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In Canada East the causes of the split in the Liberal ranks were in part strikingly alike and in part significantly different. Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine, who stood head and shoulders above all his Canadian contemporaries in capacity, was, like Baldwin, emphatically a Whig rather than a Radical. A member of the old Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada in his twenties, he had ardently supported Papineau's strongest demands, but had opposed any resort to arms, and on the failure of the rebellion, his compatriots turned. unanimously to his prudent and sober leadership. Massive in intellect, cold and judicial in temperament, thorough and untiring in his habits of work, Napoleonic in physique,-the story ran that on his visit to Paris, the guards at the Invalides, in great excitement, presented arms to their resurrected emperor, not greatly displeasing

had entered Parliament the following year. Intercourse in Paris with republican and socialist circles had strengthened his democratic tendencies, though altering little his views on the economic ordering of society, for to the last he remained the seignior. After a lifetime of uncompromising opposition and criticism, he found it difficult to accept the irksome responsibilities of a party

The Hon. Louis-Joseph Papineau

the Canadian visitor thereby,-LaFontaine dominated the political scene throughout the forties. But hardly had he taken power, in 1848, when a rift in the party appeared, and steadily widened until in disdain of factional quarreling he retired from political life, in 1851, at the age of forty-four.

The group which chafed under LaFontaine's leadership, which later formed a distinct party called by themselves the Democrats and by their enemies the Rouges, and which eventually became under Laurier the Quebec wing of the Canadian Liberal party, was a strange product of many personal and social factors. Its first leader and rallying-center was the old tribune, LouisJoseph Papineau. Returning to Canada in 1847 after a ten-years' exile, he

in office; after a lifetime as unquestioned dictator of his people, he could not bend his proud spirit to accept the leadership of his former lieutenant. Around him there gathered a group of fiery young Montrealers, who have never had their like in Canadian politics for sheer ability, crusading zeal, and reckless frankness AntoineAimé Dorion, Eric Dorion, Charles Laberge, Louis Labrèche - Viger, Joseph Papin, Rodolphe Laflamme, Joseph Doutre, Charles Daoust, L. A. Dessaulles, and

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scores of others destined to play an active part in professional or public life. They were all in their early twenties. Nearly all the leaders among them were lawyers or journalists, not too burdened with clients or commissions to have no time to set the world right. In Quebec city a smaller group, in which Telesphore Fournier, M. A. Plamondon, P. G. Huot and J. G. Blanchet were particularly active, also took the Papineau turning.

The eager, reforming spirit of these democratic youths found more than one expression. The first outlet was the famous Institut Canadien, founded in December, 1844, as a means of mutual education. The institute provided for its members a library and readingroom, public lectures, and an open for

um for debates. It met a need which hitherto had been wholly neglected, and exercised wide influence in Montreal and in other centers where similar institutes were soon established, until a long and bitter struggle with the church brought dissension and defeat. A club modeled on the latest Parisian political organizations, Le Club National et Démocratique, had a much shorter career. To reach the general public they took over, in January, 1848, a struggling weekly, "L'Avenir" which another group, more interested in literature than in politics, had established a few months earlier.

In the election of 1851, five Rouges were returned, and in 1854 nearly twenty. After Papineau retired, A. A. Dorion became their leader.

The situation presented by the union of the two provinces, the break-up of the old parties, and the rise of new groups afforded an admir

East members, he succeeded in forming an enduring coalition which eventually fused into a coherent party. In Canada West it retained for the next two generations a name which betokened its origin, the Liberal-Conservative party; but in Canada East "Liberal" faded out of name and policy, and this wing was frankly known as the Conservative party, or, in contrast to the Rouges, as the Bleus.

For ten years after the formation of the LiberalConservative party in 1854 it retained power except for two brief intervals. Yet as the years advanced, its margin of power vanished. Brown had not been able to unite the parties of Canada West under his own leadership, but he came near to uniting the electors of Canada West. The Reformers won seat after seat in the West, leaving Macdonald in a hopeless minority in his own region, more and more dependent upon the solid cohorts which followed his colleague, Cartier. At last the two parties and, what was more serious, the two parts of the province, stood dead-locked. Neither could attain a secure or adequate majority, and the personal bitterness and intrigue, the wide-spread corruption, and the naked sectional controversy which resulted, made a change imperative. The union experiment had, indeed, greatly improved the situation that existed in 1837, thanks to the solvent power of liberty, but it had not secured complete success. The relations between the colony and the mother country and between the two races in Canada itself had bettered, but neither the harmonizng of East and West nor the stability


The Hon. Robert Baldwin

able opportunity to a master strategist. In each part of the province there was found a center party of moderate Liberals, with a radical and a conservative wing in each case. Early in the fifties George Brown believed it would be possible to unite all the Canada West factions on a platform of resistance to "French-Canadian and priestly domination," but a greater strategist than Brown was at work. John A. Macdonald, realizing the essentially conservative character of the French-Canadians, sought to form a coalition of the moderate Liberals in both provinces with what was left of the Conservative or Tory parties. Joining forces with George-Etienne Cartier, the most vigorous personality among the Canada

of parties which was essential for its success, had been attained. A real federation, which would make it possible to give each region control of the matters most closely affecting it, and yet retain common action in affairs of common interest, was the only way out.

The coalition did not prove lasting; before Confederation was enacted, Brown was out of the cabinet in which he found himself far from master, and though a few Liberal leaders from each province joined forces with Macdonald, they carried with them little popular support and soon faded into the Conservative party. Confederation be

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guided their followers into more moderate ways. And particularly when Wilfrid Laurier became a member, the party had thrown overboard most of its youthful indiscretions, though kind friends always insisted on endeavoring to restore the abandoned political baggage. They had ceased to attack the priest's tithe or to call for annual parliaments or elective governors, and the

annexationist sym

pathies they had shared with Montreal Tories had faded away under the influence of the prosperity reciprocity helped to bring, and obserIvation of the troubles which slavery and the struggle as to state-rights were bringing upon the republic. But there remained a solid core of doctrine with which Laurier, like Dorion, was deeply and vehemently in sympathy. A passion for individual freedom and constitutional liberty, an abiding faith in the power of the people to work out their own salvation, were the moving forces of their political activity throughout the careers of both men, and made it inevitable that they would aline themselves with the party which, whatever its vagaries, did stand clearly for the fundamentals of liberalism.


Sir Louis-Hippolyte La Fontaine

It was not, then, from any desire to float with the tide that Wilfrid Laurier became an active member of the Liberal, or Rouge, party of Canada East. Nor was it from any temperamental sympathy with the extreme views and tendencies which had marked that party at its beginning. Laurier, like Dorion, was ever more of the Whig than of the Radical, moderate, judicial, respectful of precedent, aware of the difficulty of effecting sudden reforms that would be lasting. Yet Dorion and Laurier were in turn leaders of this most aggressively democratic party. The paradox is only seeming. Both men joined the party in their teens, when they had their share of youth's boundless hopes and sweeping judgments, and both in later years


Political ideals, forms of government, parties, and party traditions were not the only political inheritance which confederated Canada received from the Canada of the union era. The racial issue, the problem of contending nationalities, was an inescapable heritage, shaping and conditioning political activity at every turn. Canada had its

full share of the nineteenth-century surge of racial and nationalist feeling, and of the problems of adjustment which it involved.

The fundamental fact in the political life of Canada was the existence side by side of two peoples differing in creed, in speech, in blood, and in all the traditions that make up national consciousness. With the conquest, as has been seen, Great Britain's first policy was that of out-and-out assimilation. The policy might have succeeded. In the eighteenth century the fires of nationalism had not begun to flare. The ordained leaders of the people had largely returned to France. The habitant had little love and less regret for the corrupt and oppressive administration which had marked the last years of the French régime. A substantial measure of success was attained in the first dozen years of British rule in breaking down the allegiance of the people to the laws, the church, the seigniorial ordering of society, and the other institutions which sheltered and preserved racial consciousness.

But suddenly the old policy was reversed, and Carleton's plan of confirming and isolating French-Canadian nationalism as a barrier against the tide of democracy and rebellion setting in from the South was put into force. After the Revolution, the situation changed once more, and with it British policy. The old colonies had now seceded; there was no further occasion to shape a policy for their retention. The St. Lawrence Valley, which had been resigned under Carleton's plan as a permanent home for French-speaking colonists, now became the only outlet on the continent for English-speaking citizens who wished to remain under the British flag. Loyalists from the United States and, later, British immigrants from overseas poured in by tens of thousands, and forced the granting of a measure of self-government. The British Government was still prepared to stand by the bargain made with the French-Canadians in the Quebec Act, their Magna Charta, and when the Constitutional Act was passed in 1791, Grenville magnanimously and modestly affirmed the intention to "continue to

the French inhabitants the enjoyment of those civil and religious rights which have been secured to them by the capitulation of the Province, or have since been granted by the liberal and enlightened spirit of the British Government." But soon a change came. The memory of 1774 gradually faded, the English-speaking minority in Lower Canada became more insistent, and, above all, the wars with Napoleon made France and democracy anathema in England. When the French-Canadian representatives in the Assembly, quickly learning the possibilities of their half-measure of liberty, demanded full self-government, they were met with blank refusal. After years of petition and inquiry and debate, British statesmanship could rise no further than the imperious insistence of Russell in 1837, backed by an almost unanimous Parliament, that neither responsible government nor an elective legislative council could be permitted in a colony, and his action in authorizing the governor to take needed funds out of the provincial treasury without the Assembly's consent. Rebellion followed this arrogant refusal; the Assembly was suspended; a second rebellion broke out, again to be put down.

Writing in the calm retrospect of two generations later, Mr. Laurier thus summed up the struggle:

The struggle thus begun continued throughout the fifty years that the constitution of 1791 lasted. Pitt had expressed the hope that the majority would govern. During the fifty years of the constitution of 1791, the real government of the country was exercised by the English minority in spite of the French majority. During the

fifty years of the constitution of 1791, the Assembly struggled and struggled in vain to secure the most elementary powers of a representative body. The right to choose its president freely was vigorously contested; the right to protect its independence was long disputed; the right to control public expenditure was constantly refused. Each claim that it made, each remonstrance against an abuse, each insistence on an unrecognized right, each assertion of a principle which had been violated, was the occasion, in the body of the As

sembly, of bitter struggles with the minority, followed by violent conflicts with the oligarchy. As soon as the decision of the Assembly was rejected by the Council, the session would be suddenly prorogued in the dissenting chamber by the governor, at the instigation of his officials.

Scorn, hostility, hate, developed, deepened, became ever more and more intense; conflicts between the Assembly and the Executive grew more and more frequent, and each conflict was reflected with an

ever increasing intensity in each element of the population. When rebellion broke out, although there were found Canadians on the side of the English and English among the Canadians, the rebellion was the explosion of racial hate.

The rebellion forced attention and a measure of concession to the demand for selfgovernment. It did not advance the cause of FrenchCanadian nationalism. On the contrary, advantage

wealth and culture and numbers, "a people with no history and no literature," would be absorbed, to their own good. Therefore, the sooner the better. It must "be the first and steady purpose of the British Government to establish an English population, with English laws and language, in this Province, and to trust its government to none but a decidedly English legisla

Sir John A. Macdonald

was taken of the suspension of the Assembly and the discrediting of the Patriotes' cause to revert once more fully and frankly to the policy of Anglicizing the whole province. The more extreme leaders of the English minority called for the permanent disenfranchisement of the French-Canadians. Lord Durham was equally insistent as to the end, if somewhat more moderate as to the means. There could be no peace, he insisted, while the two nationalities stood opposed. There could be no question that in the long run the progressive, enterprising, numerous Englishspeaking people would dominate all North America, and that the FrenchCanadian people, hopelessly inferior in

ture"; the "nationality of the FrenchCanadians" must be "obliterated."

Mr. Laurier condemns Durham's policy and defends his character, and incidentally explains, in a passage equally remarkable for its insight and its


detachment, the in

fluence of the struggle of the French-Canadians to preserve their nationality upon their material fortunes:

The man who used this harsh language was not an enemy of the race whose annihilation he thus advised. Neither was he one of those unbending spirits who reckon human life and all that may make it precious as of small account when it is a question of attaining a desired result. The name of Lord Durham has always been held in execration among French-Canadians since the day when the sentence he had delivered against their national existence was made known. They believed then that His Majesty's High Commissioner was narrow-minded, and that he had sacrificed the sentiments of justice to race prejudice. This impression, caused by the painful emotion that the publication of his report produced, has not been removed. Nothing, however, is further opposed to the truth; impartial history must give a different verdict. Lord Durham was generous, a mind

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