradshaw, Self-Government in Canada; Egerton and Grant, Selected Speeches and Despatches relating to Canadian Constitutional History; Kingsford, History of Canada; Shortt and Doughty, Constitutional Documents of Canada.

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