Events of historical significance

Louis-Joseph Papineau National Historic Site

Brief political history of Canada

  • 1760 – The conquest of New France by the British, confirmed by the Treaty of Paris in 1763, officially establishes British power in the former French colony of Canada.
  • 1791 – Constitutional Act of Canada: the creation of Upper Canada and Lower Canada, the two regions separated by the Ottawa River.
  • Early 19th century – Members of the Quebec Assembly fight for ministerial responsibility, i.e. control of the budget by the elected house. This fight took place in both Upper and Lower Canada.
  • 1820 – The origins of the rebellion of 1837-1838 go back to this decade, at a time when English merchants in Upper and Lower Canada wanted to unite the two Canadas.
  • 1823-1833 – Rise in political tension between the Parti canadien on the one hand, and the colonial government and its supporters, the so-called “bureaucrats”. The Parti canadien later becomes the Parti patriote.
  • 1827 – Electoral victory of the Parti patriote.
  • 1834 – Drafting and tabling of the 92 Resolutions that state the grievances of the Parti patriote against the colonial government.
  • 1837 – Beginning of one of the most crucial and most difficult parliamentary battles for Louis-Joseph Papineau. In the spring, Lord Russell's 10 Resolutions are tabled. The rebellion officially begins. In the winter, Papineau goes into exile to escape death.
  • 1838 – Robert Nelson declares the independence of Lower Canada in front of three hundred armed Patriotes on February 28, 1838, near Notre-Dame-du-Mont-Carmel. Creation of the clandestine faction, the Frères chasseurs, that carries on the Patriote movement. Then, several confrontations take place between the Frères chasseurs and British Loyalists. The rebellion ends in November, following the defeat of the Frères chasseurs at Odelltown and the flight of Robert Nelson to the United States.
  • 1839 – Hanging of Patriote leaders at the Pied-du-Courant prison on February 15, 1839, the leader probably the most remembered being François-Marie-Thomas Chevalier De Lorimier. In the fall, several other Patriotes are condemned to exile in Australia.
  • 1840 – Adoption of the Act of Union by the Parliament of Great Britain in June. This legislation abolishes the legislative assemblies and the provinces of Upper and Lower Canada to create a single colony administered by a Governor General. This colony, the “Province of Canada”, is proclaimed on February 10, 1841.
  • 1848 – Modification to the constitution to introduce the principle of ministerial responsibility. For the first time, the Province of Canada has a government composed of members of an elected assembly.
  • 1849 – On April 25, 1849, there is a riot in front of the Parliament building in Montreal, which was then torched. This year is called the “année de la terreur” (year of terror) because of numerous other fires and the extreme tension between the Tories and the Reformers.
  • 1867 – On July 1st, 1867, the British North America Act (the BNA Act) was officially passed, creating the Dominion of Canada. This legislation of the British Parliament united Upper and Lower Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and allowed for the future addition of other provinces.

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