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prehensions of secret conspiracies and sanguinary designs haunt them unceasingly, and their only hope of safety is supposed to rest on systematically terrifying and disabling the French, and in preventing a majority of that race from ever again being predominant in any portion of the legislature of the province." * "Never again will the present generation of French Canadians yield a loyal submission to a British Government; never again will the English population tolerate the authority of a House of Assembly, in which the French shall possess or even approximate to a majority."
And with respect to the material condition of the Province, he speaks of the tranquillity and happiness of families destroyed-the value of property alarmingly depreciated-the improvement and settlement of the country arrested-a great diminution of the wealth of the country and of the public revenue-the importation of grain for domestic consumption, instead of its exportation as formerly a general insecurity both of person and property--a paralysis of a large portion of the industry and capital of the country-and a great diminution of the influx of emigrants, once so considerable. In 1832 the number of emigrants who landed at the port of Quebec amounted to 52,000; in 1837 it had fallen to 22,000; and in 1833 it did not amount to 5,000,-without taking into account the serious drain of emigration from the Province to the United States.
The animosity thus generated, he states that there is not the slightest chance of putting an end to, during the present generation. It has entirely overcome their ancient national antipathy to the people of the United States, and he has no doubt "that an invading American army might rely on the cooperation of almost the entire French population of Lower Canada." The Report also admits "the growth of an alarming state of feeling among the English population" themselves--a dissatisfaction with home the government, and a jealousy of every measure of clemency or even justice towards their opponents, "as indicating a disposition towards that conciliatory policy which is the subject of their angry recollection; for they feel that, being a minority, any return to the due course of constitutional government would again subject them to a French majority;"--and notwithstanding the late exasperation of the Canadian loyalists against the American people and government, there is "a strong under-current of an exactly contrary feeling ;" and he significantly intimates that the English population are disposed to contemplate with great favor an annexation to our Union, confident that the influx of American emigration would soon give the predominance to the English race, as in Louisiana, and that they and their posterity would share in that amazing progress, and that great material prosperity which every day's experience shows them is the lot of the people of the United States."
The evils of this conflict of races have been aggravated by the conduct of the Government. Liberal institutions and a prudent
policy would at any rate have softened its character, and brought it more speedily to a more decisive and peaceful conclusion. happily, however," says the Report, "the system of Government pursued in Lower Canada has been based on the policy of perpetuating that very separation of the races, and encouraging those very notions of conflicting nationalities which it ought to have been the first and chief care of Government to check and extinguish "— and thus we again return to British colonial misgovernment, as still the prima mali labes. For the purpose of arresting the further dismemberment of the Empire, it became the policy of the Government "to isolate the inhabitants of the British from those of the revolted colonies; and "to cultivate the nationality of the French Canadians, as a means of perpetual and entire separation from their neighbors," and at the same time "to break them down as much as possible into petty isolated communities."
The French language, laws, and religious institutions were retained; all grants of land, even to the refugee loyalists, and the military bounties, were directed to be made in fief and seigniory, and Canada was divided into two Provinces-the settled portion being allotted to the French, and the unsettled being destined to become the seat of British colonization. And “thus," continues the Report,
"Instead of availing itself of the means which the extent and nature of the Province afforded for the gradual introduction of such an English population into its various parts as might have easily placed the French in a minority, the Government deliberately constituted the French into a majority, and recognized and strengthened their distinct national character. Had the sounder policy of making the Province English, in all its institutions, been adopted from the first, and steadily persevered in, the French would probably have been speedily outnumbered, and the beneficial operation of the free institutions of England would never have been impeded by the animosities of origin.”
The subsequent course of Government has been calculated to multiply and aggravate the evils of which it thus so carefully planted and fostered the seed. It has been a series of inconsistencies and vacillations, fruitful of the most pernicious consequences, with alternate concessions to the contending races, irritating both, impairing its own authority, and, by keeping alive the hopes of a French nationality-at the same time that it brought an influx of English emigration into direct contact with it, even in the province allotted to the French, without any provision for an easy and natural amalgamation-counteracting the influences which might, ere this, have brought the quarrel to its natural and necessary termination.
We have thus followed Lord Durham through his development of this which he makes his cardinal idea, in relation to Lower Canada. Yet, even if we had no other testimony, his own report abounds with satisfactory evidence that it is an erroneous one. No VOL. V. NO. XVIII.-JUNE, 1839.
doubt, indeed, this "national animosity" does now exist, as an actual fact, though we have also no doubt that the permanency of the feeling is greatly exaggerated in Lord Durham's view, even if its present intensity is not. This has long been a favorite idea with the Government party in Lower Canada, both as a supposed justification of its hostile policy towards the French majority, and as calculated to unite the whole insurgent population under the banner of Anglo-Saxon nationality, at the same time to secure the sympa. thy and support of the English people and the Home Government. They have succeeded in impressing it upon Lord Durham; though we must say that, in his elaborate development of this idea, he appears to be striving no less earnestly to convince himself than his reader. Here we see the Englishman, and the good old English prejudice and pride, which no superadded cosmopolitan liberality, of a political school but little congenial to a proud English aristocrat, can ever overcome, though it may attempt to disperse it. He was the rather induced, probably, to fall in with this idea, as affording a tolerable middle ground from which he might venture to pronounce on the Government party all the severe condemnation with which the report abounds, without carrying with it that full force of personal condemnation which their manifest gross misconduct and misrule would properly deserve. But ingenious as are his efforts to impose upon himself and the British public with this idea, it is apparent, on the face of the report itself, that he is committing the error common to many more superficial inquirers than the author of this document, of confounding between the consequences of misrule and the cause of public disorder. His own partial consciousness of the difficulty of the task of thus persuading either himself or other people, shows itself in the following remark at the close of this part of the subject. Positive as he declares his conviction to be of the truth of this idea, yet still, after all, he feels compelled to add
"It is impossible to determine precisely the respective effects of the social and political causes. The struggle between the Government and the Assembly has aggravated the animosities of race, and the animosities of race have rendered the political difference irreconcileable."
And again, the implied acknowledgment that the "national animosity" was but the consequence of a long course of oppressive misgovernment, peeps forth in the admission that that contest has arisen by degrees," and that it was "not until the development of representative Government had placed substantial power in the hands of the people, that that people divided itself into races, arrayed against each other in intense and enduring animosity."
Now who is there that is acquainted with the history of Ireland but has seen the same causes producing similar effects to those which we witness to-day in Canada? In the former country the law and the favors of Government made two classes-the oppressed
and the oppressors. "Protestant ascendancy" was the shibboleth there, as "British ascendancy" is the shibboleth in the Lower Province, and the same state of things followed in Ireland that Lord Durham describes to exist in the country he has just left. Protestants and Catholics neither ate together, nor drank together, nor intermarried. They seldom or never met in the same political assembly, nor in the same church, nor in the same social circle, nor at the same charity. In the words of the report already quoted, the only public occasion on which they ever came together was in the jury room, and they met there only to the utter obstruction of justice." But the moment political and legal inequality began to be removed, this unfriendly disposition also began to disappear, and its continuance steadily keeps pace with the existence of those partial enactments which first engendered it. That difference of race cannot be the cause of all the hatred between the French and the English is manifest, when we turn our eyes on Louisiana. There the same "races" exist, but even Lord D. himself admits that there is no rancorous feeling between them. Why? Because the law has made no distinction between them. The accident of language is no recommendation or disqualification for office. The same observation will apply to several portions of the Union, especially to Pennsylvania and Ohio, where a large, if not a preponderating portion of the population is German, many of whom do not even speak the English language. Yet difference of race has never formed the basis on which public justice or public patronage is distributed; for it has long since been wisely concluded in this country that the authorities have no more to do with the language a citizen pleases to speak, than with the creed he chooses to profess, or the color of the coat he prefers to wear, further than to provide him the means of instruction in that tongue with which he is most familiar, and to enable him to know the laws he has to obey, by having them printed in the language with which he is acquainted. Lord Durham himself is forced to acknowledge, somewhat in contradiction with his first impressions we allow, that the difference of race, on which he harps so much, after all, goes for very little in producing the general disorganization which he has depicted. He says:
"It is impossible to observe the great similarity of the constitutions established in all our North American Provinces, and the striking tendency of all to terminate in pretty nearly the same result, without entertaining a belief that some defect in the form of Government, and some erroneous principle of administration, have been common to all: the hostility of the races being palpably insufficient to account for all the evils which have affected Lower Canada, inasmuch as nearly the same results have been exhibited among the homogeneous population of the other Provinces. It is but too evident that Lower Canada, or the two Canadas, have not alone exhibited repeated conflicts between the executive and the popular branches of the Legislature. The representative body of Upper Canada was, before the last election, hostile to the policy of the Government; the most serious discontents have only recently been
ealmed in New Brunswick and Prince Edward's Island. The Government is still, I believe, in a minority in the lower House in Nova Scotia,t and the dissensions of Newfoundland are hardly less violent than those of the Canadas. It may be fairly said, that the natural state of Government, in all the colonies, is that of collision between the executive and representative body. In all of them the administration of public affairs is habitually confined to those who do not cooperate harmoniously with the popular branch of the Legislature, and the Government is constantly proposing measures which the majority of the Assembly reject, and refusing to assent to bills which that body has passed."
Our space will not permit us to carry our readers through the historical sketch which Lord Durham then presents of the rise and progress of the long civil struggle between the Government and Assembly; in which the latter was struggling to obtain, step by step, the power properly inherent in a representative popular assembly, of controlling the public revenue, which it attained, after a long and desperate struggle, in 1832. Yet still with this came not the slightest control over the colonial Government, or over the nomination of a single one of the public officers by whom the policy of its Legislature was to be carried into execution. The different Governors who came out fell, as a matter of course and of necessity, under the entire control of the established 66 official influence," and were speedily brought into angry collision with the Assembly, and thus continues the report:
"Thus, every successive year consolidated and enlarged the strength of the ruling party. Fortified by family connexion, and the common interest felt by all who held and all who desired subordinate offices, that party was thus erected into a solid and permanent power, controlled by no responsibility, subject to no serious change, exercising over the whole government of the Province an authority utterly independent of the people and its representation, and possessing the only means of influencing either the Government at home, or the colonial representatives of the Crown."
He thus sums up his views of the course and conduct of the Assembly:
"From the commencement, therefore, to the end of the disputes which mark the whole Parliamentary history of Lower Canada, I look on the conduct of the Assembly as a constant warfare with the Executive, for the purpose of obtaining the powers inherent in a representative body by the very nature of representative government. It was to accomplish this purpose that it used every means in its power; but it must be censured for having, in pursuit of this object, perverted its powers of legislation, and disturbed the whole working of the constitution. It made the busi
The discontents on P. E. Island are not yet calmed. The Assembly of that Province passed last February, by a majority of three to one, a report insisting on the necessity of rendering the Legislative Council of the island elective-a demand which was one of the articles of impeachment which resulted in the suspension of the Canadian constitution.
The Governor and Assembly of Nova Scotia have recently quarrelled on the old subject, money matters. The representatives have, in consequence, been petulantly, in the old fashion, sent about their business. As we write, moreover, intelligence has been received from England, that the Ministry have resolved on disfranchising the ancient and loyal colony of Jamaica, and have actually brought in a bill to suspend the functions of the Legislature for five years, and to "govern" the island by royal commissioners in the interim.