He persuaded his more radical followers to draft a republican constitution for Upper Canada modelled on that of the United States. [27], On October 9 1837, a messenger from the Patriotes informed Mackenzie that the rebellion in Lower Canada was going to begin. [23] Mackenzie's first plan for rebellion involved calling on Sheldon & Dutcher's men to storm the city hall, where the militia's guns were stored. This rebellion was led by William Lyon Mackenzie, the first mayor of Toronto, who wanted the same things that they wanted in Lower Canada. Leader of the Parti Canadien, an MLA Many were non-conformist in their religious views and somewhat republican in their political leanings.) [47] The rebel leaders met that night to discuss who would become the rebellion's leader after the death of Anderson and Lount's refusal to lead on his own. [33] After the Battle of Saint-Denis Fitzgibbon prepared a list of men that he could contact personally if a rebellion began in Toronto. [31] Rolph convinced Morrison to support the rebellion but they also told Mackenzie to get confirmation of support from rural communities. more moderate lines. Thanks for contributing to The Canadian Encyclopedia. Democratic reform and an end to the rule of the privileged oligarchy. Early attempts to push through political reform, led by those such as Robert Baldwin, were moderate and unsuccessful. commander of all government forces organized to crush the rebellion in Upper Canada. A large number of the settlers were of American origin. William Lyon Mackenzie took charge of the reformers in … [55] Morrison was arrested and charged with treason while Rolph sent a letter encouraging Mackenzie to send the rebels home then fled to the United States. Protestant groups. In 1837 and 1838 Upper and Lower Canada led rebellions against the Crown and the political status quo. [14] After meeting with Reformers, Bond Head concluded that they were disloyal to the British Empire and allied himself with the Family Compact. [16] The Reform-dominated Assembly responded by refusing to pass the money bill, which halted the payment of salaries and pensions to many government workers. Clergy reserves, the family compact/chateau clique, responsible government. [29] Reformers such as Thomas David Morrison opposed this plan and the meeting ended without consensus on what to do next. [57] The rebels raided a mail coach, stole the passenger's money and looked for information about the progress of the rebellion in London, Ontario. The new Tory-dominated Legislature passed laws that exacerbated tensions including continuing the Legislative session after the death of the King, prohibiting members of the Legislature from serving as Executive Councillors, making it easier to sue indebted farmers, protecting the Bank of Upper Canada from bankruptcy, and giving Legislative Councillors charters for their own banks. The rebellions of 1837-1838 in Upper and Lower Canada constitute one of the most important episodes of this history. [74] Frederick Armstrong believed the rebellion was a reaction to patronage afforded to members of the Family Compact after winning the 1836 election. William Lyon Mackenzie led a rag-tag contingent of 800 men down Yonge Street toward Toronto. Rebellion of 1837-1838 aka Patriot War . [61] The armed forces were split into two companies and went to fields on both sides of Yonge Street. In the 1860s, some of the former rebels were compensated by the Canadian government for their lost property in the rebellion aftermath. [17] The movement was disappointed when Bond Head made it clear he had no intention of consulting the Executive Council in the daily operations of the administration. Durham was assigned to report on the grievances among the British North American colonists and find a way to appease them. His report eventually led to greater autonomy in the Canadian colonies and the union of Upper and Lower Canada into the Province of Canada in 1840. Britain and America. [52] A group of twenty-six men led by Samuel Jarvis met the rebels on their march and fired upon them before running away. On 5 December, a motley assortment of 500 to 700 rebels bearing only hunting rifles, staves and pitchforks, marched south on Yonge Street. [51], A few hours later Rolph sent a messenger to Mackenzie that Toronto rebels were ready for their arrival to the city and Mackenzie marched his troops towards Toronto. Mackenzie also attacked other travellers and robbed them or questioned them about the revolt. the Durham Report. Bond Head then offered a negotiation with Rolph, who accepted. The insurgency in Lower Canada inspired anglophone radicals in Upper Canada to take their own action against the Crown. Although Lount wanted to launch an attack that night, other rebels leaders rejected that plan so that the troops could rest after their march and they could get information from Rolph about the status of rebels who lived in Toronto. They suffered a series of crop failures and were subject to harsh debt-collection laws. It was a classic example of a situation in which the class contradictions reached a point where an open confrontation had to breakout. The Rebellion of 1837 in Upper Canada: Read, Colin, Stagg, Ronald J.: 9780886290269: Books - Amazon.ca However, many reformers, including Bidwell, fled to the US. While these rebellions differed in that they also struggled for republicanism, they were inspired by similar social problems stemming from poorly regulated oligarchies, and sought the same democratic ideals, which were also shared by the United Kingdom's Chartists.[1][2][3]. The raids did not end until the rebels and Hunters were defeated at the Battle of the Windmill, just eleven months after the initial battle at Montgomery's Tavern. Government loyalists dispersed the rebels with a few shots, ending Mackenzie's erratic attempt to overthrow the colonial government. [60], Anthony Van Egmond arrived at the tavern on December 7 and encouraged the rebel leaders to disperse, as he felt the rebellion would not be a success. The Rebellion in Upper Canada was led by William Lyon Mackenzie, a Scottish-born newspaper publisher and politician who was a fierce critic of the Family Compact, an elite clique of officials and businessmen who dominated the running of the colony and its system of patronage. [4], The Family Compact dominated the government of Upper Canada and the financial and religious institutions associated with it. Reform movement. The rebels continued their raids into Canada using the U.S. as a base of operations and, in cooperation with the U.S. Hunters' Lodges, dedicated themselves to the overthrow of British rule in Canada. The Upper Canada Rebellion was an insurrection against the oligarchic government of the British colony of Upper Canada (present-day Ontario) in December 1837. [35] Mackenzie also printed handbills declaring independence which were distributed to citizens north of Toronto. [44] When Rolph and Baldwin returned to Bond Head, they were informed that the government's offer had been withdrawn. [20] Reformers such as Mackenzie and Samuel Lount lost their seats in the Legislature and they alleged that the election was fraudulent. However, the mainstream historical view is that the uprising had limited support and was largely an accident. [46] As they were approaching Montgomery's Tavern Powell mortally shot Anthony Anderson in the neck and escaped back to Toronto to report to Bond Head. [44] Another horseman saw the rebel's march into Toronto and notified Fitzgibbon, who tried unsuccessfully to have officials take action. uprising. The Act of Union was In the 1820s, settlers of American origin were also denied political rights, including the choice to swear allegiance to the Crown. In December 1837, Upper Canadian radicals led by William Lyon Mackenzie, frustrated with political patronage and corruption, tried and failed to seize Toronto. The Rebellions of 1837 were two armed uprisings that took place in Lower and Upper Canada in 1837 and 1838. They mounted major raids at Pelee Island in Lake Erie in February, at Short Hills in June, at  (See: The Early American Republic and the 1837–38 Canadian Rebellions.) Two countries that fought in the war of 1812. Mackenzie saw the bank as a prop of the Government and demanded farmers withdraw the money they had deposited in the bank and public confidence in the bank decreased. just upriver from the falls. [64], News of the intended rebellion had reached London and the surrounding townships by December 7. [65] Upon hearing more details about the rebellion in Toronto, Duncombe convened a series of public meetings to spread news of the supposed atrocities committed by Bond Head against all suspected reformers to help increase anti-government support. The Reformers urged that [10], The Upper Canada Central Political Union was organized in 1832–33 by Dr Thomas David Morrison and collected 19,930 signatures on a petition protesting William Lyon Mackenzie's expulsion from the House of Assembly. In recounting the “myths of responsible government”, Romney emphasized that after the ascendancy of Loyalism as the dominant political ideology of Upper Canada any demand for democracy or for responsible government became a challenge to colonial sovereignty. The United States attempted to capture Upper Canada, but … [12] The Canadian Alliance Society was reborn as the Constitutional Reform Society in 1836, and led by the more moderate reformer, Dr William W. Baldwin. Rolph and Morrison were reluctant about the plan so Mackenzie sought Anthony Van Egmond to help lead the armed forces. The British government was concerned about the rebellion, especially in light of the strong popular support for the rebels in the United States and the Lower Canada Rebellion. [11] The Reformers won a majority in the elections held in 1834 for the Legislative Assembly of the 12th Parliament of Upper Canada but the Family Compact held the majority in the Legislative Council. The Society took its final form as the Toronto Political Union in 1837 and they organized local "Vigilance Committees" to elect delegates to a Constitutional Convention in July 1837. The meeting created the Committee of Vigilance and signed a declaration urging every community to send delegates to a congress in Toronto and discuss remedies for their concerns. The influence of the radicals in the colony was eventually undermined. The large number of migrants led American legislators to speculate that bringing Upper Canada into the American fold would be a "mere matter of marching". [54], On Tuesday night MacNab arrived in Toronto with sixty men from the Hamilton area. [48], At noon on December 5, Mackenzie gathered the rebels and marched them towards Toronto. of politicians and officials known as the Family Compact. It also allowed less radical William Lyon Mackenzie, Scottish-born journalist and political agitator who led an unsuccessful revolt against the Canadian government in 1837. [44] Mackenzie took both men prisoner but did not search them for weapons as they gave their word that they did not have any. He was forced Marching down Yonge Street, his disorganized group of rebel soldiers was quickly dispersed, and Mackenzie fled to the United States. Signing up enhances your TCE experience with the ability to save items to your personal reading list, and access the interactive map. In March 1837 the Tories passed a law making it cheaper to sue farmers by allowing city merchants to sue in the middle of harvest. the United States. Onto the Upper Canada Rebellion, or as others call it, the Farmers’ Revolt. Debt collection laws allowed them to be jailed indefinitely until they paid their loans to merchants. Find books More moderate leaders, such as Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine, reshaped the reform movement. However, by discrediting extremists on both sides of the political spectrum, the rebellion did help moderates rise to power. Mackenzie was a Scottish-born politician and newspaper publisher. Two of Mackenzie's supporters were hanged, ninety-two were deported, and twenty-six were banished from Canada. Moderate reformer in Upper Canada. Both rebellions were motivated by frustrations with political reform. The rebellions in both Upper and Lower Canada led directly to the appointment of Lord Durham and [43], A loyalist named Robert Moodie saw the large gathering at Montgomery's Tavern and rode towards Toronto to warn the officials. Leader of the English reformers in Lower Canada. As part of this satire, he published a draft republican constitution for the State of Upper Canada that closely resembled the objectives in the constitution of the Canadian Alliance Society in 1834. [24], The Upper Canada legislature refused to pass a supply bill in 1836 after Bond Head refused to implement responsible government reforms. John Neilson. at the front had been killed. Rolph and Baldwin relayed the rejection to the rebels, and Rolph told Mackenzie that they should attack as soon as possible because the city was poorly defended. Lord Gosford (1835–38). ... the abuses and evil that such un-natural forms of government unleashed in the early decades of the 19th century which led up to the rise of the rebellions in Upper and Lower Canada in 1837-38 under the leadership of William Lyon Mackenzie and Louis Joseph Papineau. Many of the grievances which underlay the Rebellion involved the provisions of the Constitutional Act of 1791, which had created Upper Canada's political framework. [56], On Wednesday morning Peter Matthews arrived at the tavern with sixty men, but Mackenzie could still not convince the rebel forces to march towards Toronto. These policies favoured r… Both rebellions were motivated by frustrations with political reform. the colony and used political office and influence to further their own business interests. Fitzgibbon's call to arm a militia was also denied and he refused an armed guard at the Government's House and City Hall. Many rebels fled to the United States, where they organized several raids against Upper Canada in 1838. It recommended that the Canadas be united into one colony. The united Province of Canada came into being in 1841. In 1837 revolts against Britain took place in Upper and Lower Canada. [75] Dent wrote that the rebellion caused England to notice the concerns of Canadian reformers and reconsider their colonial rule of the province. It was felt hardest by the colony's farmers. There was also popular opposition to land-granting practices. Upper Canada Rebellion William Lyon Mackenzie was a fiery and vocal critic of the Upper Canadian system in the 1820's and 30's. On their way, the rebels ran into a picket of about 20 loyalists who opened fire. However, its leaders, including William Lyon Mackenzie, were equally serious in their demands. He left Hamilton, Ontario on December 12 and arrived in Brantford on December 13. Thus, responsible government became a "pragmatic" policy of alleviating local abuses, rather than a revolutionary anti-colonial moment. The disapproval of this was strongest among the so-called late Loyalists and their descendants. More than 880 people were jailed on suspicion of treason. Louis-Joseph Papineau and his Patriotes, as well as more moderates led the rebellion in Lower Canada. Britain That afternoon a sentinel reported the government force's arrival from Gallows Hill. There was also popular opposition to land-granting practices. The union was reorganized as the Canadian Alliance Society in 1835 and adopted much of the platform of the Owenite National Union of the Working Classes in London, England, that were to be integrated into the Chartist movement in England. William Lyon Mackenzie (1795-1861) was a Canadian rebel who led the failed 1837 rebellion in Upper Canada (now Ontario).A puritan with a mission to bring democracy to Canada, and a tireless journalist, he dominated the political opposition to the hated pro-British Tories. Bond Head was recalled in late 1837 and replaced with Sir George Arthur who arrived in Toronto in March 1838. He also urged them to seize control of the government. [72] A group of rebels escaped their prison at Fort Henry and travelled to the United States. "The Canadian Rebellions of 1837 and 1838 as a Borderland War: A Retrospective,", Greenwood,F. The Rebellions of 1837–1838 (French: Les rébellions de 1837), were two armed uprisings that took place in Lower and Upper Canada in 1837 and 1838. During the 1830s, a third of the bank's board were Legislative or Executive Councillors, and the remainder all magistrates. While it shrank, it became more violent, mainly through the support of the Hunters' Lodges, a secret United States-based militia that emerged around the Great Lakes, and launched the Patriot War in 1838–39. He was wounded in an ensuing battle and taken to the tavern, where he died several hours later in severe pain. have happened. [36], Bond Head did not believe the reports that stated the severity of resources and discontent gathered by the rebels. to withdraw on 14 January, after Canadian volunteers burned the rebel ship, Caroline. [19] He appealed to the people's desire to maintain part of the British Empire and a paternalistic attitude of the Crown providing goods for the people. One fifth of British immigrants to Upper Canada were impoverished and most immigrant farmers lacked the capital to pay for purchased land. incursions in the southwest. Some historians suggest that although they were not directly successful or large, the rebellions in 1837 should be viewed in the wider context of the late 18th and early 19th century Atlantic Revolutions including the American Revolutionary War in 1776, the French Revolution of 1789–99, the Haitian Revolution of 1791–1804, the Irish Rebellion of 1798, and the independence struggles of Spanish America (1810–1825). Both men favoured an American style of government. In 1837, however, Mackenzie was emboldened by the insurgency in Lower Canada and the transfer of all British troops there from Upper Canada. Lount and Mackenzie asked that this offer be presented in a written document and a convention be organised to discuss the province's policies. [34] Mackenzie printed broadsheets listing grievances and a call to arms to communities surrounding Toronto. Radical Reformers in Canada East (Lower Canada, 1841–67; now Quebec) were known as Patriotes. They prepared a petition to the Crown protesting the abuses, carried to London by Charles Duncombe, but the Colonial Office refused to hear him. [78], 1837 populist rebellion against the government of Upper Canada, Francis Bond Head and the elections of 1836, Collapse of the international financial system, Consequences: execution or transportation, sfn error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFSewell2002 (, sfn error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFDent1885 (, Report on the Affairs of British North America, Archibald Macdonald (Canadian politician), "Closing the Last Chapter of the Atlantic Revolution: The 1837–38 Rebellions in Upper and Lower Canada", Lambton, John George, 1st Earl of Durham, in the, "William Lyon Mackenzie: the persistent hero", "MHS Transactions: Rebellion in Upper Canada, 1837", "Closing the Last Chapter of the Atlantic Revolution: The 1837-38 Rebellions in Upper and Lower Canada,", "The story of the Upper Canadian rebellion, Proceedings of the Legislative Council of Upper Canada on the bill sent up from the House of Assembly, entitled, An act to amend the jury laws of this province, The Rebellion of 1837 in Upper Canada: A collection of documents, Canadian state trials – Rebellion and invasion in the Canadas, 1837–1839, World Wars and Interwar Years (1914–1945), https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Upper_Canada_Rebellion&oldid=997754061, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with unsourced statements from December 2020, Articles with dead external links from February 2018, Articles with permanently dead external links, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, "Rebellion in Upper Canada, 1837" by J. Edgar Rea, Dunning, Tom. [8] Despite repeated attempts, the elected Legislature – which had chartered the bank – could not obtain details on the bank's workings. William Lyon MacKenzie led those in Upper Canada, while Lower Canada had Louis-Joseph Papineau as their leader. The ensuing conflicts along the border led to many more executions, deaths and deportations than the original (Hundreds of Black Canadians volunteered The rebellion and the raids also played into the hands of the ultra-Tory faction in Upper Canada. In November 1837, James Fitzgibbon was concerned about soldiers leaving Upper Canada going to quell the Lower Canada Rebellion and urged Bond Head to keep some troops for protection, which was refused. The Early American Republic and the 1837–38 Canadian Rebellions. Without it, however, the Upper Canadian revolt probably would not Toronto,  Bond Head then refused to pass any legislation from that government session including major public works projects. "Rebellion in Upper Canada". Hundreds of other Reformers fled the country to escape punishment. Rebellion in Upper Canada. He was a radical reformer in Lower Canada who was the leader of the "Patriotes", who led the rebellion in Lower Canada in 1837-38. The more recent trend is to dismiss the rebellions as unnecessary. Mackenzie went to the United States mainland where he was arrested for violating the Neutrality Act.[69]. and moderate reformers such as Robert Baldwin, were defeated. The records in the 1837 Rebellion Losses of Upper Canada are organized in this document by District. [21], On July 10, 1832, US President Andrew Jackson vetoed the bill for the refinancing of the Second Bank of the United States, causing a depression in the Anglo-American world. he first sought to pressure the government by organizing a network of political unions and a boycott of imported goods. In, Buckner, Phillip A. , "Rebellion in Upper Canada". The 1837 rebellion in Upper Canada was a less violent, more limited affair than the uprising earlier that year in Lower Canada. Fitzgibbon was appointed commander of the government's forces. Durham's famous report led to a series of reforms and changes including the union of the two Canada's, as well as responsible government. This included the union of Upper and Lower Canada into the Province of Canada and the eventual introduction of responsible government. In retaliation Bond Head refused to sign any bills passed by the assembly, including public work projects. Historians of past generations insisted that without the rebellions, change would have come more slowly, if at all. On 8 December, a force of about 1,000 volunteers loyal to the government dispersed the remaining rebels at Montgomery’s Tavern. If the farmer refused to come to court in Toronto, they would automatically forfeit the case and their property subjected to a sheriff's sale. [62], The government forces also split into two companies when the rebels fired upon them. Hamilton, Sandwich (Windsor) and along the border in the Niagara region.). The Act of Union was pa… William Lyon Mackenzie A Scottish-born journalist and political agitator who led an unsuccessful revolt against the Canadian government in 1837. Our team will be reviewing your submission and get back to you with any further questions. They agreed to send sixty men to the Don Bridge to divert government troops. Upper Canada, later known as Canada West then Ontario in 1867, was originally organized in Districts. For example, William Allan "was an executive councillor, a legislative councillor, President of the Toronto and Lake Huron Railroad, Governor of the British American Fire and Life Assurance Company and President of the Board of Trade. 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