Life in lower canada 1815 1838
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Life in Lower Canada 1815-1838. Pages 140-143. Group 1: Habitants. Their way of life had not changed much for 150 years More people meant less available farm land and smaller lots of land Not much work for young people After 1810 many were starving because there was not enough food

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Group 1 habitants
Group 1: Habitants

  • Their way of life had not changed much for 150 years

  • More people meant less available farm land and smaller lots of land

  • Not much work for young people

  • After 1810 many were starving because there was not enough food

  • Too many English-speaking immigrants were threatening the habitants’ way of life

Group 2 merchants
Group 2: Merchants

  • English-speaking people who were very rich and powerful

  • They made money from furs, timber and wheat

  • They wanted the government to use taxes to improve Lower Canada by building bridges, canals, harbours and roads

Group 3 professional men
Group 3: Professional Men

  • Educated, French-speaking such as lawyers and doctors

  • They wanted to be leaders and speak for all of the people in Lower Canada

  • They dreamed of a separate French-Canadian nation

  • They liked the traditional French-Canadian way of life and saw the British as a cultural threat

  • They created a political party called “Parti Canadien”

Government in lower canada



Legislative Council

Executive Council

Legislative Assembly


Government in Lower Canada

  • The government in Lower Canada was similar to that created in Upper Canada under the Constitutional Act

  • Some differences were:

    • members of both the Legislative and Executive Councils were appointed for life

    • the governor and the members in the council were all English-speaking which made their interests very different from the French-speaking habitants and professional men

Powerful groups in l canada
Powerful Groups in L. Canada

Chateau Clique

A small group of wealthy people who were either British or French-Canadians

Believed only a few people should have all the power in government

Wanted the Roman Catholic Church to remain powerful because the Church helped them

They favoured the British system of government and wanted more British people to move into Lower Canada

Parti Canadien

Mostly French-Canadians who wanted the old, traditional French ways

They saw change as negative and did not like new ideas

Their leader was Louis-Joseph Papineau

They were able to get the professional men to control the Legislative Assembly and vote against improvements

The merchants were angered by them since they wanted the improvements

Louis joseph papineau
Louis-Joseph Papineau

  • A wealthy seigneur who was a professional man and wanted changes to be made in the government

  • Became the leader of the “Parti Canadien” which changed its name to “Parti Patriote” after 1826

Questions individual work
Questions – Individual Work

  • Who were the 3 main groups in L.Canada and what did they want?

  • What were the Habitants scared about?

  • Which political party was Louis Papineau part of?

  • Why were the views and opinions of the people sitting on the Executive Council different than those on the Legislative Assembly and voters?

  • What’s the difference between the Chateau Clique and Parti Canadien?

Unrest in lower canada
Unrest in Lower Canada

  • The French-speaking people and English-speaking merchants wanted different things in Lower Canada such as:

    • The merchants wanted improvements for transportation but to pay for those improvements they wanted to use tax money. They also wanted Upper and Lower Canada to unite to give the English people a voting majority in the L.A.

    • The seigneurs wanted to protect their own way of life which meant no more immigration.

    • French-speaking people also wanted to have more influence in the Executive and Legislative Councils or at least have people that represented the views and ideas of the French speaking population (not the ENGLISH).

The 92 resolutions
The 92 Resolutions

  • In 1834 the Legislative Assembly put together a list of 92 grievances (or resolutions) and sent it to the British government

  • They said the people would not pay any taxes until their concerns were resolved.

  • With no taxes, government workers would not get paid and any work on transportation improvements would have to stop

Resolutions example
Resolutions Example

  • We use resolutions today when we want to improve something in our lives. The most common time for people to make a list of resolutions is on New Year’s.

    Individually, come up with a New Years resolution to share with the class!

Britain s response
Britain’s Response

  • Britain sent a man named Lord Gosford to investigate what was happening in Lower Canada in 1835

  • He was not liked by either groups because he was seen as a puppet.

  • In 1837 Britain decided write their own 10 resolutions which included the following:

    • Britain refused to give the Legislative Assembly any more power and if they refused to give tax money to the Governor he now was given power to just take it

    • Britain also continued to encourage immigration

Armed rebellion war
Armed Rebellion: WAR!

  • After Britain’s response the Canadiens were ready to fight

  • The rebellion started in November of1837 and ended in December of 1837

  • Who do you think was the winner?

The result
The Result

  • On December 14th the Canadiens gathered in the village of St Eustache and were ready to fight

  • The British attacked the village and completely burned and robbed it!

  • In the end 12 rebels were hanged and 58 were sent to Australia as prisoners

  • Another 1200 prisoners were set free

  • Papineau escaped to the USA and was to be executed if he tried to return to BNA

Something to think about
Something to think about...

  • After looking at the events in Lower Canada think about the following with your partner:

    • What do you think will now happen to the relations between the French-speaking and English-speaking people?

    • Can life continue in Lower Canada with British leaders and large French-speaking citizens?

    • What do you see happening in the


      Be ready to present your thoughts!!

Important vocabulary words
Important Vocabulary Words

Moderate – a person who does not hold extreme opinions

Radical – holding extreme opinions; wants fundamental social, economic, and political changes.

Treason – the crime of betraying one’s country

Puppet – leader who is not independent, who waits for orders or does what someone else tells him or her to do.

Political reform – changes to make the government better.

Government in upper canada
Government in Upper Canada

Two major political groups in Upper Canada were:

  • The Tories

    (lead by the Family Compact)

  • The Reformers

    (wanted political reform (change))

Family compact tories
Family Compact (TORIES)

  • Was a small group of powerful people

  • Defended tradition and opposed change

  • Power should be in the hands of a few

  • Church should be powerful

  • Were loyal to Great Britain and British system.

  • Held political positions in the Legislative and Executive Council

The reformers
The Reformers

Unlike the family compact “the Reformers” wanted change in Upper Canada.

  • They opposed the power of the family compact.

  • They were divided among radical and moderate groups

  • They wanted to create change in government and society of Upper Canada (similar to that of the United States)

  • The Reformers included people who would later take part in the rebellion.

Robert gourlay
Robert Gourlay

  • He was a reformer who immigrated from Scotland and wanted to bring poor people from Britain to Upper Canada to farm.

  • Gourlay spoke with local farmers about problems and difficulties. He encouraged farmers to meet and discuss their problems.

  • The Family compact felt he was a threat and put Gourlay in jail (later thrown out of Upper Canada).

  • He is a moderate

William lyon mackenzie
William Lyon Mackenzie

  • He was reformer (from Scotland) who used his newspaper to speak out about the problems experienced by farmers and the Family Compact.

  • He was elected into the Legislative Assembly and spoke out against the Family Compact. Mackenzie was expelled from Leg. Assembly 6 times, but voted back every time.

  • He participated in the armed rebellion in attempt to destroy Upper Canada’s system of government.

  • Considered a Radical

Sir francis bond head
Sir Francis Bond Head

  • Was appointed lieutenant-governor of Upper Canada and was welcomed by the reformers.

  • Reformers felt betrayed by Bond.

  • The Legislative Assembly refused to work with Bond which resulted in a freeze in funds.

  • Bond ordered an election and personally fought for the Tories. They won and defeated the Reformers.

End of lesson
End of Lesson


  • Complete vocabulary worksheet

  • Study for chapter 6/7 test

Election violence
Election Violence

  • Election violence was common during the 1830s. There was no secret ballot like today. Instead people shouted their choice which usually resulted in shouts and insults. Voters often threw stones and swung clubs at one another.

Armed rebellion upper canada
Armed Rebellion (Upper Canada)

  • Mackenzie wanted to take advantage of the political unrest. He rode to the countryside and found people to support his cause. He found 4000 people to sign his petition, but when it came to fight he only had 800 men.

  • The Reformers wanted to have a government similar to United States.

  • In the end, the rebellion was a failure and Mackenzie escaped to the United States.

Results of the rebellion
Results of the Rebellion

  • Upper and Lower Canada ended up worse (temporarily) after the rebellion.

  • Government (Legislative Assembly) was suspended for 4 years.

  • People were afraid to speak out about change because they might be accused of being a radical.

  • The British sent Lord Durham to investigate the causes of the rebellion and to suggest solutions to the problems.

Newspaper assignment

Create your own Newspaper issue which will report on the 1837 Rebellion. You must write your paper from the “Family Compact’s” or “Reformers” perspective.

Must include:

Name of Newspaper

Date of issue

Article describing the event

A article analyzing the cause and effect

“Letter to the Editor”


Picture of the event

Newspaper Assignment