Sunday, July 01, 2007

I Am Canadien

On this Canada Day I say "Le mon Canada est le Québec" in fact I proudly proclaim " Je suis Canadien". Not Canadian but Canadien.

This is my response to the Conservative Federal Government embracing the narrow nationalism of the Quebecois Pure Laine reactionaries with Harpers too clever by half; "Quebec is a Nation,......within a united Canada".

Last weekend Harper sucked up to the Quebec separatists at their Fete Nationale, in a purely political move to appeal to the reactionary rural unilingual nationalists, a constituency he is familiar with its mirror image is his Alberta base.

In that great dance of the dialectic that is Canadian politics Trudeau was right and he was wrong. He was right that Papineau and the Canadien's established liberalism in Canada and saw Quebec as Canada, not as a separate nation. He was right in seeing the repatriation of the Constitution as a great victory for Canadien's. As I document below, the irony being this is from a Quebec Separatist website, the Papineau family would agree. He was wrong as to the real nature of Papineau and the Canadian rebels view of what a Canadian state should be.

Those who struggled as the majority in Canada, the peoples of Lower Canada, even the English assigned name is a pejorative, a symbol of the lesser importance of the French founding peoples, to create a modern nation state faced opposition by a minority who ruled by royal edict with mercantile and statist power. The real majority the constituent assembly of the Canadian nation was the colonial subject of Mercantile English Imperialism.

The mistake made by those who have linked to Papineau and his fellow Canadien liberals, those who would promote the idea of Quebec as a Nation, is their interpretation of 'Province ' as Nation. In this case mistaking what the Canadien Patroites meant by these terms. Or the fact that Papineau and other Canadien's saw Quebec not as a separate nation, but THE NATION.

Papineau and his comrades regarded Canada as the Province of colonial England, having no rights except those granted by the Crown after 1793 and the Treaty of Paris.
That did not mean the respected or accepted this political designation.

With this agreement Canada was abandoned to British control. Quebec was divided up into two provinces; Lower and Upper Canada, no more topsy turvey Victorian designation could have ever been made. For Lower Canada is geographically above Upper Canada, in fact it was Canada. Lower Canada is Quebece, Upper Canada is Northern Ontario cleaved from Quebec for British colonial expansion.

For the Maritime provinces were colonies in and of themselves battled over by the French and English, which only became part of Canada after the treaty of 1793.

The majority of Canadiens were Quebecois, now ruled over by a minority.
The British were not an enlightened regime. They were an incestuous colonial power, content at keeping the colonists they inherited as serfs .

The myth is that New France, Quebec and Canada were underdeveloped until the English gained power. That a Catholic old world aristocracy kept Canada enthralled and backwards. The reality is that Quebec was Canada, sans the Maritimes, and they were developing a strong capitalist economy. Unlike the British colonies which were underpopulated, ruled from abroad, and subject to Crown Corporations and heavy taxation.

Excerpt of The Question of Separatism: Quebec and the Struggle over Sovereignty by Jane Jacobs, 1980

we must be aware of Canada's customary view of economic life and its traditional approach to economic development. Canada exploits and exports resources, to the neglect of developing industries and services based on manufacturing or inventions requiring manufacturing. This is a profoundly colonial approach to economic life, but in Canada's case economic colonialism is not something forced upon the country. Canada prefers colonialism.

In order to develop the first Canadian public works project; the Canals, the British needed capital from Quebec, just as it needed slave labour from Ireland; the navvies.

Which is why Canadien's supported Irish Nationhood and Indpendence because they wanted the same for Canada. Both shared a common oppressor.

Throughout Christendom, from religious Rome to philosophical Paris, autocratic Russia to the democratic United States, rises a universal cry of love and pity for Ireland, wrapped in its shroud of plague and famine, woven and sewn around it by aristocratic hands. Montreal alone, [astounded] by I do not know what juggler, will not be able, in the middle of the sheds devoted to the death which England pours from its European Ireland onto its American Ireland, to find a word of sympathy for pains and sufferings such as lamentations of Jeremiah alone can let us foresee the horror! Shame on the men who can be demoralizing enough to want for Montreal to be as lethargic as they are apathetic!

Invite them to take part to a demonstration for the purpose of giving a free expression to the feelings which inflate their generous chests, the hatred of oppression, the pity for the national sufferings of Ireland, as for its individual sufferings, as proves the adoption, by Canadian families, of such a great number of the orphans from Ireland, orphan made so by the cowardice of the whig ministries meanly controlled by mercantile interests and, in consequence of this servility, letting the owners of English vessels operate the trade of the Irish with an even more sordid greed of lucre, a more brutal inhumanity, a more murderous improvidence than the privateer of Cuba and Brazil did in the trade of the blacks.

The interest of the slave trader is to have a short passage and to sell a complete and healthy cargo. The interest of the Stanley, Palmerston, Blake and others of their caste and their temperament, is to drive out of their vast Irish fields those whom they made poor and which can no longer pay them. The more the vessel which carries them is encumbered, the more the field and the heart of the mauvais riche is alleviated, and the more the income is increased. They cannot enforce, do they inform us officially, their law which would tend to prevent the congestion. They "do not want" to have it enforced. They obtain profit and pleasure from it being eluded.

Unlike British Canada which was underdeveloped, Quebec was economically self sufficient and had a growing capitalist economy. Papineau and the liberal reformists in Quebec, as well as their counterparts in Hogtown, were inspired by the American and French Revolutions.

Thomas Paine shone clearly through their thoughts and political demands. They promoted Free Trade and Free Land in opposition to England's Militarist Mercantile power which divided up Canada like so many spoils for the aristocratic members of the English House of Commons and the Crown. They had their own House of Commons for Canada, elected as from a popular assembly. In representative democracy they needed no lessons from Lord Durham and those who inherited their places in the British House of Commons by right of title.

The Durham myth that the English brought representative democracy to Canada is so much malarkey. There was a representative democracy in Canada, a liberal one that wanted even more freedom for Canada as a nation, not just for Quebec as a province.

It was Canada which was the province, including the British territories in the Maritimes and Ontario, which the reformers in Quebec addressed their demands on behalf of.

Lord Durham knew full well the Rebellion of 1837 was no such insurrectionist movement except for the ill fated call to arms in Hogtown. In Quebec their fear was that it had an independent militia, that a call to arms to would resound and lead to yet another American Revolution.

That this did not happen, was the strength and weakness of Papineau and his Patriotes. For it led to a further extension of martial law in Canada and the imposition of a British hereditary parliament. One which was ruled over by veto from its counterpart in England.

Durham lives in infamy for his designation of the rebellion as not being political but racial. He denies that it is part of the liberal revolutions occurring in this period of the 19th Century as the age of Empire declines and the age of the Nation State and liberal political economy and representative democracy ascends.

He further focuses solely on Quebec, and makes no mention of the Rebellion in Upper Canada, in particular in Hogtown. He can't if he is to make his racist designation that it is the backwards Roman Catholics in Quebec who are fomenting dissent wanting their own state.

Unofficial translation of the Discours de l'Hon. Louis Joseph Papineau devant l'Institut canadien à l'occasion du 23ème anniversaire de fondation de cette société, le 17 décembre 1867.

No, it is not true that the political discussions, which were as sharp in both Canadas, were a fight between races. They were as rough in Upper Canada, where there was only one nationality, as they were here, where there were two. The majorities of both of them were uninterested friends of the rights, freedoms, and privileges due to all the English subjects. They were voluntarily exposing themselves to lieful slandering, to dangerous anger, to sanguinary revenge sometimes, from egoistic minorities, by themselves weak, but supported by the strength of the bayonnettes paid with the gold of the people, but everywhere directed against the people.

By the number, we were ten against one in the two provinces. By morality, by disinterestedness, by our justly acquired influence, we were ten times more powerful than by the number. The English and Irish people, by those who were their true and worthy representatives approved us; the American governors and citizens approved us; the enlightened men of the European continent approved us; but especially our compatriots, for whom we suffered and who suffered with us, approved us; better than that even, our conscience approved us.

It is not with Papineau and the liberal reformers in Quebec that the myth of Quebec as a Nation, as a Province of an Empire is created, rather in one of those deliciously ironic twists of history it arises from Lord Durhams Report.

Papineau until the end of his life was a proud Canadien. Not a Quebecer, not a Quebecois, but a Canadien, he saw Quebec as the core of an independent Canada.

Mister President, Ladies and Gentlemen,

You will believe me, I hope, if I tell you: I love my country.

I loved it wisely; did I love it madly? ... From the outside, the opinions may vary. Nevertheless, my heart and then my head conscientiously consulted, I believe I can say that I loved it as it should be loved... This feeling, I sucked it from my nurse's milk, my holy mother. The brief expression by which it is best stated: MY COUNTRY ABOVE ALL, I undoubtedly stammered it on the knees of my father. As soon as he heard me say a word, he saw that his son would not be mute, and that it was necessary to put his education in the right direction. This direction, at a time when the country was more moral than speculative, was known in our good old families, and instilled in us the love of the country and respect for all that could be a source of well-being and greatness for it. I therefore like the Institut canadien, one of our national glories; the institute which served our homeland with such perseverance, with such complete devotion, with such generous ardour, with truly great and useful successes. I could not be in a more pleasant and interesting company than in that of the members of this institute and their many friends, rightly appreciative of the services it provided to the country, and grateful admirers of the judicious program which it adopted to preserve the bits of political freedom that we conquered during a glorious past, in long, difficult and often perilous parliamentary battles. These bribes had been torn off, with one hand from the ill will of the aristocratic government of England, always hostile to popular rights; and, with the other hand, from an oligarchy, weak in number, null in merit, landed just yesterday from overseas, and that the metropolis, by an arbitrary partiality, had constituted local dominant power.

I feel happy, I feel good, among such a patriotic reunion, so liberal, so progressive, so proudly independent as the institute is. I hope it will continue to be so, by remaining faithful to the rules it gave itself, and to its valuable antecedents.

Two words suffice to explain its symbol, its political motto. It says: "Justice for us, justice for all; reason and liberty for us, reason and liberty for all." It is cosmopolitan.

Canada had embraced the enlightenment, the revolutionary values of a secular popular democracy, of free land and the liberal free trade economics of the Americans. It was further imbued with the democratic ideals of revolutionary France, instituting its own popular assemblies by popular election. This government of Canada demanded its rights from the British Parliament.

The World was changing revolution was in the air, tyrants were falling and popular democracy was breaking out in the colonies as well as Imperial Europe and England.

Canada was part of that rebellion, that spirit of social change for the better. The response of Britain was to crush that spirit by instituting yet further extensions of martial law, arbitrary detention, arbitrary executions, arbitrary censorship and closure of the press.

Durham instituted yet another chapter in the long history of British aristocratic military political rule in Canada as Papineau so eloquently outlines in his;
Political Testament of Louis-Joseph Papineau,

Trudeau repatriated the Canadian Constitution which the Quebec Nationalists refused to sign. Despite the fact that in doing so Trudeau was fulfilling Papineau and les Canadien Patriotes dream.

While Papineau was no Separatist he also was not a Federalist like Trudeau. His was not a scheme of a centralizing federalist state, rather his was the ideal of representation by popular assembly with proportional representation. He never accepted the Federal Canadian State of 1867 since it failed to adhere to the principles of the our rights to chose our representatives through a mass based Constituent Assembly.

Letter to the Inhabitants of the Province of Quebec, by the first Continental Congress, Philadelphia, Oct. 1774

These are the rights you are entitled to and ought at this moment in perfection, to exercise. And what is offered to you by the late Act of Parliament in their place? Liberty of conscience in your religion? No. God gave it to you; and the temporal powers with which you have been and are connected, firmly stipulated for your enjoyment of it. If laws, divine and human, could secure it against the despotic caprices of wicked men, it was secured before. Are the French laws in civil cases restored? It seems so. But observe the cautious kindness of the Ministers, who pretend to be your benefactors. The words of the statute are--that those "laws shall be the rule, until they shall be varied or altered by any ordinances of the Governor and Council." Is the "certainty and lenity of the criminal law of England, and its benefits and advantages," commended in the said statute, and said to "have been sensibly felt by you," secured to you and your descendants? No. They too are subjected to arbitrary "alterations" by the Governor and Council; and a power is expressly reserved of appointing "such courts of criminal, civil, and ecclesiastical jurisdiction, as shall be thought proper." Such is the precarious tenure of mere will, by which you hold your lives and religion. The Crown and its Ministers are impowered, as far as they could be by Parliament, to establish even the Inquisition itself among you. Have you an Assembly composed of worthy men, elected by yourselves, and in whom you can confide, to make laws for you, to watch over your welfare, and to direct in what quantity, and in what manner, your money shall be taken from you? No. The power of making laws for you is lodged in the governor and council, all of them dependent upon, and removeable at, the pleasure of a Minister. Besides, another late statute, made without your consent, has subjected you to the impositions of Excise, the horror of all free states; thus wresting your property from you by the most odious of taxes, and laying open to insolent tax-gatherers, houses, the scenes of domestic peace and comfort, and called the castles of English subjects in the books of their law. And in the very act for altering your government, and intended to flatter you, you are not authorized to "assess, levy, or apply any rates and taxes, but for the inferior purposes of making roads, and erecting and repairing public buildings, or for other local conveniences, within your respective towns and districts." Why this degrading distinction? Ought not the property, honestly acquired by Canadians, to be held as sacred as that of Englishmen? Have not Canadians sense enough to attend to any other public affairs, than gathering stones from one place, and piling them up in another? Unhappy people! who are not only injured, but insulted. Nay more!--With such a superlative contempt of your understanding and spirit, has an insolent Ministry presumed to think of you, our respectable fellow-subjects, according to the information we have received, as firmly to perswade themselves that your gratitude, for the injuries and insults they have recently offered to you, will engage you to take up arms, and render yourselves the ridicule and detestation of the world, by becoming tools, in their hands, to assist them in taking that freedom from us, which they have treacherously denied to you; the unavoidable consequence of which attempt, if successful, would be the extinction of all hopes of you or your posterity being ever restored to freedom: For idiocy itself cannot believe, that, when their drudgery is performed, they will treat you with less cruelty than they have us, who are of the same blood with themselves.

Observation on the current state of Canada and the political dispositions of its inhabitants, by Henry-Antoine Mézière, June 12, 1793

One could object the ignorance of the Canadiens as an obstacle to becoming free, their priests, their prejudices. To this I answer that one has a very imperfect idea of the inhabitants. Those of the cities are in possession of all the philosophical works; they read them with passion, as well as the French gazettes, the Declaration of the rights of man and the patriotic songs. They learn how those by heart to sing them at the opening of a Club de patriotes where last year one counted more than 200 citizens. This club even defied the government by publicly discussing the affairs of France, something which, the day before, had been prohibited by a proclamation. The priests in the cities are considered as they should be, I mean to say, as infamous impostors who make use of lies for their own interests; and one looks this race passing by with as little respect as a herd of pigs. I will not speak of this other caste of despicable and scorned men who style themselves nobles; the poor wretches do not exceed ten in number and their ignorance and their gueusery are pitiful. Lastly, I dare statem that the French revolution has electrified the Canadiens and in one year enlightened them on their natural rights more so than one century of reading could not have accomplished. Even since the declaration of the war of France against England, such is progress that the Canadiens made in reason, that they do not fear to publicly wish that the French win. Each day, they assemble in the cities in small groups, tell each other the news, are delighted when they are favorable to the French and are afflicted (but do not despair) when they are bad for them.

The Free French to their Canadien Brothers, by Edmond-Charles Genêt, Ambassador of the first French Republic in the United States, 1794

Summary of the advantages which the Canadiens can gain by freeing themselves from English domination.

  1. Canada will be a free and independent State.
  2. It will be able to form alliances with France and the United States.
  3. The Canadiens will choice their government, they will appoint the members of the legislative and executive powers.
  4. The veto will be abolished.
  5. All people whole will have obtained the right of citizen of Canada will be eligible to all public functions.
  6. Corvées will be abolished.
  7. Trade will enjoy the widest liberty.
  8. The will no longer be privileged companies for fur trade; the new government will encourage it.
  9. Seigniorial duties will be abolished, the lot resale tax, mill duties, tolls, wood reserves, work for the landlord, etc., etc., will also be abolished.
  10. Will also be abolished hereditary titles, there will no longer neither lords nor seigneurs nor nobles.
  11. All religious cults will be free. Catholic priests will be appointed by the people as in the time of the primitive Church and will enjoy a treatment adequate to their utility.
  12. The tithe will be abolished.
  13. Schools will be established in parishes and cities: there will be print shops, institutions of high science, medicine, mathematics; Will be trained interpreters whom having been recognized to have good morals will be encouraged to civilize the wild nations and by this means extend trade with them.

Edmond-Charles Genêt,
Ambassador of the French Republic in the United States

The notes taken by Alexis de Tocqueville while visiting Lower Canada, Aug.-Sept. 1831

The basis of the population and the immense majority is everywhere France. But it is easy to see that the French are a conquered people. The rich classes mostly belong to the English race. Although French is the language most universally spoken, the newspapers, the notices and even the shop-signs of French tradesmen are in English. Commercial undertakings are almost all in their hands. They are really the ruling class in Canada.

The notable British Whig politician John George Lambton, 1st Earl of Durham, was sent to the Canadas in 1838 to investigate and report on the causes of the rebellions of 1837-38. Durham arrived in Quebec City on May 27. He had just been appointed Governor General and given special powers as high commissioner of British North America.

Durham had spoken to merchants in Britain who wanted greater British control over the Canadas, as they felt the French Canadians' presence in Lower Canada undermined their economic interests.

In Canada, he formed numerous committees consisting of essentially all the opponents of the Patriotes and made many personal observations of life in the colonies. He also visited the United States. Durham wrote that he had assumed he would find that the rebellions were based on liberalism and economics, but he eventually concluded that the real problem was the ethnic conflict between French and English. According to Durham, the French culture in Canada had changed little in 200 years, and showed no sign of progress like British culture had. His report contains the famous assessment that Canada consisted of "two nations warring within the bosom of a single state." (1838)

Durham recommended that Upper and Lower Canada be united into one province, which would give British Canadians a slight advantage in population. He also encouraged immigration to Canada from Britain, to further marginalize the supposedly backwards French Canadians and hopefully assimilate them into British culture. The freedoms granted to the French Canadians under the Royal Proclamation of 1763 and the Quebec Act of 1774 should also be rescinded; according to Lord Durham this would eliminate the possibility of future rebellions. The French Canadians did not necessarily have to give up their religion and language entirely, but it could not be protected at the expense of what Durham considered a more progressive British culture. The proposed merger would also benefit Upper Canada as the construction of canals led to a considerable debt load; while access to the former Lower Canada fiscal surplus would allow that debt to be to erased.

In exile in France, Louis-Joseph Papineau published the Histoire de l'insurrection du Canada (History of the insurrection in Canada) in the magazine Progrès in May. In June, it appeared in Canada in Ludger Duvernay's La Revue canadienne as Histoire de l'insurrection du Canada en réfutation du Rapport de Lord Durham (History of the insurrection of Canada in refutation of the Report of Lord Durham).

The assertion that the so-called "French" Canadians had no history and no culture and that the conflict was primarily that of two ethnic groups evidently outraged Papineau. It was pointed out that many of the Patriote leaders were of British or British Canadian origin, including among others Wolfred Nelson, hero of the Battle of Saint-Denis; Robert Nelson, author of the Declaration of Independence of Lower Canada, who would have become President of Lower Canada had the second insurrection succeeded; journalist Edmund Bailey O'Callaghan; and Thomas Storrow Brown, general during the Battle of St-Charles. It was also pointed out that an uprising had occurred in Upper Canada where there was only one "race". According to Papineau and other Patriotes, the analysis of the economic situation of French Canadians was biased. Indeed, from 1791 to the rebellions, the elected representatives of Lower Canada had been demanding the control over the budget of the colony.

The Parti canadien (also Parti patriote) was a political party in what is now Quebec, that was founded by members of the liberal elite of Lower Canada at the beginning of the 19th century. Its members included François Blanchet, Pierre-Stanislas Bédard, John Neilson, Jean-Thomas Taschereau, James Stuart, Louis Bourdages, Denis-Benjamin Viger, Daniel Tracey, Edmund Bailey O'Callaghan, Andrew Stuart, and Louis-Joseph Papineau.

The Patriote movement ( was a political movement that existed in Lower Canada; Quebec) from the turning of the 19th century to the Patriote Rebellion of 1837 and 1838 and the subsequent Act of Union of 1840. It was politically embodied by the Parti patrioteLegislative Assembly of Lower Canada. It was inspired by the American Revolution, the decolonization of the Americas, as well as the political philosophy of classical liberalism. Among its leading figures were François Blanchet, Pierre-Stanislas Bédard, John Neilson, Jean-Thomas Taschereau, James Stuart, Louis Bourdages, Denis-Benjamin Viger, Daniel Tracey, Edmund Bailey O'Callaghan, Andrew Stuart, Wolfred Nelson, Robert Nelson, Edmund Bailey O'Callaghan, Thomas Storrow Brown, François Jalbert and Louis-Joseph Papineau. Its ideals were conveyed through the newspapers the Montreal Vindicator, Le Canadien, and La Minerve.
The Ninety-Two Resolutions
were drafted by Louis-Joseph Papineau and other members of the Parti patriote of Lower Canada in 1834. The resolutions were a long series of demands for political reforms in the British-governed colony.
The Lower Canada Rebellion
is the name given to the armed conflict between the rebels of Lower Canada (now Quebec) and the British colonial power of that province. Together with the simultaneous Upper Canada Rebellion in the neighbouring colony of Upper Canada (now Ontario), it formed the Rebellions of 1837. The Address of the Fils de la liberté of Montreal to the young people of the colonies of North America, Oct. 1837

We consider that, based upon the privilege of each individual to act on his own behalf, by the very basis of society, the privilege to join all of one's energy to that of one's co-citizens, in all projects aiming for defence or mutual interest, and consequently the right of association, is a right as sacred and as unalienable as that of individual liberty itself. We sustain that governments are created for the common good and can only rightfully exist with the consent of the governed, and that whatever artificial change may occur in the affairs of society, a chosen government is nevertheless an inherent right of the people. Since it cannot be alienated, one should not need to ask before putting it in practise.

All governments being instituted for the good of the whole people, by no means for the honour or the profit of only one individual, any claim to rule according to a divine or absolute authority, claimed by or for any man or class of men, is blasphemous and absurd, just like it is monstrous to inculcate it and degrading to admit it. The authority of a motherland over a colony can only exist for as a long as the colonists who live in it find this relation to their advantage; because it has been established and populated by these colonists, this country belongs to them by right, and consequently can be separated from any foreign connection whenever the disadvantages, resulting from an executive power located abroad and which ceases to be in harmony with a local legislature, make such a step necessary to its inhabitants, in order to protect their lives and their freedom or to acquire prosperity. By taking the name of Fils de la liberté (Sons of Liberty), the association of the young people of Montreal by no means intends to make it a private cabal, a secret junta, but rather a democratic body full of strength, which will be composed of all the youths that the love of the fatherland renders sensitive to the interests of their country, whatever their belief, their origin or that of their ancestors may be.

History of the Insurrection in Canada in refutation of the report of Lord Durham

This is an unofficial translation of the Histoire de l'insurrection en Canada en réfutation du rapport de Lord Durham written by Louis-Joseph Papineau in 1839.

Close friend of a great number of my colleagues in the representation, honoured with the regard and the confidence of all, since, for the past twenty years, they elected me, often unanimously, always with a great majority, Speaker of the House of Assembly, I am perfectly aware of everything that occurred in Canada up until the moment when the disorders started. I know the acts and statements of twenty-five of my colleagues and of many outstanding citizens, some who suffered death, others who, like me, saw, so to speak, their head put at a price, and were, like me, dragged in exile without trial, often without charge, always without confrontation, then released without trial, despite their asking for a ruling by verbal or written requests, addressed either to the bloodied dictator Colborne, or to the other dictator, falser but no less vindicatory, Durham. Because weren't we all liable of the same punishments? They were all guilty of the same crime! Their virtues were dear to their compatriots, odious to their foreign oppressors! Well then! I challenge the English government to contradict me, when I affirm that none us had prepared, wanted or even envisaged, armed resistance. But the English government had resolved to rob the Province of its income, of its representative system; it had resolved to send us, some to death, others to exile; and it is to this end that it had proposed to proclaim the martial law, and to have the citizens judged by martial courts for acts which, a few weeks before, it had admitted could not lead to any charge, founding the necessity of creating military courts on the impossibility of obtaining death sentences from the civil ones. Yes, once again, the executive power has put in the works, against innocent men, for what is wrongfully taken for the metropolitan interest, inhuman plans that it had admitted not having the right to allow itself: it is from the government that came the provocation.

Thereof, among the actors of this bloody drama, is there no one who repents to have attempted resistance; and among their fellow-citizens, there is not one in a thousand to reproach them to have done so. Only, there is in the hearts of all a deep sorrow that this resistance was unhappy, but at the same time a great hope that it will be re-taken and this time prevail.

It is not that the insurrection was illegitimate, but we had resolved not to resort to it yet. It is what our seized papers taught to a government that became a slanderer to justify its persecution.

And when I make this statement, it is only to restore the historical truth and not to repudiate the moral responsibility of the resistance to a power risen against the holy rights of humanity, risen against "the inalienable birth rights of British subjects", as the legal advisers of Great Britain say, a mocking expression with regard to the colonies and imagined to provide the English aristocracy with Spartan pleasures, such as, for example, the pleasure to hunt down the Helots of Ireland, the Helots of the Canadas, the Helots of Jamaica, the Helots of all its remote possessions, each time the serfs who inhabit them wish to stop being corvéable, taillable and mortaillable and mercy and mercy.

Wanting to prove that his favourite race, the Saxon race, is the only one worthy of command, Lord Durham untruthfully painted it beautiful while he obscured with the darkest colours the faux portrait which he drew of the French Canadians. But in spite of this degrading partiality, I direct with confidence all the honest readers to this strange report, as I am well convinced that they will draw this conclusion from it, that the Canadians have no justice to expect from England; that for them, submission would be blamable and a death sentence, while independence, on the contrary, would be a principle of resurrection and life. It would be even more, it would be the rehabilitation of the French name terribly compromised in America by the shame of the Treaty of Paris of 1763, by the mass proscription of more than twenty thousand Acadians driven out their homes, finally, by the sound of six hundred thousand Canadians ruled since eighty years with a ceaseless injustice, now decimated, tomorrow condemned to political inferiority, by hatred of their French origin.

I will show in a forthcoming article how unjust the complaints of Lord Durham against Canada really are.

It is nevertheless from these so-called complaints that arise the great and only measure of legislative reform which Lord Durham recommends: the absorption of the French population by the English population by means of the union of two Canadas. It is this measure which had been adopted in 1808 by the fur trade monopolists at a time when they lost the majority which they had enjoyed hitherto.

Second Manifesto

This is an unofficial translation of Louis-Joseph Papineau's Deuxième manifeste, as published in L'Avenir on May 15, 1848.

Do not speak much, do not say anything on the merit or the demerit of the Union; representation proportional to the population; the extension of the right to vote to all; of the usefulness that at least a part of the representation be selected among the resident voters; that eligibility should depend only on public confidence, not on the badly or justly acquired property of the candidate.


Edward Gibbon Wakefield

Happy Canada Day/Jour heureux du Canada

Origins of the Capitalist State In Canada

Rebel Yell

A History of Canadian Wealth, 1914.

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