1837-38 Lower Canadian Rebellion


In 1791, the Constitutional Act was passed, which meant that Upper and Lower Canada would be run by a House of Assembly and Legislative Council who were appointed to these offices. The Legislative Council was responsible to governor all of the provinces but many conflict arose with the House of Assembly, when they wanted to do anything. Three of the main issues that the Council had with the Assembly was control over the expenses and revenues, they wanted an executive that was not connected the Assembly, and control over the provincial civil service. The Legislative Council had great power but the Assembly ignored their legislation. The Assembly refused to give them finances for their projects, which was the beginning of the rebellion.

Since they could never agree on anything, by late 1837 a rebellion started to assemble in Lower Canada. These armed insurrection were pushed by many factors to start the rebellion, the downturn of the economy in the 1830s, the failure of crops in 1837, which led to farmers nearly starving to death, the increase of people from the British Isles, and an outbreak of cholera, which was brought to them from immigrants. These are the clashes that led to it because the Assembly refused to give any money for bills that could help them. This put public works and the government at a standstill, which made the problems worse without a solution.

In March of that year, the assembly rejected all of the demands that the Patriotes, who were the rebellions, had requested. So the Patriotes boycotted British goods and started to hold rallies to get some change. Then in November 1837, the government tried to arrest the leaders of the Partiotes but they fled and the rebellion started. The three main battles of the rebellion were the Battle of St Denis, which the rebels won, the Battle of St Charles, and the Battles of St Eustache, which both were won by the British forces. Since the government knew about the insurrection, they were prepared and crushed the battles quickly. That was when Louis Joseph Papineau and other leaders fled to the United States.

Many other rebels followed to support Papineau and in November of 1838, they returned to start an uprising but were quickly stopped again by the government. Since this created so much damage done during this rebellion, the Rebellion Losses Bill was passed in 1849, which showed Canadians that their government can be responsible and the rebellion was a thing of the past.