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The Subject 

The natural v. the political map— The Provinces of the Dominion and their 
economical relations — The question propounded . . Page 1 

The French Province 

Canada proper a French colony — Dominion of the Papacy and the Church in 
Quebec — The French peasantry and their lot — Rapid increase of their 
numbers — Their occupations — Hold of the Church upon them — Wealth 
of the Church — The Jesuit and his relation to education — The Parti 
Rouge — The Guibord affair — Recent change in the character of the 
Church — Attitude of the Church towards the State, and towards the 
British and Protestant population — Ecclesiastical pretensions and 
nationalist aspirations — The Quebec Premier the champion of both — 
He apostrophises the Tricolor — Relations between the British and 
French race in the Province — Extrusion of the British — Protestant 
strongholds — Exodus of French Canadians to New England — The Irish 
at Montreal ........ 4 

The British Provinces 

Ontario the core of the Confederation — Its chief industries — Structure of 
society and social sentiment — Effects of democracy in the household and 
on juvenile character — City life — The public school system — The 


Churches — Nationalities and national societies — Canadian respect for 
law — Public justice and the bench — Social life — The climate — Pastimes 
— Commerce and industry — Trade organisations — Social problems — City 
government — Literature, Art, and Science — Journalism — Emigration and. 
native feeling towards the emigrant — Migration of Canadians to the 
United States — Practical fusion of the two nations — The Maritime 
Provinces, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island — 
Manitoba and the North- West — British Columbia Page 24 


French Canada before the Conquest 

Jacques Cartier, the discoverer — Champlain, the founder of Quebec — Coming 
of the Jesuits — Their missions, heroic exploits, and relations with the 
Indian tribes — Ursuline convents and hospitals — Aims of the Jesuits — 
Their rule — Moral decadence of the Order — Foundation of Montreal — 
The Sulpicians and their relations to the Jesuits — Failure of Quebec as a 
colony — Epoch of Louis XI V. — Royal administration extended to the 
colony — Colbert's commercial system and the Intendant Talon — The 
fur trade — Bushranging — Passion for exploration, and feats of dis- 
coverers — Abuses under Louis XV. — The parish clergy — Moral state of 
the colony — Contrast between the French and English colonists — The 
Conquest ........ 64 


French Canada after the Conquest 

What was to be done with Quebec I — The question settled by the American 
Revolution — Military rule — British concessions to the conquered people 
preserve their allegiance during the American invasion — The Quebec Act — 
Incoming of royalist refugees from the American colonies, and formation of 
an oligarchy of conquest — With the French Revolution comes a re- 
settlement of Quebec — Policy of Pitt — Attempt to separate the races by 
dividing the colony into a French and a British Province — Failure of that 
attempt — Political conflict between the two races in Lower Canada under 
the Parliamentary Constitution — Want of information and of decision 
on the part of the Home Government — British rule an improvement on 
French rule — War of 1812 — The French Canadians again faithful to 
Great Britain — Renewal of civil strife after the war — Ineffectual mission 
of Lord Gosford — Rebellion breaks out and is suppressed — End of the 
Constitution — Military opinion as to the value of Canada as a depend- 
ency ...••.... 80 




History of Upper Canada 

Upper Canada founded by the United Empire Loyalists — Their wrongs as a 
vanquished party shut out from amnesty — Constitution of British 
Canada — Simcoe its first Governor — Beginnings of political life and 
controversy — Governorships of Hunter and Gore — "War of 1812 — The 
Tory ' 'Family Compact " — Conflict between it and the Reformers — Leaders 
of the Reformers, Mackenzie, Rolph, and Bid well — The clergy reserves and 
other political issues — Demand for responsible government — Governorship 
of Sir Francis Bond Head — Conflict between the Governor and the 
Reformers — Rebellion breaks out and is suppressed — End of the governor- 
ship of Sir Francis Bond Head .... Page 98 


The United Provinces 

Mission of Lord Durham — His report on the situation — Re-union of the two 
Provinces under a single Governor and legislature — Concession of 
responsible government — The change carried into effect by Lord 
Sydenham — Parties and politics under the new constitutional system — 
Governorship of Sir Charles Bagot — An attempt of Lord Metcalfe as 
Governor to restore the power of the Crown brings him into conflict with 
the Assembly and the people — Practical end of monarchical government in 
Canada — Governorship of Lord Elgin — Personal influence retained by him 
under the new system — The Rebellion Losses Bill — Secularisation of the 
clergy reserves — The reciprocity treaty — Failure of the policy of union to 
bring about British ascendency or assimilate the French element — 
Influence of the French in politics — Political combinations and parties — 
The " Clear Grits " and the struggle for representation by population — 
Series of ephemeral administrations — Political deadlock from which 
refuge is sought in Confederation — Other motives for that measure — Mood 
in which it was carried ...... 121 


The Federal Constitution 

The monarchical element of the Constitution — The Governor-General — His 
loss of political power — His social and other functions — The office devoid 
of constitutional value — Baronetcies and knighthoods — Futility of 


attempts to introduce aristocracy into the New World — Canada in 
reality a Federal Republic — Deviations of the Canadian Constitution from 
the American model — Powers of the central government and legislature 
— The veto power — The Canadian Senate compared with the American 
Senate, and with the British House of Lords — The Canadian House of 
Commons and its composition — Localism in elections — Party government 
— Weak points of the elective system — Provincial governments and 
legislatures — The interpretation of the Constitution — The Supreme Court 
— The Civil Service — The Judiciary — Canada practically independent of 
the mother country — Canada affords no precedent for Irish Home Rule 
— A written constitution a necessity of democracy — Ottawa as the seat of 
government ....... Page 147 


Fruits of Confederation 

Doubtful increase of military security — The incorporation of the North-West 
— Resistance of the French half-breeds to the annexation — Federal rail- 
roads, the Intercolonial and the Canadian Pacific — Adoption of a Pro- 
tective tariff under the name of "National Policy" — Effects of that 
measure, particularly in regard to the settlers of the North-West — Ap- 
parent failure of Confederation to produce national unity — Aspiration of 
French Canada to separate nationality continued and increased — Question 
of the Jesuits' estates — Renunciation of the national veto on provincial 
legislation — Want of national union and of Dominion parties entails 
government by corruption — The Pacific Railway scandal — Injury to the 
political character of the people — Conflict of sectional with national 
interests — The financial condition of the Dominion — The Exodus from 
Canada to the United States' . . . . . 192 


The Canadian Question 

Dependence — The sanction of the mother country necessary for any change of 
political relations — Canada considering the problem of her future — 
Distinction between a colony and a colonial dependency — Misleading use 
of the term "Empire" — Supposed influence of sentiment on emigration 
— The strength of England lies in herself, not in her dependencies — 
England's protection of Canada precarious — Canada's complaints against 
British diplomacy — Political tutelage no longer possible — Society in the 
New World unalterably democratic — British interests in Canada — Value 
of the filial sentiment and that of dependence compared . . 287 


Independence — The "Canada First" movement — Its tendency to independ- 
ence — That solution of the problem probable in itself — Obstacles to its 
adoption — The moral of the movement . . . Page 253 

Imperial Federation — Origin of the movement — Absence of any definite plan 
— The scheme without precedent in history — What would be the object 
of the Association ? — A limit to the effects of steam and telegraph in 
annihilating distance — What would be the relation of the Federal govern- 
ment to the British monarchy ? — What diplomatic policy would prevail ? 
— Complexities and embarrassments of the proposed system — Difficulties 
of setting the negotiations on foot — Difficulty of finding trustworthy 
representatives of the colonies — A moral federation of the whole English- 
speaking race more feasible — The colonies will not part with self-govern- 
ment ........ 257 

Political Union — "Annexation" an improper term — Union of Canada with 
the American Republic might be on equal and honourable terms, like 
that of Scotland with England — Service which Canada, if admitted to the 
Councils of the Union, might render to England — By entering the Union 
Canada need not forfeit her peculiar character or her historical associa- 
tions — The idea that the connection would be one of moral disparagement 
unfounded — The evils and dangers of both countries substantially the 
same — Objections on the ground of over-enlargement of territory and 
populations — No line of political cleavage on the continent — Americans | 
ready to welcome Canada into the Union — No thought of conquest or 
violent annexation — Difficulty of gauging Canadian sentiment — The 
Canadian people certainly in favour of free trade with their continent — 
Respecting their feeling as to political union nothing can be certainly 
said — Difficulty of bringing such a union about on the American as 
well as on the Canadian side — The primary forces will in the end 
prevail ........ 267 

Commercial Union — Mr. Bayard on the subject — The name Commercial 
Union adopted in contradistinction to Political Union. Account of the 
movement — Her own continent the natural market of Canada — Re- 
ciprocity of trade or reciprocity of tariffs the motto of the Conservative 
leader — The continent an economical whole — Reciprocity the dictate of 
nature — Special strength of the case with regard to the minerals of 
Canada. — The shipping interest of Canada needs the freedom of the 
coasting-trade — The Americans on their side ready for Reciprocity — Policy 
of Mr. Blaine — Answer to the assertion of Protectionists that there can- 
not be a profitable trade between Canada and the United States — 
Remarkable growth of the trade in eggs when free from duty — Prevalence 
of smuggling under the present system — Special hardships resulting from 
the tariff to Manitoba and the Maritime Provinces — Comparison of the 
British with the American market — Reasons why the near market is the 
best — Counter-proposal of an Imperial Zollverein — Fatal objections to 
that plan — Efforts of the Canadian Government to open up new markets 


— The natural interests of Canada all in favour of Reciprocity — Objections 
to Commercial Union between the United States and Canada similar to 
\ those made between England and Scotland — Appeal of Protectionists to 

Imperial sentiment — Answer to the allegation that Commercial Union 
would be annexation in disguise — Practical difficulties of the scheme 
enhanced by the M'Kinley tariff— The policy of the M'Kinley Act not 
likely to endure — A new. commercial, era apparently dawning for the 
United States . . , . . . Page 281 


A. Mr. Henet W. Darling on Banking . . 303 

B. Mr. Thomas Shaw on Agriculture in Ontario . 307 
G. Mr. T. D. Ledtard on Mining . . . . 321 





Whoever wishes to know what Canada is, and to understand 
the Canadian question, should begin by turning from the 
political to the natural map. The political map displays a 
vast and unbroken area of territory, extending from the 
boundary of the United States up to the North Pole, and 
equalling or surpassing the United States in magnitude. 
The physical map displays four separate projections of the 
cultivable and habitable part of the Continent into arctic 
waste. The four vary greatly in size, and one of them is 
very large. They are, beginning from the east, the Maritime 
Provinces — Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward 
Island ; Old Canada, comprising the present Provinces of 
Quebec and Ontario ; the newly-opened region of the North- 
West, comprising the Province of Manitoba and the districts 
of Alberta, Athabasca, Assiniboia, and Saskatchewan; and 
British Columbia. The habitable and cultivable parts of 
these blocks of territory are not contiguous, but are divided 
from each other by great barriers of nature, wide and irre- 
claimable wildernesses or manifold chains of mountains. 
The Maritime Provinces are divided from Old Canada by the 
/ wilderness of many hundred miles through which the Inter- 



colonial Bail way runs, hardly taking up a passenger or a bale 
of freight by the way. Old Canada is divided from Mani- 
toba and the North- West by the great freshwater sea of Lake 
Superior, and a wide wilderness on either side of it. Mani- 
toba and the North- West again are divided from British 
Columbia by a triple range of mountains, the Bockies, the 
Selkirks, and the Golden or Coast range. Each of the blocks, 
on the other hand, is closely connected by nature, physically 
and economically, with that portion of the habitable and 
cultivable continent to the south of it which it immediately 
adjoins, and in which are its natural markets — the Maritime 
Provinces, with Maine and the New England States ; Old 
Canada, with New York and with Pennsylvania, from which 
she draws her coal; Manitoba and the North- West, with 
Minnesota and Dakota, which share with her the Great 
Prairie ; British Columbia, with the States of the Union on 
the Pacific. Between the divisions of the Dominion there 
is hardly any natural trade, and but little even of forced 
trade has been called into existence under a stringent 
system of protection. The Canadian cities are all on or 
near the southern edge of the Dominion ; the natural cities 
at least, for Ottawa, the political capital, is artificial. The 
principal ports of the Dominion in winter, and its ports 
largely throughout the year, are in the United States, trade 
coming through in bond. Between the two provinces of Old 
Canada, though there is no physical barrier, there is an 
ethnological barrier of the strongest kind, one being British, 
the other thoroughly French, while the antagonism of race 
is intensified by that of religion. Such is the real Canada. 
Whether the four blocks of territory constituting the 
Dominion can for ever be kept by political agencies united 
among themselves and separate from their Continent, of 



which geographically, economically, and with the exception 
of Quebec ethnologically, they are parts, is the Canadian 

Where the subject is so complex and so disjointed, to 
devise a satisfactory arrangement is not easy. Writers and 
Teaders of the history of the Dominion too well know how 
wanting it is in unity. For the special purpose of this work, 
which is neither elaborate description nor detailed history, 
but the presentation of a case and of a problem, it seemed 
best first, briefly to delineate the Provinces, which are the 
factors of the case, then to sketch their political history, 
leading up to Confederation, then to give an account ot 
the Confederation itself, with its political sequel, up to the 
present time, and finally to propound the problem. The 
general reader, if any one answering to that description 
ever takes up this work, may skip the chapter on the 
Federal polity, the subject of which to the reader specially 
interested in Colonial institutions will probably seem the 
most important of all To impart anything like liveliness to 
a discussion of the British North America Act one must have 
the touch of Voltaire. 

The writer knows too well that he is on highly contro- 
versial ground. All he can say is that the subject is clearly 
and practically before the public mind ; that he has done his 
best to take his readers to the heart of it by setting the whole 
case before them; that his opinions have not been hastily 
formed; that they have not, so far as he is aware, been 
biassed by personal motives of any kind ; and that he does 
not think that the honour or the true interest of his native 
country can for a moment be absent from his breast. 



The eldest first. Canada proper was a French colony. To 
the habitans, as the Quebec peasantry are called, it is a 
French colony still ; for they know no Canadians but those 
of their own race. French enterprise it was that first looked 
down from the high-pooped barque, in which, without chart 
or quadrant, it had braved the wide and wild Atlantic, upon 
the St. Lawrence, then running between forests full of bears, 
moose, and beavers, and roamed by a few human wolves in 
the shape of Eed Indians. The true Canada is the river 
explored by Jacques Cartier, with its shores, its affluents, and 
the country of which it is the outlet. A royal river it is, 
bearing on its broad breast of waters Atlantic steamers a 
thousand miles from its mouth, and running between high 
banks, while its rival, the Mississippi, spreads over vast flats of 
mud ; its weak point being that the frost of Canadian winter 
binds it half the year in chains which invention has been 
tasked in vain to loose. Quebec and Montreal are the only 
historic cities of the Dominion, and Quebec alone retains its 

1 With regard to this and the following chapter, the writer owes acknow- 
ledgment to Picturesque Canada, edited by Principal Grant, D.D., and also to 
the article by Dr. Prosper Bender, on the French Canadian Peasantry, in the 
Magazine of American History, August, 1890. 


historic aspect. Even in Quebec there are in the way of 
buildings but scanty remnants of the Bourbon days. But 
the citadel, the prize of battle between the races, the key 
and throne of empire, stills crowns the rock which stands a 
majestic wardeT at the portal of the Upper St. Lawrence ; 
and the city with its narrow, steep, and crooked streets, 
crouching close under its guardian fortress, recalls an age of 
military force and fear in contrast to the cities of the New 
World, with their broad and straight streets spreading out 
freely in the security of industrial peace. 

Quebec is a surviving offset of the France of the Bourbons, 
cut off by conquest from the mother country and her revolu- 
tions. Its character has been perpetuated by isolation like 
the form of an antediluvian animal preserved in Siberian 
ice. Just now the ice is in appearance freezing harder than 
ever, though there are ominous crackings and rumblings 
which to the listening ear seem to portend dissolution, and 
do certainly portend critical change. The Bourbon monarchy 
is gone, and very faintly is its image replaced in the heart of 
the French Canadian by that of the alien monarchy of Great 
Britain. The aristocracy is gone, since the seigniories in- 
stituted by Louis XIV — poor counterparts of Old World 
seigniories even while they existed — have been bought up and 
abolished, though a slight influence is retained by a few old 
families. The power of the notary rests on a foundation of 
adamant which no conquest or revolution can overthrow. 
But it and all other powers, political or social, are small 
compared with that of the priest. Quebec is a theocracy. 
While Borne has been losing her hold on Old France and on 
all the European nations, she has retained, nay tightened, it 
here. The people are the sheep of the priest. He is their 
political as well as their spiritual chief and nominates the 


politician, who serves the interest of the Church at Quebec 
or at Ottawa. The faith of the peasantry is medieval. It is 
in Quebec alone on the Western Continent that miracles are 
still performed. The shrine of Ste. Anne de Beaupr^ is 
thronged with pilgrims and thickly hung with votive offerings, 
though her cures are confined to ailments of a certain class, 
chiefly nervous, and she has not restored a limb or healed 
anybody of cancer. A bishop writing to the people of his 
diocese about his visit to Eome assumes that they receive as 
undoubted truth the legend of the three fountains marking 
the three boundings of St Paul's head after it had been cut 
off, and that of St. Zeno and his 10,203 companions in 
martyrdom. Not only have the clergy been the spiritual 
guides and masters of the French Canadian, they have been 
the preservers and champions of his nationality, and they 
have thus combined the influence of the tribune with that of 
the priest. 

The habitant is a French peasant of the Bourbon day. 
The " Angelus " would be his picture, only that in the 
" Angelus " the devotion of the man seems less thorough than 
that of the woman, whereas the habitant and his wife are 
alike devout. He is simple, ignorant, submissive, credulous, 
unprogressive, but kindly, courteous, and probably, as his 
wants are few, not unhappy. If, in short, there is an Arcadia 
anywhere, in his village most likely it is to be found. He 
tills in the most primitive manner his paternal lot, reduced 
by subdivision, executed lengthways, to a riband-like strip, 
with, if possible, a water-front ; the river having been the only 
highway of an unprosperous colony when the lots were first 
laid out. His food is home-raised, and includes a good deal 
of peasoup, which affords jokes to the mockers. His raiment 
is homespun, and beneath his roof the hum of the spinning- 


wheel is still heard. His wife is the robust and active 
partner of his toil. Their cabin, though very humble, is 
clean. Such decorations as it has are religious. The Church 
services are to the pair the poetry and pageantry of life. 
If either reads anything it is "the prayer-book. There are, 
however, Chansons Populaires, though probably more read by 
the cultivated than by the people, and there is a folk-lore 
brought apparently from Old France, perhaps from the France 
before Christianity. 1 The domestic affections among the 
habitans are strong ; that grand source of happiness at least 
is theirs ; and two or more branches of the same family are 
found living in harmony under the same roof. The habitant 
is not cultivated or aspiring, but his life is above that of the 
troglodyte of La Terre. 

Close observers think that they can still trace the race 
characters of the two districts of Old France from which the 
French Canadians came, and distinguish the Breton Celt 
from the more solid and shrewder Norman ; but the general 
characteristics prevail. It is denied that the language is a 
patois, such as a Parisian could not understand, though there 
are in it old Breton and Norman words and phrases. 
English words and phrases have also intruded, but these 
French patriotism is now trying to weed out. 

The French Canadians breed apace. To them, as to the 
Irish, the Church preaches early marriage and speedy re-mar- 
riage in the interest of morality, and to multiply the number 
of the faithful, perhaps also with an eye to fees. From a 
return just laid before the Quebec Legislature it appears that 
for the grant of a hundred acres of land bestowed as a reward 
upon families boasting twelve or more children, there are 

1 See an interesting article by Mr. Edward Fairer, a distinguished Canadian 
journalist, in the Atlantic Monthly for April, 1882. 


1009 claimants. One family numbers twenty-three ; a family 
of twenty-six has been known. There is no saying what 
bound there would be to the extension of the French if they 
did not prefer pills made of paper with a likeness of the 
Virgin to vaccination as a preventive of smallpox. As it is, 
they are overflowing in multitudes into New England, and 
threaten, in conjunction with the Irish, who are also settling 
there in great numbers, to supplant the Puritan in his old 
abode. They are also displacing the English in Eastern 
Ontario, and making the politicians of the province feel 
their power. The digestive forces of Canada have been too 
weak to assimilate the French element even politically as 
those of the great mass of American Englishry have assimil- 
ated, sufficiently at least for the purposes of political union, 
the French population of Louisiana. Instead of being 
assimilated, the French Canadians assimilate, and Scotch 
regiments disbanded among them have become French in 
language, in religion, and in everything but name and face. 
The factories of New England welcome the French not only 
on account of the cheapness of their labour, but because they 
are tractable, amenable to factory discipline, and not addicted 
to industrial war. 

Farming is not the only pursuit of the French Canadians 
in their own country. With it they combine one of a more 
stirring kind. They furnish a large proportion of the lumber- 
men. The forest wealth of Canada is immense, though it is 
now, unfortunately, being fast reduced not only by the axe, 
but by forest fires, which the carelessness of trappers or 
tramps kindles, and which are terrible in their destructive 
range, while governments, their thoughts engrossed by the 
party conflict, have left the forests to take care of themselves. 1 

1 In Ontario a forest-ranger has now been appointed, in the person of Mr. 
Phipps, who had done good service in calling attention to the subject. 


For lumbering winter, when the snow makes slides, is the 
season, so that the French peasant may combine it with the 
cultivation of his little farm. Picturesque writers dwell with 
rapture on the romance of life in the lumber shanty, the 
forest ringing with the axe, the glories of the winter land- 
scape by sunlight and by moonlight, the healthiness of the 
work, the vigour and skill which it calls forth, and the 
joviality of the gangs, touching with poetry even " the huge 
pan of fat pork fried and floating in gravy." 1 In the 
dangerous work of guiding the logs down the stream, above 
all, great nerve as well as agility is displayed. The lumber 
shanty is also a school of temperance, for in it no liquor is 
allowed. Nor does religion fail to say her mass there, or to 
unpack her bale of ecclesiastical wares. 

The land east of Quebec city is poor ; even with the help 
of the lumber trade subsistence is rapidly outrun by popula- 
tion, and if there were not this ready outflow into the 
adjoining states of the American Union, Quebec would be a 
second Ireland, and an analogy would be presented which 
might be useful in teaching Irish reformers to deal with the 
fundamental problem of congestion rather than try to feed 
a heedless and thriftless people with statutory parliaments. 
But the priest looks on emigration with an evil eye ; it takes 
away his flock, and those who return, as not a few do when 
they have earned some money in -the New England factory, 
are apt to bring back with them the mental habits of a free 
commonwealth. Schemes of " repatriation " have been formed, 
but of course in vain, and desperate attempts are being made 
to turn the current of emigration northwards to Lake St. 
John. Shipment to the French settlement in Manitoba is 

1 See Picturesque Canada, vol. i, "Lumbering," where a complete and 
very interesting description of the trade and all that relates to it will be 


another device of the same policy ; but the star of French 
colonisation in Manitoba is waning low. This is one quarter 
from which danger threatens the Church's "ancient and 
solitary reign." Another is the railway, which, by bringing 
the peasant and his wife within the attraction of the city 
with its luxuries and vanities, corrupts the rural simplicity 
iiml contentment approved with good reason by the Church. 
Hence fulminations of clerical wrath against social corruption 
which would prove the Church's system a failure if they 
we.iv. taken literally and without allowance for the fervour of 
the pulpit. 

While the people are poor the Church is, for such a 
country, immensely rich. Not Versailles or the Pyramids 
bespoke the power of the king more clearly than the great 
Church and the monastery rising above the cabins bespeak 
(he power of the priest. Exactly how great the wealth of 
the Church in Quebec is cannot be told ; no politician dares 
to move for a return. A hundred millions of dollars 
(£-0,000,000 stg.) would probably be a low estimate of her 
realised property, while her income is reckoned at ten 
millions. Bishop Laval acquired from the Government the 
seigniories of the Petit Nation, the Island of Jesus, and 
TSeiuipnS, the last of which, beginning a few miles below 
Quebec, runs along the St. Lawrence for sixteen leagues, with 
a depth of six leagues measured from the river. 1 Favours 
have more recently been obtained from obsequious govern- 
ments, while all legal facilities are given by legislatures 
not less obsequious. The Church has, by law transmitted 
from the Bourbon days and recognised at the Conquest, the 
right of taking from all members of her own communion 
tithe (though the amount of the impost has been reduced to 
i Parkman's Old lUgime in. Canada, p. 164. 


a twenty -sixth) and money for building and repairing 
churches. 1 Masses for souls are everywhere a source of 
revenue to her. She is always investing with profit. 
Besetting the people from the cradle to the grave with her 
friars and her nuns, she daily gathers in money, of which 
none ever leaves her coffers, even for taxes, since she asserts 
her sacred immunity from taxation. Lotteries, in 3pite of their 
affinity to gambling, are sanctioned to add to the holy fund. 
To add to the holy fund priests do not disdain to peddle 
ecclesiastical amulets and trinkets. 2 Nor does Ste. Anne 
de Beaupr^ perform her cures for nothing. Meantime the 
mayor of St. Jean Baptiste, a village annexed to Montreal, 
states that of the seventy-five hundred people of that village, 
six thousand are too poor to protect themselves against small- 
pox, and the city must come to their assistance, while Le 
Canadwn of Quebec calls upon the governments of the 
Dominion and the Province to provide work for the people 
of the counties below Quebec whose crops are a failure, 

1 The tithe was by law only of cereals. The habitant took to growing 
peas to evade the impost ; but the Church followed him up and he gave way. 
Of late he has taken to growing hay, but the Church again follows him up, 
and this time her exaction is the more severe because a heavy tax has been 
imposed on hay by the United States. In cities, the Church has begun to 
impose a poll tax on those who do not pay tithes. The cure generally suc- 
ceeds in collecting by ecclesiastical authority, though resort is sometimes had 
to the Parish Commissioners' Courts. A district magistrate at Sherbrooke, 
not long ago, condemned a habitant to pay $4 (two years' tax of $2 per 
annum) imposed by the Bishop of St. Hyacinthe. The magistrate, who is a 
lawyer of thirty years' standing, based his decision partly on the decree of 
the bishop and partly on the fact that defendant's family had the spiritual 
services of the cure, for which he awarded a quantum meruit. The case is 
reported in the Revue Legale, a law report edited by a judge of the Superior 
Court of Montreal, without any question of its soundness. In the Province 
there has also been a long struggle against paying tithes to the movable mis- 
sionaries. But the Superior Court has also sustained this impost, though the old 
French edict declares that settled cures alone had the right to collect tithes. 

2 See for this the article "Romanism in Canada" in the Presbyterian 
Review y New York, July, 1886. 


warning them that unless the Matane Bailway be pushed on 
to give the people bread there will be an exodus which will 
be ruinous to the Dominion. The treasury of the Province 
is empty, and her financiers are fain to levy political tribute 
on the Confederation or to raid by taxation of financial com- 
panies on the strongbox of the commercial Protestants at 
Montreal. The Eeformation was perhaps to a greater extent 
than is commonly supposed a movement of economical self- 
preservation on the part of communities whose land and 
wealth were being absorbed by the Church. 

The champions of the Church say that for all that she 
takes she gives full value in the shape of morality and 
charity. Her charity, if it means the control of charitable 
institutions, is not unconnected with her finance. It is 
probably on financial grounds, in part, that she is at this 
moment struggling to keep the lunatic asylums in her hands. 
But she has made the people in her way moral, as well as 
in her way religious. Her rule is almost Genevan in its 
austerity; balls and low dresses are denounced as well as 
Opera BoufFe. The relations of the sexes are watched with a 
jealous eye. Probably the most favourable specimen of the 
Boman Catholic system anywhere to be found is in Quebec, 
where, be it remembered, the Church has been under British 
rule, linked to a British province, tempered in her action by 
British influences, and stimulated by Protestant emulation 
Nevertheless, looking to the condition of the people on the 
one hand, and the vast array of churches, convents, and 
rectories on the other, we are reminded of Edmond About's 
saying about the peasantry of the Bomagna, who were back- 
ward and unprosperous though they had fourteen thousand 
monks preaching to them the gospel of labour. 

What the mind of the Church is respecting popular 


education we know from the history of countries such as 
Southern Italy, Spain, the Roman Catholic provinces of 
Austria, and the Spanish colonies in South America, where 
she has had it all her own way. The Jesuit boasts of his 
services to education in Canada and elsewhere : he has no 
doubt cultivated the art to great perfection after his kind ; 
but the objects of his attention as an educator have been 
youths destined for the priesthood, or sons of the rich and 
powerful whom it was his aim to draw into his net, and 
to whom he imparts a set of showy and superficial accom- 
plishments serving mainly to allay the thirst for truth. In 
Quebec the Church has it not all her own way. She is 
exposed to the rivalry and criticism of a body of Protestants 
on the spot, and of a still larger body in the Dominion. She 
has therefore taken up popular education, but she has taken 
it up without zeal and given it an ecclesiastical turn. The 
days may have gone by when by a Statute of the Province 
of Quebec school trustees were authorised by law to sign 
with a mark ; but illiteracy still prevails. The mayor of a 
town cannot always write. Mr. Arthur Buies, a French 
Canadian journalist of eminence, cites a witness who, having 
held a high official position, and lived in a rural district for 
fifty years, deposes that among the men between twenty and 
forty not one in twenty can read, and not one in fifty can 
write ; that they will tell you that they have been at school 
but have forgotten all they learned ; and that what the 
" all " was you will be able to guess when you know that the 
teachers were mostly young girls taken from the convents 
with a salary of from 200 to 400 francs a year, and chosen 
because their priests were unable to pay the convent tuition 
fees. 1 This account seems to be borne out by the inquiries 

1 Arthur Buies, La Zanterne, Montreal, 1884, p. 113. 


of the Massachusetts School Inspector among the French 
Canadian immigrants in Massachusetts, though these are 
likely to be not among the least active-minded or intelligent 
of the community from which they come. In fact education 
for the masses is probably little more than preparation for 
the first communion. The series of school books in use in 
the Province is highly ecclesiastical and very poor. 

The school history is a characteristic work. 1 It scarcely 
mentions British Canada, treats the British as alien intruders, 
exults in French victories over them, imputes to them 
insidious designs of crushing French nationality, and glorifies 
the priesthood for having preserved it from their attacks. 
Lord Durham, the author of the hated union with British 
Canada, is accused of having scattered money broadcast for 
that object, and Sir John Colborne is charged with ravaging 
the country at the head of seven or eight thousand men when 
the rebellion was over and order had been restored. The 
Conquest, the pupil is taught to believe, was followed by 
eighty years of persecution, of religious intolerance, and of 
despotism, during which England was following, with 
regard to Canada, the sinister policy which she had pur- 
sued with regard to Ireland. This is a primer sanctioned 
by the Council of Public Instruction in a province styled 
British. There is at present no ill-feeling among the 
French Canadians against Great Britain. British rule has 
been too mild to provoke hatred. British Boyalty when 
it visits Quebec is perfectly well received. But Great 
Britain is a foreign country to the French Canadian. 

There is in Quebec a circle of French literary men con- 

1 Abrege d'Histoire da Canada a l'usage des Jeunes Etudiants de la Pro- 
vince de Quebec, par F. X. Toussaint, Professeur a l'Ecole Normale-Laval. 
Approuve par le Conseil de l'lnstruction Publique, Montreal, 1886. 


taining some names of eminence; but it is hardly more 
connected with the Church and her people than was the 
literary circle of the eighteenth century with the Church 
and her people in France. It draws its intellectual aliment 
from Paris, where some of its members are well known, 
and M. Frechette, the poet of French Canada, has won a 
crown. Probably it is itself better known at Paris than in 


In this Paradise of Faith there is a serpent called the Parti 
Rouge, though it is not Dynamitard or Atheist, but merely 
Liberal, or at most free-thinking, and opposed to clerical 
domination. It had at Montreal a literary society called 
the Institut Canadien. This society, for taking heterodox 
literature, was excommunicated as a body by the Church. 
Guibord, one of its members, died under the ban, and the 
Church refused to let him be buried in the Catholic cemetery 
where he had owned a lot. The Provincial courts upheld 
the sentence of the Church. But the Privy Council on 
appeal, after debating the question, as Carlyle says, with the 
iron gravity of Eoman augurs, decided that men must, 
according to the Canon Law, be excommunicated individually, 
not in the lump; consequently that Guibord had not lost 
his right to burial in the cemetery. The Church showed 
fight, the militia were under orders, a huge block of granite 
was prepared to protect the grave from desecration, a colli- 
sion seemed to be impending, when the Bishop of Montreal 
cut the knot by proclaiming that in whatever spot the 
excommunicate might be laid that spot would thereby be 
cut off from the rest of the ground and deconsecrated ; so 
that in the rest of the ground the faithful might sleep 
uncontaminated and in peace. 

Till lately, however, the Church of Quebec remained a 


true daughter of the Church of monarchical France, and kept 
her Galilean tradition, giving Cassar his due, and living at 
peace with the civil power. But at length the same change 
has passed over her which has passed over the Roman 
Catholic Churches of Europe, since, having lost the allegiance 
of the national governments, they have been compelled to 
throw themselves for Bupport on their spiritual centre, and to 
exalt without limit the authority of the Pope. Ultramon- 
tanism has come, and in its van the Jesuit bearing with him 
the Encyclical and Syllabus, his own work. Having, besides 
bis surpassing skill in intrigue, the ecclesiastical influences of 
the time in his favour, he captures the Episcopate, fills the 
Church with his spirit, extends his empire on all sides. The 
Sulpician order, Gallican in sentiment) whose great seminary 
rises over Montreal, after a bitter struggle goes down before 
him, and resigns to him in part the cure of the wealthy city. 
Against the University, the last fortress of Gallicanism or 
Liberal Catholicism, his batteries have opened. From his 
own pulpit, or through the lips of bishops who speak as he 
prompts, he denounces Gallicanism as a pestilent error, brands 
Liberal Catholicism, the Catholicism of Montalembert and 
Lacordaire, as insidious poison, reasserts in the language of 
the Encyclical the medieval claims of the Papacy to domina- 
tion over conscience and over the civil power, scornfully 
h.spels the idea that the priest is to confine himself to the 
r-ncristy, claims for him the right of interference in elections, 
the censorship of literature and of the public press. Against 
Protestantism and its pretended rights he proclaims open 
war ; it has no rights, he says ; it is merely a triumphant 
imposture ; no religion has any right, or ought to be treated 
by the State as having any, but that of Rome. Rome is the 
rightful sovereign of all consciences ; and will again, when she 


can, assert her authority by the same means as before. War 
is declared against religious liberty, progress, and the organic 
principles of modern civilisation. On such a course the ship 
of the French Church of Quebec is now steering, with the 
Jesuit at the helm. If she holds on, a collision can hardly fail 
to ensue. It has been said very truly that the Jesuit always 
fails. This world would be strangely ordered if he did not 
His wisdom has never been equal to his craft. When by 
craft he had got James II into his hands, he, by want of 
wisdom, hurried the king along the road to ruin. He may 
do the same with the Nationalist party and politicians of 
Quebec. In the history of the Order, as often as the marvel- 
lous labours of the sons of Loyola in majorem Dei gloriam 
seemed on the point of being crowned with success there has 
come an afflavit Deus et dissipati sunt. But though the 
Jesuit has always failed, his failures have been tremendously 
costly to humanity. 

The ascendency of Ultramontanism has been aided by the 
change which has taken place in the position of the clergy. 
They used to hold their cures, under an ordinance of Louis 
XIV, by a fixed tenure, like the freehold of an English rector. 
But they have now been put generally on the footing of mis- 
sionaries, removable at the pleasure of the bishop. The old- 
fashioned cur4 a man something like the English rector of the 
old school, quiet and sociable, is passing away, and his place 
is being taken by a personage of a more stirring spirit, and 
better suited to be the minister of Ultramontane ambition. 

With this advance of ecclesiastical pretensions comes a 
sympathetic growth of nationalist aspiration. The dream of 
a French nation on this continent has long been hovering 
before the minds of French Canadians, though it is hard to say 
how far the idea has ever assumed a distinct shape or formed a 



definite motive of action. The Abb6 Gingras in a pamphlet 
some years ago, after glorifying the Dark Ages, justifying the 
Inquisition, and reviving the claims of Innocent III, set forth 
what he deemed the necessary policy of French Canadian 
statesmen towards the Dominion, describing it as one of 
conciliation, more or less elastic, with the creation of a papal 
and French nationality always in view as its covert aim. 
But now the twin movement has taken a more pronounced 
form. M. Honors Mercier has risen to lead Ultramontanism 
and Nationalism at once, and has been raised by their joint 
forces to the Premiership of the Province, while the old Con- 
servative or Bleu party, which corresponded to the Gallican 
party in the Church, has suffered a complete overthrow. M. 
Mercier proclaims himself the devout liegeman of the Pope, 
wears a papal decoration on his breast, seeks the papal 
blessing before going into an election contest, champions all 
ecclesiastical claims, restores to the Jesuits their estates, and 
boasts to a great Eoman Catholic assemblage at Baltimore 
that he has thereby redressed the wrong done by George III. 
At the same time he avows his Nationalism in language that 
makes British ears tingle. At the unveiling of a joint, 
memorial to Brebceuf, the Jesuit martyr, and Jacques Cartier, 
the French discoverer, he bids the Eed and Blue party of 
Quebec blend their ensigns in the Tricolor. He celebrates 
his political victory in a hall profusely decorated with French * 
flags, while only one Dominion flag is to be seen. " Gentle- > 
men," he says, pointing to the Tricolor, " this flag you know ; v 
it is the national flag. The government which you have you V 
know ; it is the national government. The party which I , 
have before me I know. This flag, this government, and this 
party are to-night honoured by the National Club. It is a 
national triumph which we celebrate to-night, and not 


national merely in name but national in tendencies, aspira- 
tions, and sentiments." The French Canadian nation tele- 
graphs its salutations to the Pope, and the Pope telegraphs 
back his benediction to the French Canadian nation. On a 
day in September 1887 the French flag was hoisted above 
the British flag on the Parliament House of Quebec in honour 
of the French frigate La Minerve. This was afterwards said 
to have been an accident. It was an accident full of omen. 

Between Old France and the New France of the priests a 
gulf was set by the Atheist Revolution. There seems to have 
been some change of feeling in the minds of the Quebec 
clergy when Napoleon restored the Church, and when after- 
wards the old regime came back with the Bourbons. But 
since 1830 Liberalism, with the interlude of the Empire, has 
reigned again in Old France and repelled clerical sympathy. 
The Liberals of Quebec cultivate their connection with the 
mother country, who begins on her part to meet their 
advances and to show renewed interest in her great colony. 
But the moral sovereign of Quebec is the Pope, and the out- 
come of this movement, if it bears fruit at all, will be a French 
and Papal nation. The hearts of the French Canadians were, 
however, deeply moved by the spectacle of the Franco-German 
War. " If any one," said ?ir George Cartier at that time, 
" would know to-day how far we are Frenchmen, I answer : 
' Go into the towns, go into the country, accost the humblest 
among us and relate to him the events of that gigantic struggle 
which has fixed the attentioa of the world ; announce to him 
that France is conquered ; then place your hand upon his 
breast, and tell me what can make his heart beat if it be not 
love for his country/ " 

Lord Durham, coming immediately after what was called 
a rebellion, but was really rather a war between the two races 


in Lower Canada, describes not only the estrangement of the 
races but their mutual bitterness as extreme. The bitterness 
has in great measure passed away ; the estrangement remains. 
There is hardly any intermarriage; marriages of Soman 
Catholics with Protestants are in fact interdicted by the 
Church of Some. There is hardly any social intercourse 
either of young or old. Lord Durham said that the two races 
meet in the jury-box only for the utter subversion of justice. 
In any political case, or any case in which an appeal can be 
made to the sentiment of race, they meet only for the sub- 
version of justice still : at least a disagreement of the jury is 
sure to result. The politicians have to act with British 
colleagues, with whom they must also associate. They have 
to speak English, because while French as well as English is 
recognised in the Parliament at Ottawa a member speaking 
French only cannot produce much effect ; and some of them, 
Mr. Laurier and Mr. Chapleau for example, are among the 
very best English speakers. But constant intercourse is con- 
fined to the leaders; the British and French members 
generally, even at Ottawa, live much apart. 

As the French population in Quebec increases, the British 
population decreases ; it is likely in time to be thrust out 
altogether from the whole of the Province except a quarter of 
Montreal. In the city of Quebec there are now, it is believed, 
not more than six or seven thousand British remaining, and, 
as the shipbuilding trade has fled from its former seat, the 
British element being bound up with commerce, it is likely 
that the decline will go on. The eastern townships on the 
south of the St. Lawrence were once entirely British, and 
were under English law while the rest of the Province was 
under the Custom of Paris ; but that district is now rapidly 
passing into French hands. The Bishop has the power of 


creating an ecclesiastical parish which by subtle links draws 
after it the civil and the municipal parish. The British 
farmer is harassed by an increase of his assessment as well 
as by social influences adverse to his peace and comfort. He 


becomes ready to sell out, and the Church advances money to 
the Frenchmen for the purchase at an easy rate, which she 
can do with profit to herself, because in the Frenchman's 
hands the farm becomes subject to tithe and Church repairs. 
One Protestant church after another is closed and in one 
parish after another French is proclaimed as the only language 
in which the records are to be kept. The commerce and 
-wealth of Montreal are still in British hands, the reactionary 
ecclesiastieism of the French being little propitious to com- 
mercial pursuits. But commercial Montreal in French 
Quebec is becoming an outpost of an alien territory ; 
proposals have been made for transferring it from Quebec to 
Ontario, close to the border of which it lies. Under the 
present jurisdiction it runs no small risk of being despoiled 
by the needy financiers of a separate race, as would Belfast if 
the taxing power in Ireland were committed to Boman 
Catholic and Celtic hands. Meanwhile the British traders of 
Montreal think of little but their trade, or of their pleasure, 
and make no head against the progress of the foe. In truth 
to make head something like a martyr spirit is required, for 
the Church can punish in his trade or profession the man who 
dares to show himself her enemy. Free and bold voices are 
heard, but they are few, and the ears to which they speak are 
for the most part closed against anything which, by disturbing 
quiet, might interfere with the interests of trade. 

The less Ultramontane element of the Boman Catholic 
Church still holds its ground in the Laval University at 
Quebec, to which Liberals resort, and which has hitherto held 


Jesuit ascendency at bay. Protestantism has its flourishing 
place of high education in McGill University, at Montreal, while 
the Church of England has a» small University at Lennoxville. 
Amongst the strongest bulwarks of Protestantism in the 
Province is the Presbyterian College at Montreal. 

There are French Protestants in the Province to the 
number, it is said, of about 10,000. These are by origin 
converts from Eoman Catholicism, and may be regarded with 
interest, as a recurrence of the tendency which gave birth to 
the Huguenots, but seemed to have been thoroughly crushed 
out of existence between Ultramontanism on the one hand 
and Voltaire on the other. They have produced, in the 
person of Mr. Joly, who was for a short time Provincial 
Premier, the most thoroughly upright and the most univers- 
ally respected among the public men of the Province. 

The point at which the empire of the Church in Quebec 
and the Jesuit's ideal polity are most threatened, is the junction 
with the American Eepublic, produced by the overflow already 
noticed, of the French population into the north-eastern 
States of the Union. This exodus the Church, while she 
deplores and dreads it, is constantly augmenting, both by her 
encouragement of pearly marriages and by her own absorption 
of wealth. She may send her priests with the exiles and 
try to extend her reign of childlike submission and unin- 
quiring faith over Massachusetts ; but in this she will not 
succeed. Nor will she be able to prevent the connection 
between the French from being the conduit of American 
ideas fatal to faith and tithes. Among the Eoman Catholics 
of Quebec itself there are sectional divisions which may some 
day lead to rupture, while the intellectual tendencies of the 
age being what they are, the Parti Rouge is not likely to 
decrease. There are those who suspect that even M. Mercier 


himself is less narrow in his convictions than from his public 
professions and actions has appeared. At this moment he is 
said to be braving Ultramontane ire by transferring the 
lunatic asylums from religious to secular keeping. But it is 
in the quarter of the exodus that we may look with most 
assurance for the beginning of the end. 

In the meantime, however, the French Canadians in 
Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts, remain French 
Canadians. They form settlements by themselves. They 
cling to their language and their religion. They remain in 
close communication with those whom they have left be- 
hind, and population circulates between the two divisions. 
Thus New France now stretches across the Line into the 
the United States, one section of her being on the British 
side of the Line, the other section, the proportion of which 
already amounts to two-sevenths, and is always increasing, 
on the other side. Let those who dream of a war between 
Canada and the United States ponder this fact, and remember 
that they would have to call upon one part of New France 
to take arms in a British quarrel against the other part. 

At Montreal there is a large settlement of Irish, who 
show their gregarious tendency by dwelling together in a 
quarter of the city called Griffintown. In the relations of 
the Irish to the French Catholics difference of race sharpened 
by industrial competition seems to predominate over identity 
of religion, to the advantage of the British Protestants, whom 
the combined force would overwhelm. 



Ontario, formerly Upper Canada, and better designated as 
British Canada, was the nucleus and is the core of the 
Confederation. It will be seen on the map, running out 
between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie on one side, and Lake 
Huron and the Georgian Bay on the other, Windsor on its 
extreme point being almost a suburb of Detroit, though 
separated from that city by the Detroit river. That great 
tongue of land is its garden, but it has also fruitful fields 
along the Upper St. Lawrence. It reaches far back into a 
wilder and more arctic country, rich however in timber, and 
still richer in minerals. The minerals would yield great 
wealth if only the treasure-house in which an evil policy 
keeps them locked could be opened by the key of free-trade. 
"Bich by nature, poor by policy," might be written over 
Canada's door. Eich she would be if she were allowed to 
embrace her destiny and be a part of her own continent ; 
poor, comparatively at least, she is in striving to remain a part 
of Europe. At present the great industry of Ontario is 
farming. It is so still, in spite of the desperate efforts of 
protectionist legislators to force her to become a manufactur- 
ing country without coal. The farmers are usually freeholders, 
but leaseholders are growing more common. Not a few of 


the farms are mortgaged, as are a good many of the farms in 
the United States. Let this be noted by those who fancy 
that to make a happy commonwealth they have only to do 
away with landlords and divide the land among small pro- 
prietors. The mortgagee is ^a landlord who never resides, never 
helps the tenant, never reduces the rent. Much of the 
money, however, borrowed in Ontario has been spent in 
clearing or improving farms in a new country, and has 
proved an excellent investment to the borrower. The farms 
are generally from one to two hundred acres. The Canadian 
farmer works with his own hands, unlike the British farmer 
on a large farm who rides about and watches his men work. 
If he has not sons to help him he hires a labourer, who gets 
good wages, and lives with the farmer and his family, thus 
having a rise in life ; for in England the farmer is now usually 
too much a gentleman, and his wife is far too much a lady, to 
live with the labourer. The system in Canada, however, has 
of late been changing, and labourers' cottages are beginning 
to be built. The labour-saving machines which are among 
the wonderful products of American invention, and of which 
the self-binder is the paragon, save the farmer much hire 
of men. Canada flatters herself that she is ahead of England 
in their use. Nowhere probably on this continent is the 
farming high ; the land having hitherto been abundant, the 
farmer has preferred to work out his farm and move on. 
Thus the yield in some districts has decreased ; it is said also 
that the crops have suffered by the clearing of the land, which 
exposes them to the cold winds. In a new country there is 
a general tendency to lavishness and waste ; trees have been 
recklessly cut down, and replanting has been neglected. 
Hitherto the chief products Have been wheat and barley ; but 
a deluge of grain is now pouring down from the North-West, 


while the M'Kinley Act, if it stands, will shut out the barley 
from the American market ; and the Canadian farmer is 
turning his thoughts to cattle, which in this climate are free 
from disease. The aspect of the farm-houses and farms in 
Ontario will show even the passing traveller that agriculture 
has prospered, though just now if is depressed and the value of 
farm property has gone down. The Canadian farmer, however, 
to earn his living out of the land has to work hard and to bargain 
hard. Perhaps to the English gentleman who turns farmer in 
Canada the second is almost as unfamiliar as the first. The 
season of the Canadian farmer's hardest work is the short and 
hot summer by which his crops are brought rapidly on. In 
the winter he carries his grain to market in his sleigh over 
the good roads which the snow then makes for him, looks after 
his cattle, or gets his implements into order, and has more time 
for rest and social enjoyment. His diet is not so good as it 
ought to be ; partly because he cannot bear to keep for him- 
self anything that his farm produces if it will fetch a good 
price ; partly because his cookery is vile. So say those who 
know him best. 1 Fried pork, bread ill-baked, heavy pies, 
coarse and strong green tea, account for the advertisements of 
pills which everywhere meet the eye, and perhaps in part for 
the increase of lunacy. From liquor, however, the Canadian 
farmer abstains. He has become temperate without coercive 
law, and for him prohibition is an impertinence. He is alto- 
gether a moral man and a good citizen, honest, albeit close, as 
indeed he needs to be, in his dealings. He supports his 
minister and his schoolmaster, though both perhaps on a 
rather slender pittance. Such is the basis of society in 
British Canada. Apparently it is sound. The agrarian 
revolutionist, at all events, has little chance of disturbing a 

1 See Mr. Shaw's paper in the Appendix. 


community of substantial freeholders, each of them tilling the 
land which his father or his not very remote ancestor won, 
not from a subjugated race with the Norman sword, but from 
the wilderness with the axe and the plough. Where the 
basis of society is sound, we can afford to think and speak 
freely about the rest. 

In British Canada, as in the United States, we see that 
the world gets on without the squire or any part of the % 
manorial system. In Canada, as in the United States, the 
rich live in cities ; they have no country houses ; they go in 
summer to watering-places on the Gulf of the St Lawrence, 
or more commonly in the United States, to Europe, or to the 
cottages which stud the shores and islets of the Muskoka 
Lakes. Not that the total absence of the manorial system 
does not make itself felt in American civilisation. Wealth, 
at all events, is the worse for having no rural duties. 

A yeoman proprietor of one or two hundred acres, let the 
agrarian reformers of England observe, is not a peasant pro- 
prietor or of kin to the peasant characters of Zola. Let them 
observe also that America has been organised for the system 
from the beginning. In England to introduce peasant pro- 
prietorship you would have to pull down all the farm build- 
ings and build anew for the small holdings. In France you 
had only to burn the chateaux. 

In this fundamental respect of yeoman proprietorship, 
without a landed gentry, the structure of society in British 
Canada is identical with its structure in the United States. 
It is identical in all fundamental respects. Canadian sentiment 
may be free from the revolutionary tinge and the tendency to 
indiscriminate sympathy with rebellion unhappily contracted 
by American sentiment in the contest with George III ; but 
it is not less thoroughly democratic. In everything the 


pleasure and convenience of the masses are consulted. In 
politics everybody bows the knee to the people. Where there 
is wealth there will be social distinctions, and opulence even 
at Toronto sometimes ventures to put a cockade in the coach- 
man's hat Titled visitors who come either to Canada or to 
the United States have too much reason to know that the 
worship of rank is personal, and can survive under any social 
t system. But aristocracy is a hateful word to the Canadian 
as well as to the American ear. It is politically a word 
wherewith to conjure backwards. Any exhibition of the 
tendency would be fatal to an aspirant. If a citizen has a 
pedigree, real or factitious, he must be content to feed his 
eyes on it as it hangs on his own wall. 

Wealth everywhere is power, and everywhere to a certain 
extent commands social position. This is the case in Toronto 
and the other cities of British Canada. But wealth in 
Toronto society has not everything quite its own way. 
There is a circle, as there is a circle even at New York, 
which it does not entirely command. Nor does a young man 
forfeit his social position by taking to any reputable calling. 
In that respect we have decidedly improved on the sentiment 
of the Old World. 

One sign of'the pervading democratic sentiment is the 
servant difficulty, about which a continual wail from the 
mistresses of households fills the social air. The inexperience 
of masters and mistresses who have themselves risen from 
the ranks, the dulness of small households which makes 
servants restless, and the rate of wages in other employments, 
may in part be the causes of this; but the main cause 
probably is the democratic dislike of service. Earely, if ever, 
will you see a native American servant, and in Canada the 
domestics are chiefly immigrants. The work in the factory 


may be much harder, and the treatment less kind than in the 
household ; generally they are ; but the hours of work over, 
the girl calls no one mistress, and she can do what she likes 
in the evenings and on Sundays. In the household the 
democratic scorn of service is unpleasantly apt to display itself 
by mutiny. Ladies complain that the parts of mistress and 
servant are reversed, and that it is the servant that requires 
a character of the mistress. People begin to wonder how the 
relation is to be kept up, and they talk of flats, hotels, and 
restaurants, a recourse to which would be very injurious to 
domestic life and affection. It has been suggested that the 
children of families may have again, as they did in former 
days, to help in the housework. They would probably like any- 
thing which gave vent to their bodily energies almost as well as 
play. Dishonesty on the other hand among domestics appears 
to be rare, and a Canadian servant is less punctilious than an 
English servant in mixing different kinds of work. Another 
unattractive manifestation of the democratic spirit is the be- 
haviour, in cities at least, of the lower class of Canadian boys, 
of which even the most silver-tongued of governors-general 
could not bring himself to speak with praise. Neither the 
schoolmaster nor anybody else dares effectually to correct the 
young citizens. Something may perhaps be due to the 
extensive and increasing employment, from economical 
motives, of women as teachers. There are those at least who 
think that this practice is not favourable to subordination or 
to the cultivation of some manly points of character ; while 
others contend that the gentler influence is the stronger. The 
question as to the effect likely to be produced on the character 
of a nation by the substitution of the schoolmistress for the 
schoolmaster is at all events worthy of consideration. Apart 
however from any special cause, no one can be surprised at 


hearing that in a new and crude democracy there is a want of 
respect for authority, and of courage in exercising it, which 
makes itself felt throughout the social frame, and on which 
the young rowdy soon learns to presume. No wonder juvenile 
crime is on the increase. 

It was to be expected that in the democratic hemisphere 
fustian would at first be inclined to take its revenge on 
broadcloth for the predominance of broadcloth in the Old 
World. Eoughnesses of this kind, with the servant difficulty 
and the boy anarchy, are the joltings in the car of human 
progress on its road to the glorious era of perfect order and 
civilisation, combined with perfect equality, which the 
generation after next will see. Meantime the general 
texture and habits of society are not easily changed. The 
social ways of man, his social distinctions and his social 
courtesies, are still much the same in British Canada and the 
United States that they are in Old England. 

A city in British Canada differs in no respect from an 
American city of the second class. It is laid out in straight 
streets crossing each other at right angles, with trams for the 
street car — the family chariot of democracy, which by carry- 
ing the working man easily to and from his work enables 
him to live in the suburbs, where he gets a better house and 
better air. Nor does city life in Canada differ from that 
in the United States. It is equally commercial, and though 
the scale is smaller than that of Wall Street the strain is 
almost as great. People are glad to escape to the freshness 
of something like primitive life on a Muskoka islet, or even 
to get more entirely rid of civilisation and its cares by 
" camping out " on a lake side. Of late there has been in 
Canada as elsewhere a great rush of population to the cities. 
Toronto has grown with astonishing rapidity at the expense 


of the smaller towns and villages, and fortunes have been 
made by speculations in real estate. The cause of this is 
believed to be partly education, which certainly breeds a 
distaste for farm work. Another cause is the railway, which 
brings the people to the cities first to shop or see exhibitions, 
and, when they have thus tasted of city pleasures and shows, 
to live. The passion for amusement and excitement grows in 
Canada as fast as elsewhere. Eailways, moreover, have killed 
or reduced some country employments, such as those of carriers 
and innkeepers. This tendency to city life is universal, and it 
may be said that what is universal is not likely to be evil. 
But the people cannot afford to be so well housed in 
the city as they are in the village ; their children grow 
up in worse air, physical and moral ; and though they have 
more of crowd and bustle they have really less of social 
life, because in the village they all know each other, 
while in the city they do not know their next-door neigh- 
bour. In the cities the people will be brought under 
political influences different from those of the country, 
and a change of political character, with corresponding 


consequences to the commonwealth, can hardly fail to 

The learned professions, and not only the learned pro- 
fessions but all the callings above manual labour, such as 
those of clerks and of assistants in stores, are almost as 
much overstocked in Canada as they are in the United 
States. An advertisement for a secretary at £140 a year 
brings seventy -two applications. Let young Englishmen 
who think of emigrating note this. There has been many a 
sad case of disappointment. We have had educated gentle- 
men, when they had spent what they brought with them 
reduced to manual labour, happy if they could get that. 


The Public School system in Canada is much the same 
as in the United States, and as in the United States is 
regarded as the sheet-anchor of democracy. The primary 
schools are free ; at the High Schools a small fee as a rule 
is paid. 1 At Toronto University there are no fees for 
University lectures, but the youth during his course has to 
board himself, so that except to the people of the University 
town the education cannot be said to be free. If it were 
we should be in danger of having a population of penniless 
and socialistic graduates. As it is there are more than 
graduates enough. In the city of Toronto in one year 
8600,000 were levied for Public Schools, including the 
expenditure on sites, buildings, and repairs, besides the 
sum expended on High Schools and Separate Schools, 
amounting to nearly 8100,000 more. Grumblers then began 
to challenge the principle of the system, and to ask why the 
man who has one child or none should be called upon for 
the schooling of the man who has six, when three-fourths 
probably of the people who use the schools are able to pay 
for themselves. The answer is that with a popular suffrage 
ignorance is dangerous to the commonwealth. Unluckily 
there is reason to believe that of the class likely to be 
dangerous a good many escape the operation of the 
system. It appeared from a recent report of the Minister of 
Education that 25 per cent of the children are not in 
school at all, while of those on the register the attendance 
was not more than half the roll. The attendance is higher 
in cities than it is in the country, where the weather in the 
winter season is a serious obstacle ; but in the cities and 
towns it is only about 60 per cent. Attendaitce is legally 

1 The trustees have the option of remitting the fee, and this is commonly 
done as a reward for proficiency in the public school. 


compulsory, but the law is a dead letter ; nor is the well-to-do 
artisan anxious to have the ragged waif in the school at his 
child's side. In the New England of early days, the first 
and classical seat of the system, the Common School would 
answer strictly to its name. It would be really common to 
a group of families, all of whom might take a personal 
interest in it. This would be a different thing from a great 
State machine maintained by taxing the whole community 
for the benefit of a certain portion of it, taking education 
entirely out of the hands of parents and extinguishing, as it 
must, the sense of parental duty in that respect. In 
American commonwealths, however, the system of free 
education, expedient or inexpedient, just or unjust, is a 
fixture. But British statesmen had better inquire before 
they take the leap. Some people it seems propose to give 
not only free education but free breakfasts. Bribery in the 
old days of corruption was petty ; now it is being raised in 
scale and dignity by demagogues who bribe whole classes 
out of the public funds. When it is understood that instead 
of working and saving you may vote yourself the earnings 
and savings of other people, industry will lose some of its 

The Public Schools, saving the Separate Schools for 
Roman Catholics, are secular. 'To satisfy the religious feelings 
of the people some passages of Scripture of an undogmatic 
character are read without comment. This in strictness is a 
deviation from the secular principle : thoroughgoing secular- 
ists object, and there has been a good deal of controversy 
on the subject. The practice is defended on the ground that 
the moral code of the community is a necessary part of edu- 
cation, and that the ethics of the gospel, apart from any- 
thing dogmatic, are still the moral code of the community. 



Clergymen are by law allowed access at certain hours, but 
this privilege is not used. The organ of religious education 
is the Sunday School. Of these there are said to be in 
Ontario nearly 4000, more than half of the number being 
Methodists, with 40,000 unpaid teachers. The Sunday 
School is made attractive by entertainments, picnics, and 

The New World has produced no important novelty in 
religion. Universalism, the only new sect of importance, is 
but Methodism with Eternal Punishment left out. Upon that 
doctrine in almost all the Churches, as well of Canada as of 
the United States, the humanitarianism of democracy has 
acted as a solvent. Perhaps the Presbyterian Church should 
be excepted. At least a very eminent preacher of that 
church in Toronto, who had breathed a doubt some years 
ago, was compelled to explain, after a debate in Knox 
Church which recalled the debates of the primitive councils. 
The two Presbyterian Churches had just united, but their 
distinctive characters were still visible, like those of two 
streams which have run together yet not perfectly com- 
mingled, and the men of the Free Kirk exceeded those of 
the Old Kirk in orthodox rigour. Freedom from an 
Establishment begets tolerance as well as equality : the co- 
operation of the ministers, of all Protestant Churches at 
least, in good works is almost enforced by public opinion ; 
dogmatic differences are softened or forgotten, and among the 
masses of the laity practically disappear. There is even talk 
of Christian union. Old -standing organisations, with the 
interests attached to them, are in the way ; but economy may 
in time enforce, if not union, some arrangement which, by a 
friendly division of the spiritual field, shall enable a village, 
which neither knows nor cares anything about dogma, to 


feed one pastor instead of starving three. Of the Protestant 
Churches in Ontario the largest and the most spreading is 
Methodism, strong in its combination of a powerful clergy 
with a democratic participation of all members in church work ; 
strong also in its retention of the circuit system, which saves it 
from the troubles bred in other voluntary churches by the 
restlessness of congregations which grow weary of hearing 
the same preacher. The Presbyterian Church is that of the 
Scotch, here, as everywhere, a thrifty, wise, and powerful 
clan. The Baptists also maintain their ground by their 
austere and scriptural purity, though the great principle of 
which they were the first champions and martyrs, separation 
of the Church from the State, is no longer in so much need 
of champions or in any need of martyrs. Amidst the grow- 
ing indifference about dogma, the question between infant 
and adult baptism would not in itself be enough to support 
a church. The Anglican Church in Canada, as in England, 
may almost be said to be two churches — one Protestant, the 
other neo-Catholic — under the same roof. The two live in 
uneasy union, and hard is the part of their bishop. They 
are held together by a body of laity unspeculative and at- 
tached to the Prayer-book. Neo-Catholicism gains ground 
fast among the clergy ; even a college founded by Low 
Churchmen to stem the movement finds itself turning out 
High Churchmen. The Mass, the Confessional, the monastic 
system, Protestants say, are creeping in. Still the English 
of the wealthier class, whatever their opinions, generally 
adhere to their old Church : so do the English of the poorest 
class, who are unused to paying for their religion, and among 
whom the Anglican clergy are very active. All the Pro- 
testant Churches, even that of the Baptists, have relaxed 
their Puritanism of form and become aesthetic : church archi- 


tecture, music, flowers, have generally been introduced. The 
metropolitan church of the Methodists at Toronto is a 
Cathedral There is a tendency also in preaching to become 
lively, perhaps sensational. The most crowded church on 
Sunday evenings in Toronto is one in which the preacher 
handles the topics of the day with the freedom of the plat- 
form, and amidst frequent applause and laughter. The 
Church of Borne, of course, stands apart with the Encyclical 
and Syllabus in her hand waiting till the time for putting 
them in execution shall arrive. In Ontario she is mainly 
the church of the Irish, the race which is now nearly her 
last hope. She does not appear to gain by conversion. She 
must be gaining, however, in wealth, for her churches and 
convents continue to rise. Her prelates affect hierarchical 
state, go about in the insignia of their order, and claim a 
social rank as princes or nobles of a Universal Church, which 
the other clergies are now inclined to challenge. In Ontario 
she has succeeded in obtaining for herself Separate 
Schools supported by the State. Upon this question also 
issue is about to be joined. Apart from ecclesiastical pre- 
tensions, and the desire to make the child a churchman first 
and a citizen afterwards, there seems to be no justification 
for the privilege. Eoman Catholic children attend public 
schools in the districts where their sect is not numerous 
enough to claim a division of the rates without the slightest 
prejudice to their religion. There is no feeling whatever 
against Eoman Catholicism apart from the feeling against 
priestly domination or aggression, while in politics the 
Church is only too strong. A Protestant holding high 
offices has been seen on his knee before a Cardinal. Orange- 
ism itself in Canada is political, not religious : it still carries 
in its processions the effigy of William of Orange ; but it is 


a bulwark not of Protestantism, but of a Tory Government ; 
and it goes to the poll and eats at the same party- 
table with the Soman Catholic, and even with the Ultra- 
montane. North America has had no Torquemada or * 
Alexander Borgia, and has not been the scene of priestly 
persecution or of papal crime. 

In the streets of Toronto the drum of the Salvation Army 
is still heard. Other revivals have for the most part quickly 
passed away, but this endures. So far at all events it has in 
it the genuine spirit of Christianity that it points the road 
to excellence and happiness not through the reform of others, 
much less through dynamite, blood, and havoc, but through 

Wherever books find their way criticism and scepticism 
must now go with them. There is in Toronto an Agnostic 
circle, active-minded and militant. What is at work in 
minds beyond that circle nobody can tell But there is no 
falling off in the outward signs of religion. Churches 
are built as fast as the city grows ; their costliness as well . 
as their number increases, and they are wonderfully well 
filled. Sunday is pretty strictly kept, though there is 
an agitation for Sunday street cars and the strong Sabba- 
tarians have failed to put down Sunday boats. With 
regard to the whole of the American continent this appear- 
ance not only of undiminished but of increased life in 
the Churches while free inquiry is making inroads, of which 
those who read cannot help being conscious, on old beliefs, is 
an enigma which the result alone can solve. Eevision of 
creeds is in the air, and it is probable that among the laity of 
all the Protestant Churches there has been formed a sort of 
Christian Theism in which many, without formulating it, 
repose. The tide of scepticism does not beat so fiercely 


against Free Churches as against an Establishment. To 
suppose that all the religion is hollow or mere custom would 
be absurd. We must conclude that people in general still 
find comfort in worship. Nor can it be doubted that belief 
in God and in conscience as the voice of God is still the 
general foundation of Canadian morality. 

With the British are mingled in Ontario a laige number 
of Irish, who, as in the United States and everywhere else, 
cling to the cities, follow the priest to the third generation, 
band together, do a great deal of the political as well 
as of the liquor trade, and cherish a hatred of England not so 
bitter, at least not so violent in its manifestations, as that 
which is cherished by their race in the United States. There 
are also Scotch-Irish, whose ways are those of the Scotch. 
There is a settlement of Germans in Waterloo County who 
remain German, and make excellent farmers and citizens, 
though they would vote against the prohibition of lager. 
Gaelic is still spoken in Highland settlements. There is a 
. French settlement in Essex county, beside the Detroit 
river, a relic of the era of old French fur -trading and 
adventure. Before the fall of slavery Canada was the asylum 
of the fugitive slave, as was made known to the world by the 
famous case of Anderson the slave who had killed a man in 
escaping from bondage, and whose extradition when demanded 
was refused, or at least evaded, by the Canadian Courts, the 
Home Government showing its resolution to support Canada 
in upholding the right of asylum. Hence there are in 
Canada a number of negroes, of whom some have done well, 
in spite of the obstacles of race and climate, and one has 
attained wealth by an invention. There are scatterings of 
other races, the last arrival being the Italian with his grinding 
organ and, we hope, without his knife. The increase of 


wealth and speculation has not failed to attract the Jew, 
who brings with him his tribal exclusiveness, his tribal 
code, his tribal ways in trade. If there is a feeling 
against him here it is not religious, for on the American 
continent, while open irreligion still gives offence, each man 
is free in every respect to choose his own religion. 

In the Eastern part of the Province, a non-British ele- 
ment of a more ominous kind appears. The French population 
of Quebec is overflowing that district and has already in two 
or three counties almost supplanted the British. It intro- 
duces its own ecclesiastical system, and imports its own 
language into the public schools. . Opposition has been 
aroused, and the advance of the French language in the 
schools has been for the moment checked, but it is difficult 
to get party politicians to act with vigour against an invader 
who has the power of turning several elections. The French 
press on compactly, acting as a unit in their own interest ; 
and it is not likely that the limit of their extension in 
Ontario has yet been reached. 

Nationalities are not so easily ground down in a small 
community as they are when thrown into the hopper of the 
mighty American mill. National societies, or societies which 
partake of the nationalist character, such as the St. George's 
Society, the Sons of England, the St. Andrew's Society, the 
Catholic Celtic League, and the Orange Order, are strong, and 
their strength gives umbrage to those who see in it a detrac- 
tion from loyalty to the commonwealth. The passion for 
association is powerful over the whole continent and gives 
birth, besides the National Societies, the Orange Order, and 
the Freemasons, to Knights of Pythias, Good Templars, Odd- 
fellows, Knights of the Maccabees, Foresters, Royal Black 
Knights of Ireland, and other brotherhoods, benevolent and 


social High-sounding titles of office and resplendent regalia 
probably form part of the attraction. On a wide continent, 
however, without ancient centres or bonds of union, a man 
would feel almost like a grain in a vast heap of shifting sand 
if he did not attach himself to some brotherhood. Some of 
the brotherhoods march through the streets in military array 
and go through drill. In industrial communities there is a 
paradoxical union of love of military show and glory 
with dislike of standing armies and of military service. The 
Americans have elected four or five soldiers to the Presidency, 
besides nominating others as candidates, while England has 
had only two military Prime Ministers, Stanhope, who did 
not owe his position to achievements in war, and the Duke of 
Wellington, who was a great European diplomatist and the 
real head of his political party. The reception of the Cana- 
dian Volunteers when they returned from Fish Creek, Cut 
Knife, and Batoche, eclipsed the reception of the British 
army when it returned from the Alma and Inkerman. 

The respect for law which prevails in all States of the 
Union on which slavery has not left its taint, and which is the 
salt of American democracy, prevails not less among British 
Canadians. It extends to the judges, who, as a body, have 
well deserved the confidence of the people. When a master 
of the press who had trampled at his pleasure on the 
characters and feelings of his fellow-citizens in general 
assailed a judge whose decision had offended him, he 
was made at once to feel that opinion was against him 
and he slunk away. Some time ago a little clan of local 
desperadoes was lawlessly slain by some of the people whom 
its outrages had provoked, and the local jury refused to 
convict the slayers. This is about the only case of the kind, 
and though deplorable in itself and generally deplored, it was 


like some of the cases of lynching in the United States, in part a 
proof not so much of lawlessness as of the general respect for 
law. Where no rural police is needed, and none consequently 
is maintained, when brigandage does appear there is no way 
of dealing with it except through the Vigilance Committee. 
Justice in all Canadian courts keeps her gown though not her 
wig, while in the United States the gown is worn by the 
Judges of the Supreme Court only. The American or 
Canadian citizen does not need to be impressed so much as 
the British peasant ; but everybody needs to be impressed, and 
the Canadian custom is the better. Canadian judges are 
underpaid. One eminent advocate, after taking a seat on the 
Bench, found his income so much reduced that he returned 
to the Bar. It is needless to say that this is false economy, 
and that there can be no expedition of business without a 
presiding judge of sufficient eminence thoroughly to control 
his Court. Democracy, though lavish in general expenditure, 
which it does not count, is niggardly in salaries, which each 
man compares with his own earnings. Canada, like the 
United States, has discarded the Old World distinction between 
barrister and solicitor. Both sorts of work are taken by the 
same firm. The system of firms saves a barrister at all events 
from the sadness of waiting year after year in solitary 
chambers for briefs which do not come. 

Canada flatters herself that in her Courts, as in those of 
England, criminal justice is more prompt and sure than it is in 
the United States, where such are the chicaneries, the delays, and 
the weakness of opinion that to get a murderer hanged is very 
difficult, however certain his guilt may be. It must be owned, 
however, that in therecent Birchall case we had adisplayof sen- 
sationalism which showed how faint is the boundary which 
divides our society from the society of the United States. 


Toronto is said to be English, and likes to have that 
reputation. Of the leaders of society some are English by 
birth, and all of them keep up the connection by going a 
good deal to England. This habit grows with the shortening 
of the passage and the cheapness of the sojourn ; not with the 
best results to Canada, for unless the chiefs of society every- 
where will remain at their posts and do their duty, the edifice 
cannot stand. Canadian boys and youths are sometimes sent 
to the public schools and universities of England, but seldom, 
it is believed, with good results. What the boy or youth 
gains by superior teaching he is likely to lose by estrange- 
ment from the social and industrial element in which his life 
is to be spent, and by contracting tastes suitable rather to the 
mansions of the British gentry than to Canadian homes. 
English fashion perhaps presses rather heavily on us. We 
are apt to outvie London in the heaviness of our dinners and 
the formality with which they are exchanged, and the once 
pleasant afternoon tea has become a social battue. Mrs. 
Grundy has too much power. The easy sociability, however, 
which delights and refreshes is everywhere with difficulty 
attained. The man who said that others might make the 
laws of a nation if they would let him make its ballads ought 
to have bargained also for the making of the games. English 
games and sports are the fashion in Canada, as indeed they 
are among the young men of wealth in the United States. 
Cricket is kept up in face of great difficulties, for in a com- 
mercial community men cannot afford to give two days to 
a game, while Canadian summer scorches the turf, and there 
are few school playing-fields and no village greens. Baseball, 
which is the game of the continent, is played in two hours, 
and requires no turf. Lacrosse is called the Canadian game, 
but it is Indian in its origin, and some think that to Indians 


it belongs. Football is also much played, and under the 
regular English rule, everything being kicked except the ball. 
In Toronto the red coat of the English fox-hunter is seen, 
though it is not to be supposed that foxes can be preserved 
among democratic hen roosts or freely chased over democratic 
farms. At Montreal, under the theocracy, you may see a real 
fox chased over fences as stiff as an English fox-hunter could 
desire. The Turf, the gambling table of England, has its 
minor counterpart in her colony. Yachting and rowing are 
popular, and Toronto has produced the first oarsman of 
the world : unhappily these also have brought betting in their 
train. The Scotchman keeps up his Scotch love of curling 
and of golf. Imitations are generally unsuccessful, and it 
was not likely that an imitation of the British sporting man 
or anything British would be an exception to the rule. But 
Anglomania, whatever it may be worth either to the imitators 
or to the imitated, is as strong among the same class in the 
United States as it is in Canada. It angers the loyal Ee- 
publican and draws from him bitter jests. Nor can the rich 
men of Toronto be fonder of tracing their pedigrees to England 
than are the rich men of the United States. 

A winter of five months or more, during which cattle must 
be housed, the thermometer falling sometimes to fifteen 
or twenty below zero ; a vast thaw ; a joyous rush into bud 
and leaf, unlike the slow step of English spring ; a summer 
which, after two or three weeks, turns the country from green 
to brown, ripens the best of apples, in favoured spots peaches, 
and brings the humming bird ; a clear bright autumn — such 
is Ontario's year. The great lakes temper the extremes in 
their neighbourhood while they cloud the winter brightness. 
The stillness of Canadian winter has departed with the 
sheltering forests. After winter has set in there is generally 


a recurrence of the warm weather, with a golden haze in the 
air, which fancy styles Indian summer. Canadians do not 
wish to have Canada regarded as a winter country, nor do 
they quite like to see pictures of the toboggan or snow-slide, 
the snow-shoe, and the ice-boat sent to England as the symbols 
of their life. It is true, however, that the winter is long, and 
that a good deal of the pastime is connected with it. To suit 
the climate a Canadian house ought to be simple in form, so 
as to be easily warmed, with broad eaves to shed the snow, 
and a deep veranda as a summer room ; and what is suitable 
is also fair to the eye. But servile imitation produces gables, 
mansard roofs, and towers, just as fashion clothes Canadian 
women in Parisian dresses. Canadians are often told by 
those who wish to flatter them that as a northern race they 
must have some great destiny before them. But stove heat is 
not less enervating than the heat of the sun. The Northern 
tribes which conquered the Boman Empire had no stoves, and 
they had undergone the most rigorous process of natural 
selection, both by exposure to frost and by tribal war. 

Considering that of all the banks of British Canada not 
one in the last twenty years has failed to pay its depositors 
in full, and that only of one have the notes been at a dis- 
count, and this only for a few hours, it may safely be said 
that Canadian commerce is sound. Englishmen who have 
speculated have lost ; especially if their concern was owned 
on one side of the Atlantic and managed on the other. But 
those who have invested in known banks or companies have, 
it is believed, seldom had reason to complain. The banks 
everywhere, as the great organs of the commercial system, 
have enemies in the Socialists, who would wreck and 
plunder them if they could. Governments also everywhere 
are haunted by the fancy that, because it is their duty to 


stamp the coin, they have a right to the profits of the money 
trade, and they are sometimes inclined to legislate accordingly. 1 
But their inclination has been hitherto kept within bounds. 

Canadian industry can hardly be said to present any 
special feature, saving that, owing to the severity of the 
winter, there is more or less of a close season in out-of-door 
trades, which, with high wages during the rest of the year, 
must always be trying to industrial character. Industrial 
questions, trade unionism, its aims and methods, its conflict 
with capital and free labour, the upheaval of the labour world 
by strikes, are the same in Canada as in the United States 
and England. Canada is, in fact, included in the American 
organisation of the Knights of Labour, which has thus in a 
way industrially annexed her. Toronto has her anti-poverty 
society, for the nationalisation of land. She has Socialism more 
or less pronounced. She has her Socialistic journalists 
instilling class hatred into the heart of the working man, 
inciting the " toiler " to an attack on the "spoiler," and blowing 
the trumpet of industrial war. The storm may be less 
violent in the bay than on the wide ocean, but it is part of 
the universal storm. 

Toronto was startled at hearing that four per cent of her 
people had been receiving some kind of relief. Not a few of 
the recipients probably were new-comers or wanderers, and 
few were actual paupers. But these cities have lived fast, 
and the cares and problems of maturity are already upon 
them. Still they recoil from the idea of a poor law, and 
indeed from any regular form of public relief. There is a 
notion that public relief pauperises. The sentiment is to be 

1 In the Appendix will be found a note on the special banking system of 
Canada, in contrast with that of the United States, by Mr. Henry W. 
Darling, formerly president of the Canadian Bank of Commerce and of the 
Toronto Board of Trade. 


respected, but that which really pauperises is relief unwisely 
given, as private charity is too apt to be. What, after all, is 
free education but a vast system of public relief, though 
received for the most part by those who are not in need ? 

City government in Canada presents the same problems 
which it presents in the United States, and is likely soon to 
present on the grandest scale in London, now endowed with 
representative administration. These elective governments of 
cities are survivals from the Middle Ages, when each city 
was a little commonwealth in itself, when its rulers were 
concerned chiefly with the guardianship of franchises and the 
regulation of trade, when there was little thought of anything 
sanitary or scientific, when every man was his own police- 
man, and when, moreover, the city was a social unit, and the 
chief men lived in the heart of it, took the lead, and were 
mayors and aldermen. A city is now merely a densely 
peopled district in special need of scientific administration. 
Its social unity is gone, and the chief men live in suburban 
mansions and are above taking part in municipal affairs, 
while nobody knows the citizens of his street. Com- 
bination for the purpose of selecting aldermen is out 
of the question, and you come by a fell necessity under the 
rule of the ward politician, which means maladministration, 
waste, neglect of public health, and too often jobbery and 
corruption. New York with its Tammany is the climax to 
which city government of this kind tends. Toronto has 
no Tammany, and has had no Tweed. But her debt is heavy, 
and she is just now much exercised by the problem of 
administration. Even if there is nothing worse, the ephemeral 
character of a government annually elected, and with the 
minds of its members always set on re-election, would pre- 
clude foresight and system. Spasmodic attempts at reform 


are made, but their effect dies away. No one looks for a 
radical change. A board of commissioners, which some pro- 
pose, would no doubt be a vast improvement ; but it would 
be very difficult to get the people to part to that extent with 
their power, though they would be amply repaid in assurance 
of health and comfort, while the power after all really resides 
not in the people, as they fancy, but in those who manage the 
elections. Something, however, is being done in the way 
of a devolution of the aldermanic power on skilled health 
officers and engineers. Economy there can hardly be where 
the money and the power of voting it away are in different 
hands. There is one city on the continent with the admini- 
stration of which now everybody, at least everybody 
who has anything to lose, seems to speak with confidence and 
satisfaction : this is Washington, which as a Federal district 
is administered by three commissioners appointed by the 
President of the United States. Washington has a heavy 
debt, but this was contracted some time ago. The 
counties are governed by elective councils, with reeves, which 
have not very much to do or to spend. Against these no 
complaint is heard. Of provincial legislation and politics 
there will be something to be said presently in connection 
with those of the Dominion. 

Canada is a political expression. This must be borne in 
mind when we speak of Canadian Literature. The writer in 
Ontario has no field beyond his own Province and Montreal. 
Between him and the Maritime Provinces is interposed French 
Quebec. Manitoba is far off and thinly peopled. To expect 
a national literature is therefore unfair. A literature there 
is fully as large and as high in quality as could be reasonably 
looked for, and of a character thoroughly healthy. Perhaps 
a kind critic might say that it still retains something of the 


old English sobriety of style, and is comparatively free from 
the straining for effect which is the bane of the best literature 
of the United States. The area is not large enough to 
support a magazine, though the attempt has more than once 
been made. It is hardly large enough to support a literary 
paper. Ontario reads the magazines of the United States, 
especially the illustrated magazines in which New York 
leads the world. Canada has been at a disadvantage alongside 
of the United States in falling under British copyright law, 
and also in having her booksellers cut off by the tariff from 
their natural centre of distribution at New York. To fill an 


order at once a double duty must be paid. Let it be 
remembered also that it is difficult for the sapling of 
Colonial literature to grow beneath the mighty shadow of 
the parent ti;ee. It is not so long since the United States 
were without writers of mark. Even now have they pro- 
duced a great poet ? 

To make a centre of Art is still harder than to make a 
literary centre, because art requires models. There can 
barely be said to be an art centre in the United States. For 
art, people are likely long to go to Europe. Of millionaires 
Canada has not many, and such as there are can hardly be 
expected to give high prices for pictures and statues where 
they have no connoisseurs to advise them. Ontario, however, 
has produced a school of landscape painters the merit of 
which has been recognised in England. For subjects the 
painter has to go to the Eocky Mountains, the more poetic 
Selkirks, the magnificent coast-scenery of British Columbia, 
the towering cliffs of the Saguenay, or the shores and 
shipping of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Ontario has 
pleasant spots, but little of actual beauty or of grandeur, if 
we except Thunder Bay, with some other points on the shore 


of Lake Superior, and -the unpaintable Niagara. 1 In a new 
country there can be few historic or picturesque buildings, 
so that the painter's landscape must lack historic or human 
interest. Nor can there be anything like the finished 
loveliness of England. The gorgeous hues of Canadian 
autumn and the glories of Canadian sunset are nearly all, 
and these often reproduced will tire. That the love of 
beauty and the desire to possess objects of beauty are not 
wanting, the stranger may learn by a glance at the display 
in the Toronto stores or at the house architecture of the new 
streets, which, whether the style be the best or not, un- 
questionably aspires to beauty and does not always miss its 
aim. The rows of trees planted along all the streets and the 
trim little lawns are proof of taste and refinement which 
cannot fail to please. 

Science, as well as literature and art, has its centres in 
old countries. But from these, unlike literature and art, it 
can be imported by the student. Medical science is 
imported into Canada, as is believed, in full perfection. 
Canadian surgery performs the most difficult operations with 
success. The traveller who is borne safely on the Canadian 
Pacific Eailroad along the gorges and over the chasms of the 
Rocky Mountains will acknowledge the skill and daring of 
the Canadian engineer as he will acknowledge in all details 
of the service the excellence of Canadian railway administra- 
tion. In the International Bridge at Buffalo is seen another 
Canadian achievement. Ontario is a network of railways ; 

1 Perhaps some of the most picturesque scenery in Ontario is to he found 
in the Dundas Valley, on the Grand River, and among the Blue Mountains 
west of Collingwood. Fine is the view from Queenston Heights, looking 
down the Niagara River to Lake Ontario. The lake scenery in the Muskoka 
District, and in the region around Peterboro, is also attractive ; so is the 
river scenery at the outlet of Lake Ontario, among the Thousand Islands 
of the St. Lawrence. 



probably she has more miles of them in proportion to her 
population than any other district in the world ; and if they 
pay no dividends on their stock the British capitalist who 
has been the chief investor may have the satisfaction of 
thinking how much he has done to promote the material 
civilisation of a great colony. In the use of agricultural 
machinery the Province, it has already been said, believes 
herself to have outrun the mother country. The dearness of 
labour here, as in the United States, has stimulated the 
invention or adoption of its substitutes. The streets of 
Toronto are a maze of wires, telegraphic and telephonic, and 
the chief thoroughfares are lit with the electric light. Every 
office, almost every house, of any pretensions, has its 
telephone, and converses not only with the rest of the city 
but with places fifty miles off. In what some people are 
still pleased to call Canadian wilds life is almost vexed with 

Journalism labours under the same disadvantage as 
literature in respect to the smallness of the area. With less 
than two millions of people, with an attainable circulation 
for any one paper of hardly more than twenty-five thousand, 
and considering the expense of telegraphic intelligence, how 
can a provincial press be maintained on a metropolitan 
scale? In fact, journalism, so far as the morning papers 
are concerned, has a hard life. It bears up however, 
and Toronto reads at breakfast time the debates in the 
British House of Commons of the evening before, looks on 
as well as the Londoner at all that is going on in the world, 
and shares in full measure the unification of humanity by 
the electric wire. The Canadian Press is, in the main, 
American not English in its character. It aims at the 
lightness, smartness, and crispness of New York journalism 


rather than at the solidity of the London Times. There is an 
interchange of writers with New York. Enterprise in the 
collection of gossip and scandal is now a feature of the press 
in all countries and everywhere bears the same relation to 
taste and truth. 

Canada, when the value of the connection is under dis- 
cussion, is always set down as a place where an Englishman 
can find a home. A sudden change has come over the 
attitude of the occupants of the American continent on the 
subject of Emigration. Till lately the portals were opened 
wide and all the destitute of the earth were bidden to come 
in. It was the boast of America that she was the asylum of 
nations. Now the door is half shut, and there are a good 
many who, if they could, would shut it altogether. Malthus 
has his day again. The world has grown afraid of being 
over-peopled. Moreover, the Trade Unions want to close the 
labour market. They have forced the Canadian Govern- 
ment to give up assisting emigration, and they watch with a 
jealous eye anything like assistance to emigration on the 
other side of the water. There is, however, still a demand 
in Canada for farm labourers, and the labourer if he is steady 
and industrious will do well and earn wages which in a few 
years will enable him to own a farm. There is a demand 
also for domestic servants, if they come prepared to be useful, 
and not with the notion that a colony is a place of high wages 
and no work. For teachers or clerks, it has already been 
said, there is absolutely no room unless they have been 
engaged beforehand. The Trade Unions declare that there is 
no room for mechanics and take every one by the throat who 
says that a good mechanic may still do well Setting the 
cost of living against the higher rate of wages, it is doubtful 
whether a British mechanic improves his lot by coming to 


Canada. House rent is high, clothes are dear, and a great 
deal of fuel is required. The difference in the cost of fuel 
would soon equal the difference between the price of a ticket 
to Canada and a ticket to New Zealand. One cannot help 
wondering that a poor man who works out of doors and who 
does not dream of repeating the exploits of Attila and Clovis 
should choose a country where the winter is severe. 

The notion that an Englishman enjoys a preference in 
Canada is pleasant, but not well founded. He is rather apt 
to be an object of jealousy. Anything like favour shown to 
him gives umbrage. The appointment of three English 
Professors in Toronto University roused a feeling which 
lingered long. From the political abuse of England which 
constantly offends an Englishman in the American Press, 
and which is largely a homage paid to Irish sentiment, the 
Canadian Press of course is free ; but social allusions may be 
sometimes seen not of a friendly kind. If the writers are 
Irish or Socialists, still the allusions appear. The jealousy 
is, perhaps, a legacy of the times when most of the high 
places and good things were in the hands of emigrants from 
the Imperial country. 1 At all events, it has been with truth 
said that in any candidature no nationality is so weak as the 
English. In the United States, on the contrary, while there 
is a traditional prejudice against England, against the indi- 
vidual Englishman there is none. He is perfectly welcome 
to any employment or appointment that he can get. How- 
ever, an Englishman intending to emigrate had better turn 

1 A trace of this feeling lingers in a passage embodied in Osgood's Handbook 
of the Maritime, Provinces, " The Nova Scotians have not hitherto sought to 
qualify themselves by culture and study for public honours and preferments 
because they knew that all the offices in the province would be filled by 
British carpet-baggers." It is not here only that the term " carpet-bagger " 
has been seen. 


his thought first to Australia and New Zealand where there 
is no prejudice either against him or his country, and the 
Irish are not so strong. These remarks have reference, 
of course, only to the emigrant who goes .to a colony to 
push, his fortunes in competition with the natives, not to 
him who goes to live on his own patrimony or the farm 
which he has bought, seeking nothing beyond. Nor does 
what has been said apply to Manitoba, and the recent 
settlements of the North- West. There all alike are new- 
comers, and no one has to encounter any jealousy or pre- 
judice whatever. 

Lord Durham said in his famous Eeport on Canada: 
" There is one consideration in particular which has occurred 
to every observant traveller in these our colonies, and is a 
subject of loud complaint within the colonies. I allude to the 
striking contrast which is presented between the American 
and the British sides of the frontier line, in respect to every 
sign of productive industry, increasing wealth, and progres- 
sive civilisation. By describing one side, and reversing the 
picture, the other would be also described." That this was so 
in Lord Durham's day was not the fault of Canadian hands, 
brains, or hearts. It is not the fault of Canadian hands, 
brains, or hearts if the contrast, though softened, still exists 
and is noticed by the stranger who passes from the southern 
to the northern shore of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence, 
as he compares Windsor, Hamilton, London, Kingston, and 
even Toronto, with Detroit, Buffalo, Eochester, and Oswego. 
The cause is the exclusion of Canada from the commercial 
pale of her continent, and the result would be the same if an 
equal portion of England were cut off from the rest. The 
standard of living and of material civilisation is neces- 
sarily higher in the wealthier country. Let the traveller 


make due allowance for this if he misses an air of homelike 
comfort in a Canadian house or if he does not find luxury in 
a Canadian country inn. 

It has been said that the want of duties, such as 
country life provides for the rich in England, is felt in 
Canada ; though it is of course not felt nearly so much in 
a country where millionaires are rare as it is in the United 
States, where they abound in every great city. Politics un- 
happily are repulsive, and a man born to independence is not 
inclined to put his neck under the galling yoke of party; 
otherwise the public service would be the natural occupation 
of the rich. They might still take part in social effort ; they 
might help to keep the press in good hands ; they might 
even exercise a political influence outside party, and corrective 
of its spirit. As it is, the heirs of wealth on the American 
continent are too often men of pleasure, spending half their 
time and money in London or Paris, while as their wealth 
excites envy they are a dangerous class. But men who have 
no duty laid upon them will seldom make duties for them- 
selves, and in this sense at least the Gospel is still true, 
which says that it is easier for a camel to go through a 
needle's eye than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom 
of Heaven. 

From British as well as from French Canada there is a 
constant flow of emigration to the richer country, and the 
great centres of employment. Dakota and the other new 
States of the American West are full of Canadian fanners ; 
the great American cities are full of Canadian clerks and men 
of business, who usually make for themselves a good name. 
It is said that in Chicago there are 25,000. Hundreds 
of thousands of Canadians have relatives in the United 
States. Canadians in great numbers — it is believed as many 


as 40,000 — enlisted in the American army during the civil 
war. There is a Lodge of the Grand Army at Ottawa. 
A young Canadian thinks no more of going to push his 
fortune in New York or Chicago than a young Scotchman 
thinks of going to Manchester or London. The same is the 
case in the higher callings as in the lower : clergymen, those 
of the Church of England as well as those of other churches, 
freely accept calls to the other side of the Line. So do 
professors, teachers, and journalists. The Canadian churches 
are in full communion with their American sisters, and send 
delegates to each other's Assemblies. Cadets educated at 
a Military College to command the Canadian army against 
the Americans, have gone to practise as Civil Engineers 
in the United States. The Benevolent and National Societies 
have branches on both sides of the Line, and hold con- 
ventions in common. Even the Orange Order has now its 
lodges in the United States, where the name of President is 
substituted in the oath for that of the Queen. American 
labour organisations, as we have seen, extend to Canada. 
The American Science Association met the other day 
at Toronto. All the reforming and philanthropic move- 
ments, such as the Temperance movement, the Women's 
Eights' movement, and the Labour movements, with their 
conventions, are continental Intermarriages between Cana- 
dians and Americans are numerous, so numerous as scarcely 
to be remarked. Americans are the chief owners of 
Canadian mines, and large owners of Canadian timber 
limits. The railway system of the continent is one. The 
winter ports of Canada are those of the United States. 
Canadian banks trade largely in the American market, and 
some have branches there. There is almost a currency 
union, American bank-bills commonly passing at par in 


Ontario, while those of remote Canadian Provinces pass at 
par only by special arrangement. American gold passes at 
par, while silver coin is taken at a small discount : in 
Winnipeg even the American nickel is part of the common 
currency. The Dominion bank-bills, though payable in gold, 
are but half convertible, because what the Canadian banks 
want is not British but American gold. Canadians go to the 
American watering-places, while Americans pass the summer 
on Canadian lakes. Canadians take American periodicals, 
to which Canadian writers often contribute. They resort 
for special purchases to New York stores, or even those of the 
Border cities. Sports are international ; so are the Base Ball 
organisations ; and the Toronto " Nine " is recruited in the 
States. All the New- World phrases and habits are the same 
on both sides of the Line. The two sections of the English- 
speaking race on the American continent, in short, are in a 
state of economic, intellectual, and social fusion, daily be- 
coming more complete. Saving the special connection of a 
limited circle with the Old Country, Ontario is an American 
State of the Northern type, cut off from its sisters by a 
customs line, under a separate government and flag. 

The Maritime Provinces, — Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, 
and Prince Edward Island, — cover, at least the first two of 
them cover, the area of the old French Acadie, which, sub- 
merged by the tide of conquest, shows itself only in the 
ruined fortifications of Louisbourg, once the Acadian 
Gibraltar, in remains of the same kind at Annapolis, and in 
a relic of the French population. The name, with the lying 
legend of British cruelty connected with it, has been em- 
balmed not in amber, but in barley-sugar, by the writer of 


Evangeline} The Maritime Provinces — the cultivable and 
habitable parts of them at least — lie a thousand miles away 
from Ontario, with the French Province between. But they 
are, like Ontario, British colonies, and in the main identical 
with it in all social and political respects. Allowance has 
only to be made, in the cases of Nova Scotia and New Bruns- 
wick, for less of farming and more of mining, of shipping, 
and, in proportion, of lumbering. Prince Edward Island is a 
farming community with rich lands, almost cut off from the 
mainland in winter, insular in character, keeping in the 
ancient paths, and well satisfied with itselt Nova Scotia has 
a source of wealth specially her own, in her rich mines of 
bituminous coaL She is also a great fruit-growing country, 
and Burke would not have called her " a hard-featured brat," 
at least he would have confined his epithet to her Atlantic 
front, if he had been eating Annapolis apples. * Halifax and 
St. John are the two winter ports of the Dominion. The 
harbour of St John, the tide being here strong, is always 
open ; the magnificent basin of Halifax is very seldom closed. 
To society at Halifax the presence of the garrison and the' 
squadron lend a military and naval hue. 

The newly-opened region of the North-West is as far from 
Ontario as Italy is from England, while it forms an integral 
part of the great prairie region to which belong Minnesota 
and Dakota. It now embraces the province of Manitoba and 
the districts of Alberta, Athabasca, Assiniboia, and Saskat- 
chewan, carved out of the North- West, and administered 

1 Lieut. -Governor Sir Adams Archibald, Mr. Parkman, and Dr. Kings- 
ford have completely disposed of this fiction, and shown that the deportation 
of the Acadians was a measure of necessity, to which recourse was had only 
when forbearance was exhausted. The blame really rests on the vile and 
murderous intrigues of the priest Le Loutre. The commander of the troops, 
Winslow, was an American. 


as Territories on a system borrowed from the American Consti- 
tution. The North-West was the vast hunting-ground of the 
Hudson's Bay Company, and the field of a singular and noble 
service, the members of which passed a greaTpart of their 
lives in lonely arctic posts far away from civilisation and 
human intercourse, save with wild Indians, getting one mail 
from England in the year, yet losing nothing of their character 
as highly civilised men. The Company was one of that great 
group formed in the early days of commercial adventure, most 
of which outlived their usefulness and have now quitted the 
scene, but without the support of which, in an age when the 
globe was unexplored, when international law was hardly 
known, when piracy and brigandage were rife, when on 
barbarous shores the trader could look only to his fellow- 
trader for protection, commerce would scarcely have ventured 
to put off into the unknown. That the Company should try 
to keep its hunting-ground intact and bar out settlement from 
it, by representing it as unfit for cultivation, was no more 
than might have been expected. The region is a series of 
vast steppes. It is a sensation not to be forgotten which you 
experience as, standing upon the platform of the railway car 
on the road from St. Paul, you shoot out upon that oceanic 
expanse of prairie, purple with evening, while an electric 
light perhaps shines on the horizon like a star of advancing 
civilisation. What is the extent of the fertile land in the 
North- West, and how great are the capabilities of the region 
is hardly yet known, but it is known that they are vast The 
balance wavered at first between the fertility of the soil on 
one hand, and the rigour of the climate on the other. The 
discovery of abundant fuel was required to turn the scale, 
and coal in abundance, though not of the first quality, has 
been found. The wheat is the very best, the root crops and 


vegetables are superb. The enemies of the farmer are the 
late and early frosts. The grasshopper, another old enemy, 
has hardly appeared in force since the settlement. Just before 
harvest time the weather is no commonplace topic, and a deep 
anxiety broods over the land. More than once the hope of a 
rich harvest has been blighted. It is idle to deny that the 
summer is short. Bat the yield is so abundant that fat years 
make up for lean years. Experience will teach its lessons, 
and already the farmer is learning not to trust too much to 
wheat-growing, but to mix with it the keeping of cattle, 
which, notwithstanding the cold, are said to do weU. The 
prairie grass turns to a natural hay, which furnishes winter 
food. In summer nothing can be balmier or more life-giving 
than the prairie air, nothing more charming than the prairie 
gay with flowers. In winter the glass falls sometimes to forty 
below zero, or even lower, but the people tell you that the 
cold is not felt because it is dry ; perhaps also because all the 
settlers there being young, their blood is warm. If they do 
not want the thread of aged lives to be cut by the winter's 
shears they will have to build solid houses, for which happily, 
in Manitoba at least, they have good building stone and 
brick. Not to feel the cold in a wooden shanty, with the 
snow driving through its chinks in forty below zero, blood 
must be warm indeed. Emigrants should not go to the 
North- West without the means of providing themselves with 
good houses, warm clothes, and fuel. This region, however, 
does not, like Minnesota, lie in the zone of blizzards. It 
might have been thought that on the prairie, where agricul- . 
tural machines have full swing, in a climate where close 
dwelling has advantages, material and social, large fanning 
would, if anywhere, have succeeded, while its success might 
have been the inauguration of a new industrial and social 


system. But on the Bell Farm it was tried in the ablest 
hands, and did not pay. It seems that nothing will make 
farming pay but the sweat of the owner's brow and the close- 
ness of the owner's fist. Winnipeg shows by the mixture of 
rough shanties with buildings of a better class and some of 
the [highest class, that she rose but yesterday out of the 
prairie. She has only just recovered from the demoralisation 
of commerce by " the boom," a wild burst of gambling in real 
estate which raged at her birth and drew to her a loose 
population. But as the centre of distribution, of govern- 
ment, of law, of education, and above all of railways, she can 
hardly fail to thrive. If Manitoba and the rest of the region 
fill up slowly, the fault lies, as will hereafter appear, not in 
anything that nature has failed to do, but in things which 
man has dona In situation Brandon is superior to Winnipeg. 
The dead level of the prairie line is broken, and there is a 
general cheerfulness in the landscape which cradles the 
thriving young town. The journey seems long over a steppe 
monotonous as the sea, and with a horizon equally level, to 
Calgary, where you find yourself in the ranch country, undu- 
lating and park-like, with the range of the Eockies full in 

The immigration has been of a motley sort, and not all of 
the kind which forms the best material for a new community. 
The Mennonites work very hard, are thrifty, and will no 
doubt give up their exclusiveness and become citizens in 
time, since military service, conscientious dislike of which 
was the ground of their isolation, has no existence in their 
new home. The Icelanders, used to such a climate, do well. 
The Skye crofters have hardly been farmers ; they are children 
of a mild though damp climate ; and it was not to be expected 
that their settlements would look more prosperous than they 


do. It is lucky that the idea of importing Irish and planting 
them in shanties over a large district was given up. The 
Irish are not farmers ; they are spade husbandmen, who have 
hardly handled a plough and have never seen a machine. 
Nor are they pioneers. Their hearts would have sunk in the 
solitude, and they would have gone off to their kinsmen in 
the United States. Young Englishmen as a class have not 
done well; they have energy and pluck, but not steady 
industry, self-denial, or the habit of saving. The jesters of 
the North-West call " remittances from home " the English- 
man's harvest. Of a good many the Mounted Police is the 
last haven. What the North-West needs is the floating 
population of the continent, farmers to the manner born. To 
send East-Londoners, who have hardly seen a plough, to the 
climate and the life of the North -West, is cruel kindness, 
and so it has proved. 

If the North-West fills up, Old Canada will be dwarfed, 
and, supposing Confederation to endure, the centre of power 
will shift westward, though the loss by Ottawa of all control 
over the North-West is perhaps the more likely result. 

British Columbia again is separated from the North-West 
by a triple range of mountains, the Eockies, the Selkirks, the 
Golden or Coast range, in traversing which the Pacific Eailway 
proclaims the glory of Canadian science. This Province is 
the Pacific slope of the mountain range, clothed with pine of 
the noblest size, though not deemed equal in quality to that 
of Nova Scotia, but hardly within reach of the lumberman 
except on the lower fringe. Her flora is Pacific, so com- 
pletely does she belong to that side of the world. Of 
unwooded land British Columbia has not much, while clearing, 
where the timber is so heavy, would be too costly ; but she 
. has coal at Nanaimo, she has plenty of salmon for canning, 




and she is understood to be very rich in minerals. There is 
a project for opening her mineral wealth by a railway carried 
through the mountain region in concert with the American 
government. Her climate is warm compared with that of 
other provinces in the same latitude, and she has an open 
though damp and raw winter. The vegetation is tropical, 
not in variety, but in luxuriance. Nothing can be more 
impressive than a ride in the forest, through the vast and 
silent arcade of pines and cedars, so gigantic that they almost 
shut out the sky. The coast scenery, with views of the 
American Snow mountains, is superb, though one might wish 
that the "Olympian Range" had a less pedantic name. 1 
Vancouver is the leading port of British Columbian commerce. 
She hopes to have a great Asiatic trade and become a mighty 
city. Land is accordingly held in that city at fabulous prices, 
which those will pay who share the gorgeous dream. Victoria 
sleeps in beauty over her little pile of earnings from the gold- 
washings and from the trade of early days. Her cottage 
villas with their rose gardens have an English look, and she 
prides herself on being English in character and spirit. As 
she is on an island where the railway cannot reach her there 
seems to be not much chance of her reawakening to any active 
commercial life. The most lively thing about her at present 
is the Chinese Colony, where we come into contact with the 
advance guard of that countless host which, bar it out with 
laws and poll-taxes on immigration as you will, hunger driving 
it on and capital craving for its cheap labour, can hardly be 
arrested in its march, and may some day possess the coast of 
the Pacific. 

1 Canadian and American mountains have often names too prosaic. 
Peaks, instead of being called, like Swiss peaks, the Storm peak, the Silver 
peak, the Peak of Thunder, the Maiden, are called after railway directors 
and politicans. 



It is in the North- West and in British Columbia that the 
Bed Indian is now chiefly to be seen ; for among those on the 
Eastern Keserves there is little of the pure blood. The race, 
every one says, is doomed. It has fallen into the gulf between 
the hunter state and that of the husbandman. Whisky has con- 
tributed to its ruin. The sudden disappearance of the buffalo, 
which is the most surprising event in natural history, has 
deprived the hunter of subsistence. Little will be lost by 
humanity. The Eed Indian has the wonderful powers of 
enduring hunger and fatigue which the hunter's life engenders; 
he has the keenness of sense indispensable in tracking game : 
he seems to have no other gift. Ethnologists may find it 
instructive to study a race without a history and without a 
future ; but the race will certainly not be a factor in New 
World civilisation. Musical Indian names of places and 
rivers, Indian relics in museums, Indian phrases, such as 
" going on the warpath " and " burying the hatchet " — these 
and nothing more apparently will remain of the aborginal 
man in North America. His blood is not on the head of the 
British Government, which has always treated him with 
humanity and justice. 



Jacques Gartier, though venerated as the founder of the 
French Colony, was only the discoverer of the St. Lawrence 
(1535). He made trial of the climate by wintering at Quebec, 
where he lost many of his crew by cold, hunger, and scurvy, 
and he opened relations with the Indians in a rather sinister 
way by kidnapping a chief with three of his tribe. But he 
formed no permanent settlement : Eoberval, his contemporary 
and successor in the enterprise, totally failed. The real 
founder of Canada did not appear on the scene until seventy 
years after. This was Samuel de Champlain (1603-35), 
one of that striking group of characters to which the 
sixteenth century gave birth, and which combined the force, 
hardihood, and romance of feudalism with the larger views 
and higher objects of the Eeformation era. The man would 
have been a crusader in the thirteenth century who in the 
sixteenth was a maritime adventurer and the founder of a 
colony. Champlain, though it does not appear that he ever 
was of the Eeformed faith, and though he ultimately became 

1 The principal sources of this and the following historical sketch, besides 
the Relations des Jesuites and Le Clercq's L fistablissement de la Foi, are Mr. 
Parkman's narratives, and the histories of Garneau, Christie, Miles, MacMullen, 
and Kingsford, with Cavendish's Debates in the British House of Commons, 
in 1774. 


connected with the Jesuits, had fought for Henry IV, and 
must therefore have belonged to the more liberal and patriotic 
party of Eoman Catholics. At this time there was beginning 
to be an exodus of Huguenots to New France, like that of the 
persecuted Puritans to New England, which came a few years 
afterwards. Henry IV seems to have encouraged the move- 
ment, seeing perhaps how the tide was running in France and 
guessing what was in store, when his protection should have 
been withdrawn, for the party to which he had belonged. 
Had New France been colonised by Huguenots, bringing with 
them the energy, the industry, the intelligence, and the love 
of freedom which marked them in their own country, New 
England would have had a formidable rival, and to the French, 
not to the English race and tongue the American continent 
might now belong. French writers look back with a wistful 
eye to the glory that might have been. As it was, Quebec, 
with France herself and everything belonging to her, fell into 
the hands of the Catholic Eeaction, and of its incarnation and 
apostle the Jesuit. The Jesuit of course devoutly excluded 
the Huguenot, carefully searching vessels lest they should 
have brought over any one tainted with the pestilence of 
heresy. Not only did he exclude the Huguenot, but as far as 
possible he excluded the Jansenist. By this he did the 
Colony incomparably more harm than he ever, by his boasted 
activity as a civiliser and educator, did it good. In fact, 
during the early stages of its history, while it remained under 
Jesuit domination, it was not a colony at all. It was a Jesuit 
mission grafted on a station of the fur trade. 

The Jesuit missionaries, who came to the settlement in 
1625, did for the glory of God and of their Order things 
which have found in our own day a brilliant and sympathetic 
chronicler. Our accounts of their exploits are derived from 



" Eelations," written by themselves and published in France, 
for the purpose of exalting the name of the Order, exciting 
sympathy with it, and opening the purses of the devout, all 
of which purposes, not excepting the last, they effectually 
served. Nor is it possible to put unreserved confidence in 
the narratives of men the most sensible of whom lived in an 
atmosphere of miracle, divine and diabolical, saw demons 
aiming darts at them, received supernatural warnings, and 
beheld fiery crosses traversing the sky. Yet there can be no 
doubt that Jesuitism had in New France its heroes and its 
martyrs. It had martyrs who, with a fortitude which 
nothing but sincere enthusiasm could have sustained, braved 
the perils and hardships of the wilderness, endured the worse 
horrors of life in the Indian hut, and underwent without 
flinching at the hands of the Iroquois tortures equal phy- 
sically at least to those which their European brethren were 
inflicting, or causing to be inflicted, on heretics in the dungeons 
of the Inquisition. These were at all events victories of the 
higher over the lower man. It was certain that the Order 
would draw into it at first some pure enthusiasts; and 
it was likely that these would wish to go, and would by the 
policy of the Order be sent, rather to the missionary field 
than to that of European propagandism and intrigue. 
Jesuitism is redeemed by its missionary element imper- 
sonated in Xavier and Brebceuf. It "was their own version of 
Christianity of course that the Sons of Loyola taught. Perhaps 
it was a Christianity in some respects not uncongenial to the 
Indian. "You burn your enemies," said a Jesuit to an 
Algonquin chief, " and God does the same." In the pictures 
of lost souls tormented by demons which were presented to 
them, the Indian might see his own practices ascribed to the 
Supreme Being. An Indian woman whom the Fathers were 


trying to convert, refused to be sent to Heaven when they 
had told her that her dead children were in HelL Nor can 
their philosophic eulogist forbear smiling at the frivolity, not 
to say fetichism, of some of their religious ideas and practices. 
The missionaries are always looking out with peculiar eager- 
ness for dying children whom, by baptism, in the furtive 
administration of which rather equivocal stratagems are 
sometimes employed, they send, as they think, straight from 
Hell to Paradise. Their thaumaturgy might justify the 
Indian in calling them, as he did, the French medicine men. 
In spite of all the self-devotion of the Fathers and all 
their heroism, their missions came almost to naught. They 
had the misfortune to be confronted by the Iroquois, of all 
Eed Indians and of all savages the most valiant, the most 
politic, and the most fiendish. Chaniplain . by allying himself 
with the Huron enemies of the Iroquois, rashly stirred the 
terrible swarm: By the Iroquois the Hurons, among whom 
the Jesuits had planted their missionaries and made converts, 
were overthrown, and in 1649 utterly destroyed. To a Huron 
it naturally appeared hard that this should be the reward of 
allegiance to the true God ; nor does it seem impossible that 
by the change the convert may have lost something of the 
warlike character necessary to save him in the ruthless 
struggle for existence. A few of the Iroquois themselves 
were afterwards converted, and the descendants of such con- 
verts, under the name of the Caughnawagas, steer the tourist 
down the Lachine rapids to Montreal. Mr. Parkman gives 
the Jesuit credit for having by contact softened the manners 
of the Indians generally; but this seems hardly consistent 
with his own statements that the Fathers connived at the 
torture of prisoners by their Indian converts, and that when 
the Jesuits had become, as in course of time they did, more 


political than missionary, the converts were launched in 
scalping parties against the colonists of New England. 

The palm of religious heroism must be shared by the 
Jesuits with the Ursulines. The " Eelations " of the Jesuits 
had fired the hearts of devout women in France with the 
same missionary enthusiasm, mingled, as the historian fails 
not to see, with a yearning for personal distinction. These 
women performed miracles as hospital nurses and as angels of 
charity in the struggling and suffering settlements, while they 
were props of a system under which the Colony could hardly 
be anything but a hospital and an almshouse. A hospital 
was founded at Montreal, to afford a theatre for the religious 
activity of these ladies, before there was any need of one, and 
when the money and the labour were sorely required for 
other purposes by a settlement feebly struggling for existence. 
Marie de Tlncarnation seems to have rivalled St. Catherine 
or St. Theresa in the intensity of her self-devotion, in her 
erotic transports, and in all that is most characteristic of 
a female saint. Jeanne le Ber, another saint, was the 
Simeon Stylites of her sex : she shut herself up for twenty 
years in a cell behind the altar, rarely speaking, and inflicting 
on herself incredible mortifications. This might be seraphic, 
but it was not a practical model for the settler's wife. 

If the heroic efforts of the Jesuit as missionary were 
baffled by adverse circumstances, as the organiser of a colony 
he failed through the inherent and fatal falsity of his ideal. 
His object, as he avowed, was to make Quebec a Northern 
Paraguay, in other words, a community of human sheep 
• absolutely devoted and submissive to their ecclesiastical 
shepherd. But human sheep are not colonial pioneers. Nor 
was the ascetic view of the world or the palm held out to 
self-torturing saintship likely to stimulate the agricultural 


or commercial effort necessary to place a colony on a sound 
material basis. The Puritans of New England, it has been 
justly observed, however austere and however narrow might 
be their religion, believed in a Giver of material as well as 
spiritual blessings, and in the material as well as in the 
spiritual sphere laboured with all their might to carry into 
effect the Divine intention. To make a Paraguay, moreover, it 
was necessary that the temporal and spiritual powers should 
be united in the hands of the priest. To bring this about 
was in New France, as everywhere else, the Jesuit's constant 
aim. With the help of devout Governors he to a great 
extent succeeded, and the result was that petitions were sent 
to France praying u that an end might be put to the Gehenna 
produced by the union of the temporal with the spiritual 
power." The moral code under Jesuit rule was Genevan in 
its rigour as .well as ultra-ecclesiastical in its formality. For 
breach of its ordinances men were whipped like dogs. 
It was enforced, as was complained at the time, not only by 
the confessional, but by a system of espionage which made 
the Jesuit master of all family secrets and tyrant of all house- 
holds. To the Jesuit his Canadian realm seemed a spiritual 
Paradise and the Gate of Heaven, albeit the blessed souls in 
it lived in constant peril of famine and of the tomahawk. 
But it seemed by no means a Paradise to some untamed 
spirits, whose energy as pioneers, though unhallowed, the 
Colony perhaps could ill afford to lose. These fled from 
it to the free life of the forest, and became as bushrangers the 
perpetual scandal of the Government. A genuine and great 
service was done by the priests in opposing the brandy trade, 
which was playing havoc among the Indians, and we need 
not regard the insinuation of a governor with whom they had 
quarrelled, that they wished themselves to engross the profits 


of the trade. It is probable, however, that before its fall, the 
Order had become not only political but commercial in Quebec, 
as it had in Europe, where the scandalous bankruptcy of one 
of its commercial houses was among the immediate causes of 
its suppression. One of the governors at least reports that it 
was getting the fur trade into its hands. It shared the 
inevitable fate of all the Orders, which, beginning with a 
seraphic ideal and a renunciation of all worldly goods, fell 
from their unattainable aim into corporate ambition, pursuit 
of inordinate wealth, and a corruption which, contrasted with 
their professions, brought on them hatred, contempt, and at 
last the whirlwind of destruction. 

Quebec, the Paradise of the Jesuits/ had a competitor 
and an object of jealousy in Montreal, founded in 1642 by 
Maisonneuve, whose figure belongs to the same group as that 
of Champlain, though he was more of a religious devotee. 
Montreal was under the influence of the Sulpicians, a branch 
of whose Order, the Eecollets, had preceded the Jesuits in 
the Canadian Mission. Quebec accused Montreal of Jansen- 
ism and received with a slight sneer of incredulity Montreal 
miracles, even when they were so little trying to a child-like 
faith as that of the man's head which talked after being 
severed from the body. Sulpicianism, on the other hand, 
spoke with delicate irony of the Jesuit Eelations, and in- 
sinuated a comparison between them and the tales of the 
East Indian traveller who made a valiant soldier, when he 
had fired away his last bullet, load his musket with his own 
teeth. After the lapse of two centuries and a half this 
battle between Jesuit and Sulpician, Ultramontane and Gal- 
lican, has been renewed. 

As an agricultural or commercial settlement New France 
remained a failure, its only trade being the fur trade, while 


the Iroquois incessantly prowled around it like wolves and 
picked off the tillers of the fields who worked with the 
\ loaded arquebuse by their sides. The Home Government 

generally had its hands full of home troubles and dis- 
tractions, while such aid as was sent from private sources 
was sent not to the colony but to the mission. Eichelieu, 

> when engaged in reorganising the monarchy on the centralis- 
ing principle, did not fail to turn his thoughts to the colony. 
He reformed the Constitution of the Commercial Company, 
which was in fact its only government other than the priest- 
hood, and sent it soldiers, though in numbers whoUy in- 
adequate to its defence. But then came the troubles of the 
Fronde. When these were past, and over the wreck of 
feudal independence rose in all its might and glory the 
administrative despotism of Louis XIV, a dead-lift effort was 

^ made to inspire life, after the autocratic fashion, into the 

colony, and make it the starting-point of a French and 
Catholic empire which, extinguishing the English and Dutch 
colonies, should embrace the whole of the continent. The 
regiment of Carignan-Sali&res was sent out in 1665 and 
repressed the Iroquois, while a not less potent agency in the 
salvation of the Settlement was the advent, as governor, ol 
Frontenac, the Clive of Quebec. By the side of the plumed 
governor, who, like the governors of provinces in France 
represented the feudal aristocracy surviving in its state and 
in its military character under the king, though shorn of its 
political and military power, came in less showy costume the 
Eoyal Intendant, to whom in all administrative matters the 
power had been transferred. The Intendant Talon was a 
colonial Colbert — able, active, and upright like his chief ; and, 
like his chief, he did all that could be done under the radir 
cally false system of monopoly and protectionism to animate 


and foster trade. To recruit the population, which between 
asceticism and the Iroquois was at a very low ebb, large con- 
signments of young women were shipped out by despotic fiat 
from France, and marriage was encouraged in the same style 
by means of premiums on offspring and penalties on celibacy. 
Feudalism, such as it was in France since its teeth had been 
drawn by the Monarchy — feudalism, that is not political or 
military but only manorial — was imported into the colony as 
the land system of the French realm ; and a number of 
seigniories were carved out under which the settlers held 
their lands as censitaires, like the copyholders under an 
English manor, though with the feudal forms of investiture 
instead of entry on the court roll. The militia was kept in 
the hands of a king's officer, and the criminal jurisdiction of 
the seignior was very small. Some of the feudal incidents, 
such as the obligation to use the lord's mill and oven, must 
have been almost a dead letter; but there was an oppressive 
fee to the lords on sales. So much of democracy there was 
on the American soil even under Bourbon rule that the 
peasant would brook no name that savoured of villeinage, 
but styled himself the habitant. The colony was also en- 
dowed with a noblesse formed out of rather sorry materials, 
such as the disbanded officers of the Carignan regiment and 
plebeian settlers whose vanity led them to buy social 
rank. The result, as plainly appears and might have 
baen surely foreseen, was not a genuine aristocracy, but a 
false caste of insolence, idleness, and vagabondage, though 
the genius of the New World so far asserted itself that 
(he colonial gentleman, unlike the gentleman of the mother 
country, was permitted without loss of rank to engage in 

In New as in Old France the despotism was absolute. 


The Supreme Council which was instituted at this time 
(1663), and ousted the Commercial Company from all polit- 
ical power, was only another name for the rule of the Eoyal 
Governor, of the Intendant, and in matters ecclesiastical of 
the Bishop. The Intendant by his decrees regulated not 
only the police but commercial and civil life. Of the local 
self-government, which formed the soul and the hope of New 
England, not a germ was allowed to appear. One Governor 
conceived the idea of providing the colony with a minia- 
ture counterpart of the States-General ; but he was at once 
given to understand that the Court, far from wishing to 
extend the venerable institution to the colonies, was disposed 
to regard it as obsolete at home. It is needless to say that 
no organ or expression of public opinion was allowed. The 
colony was of course under the French criminal law, with its 
arbitrary imprisonment and judicial torture. 

Louis XIV, albeit devout, and more devout than ever 
when he had fallen under the influence of the Maintenon, 
still meant to be King of the Church as well as of the State. 
He had not even shrunk, when his royal dignity was in 
question, from bullying the Pope. Eelations were somewhat 
strained between the representatives of the Eoyal power and 
the head of the Church, Bishop Laval. This prelate, whose 
name is still great in French Canada and is borne by the 
Laval University, was the paragon of asceticism in his day. 
He lay on a bed full of vermin ; he ate tainted meat ; the 
wonder is that he escaped canonisation. He was a fast 
ally of the Jesuits, and a champion of the doctrines which 
they then preached and are now again preaching on the same 
field respecting the supremacy and infallibility of the Pope, 
the independence and liberty of the Church, and the duty of 
the State to submit to the Church in case of any conflict 


between them. 1 Laval, who particularly prided himself on 
his humility, had frequent disputes with the Governors about 
precedence, in which the Governors showed more spirit than 
is shown by politicians when threatened with ecclesiastical 
displeasure at the present day. They said to the churchman 
in effect, like their precursor Poutrincourt, " It is your busi- 
ness to obey me on earth and to guide me to heaven." A 
curb, and a strong curb, was legally imposed on the Episcopal 
power and ambition by the Eoyal ordinance, which decreed 
that the tenure of the curis should be fixed, as in France, and 
that they should be no longer removable at the Bishop's will. 
It is needless to say that Monopoly and Protectionism 
failed to give new life to industry and commerce. Decrees 
forbidding merchants to trade with the Indians, forbidding 
them to sell goods at retail except in August, September, and 
October, forbidding trade anywhere above Quebec, forbidding 
the sale of clothing or domestic articles ready-made, forbidding 
trade with the New England Colonies, that is with the natural 
market, forbidding any one to go there without a passport — 
decrees giving a monopolist company power to make domi- 
ciliary visits for the discovery and destruction of foreign 
goods, ordering that vessels engaged in foreign commerce 
should be treated as pirates, and that every one found with 
an article of foreign manufacture in his possession should 
be fined 2 — with other like ordinances, produced the same sort 
of results which similar policy, pursued by men less excus- 
able in error than Colbert and Talon, is now pro- 
ducing in the same field. Nor could exclusion from the 
natural market be compensated in those days any more than 

1 See Parkman's Old Regime in Canada, p. 166, where the Jesuit Father 
Braan is cited. 

2 Parkman's Old BAgime, p. 290. 


in these by the creation of a forced market in the West 
Indies or elsewhere. An attempt of the beneficent King to 
speed the plough by the introduction of negro slavery had no 
better success, being baffled at once by the climate. The 
colony made nothing and produced nothing except beaver 
skins, to be exported to France in payment for the supplies 
of all kinds which it drew thence. It was consequently 
bankrupt, coin fled from it, giving place to bad paper, and at 
last to card money. Even the trade in beaver skins was so 
bedevilled by monopoly and government regulation that at 
one time the company destroyed three-fourths of the stock on 
their hands to avert a glut. In the fur trade, however, was 
such life as the colony had apart from the activity of the 
clergy. Into this were drawn all those who preferred the 
freedom of the forest to the paternal despotism of the In- 
tendant and the priest. A strange and wild life it was. The 
bushrangers (coureurs des hois) threw off civilisation, lived 
with the Indians, intermarried with them, learned Indian 
habits, became more than half Indians themselves, and some- 
times were made chiefs of Indian tribes. They took to war- 
paint and feathers. They took even to scalping, and were in 
consequence treated by Wolfe as out of the laws of war. 
They regarded themselves, however, as gentlemen, and it is 
said that some of the best families in Quebec are descended 
from this stock. 

Closely connected with the spirit of this roving life was 
the adventurous passion for discovery, which reached its 
climax in the marvellous exploration of the Mississippi by 
La Salle. As explorers the French were not less superior to 
the staid and plodding New Englander than they were 
inferior to him in industry, commerce, and the qualities 
requisite for building up a commonwealth. To the Jesuit 


missionaries, too, is due the credit of wonderful exploration, 
notably on the Upper Lakes. It was natural also that in the 
magnificence of their schemes, military and territorial, the 
French should have the pre-eminence. With no other basis 
than a settlement of a few thousands of people on the St. 
Lawrence they aspired to the extension of their Empire by & 
chain of military posts westward to the Mississippi and down 
its whole course to New Orleans. In their vaulting ambition 
the men of New France were true Frenchmen. 

Supposing a despotic administration to be inspired by 
probity and beneficence, its eye cannot see nor can its arm 
reach across the Atlantic. Colbert meant very well to the 
colony, and even his King meant well. But after Louis XIV 
and Colbert came Louis XV and the Regency, Pompadour 
and Dubois. Then began in the unhappy dependency a reign 
of unbridled corruption and abuse. Peculation and extortion 
to an enormous extent were carried on by a gang of officials, 
at the head of which was the Intendant Bigot, whose chateau 
near Quebec was a sort of outpost of the Pare aux Cerfs. It 
is astonishing that, vexed as they were with imposts, pillaged 
as they were by scoundrels in office, and harassed as they 
were by compulsory service in the militia and on public 
works, the peasants of Quebec should have remained true as 
they did to their King and to France. Pompadour was not 
so hostile as Maintenon to Huguenots, and would not have 
i i] .posed their settling in New France. But the Huguenot was 
now extinet ; in his place had come Voltaire. 

The historian bespeaks our sympathy and admiration, 
not only for the missionary, but for the parish priest, who 
went about through the sparse settlements of a wild peasantry, 
along the inhospitable shore, performing Mass, baptising, con- 
fessing, and preaching, in defiance of great hardship and no 


small peril. These men, no doubt, after the downfall of 
asceticism, kept alive such religion and such morality as there 
was. But of morality there seems in the closing days of the 
colony to have been as little as there was of industry or 
trade. The soldiery, the bushrangers, the fur trade and its 
roystering fairs, the association with the Indians, the habits 
and examples of Pompadourian Intendants, appear by their 
united agencies of corruption to have morally ruined the 
Northern Paraguay. Of education there had never been any 
except that which the Jesuits gave to the boys destined for 
the priesthood, or to the sons of the few people of quality. 
French gaiety remained ; so, we are told, did the polish of 
French manners, and the Colonists, we are also told, spoke 
French well. 

The French colonist, however, if he was backward in 
the arts of peace was not to be despised in war. This he 
showed in the long conflict with the English colonies and 
their mother country which fills the closing period of this 
history. The very absence of industrial and commercial 
pursuits preserved the military character. The bushranger 
was the best of bushfighters and could act in perfect unison 
with his savage comrade the Bed Indian. The New Eng- 
enders, though they came of the Ironside blood and had the 
making of the best soldiers in them, were not soldiers, but 
traders and mechanics. Wolfe speaks very disparagingly of 
his Colonial Hangers. The first capture of Louisbourg by a 
Colonial army supported only by a British fleet was a stroke 
of luck, due to the mutinous state of the garrison and the 
weakness of the Commandant. Moreover the English colonies 
were divided in their councils : they had with the inde- 
pendence and self-reliance the stiff-neckedness of republicans, 
and the weakness in joint action which it entails. It was 


very hard to bring each colony to take ita part in any 
common enterprise or furnish its contingent to any common 
force. The French, on the other hand, were united under 
the absolute command of the Royal Governor, who could call 
them all to arms and dispose of everything they had for the 
King's service. Nor were the French nobles, by whom the 
governorship was held, ill-fitted for the military part of their 
work. Frontenac especially was a man of great genius for 
war as well as of iron character ; he left a name dreaded by 
the English Colonists and renowned in Canadian history, 
though sullied by his murderous employment of the savage ; 
not that anybody abstained from the use of this vile 
auxiliary, whose subsequent introduction into the revolu- 
tionary war by the British was not the horrible innovation 
which rhetoric painted it, though assuredly it was a crime 
as well as a blunder. Superior as they were in population 
and in wealth, the English colonies might have been lost 
had they not been united, as far as they were capable of 
union, and supported by their mother country. As soon as 
her arm, after a long and desperate struggle, had laid low 
their formidable rival and assured their safety, she was made 
to feel what had been their real tie to her. 

The conquest of Quebec is familiar to all ; and has been 
narrated by Mr. Parkman in the two most charming volumes, 
perhaps, even of his charming series. If he fails in anything, 
perhaps it is in not perfectly painting the character of Wolfe, 
one of the most interesting, if not one of the most important 
or dazzling, figures in military history. Near the famous 
battle-field on which the steadiness of the British soldier, 
reserving his fire for the decisive volley while his comrades 
were falling fast around him, determined that to his race, not 
to the French, should belong the New World and its hopes, 


stands the monument raised by the victor to the joint memory 
of Wolfe and Montcalm. The warlike aristocracy of France 
and the military duty of England could not have encountered 
each other in more typical forms. Voltaire, more philosopher 
and philanthropist than patriot, celebrated by a feast the 
transfer of New France from the realm of despotism to that of 
freedom. Mr. Parktnan says: "A happier calamity never 
befell a people than the conquest of Canada by the British 



Quebec had been won. What was to be done with it ? The 
highest wisdom said, " Add it to the New England Colonies 
by which it will soon be assimilated, and leave the whole 
independent, content with the Empire of British civilisation 
over the New World, and with the moral supremacy which 
the mother country, provided the filial tie remains unbroken, 
is sure to retain." Cromwell had meditated giving the 
Colonies Jamaica. But such a policy was beyond the 
ken of the statesmen of that day, and few even among the 
calmest observers had any conception of it. We must re- 
member, moreover, that in times before Adam Smith a 
distant dependency seemed to everybody to have real value 
inasmuch as the Imperial country monopolised its trade. 
Still the question remained whether Quebec should be left 
French and governed as a conquest or made English. That 
question was settled by the American Bevolution, which 
compelled the Imperial Government to court the French of 
Quebec and respect their nationality. That a revolt of the 
American colonies would follow when the curb of French 
rivalry had been removed was surmised by clear-sighted 
men at the time, albeit it would be hard to accuse England 
of blindness, because she failed to foresee that the requital 


of her supreme effort on behalf of her American colonists 
would be their secession. Mr. Samuel Adams and the rest 
of the Boston counterparts of Wilkes and Home Tooke, who 
fomented the quarrel till it became revolution and civil war, 
should have had a little patience and waited till Quebec 
had been not only conquered but made English. To make 
her English as she then was would not have been hard. 
Her French inhabitants of the upper class, had, for the 
most part, quitted her after the conquest and sailed with 
their property for France. There remained only 70,000 
peasants, to whom their language was not so dear as it was 
to a member of the Institute, who knew not the difference 
between codes so long as they got justice, and among whom, 
harsh and abrupt change being avoided, the British tongue 
and law might have been gradually and painlessly introduced 

While the war lasted, and for a short time afterwards, the 
government was military, and the ultimate policy of the 
British Government with regard to the conquered Province 
was in suspense. That the government should at first be 
military was inevitable, and French writers who speak of this 
with indignation must remember what was the conduct of 
the House of Bourbon or of the French Eepublic to countries 
overrun by their armies. They should remember the plan 
which was sanctioned by Louis XIV for the treatment of 
New York in case it should be conquered, and according to 
which Protestantism would have been uprooted, all property 
confiscated, the inhabitants generally deported, and those who 
remained put to convict labour on the fortifications. 

The Americans called upon the Canadians to join them 
in their revolt. But the Canadians had already begun to 
taste the fruits of the Conquest. They had been released 
from the vexations of constant military service and allowed 



to till their farms. Their religion had been respected to a 
greater extent even than was required by the terms of the 
Treaty of Cession. . Not only were the parish clergy left in 
possession of their tithes, but the religious orders also, saving 
the anti-national Jesuits, had been left in possession of their 
estates. Bourbon despotism and corruption had departed. 
Instead of arbitrary tribunals, trial by jury had been intro- 
duced, though the habitant at first hardly understood the 
boon, while the Seignior thought it a derogation from his 
ragged dignity to be judged by shopkeepers and peasants. 
The Puritans, or rather ex-Puritans of New England, had 
made the retention of Eoman Catholicism in Quebec one of 
the counts in their indictment of the British Government. 
In an address to the British people they spoke of the religion 
of the Canadians as one " that had drenched Great Britain in 
blood and disseminated impiety, bigotry, persecution, murder, 
and rebellion through every part of the world." Afterwards, 
calling the French Canadians to freedom, they treated the 
religious question in a different strain. "We are too well- 
acquainted," they said, " with the liberality of sentiment dis- 
tinguishing your nation to imagine that difference of religion 
will prejudice you against a hearty amity with us. You know 
that the transcendent nature of freedom elevates the minds of 
those who unite in the cause above all such low-minded 
infirmities. The Swiss Cantons furnish a memorable proof of 
this truth ; their union is composed of Catholic and Protest- 
ant States, living in the utmost concord and peace with each 
other ; and they are thereby enabled, ever since they bravely 
vindicated their freedom, to defy and defeat every tyrant that 
has invaded them:" The Quebec clergy, however, did not 
forget the former and as they probably thought more sincere 
manifesto. Their weight was cast into the other scale, and 


their chief, the Bishop of Quebec, exhorted his people to be 
true to British allegiance and repel the American invaders. 
To . the blandishments of Franklin and his coadjutors the 
priests replied that Great Britain had kept her faith, preserved 


to the French people their laws and customs, shielded their 
religion, left the monasteries their estates, and even ordered 
the military authorities to pay honour to Catholic processions. 1 
Nor did the Seigniors like the look of revolution. The 
peasantry were slow to move, rejoicing to have got back to 
their homesteads and thinking that it was not their quarrel ; 
the city of Quebec narrowly escaped capture by the Americans 
under Arnold and Montgomery; but the behaviour of the 
invaders helped to stir up the people against them, and the 
Province was saved. The Governor, Sir Guy Carleton, was a 
man worthy to command. Had he been in the place of the 
torpid Howe, the heavy Clinton, or the light Burgoyne, there 
might have been a different tale to tell. 

The danger, however, had determined the policy of the 
British Government and led to the practical abandonment, as/ 
it proved for ever, of the thought of Anglicising QuebecJ 
The settlement embodied in the Quebec Act, framed by Lore} 
North's government, not only secured to the French people 
the free exercise of their religion and to the priesthood its 
revenues, but established the French civil law and French 
procedure without juries. It put an end to the military 
dictatorship by giving the Province a governing Council 
which was to be partly composed of Catholics ; an Elective 
Assembly could not have been safely given to people recently 
conquered, nor did the French themselves demand it ; they 
had been accustomed only to obey, and were satisfied if their 
rulers were just. The Quebec Act was opposed as anti- 

1 Garneau's History of Canada, Bell's edition, vol. ii, p. 148. 


British by Chatham almost with hie last breath. It was 
opposed also by Burke, but not ou the ground of hostility to 
the Roman Catholic religion. " There is," said Burke, " but 
one healing, Catholic principle of toleration which ought to 
find favour in this House. It is wanted not only in our 
colonies, but here. The thirsty earth of our own country is 
gasping and gaping and crying out for that healing shower 
from heaven. The noble lord has told you of the right of 
those people by the Treaty ; but I consider the right of con- 
quest so little and the right of human nature so much that the 
former has very little consideration with me. I look upon 
the people of Canada as coming by the dispensation of God 
under the British government. I would have us govern it in 
the same manner as the all-wise disposition of Providence 
would govern it. We know He suffers the sun to shine upon 
the righteous and the unrighteous ; and we ought to suffer all 
classes without distinction to enjoy equally the right of wor- 
shipping God according to the light He has been pleased to 
give them." The earth of England unhappily was to gasp 
and gape for the healing shower for another half-century. 
Burke's view as to the treatment of the conquered was noble, 
but it would have extinguished conquest altogether. Yet 
Burke himself was no enemy to aggrandisement by war. 

By this time, however, it was not only with the French, 
or with the difficulty which their nationaKty presented, that 
the British Government had to deal After the Conquest a 
number of British adventurers, for the most part it seems not 
of a high class, had settled in the Province and had at once 
got its commerce — for which the French peasants had no 
turn — into their hands. Presently came a crowd of American 
Royalists, driven into exile by the Revolution, and full at 
once of extreme British feeling and of wounded pride. These 


men aspired to being an oligarchy of conquest. At the same 
time they thought that they ought to carry' the British Con- 
stitution, with all the liberties and privileges which it gave 
them, on the soles of their feet. Both as a limit to their 
ascendency, and as a curtailment. of their British freedom, the 
Quebec Act was hateful to them, and they laboured vehe- 
mently, with all the engines which they could command 
at home, for its repeal. So far they succeeded that Habeas 
Corpus was restored. The troubles which lasted till 1841 
had now begun. 

In 1791 came, with the progress of the French Eevolution, 
another crisis of opinion in England, and in connection with it 
a resettlement of Quebec. The political date of the discussion 
is marked by the quarrel between Burke and Fox. Pitt now 
laid his hand to the work. His plan for putting an end to 
the strife between the conquering and the conquered race 
was separation. He divided Canada into two provinces — 
Lower Canada for the French and Upper Canada for the 
British, many of whom had fled to those wilds from the 
United States after the revolutionary war. This policy was 
appitoved by Burke. " For us to attempt," said Burke, " to 
amalgamate two populations composed of races of men diverse 
in language, laws, and habitudes, is a complete absurdity. 
Let the proposed constitution be founded on man's nature, 
the only solid basis for an enduring government." Pitt was 
scarcely acting in harmony with this oracle when he bestowed 
on the French as well as on the British Province an exact 
counterpart, or what was supposed to be an exact counter- 
part, of the British Constitution. Each Province was to have, 
besides the Governor who represented the Crown, a legislative 
council nominated by the Crown to represent the House of 
Lords, and an Assembly elected by the people to represent 


the House of Commons. The Governor was furnished with 
an Executive Council, the counterpart of the Privy Council, 
at least as the Privy Council was in the days when it really 
advised the sovereign, not of the modern Cabinet. Of the 
extension of the Cabinet system to a dependency nobody then 
dreamed. It was assumed that the Crown would govern 
through its representative, and shape its own policy with the 
aid of ministers chosen by itself, much as it had in Tudor 
England, though with a general regard for the wants and wishes 
of the people signified through their representatives in an 
Assembly. The whole British polity, civil and ecclesiastical, 
was to be reproduced. Provision was made for an aristocracy 
by empowering the Crown to annex hereditary seats in the 
Upper House to titles of nobility. Provision was also made 
for a Church Establishment by setting apart an eighth, or, as 
the Church construed the Act, a seventh, of the Crown lands 
as Clergy Eeserves. The genius of the New World repelled 
from the outset the attempt to introduce aristocracy made by 
Pitt, as it had, though not so decisively, repelled the similar 
attempt made by Louis XIV. The attempt to introduce a 
Church Establishment took more effect, and was destined to 
be the cause of much trouble. The Test Act being declared 
not to extend to Canada, both Houses of the Legislature and 
all the offices were thrown open to Eoman Catholics. Pitt 
thus carried what it might have been hoped would prove the 
first instalment of Catholic Emancipation. Prejudice against 
the Eoman Catholic Church had yielded, even in the breasts 
of British Tories, to the hatred of the common enemy, the 
Atheist Eevolution, while to aristocracy the French signiories 
became more congenial than ever. In the British Province 
British law, both civil and criminal, was established ; in the 
French Province was established the criminal law of England 



with the civil law of France, based on the custom of Paris. 
By giving up Lower Canada to the French and to French law, 
the Act of 1791 finally decided that French nationality 
should be preserved, and that British civilisation should not 
take its place. Thenceforth England brooded like a mis- 
guided mother-bird upon an egg from which, by a painful 
and dangerous process, she was to hatch a French Canadian j 
nation. New France would soon have been cut off from her ' 
mother country by the Eevolution and the war which 
followed. From the rest of the continent she was cut off by 
race, language, and religion. She would in all probability 
have come to naught had she not been placed under the aegis 
of conquerors powerful enough to protect her nationality and 
constrained to protect it by their fears. 

Pitt's policy missed its mark. The two races were not 
separated by the division of the Province. The British still 
clung to the trade of Quebec, which their commercial energy 
had begun to develop, and still struggled to maintain their 
political ascendency over the conquered race. Their strong- 
holds were in the Executive, in the Legislative Council 
appointed by the Crown, and in Downing Street, to which 
they had almost exclusive access. The stronghold of French 
patriotism was the elective Assembly, in which the French 
soon had a large majority. The French did not at first care 
for free institutions, nor were they fit for them : an autocratic 
governor ruling them justly, sympathetically, and economi- 
cally, would have suited them much better than any parlia- 
ment. Neither their priesthood nor their seigniors liked 
anything of a republican cast. But they grasped the votes 
which Imperial legislation had put into their hands as 
weapons to be used for the protection of their nationality 
and for the overthrow of the oligarchy of Conquest. The 


situation was much the same that it would have been in 
Ireland had the Catholic Celts been admitted to Parliament 
and formed a majority of the popular House, while the House 
of Lords, the Castle, and the influence of the Imperial 
Government had remained in the hands of a Protestant 
minority. Had the demand of the French for an elective 
Upper House been conceded, the British minority would, as 
Lord John Eussell said at the time, have been left absolutely 
at the mercy of the French. Patriot leaders soon appeared, 
and oratory could not fail in a community of Frenchmen. 
The English had brought with them the Press. To combat 
British journalism French journalism soon started into life, 
and, among the French who could read, became an organ of 
perpetual agitation. The battle-fields were the control of the 
revenue and the civil list, the composition of the Legisla- 
tive Council (which the patriots desired to make elective 
that they might fill it with men of their own party), and 
the tenure of the judges, whom they wished to make 
irremovable, like the judges in England, in order to dim- 
inish the power of the Crown, besides minor and per- 
sonal questions about which party feelings were aroused. 
Controversies about the land law also arose and set the 
seigniorial patriots among the French somewhat at cross 
purposes with the patriots pure and simple. The commer- 

( cial interest, which was entirely British, clashed with the 
agricultural interest, which was mainly French. There was 

1 constant strife between the Upper Chamber, which was in the 
hands of the British, who filled it with placemen, and the 
Lower Chamber, which was in the hands of the French ; the 
Upper Chamber perpetually putting its veto upon the legisla- 
tion of the Lower Chamber. The French, untrained in English 
constitutional government, went beyond the bounds of con- 


stitutional opposition. Gallic temper often broke out, and 
governors, struggling painfully to maintain their authority, 
and at the same time to pour oil upon the waters, became the 
objects of fiery remonstrance, sometimes even of insult thinly 
veiled. The Home Government, looking on from afar, in the 
days before steam communication and ocean telegraphs, knew 
not what to make of the fray or how to deal with it. Its 
own policy was not clearly defined, nor did it know whether 
it meant really to bestow Parliamentary government on a 
dependency or not. So far was it from understanding the 
situation that in 1839 we find Lord Durham informing it, 
with the pomp of a momentous revelation, that the conflict 
in French Canada was one not of political opinion but of 
race. Moreover, power in Downing Street was always chang- 
ing hands, and was wielded .one day by a Tory and the next 
by a Liberal or a Tory of a more Liberal brand. Governors 
correspondingly different in character were sent out : now a 
military martinet like Haldimand, now a reactionary aristo- 
crat like the Duke of Eichmond, anon a conciliator like 
Prevost or Gosford. The governors who made themselves 
popular with the French were of course regarded as traitors 
and detested by the British. Sir James Craig, who is said to 
have usually addressed civilians as if they needed the cat-o'- 
nine tails, seemed to the British just the man for that country. 
There were still among the British political leaders some who 
clung desperately to the' policy of ascendency, and contended 
that the Province ought to be Anglicised, and might be 
Anglicised if it were handled with resolution. Pre-eminent 
among them was Chief Justice Sewell, a sort of Canadian 
Fitzgibbon. These men often got the ear of the Governor, 
to whom their circle had almost exclusively social access, 
and, when the Home Government was Tory, the ear of the 


Home Government. As the net result, a loyal though liberal 
I historian has to say that " the government of Canada was one 
i continued blunder from the day in which Amherst signed the 
capitulation of Montreal to the union of the Provinces," and 
that it presented a painful contrast to the resolute treatment 
of Louisiana by the Americans, who had at once introduced 
their laws and language. It is doubtful whether his parallel 
is perfectly correct, but he is certainly right as to his facts. 

The British minority was reinforced, its sense of superiority 
was increased, and the enmity between it and the French 
majority was aggravated by the settlement in the district 
south of the St. Lawrence, called the Eastern Townships, of a 
colony of English farmers whose improved and energetic 
cultivation presented a contrast to the slovenly agriculture of 
the French. 1 Angry questions as to the representation of the 
Eastern Townships in the Assembly and as to the extension 
of the French civil law to that district were at the same time 
added to the budget of discord. 

Nevertheless, compared with the rule of the Bourbons, 
the British rule was beneficent, and the Province, however 
discontented, had improved. M. Papineau, the rebel that 
was to be, drew the contrast at the hustings between the 
government under which he was living and that of former 
days. " Then," said he, " trade was monopolised by privileged 
companies, public and private property often pillaged, personal 
liberty daily violated, and the inhabitants dragged year after 
year from their homes and families to shed their blood from 
the shores of the great lakes, from the banks of the Mississippi 
and the Ohio to Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and Hudson's 
Bay. Now religious toleration, trial by jury, Habeas Corpus, 
afford legal and equal security to all, and we need submit to 

1 See Lord Durham's Report. 


no laws but those of our own making. All these advantages 
have become our birthright, and will, I hope, be the lasting 
inheritance of our posterity. To secure them let us only 
act as British subjects and freemen." An eminent American 
judge avowed to the writer that he saw with pleasure the 
extension of the British Empire, because with British domin- 
ion went the reign of law under which no man could be de- 
prived of property or right otherwise than by legal process. 
In the hearts of the upper and more Conservative classes 
the British Crown had perhaps taken the place of the French 
Crown as an object of loyalty, though of a loyalty far less 
intense. There had been for a time difficulties with the 
French Church. The ticklish question had been raised 
whether the King of Great Britain had not either stepped 
into the place of the King of France and inherited the French 
King's control over ecclesiastical appointments, or even 
become ecclesiastically supreme as he was in England. But 
the point had been waived by the prudence of a government 
which felt its need of clerical support, and the French clergy 
were pretty well contented with their relation to the State. 
They were more than contented with the conduct of England 
in waging war against the Revolutionary Atheism of France, 
and gave thanks to God for having snatched the people of 
Canada from dependence on an impious nation which had 
overturned the altars. 1 

Thus it came to pass that, in 1812, when war broke out 
between England and the United States, the French Canadians 
were once more true to England. The seigniors were as 
much opposed as ever to Republicanism. The priests, though 
they might have less reason than before to dread the in- 
tolerance of Puritanism, had been set more than ever against 

1 Garneau's History, vol. ii, p. 225. 



democracy by its alliance with Atheism in their mother 
country, while the national aspirations which had now 
become strong in the French breast recoiled from the prospect 
of absorption in the population of the United States. In the 
person of De Salaberry, a brilliant captain appeared of 
the French race, but trained in the British service. His 
victory at Chateauguay over a vastly superior force was 
among the most famous exploits of the war. French Canada, 
the Americans probably expected, would fall at once into 
their arms. But they had overrated the attractiveness of 
Kepublican institutions to the Frenchman, and had falsely 
assumed that the British and their rule were as odious in the 
French Canadian's eye as in their own. Americans are fond 
of dilating on the harsh features of the English character, 
which they say make England hateful to all men of other 
races, and from which they natter themselves that their own 
character has become in three generations entirely free. But 
they have twice offered French Canada liberation from the 
yoke, welcoming her at the same time to their own arms, and 
twice she has answered them with bullets. It was the saying 
of an eminent French Canadian that the last gun in defence of 
British dominion on this continent would be fired by a 
Frenchman. True, the saying was expressive less of loyalty 
to Great Britain than of desire to preserve under hfer pro- 
tection a nationality separate from the United States, and 
perhaps a theocracy untouched by Eepublican influence ; yet 
it could hardly have been uttered if England had been hate- 
ful. About British unsociability too much has been said. 
It is true that such characters as are suited for command 
are generally less amiable than strong. But in India, saving 
the sympathetic disturbance set up in Oude by the Sepoy 
mutiny, there has not been a political insurrection since the 


formation of the British Empire, and when Eussian invasion 
threatened, all the feudatories came forward of their own 
accord with contributions to the defence. England was right 
in ceding the Ionian Isles, but no bitter recollection of her 
rule, it is believed, lingers there. The Corsicans put them- 
selves into her hands, and the Sicilians after 1815 would 
gladly have remained under her protectorate. The Egyptians 
do not want to be rid of the British, though France wants to 
see them out of Egypt. How did France, the reputed paragon 
of sociability, get on with the Sicilians in the days of the 
Sicilian Vespers, with the Germans at a later date, or with 
the nations whose territories her armies occupied under 
Napoleon ? How does she get on with the Algerian tribes ? 
The Americans, happily for themselves, have not yet been 
tried in this way. 

The war with the Americans over, civil strife began again. 
This is the proper phrase. The French, the mass of them at 
least, were not fighting against British government or connec- 
tion, but against the ascendency of the other race in office and 
in the Legislative Council. Their feeling towards the British 
government was rather that of disappointed and weary suitors 
than of rebels ; they mistrusted its knowledge more than its 
intentions. They cried like their forbears in France, "Ah, 
si le Roi le savait!" Matters, however, went from bad to 
worse. For four successive years the Assembly stopped the 
supplies, so far at least as lay in its power ; for the Crown had 
a fixed civil list and certain revenues of its own, besides 
the privilege, in extreme need, of falling back on the Imperial 
treasury ; it could even turn the tables on the Members of 
the Assembly by causing the Legislative Council to throw 
out the Bill for their pay. 

Since the year 1830 revolution had onec more broken 


loose in France, and the infection had spread to some of the 
French leaders and to some active spirits among the young 
lawyers and journalists. A few of the British in Low:er 
Canada were also touched by it and joined the French patriots 
against their own race. Though there had been a good deal 
of talk about popular education, the French people were still 
very ignorant ; out of eighty-seven thousand of them whose 
names were affixed to a petition only nine thousand could 
write ; and their minds were thus open to any delusions 
which the leaders chose to propagate. Just at this time civil 
discord was approaching the revolutionary point in Upper 
Canada, and though the two movements were distinct and 
had different sources, there was a sympathy between them, 
and the leaders were in close communication. Papineau, a 
great popular orator, put himself at the head of the French 
malcontents, and Nelson at the head of the British. When 
the crisis was approaching the Home Government became 
alive to the danger. The tocsin, in fact, was rung in ninety- 
two resolutions passed by the Canadian Assembly, and 
demanding, under the guise of a series of reforms, a practical 
revolution. Lord Gosford was then sent out with two other 
commissioners to inquire and advise. He preached concord 
with much unction but with little success. He reported in 
favour of some practical reforms, but against the change 
which would have made the Assembly master of the Govern- 
ment, and on which that body had set its heart. To make 
the Assembly master of the Government would have been not 
only tantamount to abdication on the part of the Crown, but 
would have entailed the abandonment of the British minority 
to the mercy of the exasperated French. Eesolutions in the 
sense of the Eeport were moved by Lord John Eussell in the 
House of Commons and carried in spite of the opposition of 


Eoebuck, Molesworth, and other Eadicals who had espoused 
the cause of the Canadian patriots. This was the signal for 
insurrection. The French clergy either were off their guard, 
or, there being on this occasion no danger to their religion 
from New England Puritans or French Atheists, wavered 
between their love of order and their patriotism as French- 
men. At all events, they interfered too late to prevent the 
rising, though in time to render it if possible more hopeless. 
All the British and even the Irish rallied at once round the 
Government. Nelson proved himself a man of leading if not 
of light, and, though untrained to arms, repulsed a British 
detachment which attacked a hamlet in which he was 
entrenched. Papineau ran away. Sir John Colborne, a 
resolute veteran of Wellington's school, who was in command, 
soon swept the rebellion out of existence, and flung the 
American desperadoes who had come to join it over the 
border. Some of the leaders were hanged; martial law 
reigned, and the Constitution of French Canada came to a 
disastrous end. The next stage in the political history of the 
Province is its union with British Canada, of which we shall 
presently take up the thread. 

Among the documents in Christie's History of Lower 
Canada (vol. vi), is a paper on the troubled state of French 
Canada, by a military man, whether Sir John Harvey, suc- 
cessively governor of Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, 
Newfoundland, and Nova Scotia, or by Lieut.-General Evans, 
is uncertain. The writer speaks with the frankness of his 
profession. " To a people," he says, " in no respect identified 
with their rulers, French in their origin, their language, their 
habits, their sentiments, their religion, — English in nothing 
but in the glorious Constitution which that too liberal country 
has conferred upon them, — the sole effect of this boon has 


been to enable them to display in a constitutional manner 
those feelings of suspicion, distrust, and dislike by which the 
conduct of their representatives would warrant us in believing 
them to be animated towards their benefactors. The House 
of Assembly of Lower Canada has not ceased to manifest 
inveterate hostility to the interests of the Crown, it has with- 
held its confidence from the local government, and has through 
this blind and illiberal policy neutralised, as far as it could, 
every benefit which that government has wished to confer 
upon the people ; and that the popular representatives have 
acted in unison with the feelings of their constituents the 
fact of their having invariably sent back those members 
whose opposition to the government has been most marked 
may be thought sufficiently to prove. Ought not such a people 
to be left to themselves, to the tender mercies of their gigantic 
neighbours, whose hewers of wood and drawers of water they 
would inevitably become in six months after the protection 
of the British fleets and armies had been withdrawn from 
them ? The possession of this dreary corner of the world is 
productive of nothing to Great Britain but expense. I repeat 
that the occupation of Canada is in no respect compensated 
by any solid advantage. Nevertheless, it pleases the people 
of England to keep it much for the same reason that it pleases 
a mastiff or a bull -dog to keep possession of a bare and 
marrowless bone towards which he sees the eye of another 
dog directed. And a fruitful bone of contention has it 
proved, and will it prove, betwixt Great Britain and the 
United States before Canada is merged in one of the divisions 
of that Empire, an event, however, which will not happen 
until blood and treasure have been profusely lavished in the 
attempts to defend what is indefensible, and to retain what is 
not worth having." 


" This dreary corner of the world " may be relegated to 
oblivion with Voltaire's guelques arpents de neige. The rest of 
the quotation will provoke dissent. But the soldier has hit 
the mark by saying that the only use which the French- 
Canadians had made of the Constitution given them by Great 
Britain was to renew in a constitutional form their struggle 
against the power which had conquered them with the sword. 
Not only were they enabled to renew the struggle but to 
renew it with success; for the rebellion in both provinces, 
though vanquished in the field of war, was victorious in the 
political field and ended in the complete surrender of Imperial 
power. It is the height either of generosity or of folly when 
you have beaten people with arms to bestow on them the 
means of beating you with votes. 

The French are not to be blamed in the slightest degree 
for what they have done. Eather they are to be admired for 
their patriotic constancy and the steadiness with which their 
aim has been pursued. A British colony conquered by France 
would have acted just as they have acted : it would have 
used any political power which the conqueror gave it or which 
it had extorted from his fears as an instrument for breaking 
his yoke. The fact with which statesmen have to deal is that 
the power has been so used by the people of New France 
under the guidance of their clergy, and that Quebec at the 
present day, though kindly enough in its feelings towards 
Great Britain, is not a British colony, but a little French/ 



Had the Americans been as wise and merciful after their first 
as they were after their second civil war, and closed the strife 
as all civil strife ought to be closed — with an amnesty — 
British Canada would never have come into existence. It 
was founded by the Loyalists driven by revolutionary 
vengeance from their homes, who at the same time settled in 
large numbers in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince 
Edward Island. These men were deeply wronged, and might 
well cherish and hand down to their sons as they did the 
memory of the wrong. They had done nothing as a body to 
put themselves out of the pale of mercy. They had fought 
as every citizen is entitled and presumptively bound to fight 
for the government under which they were born, to which 
they owed allegiance, and which as they thought gave them 
the substantial benefits of freedom. They had fought for a 
connection which, though false, at all events since the colony 
had grown able to shift for itself, and fraught with the peril 
of discord, was still prized by the colonists generally, as 
might have been shown out of the mouth of all the revolu- 

1 The chief sources of this historical sketch are MacMullen's Canada, 
Read's Life of Simcoe, Coffin's War of 1812, Sir Francis Bond Head's 
Narrative, Mr. Lindsey's Life of W. Lyon Mackenzie, Dent's Upper Canadian 
Rebellion, and Lord Durham's Report. 


tionary leaders, including Samuel Adams, the principal 
fomentor of the quarrel. The constitutional means of redress 
Tiad not been exhausted, nor was there any reason to despair 
of obtaining a repeal of the Tea Duty as a repeal of the 
Stamp Tax had been obtained. A group of Boston 
republicans, who had been bent from the first, notwithstanding 
their disclaimers, on bringing about independence, laboured 
to excite the people and prevent reconciliation. The in- 
telligence and property of the colonies, the bulk of it at 
least, had been on the loyalist side till it was repelled by the 
blundering violence of the government and its generals ; nor 
would it have been possible to fix upon a point at which the 
normal rule of civil duty was reversed and fidelity to the 
Crown became treason to the commonwealth. Outrages had 
been committed on both sides, as is always the case in civil 
war. England, at all events, was bound in honour to protect 
the refugees in their new home ; x otherwise she might have 
listened to counsels of wisdom and withdrawn politically 
from a continent in which she had no real interest but 
those of amity and trade. If an empire antagonistic to the 
United States is ever formed upon the north of them, 
and if trouble to them ensues, they have to thank their 
ancestors who refused amnesty to the vanquished in a civil 

British Canada, when it was severed from French Canada 
received by Pitt's Act the same Constitution. It was pro- 
vided with a Governor, called in the case of the younger 
province Lieutenant-Governor, to represent the Crown; an 
Executive Council to represent the Privy Council ; a Legisla- 
tive Council nominated by the Crown to represent the House 

1 Besides protecting the Loyalists in their new home, England voted 
£3,300,000 to indemnify them for their lost estates. 


of Lords ; and an Elective Assembly to represent the House 
of Commons. This was called "the express image and 
transcript of the British Constitution." But though it might 
be the express image in form, it was far from being the ex- 
press image in reality of Parliamentary Government as it 
exists in Great Britain, or even as it existed in Great Britain 
at that time. The Lieutenant-Governor, representing the 
Crown, not only reigned but governed, with a ministry not 
assigned to him by the vote of the Assembly, but chosen by 
himself, and acting as his advisers, not as his masters. The 
Assembly could not effectually control his policy by with- 
holding supplies, because the Crown, with very limited needs, 
had revenues, territorial and casual, of its own. Thus the 
f imitation was, somewhat like the Chinese imitation of the 
\ steam- vessel, exact in everything except the steam. But in the 
\ new settlement there was other business than politics on 
hand, and perhaps Parliamentary Government, party, and the 
demagogue came quite as soon as they were needed. 

British Canada had as her first Lieutenant-Governor, Sim- 
coe, and save in one respect she could not have had a better. 
Local history still fondly seeks to identify the spot where he 
pitched his tent — a tent which had belonged to Captain Cook 
— when the shore of Lake Ontario, on which the fair city of 
Toronto now stands, was a primeval forest, and the stillness 
of the bay, now full of the puffing of steamers and the hum 
of trade, was broken only by the settling of flocks of water- 
fowl or by the paddling of the Indian's canoe. Simcoe had 
a good estate in England, and had sat in the House of Com- 
mons. He might have lived at home at his ease when he 
chose to live under canvas in a Canadian winter and struggle 
with the difficulties of founding a commonwealth in Canadian 
wilds. The love of active duty must have been strong in 


him. But the love of fighting Yankees was strong also, and 
it led him at last into relations with Indians hostile to the 
United States which alarmed the Home Government and cut 
short his useful career. As colonel of the Queen's Eangers 
in the revolutionary war he had served the Crown gallantly, 
and at the same time had commanded the respect of his 
opponents. His character in itself would have been enough 
to prove that a patriot might be opposed to the revolution. 
His intercourse with the better men on the other side re- 
minds us of the letter of Sir William Waller, the Parlia- 
mentary general, to a EoyaJist friend at the outbreak of the 
Civil War in England, praying that the war, since it must 
come, might be waged without personal animosity and in a 
way of honour. The Due de Eochefoucauld Liancourt, the 
paragon of French liberal aristocrats and of landlords, driven 
into exile by the revolution, looks in on Governor Simcoe and 
reports of him that he is "just, active, enlightened, brave, 
frank, and possesses the confidence of the country, of the 
troops, and of all those who join him in the administration 
of public affairs, to which he attends with the utmost appli- 
cation, preserving all the old friends of the King and neglect- 
ing no means of procuring him new ones. He unites," says 
the Due, " in my judgment all the qualities which his station 
requires to maintain the important possession of Canada, if it 
be possible that England can long retain it." The governor's 
face, in his portrait, bespeaks force of character, honesty, 
and good sense. His good sense he showed by admitting, in 
spite of his prejudice against the Americans, settlers from the 
United States, though he was careful to guard his frontier 
with a line of U.E. Loyalists, placing the Americans in the rear. 
With all his fervent attachment to Great Britain, he knew 
at all events that Canada was on the American continent. 


At Niagara, then the capital, in a log-house which De 
Liancourt describes as small and miserable, but which if it 
were now standing would be venerated by Ontario as much 
as Eome venerated the hut of Eomulus, Simcoe assembled 
for the first time the little yeoman Parliament of British 
Canada with all the forms of monarchical procedure, and in 
phrase which not unsuccessfully imitated the buckram of a 
Speech from the Throne, announced to his backwoods Lords 
and Commons the reception of the "memorable Act," by 
which the wisdom and beneficence of a most gracious Sover- 
eign and the British Parliament had " imparted to them the 
blessings of our invaluable Constitution," solemnly enjoining 
them faithfully to discharge "the momentous trusts and 
duties" thereby committed to their rough hands. The 
meeting being at harvest time, and the harvest being of more 
consequence than politics, out of the five legislative coun- 
cillors summoned two only, and out of the sixteen assembly- 
men summoned five only, attended. The good sense of those 
present, however, seems to have risen to the level of their 
legislative functions. Probably it showed itself now and for 
some time afterwards by letting the governor legislate as he 
pleased. The session over, they wended their way homeward, 
some on horseback through pathless woods, camping out by 
the way, or using Indian wigwams as their inns, some in bark 
canoes along the shore of Lake Ontario and down the St. 
Lawrence. It was not easy, as Simcoe found, to get a Par- 
liament together iu those days. 

This was the heroic era before politics, unrecorded in any 
annals, which has left of itself no monument other than the fair 
country won by those obscure husbandmen from the wilder- 
ness, or perhaps, here and there, a grassy mound, by this time 
nearly levelled with the surrounding soil, in which, after their 


life's partnership of toil and endurance, the pioneer and his wife 
rest side by side. " The backwoodsman," says history, 1 " whose 
fortunes are cast in the remote inland settlements of the pre- 
sent day, far removed from churches, destitute of ministers 
of the Gospel and medical men, without schools, or roads, 
or the many conveniences that make life desirable, can alone 
appreciate or even understand the numerous difficulties and 
hardships that beset the first settler among the ague-swamps 
of Western Canada. The clothes on his back, with a rifle or 
old musket and a well- tempered axe, were not unfrequently 
the full extent of his worldly possessions. Thus lightly 
equipped he took possession of his two hundred acres of 
closely-timbered forest land and commenced operations. The 
welkin rings again with his vigorous strokes, as huge tree 
after tree is assailed and tumbled to the earth ; and the sun 
presently shines in upon the little clearing. The best of the 
logs are partially squared and serve to build a shanty; the 
remainder are given to the flames. Now the rich mould, the 
accumulation of centuries of decayed vegetation, is gathered 
into little hillocks, into which potatoes are dibbled. Indian 
corn is planted in another direction, and perhaps a little 
wheat. If married, the lonely couple struggle on in their 
forest oasis like the solitary traveller over the sands of Sahara 
or a boat adrift on the Atlantic. The nearest neighbour lives 
miles off, and when sickness comes they have to travel far 
through the forest to claim human sympathy. But for- 
tunately our nature, with elastic temperament, adapts itself 
to circumstances. By and by the potatoes peep up, and 
the corn -blades modestly show themselves around the 
charred maple stumps and girdled pines, and the pros- 
pect of sufficiency of food gives consolation. As winter 

1 MacMullen's Canada, p. 232. 


approaches, a deer now and then adds to the comforts of the 
solitary people. Such were the mass of the first settlers 
in Western Canada." 

The rough lot, we trust, was cheered by health and hope, 
while the loneliness and mutual need of support would knit 
closer the tie of conjugal affection. To the memory of con- 
querors who devastate the earth, and of politicians who vex 
the life of its denizens with their struggles for power and 
place, we raise sumptuous monuments: to the memory of 
those who by their toil and endurance have made it fruitful 
we can raise none. But civilisation, while it enters into the 
heritage which the pioneers prepared for it, may at least look 
with gratitude on their lowly graves. 

With clergy the people in those days were very scantily 
provided, 1 and their work, with their home affections, must 
have been their religion, the solemn and silent forest their 
temple. When the clergyman came his life in going round 
to settlements through an uncleared country was, as survivors 
of the primitive era will tell you, almost as hard as that 
of the backwoodsman himself. In due time the English of 
Canada showed their kinship to those of New England by 
setting up common schools, and their civilisation, though 
backward and rude at first, developed itself generally on the 
lines of their race. 

Simcoe was followed by Hunter and Gore, about whom 
not much is known, but who were evidently weaker men, and 
failed to restrain wrong-doing which Simcoe had restrained. 
Even of these, however, and of the whole line of Eoyal Gover- 
nors in both Provinces, it may be said that whether they were 
strong or weak, wise or unwise, popular or unpopular, there 
rests not upon the name of any one of them the stain of 

1 MacMullen's Canada, p. 248. 


dishonour. 1 Neither British Canada nor French Canada in 
British hands ever had an Intendant Bigot. The errors and 
misdeeds of the Governors arose chiefly from their ignorance 
of the country which they were sent to rule. On their arrival 
they almost inevitably fell into the hands of the dominant 
clique. The Home Government, from which they took their 
orders, was if possible more ignorant than they were, and its 
councils changed with every change of a party administration. 
It was their doom, in short, to be the instruments of that 
futile and pernicious attempt of the Old World to regulate 
the lives of communities in the New World which is now 
happily drawing to its close. For the character of the people, 
and perhaps even for their material welfare, the imported 
rule of men of honour, had they only been better informed 
and more impartial, might in itself have been not less desir- 
able than that of the party leaders who have succeeded them. 
But party government, we will hope, is not the end. 

The colony was filling up with settlers from different 
quarters. There came in, besides Englishmen, Scotchmen 
who brought Presbyterianism and usually Liberal ideas with 
them, Americans who had lived under a Eepublic, and Irish- 
men, both Orange and Green. Political life began, though it 
was still of little importance compared with the axe and the 
plough. Even so early we hear of an ' independent ' Member 
of Parliament who is killed in a duel, though we are not 
told that the duel was owing to his difference of opinion with 
the Treasury Bench. On the more active and democratic 
spirits the neighbourhood of the American Eepublic could 

1 Peter Russell, who acted as administrator between the governorships of 
Simcoe and Hunter, appears to have disgraced himself by rapacity in the 
matter of Crown lands. Parting presents to Governors were questionable, but 
probably had not been condemned in those days. No charge of actual cor- 
ruption was ever made against a Royal Governor. 


iiot fail to tell. An independent Press was born in a log 
hut, the embryo editorials being no doubt written and 
printed by the same hand. Under Hunter and Gore abuses 
had grown up, especially in the land department and in the 
administration of justice. Eeformers arose. Eeform had its 
proto-martyr in Thorpe, an English barrister sent out to a 
Canadian judgeship, and apparently an upright man, who 
for protesting against wrong was deprived of his place 
through the influence of Governor Gore, misadvised probably 
by the Council. Willcocks, an immigrant journalist, whom 
the Governor had learned to regard as " an execrable monster 
who would deluge the Province with blood," also testified in 
prison to the liberty of the Press. But political conflicts 
were suspended by the War of 1812. 

Into that war the weak and unconscientious Madison 
was forced by the violent party whose leading spirit was 
"Henry Clay, not for the reasons alleged, about which nothing 
was afterwards said in the negotiations for peace, but mainly 
in the hope of conquering Canada, and furthering the 
ambitious ends of the party. England had the war with 
Napoleon on her hands ; victory seemed likely to rest with 
the oppressor of nations, and the United States, it was thought, 
might share with him the glory and the booty. Let it never 
be forgotten that the best part of the American people 
opposed the war. Their attitude was marked by the com- 
parative absence of attacks on Canada along the line of 
Vermont and Maine ; though the loss and suffering fell most 
on the maritime states of New England, and little on the 
West, which had driven the country into the war. Unprin- 
cipled aggression met with its due reward. The American 
invaders were repeatedly beaten by handfuls of Canadians, 
and the names of Sir Isaac Brock, and his comrades- 


in-amis, including the Indian chief Tecumseh, were endeared 
by heroic exploits to the country which they successfully 
defended against tremendous odds. The first invader, 
General Hull, and his army capitulated to a Canadian force 
not half their number, and the Canadians conquered Michi- 
gan. On Queenston Heights, the scene of Brock's death 
and his army's victory, the idol of Canadian patriotism 
sleeps beneath a monumental column which challenges by 
its Stateliness respect for Canadian art. Of the share which 
French Canada and De Salaberry had in the defence men- 
tion has already been made. As the war went on it became 
more ferocious, and the inhuman burning of Niagara by the 
Americans in mid- winter was avenged by havoc not less 
inhuman, and by the burning of the Capitol at Washington. 
The Americans learned in time to fight well, and the 
battle of Lundy's Lane, near the close, was the most desperate 
of all. Till midnight the struggle went on, the roar of the 
cannon and the rattle of the musketry contending with the 
thunder of Niagara, and the loss on both sides was terrible. 
The superiority of American resources also showed itself 
upon the lakes ; the Canadian flotilla on Lake Erie was 
totally destroyed, and Toronto, then called York, twice fell 
into the hands of the enemy. When Napoleon had fallen, 
the hands of Great Britain were free, the better party among 
the Americans prevailed, and they were ready for peace. 
Their aggression would have ended more disastrously than 
it did had not Pakenham blindly dashed his army against 
the cotton bales of New Orleans, and had the large force 
which England was at last enabled to send to Canada been 
placed under the command of a better soldier than Prevost. 
Americans say that the war did them good by consolidating 
the Union. A nation has hardly a right to consolidate its 


union by slaughtering and despoiling its unoffending neigh- 
bours. But slavery, from which the real danger of disruption 
arose, was not weakened in its political influence; on the 
contrary it was strengthened by the war. Whatever attrac- 
tion American institutions might before have had for 
Canadians was counteracted or weakened by American 
aggression. Worst of all was the effect which the fratri- 
cidal conflict inevitably had in renewing and envenoming the 
schism of the Anglo-Saxon race. Before that time British 
Canadians and Americans had hardly looked upon each 
other as foreigners. Americans had freely settled and been 
received as citizens in British Canada. Two generations 
have not sufficed to efface the evil memories of 1812. 
Ministers of discord, seeking to fan the dying embers of 
international hatred, still appeal to the names of Brock and 
his companions -in -arms, whose glory they sully by such 
misuse. 1 

The war over, the political struggle began again— with all 
the more intensity, perhaps, because the war had unsettled 
the people and excited their combative propensities, while, 
farming having been neglected, depression ensued as soon as 
the military expenditure had ceased. In the course of the 
next fifteen years a regular Beform Party was born. It had 
reason enough for its existence. The Government with all 

1 Injustice has been done to the memory of General Proctor, whose name 
seems worthy to be coupled with that of Brock. He gained one brilliant 
victory. It appears to be admitted that his retreat before Harrison's 
immensely superior and far more effective army had become inevitable after 
the destruction of the Canadian flotilla on Lake Erie. Even if, as the court- 
martial on him pronounced, he did not conduct the retreat with judgment, 
there seems to be no shadow of a pretence for charging him with personal 
misconduct. The court-martial expressly acquitted him of any charge of 
that kind. His name was coupled with a misfortune, which was not hiB 
fault, and he seems not to have been popular in command ; but there is 
apparently nothing to justify an impeachment of his courage. 


its patronage and influence, including the disposal of the 
Crown lands, had fallen into the hands of a Ring called the 
" Family Compact " — a nickname borrowed, it seems, from 
the diplomatic history of Europe rather than suggested by 
the number of family alliances among the members. The 
nucleus of the Family Compact was a group of United 
Empire Loyalists who might not unnaturally deem them- 
selves a privileged class. To this was added a number of 
retired officers and other British gentlemen who had received 
grants of lands but found themselves ill fitted for farming in 
the bush, and better fitted for holding places under Govern- 
ment, together with scions of genteel families in England, 
sent out sometimes for the family's good. The Compact 
formed a social aristocracy as well as a political ring. It 
had, like all such political bodies, a tail less aristocratic than 
itself, Its strongholds were Government House, the occu- 
pant of which was all the more under its influence because 
he had no other gentlemen with whom to associate ; the 
Executive Council, which was entirely in its hands, and the 
Legislative Council or Upper House of Parliament, which it 
also engrossed, and through which it was enabled to veto 
any bills passed by the Elective Assembly. The Elective 
Assembly, it will be borne in mind, could not effectually 
coerce the Government and the Upper House, as the British 
House of Commons had done, by stopping the supplies, the 
Government having a fixed civil list and a territorial revenue 
of its own, with the Imperial treasury whereon to fall back in 
extreme need. In the Assembly itself the Family Compact was 
able to control many seats, and sometimes a majority, through 
the influence of the Government, aided by irregularities 
in the representation. Its adherents filled the Bench, the 
magistracy, the high places of the legal profession, and those 


of the Episcopal Church, which at that time was virtually 
established and endowed by the State. By grant or purchase, 
its members had got into their hands nearly the whole of the 
waste lands of the Province, they were all-powerful in the 
Chartered Banks, and at last shared among themselves almost 
all offices of trust and profit. 1 By the appropriation of the 
public lands the Compact not only robbed the commonwealth, 
but, as the lands were held for a rise, obstructed settlement 
and retarded the progress of the country. It enhanced its 
unpopularity by giving itself social airs, though the account 
of its grand mansions, its trains of lackeys and its banquets, 
found in some historians, are certainly overdone. Of its 
mansions some remain and are of modest dimensions, nor 
did its chief members leave great wealth. The Compact 
showed its exclusiveness even towards British immigrants, 
excluding them by jealous restrictions from free practice in 
the legal and medical professions, " so that an Englishman 
emigrating to Upper Canada found himself almost as much 
an alien in the country as he would have been in the United 
States." 2 The politics of the Compact were Tory, of course, 
and it was ardently loyal to British connection, so long, at 
least, as Toryism reigned at home. Like its counterpart in 
England, it was closely allied with the Established Church. 
Not all its leaders were jobbers : some were sincere lovers 
of prerogative. Sir John Beverley Eobinson, for example, 
Attorney-General, afterwards Chief Justice, and the ruling 
spirit of the Executive Council, was a high-minded as well 
as very able man, though it is impossible to disconnect his 
name from a system of administrative jobbery, or from some 
acts of partisan injustice. At his side was Dr. Strachan, 
Archdeacon and afterwards Bishop of Toronto, a clerical 

1 Lord Durham's Report, p. 66. s Ibid., p. 74. 


aspirant who had passed from Presbyterianism to Angli- 
canism, as was generally believed, with a view to the 
advancement of his fortunes — a man of remarkable force of 
character, able and shrewd, though not wise, the type of a 
clerical politician, and, like all clerical politicians, even more 
mischievous to the Church for whose interests he fought than 
to the State. Beside the Family Compact there was gradu- 
ally formed a Conservative party, in which the Compact 
ultimately merged, of men who had no desire to abet the 
oligarchy in its abuses, but recoiled from revolution. The 
Eeform party was in like manner divided into an extreme 
and a moderate wing. Of the moderate and constitutional 
wing the chief was Eobert Baldwin, a man whose renown 
for integrity and wisdom is such as to make him a sort of 
Canadian Lord Somers. Of the extreme and covertly repub- 
lican wing the chief man at the time was William Lyon 
Mackenzie, a wiry and peppery little Scotchman, hearty 
in his love of public right, still more in his hatred of public 
wrongdoers, clever, brave, and energetic, but, as tribunes of 
the people are apt to be, far from cool-headed, sure-footed in 
his conduct, temperate in his language, or steadfast in his 
personal connections. With Mackenzie were Dr. Bolph, a 
man of more solid ability, of deeper character and designs, 
whom his admirers call sagacious, his critics sly; and 
Bidwell, the son of a refugee from American justice, but 
himself apparently a man of virtue as well as sense. War 
was declared on a number of issues — the constitution of the 
Legislative Council, which the patriots wanted to make 
elective and to purge of placemen ; the administration of the 
Crown lands ; the independence of the judges, which was 
compromised both by their liability to removal at pleasure 
and by their holding seats in Parliament ; the control of the 


revenue and the civil list, besides a number of personal 
questions, such as always present themselves in the heat 
of party war. Among all the special subjects of controversy 
most stir was made by the Clergy Eeserves. Pitt, as 
we have seen, had set apart an eighth, or, according to the 
clerical interpretation, a seventh of every land grant " for the 
support of a Protestant clergy." This, by tying up blocks of 
land all over the country and standing in the \fray of close 
settlement, created an economical grievance, besides the 
jealousy excited by the favour shown to a particular Church, 
and a Church which, looking down upon all her sisters, treated 
their members as dissenters. To complicate the question, the 
term " Protestant clergy " was ambiguous. The Presbyterians, 
then equal in number to the Anglicans, claimed a share on 
the ground that their Church in Scotland was recognised by 
the State ; the other Churches not Roman Catholic claimed 
a share on the ground that they also were Protestant, while 
thorough -going Eeformers and Boman Catholics united in 
demanding complete secularisation. But all the special 
grievances and demands of the Eeformers were summed 
up and merged in their demand for "Responsible Govern- 
ment." By Responsible Government they meant that the 
government should be carried on, not by an Executive 
nominated by the Governor and independent of the vote of 
Parliament, but, as in England, by a Cabinet dependent for its 
tenure of office on the vote of the Commons. They meant, in 
short, that supreme power should be transferred from the 
Crown to the representatives of the people. It was nothing 
less than a revolution for which they called under a mild 
and constitutional name. Mackenzie, who had for some 
time been spitting fire through his journal, having been 
borne into the Assembly on the shoulders of the people, the 


battle began in earnest, and with all the bitterness which his 
tongue could lend to it. The oligarchy from the outset 
defended itself furiously with every weapon at its command. 
It had before harried Gourlay — a benevolent and inquiring 
Scotchman who came among its lieges taking notes and 
printing them — out of his mind. It had persecuted the elder 
Bidwell under an Alien Act. It shut up Collins, another 
patriot, in gaol on a charge of libel. It now, having a 
majority in the Assembly, five times lawlessly expelled 
Mackenzie and still more lawlessly voted him incapable of 
re-election. The hot-blooded youths of the oligarchy were 
hurried into actual outrage : they wrecked Mackenzie's 
printing press, and the party paid the fine by subscription. 
The Governors during this period were two soldiers, Sir 
Peregrine Maitland and Sir John Colborne, neither of whom 
understood politics. Sir Peregrine was weakly subservient 
to the oligarchy, and he got himself into a scrape by using 
military force in a civil case. Sir John Colborne was a strong 
and upright man as well as a good soldier, and was by no 
means inclined to wink at abuses; but he had a military 
leaning to prerogative, deemed it his duty to hold the fortress 
for the Crown, and was eminently devoid of popular arts. 
His gracious reply to an Address was, "I receive your 
Address with much satisfaction and thank you for your 
congratulations." His less gracious and more succinct form 
was, " Gentlemen, I have received the petition of the inhabit- 
ants." He welcomed a patriotic deputation with artillerymen 
standing to their guns and troops served with a double allow- 
ance of ball-cartridge. Mackenzie went to England, showing 
thereby, as in fact did the Eeformers generally, that they 
did not regard the Home Government as wilfully oppressive, 
but the reverse, though it might be sadly misinformed. In 



England itself a revolution had by this time taken place. 
Since the close of the war with Napoleon, the current of 
political life, long frozen, had begun to flow. The winter of 
Liberalism had ended ; its sun rose high again, and Parlia- 
mentary reform had come. The change extended to the 
Colonial Office, though there Liberalism was still limited 
by lingering tradition. Even from the Canningite Lord 
Godericb the agitator received a degree of attention which 
scandalised the Tories of the Canadian Assembly. Among 
other things Lord Goderich laid it down in his despatch that 
ecclesiastics, if they were to keep their seats in the Council, 
ought to abstain from interfering with secular affairs; in- 
timating his opinion at the same time "that by resigning 
their seats they would best consult their own personal 
comfort and the success of their designs for the spiritual 
good of the people." The Legislative Council treated the 
despatch with open contempt. By the Liberal Lord Glenelg 
a catalogue of grievances drawn up by the Eeformers 
with Mackenzie at their head was respectfully considered, 
and a reply was written promising important reforms 
and concessions, though not the one great concession, Ee- 
sponsible Government. The law officers of the Compact, 
Boulton and Hagerman, were also dismissed for rebellion 
against the liberal policy of the Crown, whereupon the 
loyalty of the Tories gave way and they began to throw out 
hints of "alienation" from "the glorious Empire of their 
sires," and of "casting about for a new state of political 
existence." On a liberal policy congenial to that which 
prevailed in England the Home Government was now bent. 
But to carry it out through a warrior like Colborne was 
impossible, and he was recalled, though only to command 
against the rebels in the French Province. Before leaving, 


however, he set the house on fire by authorising the creation 
of fifty-seven Kectories out of the disputed Clergy Keserves 
Fund. Though the number actually carved out was only forty- 
four, it gave to the Church a substantial slice of the endow- 
ment which she claimed.- This measure produced intense 

The choice of a man to take Colborne's place, and give 
effect to the new policy, which the Colonial Office made was so 
strange that to account for it recourse has seriously been had 
to the hypothesis of mistaken identity. 1 Sir Francis Bond 
Head, a half-pay major, an assistant Poor-Law commissioner, 
the hero of a famous ride over the Pampas, and the writer of 
light books of travel, was awakened in the dead of night at 
his lodging in Kent by a King's messenger, who brought him 
the appointment of the Lieutenant-Governorship of Upper 
Canada, with a summons to wait on the Colonial minister 
next morning. In justice to him be it remembered that he 
declined, and accepted only when pressed in a manner 
which made acceptance a duty. He was recommended no 
doubt by the manner in which he had done his work as Poor- 
Law commissioner, by his genial temper, his knowledge of the 
world, and the plucky and adventurous character shown in 
his ride, which was likely to make him a favourite with 
people whom the Colonial Secretary might think more back- 
woodsmen in character than they really were. Nor was he 

1 The story told by Mr. Roebuck and others to Sir Francis Hincks that Sir 
Francis Bond Head was mistaken for Sir Edmund Walker Head, afterwards 
Governor-General, is still current, but cannot be worthy of credence. Sir 
Edmund Head, having been born in 1805, was at this time only a little over 
thirty, and though known to his friends as a political student, he had made 
no mark as yet in public life. It was not till six years afterwards that he 
was appointed to the Poor-Law commissionership, when he came forward as a 
public man. If such a blunder was possible on the part of Lord Glenelg, it 
was not possible on the part of the permanent Under Secretary, who was then 
Sir James Stephen. 


wanting in discernment or in force ; he did a great service by 
forbidding the Canadian Banks to suspend specie payment 
in a commercial crisis, and inducing them to ride out, at a 
sound anchorage, the financial storm which was sweeping 
over the United States. But he was very impulsive, very- 
vain, and under the influence of success became light-headed. 
Joseph Hume and other Liberals commended him to their 
brethren in Canada, perhaps taking on trust the nominee of 
a Liberal government. He brought with him as the chart for 
his course Mackenzie's catalogue of grievances, with Lord 
Glenelg's commentary promising, as has already been said, 
practical reforms and an administration in accordance with 
the reasonable wishes of the people, but not promising 
Eesponsible Government, that is, the surrender of the power 
of the Crown to the representatives of the people. If the 
Colonial Office itself was still undecided on the vital point, it 
could not find fault with a Governor for taking what to him 
was the natural line. If it was itself still with hesitating 
hand fingering the keys of the fortress, it could hardly expect 
its delegate, — such a delegate, above all, as the horseman of 
the Pampas, — to perform for it the act of capitulation. Sir 
Francis was appointed in 1836. In March 1837 Lord John 
Russell, speaking in the House of Commons, pronounced 
Cabinet Government in the colonies incompatible with the 
relations which ought to exist between the mother country 
and the colony. " Those relations," he said, " required that 
His Majesty should be represented in the colony not by 
ministers, but by a Governor sent out by the King, and 
responsible to the Parliament of Great Britain. Otherwise," 
he said, " Great Britain would have in the Canadas all the 
inconveniences of colonies without any of their advantages." 
This seems enough to justify the resistance of Sir Francis 


Bond Head to Responsible Government. Glenelg himself 
was verbose and ambiguous, but the upshot of his mandate 
was that " in the administration of Canadian affairs a sufficient 
practical responsibility already existed without the introduc- 
tion of any hazardous schemes/' and that the last resort of 
the Canadians, if they were discontented, was to carry their 
complaints to the foot of the throne, whose occupant (then 
King William IV) "felt the most lively interest in the 
welfare of his Canadian subjects, and was ever ready to devote 
. pW and laborio., 1*. to a» 7 r.preL.tas." 
Such was the atmosphere of constitutional fiction in which 
these statesmen lived ! 

Sir Francis laughed when, on entering Toronto, he found 
himself placarded as " the tried Reformer," he who had never 
given a thought to politics, who had scarcely ever voted at 
an election. By the Reformers he was received with glad 
expectation, by the Conservatives with sullen misgiving ; but 
both parties soon found themselves mistaken, * He showed 
his weak side at once by a theatrical announcement of his 
mission, and by indiscreetly communicating to the Assembly 
the whole of Lord Glenelg'S letter of instructions. Presently 
he had interviews with the leading Reformers, Mackenzie 
and Bidwell. In them he thought he detected designs 
reaching beyond the redress of the particular grievances 
which they had laid before the Colonial Office — Republican 
designs in short, such as he deemed it his special vocation to 
combat. Nor was he far wrong, for their aim, once more be 
it noted, was nothing less than to take away the Government 
from the Crown and hand it over to the representatives of 
the people. It cannot be doubted that the example of the 
neighbouring Republic was in their minds. By Lyon Mac- 
kenzie the baronet and man of society was personally repelled. 


" The tiny creature," he says, " sat during the interview with 
his feet not touching the ground, and his face turned away 
from me at an angle of 70 degrees." That Mackenzie had 
been a "pedlar lad" and an "errand-boy" was all against happy 
relations with the Lieutenant-Governor. Head soon found 
himself in the arms of the Compact, and fighting against 
Eesponsible Government as democratic, American, and sub- 
versive of British institutions. This he now deemed his 
grand mission. Hard hitting ensued between him and the 
Eeformers both in the Assembly and out of it. He even 
forgot his social tact and cut Toronto to the heart by telling 
her deputies that he would talk down to the level of their 
understandings. The Opposition played into his hands by 
identifying itself with Papineau and the agitators in the 
Lower Province, whose object clearly was revolution, and by 
giving publicity to an indiscreet letter of Joseph Hume 
talking of "independence and freedom from the baneful 
domination of the mother country." These mistakes threw 
the force of the Conservative party decisively into the scale of 
the Government. Loyal addresses came in. The Lieutenant- 
Governor seized the advantage and went to the country crying 
Treason. The cry prevailed, with the help of Government 
influence unsparingly used, corruption, mob violence, and the 
inequalities of the representation. A large majority in favour 
of the Government was returned. Head was beside himself 
with exultation, and fancied that his spirited policy had put 
all his enemies under his feet and made him perfectly master 
of the situation. "In a moral contest," he wrote to the 
Colonial Office, " it never enters into my head to count the 
number of my enemies." " The more I am trusted," he said, 
" the more cautious I shall be ; the heavier I am laden, the 
steadier I shall sail." The Colonial Office had begun to 


suspect what sort of an instrument it had in the main who 
wrote to it in this style, and told it that he was aware his 
gasconading answer to an address "might be cavilled at in 
Downing Street, as he knew it was not exactly according to 
Hoyle, but it must be remembered that revolutions could not 
be made with rose-water." Still it could not be denied that 
he had succeeded. The Colonial Office waited with mingled 
curiosity and anxiety for the result. 

The result was that the Reformers were driven to despair, 
and the more violent of them to rebellion. Under the leader- 
ship of Mackenzie, the malcontents armed and drilled. Con- 
fident in the power of his moral thunderbolts, the Lieutenant- 
Governor scoffed at danger, sent all the regular troops to the 
Lower Province, neglected to call out the militia, or even to 
put his capital in a state of defence, and turned a deaf ear to 
every warning. Toronto all but fell into the hands of the 
rebels. Mackenzie, who showed no lack either of courage or 
of capacity as a leader, brought before it a force sufficient 
for its capture, aided as he would have been by his partisans 
in the city itself, and he was foiled only by a series of acci- 
dents, and by the rejection of his bold counsels at the last. 
Just in time however help arrived, the rebellion collapsed, 
and its leaders fled. A filibustering wax was for some time 
kept up by the American " sympathisers " along the border, 
and the burning of the Caroline, a piratical steamer which the 
Canadians sent flaming over Niagara, gave rise to diplomatic 
complications. The American authorities were slow in 
acting; but they acted at last, and there is no reason to 
believe that the American people in general strongly sym- 
pathised with the rebellion in British Canada, much less with 
that in the French Province. After all, these raids, repre- 
hensible as they are, may be regarded, like the trouble given 


to diplomacy about the Fisheries and Behring'g Sea, as so 
many blind efforts of the New World to shake off European 

On the other hand, when it is said that the Canadian 
rebellion was put down by British bayonets, let it be borne 
in mind that in Upper Canada there was not a single British 
bayonet when the rebellion was put down. In both Canadas 
it was, in fact, not a rebellion against the British Government, 
but a petty civil war, in Upper Canada between parties, in 
Lower Canada between races, though in Lower Canada the 
British race had the forces of the Home Government on its 
side. "We rebelled neither against Her Majesty's person 
nor her Government, but against Colonial misgovernment," 
were the words of one of the rebel leaders in Lower Canada. 
The two movements were perfectly distinct in their origin 
and in their course, though there was a sympathy between 
them, and both were stimulated by the general ascendency of 
Liberal opinions since 1830 in France, in England, and in 
the world at large. 

'['he rebellion was the end of Sir Francis Bond Head. 
Now came Lord Durham, the son-in-law of Grey, and an 
Avatar, as it were, of the Whig Vishnu, to inquire into the 
sources of the disturbance, pronounce judgment, and restore 
order to the twofold chaos. 



Lord Durham was a splendid specimen of the aristocratic 
man of the people, such as perhaps only the Whig houses, 
after being out of office for half a century, could have pro- 
duced. From the hotel where His Excellency put up all 
other guests were cleared out, and not even the mails were 
allowed to be taken on board the steamer which bore his 
person. Invested with large powers, he exceeded them in 
playing the despot. He issued an ordinance banishing some 
of the rebels to Bermuda, under penalty of death if they 
should return. This delivered him into the hands of 
Brougham, who bore him a grudge, and at once set upon him 
in the House of Lords, pointing out that His Excellency's 
ordinance could not be carried into effect without committing 
murder. The Prime Minister was compelled to disallow the 
ordinance. Durham after thundering very irregularly against 
the ungrateful Government which had thrown him overboard, 
flung up his commission, folded his tragic robe round him, 
and went home. He had time, however, to produce, with the 

1 The principal sources of this sketch, besides a number of pamphlets and 
State papers, are MacMullen's History of Canada, Scrope's Life of Lord Syden- 
ham, Walrond's Letters and Journals of Lord Elgin, Dent's Last Forty Tears, 
Collins'8 Life of Sir J. A. Macdonald, and Gray's Confederation of Canada. 


help of Charles Buller, who was his secretary, a very able and 
memorable Keport (1839). 

His diagnosis was to the effect that the disease in Lower 
Canada arose from a conflict of races, while in Upper 
Canada it was political. The remedy proposed was to unite 
the Provinces and give them both Eesponsible Government. 
In Lower Canada the two races, Durham held, would never 
get on harmoniously by themselves. The causes of estrange- 
ment were too deep and the antipathy was too strong. The 
British minority would never bear to be ruled by a French 
majority. Rather than this they would join the United 
States, and "that they might remain English, cease to be 
British. ,, Of fusion, according to Lord Durham, there was 
no hope. Opposed to each other in religion, in language, in 
character, in ideas, in national sentiment, hardly ever inter- 
marrying, their children never taking part in the same sports, 
meeting in the jury-box only to obstruct justice, the two 
races were " two nations warring in the bosom of a single 
State." The rebellion had divided them sharply into two 
camps. "No portion of the English population had been 
backward in taking arms in defence of the government ; with 
a single exception no portion of the Canadian population was 
allowed to do so, even where it was asserted by some that 
their loyalty induced them thereto." There was nothing for 
it but a union of the Provinces, in which a British majority 
should permanently predominate, and which should place 
the British minority of the Lower Province under the broad 
aegis of British ascendency. Durham flattered himself that 
by the same measure French nationality with all the 
political difficulties, and all the obstacles to economical 
improvement which it carried with it, would be gradually 
suppressed. " A plan," he said, " by which it is proposed to 


ensure the tranquil government of Lower Canada must 
include in itself the means of putting an end to the agitation 
of national disputes in the legislature by settling at once and 
for ever the national character of the Province. I entertain 
no doubt as to the national character which must be given 
to Lower Canada ; it must be that of the British Empire, 
that of the majority of the population of British America, 
that of the great race which must in no long period of time 
be predominant over the whole North American Continent. 
Without effecting the change so rapidly or so roughly as to 
shock the feelings and trample on the welfare of the existing 
generation, it must henceforth 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 legislature." 
Steady purpose of the British Government ! Steady purpose 
of a Government which itself was changed on an average 
about once in every five years, and which neither had nor 
could have any purpose in reference to its far-distant and 
little-known dependency but to get along from day to day 
with as little trouble and danger as it could! Did not 
Durham himself say, that in the case of Lower Canada the 
Imperial Government, "far removed from opportunities of 
personal observation, had shaped its policy so as to aggravate 
the disorder;" that it had sometimes conceded mischievous 
pretensions of nationality to evade popular claims, and 
sometimes pursued the opposite course ; and that " a policy 
founded upon imperfect information and conducted by con- 
tinually changing hands had exhibited to the colony a 
system of vacillation which was in fact no system at all?" 
Durham took it for granted that the British majority would 
act patriotically together against the French. Strange that he, 


fresh from the field of a furious faction fight, should have been 
so forgetful of the ways of faction ! Sir Francis Bond Head 
saw in this case what Lord Durham and Charles Buller did 
not see. " So long," he said, " as Upper Canada remains by 
itself I feel confident that by mere moderate government her 
4 majority men' would find that prudence and principle 
unite to keep them on the same side ; but if once we were 
to amalgamate this province with Lower Canada, we should 
instantly infuse into the House of General Assembly a 
powerful French party, whose implacable opposition would 
be a dead, or rather a living weight, always seeking to attach 
itself to any question whatsoever that would attract and 
decoy the 'majority men/ and I feel quite confident . . . 
that sooner or later the supporters of British institutions 
would find themselves overpowered, not by the good sense 
and wealth of the country (for they would, I believe, always 
be staunch to our flag), but by the votes of designing indi- 
viduals, misrepresenting a well-meaning inoffensive people." 
Apart from the writer's Toryism, this passage was prophetic 
The British were sure to be split into factions, and their 
factions were sure to deliver them into the hands of the 
French. The only way of operating with success on two 
discordant races is to set an impartial power above them 
/ both, as Pitt meant to do when by his Act of Union he 
brought Ireland under the Imperial Parliament, though he 
could not help impairing the integrity of the Imperial Par- 
liament itself by introducing the Irish Catholic vote. 
Head's own proposal to annex Montreal to British Canada 
was more sensible than the plan of union, though it would 
have left the British of Quebec city and the Eastern Town- 
ships out in the cold. 

The reunion of the two Provinces had been projected before: 


it was greatly desired by the British of the Lower Province ; 
and in 1822 a bill for the purpose had actually been brought 
into the Imperial Parliament, but the French being bitterly 
opposed to it, the Bill had been dropped. The French were 
as much opposed to reunion as ever, clearly seeing, what the 
author of the policy had avowed, that the measure was directed 
against their nationality. But since the rebellion they were 
prostrate. Their Constitution had been superseded by a 
Provisional Council sitting under the protection of Imperial 
bayonets, and this Council consented to the union. The two 
Provinces were now placed under a Governor-General with a 
single legislature, consisting like the legislatures of the two 
Provinces before, of an Upper House nominated by the Crown 
and a Lower House elected by the people. Each Province 
was to have the same number of representatives, although the 
population of the French Province was at that time much 
larger than that of the British Province. The French language 
was proscribed in official proceedings. French nationality 
was thus sent, constitutionally, under the yoke. But to leave 
it its votes, necessary and right as that might be, was to leave 
it the only weapon which puts the weak on a level with the 
strong, and even gives them the advantage, since the weak 
are the most likely to hold together and to submit to the 
discipline of organised party. 

On the subject of Eesponsible Government the decisive 
words of the Durham Report are these : " We are not now to 
consider the policy of establishing representative government 
in the North American colonies. That has been irrevocably 
done, and the experiment of depriving the people of their 
present constitutional power is not to be thought of. To 
conduct the government harmoniously in accordance with its 
established principles is now the business of its rulers ; and I 


know not how it is possible to secure that harmony in any 
other way than by administering the government on those 
principles which have been found perfectly efficacious in 
Great Britain. I would not impair a single prerogative of the 
Crown ; on the contrary, I believe that the interests of the 
people of these colonies require the protection of prerogatives 
which have not hitherto been exercised. But the Crown 
must on the other hand submit to the necessary consequence 
of representative institutions ; and if it has to carry on the 
government in unison with a representative body it must 
consent to carry it on by means of those in whom that 
representative body has confidence." In plain words, the 
Crown must let the House of Commons choose the ministers, 
and through them determine the policy. What was to be left 
to the Crown ? " Its prerogatives." What were they when 
it had surrendered supreme power? Canada would have 
seen perhaps if the imperious author of the Eeport had stayed 
to make the experiment of Besponsible Government in his own 
person ; and it is not unlikely that instead of the anticipated 
harmony, discord and perhaps collision would have ensued. 
Perfectly efficacious, Durham said, the system had been in 
Great Britain. But he forgot that it had not been really 
tried before the Eeform Bill ; that the Beform Bill had been 
only just passed ; and that even in Great Britain the answer 
still remained to be given to the Duke of Wellington's question, 
how the Queen's Government was to be carried on. 

In place of Durham, the experiment was made (1839-41) 
by Poulett Thomson, afterwards Lord Sydenham, a steady 
man of business and a prodigious worker, imperious only in 
his demands on official industry. He performed the function 
of capitulation on the part of the Crown with a good grace, 
and fairly smoothed the transition, though he did not escape 


abuse. His first ministry was formed of the men whom he 
found in office on his arrival, and who were Conservatives. 
But these men could not accommodate themselves to the new 
system. They fenced with the question of [Responsible Govern- 
ment, and when they faintly affirmed the doctrine with their 
lips their hearts were evidently far from it. Nor could they 
fully take in the idea of a. Cabinet, or understand the mutual 
responsibility of its members, the necessity for their agree- 
ment, and the duty incumbent on them of resigning when 
they differed vitally from their colleagues, or of going out of 
office with the rest. Mr. Dominic Daly, for instance, acted 
as if he deemed himself a fixture in office, whatever might be 
the fleeting policy of the hour. Mr. Draper, the Ajax of the 
Conservatives, being pressed on the vital point, enveloped 
himself in a cloud of words, and said " that he looked upon 
the Governor as having a mixed character ; firstly, as being 
the representative of Eoyalty ; and secondly, as being one of 
the Ministers of Her Majesty's Government and responsible 
to the mother country for the faithful discharge of the duties 
of his station, a responsibility which he cannot avoid by 
saying that he took the advice of this man or of that man." 
The Assembly, however, was not to be hoodwinked, nor was 
it to be appalled by the assertion, however unquestionably 
true, that by the acceptance of the new principle "the 
Governor would be reduced to a cipher, and that such a 
system would make the colony an independent state." It 
passed resolutions (1841) which affirmed plainly, though in 
Blackstonian phrase, that in all colonial affairs the Governor 
must be ruled by his advisers, that his advisers must be 
assigned him by the Assembly, and that the policy must be 
that of the majority. The men of the old dispensation had 
presently to retire and to make way for a ministry which had 


for its head Robert Baldwin the Eeformer with whom 
was afterwards joined Lafontaine, a Frenchman who had 
been the political associate of Papineau though he himself 
just stopped short of rebellion. Even Dr. Eolph, the Upper 
Canadian rebel and exile, ultimately found a place in a 
Reform Government. 

All however was not yet over. The advent of Peel to 
power in 1841 had placed the Colonial Office once more in 
Conservative hands. Sir Charles Bagot, the first Governor 
appointed by the Conservatives, was a life-long Tory, but a 
well-bred and placid gentleman, who accepted with grace his 
constitutional position of figurehead, dispensed hospitality 
to politicians of all parties, and turned his energies to the 
encouragement of practical improvements, such as making 
roads, and to the laying of first stones, now one of the chief 
functions of British Royalty. But his conduct did not give 
satisfaction to Tories either in the colony or at home. Lord 
Stanley, the Colonial Secretary in Peel's second Ministry, by 
no means acquiesced in the view that his representative 
should be a cipher and the colony an independent State. 
Stanley's appointment was Lord Metcalfe (1843-5), a man of 
the highest eminence in the East Indian service, who in 
Hindostan, and afterwards in Jamaica, had governed on the 
most liberal principles, but had governed. In Canada also 
he meant to govern on liberal principles, but in Canada also 
he meant to govern. The East Indian official, accustomed to 
administer in his own person, was shocked to find that he 
was " required to give himself up entirely to the council," " to 
submit absolutely to their dictation," " to have no judgment 
of his own," " to be a tool in the hands of his advisers," and 
" to tear up Her Majesty's Commission by publicly declaring 
his adhesion to conditions including the complete nullification 


of Her Majesty's Government." Accustomed in the Indian 
Civil Service, the purest in the world, to appoint his subordi- 
nates by merit, he was shocked at being told that he must 
allow the patronage of the Government to be used for the 
purposes of the party in power and must proscribe all its 
opponents. He tried to make his own appointments, and 
brought on a storm. The Assembly carried a resolution 
affirming in effect that the prerogative of appointment, with 
all the rest, had passed entirely from the Crown to the 
Parliamentary Ministers, and the Ministry resigned. 

The Governor, the Colonial Secretary approving his course, 
formed a makeshift Ministry of the men of the old school, 
and appealed from the majority to the country. The distin- 
guished and high-minded civil servant now found himself* to 
his intense disgust, immersed in all the roguery, corruption, 
and ruffianism of a fiercely-contested election, forced to use 
government patronage as a bribery fund, and to pay for 
" Leonidas Letters " with appointments to public trusts. He 
and his Ministry came out of the fray with a small majority. 
His death cut the inextricable knot With him expired 
Monarchical Government in Canada. Nothing but its ghost 
remained. Sir Edmund Head is said to have afterwards 
lingered wistfully in the Council Chamber and to have been 
shown the door by a Conservative minister. 

Metcalfe was succeeded by Lord Cathcart, a soldier, sent 
out probably on account of the threatening aspect of the 
boundary dispute with the United States. Then came Lord 
Elgin (1849-54), in whom again we see the public servant of 
the Empire whose only rule has been administrative duty 
in contrast with the party leader and the demagogue. Elgin 
was a Conservative, and was sent out by a Conservative Govern- 
ment, but he was calm and wise. He accepted Responsible 



Government, and even flattered himself that under that system 
he exercised a moral influence such as would make up to the 
Crown for the loss of its patronage. This, with his personal 
gifts and graces, and while the system was still in the green 
wood, he may possibly have done. It is more certain that he 
gave an impulse to material improvements in the way of 
railways, canals, and steamboats, as well as to the advance- 
ment of education. In one case he accepted Eesponsible 
Government with a vengeance, for he gave his assent to the 
Rebellion Losses BilL The bill was denounced by the Tories 
both in Canada and in the British House of Commons as a 
bill for rewarding rebels ; a bill for indemnifying rebels it 
undeniably was. The Tories in Canada rose, pelted the 
Governor-General at Montreal with stones and rotten eggs, 
put his life in some danger, and raised a mob by which 
the Parliament House was burned down. Their opponents 
did not fail to taunt them with their failing loyalty ; but it 
must be owned that they were sorely tried, and that the 
Rebellion Losses Bill was a humiliation. Such humiliations 
are the lot of an Imperial country retaining its nominal 
supremacy and its responsibility in a hemisphere where it 
has resigned or lost all power. The Ashburton Treaty, made 
some years before, cutting Maine out of Canada's side, seemed 
to Canadians an instance of similar weakness on the part of 
the Home Government. They made too little allowance for 
the distracting liabilities of an Empire exposed to peril in 
every quarter of the globe. 

There was still, however, a field for which Elgin was well 
suited, and in which he could act without the danger of 
" falling," to use his own words, " on the one side into the 
nSant of mock majesty, or on the other, into the dirt and con- 
fusion of local factions." By the adoption of Free Trade in 


1846 England had out the commercial tie between herself 
and her colony, and deprived the colony of its advantage in 
the British market. Commercial depression in Canada 
ensued. Property in the towns fell fifty per cent in value. 
Three-fourths of the commercial men were bankrupt. The 
State was reduced to the necessity of paying all the officers, 
from the Governor-General downwards, in debentures which 
were not exchangeable at par. A feeling in favour of annexa- 
tion to the United States spread widely among the commer- 
cial classes, and a manifesto in favour of it was signed not 
only by many leading merchants, but by magistrates, Queen's 
counsel, militia officers, and others holding commissions under 
the Crown. Elgin himself was astonished that the discontent 
did not produce an outbreak. There was, as he saw, but one 
way of restoring contentment and averting disturbance. This 
was " to put the colonists in as good a position commercially 
as the citizens of the United States, in order to which free 
navigation and reciprocal trade with the States were indis- 
pensable." To this view he gave effect by going to Washing- 
ton and there displaying his diplomatic skill in negotiating 
the Eeciprocity Treaty, which opened up for Canada a gainful 
trade, especially in her farm products, with the United States, 
and was to her, during the twelve years of its continuance, 
the source of a prosperity to which she still looks back with 
wistful eyes. The rush of prosperity at the time turned 
the head of the community, and caused over-speculation, 
which led to a crisis in 1857. 

The grand revolution having been accomplished, the minor 
changes which were its corollaries followed in its train. 
After hesitation on the part of religious Eeformers like 
Lafontaine, who cherished the idea of a provision for religion, 
the Clergy Keserves were secularised. The same stroke 



knocked off the fetters of the Church of England, gave her the 
election of her own officers, and set her free to win back the 
hearts which, as a domineering favourite of the State, she had 
estranged. Tithe in Lower Canada ought to have been 
abolished at the same time ; but it was guaranteed, or was 
held to be guaranteed, by the Treaty of Cession, made with a 
most Christian dynasty which had ceased to reign and which 
has since been replaced by an Anti- Christian Republic. 
University tests were repealed, and the University of Toronto 
was thrown open : whereupon, Bishop Strachan gave way to 
his resentment, and instead of sticking to the ship in which 
he had still the advantage of possession and of social 
primacy, went off in a cockboat and founded a new Anglican 
University. Other sectarian universities had been founded 
while that of Toronto was confined to Anglicanism, and the 
net result has been six or seven degree-giving bodies in a 
Province the resources of which were not more than equal to 
the support of one university worthy of the name. At length, 
happily for the advancement of high education, learning, and 
science in Ontario, university consolidation has begun. 

The Upper House of the Legislature was made elective, 
with the same suffrage as that of the Lower House, but with 
larger constituencies, and a term of eight years. Municipal 
institutions on the elective principle were given to Upper 
Canada. In Lower Canada the seigniories, with all their 
vexatious incidents, were swept away, not however without 
compensation to the seigniors, theories of agrarian confisca- 
tion not having then come into vogue. 

The French speedily verified the prediction of Sir Francis 
Bond Head, and belied the expectation of Durham and Buller. 
" They had the wisdom," as their manual of history before 
cited complacently observes, " to remain united among them- 


selves, and by that union were able to exercise a happy 
influence on the Legislature and the Government." Instead 
of being politically suppressed, they soon, thanks to their 
compactness as an interest and their docile obedience to 
their leaders, became politically dominant. The British 
factions at once begau to bid against each other for their sup- 
port, and were presently at their feet. Nothing could show 
this more clearly than the Bebellion Losses Bill The statute 
proscribing the use of the French language in official pro- 
ceedings was repealed, and the Canadian Legislature was 
made bilingual. The Premiership was divided between the 
English and the French leader, and the Ministries were 
designated by the double name — " the Lafontaine-Baldwin," 
or " the Macdonald-Tach&" The French got their full share 
of seats in the Cabinet and of patronage; of public funds 
they got more than their full share, especially as being small 
consumers of imported goods they contributed far less than 
their quota to the public revenue. By their aid the Soman 
Catholics of the Upper Province obtained the privilege of 
Separate Schools in contravention of the principle of reli- 
gious equality and severance of the Church from the State. 
In time it was recognised as a rule that a Ministry to retain 
power must have a majority from each section of the Pro- 
vince. This practically almost reduced the Union to a 
federation, under which French nationality was more securely 
entrenched than ever. Gradually the French and their 
clergy became, as they have ever since been, the basis of 
what styles itself a Conservative party, playing for French 
support by defending clerical privilege, by protecting French 
nationality, and, not least, by allowing the French Province 
to dip her hand deep in the common treasury. On the other 
hand, a secession of thorough-going Eeformers from the 


Moderates who gloried in the name of Baldwin, gave birth 
to the party of the " Clear Grits," the leader of which was 
Mr. George Brown, a Scotch Presbyterian, and which having 
first insisted on the secularisation of the Clergy Keserves, 
became, when that question was out of the way, a party of 
general opposition to French and Boman Catholic influence. 
The population of Upper Canada having now outgrown that 
of Lower Canada, the Clear Grits demanded that the repre- 
sentation should be rectified in accordance with numbers. 
The French contended with truth that the apportionment 
had been irrespective of numbers, and that Upper Canada, 
while her population was the smaller, had reaped the ad- 
vantage of that arrangement. Mortal issue was joined, and 
" Bep. by Pop." (Bepresentation by Population) became the 
Beform cry. The war was waged with the utmost vehemence 
by Mr. Brown and his organ, the Globe, which became a power, 
and ultimately a tyrannical power, in Canadian politics. But 
the French, with the British faction which courted their vote, 
were too strong. A change had thus come over the character 
and relations of parties. French Canada, so lately the seat 
of disaffection, became the basis of the Conservative party. 
British Canada became the stronghold of the Liberals. But 
the old Tories of British Canada, true at least to their anti- 
pathies, combined with the French against the Liberals in the 
amalgam styled Conservative. 

Irish influence, almost as sectional as the French, was now 
beginning to grow powerful. The famine of 1846 had thrown 
upon the shores of Canada thousands of miserable exiles, 
stricken with pestilence as well as with famine. At the 
moment when Canada lost her commercial privileges as a 
colony, she was called upon to perform the most onerous of 
colonial duties to the mother country, and the duty was 


nobly performed, the medical profession taking the lead in 
heroic philanthropy. Abortive insurrections in Ireland 
added some political exiles. Among the number was D'Arcy 
M'Gee, a Fenian leader who, in a happier political climate, 
doffed his Fenianism while he retained his enthusiasm and 
his eloquence, and for doffing his Fenianism was murdered 
by his quondam feUow-conspirators. There was now an Irish 
as well as a French vote to be played for. Had not the 
difference of race generally prevailed, as we have said, over 
the identity of religion, there might have been a coalition of 
the two Soman Catholic races, which would almost have 
reduced the other races to political servitude. 

A struggle of principle is sure to leave some men ot 
principle as well as mark upon the scene. Such were Robert 
Baldwin on one side, and Draper on the other. But when 
these have* passed away faction, intrigue, cabal, and selfish 
ambition have their turn. What else can be expected with 
party government when the great issues are out of the way 
and nothing but the prizes of office remains ? Already, in 
Lord Elgin's time, politics had entered on a phase of party 
without principle. He had pensively remarked that in a 
community " where there was little if anything of public 
principle .to divide men, political parties would shape them- 
selves under the influence of circumstances, and of a great 
variety of affections or antipathies — national, sectarian, and 
personal" " You will observe," he says, " when a Ministry 
is trying to recruit itself by coalition, that no question of 
principle or of public policy has been mooted by either 
party during the negotiation. The whole discussion has 
turned upon personal considerations. This is, I fancy, a 
pretty fair sample of Canadian politics. It is not even pre- 
tended that the divisions of party represent corresponding 


divisions of sentiment on subjects which occupy the public 
mind. 1 ' He complains that his Ministers insist on appealing 
to low personal motives, as if they did not believe in the 
existence of anything higher, that unprincipled factiousness 
is taken for granted as the rule of conduct on all hands, 
and that he is himself in danger of being besmirched by its 
mire. A period of tricky combinations, perfidious alliances, 
and selfish intrigues now commenced, and a series of weak 
and ephemeral governments was its fruit. The Hincks- 
Morin, the MacNab-Morin, the Tach^-Macdonald, the Brown,- 
Dorion, the Cartier-Macdonald, the Sandfield Macdonald- 
Sicotte, the Sandfield Macdonald-Doribn,the Tach^-Macdonald 
(second) administrations followed each other like the shifting 
scenes of a farce, their double headships indicating the 
necessity of compounding with the French, whose vote was 
the great .card in the game. Unfortunately they left their 
traces. "A political warfare," said Senator Ferrier (a 
Montreal merchant) afterwards in the debate on Confedera- 
tion, " has been waged in Canada for many years of a nature 
calculated to destroy all moral and political principle, both 
in the Legislature and out of it." In such a competition, 
unscrupulous craft, with a thorough knowledge of the baser 
side of human nature, is sure to prevail, and to mount to the 
highest place. It did prevail ; it did mount to the highest 
place, and became the ideal of statesmanship to Canadian 

It was in the course of this unimpressive history that the 
one remaining prerogative of the Crown was exercised by 
the Governor- General for the last time. 1 In 1858, Mr. 
George Brown, the leader of the "Clear Grits" put the 

1 It has been since exercised on one occasion by a Lieutenant-Governor of 
\ Province. 


Conservative Ministry in a minority on the question of the 
choice of a site for the Capital, the Queen having given her 
decision in favour of Ottawa. Though the combination 
against the Government was fortuitous, and the question 
not one of principle, the Ministry resigned ; it was surmised 
because they thought it politic to appear as martyrs to their 
loyal respect for the Sovereign's judgment. The Governor, 
Sir Edmund Head, sent for Mr. Brown but refused him a 
dissolution, on the ground that the Parliament was newly 
elected, that there was no reason for supposing that public 
opinion had changed, and therefore that there was no 
justification for throwing the country again into the turmoil 
of an election. Mr. Brown's fortuitous majority deserting 
him, his Ministry at once fell The Governor was of course 
fiercely denounced by the Grits for partisanship ; but 
supposing he still held the prerogative of dissolution, it 
would seem that he did right ; he certainly did what was 
best for the country. A farcical sequel to this episode was 
the " Double Shuffle," a name applied to a piece of legerde- 
main by which the old Ministers, on resuming their places, 
contrived to bilk the constitutional- rule which required 
them to go to their constituencies for re-election. Public 
morality was outraged. The courts of law, by an extremely 
technical construction, sustained the trick. But nothing 
smarter was ever done by any Yankee politician. 

At last there came a Ministry with a majority of two, 
which afterwards dwindled to one, so that the fate of the 
administration might hang upon the success of a page in 
hunting up a member before a division, and the dangerous 
opportunity was afforded to each individual politician of 
saving the country by his single vote. Dissolutions only 
made faction more factious. Finally there was a deadlock. 


The wheels of the political machine ceased to turn, and the 
most necessary legislation was- at a stand. As a door of 
escape from the predicament into which their factiousness 
and selfishness had brought the country, the politicians 
bethought them of a confederation, including all the North 
American Colonies of Great Britain. In this the antagonism 
between British and French Canada, which was the im- 
mediate source of the dilemma, would be merged, and 
altogether there would be a fresh deal The idea of such a 
confederation was not new. Lord Durham had recommended 
it in his Beport: even before his day, Judge Haliburton 
had ventilated the idea in Sam Slick ; while Mr. George 
Brown, finding that he could not carry his project of 
Representation by Population, had been proposing that the 
Union between Upper and Lower Canada should be recon- 
stituted on a federal footing, so that they might be made 
independent of each other in their local affairs. The three 
Maritime Provinces — Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and 
Prince Edward Island — had, as has been already said, 
meditated a Legislative Union among themselves; and, 
though a difficulty about the choice of a capital had come in 
the way, it is likely that in time they would have carried 
the project into effect. 

Another inducement to confederation at this juncture 
was the belief that it would bring to all the Provinces an 
increase of military strength and of security against invasion. 
On this head there was at the time some ground for alarm 
on account of the critical position into which Canada as a 
dependency of Great Britain had been drawn in relation to 
the United States. Before the American Civil War Canada 
had been, like the mother country, an enemy of the Slave 
Power ; one of the first acts of her yeoman legislators in the 


Upper Province had been the abolition of slavery ; and she 
had prided herself on being the refuge of the slave. At the 
opening of the conflict between Slavery and Freedom her 
heart had been where it was natural that it should be. 
But after the Trent affair she had been drawn, together with 
the aristocratic party in England, into an attitude of hostility 
to the North. Her citizens had taken to drilling, and she 
had sounded the trumpet of defiance. Her Government had 
strictly discharged their international obligations, but the 
Confederates had violated the neutrality of her territory in 
the case of the St. Alban's raid, and some of her own citizens 
who were hot sympathisers with the Slave Power had hardly 
kept their sentiment within the bounds of the Queen's 
proclamation. The Union was now triumphant and had a 
large and victorious army at its command. There was 
reason to fear that its ire, kindled by the conduct of Great 
Britain in the matter of the Alabama, and by the stinging 
language of the British Press, might find vent in an attack 
on the dependency. There had in fact been a Fenian raid 
encouraged by the laxity of the American Government, if 
not by its connivance, and somebody having blundered, a 
number of Canadians had in the disastrous affair of Eidgeway 
fallen in defence of the frontier. The second Fenian raid in 
1870 was a mere imposture got up to make the money flow 
again from the pockets of Irish servant girls ; but the first 
was rendered formidable by the presence among the raiders 
of Irishmen who had fought in the American Civil War. 
It was a natural impression, though some saw through the 
fallacy at the time, that the political union of the Provinces 
would greatly add to their force in war. The Home 
Authorities also applauded the project, in the hope that the 
colonies would become better able to defend themselves, 


lean thenceforth less heavily for protection on the arm of the 
overburdened mother country, and be less of an addition to 
her many perils. Some years before, Lord Beaconsfield, then 
Mr. Disraeli, Imperialist as he was, had written in con- 
fidence to the Minister for Foreign Affairs urging him to 
push the Fisheries question to a settlement while the 
influences at Washington were favourable, and remarking 
that "these wretched colonies will all be independent too 
in a few years and are a millstone round our necks." 1 
What Mr. Disraeli said in the ear was said on the housetop 
by the Edinburgh Review, which after averring that it would 
puzzle the wisest to put his finger on any advantage 
resulting to Great Britain from her dominions in North 
America, and glancing at the " special difficulties which beset 
her in that portion of her vast field of empire," pronounced 
it not surprising that "any project which may offer a 
prospect of escape from a political situation so undignified 
and unsatisfactory should be hailed with a cordial welcome 
by all parties concerned." If the same thing was not said 
by other statesmen it was present in a less distinct form to 
the minds of some of them : at least they were very anxious 
that the millstone should be a millstone no more, but be 
able to provide for its own defence at need and perhaps to 
help the mother country. Colonial Eeformers like the 
Duke of Newcastle, Mr. Adderley, and Mr. Godley who 
clung to the political connection, were just as desirous of 
relieving the mother country of the military burden and of 
training the colonies to self-reliance and virtual in- 
dependence as were the men of the so-called Manchester 
School, who advocated complete independence. Cobden and 
Bright, it may be remarked by the way, though their 

1 See Lord Malmesbury, Memoirs of cm Ex-Minister, vol. ii, p. 844. 


opinion was avowed, never took a very active part in the 

A third motive was the hope of calling into existence an 
intercolonial trade to make up for partial exclusion from that 
American market which Canada had been enjoying to her 
great advantage during the last twelve years. To the anger 
which the behaviour of a party in England had excited in 
America, Canada owes the loss of the Reciprocity Treaty, and 
the bitter proof which she has since had of Lord Elgin's say- 
ing that free navigation and reciprocal trade with the States 
are indispensable to put her people in as good a position as 
their neighbours. If Great Britain can with justice say that ^7 
she has paid heavily for the defence of Canada, Canada I 
can with equal justice reply that she has paid heavily, in I 
the way of commercial sacrifice, for the policy of Great / 
Britain. ' 

Under the pressure of necessity the faction-fight was 
suspended, and a coalition government, after some haggling, 
was formed (1864) with Confederation as its object, the Grit 
leader, Mr. George Brown, and two of his friends entering it, 
with Sir John A. Macdonald and his Conservative colleagues, 
under the figure-headship first of Sir Etienne Tache and, on 
his death, of Sir Narcisse Belleau. The spectacle was seen, 
as a speaker at the time remarked, of men who for the last 
twelve years had been accusing each other of public robberies 
and of every sort of crime seated on the Ministerial benches 
side by side. Delegates, comprising the leading men of both 
parties, were appointed by the Governors of Canada, Nova 
Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, at the 
instance of the several legislatures. They met and drew up 
a scheme which, having been submitted to the legislatures, 
was afterwards carried to London, there finally settled with 


the Colonial Office, and embodied by the Imperial Parliament 
in the British North America Act, which forms the instru- 
ment of Confederation. The consent of the Canadian Legis- 
lature was freely and fairly given by a large majority. That 
of the Legislature of New Brunswick was only obtained by 
heavy pressure, the Colonial Office assisting, and after 
strong resistance, an election having taken place at which 
every one of the delegates had been rejected by the people. 
That of the Legislature of Nova Scotia was drawn from it, in 
defiance of the declared wishes of the people and in breach 
of recent pledges, by vigorous use of personal influence 
with the members. Mr. Howe, the patriot leader of the 
Province, still held out and went to England threatening 
recourse to violence if his people were not set free from the 
bondage into which, by the perfidy of their representatives, 
they had been betrayed. But he was gained over by the 
promise of office, and those who in England had listened to 
his patriot thunders and had moved in response to his appeal, 
heard with surprise that the orator had taken his seat in a 
Federationist administration. Prince Edward Island bolted 
outright, though high terms were offered her by the delegates, 1 
and at the time could not be brought back, though she came 
in some years afterwards, mollified by the boon of a local 
railway for the construction of which the Dominion paid. In 
effect, Confederation was carried by the Canadian Parliament, 
led by the politicians of British and French Canada, whose 
first object was escape from their deadlock, with the help 

1 In the autumn of 1866, Mr. J. C. Pope (Premier of Prince Edward 
Island) went to England " and an informal offer was made through him by 
the delegates of the other provinces, then in London, settling the terms of 
Confederation, to grant the Island $800,000 as indemnity for the loss of 
territorial revenue and for the purchase of the proprietors' estates, on condi- 
tion of the Island entering the Confederation." — History of Prince Edward 
Island, by Duncan Campbell, p. 180. 


of the Home Government and of the Colonial Governors 
acting under its directions. 

The debate in the Canadian Parliament fills a volume of 
one thousand and thirty-two pages. A good deal of it is mere 
assertion and counter-assertion as to the probable effects of 
the measure, political, military, and commercial. One speaker 
gives a long essay on the history of federations, but without 
nquich historical discrimination. Almost the only speech which 
has interest for a student of political science is that of Mr. 
Dunkin, who, while he is an extreme and one-sided opponent 
of the measure, tries at all events to forecast the working of 
the projected constitution, and thus takes us to the heart of 
the question, whether his forecast be right or wrong. Those 
who will be at the trouble of toiling through the volume, 
however, will, it is believed, see plainly enough that whoever 
may lay claim to the parentage of Confederation — and upon 
this momentous question there has been much controversy 
— its real parent was Deadlock. 

Legally, of course, Confederation was the act of the 
Imperial Parliament, which had full power to legislate for 
dependencies. But there was nothing morally to prevent the 
submission of the plan to the people any more than there was 
to prevent a vote of the Colonial Legislatures on the project. 
The framers can hardly have failed to see how much the 
Constitution would gain in sacredness by being the act of 
the. whole community. They must have known what was 
the source of the veneration with which the American 
Constitution is regarded by the people of the United States. 
The natural inference is that the politicians were not sure 
that they had the people with them. They were sure that 
in some of the provinces they had it not. The desire of 
escaping from the political dilemma, however keenly felt by 


the leaders, would not be so keenly felt by the masses, and 
the dread of American invasion would scarcely be felt by 
them at alL There was no such pressure of danger from 
without as that which enforced union on the members of the 
Achaean League, on the Swiss Cantons, on the States of the 
Netherlands, on the American Colonies ; while the British 
Colonies in North America were already for military purposes 
as well as for those of internal peace united under the 
Imperial Government, so that the main purpose of a federal 
union was already fulfilled. Without worship of universal 
suffrage or of the people, it may be said that the broader 
and deeper the foundation of institutions is laid the better, 
and that the sanctity once imparted by the fiat of a king 
can now be imparted only by the fiat of the whole 
nation. A compact invalid in its origin may, no doubt, be 
made valid by acquiescence; but the Constitution of the 
Canadian Confederation is valid by acquiescence alone. It is 
said that at general elections which followed, federation was 
practically ratified by the constituencies : but at a general 
election different issues are mixed together ; various questions, 
local and personal as well as general, operate on the voter's 
mind; the legislative questions are confused with the 
question to whom shall belong the prizes of office ; party 
feeling is aroused ; a clear decision cannot be obtained. The 
only way of obtaining from the people a clear decision on a 
legislative question is the plebiscite. Unless the single issue 
is submitted a fair verdict will never be returned. If some day 
Canadians are called upon to make a great sacrifice of wealth 
and security in order that they may keep their own institu- 
tions, the reply perhaps will be that the institutions are not 
their own but were imposed upon them by a group of 
politicians struggling to escape from the desperate predica- 


ment into which their factiousness had drawn them, employ- 
ing in some cases very questionable means to arrive at 
Ifeb end, and bringing Z bear upon Canada the power of a 
distant government and Parliament, which, worthy as they 
might be of reverence, were those of the British, not those of 
the Canadian people. 

So far as political affinity was concerned the Maritime 
Provinces were ready for Confederation. To each of them had 
been given the same Constitution as to the two Canadas. 
Each of them had a Governor, an Executive Council, an 
Upper House of Parliament nominated by the Crown, and a 
Lower House elected by the people. The political history of 
each of them had followed the same course. In each of 
them an official oligarchy had entrenched itself in the 
Executive Council and the Upper House. In each of them 
its entrenchments had been attacked and at last stormed by 
the popular party which predominated in the Elective House. 
In Prince Edward Island with the struggle for responsible 
government had been combined a war with an absentee pro- 
prietary of original grantees, which was at last settled 
under an Act of the Imperial Parliament, such as was in 
those times deemed a startling infringement of proprie- 
tary rights, though it was mild indeed compared with the 
Irish land legislation of the present day. Patriots in the 
Maritime Provinces had in fact acted in sympathy with 
patriots in Canada, and the leaders of either party in each 
battlefield had kept their eyes fixed upon the other. Sir 
Francis Head, for instance, watched anxiously the progress of 
the struggle in New Brunswick, and in the surrender of the 
Colonial Office and its representative there read the general 
doom. Everywhere the war had been waged on nearly the 
same issues, the chief being the control of the civil list, and 



everywhere its result had been the same. Eesponsible 
government had prevailed, and the Grown, under a thin veil of 
constitutional language, had given up its power to the people. 
About the time when in Canada Sir Charles Metcalfe was 
striving to recover power for the Crown a desperate attempt 
of the same kind had been made by Lord Falkland in Nova 
Scotia. But Lord Falkland, like Sir Charles Metcalfe, 
succumbed to destiny, whose Minister in his case was the 
great orator and patriot, Joseph Howe. 




In dutiful imitation of that glorious Constitution of the mother 
country, with its division of power among kings, lords, and 
commons which, though it really died with William III, still 
exists in devout imaginations, the Constitution of the Canadian 
Dominion has a false front of monarchy. The king who reigns 
and does not govern is represented by a Governor-General who 
does the same, and the Governor-General solemnly delegates 
his impotence to a puppet Lieutenant-Governor in each pro- 
vince. Everything is done in the names of these images of 
Eoyalty, as everything was done in the names of the Venetian 
Doge and the Merovingian kings ; but if they dared to do 
anything themselves, or to refuse to do anything that they 
were told to do, they would be instantly deposed. Eeligious 
Canada prays each Sunday that they may govern well, on 
the understanding that heaven will never be so unconstitu- 
tional as to grant her prayer. like their British prototype, 

1 The Canadian Constitution is to be studied in the British North America 
Act of 1867, on which abundant commentaries have appeared by Messrs. 
Todd, Bourinot, O'Sullivan, Watson, and Doutre. To the works of these 
learned and eminent writers the reader is referred for such details as do not 
come within the scope of this very general sketch. The debate on Confedera- 
tion in the Canadian Parliament (Quebec, 1865) may be consulted by the 
diligent reader. Extracts from the principal speakers are given in Colonel 
Gray's work on Confederation. 

^»fciK S » g« V S- » 


they deliver from their thrones speeches which have been 
made for them by their Prime Ministers, to whom they serve 
as a ventriloquial apparatus. Each of them, to keep up the 
constitutional illusion, is surrounded by a certain amount of 
state and etiquette, the Governor-General, of course, having 
more of it than his delegates. At the opening of the Dominion 
Parliament by the Governor-General there is a parade of his 
bodyguard, cannon are fired, everybody puts on all the finery 
to which he is entitled, the knights don their insignia, the 
Privy Councillors their Windsor uniform, and the ladies 
appear in low dresses. At the opening of a Provincial Parlia- 
ment the ceremony is less impressive, and in some cases is 
reduced to a series of explosions mimicking cannon. 

The last prerogative which remained to the Governor- 
General was that of Dissolution. We have seen that Sir 
Edmund Head exercised his own judgment in declining to 
dissolve Parliament at the bidding of Mr. George Brown. 
But this power of control seems since to have been abandoned 
like the rest. The Governor-General now appears to feel 
himself bound to dissolve Parliament at the bidding of his 
Minister, without any constitutional crisis requiring an appeal 
to the country, or cause of any kind except the convenience 
of a Minister who may think the moment good for snapping 
a verdict. We here see that a political cipher is not always 
a nullity, but may sometimes be mischievous. That the ex- 
istence of a Parliament should be made dependent upon the 
will and pleasure of a party leader, and should be cut short 
as often as it suits his party purposes, is obviously subversive 
of the independence of the legislature. Such an arrangement 
would never be tolerated if it were openly proposed. But it 
is tolerated, and with perfect supineness, when, instead of the 
name of the Prime Minister, that of the Governor-General is 


used. The robe of the Queen's representative in this and 
other cases forms the decorous cover for the practices of the 
colonial politician. In the case before us the arbitrary power 
grasped by the party leader under constitutional forms in the 
Colony seems even to have exceeded that grasped by the 
party leader in the mother country. In the mother country 
some good authorities at least still maintain that the Crown 
has not entirely resigned the prerogative, and that the 
Sovereign may refuse a dissolution, except in case of a Parlia- 
mentary crisis, such as renders necessary an appeal to the 
people, or when the House of Commons has been deprived of 
authority by the close approach of its legal end. At all events, 
in England tradition has not wholly lost the restraining power 
which it had when government was in the hands of a class 
pervaded by a sense of corporate responsibility and careful 
not to impair its own heritage. An American or Canadian 
politician in playing his game uses without scruple every 
card in his hand ; traditions or unwritten rules are nothing to 
him ; the only safeguard against his excesses is written law. 
The Americans are surprisingly tolerant of what an English- 
man would think the inordinate use of power by the holders 
of office ; but then they know that there is a line drawn by 
the law beyond which the man cannot go, and that with the 
year his authority must end. The politician in Canada, not 
less than in the United States, requires the restraint of written 

A Governor-General has been made to read a speech from 
the Throne commending to the nation a commercial policy 
which was not only opposed to his own opinions as a free 
trader, but laid protective duties on British goods. Nor is it 
possible to doubt that in appointments his personal conscience 
and honour are treated as entirely out of the question. A 


Governor-General, about whose own keen sense of right there 
could be no question, has thus been made to place upon the 
Bench of Justice, manifestly for a party purpose, a man upon 
whose appointment the whole profession, without distinction 
of party, cried shame. To the appointment of his own repre- 
sentatives, the Lieutenant-Governors or to those of Senators, 
the Governor-General, it is generally believed, has not a word 
to say. 

We hadadecisive proof of the Governor-General's impotence 
in the case of Mr. Letellier de St. Just, who was deposed from 
the lieutenant-Governorship of Quebec. Mr. Letellier had 
been appointed by a Liberal Government. He quarrelled with 
a Provincial Ministry of the opposite party for breach of rules, 
turned it out, arid called in other advisers, who, upon an 
appeal to the Province, were sustained, though by a bare 
majority. The Quebec Conservatives were infuriated at the 
loss of the Provincial patronage. In the Dominion Senate, 
where their party had a majority, they at once got a vote of 
censure passed on the Lieutenant-Governor. They had not 
at that time a majority in the House of Commons, but a 
general election having soon after given them a majority, 
they passed a vote of censure in the Lower House also. The 
party leader thereupon, as Prime Minister, " advised " the 
Governor-General to dismiss Mr. Letellier. It was simply 
an act of party vengeance, Mr. Letellier having done nothing 
which was not strictly within the letter of the Constitution, 
and having been sustained by the people of his province. 
The Act of Confederation required that for the dismissal of a 
Lieutenant-Governor a cause should be assigned. The only 
cause assigned was, that after the adverse vote of the Dominion 
Parliament " his usefulness had ceased." Evidently this was 
no cause at all, but a mere mockery. What the law required 


was the assignment of a specific breach of duty, of which it 
could not be pretended that the Lieutenant-Governor had 
been guilty. The votes of the Senate and the House ol 
Commons were nothing but manifestations of party resent- 
ment. Their character was marked by the manner in which 
they had been passed ; not in the same session, so as to re- 
present the judgment of Parliament, but in different sessions, 
the vote of the House of Commons being delayed till the 
result of the election had given the party power in that 
House. It was evident that the conscience of the Governor- 
General recoiled from this treatment of his own representative, 
whose rights and character he was specially bound in honour 
to guard. He referred to the Colonial Office, but the Colonial 
Office bade him obey his constitutional advisers. He might 
have done the Colony a great service, though at some risk to 
himself, had he told the Minister that on questions of policy 
he was ready to be guided by others, but that on questions of 
justice, especially in a case where his own deputy was 
concerned, he had a conscience of his own, and that he would 
do what honour bade him or go homeJ The Minister would 
probably have given way, and at all events a most wholesome 
lesson would have been read. But grandees do not run risks. 
Noblesse oblige is the reverse of the truth. The nobleman is 
rather apt to feel that even if he does what would compromise 
another, his rank will carry him through. 

The Governor-Generalship, it is said, saves Canada from 
presidential elections. Presidential elections are an evil, and 
as at present conducted by popular vote they are a morbid 
excrescence on the American Constitution, since the framers 
intended the electoral college really to elect, though it is 
strange that they should not have foreseen that election by 
a college chosen for the nonce would result in a mandate. 


But the Governor- Generalship is not the Presidency of 
Canada : the Prime Ministership is the Presidency, and the 
general election in which the Prime Ministership and Cabinet 
offices are the prize is little less of an evil than the 
presidential election. The same answer meets the allegation 
that the Governor -Generalship or tjie monarchical element 
which it represents is a pledge of political stability. The 
Government of Canada has of late years presented an appear- 
ance of stability, the account of which will be given hereafter. 
But in Australia ministers, notwithstanding the presence of a 
governor, are as fleeting as shadows chasing each other over 
a field, and the same was the case in Canada before Con- 
federation. The real government is liable to constant change, 
which is no more tempered or countervailed by the per- 
manency of the Governor than by the permanency of the 
Sergeant-at-Arms. An American government is comparatively 
stable, having a fixed tenure for four years. 

The constitutional hierophants of Ottawa, such as Mr. 
Alpheus Todd, assure the uninitiated in solemn tones that in 
spite of appearances which may be deceptive to the vulgar, 
the Governor-Generalship is an institution of great practical 
value, as well as of most awful dignity. Highly deceptive to 
the vulgar, it must be owned, the appearances are. 

If it is said that the service is not political but social, and 
that the little Court of Ottawa is needed to refine colonial 
manners, the answer is first, that the benefit must be limited 
to the Court circle ; and secondly, that colonial manners do 
not stand in need of imported refinement. Nobody who lives 
long on the American Continent can fail to be struck with 
the fact that vulgarity is but the shadow of caste. The man- 
ners of men who have raised themselves from the ranks of 
industry are in all essential respects perfectly good, so long 


as the men are allowed to remain in their native element of 
equality and not infected with aristocratic notions or set 
striving to imitate an alien model. If there is anything in 
Canadian manners which is traceable to the Court at Ottawa, 
it is not that which is best in them. Indeed, if the stories 
which sometimes get abroad of Ottawa balls and suppers are 
true, Ottawa refinement itself occasionally stands in need of 

The example of an expensive household or of profuse 
entertainments is of questionable value. One Governor- 
General was specially noted for the profusion of the entertain- 
ments by which he courted popularity, as well as by the 
increase which he made in the cost of his office to the 
country ; and it is said that officials with small salaries at 
Ottawa rue his fancy balls to this hour. 

The same Governor -General also courted popularity by 
oratorical tours, or, to use the common phrase, by going on the 
stump. The orations necessarily consist largely of flattery, 
and the effect of flattery on a young nation is pretty much 
the same as on a young man. 

When Eoyalty became a denizen of Government House 
an attempt was made by some zealous officials to intro- 
duce monarchical etiquette. An enthusiastic professor of 
deportment went over privately to consult the Lord Cham- 
berlain, and published a manual for the instruction of 
ignorant Canadians. The keynote is struck by the exordium, 
" What on this earthly sphere is more enchantingly exclusive 
than Her Majesty's Court " — a doubtful assertion* perhaps, 
since the powers of wealth have triumphantly forced their 
way into those precincts. " The impression," proceeds the 
Professor, "made by the debutante is a lasting one in 
England, consequently art is brought to bear, and the 


curtseys, the walk, the extending the arm for the train, and 
each physical movement are practised repeatedly before some 
competent teacher of deportment, who charges well for the 
lessons" Imagine the ladies of a commercial colony fired, 
with this ambition ! The genius of the Continent rejected 
etiquette as it had rejected Pitt's proffered boon of a 
hereditary peerage. When ah edict went forth that at Court 
balls ladies should appear in low dresses, unless they could 
obtain from their physicians a dispensation on the ground of 
health, a comic journal had a print of a bare-footed servant 
girl asking the master of the ceremonies whether nakedness 
at that extremity of the person would not do as well. 

As an object of social worship the representative of 
Eoyalty keeps his place. Like Eoyalty itself, he is taken 
about to open institutions or exhibitions ; words of approbation 
which he may be pleased to utter are recorded as oracles, and 
sacrificial banquets are offered to him. What is the social 
value of such a worship every one must determine for himself. 
In England it seems that the worship goes on while the 
smallest and most necessary payment for the support of the 
idol raises a storm of popular anger. 

The practical aim of a Governor -General is social popu- 
larity combined with political peace. So long as he simply 
gives way in everything to the politicians, he will have a 
quiet course, and at the end of it he will go away amidst 
general plaudits with the reputation of having " governed " 
Canada well. Discerning eulogists will even point out to 
you the particular gifts of mind and temper which have, 
enabled him to administer his province with so much success. 
He is then qualified in the eyes of the Home Government for 
a higher post, and India will be fortunate if she does not some 
day get from this manufactory of spurious reputations a less 


competent Viceroy than Lord Lansdowne. Connection and 
responsibility end together with the parting salute. 

As an authoritative informant of the Home Government 
about Canadian affairs and sentiment the Governor- General, 
besides being a newcomer to the country, lies under the 
twofold disadvantage of being a personage to whom it is 
difficult to speak the truth, and of being always in an official 
capital where, on certain subjects, not much truth is 
spoken. If, like Haroun Alraschid, he could go about' in 
disguise conversing with his lieges, he might learn and impart 
to the Colonial Office what would be worth knowing. As it 
is, when we read the disquisitions of an ex-Governor-General 
on the country which was the scene of his administration, we 
at once become sensible of the happy environment in which 
during his tenure of office he has lived. 

There are those who think that figments, though worse 
than useless in any other department, are useful in politics, and 
that there is an occult virtue in the practice of fetichism and 
hypocrisy. Only let those theorists remember that the rever- 
ence which is bestowed on the false is withdrawn from the 
real ruler, and that servile worship of a fetich and manly 
respect for lawful authority are not always found dwelling in 
the same breast. Democracy has its perils, Heaven knows. 
Let us look them in the face and deal with them as best we 
may. To hide them from us by throwing over them the veil 
of a mock monarchy is not to help us in our endeavour. 

The same people will also believe in the usefulness of 
baronetcies and knighthoods, which have survived the 
catastrophe of the abortive Canadian peerage, and of which 
the Governor-General is the supposed conduit, though it is 
surmised that of late the party leader has virtually got this 
prerogative also into his hands, and added it to his general 


fund of influence. Let us have titles of honour by all means, 
so long as they denote a public trust. Let the Councillor of 
State or the Judge be styled Honourable, and the Mayor 
His Worship. Let scientific and military eminence be 
marked by their appropriate decorations. There is no reason 
why Democracy should deny herself such emblems of civil 
dignity and incentives of generous ambition any more than 
there is a reason why she should deny herself rational and 
symbolic state. She too must have her aesthetics. But titles 
of chivalry do not denote a public trust. In the age of 
chivalry they had a meaning ; now they are merely personal 
decorations, and if they serve any public object it is that of 
introducing into the Colonies, in the supposed interest of 
British aristocracy, sentiments at variance with those on 
which, in such communities, public effort and public virtue 
must be based. They can feed, to put it plainly, nothing but 
flunkeyism. Some of the worthiest men in Canada have 
refused them. They are given sometimes with little discern- 
ment ; they have even served to gild dishonour. Baronetcies, 
the fashion of creating which has of late been revived, are 
open to the further objection which was urged with decisive 
force against the creation of an hereditary peerage in a 
country where there are no entailed estates. We may some 
day have a baronet blacking shoes. To make a Canadian 
politician a baronet is to tempt and almost to constrain him 
to use his political opportunities for the purpose of accu- 
mulating a fortune to bequeath to his son. This is no 
imaginary danger. Nor when honour has been forfeited can 
the title and its influence be annulled. 

Aristocracy had its uses in its time. That it s,erved as 
an organising force in a barbarous age, no one versed in 
history will deny. The feudal lord was not a sybarite with a 


title ; sheathed in iron, he lived, as a leader, a magistrate, and 
a rural law-giver, laborious days. Possibly the services of the 
institution may not yet be exhausted in the lands to which it 
is native : there it may at all events be destined to smooth 
a transition. But it has no business in the New World, and 
the attempt to import it never has done and never can do 
anything but mischief. To make a colony an outpost of 
aristocracy for the purpose of maintaining that institution 
at home is to sacrifice the political character, of an American 
community to the interest of a European caste. 

The Lieutenant-Governorships are bestowed by the party 
leader invariably on his partisans and usually on worn-out 
politicians. That they form a decent retirement for those who 
have spent their energies in public life but on whom the com- 
munity would not consent to bestow pensions, forms the best 
defence for their existence. Political value they have none. 
The theory is that Government House in each province forms 
a centre of society : but the men after their stormy lives are 
generally too weary for social effort and the salary is not 
sufficient for hospitality on a large scale. Men of wealth and 
high social position, who might fulfil the social ideal, are not 
likely to take the appointments. As one of them said 
bluntly, they do not want to keep a hotel for five years. 

Passing through the false front into the real edifice we 
find that it is a federal republic after the American model, 
though with certain modifications derived partly from the 
British source. The Dominion Legislature answers to Con- 
gress, the Provincial Legislature answers to the State Legis- 
lature, the Dominion Prime Minister and Cabinet answer to 
the President and his Cabinet, the Provincial Prime Ministers 
and their Cabinets to the Governor and Officers of States, 
The relations of the Province and the Dominion to each other 


are in the main the same as those of the State and the 
Federation. Were a Canadian Province to be turned at once 
into a State of the Union the change would be felt by the 
people only in a certain increase of self-government. The 
political machinery would act as it does now. 

The deviations in the Canadian copy from the American 
original are chiefly in the direction of an increase of the 
Federal power. The framers of the Canadian Constitution 
fancied that American secession was an awful warning 
against leaving the Federal Government too weak. In this 
they were mistaken, for slavery and slavery alone was the 
cause of secession, and had the Federal Government pos- 
sessed authority to deal with the Southern institution and pro- 
ceeded to exert it, that would only have precipitated the 
catastrophe. Perhaps, however, the Canadian legislators were 
also swayed by the centralising tendency and sentiment of the 
monarchy with which they were connected. Their bias at all 
events was in favour of central power. Some of them would 
have preferred a legislative union had they been able to over- 
come the centrifugal nationalism of Quebec. /To the Federal 
Government and Legislature in Canada belong criminal law 
and procedure. To the Federal Government belongs the 
appointment of all the judges. To the Federal Legislature 
belong the regulation of trade and the law of marriage. The 
Federal Government has the direct command of the Militia, 
whereas in the United States the President can only call upon 
the State Government for military aid. It has by the Con- 
stitution a political veto on all State legislation, whereas in 
the American Republic State legislation can be cancelled only 
on legal grounds by the Supreme Court. And whereas by 
the American Constitution all powers not given to the Federa- 
tion are left in the States, by the Canadian Constitution all 


powers not given to the provinces are left in the Federation/ 
This last distinction is important. The origin of it was, that 
the sovereign power which gave birth to the Confederation 
had its seat not, as in the case of the Americans, in the 
several federating communities, but in the Crown and Parlia- 
ment of Great Britain. 

About the nature and importance of the national veto on 
provincial legislation doubts have recently been raised from 
a motive which will presently be explained, but there were 
no doubts at the time. Mr. (afterwards Sir John) Rose said 
in the debate : " The other point which commends itself so 
strongly to my mind is this, that there is a veto power on 
the part of the General Government over all the legislation 
of the Local Parliaments. ... I believe this power of 
negative, this power of veto, this controlling powqr on the 
part of the Central Government, is the best protection and 
safeguard of the system ; and if it had not been provided I 
would have felt it very difficult to reconcile it to my sense of 
duty to vote for the resolutions. But this power having 
been given to the Central Government it is to my mind, in 
conjunction with the power of naming the local governors, 
the appointment and payment of the judiciary, one of the 
best features of the scheme, without which it would certainly, 
in my opinion, have been open to very serious objection." 
This plainly refers to a power of political control to be exer- 
cised in the interest of the nation, not to a mere power of 
restraining illegal stretches of jurisdiction, a function which 
belongs not to a government but to a court of law. Again, 
Mr. Mackenzie, afterwards Premier, said : " The veto power is 
necessary in order that the General Government may have a 
control over the proceedings of the Local Legislature to a 
certain extent. The want of this power was the great source 


of weakness in the United States, and it is a want that will 
be remedied by an amendment in their Constitution very 
soon." This could not refer to a mere power of restraining 
excesses of jurisdiction on the part of State Legislatures, 
since such a power is already possessed and constantly 
exercised by the Supreme Court In like manner Mr. 
Dorion, Mr. Joly, and other opponents of the scheme assume 
that the veto is general, and regard it accordingly with 
suspicion. The point of these remarks will hereafter appear. 

Thus, constitutionally, the Canadian Dominion is less 
federal and more national than the American Republic. 
Practically the reverse is the fact, because in the case of the 
American Eepublic the unifying forces, economical and 
general, of which the power increases with the advance of 
commerce and civilisation, have free action, the barrier of 
slavery being now removed ; whereas in the case of Canada 
their action is paralysed by geographical dispersion, com- 
mercial isolation, and the separatist nationality of French 

The American President is elected by the people at fixed 
periods, and for a term certain. He and his Cabinet have no 
seats in Congress, nor has he any part in legislation except 
his veto and such influence as his position in the party may 
enable him to exercise behind the scenes. The framers of 
the American Constitution were full of Montesquieu's false 
notion about the necessity of entirely separating the executive 
from the legislative, and probably also of that supersensitive 
dread of the presence of placemen in the popular assembly 
which in England gave birth to the Place Bills. [The 
Canadian Premier, like the British Premier, is elected by the 
people at periods rendered uncertain by the power of dissolu- 
tion, and for so long only as he can keep his majority in th£ 


House of Commons. On the other hand, he and his Cabinet 
have seats in Parliament, where, with their majority at their 
back, they initiate the most important part of legislation and 
control the whole of it. Assuming that government is to be 
by party, the Canadian and British system has clearly the 
advantage in respect to the conduct of legislation^) The 
American House of Eepresentatives is apt for want of leader- 
ship to become a legislative chaos^ Order and the progress 
of business are secured only by allowing the speaker, who 
ought as chairman to be neutral, to act as the party leader of 
the majority, and control legislation by a partisan nomination 
of the committees. A speaker having thought it right to con- 
fine himself to his proper duties, anarchy prevailed and legis- 
lation was at a standstill till a masterful and unscrupulous 
partisan got into the chair, when legislation and expenditure 
marched with a vengeance. The advantage, we say, depends 
on the existence of government by party; for, were party 
out of the way, there seems to be no reason why a legislative 
assembly with a competent chairman should not get on with 
its business as well as an assembly of any other kind. 
Another plea which may be made for the Canadian system 
is that by a sure and constitutional process it brings the 
executive into agreement with the legislature and with the 
people by whom the legislature is elected, whereas when 
President Andrew Johnson entered upon a course of policy 
directly at variance with the policy of Congress no remedy 
could be found except the very rough remedy of impeach- 
ment. It is on this account that some Canadians boast 
that their system is more democratic than that of the 
Americans, and taunt the American Eepublic with being 
monarchical and even autocratic. 

On the other hand, the American system gives the country 



a stable executive independent of the fluctuating majorities 
of the legislative chamber and of those shifting combinations, 
jealousies, and cabals which in France, and not in France 
alone, have been making it almost impossible to find a firm 
foundation for a government. The American Executive for 
the four years of the Presidential term is independent ; it 
would be so at least were it not for the baleful influence of 
the power of re-election. As it is, the veto is sometimes 
exercised most uprightly and with the best effect, while the 
Presidential Government, raised in some measure above the 
party strife, enjoys a dignity and a measure of national respect 
which to the party Premiership are denied. A Canadian 
Premier always engaged in party fighting and manoeuvring, 
perpetually on the stump, stoops to acts which, if done by an 
American President, would cause great scandal. The American 
system moreover has the advantage of sometimes admitting 
to the Cabinet and to the highest service of the State men of 
high administrative ability who are not party managers and 
rhetoricians. Such selections indeed have been not un- 
frequently made. Turgot would probably have been a bad 
Parliamentary leader and a failure on the stump : he could 
hardly have made his way into a Parliamentary Cabinet ; but 
in an American Cabinet, supposing his name had become 
known as an administrator and a master of political science, 
he might have found a place. Of the Presidents themselves, 
several have been men who, though attached to the party by 
which they were nominated, had not spent their lives in the 
party war, and their patriotism and breadth of view have been 
greater on that account. 

When we come to compare the Canadian Senate with its 
American counterpart, though the form and the nominal 
power are the same, the actual difference is great indeed. 


The American Senate, elected by the State Legislatures, is in 
the full sense of the term a co-ordinate branch of the Federal 
Congress with the House of Eepresentatives, rejects the Bills 
passed by the House with perfect freedom, and with equal 
freedom initiates legislation on all subjects except finance. 
It has a veto on appointments, and can in this way put 
strong though irregujar pressure on the Executive. It has a 
veto on all treaties, as Foreign Governments which have the. 
misfortune to negotiate with that of the United States know 
to their cost. Of late, under a violent stress of party exigency, 
it has been bringing a stain upon its record. It has been 
consenting to a Tariff Bill, the folly of which no man of sense 
can fail to see, and doing in regard to the admission of new 
States and the decision of Senatorial elections what no party 
exigency can excuse. Faction corrupts all that it touches. 
There is also a growing belief that wealth exerts an undue 
influence both directly and indirectly in Senatorial elec- 
tions. Still the power of the Senate remains the same ; its 
authority is generally regarded by Americans as the sheet- 
anchor of the State, and a seat in it is, after the Presidency, 
the highest prize of American ambition. (The Canadian 
Senate nominated by the Crown is, on the contrary, as nearly 
a cipher as it is possible for an assembly legally invested with 
large powers to be. The question as to the constitution of 
the Upper House when it came before the framers of the 
Dominion Constitution was not mooted in Canada for the first 
time. Under the old Constitution, first of the separate then of 
the United Provinces, the Legislative Council, as the Upper 
House was then called, had been nominated by the Crown. 
This system had been pronounced a failure and a change to 
the elective system was one of the reforms which followed the 
transfer of supreme power from the Crown to the people. 


Lord Elgin was in favour of the change, though he saw as he 
thought that among its advocates, with some whose aim was 
Conservative, there were others whose aims were " subversion 
and pillage." He expressed his belief " that a second legis- 
lative body returned by the same constituency as the House 
of Assembly under some differences with respect to time and 
mode of election would be a greater check on ill-considered 
legislation than the Council as it was then constituted ; " and 
he predicted that Eobert Baldwin, who opposed this with 
other organic changes, and having got what he imagined to 
be the nearest thing to the British Constitution wished to cast 
anchor, would, if he lived, find his ship of State among 
unexpected rocks and shoals. His own ideas, perhaps, were not 
very clear. He wished to introduce the elective principle, 
yet in such a way as not to exchange " Parliamentary Govern- 
ment," which was his idol, for " the American system," which 
he abjured ; but in what essential respect a system with two 
elective Chambers and with supreme power vested in the 
representatives of the people would differ from the American 
system he might have found it difficult to explain. In 1856, 
however, as has been already said, the change was made and 
the system adopted was that of election by popular vote, the 
suffrage being the same as that for elections to the House of 
Commons, but the electoral divisions much larger, and the 
term eight years instead of four. The alternative of election 
by Provincial legislatures of course could not present itself 
under the legislative union. The experiment of an Upper 
Chamber elected by the people appears not to have been 
successful, the labour of canvassing the extended electoral 
divisions being found so oppressive by candidates that the 
best men declined to come forward. It is curious that the 
Fathers of Confederation when they came to debate the con- 


stitution of their Upper House seemed to think that their 
only choice was between the retention of election by popular 
suffrage and a return to the system of nomination by the 
Crown. It did not occur to them apparently that as they 
were about to erect Provincial legislatures corresponding to 
the State legislatures of the Americans they might vest in 
these the election of the Senate. Their chief reason for 
rejecting the elective principle and going back to nomination 
appears to have been that if the Senate felt the sap of popular 
election in its veins, its spirit would become too high, it would 
claim equality as a legislative power with the House of 
Commons, perhaps even in regard to money bills, and collision 
between the Houses would ensue. But these are perils in- 
separable from the system of two Chambers. Wherever the 
power is divided between two assemblies, collision may at any 
time arise, and if the collision is prolonged deadlock may 
ensue. There has been legislative deadlock or something 
very like it at Washington when one of the political parties 
has had a majority in the House of Eepresentatives and the 
other in the Senate. You cannot have the advantages of 
union and division of power at the same time. To construct 
a body which, without claiming co-ordinate authority, shall 
act as a Court of legislative revision, and as the sober second- 
thought of the community, is practically beyond the power of 
the political architect. He must try to ensure sobriety where 
he places power. To suppose that power will allow itself on 
important matters to be controlled by impotence is vain. 
Evidently the image of the House of Lords hovered before 
the minds of the builders of the Canadian Constitution. But 
the House of Lords has never acted as a court of legislative 
revision or as an organ of the nation's sober second-thought. 
It has acted as the House of a privileged order, resisting all 


change in the interest of privilege. It resisted Parliamentary 
reform till it was overborne by the threat of a swamping 
creation of peers. All the power which it retains is the power 
of hereditary rank and wealth. Nothing analogous to it exists 
or can exist in Canada, and in framing Canadian institutions 
it ought to have been put out of sight. 
/^Nomination having been chosen it followed that the ap- 
pointments should be for life : nothing else could give the 
nominees of the Crown even a semblance of independence. 
But the result is a nullity, or rather an addition to the number 
of vicious illusions, since the sense of responsibility in the 
Lower House may be somewhat weakened by the impression, 
however false, that its acts are subject to revision. The 
Senate is treated with ironical respect as the Upper House 
and surrounded with derisive state. The decorations of its 
Chamber surpass those of the Commons' Chamber as the 
decorations of the Lords' Chamber surpass those of the 
Commons' Chamber at Westminster. The members sit in 
gilded chairs, are styled Honourable, and on all ceremonial 
occasions take precedence of the holders of real power. But 
these, like the observance paid to the Governor-General and 
his Vicegerents, are merely the trappings of impotence. The 
Senate neither initiates nor controls important legislation. 
After meeting for the Session it adjourns to wait for the 
arrival of Bills from the Commons. About once in a Session 
it is allowed to reject or amend some measure of secondary 
importance by way of showing that it lives. It is supposed 
to be sometimes used by the Minister who controls it for the 
purpose of quashing a job to which he has been obliged to 
assent in the Lower House. ( Measures of importance may 
sometimes be brought in first in the Upper House, for the 
sake of saving time, but they never originate with itJ At 


the end of the Session the measures passed in the Lower 
House are hurried through the Upper House with hardly time 
enough for deliberation io save the Semblance of respect 
for its authority. Its debates are rarely reported unless 
piquancy happens to be lent to them by personal altercation. 
Nobody dreams of looking to it for the second-thought of the 
nation, or imagines that in any political emergency it could 
serve as the sheet-anchor of the State. Men of a certain 
class may seek seats in it for the sake of the title, the 
trappings, and whatever of social grade may be attached to 
membership. (jTo some possibly the annual payment of a 
thousand dollars and mileage may be an attraction. J But 
Senatorships are not sought from the promptings of a generous 
ambition or a desire to render active service to the country. 
Almost the only serious business of the Senate is sitting in 
judgment, as the House of Lords used to do, on divorce cases, 
an incongruous function, exercised because the French 
Catholics will not allow the Dominion to have a regular 
Divorce Go\xTt}J The experience which led under the Union 
to the reform of the old nominee Legislative Council and 
the judgment of Lord Elgin on that subject are confirmed ; 
and it is proved that under the elective system nothing 
which is not based on election can have power. 

It is true that the work of those who instituted the 
nominee Senate has hardly had a fair chance. They may 
have reckoned on a broad, tolerably impartial, and patriotic 
exercise of the power of appointment. They may have had 
before their minds an assembly comprehending representatives 
of national eminence in all lines, not the agricultural and 
mercantile only, but the professional, the scientific, the educa- 

1 Thanks to the exertions of Senator Gowan, something more of the 
character of a regular Divorce Court has recently been given to the Senate. 


tional, and opening its doors to men capable of doing good 
service in special departments of legislation, as well as of 
lending by their character and attainments dignity to the 
Legislature, but without inclination or aptitude for the party 
platform or the turmoil of popular elections. Even the Bona- 
partes tried to make their Senate respectable by giving it a 
character of this kind. But of the seventy-six Senators of 
Canada, all but nine 1 have now been nominated by a single 
party leader, who has excercised his power for a party 

purpose, if for no narrower object. "My dear P , 

I want you before we take any steps about T. Y 's 

appointment to see about the selection of our candidate for 

West Montreal. From all I can learn W. W will run 

the best. He will veiy likely object ; but if he is the best 
man you can easily hint to him that if he runs for West 
Montreal and carries it, we will consider that he has a claim 
to an early seat in the Senate. This is the greajb object of his 
ambition. ,, This letter, from a Prime Minister to a local 
party manager, illustrates at once the sort of work which a 
Canadian Prime Minister does and the principle upon which 
he uses his power of appointment to the Senate. Money 
spent for the party in election contests and faithful adherence 
to the person of its chief, especially when he most needs 
support against the moral sentiment of the public, are 
believed to be the surest titles to a seat in the Canadian 
House of Lords. If there is ever a show of an impartial 
appointment it is illusory. When the expenditure of money 
is a leading qualification, commerce is pretty sure to be well 
represented. But no one will pretend that the general 
V eminence of Canada is represented by its Senate. No intel- 

1 This includes some members of the old Legislative Council, in the selection 
of whom the Act enjoined that consideration should be shown to both political 


lectual or scientific distinction finds a place, while illiteracy 
scarcely excludes those who have served a party leader well. 
The age of the members as a body would in itself preclude 
active work. It will be seen from the letter just quoted that 
the Prime Minister treats the Governor-General as a perfect 
cipher in regard to these appointments, and looks upon the 
patronage as entirely his own. Propose that a party leader 
shall in his own name nominate one branch of the Legislature 
and you will be met with a shout of indignation ; but under 
the name of the Crown a Prime Minister is allowed to 
nominate a branch of the Legislature without protest of any 
kind. Such is the use of fictions ! 

A life tenure, though it makes a nominee more independ- 
ent than a tenure for a term of years, does not make him 
entirely independent of the power which created him, though 
it does make him entirely independent of the people and of 
public opinion. He is still eligible for political office as well 
as for a baronetcy or a knighthood. He has sons and 
nephews. The other day a controversy having arisen about 
the quality of cloth furnished to the Militia for uniforms, it 
transpired that the contractor was a member of the Senate. 
In the case of the British House of Lords general independ- 
ence is secured, apart from any mode of political appoint- 
ment, by hereditary rank and wealth, and there is usually 
nothing to be feared but the bias of the privileged order. 

That of seventy-six members all but nine would ever be 
the nominees of a single party leader the framers of the 
Constitution can hardly have anticipated. But they did 
anticipate a preponderance of different parties in the two 
Houses which might bring on a collision and a deadlock. 
Against this they tried to provide by an expedient borrowed 
from the British method of constitutionally coercing 


 ; rw>¥ 


the House of Lords. To swamp an adverse majority in the 
Senate a Minister is allowed to create three or six extra 
Senators. The device is both clumsy and invidious, besides 
being open to exception as a recognition of the party prin- 
ciple. But weighted down as the scale now is with the 
following of a single politician, an additional creation of six 
would have no perceptible effect upon the balance. If the 
other party should come into office, and the Senate under 
the influence of the Outs should be inclined to give trouble 
to the Ins, there is no way of bringing it to its senses short of 
a revolution. Instead of being a mere cipher, it may possibly 
become an active source of evil if it ever allows itself to be 
used as an engine by the man to whom the majority of its 
members owe their nominations, for the purpose of embarrass- 
ing the Goyernment when he is out of power. 

In imitation of the Constitution of the United States, 
which recognises the federal principle by giving two Senators 
to each State without regard to population, the Canadian Act 
of Federation assigned an equal number of senators (24) 
to each of the great divisions of the Dominion, Ontario, 
Quebec, and the Maritime Provinces. Provision was made for 
the extension of the principle to provinces thereafter to be 

As the Senate was to be distinctively federal, re- 
presenting the provinces, the House of Commons was to be 
national, representing the people of the whole Dominion. In 
the House of Commons and the Ministers whose tenure of 
office depends upon its vote supreme power centres. In this 
the Canadian Constitution is a faithful copy of that of Great 
Britain. But copying the Constitution of Great Britain not 
for Canada only, but for all communities like Canada, is 
perilous work unless they understand their model more 


distinctly than it is understood at home. The House of 
Commons was not originally intended to be the Government 
or even the Legislature. The Government resided in the 
Crown, and the House of Commons was merely the repre- 
sentation of the people summoned by the Crown to grant it 
money, and at the same time to inform it about the state and 
wants of the country. Through its hold over the purse it 
gradually drew to it supreme power and in effect became the 
State. But it at the same time ceased to be in reality a 
popular assembly, and became, though in irregular and 
illegitimate ways, a representation of the wealth and high 
political intelligence of the nation. In this phase of its 
existence it was oligarchical, no doubt, and legislated in the 
interest of a class, but it was a powerful and dignified 
assembly capable of governing the country. It was enabled 
to be what it was because England had a large leisure class 
at liberty to devote itself to public life and to serve the 
country without wages. It is now as a consequence of demo- 
cratic change rapidly losing this character, and it is at the 
same time becoming an anarchy and a bear-garden incapable 
either of legislation or of government, incapable even of 
putting down the feeblest rebellion or preserving the integrity 
of the nation. A commercial colony has no such class as 
that which supplied the members of the House of Commons 
in the palmy days of that body. It has very few men of 
wealth and leisure, still fewer of those who, having inherited 
wealth, are at liberty from their youth, if they possess the 
sense of duty or the ambition, to devote themselves to politics. 
The chiefs of commerce, the leading manufacturers and the 
bankers, the lawyers and physicians who are in good practice, 
the most substantial and the wealthiest members of the 
community generally, cannot afford to leave their business 


and spend four months of every year in rather petty politics 
at Ottawa, to say nothing of the drafts made upon their time 
by canvassing, correspondence with constituents, and the fell 
demands of the stump. It is necessary therefore to have 
recourse for politicians to an inferior class of men, and too 
often to those who have failed in other industries or prefer 
living on the public to living by the sweat of their brows. 
Go to one of these assemblies, look behind the thin line of 
ability or of political experience presented by the front 
bench, and you will see the connection of effect with cause. 
Business interests and the necessity of looking after legisla- 
tion which affects their trades will draw to Parliament a 
certain number of commercial men, and these probably will be 
about the best material that you will gQt, though they are 
not likely to be statesmen, while they are likely to have 
interests of their own. This is not a criticism upon the work 
of the framers of the Canadian Constitution alone ; it applies 
to the whole system of governing through supposed imitations 
of the British House of Commons. 

When you have in making up your legislature to call in 
the country lawyer, the country doctor, the storekeeper, the 
farmer, the payment of members plainly becomes a necessity. 
The salary of a thousand dollars and mileage is small, but it 
is enough to tempt a man hanging rather loose upon industry, 
or a country practitioner with little practice. Advocates of 
the system assume the case to be, that the electors having 
chosen a poor man for his worth it is requisite in order to 
secure to them his services to give him a salary, whereas the 
fact may be, that the salary induces the poor man to compass 
heaven and earth in order to press himself on the electors. 
To French members, whose habits are very frugal, the 
indemnity is said to be sometimes a livelihood, and there is 


reason to believe that their unwillingness to risk the loss of 
it forms something of a practical check upon the Minister's 
use of the power of dissolution. Public men of the higher 
stamp have been heard to condemn the system as apt to 
call into activity local intriguers who devote themselves to 
capturing beforehand the favour of the constituency, and close- 
the avenue against worthier candidates whom the election 
day might otherwise bring forward. The revolutionary party 
in England appears to have taken up payment of members 
as a democratic measure. It is democratic with a vengeance, 
and is a pretty sure way of turning the highest of callings 
into a trade not so high. Still where there is no leisure 
class, or where the leisure class is excluded from public life, 
as a needy man cannot live on his sense of duty, you have to 
choose between paying him regularly and letting him pay 
himself in irregular ways. Of the two evils the first is 
clearly the less. 

Among the American errors, of which even Liberals who 
took part in founding the Canadian Confederation promised 
themselves to steer clear, was universal suffrage. Canadian 
suffrage in those days was comparatively conservative, the 
qualification being practically ownership of a freehold, 
which was not beyond the reach of any industrious and 
frugal man. But the inevitable Dutch auction has been 
going on, alike in Dominion and in Provincial politics, and it 
is evident that to universal suffrage — to manhood suffrage at 
least — Dominion and Provinces will soon come. Already 
they have come to its very verge. Thus power will be 
transferred from the freehold farmers to people far less con- 
servative, and at the same time from the country to the city. 
It has already been mentioned that the public school system 
does its work but imperfectly in educating the dangerous 


class. As in Great Britain so in Canada, the politicians who 
style themselves Conservatives vie in the competition with 
those who call themselves Liberals, and like their compeers 
at Westminster "dish the Whigs." It was a Conservative 
Minister that extended the franchise to Indians, who, it was 
anticipated, would have patriotism and intelligence enough, 
if proper inducements were held out to them, to vote for the 
Government candidate. The same Minister attempted, prob- 
ably with the same strategical motive, to give the franchise 
to women, but the conservatism of his French supporters, in 
regard to the relations of the sexes, forced him to withdraw 
his proposal. 

Canadian politics are also exemplifying a weakness of 
democracy which though little noticed by political writers is 
very serious — its tendency to narrow localism in elections. 
In the United States the localism is complete, and the ablest 
and most popular of public men, if he happens to live in a 
district where the other party has the majority, is excluded 
from public life. In England, before the recent democratic 
changes, places were found on the list of candidates for all 
the men of mark, wherever they might happen to live, and a 
good many non-residents are still elected, though localism 
has evidently been gaining ground. In Canada there is a, 
chance still for a non-resident if he holds the public purse, 
perhaps if he holds a very well-filled purse of his own, but 
as a rule localism prevails. Even the Prime Minister of 
Ontario, after wielding power and dispensing patronage for 
eighteen years, encounters grumbling in his constituency 
because he is a non-resident. A resident in one electoral 
division of Toronto would be rather at a disadvantage as a 
candidate in another division, though the unity of the city, 
commercial and social, is complete. The mass of the people 


into whose hands power has now passed naturally think 
much less of great questions, political or economical, than of 
their own local and personal interests ; of these they deem a 
local man the best champion, and they feel that they can 
correspond more freely about them with him than with a 
stranger. Besides they like to keep the prize among them- 
selves. Such, in the exercise of supreme power, are the real 
tendencies of those whom collectively we worship as the 
people. That the calibre of the representation must be 
lowered by localism is evident ; it will be more lowered than 
ever when the rush of population, especially of the wealthy 
part of it, to the cities, shall have concentrated intelligence 
there and denuded of it the rural districts. The Hare plan, 
of a national instead of a district ticket, would immensely 
raise the character of the representation if it could be 
worked ; but it assumes a level of intelligence in the mass 
of the people far above what is likely for many a generation 
to be attained. In the meantime as, on the one hand, the 
local man represents the choice of nobody outside his own 
district, and on the other hand jpen are excluded by localism 
whom the nation at large would elect, the net outcome can 
hardly be with truth described as an assembly representing 
the nation. 

But the most important point of all in the case of 
Canada, as in that of every other Parliamentary country, is 
one to which scarcely an allusion was made in the debate on 
Confederation, and of which the only formal recognition is 
the division of the seats in the Halls of Parliament. Eegu- 
late the details of your Constitution as you will, the real 
government now is Party ; politics are a continual struggle 
between the parties for power; no measure of importance 
can be carried except through a party ; the public issues of 


the day are those which the party managers for the purposes 
of the party war make up ; no one who does not profess 
allegiance to a party has any chance of admission to public 
life. Let a candidate come forward with the highest reputa- 
tion for ability and worth, but avowing himself independent 
of party and determined to vote only at the bidding of his 
reason and conscience for the good of the whole people, he 
would run but a poor race in any Canadian constituency. 
If independence ever presumes to show its face in the 
political field the managers and organisers of both parties 
take their hands for a moment from each other's throats and 
combine to crush the intruder, as two gamblers might spring 
up from the table and draw their revolvers on any one who 
theatened to touch the stakes. They do this usually by 
tacit consent, but they have been known to do it by actual 
agreement. What then is Party ? We all know Burke's 
definition, though it should be remembered that Burke on 
this, as on other occasions not a few, fits his philosophy to 
the circumstances, which were those of a member of a 
political connection struggling for power against a set of 
men who called themselves the King's friends and wished to 
put all connections under the feet of the King. But Burke's 
definition implies the existence of some organic question or 
question of principle, with regard to which the members of 
the party agree among themselves and differ from their 
opponents. Such agreement and difference alone can recon- 
cile party allegiance with patriotism, or submission to party 
discipline with loyalty to reason and conscience. Organic 
questions or questions of principle are not of everyday 
occurrence. When they are exhausted, as in a country with 
a written constitution they are likely soon to be, what bond is 
there, of a moral and rational kind, to hold a party together 


and save it from becoming a mere faction ? The theory that 
every community is divided by nature, or as the language of 
some would almost seem to imply, by divine ordinance, into 
two parties, and that every man belongs from his birth to 
one party or the other, if it were not a ludicrously patent 
example of philosophy manufactured for the occasion, would 
be belied by the . history of Canadian parties with their 
kaleidoscopic shiftings and of Canadian politicians who have 
been found by turns in every camp. Lord Elgin, coming to 
the governorship when the struggle for responsible govern- 
ment was over, and a lull in organic controversy had ensued, 
found, as his biographer tells us, that parties formed them- 
selves not on broad issues of principle, but with reference to 
petty local and personal interests* On what could they form 
themselves if there was no broad issue before the country ? 
Elgin himself complained, as we have seen, that his ministers 
were impressed with the belief that the object of the Opposi- 
tion was to defeat their measures, right or wrong, that the 
malcontents of their own side would combine against them, 
and that they must appeal to personal and sordid motives if 
they wished to hold their own. That is the game which is 
played in Canada, as it is in the United States, as it is in 
every country under party government, by the two organised 
factions — machines, as they are aptly called ; the prize being 
the Government with its patronage, and the motive powers 
being those common more or less to all factions — personal 
ambition, bribery of various kinds, open or disguised, and as 
regards the mass of the people, a pugnacious and sporting 
spirit, like that which animated the Blues and Greens of the 
Byzantine Circus. This last influence is not by any means 
the least powerful. It is astonishing with what tenacity a 
Canadian farmer adheres to his party Shibboleth when to him, 



as well as to the community at large, it is a Shibboleth and 
nothing more. Questions of principle, about which public 
feeling has been greatly excited, questions even of interest 
which appeal most directly to the pocket, pass out of sight 
when once the word to start is given, and the race between 
Blue and Green begins. Questions as to the character of 
candidates are unhappily also set aside. It is commonly 
said that Canada produces more politics to the acre than any 
other country. The more of politics there is the less 
unfortunately there is of genuine public spirit and manly 
.readiness to stand up for public right, the more men fear to 
be in a minority, even in what they know to be a good cause. 
People flock to any standard which they believe is attracting 
votes; if they find that it is not, they are scattered like 
sheep. Political aspirants learn from their youth the arts 
of the vote -hunter; they learn to treat all questions as 
political capital, and to play false with their own understand- 
ing and conscience at the bidding of the wirepullers of their 
party. The entrance to public life is not through the gate of 
truth or honour. These are not peculiarities of Canada; 
they are things common to all countries where the party 
system prevails, and peculiar only in their intensity to those 
countries in which party is inordinately strong. 

It is a necessity of the party system that the Cabinet is 
made up not of eminent administrators, but of men who are 
masters of votes or skilful in collecting them. One minister 
represents the French vote, another the Irish Catholic vote, 
a third the Orange vote, a fourth the Temperance vote. The 
Ministry of Finance in a commercial country is consigned to 
a star of the philanthropic platform. Next to gathering 
votes by management the chief attribute of statesmanship is 
effectiveness on the stump. Hardly a public man in Canada 


has a high reputation as an administrator. The Prime 
Minister notoriously pays little attention to his department. 
He speaks on great public questions, such as the fiscal 
system, only to show that he has not much given his mind 
to them. His title to his place is that of unique experience 
and unrivalled dexterity in the collection and combination of 
votes. In all this Canada only resembles other Parliamentary 
countries, but in analysing a particular set of institutions it 
is necessary to recall the general facts. 

The absence in the debate on Confederation of any 
attempt to forecast the composition and action of Federal 
parties fatally detracts from the value of the discussion. If 
Australia or any other group of Colonies thinks of following 
the example of Canada, a forecast, as definite as the nature of 
the case will permit, of Federal parties will be at least as 
essential to the formation of a right judgment as the know- 
ledge of anything relating to the machinery of the Con- 

Party government necessarily brings with it a party 
Press, with its well-known characteristics, in which the party 
Press of Canada has certainly not been behind its compeers. 
Of late an independent journalism has been struggling into 
existence and giving some expression to opinions unsanctioned 
by the party machines. Questions, such as that of the 
Jesuits' Estates Act, on which the politicians were tongue- 
tied, have in this way been freely treated, and men who 
would never receive a party nomination have been enabled 
on such questions to take a share of public life. 

The best apology for Party is one which at the same time, 
in the case of Canada as in every other case, discloses an 
almost fatal weakness in the whole elective system of govern- 
ment. The system theoretically assumes that the electors 


will lay their heads together to choose the best men. Practic- 
ally, it is impossible for the electors to do anything of the 
kind. They are a multitude of people unknown for the most 
part to each other, without anything to bring them together, 
and without any power of setting a candidature on foot. The 
best qualified are not likely, perhaps they are of all the 
least likely, to come forward of themselves. An organisation 
of some sort there must be to bring a candidate forward and 
collect votes for him, and it is difficult to devise any other 
sort of organisation than Party. The inevitable results of 
this, however, are the domination of faction, with all its 
malignity, its violence, its corruption, its calumny, its reck- 
lessness of the common weal ; the ascendency of the Caucus 
and of Mr. Schnadhorst ; government of the people by the 
people, and for the people, in name, government of the Boss, 
by the Boss, and for the Boss, in reality. The consequence 
in England is nearly half the House of Commons trooping out 
behind a party leader, and under the lash of. the party whip, 
to vote against their recorded convictions for the dismember- 
ment of their country. The fruits of the system in Canada, 
and everywhere else, are of the same kind. In Canada, as 
elsewhere, though there are honourable men in public life, the 
standard of morality which ought to be the highest in politics 
is in politics the lowest. The community is saved by its 
general character, by its schools, its churches, its judiciary ; 
by the authority which chiefs, generally worthy, and always 
more or less able, exercise over industrial and commercial 
life. By its elective polity it would scarcely be saved. 
/ The partition of power giving the civil law to the Pro- 
yinces and the criminal law to the Dominion, whereas by 
the American Constitution both are gjven to the States, does 
not seem very reasonable in itself. J The same legislative 


intellect is required in both cases, nor is the boundary 
between the two lines clearly defined. But this was a 
necessary concession to Quebec, who clings to her French law 
as a pledge of her national existence. It has been already 
mentioned that the absence of divorce courts is a concession 
to the same influence. 

{ The structure of the provincial governments and legisla- 
tures generally, with their constitutional Lieutenant-Governors, 
their Parliamentary Premiers and Cabinet, is the same as that 
df the Dominion government and legislature, though on a 
small scale. ) like the Governor-General, the Lieutenant- 
Governor is a figurehead, and constitutional writers who say 
that he has the assistance of an Executive Council to aid and 
advise him in administering public affairs, might say the 
same thing with equal truth of his flagstaff. Identical also 
is the procedure, and so is the ceremony, so far as any 
ceremony is retained. LBut Ontario, Manitoba, and British 
Columbia — democracy apparently becoming more intense as 
it goes west — have done away with the Upper House. In 
other provinces, as in Nova Scotia, efforts have been made to 
abolish the Upper House, as a waste of public money, 
but the House clings to its existence,) Members nominated 
on the special condition that they shall vote for abolition, 
when they have taken their seats, find reasons for endless 
delay. No proprietor of a rotten borough ever clung to his 
political property with more tenacity than a democrat clings 
to any anomaly in which he has an interest. The change 
to a single house, if not material in itself, brings 
clearly to view the fact that a heavy responsibility is 
cast on these bodies of municipal legislators, which by a single 
vote can in one night enact the most momentous change in 
anything connected with civil right or property, totally 


alter the law of wills, or profoundly modify the relations 
between the sexes by the introduction of female suffrage. 
The Legislature of Ontario once broke a will at the solicitation 
of parties interested, though the Courts of Law found a reason 
for treating the Act as void. The Governor of a State in the 
American Union has a real veto, which he exercises freely. 
A governor put his veto not long ago on a Bill passed in a 
moment of heedlessness, which would have subverted the 
civil status of marriage. Moreover no amendment can be 
made in the Constitution of an American State, no extension 
of the State franchise can take place, without submission to 
the people. This is a great safeguard. The general disposi- 
tion of the people is against change. In other respects the 
experience of Switzerland in regard to the Eeferendum is 
confirmed by that of the United States. At all events the 
people are not accessible to personal influence or cajolery as 
individual legislators are, while the issue being submitted to 
them separately, and not mixed up with other issues, as is 
the case at general elections, can be better grasped by their 
intelligence. Nominally the Lieutenant-Governor of a 
province has a veto, really he has none ; and once more we 
see the pernicious effect of constitutional figments in veiling 
real necessities. Political architects in the United States, 
looking democracy in the face, attempted at all events to 
provide the necessary safeguards. At first, under the Canadian 
Constitution, the same man could sit both in the Dominion and 
the Provincial Legislatures. Provincial Legislatures were led 
by men who sat in that of the Dominion. But, by a self- 
denying ordinance (1872), the wisdom of which was perhaps 
as questionable as that of self-denying ordinances in general, 
it is now forbidden to any man to sit in more Legislatures 
than one. This change increases the demand on the not very 


abundant stock of legislative capacity in the country, lowers 
the quality of the Provincial Legislatures, and enhances the 
peril of committing vital questions to their hands. The 
farmer, the country practitioner, or the village lawyer, are 
good representatives, we are told, of the average mind ; they 
may be, but to solve aright problems at once the most 
difficult and the most momentous something more than the 
average mind is required. Perhaps the advocate of the 
party system may find a specious argument in the subordina- 
tion which it entails of the rank and file of a legislative 
assembly on each side to the party leader, who is likely to be 
a man of superior intellect and knowledge. The leaders are 
usually lawyers, and acquainted with the British statute 
book, which forms a lamp to guide their feet in the legislative 
path. Yet lawyers complain of the Ontario statute book, 
and the need of a government draftsman seems to be felt. 

The function of interpreting the Constitution in the last 
resort, and keeping each of the Powers within its proper 
bounds, discharged in the United States by that august 
tribunal the Supreme Court, is discharged in the case of 
Canada, as of the other colonies, by that still more august 
tribunal, the Judicial Committee of the British Privy Council, 
with its romantic range of jurisdiction, now deciding who 
shall take a Hindoo inheritance and offer the family sacrifice 
to a Hindoo deity, now pronouncing on the validity of an 
excommunication laid on by the Eoman Catholic Church of 
Quebec. In the integrity and ability of the Judicial Com- 
mittee absolute confidence is felt ; but a doubt is sometimes 
raised whether judges ignorant of Canada can place them- 
selves exactly at the right point of view, and complaints are 
heard of the distance and the expense. To spare suitors in 
these respects was partly the object in giving Canada a 


Supreme Court, which intercepts not a little of the litigation ; 
and which, if the Canadian Confederation ever becomes inde- 
pendent, will be to it what the Supreme Court is to the 
United States. The Judicial Committee, though a legal, not 
a political tribunal, perhaps does not leave considerations of 
statesmanship entirely out of sight. In deciding questions 
between the Dominion and the Provinces it seems to have 
leant to the side of Provincial autonomy, as most conducive 
to the peace of the Confederation, much as in ecclesiastical 
cases it leans to comprehension in the interest of the stability 
of the Church. 

The American Constitution is subject to amendment, as 
we know, though by a very guarded process. So much of the 
Canadian Constitution as is composed in the Act of Confedera- 
tion can be amended only by the same authority by which 
the Act was passed, that of the Imperial Parliament. This 
amounts almost to practical immutability, for the Imperial 
Parliament, sinking beneath the burden of its own business, 
has no time or thought to bestow on the improvement of 
colonial institutions. That power of Constitutional amend- 
ment, without which there cannot be full liberty of self- 
development, Canada can hardly hope to acquire without the 
severance of the political connection. 

More than one good thing in her polity Canada has 
derived from her specially English traditions. She has in the 
first place a permanent Civil Service which saves her from 
the Spoils System introduced in the United States by 
that incarnation of faction and mob-rule, General Jackson, 
whose victory at New Orleans, as it made him President and 
filled American politics with his spirit, though he lost not a 
score of men in the action, is the most dearly bought victory 
in history. Party in Canada does not, as in England, quite 


keep its hands off the Civil Service. It practically jiakes the 
appointments, for though there is an examination system, this 
is so managed as to be like the sugar-tongs which the French- 
man held, in compliment to the habit of his English hosts, 
while he slipped his fingers between them to take up the 
sugar. Vacancies are also made for partisans by superannua- 
tions, and a Collectorship of Customs has just been kept open 
for two years to suit the political convenience of the Govern- 
ment. Still Canada, compared with the United States, is free 
from the Spoils System. To the heads of her permanent Civil 
Service she owes it that while government, in the persons of 
the Parliamentary heads of departments, is on the stump, or 
dickering for votes, she enjoys the general benefits of a regular 
and intelligent administration. In the second place, election 
petitions are tried as in England by the judges, and with the 
same good results, while in the American House of Eepre- 
sentatives contested elections are decided as they were in 
England in the days before the Grenville Act, by a party vote. 
In the third place, the judges themselves are appointed by the 
Executive for life, instead of being, as they are in most American 
States, though not in all or in the case of the Supreme Court, 
elected by the people for a term of years ; a system of which 
the Americans themselves feel the evils, and which they are 
disposed to modify by lengthening the judge's term. In 
England Party has now resigned to professional merit most 
of the appointments to the judiciary. This is not the case 
in Canada, though a few impartial appointments have 
been made. 

The Americans, when their Confederation was framed, 
wisely closed all pecuniary accounts between the Federal 
Government and the States, and absolutely separated the 
Federal Treasury from those of the States. The Canadians 


not so Wisely left the account open and permitted subventions 
to be granted by the Central Government to the Provinces. 
The consequences are, as might have been expected, continual 
demands for increased subventions, under the too-familiar 
name of " Better Terms," the opening of a sluice of Federal 
corruption, and the weakening of Provincial independence. 
Each Province, especially Quebec and the poorer Provinces, 
instead of practising economy and helping itself is always 
looking for Government doles. Mr. George Brown, one of the 
chief framers, foresaw this, and was for defraying the whole 
of the local expenditures of the local governments by means 
of direct taxation, but the Sons of Zeruiah were too strong for 
him. " Whether the constitution of the Provincial Executive 
savours at all of Eesponsible Government or not," said Mr. 
Dunkin in the Debates on Confederation, " be sure it will not 
be anxious to bring itself more under the control of the Legis- 
lature, or to make itself more odious than it can help, and 
the easiest way for it to get money will be from the 
General Government. I am not sure, either, but that most 
members of the Provincial Legislature will like it that way the 
best. It will not be at all unpopular, the getting of money 
so. Quite the contrary. Gentlemen will go to their consti- 
tuents with an easy conscience, telling them, ' True, we had 
not much to do in the Provincial Legislature, and you need 
not ask us very closely what we did ; but I tell you what, 
we got the Federal Government to increase the subvention, 
to our Province by five cents a-head, and see what this gives 
you — $500 to that road — $1000 to that charity— so much 
here, so much there. That w6 have done ; and have we not 
done well V I am afraid in many constituencies the answer 
would be, ' Yes, you have done well ; go and do it again.' I 
am afraid the provincial constituencies, legislatures, and 


executives, will all show a most calf-like appetite for the 
milking of this one magnificent government cow." Practically 
the cow has been Ontario, the wealthiest by far as well as the 
most populous of all the Provinces, but politically weaker, 
because more divided by faction, than Quebec. 

The Imperial Government retains a veto on all Dominion 
legislation, though not on the legislation of the Provinces, 
which is liable to disallowance by the Dominion Government 
alone. But so far as the internal legislation of Canada is 
concerned, the Imperial veto is like that veto of the British 
Sovereign on British legislation, which since the time of 
William III has slept the sleep that knows no waking. 
Competent judges seem to think that, let Canada do what she 
will within herself, even if she chose to indulge in a civil 
war, the Colonial Office will interpose no more. She has 
legalised marriage with a dead wife's sister, while in the 
United Kingdom such marriages remain illegal. She has 
adopted a tariff adverse to the mother country. It is only 
when Canadian legislation comes into direct collision with 
British rights, as in the case of copyright, that restraint is 
attempted, and even in the case of copyright it is not patiently 

Foreign relations, of course, with the power of peace and 
war, remain in the hands of the Imperial Government. But 
Canada has gone a long way towards the attainment of 
diplomatic independence in regard to commercial policy. She 
is allowed to negotiate commercial treaties for herself under 
the auspices of the British Foreign Office, and subject to 
Imperial treaty obligations. In the everlasting imbroglio 
about the fisheries her Government has a voice which, it 
naturally uses in the way dictated by its own interests, 
political as well as commercial. A motion was made two 


sessions ago for the appointment of a representative of Canada, 
who would practically have been an ambassador, at Washing- 
ton, but was defeated by the Government majority. 

England sends out a general to command the militia, but 
the last two generals have had troubled lives, and nativism is 
claiming the appointment as its own. The disposal of the 
forces belongs to the Canadian Government. 

It seems almost incredible that either the relation of a 
Canadian province to the Dominion, or that of the Dominion 
to the Imperial country, should have been seriously cited as 
a precedent for the relation which Mr. Gladstone's Bill would 
have established between the Sovereign Parliament of Great 
Britain and his vassal Parliament of Ireland. Break the 
whole of the United Kingdom to pieces, give each piece the 
rights of a Canadian Province, put a federal government like 
that of the Dominion over them all, and you will have a 
counterpart of the Canadian polity. No Canadian Province 
would rest content with such a position as that of a vassal 
community paying tribute, but with only a local assembly and 
no share in the councils of the nation, although the Canadian 
Provinces were drawn together by a common desire for closer 
union, at least on the part of their political leaders, whereas 
Ireland would set out with revolt burning in her veins. The 
only analogy capable of being cited on the Irish question 
which Canada presents is the relation between the Eoman 
Catholic majority and the Protestant minority in Quebec, and 
this is not in favour of leaving the Protestant minority in 
Ireland to the tender mercies of a Eoman Catholic Parliament 

In passing it may be remarked that before analogies are 
drawn for the guidance of statesmen in dealing with such' 
problems as that of Ireland, either from Canadian or American 


institutions, and before it is assumed that federation is the 
universal cure, it would be well to consider how far such a 
thing as a genuine federation now exists. The Achaean League 
was a federation, inasmuch as it was a combination for mutual 
defence, the States still remaining separate ; so originally was 
the Swiss Bund. But the Swiss Bund now is a nation with 
a federal structure. So is the American Republic. Eailways, 
telegraphs, commerce between States, the action of federal 
parties, and other unifying influences, whatever the Constitu- 
tion may say, have made the. Americans a nation. There 
will presently be a national marriage law, and it will very 
likely be followed by a uniform commercial code, the want of 
which is greatly felt by commercial men or companies doing 
business over the whole Union or in several States. Against 
the course of nature the Jeffersonian Democrat protests in 
vain. Mr. Parnell has announced that his aim is to put 
Ireland on the footing of a State in the American Union. 
Let him first ascertain what practically as well as constitu- 
tionally that footing is. The Central Government of Canada, 
as we have seen, has national powers, such as that of criminal 
legislation, and by the Constitution it has a national veto. 
Germany is a nation in process of construction. Austria and 
Scandinavia are uneasy wedlocks without union. 

The Canadian Constitution belongs mainly, not wholly, to 
the written class. Its framets declared that the Government 
under it was "to be administered according to the well- 
understood principles of the British Constitution," thereby 
recognising "understandings" as a virtual part of it. The 
most important understanding, of course, was that the 
Sovereign, in whom the Government was solemnly proclaimed 
to be vested, should not govern at all. We have had occasion 
in reference to the exercise of the prerogative of dissolution 


to notice how precarious is an understanding in a land where 
tradition has no force and every one goes to the full length of 
his tether. A written Constitution strictly limiting every- 
one's powers appears to be an exigency of democracy with 
which the British democracy itself will have some day to 

Ottawa, which was chosen as the capital of the United 
Canadas, and retained as that of the Confederation, is an 
official city, and can never be anything else. Its only com- 
merce is lumber, which, as the forests are cut down, is a 
receding trade, and there is nothing to draw general residence 
to it. Its climate combines the extremes of heat and cold. 
When selected it was simply the nearest lumber village to 
the Pole. - The motives for the selection appear to have been 
three — fear of the rivalry among the great cities, Quebec, 
Montreal, and Toronto, fear of mobs such as that which had 
burned the Parliament House at Montreal, and fear of 
American invasion if the capital were too near the frontier. 
For the fear of mobs there was little ground, and against 
American invasion the distance of a few days' march would 
scarcely be a sufficient barrier. The best reason was the 
beauty of the site, on a bluff over the Ottawa river, of which 
the buildings are not unworthy. Washington, till lately, was 
in like manner a merely official city without commerce or 
society; but it is now becoming the social centre of the 
continent, while the haggard ugliness of thirty years ago is 
being changed into remarkable beauty. Politics and poli- 
ticians, especially politicians of the rural class, need the 
tempering criticism and the refining influence of general 
society, while the combination of interests and ideas — political, 
commercial, literary, professional, and social — in London or 
Paris, is a school of public character and thought. The 


Supreme Court which sits at Ottawa is said to suffer by the 
absence of a resident Bar. A mistake was made in not follow- 
ing the American example and federalising the district in 
which the capital stands. It is an anomaly that the federal 
capital should be in provincial jurisdiction, and that the 
Legislature should be dependent on provincial authorities for 
the maintenance of order at its doors. It is .from Ottawa 
evidently that the journals and reviews in England mainly 
receive their accounts of men, affairs, and sentiment in 
Canada. With all respect for " our own correspondent " we 
may be permitted to observe that the official world of 
Ottawa is naturally loyal to itself, and that not all Canada 
is official. 

If the North-West prospers and is peopled, the centre of 
political power will shift to the centre of the continent, and 
Ottawa as a capital will then be misplaced. But before this 
can happen other changes will most likely come. 



Among the ostensible objects of Confederation the most 
immediate perhaps were military strength and security 
against American aggression. Sceptics, among whom were two 
British officers, 2 pointed out at the time that if the number 
of the militia would be increased by Confederation, the length 
of frontier to be defended would be much more increased, 
and that though a bundle of sticks might, as Federationists 
said, become stronger by union, the saying might not hold 
good with regard to a number of fishing-rods tied together by 
the ends. The Dominion since its extension to the Pacific 
has a frontier, for the most part perfectly open, of something 
like 4000 miles, while the garrison is broken into four 
sections, far beyond supporting distance of each other. The 
frontier of Manitoba and the North-West Territories, which 
for 800 miles is a political line, has to defend it the militia 
which can be furnished by a population of 150,000. In the 

1 Books consulted: Collins's "Life and Times of Sir J. A. Macdonald," 
Stewart's " Canada under the Administration of Earl Dufferin," Collins's 
" Canada under the Administration of Lord Lome," The Statistical Year 
Books of Canada, Morgan's "Dominion Annual Registers," and Mr. A. Blue's 
valuable issues of the Ontario Bureau of Industries and Statistics. 

2 "Confederation of British North America," by E. C. Bolton and H. H. 
"Webber, Royal Artillery. London, 1866. 


days of her glorious defence against American invasion, 
Canada was comparatively compact. Moreover, she was a 
fastness of forest ; she had no great cities on her frontier at 
the mercy of the invader ; nor had the invader railroads to 
enable him to bring his superior forces to bear, though as we 
have seen they began to tell as the war went on. Neither 
was there then a great mass of French Canadians on the 
south side of the line in close connection, local and social, 
with their brethren on the north. The Canadians of that 
day as backwoodsmen were rough soldiers ready-made. They 
were less democratic than they are now, and followed more 
willingly perhaps than their descendants would the royal 
officers who were set over them, or their own gentry. 
They had in this respect the same sort of advantage over the 
Eepublicans at the beginning of the war as the Cavaliers had 
over the Eoundheads and the Southerners over the North, 
till the Eoundheads and the North learned the necessity of 
discipline. The regular force of the Dominion consists of 
schools of cavalry, infantry, and artillery, limited by law 
in the whole to a thousand men. The embodied Militia 
are in number 38,000, partly French. Half of this body 
is each year called out for a fortnight. City regiments 
voluntarily drill once a week during half the year. The 
enrolled Militia, comprising all men of military age, exists 
only on paper, though by Canadian politicians, speaking to 
the British public and anxious to please their hearers, it has 
been represented as an organised force ready at any moment 
to spring to arms. In the North- West there are a thousand 
Mounted Police, who, however, are confined by law to the 
Territories. There is a Military College at Kingston of high 
repute ; but there is no army staff, commissariat, or provision 
for field hospitals. The men may be the worthy descendants 



of those who fought at Queenston Heights or Chateauguay, 
but supposing each of them to be a Paladin it must be left 
to soldiers to judge what force Canada would be able to put 
into the field within the time allowed by the swift march of 
modern war. The Duke of Wellington said that to defend her- 
self successfully, Canada must command the Lakes, and in the 
War of 1812 loss of the command of the Lakes, after strenuous 
efforts to keep it, was at once followed by disaster. But 
Canada has no vessels of war on the Lakes ; thanks to her 
commercial isolation, she has very little lake or river shipping 
of any kind. At sea she would have to trust entirely to the 
British fleet. It is true the American army is also very small, 
while the American militia is probably not better drilled 
than that of Canada. But it has been seen that money will 
buy men. The Americans have among them a good many 
immigrants trained under the military system of Europe, and 
they showed in their Civil War that they could quickly turn 
wealth into military power. In vain does Imperial eloquence 
appeal to an industrial community on this Continent to keep 
up a regular army. It is not solely or principally the dislike 
of expenditure that stands in the way; it is the whole 
character of the people ; it is their character, political and 
social, as well as commercial ; for they would fear that the 
army would become their master and that they would have 
an aristocracy of scarlet over their heads. That their fears 
would not be idle even the present bearing of some wearers 
of uniform shows. And who is the enemy ? A community 
allied to the Canadians by blood, in which half of them have 
relatives, with which in all things saving government and 
the customs line they are one. Imperialist writers, while in 
trumpet tones they call Canada to arms, admit that the 
American Eepublic will in the natural course of events 


one day acquire the Protectorate of her Continent. Is the 
difference between tutelage and union so momentous that a 
people, who are or are destined to be under tutelage, can 
be expected to live armed to the teeth against their own sons, 
brothers, and cousins for the purpose of averting union ? 
Might it not even occur to them when they were told to beat 
their ploughshares into swords that union was the higher 
condition of the two ? " Only one absurdity can be greater — 
pardon me for saying so — than the absurdity of supposing 
that the British Parliament will pay £200,000 for Canadian 
fortifications ; it is the absurdity of supposing that Canadians 
will pay it themselves. Two hundred thousand pounds for 
defences ! and against whom ? against the Americans ? And 
who are the Americans? Your own kindred, a flourishing 
people, who are ready to make room for you at their own 
table, to give you a share of all they possess, of all their 
prosperity, and to guarantee you in all time to come against 
the risk of invasion or the need of defences if you .will but 
speak the word." So, writing to the Colonial Secretary, said 
Lord Elgin, Governor -General of Canada, and an ardent 
upholder , if ever there was one, of British connection. 

Unity of command the Provinces had before as British 
dependencies under the general whom the Home Government 
might send out. Perhaps they were more sure of having it 
in their former state than they are in a state in which 
jealousies and rivalries among themselves might . possibly in- 
terfere with devotion to the common cause. 

After Confederation the British troops were withdrawn. 
The flag of conquering England still floats over the citadel of 
Quebec, but it seems to wave a farewell to the scenes of its 
glory, the historic rock, the famous battlefield, the majestic 
river which bore the fleet of England to victory, the monu- 


nient on which the chivalry of the victor has inscribed 
together the names of Wolfe and Montcalm. For no British 
redcoats muster round it now. The only British redcoats left 
on the Continent are the reduced garrison of Halifax. The 
beat of England's morning drum will soon go round the 
world with the sun no more. But as its last throb dies away 
will be heard the voice of law, literature, and civilisation still 
speaking in the English tongue. The noblest of England's 
conquests is that which will last for ever. 

Those who crow over what they imagine to be the collapse 
of the movement in favour of Colonial Emancipation and 
against Imperial aggrandisement which prevailed thirty years 
ago forget how much that movement effected. They forget 
that it brought about not only the cession of the Ionian 
Islands, which was its immediate fruit, but the withdrawal of 
the troops from the Colonies, the proclamation of the principle 
of Colonial self-defence, and a largely increased measure of 

The framers of Confederation, however, promised them- 
selves not only increase of military strength but a North- 
American empire to be formed by incorporating the North- 
West, British Columbia, and Newfoundland, so that their 
realm should stretch from sea to sea and over the great 
adjacent island on the east. As regards the North- West and 
British Columbia their hope was fulfilled. The Hudson's 
Bay Company found itself constrained by Imperial pressure 
and the precarious character of its chartered rights to sell in 
1869 its almost measureless domain, much of which, how- 
ever, is as hopelessly sterile as Sahara, for £300,000 
and some reservations of good land. Possession was not 
taken without resistance. In the North- West was a 
population of French half-breeds belonging to the Catholic 


Church in whom their kinsmen and fellow-Catholics fondly 
saw the germ of a French and Catholic nation which should 
in time occupy that vast region to the exclusion of British 
and Protestant colonisation. Moreover the Half-breeds felt 
that their hunting and trapping-grounds would be threatened 
and their very primitive industries supplanted by the advance 
of the agricultural settler. Their leader, Louis Eiel, upon the 
approach of the first Canadian governor of the territory called 
his people to arms, set up a provisional government, and put 
to death, with circumstances of great atrocity, Scott, a British 
Protestant and an Orangeman who resisted his assumption of 
power. At the approach of Sir Garnet Wolseley, Eiel 
collapsed and presently fled, aided, as was afterwards dis- 
covered, with money for his flight by the Canadian Govern- 
ment, which, placed between the devil of Orange wrath and 
the deep sea of French sympathy with the leader of French 
race and religion, had no desire in deciding on the fate of the 
rebel chief to choose between two modes of destruction for 
itself. The struggle was renewed in 1885, when the Half- 
breeds, having been exasperated by the disregard of their 
prayers respecting some land claims, to which the Ottawa 
Government, absorbed in the party struggle, found no time to 
attend, and being also probably alarmed by the advance of an 
alien civilisation, welcomed back Eiel as their chief and once 
more rose in arms. That he had been amnestied in the mean- 
while did not prevent Eiel from playing the same game over 
again. The rising of the Half-breeds was quelled, and 
Batoche, their hamlet-capital, was taken by a Canadian force 
under General Middleton, after a resistance which the candour 
of history must allow to have done credit to the valour of 
those poor people, considering that they could put into the 
field only a few hundred men of all ages, a man of ninety and 


a boy of sixteen being found among the slain, that only a part 
of them were armed with rifles, and that even these were 
short of ammunition. Eiel suffered death and deserved little 
sympathy, since he had not only broken his amnesty but been 
willing to sell himself and his cause to the Government. 
Quebec, however, boiled over with sympathy for him, which 
would perhaps have proved more formidable had not he by 
playing the prophet given offence to the priesthood. The 
Liberal Opposition in the Dominion Parliament, misled by 
the temporary ferment, and thinking to gain the French vote, 
took up Kiel's cause and pleaded for his exemption from 
punishment on the two grounds, not very consistent with each 
other, that he was insane and that his offence was political. 
That a man who had conducted with no small address an 
arduous enterprise and retained complete control over his 
followers was insane in such a sense as to make him irrespon- 
sible for his actions could be believed by no human being, 
even if there was a streak of madness in Kiel's general 
character ; while it was evident that if every offence which 
could be styled political was to go unpunished, society would 
be at the mercy of any brigand who chose to say that his 
object in filling it with blood and havoc was not booty but 
anarchy or usurpation. Some of the best men in the 
Opposition refused to vote with their leader, and the Govern- 
ment, standing to its guns, gained a well-merited victory. 
Among the troops sent to the North-West were two regiments 
of French militia. But these were not sent to the front Of 
the two Colonels, one left the army in the field and went 
home, while the other telegraphed to the Minister of Militia 
his advice that the troops should be employed in guarding the 
forte and provisions, and that men fighting in the same way 
as the rebels should be sent to make the war. It is but fair 


to suppose that what these gallant officers wished to shun was 
not powder but political ruin. The suppression of this petty 
insurrection cost the Dominion $8,000,000, besides the 
loss of life, a fine paid for the supineness or the political 
distractions of the Government, which when the Eebellion 
had broken out issued a Commission to inquire into the 
Half-breed claims. 

The French yet cling to the hope of making the North- 
West their own. Their Archbishop still reigns, not without 
opulence and state, in St. Boniface, the transriverine suburb 
of Winnipeg, and they have an immigration agency managed 
by priestly hands. But the balance of destiny has clearly 
turned against them ; as pioneers they are no match for their 
rivals. The Legislature of Manitoba has passed an Act 
abolishing the official use of the French language and the 
Separate Schools for Catholics. The Half-breeds are not a 
strong race, nor is immigration doing much to recruit their 
numbers. The next generation will probably see their few 
thousands merged in a great inflow of English-speaking 

When the North- West is peopled, and filled perhaps with 
a population partly drawn from the United States and other 
quarters not Canadian, it being locally far removed and 
commercially disunited from the eastern parts of the 
Dominion, what will be the effect on the cohesion and 
stability of Confederation? That is a question which the 
politicians of to-day have probably put off to the morrow. 

Newfoundland, the oldest of British Colonies, has hitherto 
refused, in spite of all overtures, to come into Confederation, 
and her decision seems now to be final. The owners of her 
boats, who are the owners of her fishermen, probably think 
that their interest is better served by remaining apart ; 


perhaps she also looks with alarm on the growth of Confedera- 
tion debt. The Confederation, on the other hand, by taking her 
in would annex a very bitter local feud between Orangemen and 
Catholics, commit itself to the naval defence of an island, add 
to the Fisheries question with the United States a similar 
but more dangerous question with France, in which she would 
have her own French against her, and open a new field 
of political corruption. 

To link together the widely -severed members of the 
Confederation two political and military railways were to be 
constructed by united effort as Federal works. The first was 
the Intercolonial, spanning the vast and irreclaimable wil- 
derness which separates Halifax from Quebec. This has 
been constructed at a cost of $40,000,000, and is now 
being worked by the Government at an annual loss, the 
amount of which it is difficult to ascertain, but which is 
reckoned by an independent authority at $500,000. The 
Canadian Pacific has also been constructed at a cost to 
the Dominion in money, land grants, guarantees, com- 
pleted works and surveys of something like $100,000,000, 
though it was promised by the original project that 
there should be no addition to taxation. Of the military 
value of these lines, and of their availability as a route 
for the transmission of troops from England to India, it 
is for military men to judge. At the time when the Inter- 
colonial was projected, the two British officers of artillery, 
whose pamphlet has been already cited, pointed out that the 
line would be fatally liable to snow -blocks. It would be 
awkward if, at a crisis like that of the Great Mutiny or that 
of a Eussian invasion in India, the reinforcements were 
blockaded by snow in the wilderness between Halifax and 
Quebec. We need hardly take into account such a chance as 


that of the closing of Halifax harbour by ice, which happens 
not more than once in thirteen or fourteen years. It is a 
more serious consideration that the line where it approaches 
the northern frontier of Maine runs, if the enemies are the 
Americans, within easy reach of a raid. Still more exposed 
to hostile attack is the Canadian Pacific, which runs along 
the northern shore of Lake Superior, the southern shore 
of which is in the hands of the Americans, and for 800 
miles across the prairie country where the frontier is perfectly 
open. In the mountain region there are points at which, if 
an enemy could get at it with dynamite, it might, as the 
writer has been assured on competent authority, be blocked for 
months. Against snow-blocks and against avalanches, which 
are frequent, careful provision on a large scale is being made ; 
but landslides also are frequent in that region, where it has 
been jocosely said " the work of creation is not quite finished." 
One of them blocked the course of the great Thompson Eiver 
for forty-eight hours. But the fact is constantly overlooked 
in vaunting the importance of this line to the Empire that its 
eastern section passes through the State of Maine, and would, 
of course, be closed to troops in case of war with any power 
at peace with the United States. 1 In sending troops to 
India there would be two transhipments, a consideration 
the importance of which again it is for the War Office to 

1 The Quarterly Review, for example, spoke of the Canadian Pacific RaUway 
as running from " start to finish" over British ground, though the line was 
at that very moment applying for bonding privileges to the Government of 
the United States. I take the opportunity of repeating that the statement of 
the Quarterly, that I had been going about the United States trying in vain 
to persuade the Americans to annex Canada, is baseless. The only occasion 
on which I spoke publicly of the political relations of Canada with the United 
States was at a debating society in New York, where I had been invited to 
take part in the discussion ; and what I said on that occasion was, in effect, 
that political union was a question for the future, while the improvement of 


As a commercial road the Intercolonial is a failure, for 
the simple reason that there is not, nor is there likely 
to be, any trade of the slightest importance between 
Canada and the Maritime Provinces of the Dominion. 
Small must be its receipts for local traffic between 
Quebec and Halifax or St. John. Its commercial usefulness 
will be reduced, if possible, still lower if not altogether 
destroyed, now that the Canadian Pacific, its reputed consort 
in the great Imperial scheme, cuts it out by taking the route, 
200 miles shorter, through the State of Maine ; nor can 
the condition to which it will probably be reduced by 
commercial depression fail to tell upon its efficiency even as 
a military road. What are the success and prospects of the 
Canadian Pacific as a commercial road we shall be better able 
to say when the earnings of the original and national line 
between Ottawa and the Pacific coast are distinguished from 
those of the Eastern and American extensions, which are no 
part of the original and national enterprise. So far as the 
profits of the Canadian Pacific Railway are made at the expense 
of the Grand Trunk they are made at the expense of a road 
which has done a great deal more for Canada than the Canadian 
Pacific Railway itself, and in which £12,000,000 sterling 
of British capital are invested. As a colonisation road its 
achievements are very doubtful. It has strung out the 
settlers along a line of 800 miles, carrying them far 
away from their markets and their centres of distribution, 
raising their freights, and, what is worst of all, depriving 

commercial relations was the question of the present. The story published in 
the Quarterly about a rebuke administered to me for my Annexationist 
sentiments by General Sherman, at the banquet of the Chamber of Commerce 
of New York, is also a pure fiction. The General spoke before me, he spoke 
to his own toast, and my speech on that occasion was confined to the 
commercial question, the political question being mentioned only to exclude 
it.— G. S, 


them of the advantages of close settlement which in a wintry 
climate are particularly great. Many emigrants it carries all 
down the line to British Columbia, whence, there being hardly 
any land for them to take up, they pass into the Pacific 
States of the Union. In one of the emigrant trains there 
were found ten persons bound for British Columbia and fifty- 
eight bound for places in the United States. Besides this, 
the monopoly granted to the Company in consideration of the 
sacrifice of commercial to military and political objects in the 
laying out of the line long weighed like lead upon the rising 
community. To this, in conjunction with the tariff and with 
some unfortunate land regulations made both by the Company 
and the Government, it is due that whereas Dakota and 
Manitoba started eighteen years ago on nearly equal terms, 
Dakotahas a population of over 500,000, whilethat of Manitoba 
is about 150,000. At one time Manitoba was brought to the 
verge of despair : men who had been members of a Conserva- 
tive Government were leaving her for the United States. Yet 
the Ottawa Government, in pursuance of its political aims 
obstinately maintained the monopoly by the exercise of its 
veto, and was supported in so doing by its compliant majority 
in the Dominion Parliament. Suddenly, on a transpar- 
ently hollow pretext, it changed its course. The province 
petitioned the Crown for a hearing before the Privy Council, 
and it is commonly believed that the British Government then 
sent the Ottawa Government a hint, to which the Ottawa 
Government gave ear. Manitoba would otherwise have 
escaped ruin only by secession, and a Canadian Government 
which boasts that by its statesmanship the Confederation is 
held together, and excuses the most equivocal practices by 
that plea, would itself have been the immediate author of 


There is one point of view in which the history of the 
Canadian Pacific Kailway is most instructive. It was 
originally proclaimed as a purely national and imperial 
enterprise which was to assure the perpetual separation of 
Canada from the United States, frustrating for ever the 
designs of American ambition, and in which no Yankee was 
in any way whatever to take part. So everybody said and 
Sir George Cartier swore. An American firm was in the 
syndicate ; an American, now Vice-President of the United 
States, was the first Vice-President of the Company ; a genuine 
American was the first manager and is now President. The 
line runs through the State of Maine; it connects the 
Canadian with the American railway system not there only 
but at the Sault Ste. Marie and at its Pacific terminus. It is 
an applicant for bonding privileges at Washington, and in 
danger of being brought under the Inter- State Commerce 
Act. It is in fact, or soon will be, as much an American as a 
Canadian line. The C. P. K. even discriminates in its freights, 
involuntarily no doubt, against Canadians and in favour of 
Americans. 1 Such is the outcome of designs for the sup- 
pression of geography and nature. 

In opening a trade among the Provinces, a natural trade 
at least, these inter-provincial railroads have failed, for the 

1 The following is from an official source : "1st. The rate on wheat from 
Winnipeg to St. John, N.B., is 50 cents, and to Halifax, 63 J cents per 100 
pounds. These are rates for traffic when carried by the C. P. R. alone. 2d. 
The rates on wheat from Minneapolis to Portland, Me., is 42 J cents, Boston, 
42£ cents, and New York, 37J cents per hundred pounds. These rates apply 
where traffic takes the route from Minneapolis via the " Soo Line" and 
C. P. R., and were made effective Jan. 1st inst Prior to that date each of 
the above rates was 5 cents less per 100 pounds. 3d. The first-class rate on 
general merchandise from St. John, N.B., to Winnipeg is $2.64 per 100 
pounds, and from Montreal $2.08 per 100 pounds. These rates apply via 
the C. P. R. 4th. The rates on first-class general merchandise from Portland and 
Boston to Minneapolis is $1.05 per 100 pounds, via C. P. R. and "Soo Line." 


simple reason that the Provinces have hardly any products 
to exchange with each other, and that means of conveyance 
are futile when there is nothing to be conveyed. " I take," 
says Mr. Longley, the Attorney-General of Nova Scotia, " the 
solid ground that naturally there is no trade between Ontario 
and the Maritime Provinces whatsoever. Without the aid or 
compulsion of tariffs scarcely a single article produced in Ontario 
would ever seek or find a market in Nova Scotia or the other 
Maritime Provinces. In like manner, unless under similar 
compulsion, not a product of the Maritime Provinces would 
ever go to Ontario. Twenty years of political union and 
nine years of an inexorable Protectionist policy designed to 
compel inter-provincial trade have been powerless to create 
any large trade between these two sections, and what it has 
created has been unnatural, unhealthy, and consequently 
profitless." As illustrations, Mr. Longley points out that 
Ontario sent to the United States $7,000,000 worth of 
barley, timber to the same value, and $4,000,000 worth of 
animals and their produce, but to the Maritime Provinces 
none; while, on the other hand, Nova Scotia sent to the 
United States also in spite of heavy duties $2,000,000 
worth of fish, $600,000 worth of minerals, and $500,000 
worth of farm products ; sending none to Ontario. " Of the 
geniune natural products," continues Mr. Longley, "Nova 
Scotia sends practically nothing to Ontario. If the exports 
of Nova Scotia to Ontario are carefully studied, it will be 
found that they consist chiefly of refined sugar and manu- 
factured cotton, the product of two mushroom industries called 
into existence by the Protective system, and which do not 
affect one way or another the interests of 500 individuals 
in the entire province of Nova Scotia." To any one who 
may ask why this state of things exists, " God and nature," 


he says, "never designed a trade between Ontario and the 
Maritime Provinces. If I have a barrel or ton of any com- 
modity produced in Nova Scotia, and I desired to send it to 
Toronto or Hamilton, the cost of sending it thither, unless it 
were gold, would probably be more than the value of the 
commodity. But I can at any moment put it on board of 
one of the numerous vessels or steamers which are daily 
leaving every port in Nova Scotia for Boston and send it to 
that city for twenty or thirty cents. If I desired to go to 
Toronto and Hamilton to sell it I should have to mortgage 
my farm to pay the cost of the trip, whereas I can go to 
Boston and back for a few dollars." Much more would he 
have to mortgage his farm if he carried his bales to Calgary 
or Vancouver. The moral drawn by Mr. Londey is, " that 
the Maritime Provinces have no natural or healthy trade with 
the Upper Provinces, but with the New England States ; that 
the Upper Provinces have no natural trade with the Maritime 
Provinces, but with the Central and Western States adjoining 
them ; that Manitoba has no natural trade with the larger 
provinces of Canada, but with the Western States to the 
south of her ; that British Columbia has no trade with any 
part of Canada, but with California and the Pacific States. 
In other words, that inter -provincial trade is unnatural, 
forced, and profitless, while there is a natural and profitable 
trade at our very doors open and available to us." The 
harvests of the North- West, as they cannot be moved south, 
go along the Canadian Pacific Eailway to the sea. If an 
Asiatic trade comes to Vancouver the tea will be carried 
across the Continent. But this is not inter-provincial trade, 
nor, being merely of a transitory kind, can it add much, 
beyond the railway freight, to the wealth of the Dominion. 
The French province, the people of which live on the 


produce of their own farms and clothe themselves with the 
produce of their own spinning, is uncommercial, and lies 
a non-conductor between the more commercial members of 
the Confederation. 

To force trade into activity between the Provinces and 
turn it away from the United States, giving the Canadian 
farmer a home market, and consolidating Canadian nationality 
at the same time, were the ostensible objects of the adoption 
in 1879 of a Protective tariff. The real object perhaps was 
at least as much to capture the manufacturer's vote and his 
contributions to the election fund of the party in power. 
Protectionists boast and enlightened men speak sadly of the 
course which opinion has been taking on this subject. It is 
true that through the extension of the suffrage the world has 
passed from the hands of Turgot, Pitt, Peel, and Cavour into 
those of a multitude ignorant of economical questions, swayed 
by blind cupidity, the easy dupe of protectionist sophistry ; 
and that fallacies which it was hoped had been for ever 
banished have thus regained their power. But in the United 
States and Canada it is less mistaken opinion that has been 
at work than the influence of sinister interest. The Canadian 
politicians who framed the Protective tariff were not and had 
never professed to be believers in Protection. If they had 
been identified with any fiscal policy it was that of Free 
Trade, at least between Canada and her own Continent. Their 
watchword had been reciprocity of trade or reciprocity of 
tariffs, in other words, the enforcement of Free Trade by 
^Retaliation, which, though the purists of Free Trade may 
condemn it, is not protectionism but the reverse. If they 
had formed their design, they masked it till the election 
was over and declared that what they meant was not pro- 
tection but readjustment, for which and for an increase of 


taxation to fill a deficit there were good grounds. They so 
far paid homage to their old principles as to keep in their 
Tariff Act a standing offer to the United States of reciprocity 
in natural products, though, as the Americans could not in 
common justice to their own interests allow their manu- 
factures to be excluded, this was little better than a mockery. 
But even this they afterwards threw overboard, and one 
of them, declared broadly that free trade even in farm 
products is an evil, so that Kent had better keep her hops 
and Worcestershire her apples all to herself ; for this would 
not be more absurd than the refusal of Manitoba to sell hard 
wheat, or of Ontario to sell her superior barley across the 
Line, and take American products or manufactures in pay- 
ment. The upshot is that on the neck of the Canadian as of 
the American Commonwealth now rides an association of 
protected manufacturers making the community and all the 
great interests of the country tributary to their gains. Before 
a general election the Prime Minister calls these men to- 
gether in the parlour of a Toronto hotel, receives their 
contributions to his election fund, and pledges the com- 
mercial policy of the country. Then British journals in 
their simplicity advise Canada to meet the M'Kinley Act 
by a declaration of Free Trade. 

It would be waste of words to argue over again to any 
intelligent reader the questions whether Canada, or any other 
country, can be enriched by taxation, and whether natural or 
forced industries are the best. That to which attention 
should be called is the difference between the case of Canada 
and that of the United States, the example of which Canada 
follows. The United States are a continent extending from 
regions almost arctic to regions almost tropical, embracing 
an immense variety of production, producing nearly every- 


thing in short, except tea and spices, with a market of 
63,000,000. The largest measure of Free Trade ever passed 
was the American Constitution, which forbade a customs line 
to be erected between States. This it is — not the protective 
tariff on the seaboard— that has been the source of American 
prosperity. In like manner it was not Napoleon's continental 
system that gave his Empire such a measure of prosperity as 
it enjoyed, but the large area which it included, and over 
which there was Free Trade. The Canadian Dominion lies 
all in a high latitude, and its range of production is limited. 
The market, instead of being 63,000,000, is under 
5,000,000, and these 5,000,000 are divided into four or five 
markets widely distant from each, other, and most of them 
sparse in themselves. The effect might have been easily fore- 
told. A number of factories have been forced into existence, 
and have prospered as forced industries prosper. Of the cotton 
mills only one or two, it is believed, have paid dividends, 
several are in liquidation, and the owners of others have 
been trying to find English purchasers at a discount of 50 
per cent. The loyal attempt to foster the iron and steel 
industry of Canada, by a duty excluding British manfactures, 
for which a Canadian Finance Minister was rewarded with a 
baronetcy, has totally failed. Of course there is continual 
running to Ottawa for larger draughts of the fatal stimulant, 
when the first draught has failed. " The imposts," says an 
ex-President of the Toronto Board of Trade, " are a mass of 
incongruous absurdities; the duties on raw materials are 
now as high in some cases as those on the manufactured 
articles. In attempting to extend to all industries the 
benefits of protection, the height of the ridiculous was 
reached when the duty was largely increased upon umbrellas 
and parasols for the special behoof of one small concern 




which failed within the year." A patriot writes to the 
Minister of Finance to say that he proposes to foster home 
industries and consolidate the nation by starting a canned- 
soup factory, but he must have a duty of 20 per cent on 
canned-soup, and a protective duty on tomatoes. About the 
stomachs of the consumers nothing is said. Combines are 
now being formed to keep up prices. A spasmodic demand for 
labour and an artificial rise in wages have been followed by 
short time. In the first days of the system the Minister of 
Finance made a triumphal progress through the factories to 
witness and glorify the work of his own hands ; he has not 
repeated his tour. What are the fruits of the policy to the 
public need hardly be told. A great wholesale dealer in 
woollens and cottons, in a debate at the Toronto Board of 
Trade, deprecating free trade with the United States, said 
that if American goods were admitted free, the capital 
invested in Canadian manufactories under the protective 
tariff would not be worth more than a third of its face value ; 
the inference from which was that the interest on the other 
two-thirds, if paid at all, must be paid by the community. 
This, however, applies only to the forced industries. Those 
of the Canadian manufacturers who feel that their industries 
have a natural and sound basis disclaim the desire of protec- 
tion, and ask only a fair field. In no trade probably would 
American competition be keener than in the manufacture of 
agricultural implements. Yet the other day a firm of large 
manufacturers in that line declared for free trade with the 
United States. The agricultural implement business, they 
said, had been overdone, they wanted more people to whom 
to sell, and they would not be afraid of American competition. 
Another large manufacturer in the same line, spoke to the 
same effect, pointing out, by the way, that the immense 


territory which in Canada had to be covered in order to 
embrace a sufficient market* was a heavy addition to the 
manufacturer's expense. These are not by any means the 
only firms which take that view. It is the hothouse plants 
that shrink from the open air ; and while all possible con- 
sideration is due to those who have been induced by Parlia- 
ment to invest, it is hard that the community should be 
required for ever to expiate the mistake. 

The isolation of the different Canadian markets from each 
other, and the incompatibility of their interests, add in their 
case to the evils and absurdities of the protective system. 
What is meat to one Province is, even on the protectionist 
hypothesis, poison to another. Ontario was to be forced to 
manufacture ; she has no coal ; yet to reconcile Nova Scotia 
to the tariff a coal duty was imposed ; in vain, for Ontario 
after all continued to import her coal from Pennsylvania, 
Manitoba and the North- West produce no fruit ; yet they 
were compelled to pay a duty in order to protect the 
fruit-grower of Ontario .1500 miles away. Hardest of all 
was the lot of the North -West farmer. His natural 
market, wherein to buy farm implements, was in the neigh- 
bouring cities of the United States, where, moreover, 
implements were made most suitable to the prairie. But 
to force him tp buy in Eastern Canada 25 per cent was 
laid on farm implements. As he still bought in the 
States, the 25 per cent was made 35 per cent. Handi- 
capped with 35 per cent on his implements, and at the 
same time with railway monopoly, as well as with the 
general imposts of the tariff, he has to compete with the 
farmer of Minnesota or Dakota, buying in a free market, and 
enjoying freedom of railway accommodation. An attempt 
was made to show that manufactories had been called into 


existence in Manitoba, and that she was exporting their 
products ; but the list was found to embrace the work of 
lime kilns, blacksmiths' forges, photography, and re-shipments 
of old railway engines. 

The British reader will not be surprised to hear that the 
arguments used by the defenders of the system are only such 
as have been a hundred times confuted. In the case 
of Canada, as in other cases, the protectionist makes no 
attempt to lay down his principle by defining native in- 
dustries, or to say what is the proper area for its application ; 
why Ontario should not benefit by protection against New 
Brunswick, as well as against New York, or New York 
benefit by protection against her sister States. The state- 
ment that England nursed her manufactures by protection 
is still repeated, and so is the plea for infant industries, 
babes who, when they come to manhood, instead of giving up 
their pap and swaddling-clothes, take you by the throat and 
demand more. The protectionists loudly profess loyalty, 
which with them means high duties on American goods. 
Their organs labour to keep up hatred of the people of the 
United States, just as the organs of protectionism in the 
United States labour to keep up hatred of England. But 
the main strength of protectionism in Canada, as in the 
United States, lies in its Lobby and in the money which it 
subscribes for elections. International hatred, directed in 
Canada against her American neighbours, and political 
corruption, are two inseparable companions of the system. 
A third is smuggling, which is rife all along the Canadian 
border, to the detriment of lawful trade, and with the usual 
effect on the morality of the people. 

For the fusion of population between the Provinces 
Confederation seems to have done as little as for the creation 

^ — — —  


of inter-Provincial trade. Keciprocal trade indeed is almost 
necessary to fusion. In the census return for 1881, which 
is the last, it appears that in that year there were of natives 
in Ontario, 105 settled in Prince Edward Island, 310 in 
New Brunswick, and 333 in Nova Scotia ; in all, 748 natives 
of Ontario settled in the Maritime Provinces. Much the 
same state of things is found in Quebec, with the exception 
of two counties which border on a district of New Brunswick, 
with an identical population. On the same day there were 
of persons of United States birth, 609 in Prince Edward 
Island, 5108 in New Brunswick, 3004 in Nova Scotia ; or, 
roughly speaking, thirteen times as many natives of the 
United States in the Maritime Provinces as there were natives 
of Ontario. It is found, moreover, that in 1861, before 
Confederation, and when there was no Intercolonial railway, 
there were 6700 natives of the Maritime Provinces in 
Ontario ; twenty years afterwards there were only 7200. 
In Quebec, among the people of eight or ten populous 
counties, not a man from the Maritime Provinces was to be 
found, immigration had actually declined in spite of the 
official connection. Meantime it appears that there are 
1,000,000 immigrants from Canada in the United States. 

Without commercial intercourse or fusion of population, 
the unity produced by a mere political arrangement can 
hardly be strong or deep. It will, for the most part, be con- 
fined to the politicians, or to those directly interested in the 
work of Dominion parties. No inhabitant of Nova Scotia or 
New Brunswick calls himself a Canadian. The people of 
British Columbia, priding themselves on their English 
character, almost disdain the name. Manitoba and the 
North-West have been largely colonised from Ontario, yet 
Manitobans tell you that though their personal and family 


connections are cherished, as a community they are severed 
from Eastern Canada. All the Provinces are under the 
British flag. All are united by the sentiments common 
to British Colonies and by historical associations. This 
they were before Confederation. That Confederation has 
as yet increased the community of feeling or strengthened 
the moral bond there is nothing in the attitude of the 
Provinces towards each other, political or general, to prove. 

So much as to the British Provinces. Of Quebec some- 
thing has been already said. If there is a word hateful to 
French ears it is amalgamation. Not only has New France 
shown no increase of tendency to merge her nationality in 
that of the Dominion ; her tendency has been directly the 
other way. She has recently, as we have seen, unfurled her 
national flag, and at the same time placed herself as the 
French Canadian nation, under the special protection of the 
Pope, who accepts the position of her ecclesiastical lord. At 
her head, and to all appearances firmly seated in power, is the 
chief of the Nationalist and Papal party, who bids Blue and 
Eed blend themselves in the tricolor and restores to the 
Jesuits their estates. The old Bleu or Conservative party, 
associated with the clergy of the Gallican school, which by 
its union with the Tories in the British Provinces linked 
Quebec politically to the Dominion, has fallen, as it seems, to 
rise no more. What life is left in it is sustained largely by 
Dominion subsidies of which the Ottawa Government makes 
it the accredited channel. " The complete autonomy of the 
French Canadian nationality and the foundation of a French 
Canadian and Catholic state, having for its mission to 
continue in America the glorious work of our ancestors," are 
the avowed aims of the Nationalist and Ultramontane press. 
Greybeards of the old Conservative school protest that all 


this means nothing, that no design of autonomy has been 
formed, and that it is unjust to speak of French nationality 
and theocracy as dangers to Confederation. Whether the 
design has been distinctly formed or not matters little if the 
tendency is manifestly there and is gaining strength every 
day. Let those who prophesy to us smooth things take stock 
of the facts. When one community differs from another in 
race, language, religion, character, spirit, social structure, 
aspirations, occupying also a territory apart, it is a separate 
nation, and is morally certain to pursue a different course, 
let it designate" itself as it can. French Canada may be 
ultimately absorbed in the English-speaking population of 
a vast Continent ; amalgamate with British Canada so as to 
form a united nation it apparently never ca,n. In the Swiss 
Confederation there are diversities of race, language, and 
?eligion, but the union is immemorial ; it was formed and is 
held together by the most cogent pressure from without; its 
territory is compact and surrounded by a mountain wall; 
the races and religions are interlocked, not confronted like two 
cliffs, and the division into small cantons tends to avert a 
broad antagonism of forces. After all, Switzerland has had its 
Sonderbund, and the Jesuit, whose intrigues gave birth to the 
Sonderbund, is now dominant in Quebec. Quebec sends her 
representatives to the Federal Parliament. But their mission 
is not to take counsel with the other representatives of the 
nation so much as to look to the separate interest of Quebec, 
and above all to draw from the treasury of the Dominion all 
that can be drawn in aid of her empty chest. They let pass 
no opportunity of doing their duty to her in that line. On 
one occasion they stayed out of the House haggling with the 
Government till the bell had rung for a division, when the 
Government gave way. Quebec, as revelations going on at 




this moment show, is politically corrupt, and by her 
corruption she may be held in the Union, but of what benefit 
the Union will be to her partners, or how they will be indem- 
nified for the expense, it is not easy to see. Her people, 
saving the Protestant traders of Montreal and the remnant of 
British commerce at Quebec, being very poor, their contribu- 
tion to the common revenues is smalL The creative genius 
of Lord Lome, besides a Eoyal Society and a Eoyal 
Academy, bestowed on Canada a National hymn. The 
hymn should have been written in alternate stanzas of 
French and English. 

The beauty of the French language, the brilliancy of 
French literature, the graces of French character, the value of 
the contributions made by France to the common treasure of 
civilisation, on which Governors-General preaching harmony 
dilate, are by nobody denied. But supposing Quebec to be 
the depositary of all French gifts, mere vicinity to them is 
little worth when the separation in all other respects is as 
complete as if seas rolled or Alps rose between. France may 
enrich the store of humanity, but the store of the Dominion, 
material or moral, is not enriched by simple want of homo- 

The last deliverance on this subject from the French side 
is La Question du Jour, by M. Faucher de Saint - Maurice. 
The author puts the question, " Shall we remain French ? " 
and answers it with a thundering "Yes," hurling his 
anathemas at all whom he suspects of a desire to bring about 
denationalisation. A curious and instructive part of the 
pamphlet is that which, in portraying the emotions of Quebec 
on the occasion of the Franco - German war, displays the 
passionate attachment of New France to her own mother 
country. " At the thought of the struggle in which the land 


of our fathers is engaged the French blood stirred in our 
veins, as though it had never been chilled, and we shouted 
for the flag of our mother country as if it had never ceased to 
wave over our heads." " We admire the United States, whose 
prosperity dazzles us, but France alone is the object of our 
passionate love." " Our thoughts and our hearts belong to 
our mother country." We have seen that Sir George Cartier, 
of all Frenchmen the most British, spoke in a similar 
strain. In the event of a war between Great Britain 
and her most probable enemy, on which side are we to 
suppose that the hearts of the French Canadians would be ? 
After reckoning up all the elements of French population and 
strength, including 108,60.5 "Acadians" in the Maritime 
Provinces, M. Faucher de Saint-Maurice concludes by saying, 
" With courage, with perseverance, with union, with effort, and 
above all with a constant devotion to our religion and our 
language, the future must be ours. Sooner or later, marching 
on together, we shall arrive at the position of a great nation. 
The logical conclusion of my work can only be this — One 
day we shall be Catholic France in America." This writer, 
at all events, has formed his design. 

The coping-stone and the symbol of nationality in the Con- 
stitution, it has been already said, was the national veto on 
Provincial legislation, that vast power, as Sir Alexander Gait, 1 
one of the Fathers of Confederation, called it, and that palla- 
dium, as he deemed it, of Protestant and civil rights in 
Quebec, which might otherwise be exposed without defence to 
Ultramontane aggression. Yet this coping-stone of nation- 
ality, this palladium of civil right, both the parties have 
abandoned or reduced to nullity under the pressure of the 
French-Catholic vote. In the transfer of Quebec from France 

1 Church and State, by Sir Alexander T. Gait, K.C.M.G., Montreal, 1876. 


to Britain the revenues of the parish clergy were secured 
' with the religion of the people, but the estates of the religious 
orders were left to the pleasure of the Crown, and the 
Solicitor-General Wedderburn advised that while the other 
religious orders might be allowed to exist, that of the Jesuits, 
on account of its anti-national character, could not. The 
Crown, as a matter of humanity, allowed the remaining 
Jesuits subsistence on the estates for their lives. In 1773 
the Order was suppressed by the Pope. The estates then, at 
all events, fell to the Crown, which held them for the purposes 
of education, and ultimately transmitted them to the Province 
impressed with that trust. But the restored Order laid claim 
to the estates. The claim would have been met by any 
Government in Europe with derision. But Quebec had 
fallen under Jesuit influence.. An Act was passed (1888) by 
the Provincial Legislature in which Protestantism has a 
merely nominal representation, assigning to the Jesuits the 
sum of $400,000 by way of compensation for the estates. To 
give colour to the transaction the sum of $60,000 was 
assigned to Protestant education. The Pope's name was 
introduced in the Act as arbiter of the arrangement. 
Apologists in Parliament pretended that this was a mere 
expedient of conveyancing ; but if it had been nothing else it 
would most certainly have been avoided. There could be no 
doubt about the spirit and intention of the Act ; had there 
been any it would have been set at rest when Mr. Mercier, 
as we have already said, before an assembly of Eoman Catholic 
Bishops and Clergy, boasted that he had emulated the 
glorious deeds of the American Bevolutionists by undoing 
the wrong done by George III. The Act was a rampant 
assertion of Eoman Catholic ascendancy by the endowment 
out of a public fund of an Order formed specially for the 


subversion of Protestantism, and at the same time a recogni- 
tion of the Pope as the ecclesiastical sovereign of Quebec! 
Morally, if not legally, it was an excess of jurisdiction, since 
religion is not in the list of subjects with which the Provincial 
Legislatures are authorised by the Constitution to deal, while 
the endowment out of the public treasury of a professedly 
propagandist Order was certainly a religious measure and one 
of an extreme kind, as we should soon have been made to 
understand had the Legislature of Ontario endowed a 
Protestant mission for the subversion of the Eoman Catholic 
Church. Yet such is the powefr of the French vote that both 
parties fell on their faces before it. The position of the 
Government wsfs the worst, since the hollowness of its affected 
respect for Provincial self-government was betrayed by its 
own recent conduct in vetoing a Eailway Act of the Manitoba 
Legislature, the legality of which could not be questioned, in 
the interest <rf its auxiliary, the Canadian Pacific Eailway. 
But a Liberal party, voting for the public endowment of 
Jesuitism, also cut a strange figure. Only thirteen 
members out of a total of 215 in the Dominion House, 
however, dared to uphold the national character of Confedera- 
tion, British ascendancy, the rights of the Civil Power, and 
the separation of the Church from the State. After the 
division, the members who had voted for the endowment of 
Jesuitism lulled their consciences, as they sometimes do, by 
singing " God save the Queen." Indignation, however, was 
aroused, great meetings were held at Toronto and elsewhere 
in Ontario to protest against the Act, and the most powerful 
movement that has yet been witnessed outside the party 
machines was organised under the name of Equal Eight, and 
is still on foot. It aims at the repression of priestly influence 
in politics, and of French encroachment at the same time; 


and its first fruits have been the abolition of Separate Schools 
and the discontinuance of French as an official language in 
Manitoba. It is not religious or directed in any way against 
the faith or worship of the Roman Catholics, but political and 
purely defensive. It is religious at least only in so far as 
the Church, not less than the State, has an interest in that 
entire freedom of each from the interference of the other 
which is a great organic principle of society in the New 

The Maritime Provinces and those of the West have been 
imperfectly incorporated, if they can be said to have been 
incorporated at all, into the old political parties which have 
their basis in the two Canadas, and were formed before Con- 
federation upon questions and in interests with which the 
other Provinces had no concern; the Conservative party 
being a combination of the reactionary clericism of Quebec 
with the Toryism and Orangeism of Ontario, the Liberal 
party being a counter-combination of the Liberals of Ontario 
with the misnamed Parti Rouge of Quebec. It can hardly 
be said that in the remoter Provinces a Dominion party, 
otherwise than as a combination for securing local advantages 
through the Dominion Government, exists. When the writer 
asked a denizen of the Pacific Coast what were the politics of 
his Province, the answer was, Government appropriations. 
Once more let Australians who propose to follow the example 
of the British North - American Provinces by forming an 
Australian federation remark that this, under our present 
system, means the creation of Federal parties, and that unless 
a basis of principle for Federal parties can be assigned, 
Government appropriations will be the basis. "There is a 
perfect scramble among the whole body to get as much as 
possible of this fund for their respective constituents ; cabals 


are formed by which the different members mutually play 
into each other's hands ; general politics are made to bear on 
private business, and private business on general politics; 
and at the close of the Parliament the member who has 
succeeded in securing the largest portion of the prize for his 
constituents renders an easy account of his stewardship, with 
confident assurance of re-election." This picture, though 
drawn by Lord Durham of the legislature of a single colony, 
would be found to be heightened in its colours as well as 
extended in its scale when the constituencies were Provinces, 
and the members were the representatives of Provincial 
interests. It would be so at least unless such momentous 
issues and such a pervading spirit of Federal patriotism were 
awakened as hftve not yet been witnessed in the Canadian 

In the want of a real bond among the members of Con- 
federation, the anti-national attitude of Quebec, the absence 
of real Dominion parties, and the consequent difficulty of 
holding the Dominion together and finding a basis for the 
administration must be found the excuse, if any excuse can be 
found, for the system of political corruption which during the 
last twenty years has prevailed. "Better Terms," that is, 
increased subsidies to Provinces from the Dominion treasury, 
Dominion grants for local railways and other local works 
and concessions to contractors, together with the patronage, 
including, as we have seen, appointments to the Senate, 
have been familiar engines of government. It was a Con- 
servative member of the Senate who the other day, when the 
usual batch of railway grants was pushed through at the 
end of the Session, could not refrain from protesting against 
a vast system of bribery. Post offices and local works of all 
kinds are held out by Government candidates as bribes to 


constituencies with an openness which would almost have 
scandalised a French constituency under the Second Empire, 
and it is painful to see how paltry an inducement of this 

kind will prevail. " The people of County want railways 

and other public works, and they all know that the policy of 
the Government regarding railways is liberal. If a Govern- 
ment supporter is elected, any reasonable request will be 
granted. It rests entirely with the Government candidate 
what will be done." Such is the language held. The result 
of an election won by the Protectionist Government the 
other day in Victoria County, was reported to the English 
Press as highly significant, and as showing that the people 
were against Eeciprocity ; but the fact was apparent from 
the returns that the Government had gained, its majority of 
133 by two subsidies to local railways. 1 Nova Scotia and New 

1 Here are two specimens, which will probably be enough. The first is 
an extract from a circular letter of a Roman Catholic bishop to the electors 
of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, in favour of Sir John Thompson, Minister of 
Justice, and a member of the Bishop's communion. The second is the 
address (in French) of a Quebec member of the Dominion Parliament to his 

"Seventeen months ago you needed postal communication and facilities 
in various localities, and already you have no fewer than five new post-offices 
opened. You needed improvement in our railway tariff. Through Mr. 
Thompson's strenuous efforts you have obtained these. If you needed money 
to repair most useful public works or to complete others and to originate 
more, already no less than $34,346 has been placed at your disposal for that 
purpose, yet this magnificent sum is doubtless but an instalment of the 
amount which we may expect under the auspices of this most efficient bene- 
factor, to be expended for our advantage. Lastly, he has been mainly instru- 
mental in persuading the Cabinet to undertake and build a railway through 
Cape Breton as a Government measure. He has thus conferred an inestim- 
able boon to Eastern Nova Scotia, as well as on that fine island in whose 
prosperity we all feel the liveliest interest. In view of the foregoing undeni- 
able facts, I ask you, gentlemen; have you not every reason to be proud of 
your admirable representative and deeply grateful for what he has already 
achieved in your behalf, and confident that your public works, whether begun 
or only in contemplation, will be satisfactorily completed by him more likely 
than by men who now ask you to oust him. Indeed it is simply incredible 


Brunswick, as they suffer particularly from the commercial 
atrophy produced by severance from their natural markets, are 
specially open to the influence of the Treasury, and before an 
election a Nova Scotian, who is master of such arts, is actually 

that Hon. A. McGillivray is now tinder the impression that he can without 
office and in the cold shades of opposition serve you better than he can, an 
incomparably abler man, in the commanding position of Minister of Justice. 
It is plainly therefore your duty as patriotic citizens to resist such conduct 
and to vote one and all for the Minister of Justice, who so eminently deserves 
your confidence and esteem, and not to give him his discharge. In the exist- 
ing circumstances it would be an act of senseless ingratitude, a public 
calamity, and a lasting disgrace, for which I trust you will never be guilty of 
making yourselves answerable. In a word, to do yourselves full credit you 
ought not only to return Mr. Thompson, but to return him by an over- 
whelming majority. Gentlemen, I confidently leave the issue in your hands, 
and remain your devoted well-wisher and servant in Christ." 

"Les deux grandes questions politiques qui interessent le comte sont la 
construction de nos* chemins de fer et les travaux publics. Au sujet du 
chemin de fer, j'ai fait un travail plus qu'ordinaire afin d'obtenir les subsides 
n&sessaires a sa construction. J'ai envoye* vingt-deux requites a tous les 
honorables cures du comte' afin de les faire signer, lesquels requetes demand- 
aient un subside de $100,000. Vingt requites m'ont ete* retourn^es couverte 
de dix-huit cents signatures ; deux ne m'ont pas ete* renvoyees, je ne sais 
pourquoi. II est vrai que la demande de $100,000 n'6tait pas suffisante selon 
ce que j'ai appris plus tard, et j'ai modifie ma demande en la portant a 

" Tous les deputes Canadiens m'ont donn£ leur appui, et dix-huit Sena- 
teurs ont sign6 ma demande que j'ai adressee au Conseil Prive\ Jusqu'au 
dernier moment Ton m'a fait les plus grandes promesses. Sir Hector me 
disait toujours : ' Mon cher Couture, ne crains rien ; les subsides ne sont pas 
encore votes, mais nous n'oublierons pas ton comteV Jusqu'au dernier mom- 
ent j'ai support^ le Gouvernement, m§me j'ai vot6 contre mes convictions, 
confiant dans les promesses qui m'etaient faites. 

" Quand aux travaux publics, j'ai demande tellement que mes confreres me 
reprochaient de vouloir enlever les deux tiers des subsides du Dominion. 
J'ai demande $40,000 pour le comt£, et j'avais encore les memes promesses des 
Ministres. A la fin voyant que rien ne venait j'ai commence a m'apercevoir 
que Ton voulait me jouer, et j'ai cru me rendre aux voeux du comte* en refus- 
ant d'approuver une conduite aussi deloyale, et j'ai vot£ contre le Gouverne- 
ment. Je savais que le comt6 me reprocherait pas d'avoir vote contre un 
gouvernement qui ne voulait rien m'accorder. C'est sur la question des quinze 
millions au Pacifique que je me suis separe du gouvernement. Je croyais que 
ces gens en avaient eu assez; il est vrai qu'ils donnaient des garanties en 
terre au gouvernement, mais je savais que la creme de ces terres etait vendue." 


brought over from England, and put for the time into the 
Ministry, that he may secure to the Government the votes of 
his Province. This he does by promises the fulfilment of 
which, it was reckoned at the time, would cost several 
millions. If you express surprise at the result of an election 
in one of the Maritime Provinces, the explanation which you 
get is four Government grants or promises of grants for 
piers, wharves, or local works of some kind. The Govern- 
ment, which, it is justly said, ought in the matter of public 
works to act as trustee for the whole people, in effect 
proclaims that public works will be regulated by the interest 
of constituencies whose support it receives. That " the whole 
North -West of Canada has been used as one vast bribery 
fund " is a statement just made by a leading member of the 
Opposition, who can point to at least one recent and most 
flagrant instance in proof of his sweeping accusation* But 
what corruption can be more pestilential or more dangerous 
to the commonwealth than the surrender of the commercial 
policy of the country to private interests, in return for their 
votes and the support of their money in elections? No 
president of the United States, being a candidate for election, 
could without total wreck of his character and prospects, 
assemble the protected manufacturers in a room at an hotel 
and receive their contributions to his election fund. 

In Quebec it is an eminent Conservative journalist and 
politician of that Province who says that the electors are 
wholly demoralised; that if all the constituencies are not 
equally rotten, the symptoms of the evil are everywhere to 
be seen ; that the electors, those who are well off n6t less 
than the poor, compel the candidates to bribe them ; that the 
franchise is a merchantable commodity ; that many will not 
go to the polls without a bribe. The clergy denounce the 


practice from the altar, but in vain. In truth the priests, 
who, instead of leaving the voter free, and bidding him make 
an independent use of his vote, coerce him in their own 
interest, are not in the best position for reading him 
homilies on electoral duty. The truth is, that under a 
theocracy the people are not citizens : they do not understand 
the political franchise or value it ; and when you preach to 
them about its responsibilities, you preach in vain. They 
not unnaturally regard it as a thing to be used in their own 
interest, and if they like, to be sold. The Conservative 
politician just cited is now producing in a series of papers 
startling proofs in support of his allegation. 

Once the character of the means by which Government is 
maintained appeared too plainly, with a result fatal for a 
time to the Ministry by which the system was being carried 
on. This was in the case of the Pacific Eailway Scandal, 
the echoes of which reached as far as England. The Prime 
Minister and two of his colleagues were convicted of having 
received from the grantee of a railway charter, whose position 
was virtually that of a contractor, a large sum of money 
to be used in elections. It was pretended by the Ministers 
that the money was a political subscription to the Party 
fund ; but it was well known that the commercial gentleman 
from whom it was received took no interest in politics, and 
could have had only his commercial object in view. It was 
also pleaded that there was nothing wrong in the charter 
granted him, and this was true ; but it was evident that the 
Government, when it had taken his money, would be in his 
hands. Public indignation was strongly aroused, and for the 
moment overcame party feeling; the Government, deserted 
by its majority, fell; and the country, on an appeal being 
made to it, emphatically ratified the verdict of the House of 



Commons. The conduct of the Governor-General was, in his 
own opinion at least, and in that of the courtly pundits of 
Ottawa, constitutional in the highest degree. He continued 
to treat the accused Ministers as his constitutional advisers. 
At their instance, when Parliament had become completely 
seized of the question, he prorogued it on what were thought 
at the time factitious grounds, and relegated the inquiry to a 
Commission named by the Ministers themselves. He allowed 
letters written by himself to the Colonial Secretary, when the 
case was incomplete, to be laid before the House, for the purpose 
of influencing its judgment. It did not occur to him, nor 
does it occur to the constitutional writers who applaud him 
for continuing to give his confidence to his Ministers, that 
this was not a case of confidence in Ministers, nor a political 
question at all, but a State trial, with which he had no more 
business to interfere than he had to interfere with the course 
of justice in a court of law. It is true the tribunal in this 
case was equivocal and unsatisfactory, the question as to the 
retention of office by the Ministers being mixed up with the 
criminal indictment. There ought to be, though there is not 
at present, a regular process of impeachment, with a regular 
tribunal, and political corruption, whether in a Minister or any 
one else, ought to be made a distinct offence ; it would seem 
to be as capable of definition as other breaches of trust, 
and it certainly is not less heinous. One of the convicted 
Ministers was afterwards made a knight. Nobody, it is right 
to say, suspected the Prime Minister on this or any other 
occasion of taking anything for himself. In that sense he 
certainly spoke the truth wjien, at the beginning of the 
affair, he declared to the Governor-General upon his honour as 
a Privy Councillor that he was innocent of the charge. The 
case of the Onderdonk contract, on the western portion of the 


same line, which was afterwards brought forward in Parlia- 
ment, wore a very sinister aspect. But the Government had 
an overwhelming majority at its command. 1 

Strong evidences have unhappily been produced to show 
that by Government advertising and printing contracts, the 
system of corruption has been extended to the Press. What 
influences are behind the Press has become for all common- 
wealths alike one of the most serious questions of the day. 

It is a comfort in speaking of these unsavoury matters to 
be able to reflect once more that Canadian society in general 
is sound, and that power in regard to the ordinary concerns of 
life is in the hands not of politicians but of the chiefs of 
commerce and industry, of judges and lawyers, of the clergy, 
and of the leaders of public opinion. Yet the character of 
the people cannot fail to be affected by familiarity with 
political corruption. Their political character, at all events, 
cannot escape the taint. A member of a local legislature is 
convicted, after investigation by a committee, of having on 
more than one occasion taken money corruptly. He never- 
theless retains the support of his constituents. He is elected 
to the Dominion Parliament. The Prime Minister, whose 
henchman he is, makes him Chairman of the Finance Com- 
mittee, and is prevented from making him Deputy Speaker 
only by the threat of an appeal to the record. The man is 
on the point, as is generally believed, of being made a Senator 
when another transaction comes to light, so foul in itself and 
in all its circumstances, that the Government is obliged with 
apparent reluctance to abandon its supporter to justice, and 

1 An account of the case will be found in Mr. Collins's Canada under the 
Administration of Lord Lome, p. 207 et seq. The section having been taken 
over by the C.P.R., that Company is now suing the Dominion for $6,000,000 
on account of alleged defects or shortcomings in construction. 


consent to the verdict of a committee pronouncing his conduct 
" discreditable, corrupt, and scandalous." Thereupon he resigns 
his seat, appeals to his constituents, pleading that he is no worse 
than the rest, and is re-elected. It has been asserted, on 
the strength it would seem of some highly official information, 
that in Canada scandals of corruption are almost unknown. 
If by this it is meant that few Canadian politicians take 
money for themselves, and that wealth amassed by corruption 
is rare among them, the statement is perfectly true, and it is 
equally true of the politicians in the United States, about whose 
illicit gains very exaggerated notions prevail. As a rule, 
politicians in both countries live and die poor ; and, consider- 
ing what they have to go through, it is wonderful that the 
attraction of politics should be so strong But otherwise it 
is from the scandal, not from the corruption, that we are free. 
The pity is the greater because if ever a community was by 
its national character qualified for elective institutions it was 
that of the farmers of Canada. Political morality, and to 
some extent general morality with it, have been sacrificed to 
the exigencies of an artificial combination of provinces, and 
of an isolation of those provinces from their continent, which 
is equally artificial. 

Nor are the sectional interests of Quebec and the other 
Provinces the only sectional interests, or the only interests 
of an anti-national character, with which the head of a 
Canadian Government has had to deal. He has had to 
propitiate with seats in the Cabinet and doles of patronage 
churches — above all the Eoman Catholic Church — political 
— combinations, such as Orangeism, and even a philanthropic 
combination like Prohibitionism, which at present has a seat 
in the Cabinet. The Eoman Catholic vote is so well in hand 
that it is cast almost solid for one party in the Provincial 


elections of Ontario and at once transferred to the other in 
the Dominion elections, good consideration being received 
from both sides. The Premier of Ontario, though a zealous 
Presbyterian, finds himself compelled by the influence of the 
hierarchy not only to uphold the system of Separate Schools 
for Eoman Catholics in the face of his own recorded protest 
against it, but to deny Eoman Catholics the ballot in the 
election of School Trustees, which the more liberal of them 
demand, but to which the hierarchy object, because their 
control over the elections would thereby be impaired. The 
Irish vote is of course to a great extent identical with the 
Eoman Catholic vote, yet as a political force it is distinct, 
and its power is inordinate. The lower are the political 
qualities of any body of men, and the less fit it is to guide 
the State, the more sure are its members politically to hold 
together, and the greater its influence will be. This is one of 
the banes of all elective government, and how it is we are to 
get rid of it or prevent it from growing, it is not easy to see. 
The abasement of American politicians and the American 
Press before the Irish vote is one of the most ignominious 
and disheartening passages in the history of free institutions. 
It reached its extreme point when, in miserable fear of the 
Irish groggeries of New York, the Senate of the United States 
refused to do honour to the memory of the great Englishman 
whose voice of power, in the darkest day of their fortunes, 
had triumphantly pleaded their cause before his country 
and the world. The motive for the resolutions passed by 
American Legislatures of sympathy with disunionism in 
Ireland, as well as the breach of international propriety 
which they involve, is freely admitted by American politicians. 
Similar resolutions from the same motive were passed by 
Canadian Legislatures, both Federal and Provincial, the Con- 


servative Premier of the Dominion, with the Grand Cross of 
the Bath upon his breast, leading the way. Let Englishmen, 
before they welcome as the sincere expression of Canadian 
opinion, such manifestoes as the Loyalty Eesolution passed 
by the Dominion Parliament of last session on the motion of 
Mr. Mulock, call to mind the fact that the same Assembly 
had before passed what was virtually a resolution in favour 
of the dismemberment of the United Kingdom. When Mr. 
William O'Brien came over to Canada with the avowed pur- 
pose of insulting, and if possible expelling from the country, 
Her Majesty's representative, those who, like the present 
writer, took an active part in opposing his irruption had the 
opportunity of seeing what the real influence of loyalty was 
among Canadian politicians compared with that of the Irish 
vote. That colonies would allow themselves to be used by 
Irish disaffection as levers for the disruption of the mother 
country was hardly foreseen as an incident of the system of 
dependence either by the opponents of the system or by its 
defenders. Unhappily, England herself is in no position to 
cast a stone either at Canada or at the United States, for 
subserviency to the Irish, nor has there been anything in the 
conduct of the lowest of Canadian or American vote-hunters 
to match with the conduct of British statesmen who have 
leagued with the foreign enemies of their country and accepted 
aicl from theClan-na-Gael for the subversion of the Union. That 
the Irish should thus have been able by acting on the balance 
of parties to put the heads of the Anglo-Saxon common- 
wealths under their feet is surely a tremendous comment on 
the system of universal suffrage with government by faction. 
What has been said will serve to explain two things 
apparently enigmatic. One of these is the stability of the 
Canadian government, which, saving one interruption, has 


remained unchanged for more than twenty years, while in 
Australia the changes of government have been prodigiously 
rapid. There having been really no Dominion parties, none, 
at least, united by any great principle or important issue, the 
Opposition has hitherto had no ground of attack or battle- 
cry, while the Government, resting on its patronage and its 
bribery -fund has been always becoming more strongly en- 
trenched, and has been able to carry the elections, at which 
no great question was presented, by dangling before the- eyes 
of constituencies the Federal purse. Its election fund has also 
been much better supplied than that of the Opposition, which 
has had no corps of protected manufacturers to which to 
appeal, and no senatorships to hold out as prizes to the aspir- 
ing millionaire. The adverse influences which now threaten 
it, Nationalism in Quebec, by which its chief pillar is shaken, 
and the movement in favour of a reform in the tariff, which 
is evidently gaining strength, are of recent growth, and have 
never before had a chance of showing their force in a general 
election. The other phenomenon to be explained is the sin- 
gular division of the power, the Dominion government being 
in the hands of the Conservative party, while the govern- 
ments of the Provinces, saving the two least important of them, 
are in the hands of the Liberals. This has been supposed to 
prove that the people of the Dominion, whatever may be 
their local leanings, are all united in favour of the fiscal 
system or "National policy," as it is called, of Sir John 
Macdonald. What it really proves is that the Dominion 
bribery- fund is used in Dominion, not in Provincial, elections, 
and used with the more effect because a great many of the 
people, especially in the newly annexed Provinces, are com- 
paratively apathetic about the affairs of the Dominion, while 
they feel a lively interest in their own. The truth of this 


solution is clearly shown in the case of Manitoba. To that 
Province, which has no manufactures, the tariff is an unmixed 
evil ; it is an evil of the most oppressive kind, and, could it 
be submitted to the votes of the people, there would be an 
overwhelming majority in favour of its repeal. Yet Manitoba, 
while in her local legislature out of thirty-eight members four 
only are Conservatives, sends to Ottawa a Conservative dele- 
gation which supports the tariff, and not only the tariff but 
railw.ay monopoly, against which the Province is a unit. 
When the election comes round, the government secures the 
seats by petty bribes and by promises. This, new settlements 
being for the most part needy, it is too easy to do, the more 
so as the principal settlers, who would be likely to be inde- 
pendent and patriotic, are too much occupied with their own 
affairs to go to Ottawa, while for a government to find 
" heelers " is never difficult. 

We cannot help once more warning the Australians that 
Federation under the elective system involves not merely the 
union of the several States under a central government with 
powers superior to them all ; but the creation of Federal 
parties with all the faction, demagogism, and corruption which 
party contests involve over a new field and on a vastly ex- 
tended scale. It is surprising how little this obvious and 
momentous consideration appears to be present to the minds 
of statesmen when the question of Federation is discussed. 

It is a strong comment on the Protection system that 
since its inauguration there has not only been no abatement, 
but apparently an increase of the exodus from Canada to the 
United States. It is reckoned that there are now on the 
south of the line a million of emigrants from Canada and half 
a million of their children. A local journal finds that it 
has 300 subscribers in the United States, and believes 


that in fifteen years it must have lost a thousand in that way; 
and from another journal, issued in one of the choicest dis- 
tricts of Ontario, we learn that the population there has been 
almost at a standstill. In one week 300 persons went 
from St. John and 400 from Montreal The Americans may 
say with truth that if they do not annex Canada, they are 
annexing the Canadians. They are annexing the very flower 
of the Canadian population, and in the way most costly to 
the country from which it is drawn, since the men whom that 
country has been at the expense of breeding leave it just as 
they arrive at manhood and begin to produce. The value of 
farm property has declined in Ontario, according to the 
current estimate, 30 per cent, and good authorities hold 
that this estimate is within the mark. It would be 
wrong to ascribe either the exodus or the decline in the 
value of land directly and wholly to the fiscal system. There 
is a natural flow of population to the great centres of employ- 
ment in the United States, and there is no real barrier of a 
national or sentimental kind to check the current, the two 
communities being, in all save political arrangements, one. 
The depression of agriculture and the fall in the value of 
farms are common in a measure to the whole continent, and 
are consequent on the depreciation of farm produce, perhaps 
also, so far as the United States are concerned, on a change 
in the once frugal habits of the farmer. But if Canada had 
fair play, if she were within the commercial pale of the 
Continent, by admission to a free market, combined with 
freedom of importing machinery, her minerals and other 
resources could be turned to the best account, she would have 
more centres of employment in herself, and her farmers would 
have more mouths to feed. There is a shifting of the agri- 
cultural population in the United States as well as in Canada, 


and many farms have been deserted in Massachusetts and 
Vermont. But these people are not lost to their country : 
those who emigrate from Canada to the States are. The 
promise of the Protectionist legislator to the farmer that he 
would give him a rich home market has at all events been 
signally belied. Nor is the wisdom of the policy demonstrated 
by a great decline in the value of that kind of property for 
which a special benefit was designed and the produce of 
which is the staple of the community. If the M'Kinley Act 
remains in force, the consequence will probably be an increase 
of the exodus. Especially, there is likely to be a largely 
increased exodus from Quebec, the agricultural products of 
which are not of a kind suitable for exportation to a distant 
market, so that, the near market being closed, the people will 
have to suffer or to depart. 

Strange to say, the exodus has told in favour of the 
stability of government ; not only because it forms a vent but 
because the emigrants, as a rule, are the most active-minded, 
and there are probably among them at least two Liberals for 
one Conservative. 

Government by subsidies and grants cannot be economic- 
ally carried on. Nor is the Canadian form of government in 
itself simple or inexpensive. Eight Constitutional Monarchies 
with as many Parliaments, four of the Parliaments having 
two Chambers, and the members of all being paid, are a con- 
siderable burden for a population under five millions and by 
no means wealthy. It is commonly said in Canada that we 
are "too much governed." Political architects in framing 
their Constitutions should have some regard for the cost of 
working among people whose wealth is not boundless. The 
work done by the eight Parliaments in the way of real legis- 
lation, apart from mere faction-fighting, would, if summed up, 


cut a poor figure in comparison with the expense. The eight 
Constitutional Monarchies have cost fully four millions of 
dollars since Confederation without doing any work at all. 
Hence, while the American debt, to which everybody pointed 
as a bugbear at the time of Confederation, has, notwith- 
standing the enormous squandering of public money by the 
tariff men, been rapidly decreasing, the Canadian debt has 
been almost as rapidly increasing, and now amounts to two 
hundred and forty millions net, or $50 per head of the whole 
population. The gross debt is two hundred and eighty 
millions, while of the securities some are very doubtful. If 
the demand for subsidies continues, the Canadian question 
may be settled by finance. 

The Dominion has been immensely extended in territory 
since Confederation by the accession of the North- West and 
British Columbia. This extension has necessarily brought 
with it an addition of population and wealth, irrespectively of 
any stimulus given by institutions or political relations, though 
as we have seen, the growth of population in Manitoba and 
the rest of that region has been slow compared with its 
growth in the new States of the Union. But in Old Canada 
the growth of population and wealth is far from having kept 
pace with their growth within the commercial pale of the 
continent. In the six years, 1880-86, the natural growth of 
population in Ontario would have been 250,000, the actual 
growth was only 128,000. There is no estimate of the 
aggregate wealth, nor any means of distinguishing the savings 
of the people from the large amount of capital borrowed from 
England ; but the visitor who crosses from the American to 
the Canadian side of the Line and compares the cities and 
towns on one side with those on the other can feel no doubt 
as to the effect of exclusion from the commercial pale. 


The Canadian people are industrious, energetic, and thrifty; 
their country is rich in resources. The political institutions 
or relations must be bad indeed which could altogether arrest 
their progress. But this does not prove that an ill-cemented 
Confederation is or can be well cemented, that figureheads are 
useful, that a Senate which does nothing is worth the expense, 
that a fiscal policy of the Dark Ages promotes industry and 
commerce, or that it is a good thing to be governed by 

Nor is there any pessimism in saying that the qualities 
and energies which in spite of an evil policy have done what 
we see, would under improved conditions do more. When 
Jingoism conspires with the party of commercial monopoly 
in the United States to bring on a tariff war, Canada is 
exhorted to show her fortitude, and told that if she does she 
will survive. No doubt she will survive ; but like her neigh- 
bour across the Line and England herself she wants not 
only to live but to live well. 



Section I. — Dependence 

No one can now take up a Canadian newspaper or listen to a 
group of Canadians talking about politics without being made 
aware that Canada has the problem of her future before her. 
It is idle to suppose that Canadians will be prevented from 
discussing that problem or from conferring freely with their 
neighbours across the Line on a subject of the highest practical 
interest to both communities. If it is lawful for an ex- 
Governor -General of Canada to write on the Canadian 
question in an American magazine, surely it is lawful for 
Canadians and Americans to interchange their thoughts in 
the way they find convenient. Nor will free discussion do 
any harm. Not a plough will be stopped on the farm, not a 
spindle will cease to turn in the factory, not a politician will 
pause in his hunt for a vote because this debate is going on. 
Statesmanship is not made more practical or in any way 
improved by blindness to the future. The fruits of Canadian 
industry are being lavished by scores of millions on political 
railways and other works, the object of which is to keep 
Canada for ever separate from her neighbour. If perpetual 
separation is impossible, justice to the people requires that 
this waste of their earnings shall cease. 


To answer at once the cries of treason which, as soon as 
the main question is approached, are raised by the official 
world and by the Protected Manufacturers, let us say that no 
Canadian, and so far as we are aware no American, has ever 
proposed that Canada should change her political relations to 
the mother country without the mother country's assent. If 
the Crown and Parliament of Great Britain sanction a change, 
the treason thenceforth will be in resistance. There must 
have been talk of the union between England and Scotland 
before it took place, and there has been talk of a union of 
Portugal with Spain ; but so long as all was open and with- 
out prejudice to national duty on either side there could be 
no treason. 

Let him who deals with the Canadian question first of 
all clear his mind of the confusion between a colony and a 
dependency. The proposal to put the coping-stone on colonial 
independence is branded as anti-colonial. Carthage was a 
colony but not a dependency of Tyre. The communities of 
Greater Greece were colonies, not dependencies of the Greece 
which sent them forth. The States of America are colonies 
of England, though they are dependencies no longer, and had 
they been let go in peace they would still be bound to the 
mother country by the filial tie. None are greater advocates 
of colonisation or cherish the link between the mother country 
and the colony more than those who are most opposed to the 
protraction of dependence. " Mother of free nations " is by 
all deemed the proudest title that England can bear, and a 
dependency is not a nation. The notion, peculiar to the 
moderns, that a colony ought to remain a dependency has its 
root not in any ground of reason or policy, but in the feudal 
doctrine of personal allegiance as an indefeasible bond 
between the liegeman and the lord. The founders of New 


England believed themselves, as their manifesto shows, to be 
indefeasibly liegemen of King James. But this fallacy has 
long been dead, and by the recent naturalisation treaties it has 
been buried. That the colonies in the early stage of their 
existence needed the protection of the mother country against 
the rival powers of Europe was a more substantial but still 
only a temporary reason for the connection. A better way 
was at one time opened. It was agreed by the Treaty of 
Neutrality between Louis XIV and James II (1686) that the 
colonies of England and France in America should remain at 
peace when the nations were at war. The Treaty came to 
nothing, but it pointed true. 

Another fallacy to be shunned, especially when the horo- 
scope of Canada is being cast, is that of treating " the Empire " 
in the lump, assuming a vital connection between all its parts 
and taking it for granted that the destiny of all of them is 
the same. Mr. Freeman may. be rather rigorous on the sub- 
ject of political nomenclature, but he has done a service by 
showing that the term Empire has been greatly misapplied and 
that its misapplication leads to practical delusion. It applies 
only to India, the Crown Colonies, and the military stations, 
which alone are held by a tenure really imperial and governed 
with imperial sway. An Asiatic dominion extending over 
two hundred and fifty millions of Hindoos, a group of West 
Indian islands full of emancipated negro slaves, a Dutch 
settlement at the southern point of Africa, occupied to secure 
the old passage to India, a conquered colony of France in the 
Indian Ocean, a factory like Hong Kong, military or coaling 
stations like Gibraltar, Malta, and Aden — what have these 
in common, or why are they likely to be for all time bound 
up with groups of self-governing British colonies in North 
America or Australia? Why again should Canada and 


Australia be treated as if their cases were identical, so that 
what is done with one must be done with the other, when 
Canada lies along the edge of a vast confederacy of kindred 
states with which are all her natural relations, diplomatic 
and commercial, while Australia lies in an ocean by herself, 
and such external relations as she has are with China ? The 
real tie among the members of the motley group is England's 
command of the sea, which in successive wars has enabled 
her to pick off the transmarine possessions of her enemies. 
But the loud cries of high Imperialists for an increase of 
naval defences show that superior as Great Britain may still 
be in naval force to her rivals no single power any longer 
commands the seas. On the other hand, to fancy that because 
one possession or dependency is resigned all must go is surely 
a mere illusion, produced by the vague use of a common name 
for things which have nothing in common. Is England to 
be bound for ever, without any regard to change of circum- 
stances, on penalty of the loss of her greatness and at the risk 
of all her general interests, to hold every sugar island taken 
in the days of slave -grown sugar, every coign of vantage 
occupied in the struggle against the continental system of 
Napoleon ? When the cession of the Ionian Islands to Greece 
was proposed, the cry was raised that this would be the signal 
for general dissolution. Yet no dissolution ensued, nor was 
there any sign among the nations of diminished respect for 
Great Britain. She found herself all the stronger for being 
rid of a possession which in case of war must either have 
been garrisoned at a ruinous sacrifice or abandoned with 
disgrace, and the shrieks of dissolution were suspended, not 
to be raised again till the announcement of the cession of 
Heligoland. Let the Canadian question then be considered 
by itself and with reference to the circumstances of Canada, 


not y& those of Jamaica, Malta, South Africa, or Hong 

What is gained by the present system of dependence or 
semi-dependence as applied to Canada ? What would be lost 
if it were exchanged for the filial tie ? That is a question 
which, as even Imperial Federationists proclaim, the course 
of events has practically raised. That the connection lays 
on Great Britain heavy responsibilities, both military and 
diplomatic, that it adds not a little to the burdens and perils 
of empire, is plain. Were England to withdraw politically 
from the American continent she would be quit not only of 
the diplomatic entanglements and disputes with the United 
States about boundaries and fisheries, but of the ill-feeling 
which her presence on the continent enables her enemies in 
the United States to keep up against her, and which is adding 
seriously to her embarrassments in dealing with the Irish 
question. Hardly could any fisher of Irish votes succeed in 
inflaming the American people against a nation in another 
hemisphere with which they would no longer be brought into 
contact. What are the compensating advantages ? The ex- 
clusive command of colonial markets which formed at least a 
substantial ground for the old colonial system, England has 
no more. No longer can she in the interest of her manu- 
factures forbid a colony to make a horseshoe or a nail. 
Instead of that the Dominion of Canada lays protective duties 
on her goods. The chief of that which calls itself the loyal 
party in Canada has asserted Canada's right to do this, 
whether Englishman, Scotchman, or Irishman likes it or not, 
in ringing and almost defiant tones. It is still held that the 
colony cannot in her tariff discriminate against the mother 
country's goods ; this little more than sentimental privilege 
is all in the way of commercial advantage that England has 



now. It is said that trade follows the flag. It follows the 
flag at first to a new colony which has no manufactures of 
its own. But apart from this and from national tariffs com- 
merce is no discerner of nationalities.* If the trade of Canada 
with Great Britain has hitherto exceeded (though it no longer 
exceeds) her trade with the United States, it is not because 
the British market is maternal, but because it is free. Find 
the merchant who in making a purchase, even of the bunting 
for the flag itself, has asked on patriotic grounds where the 
goods were made, and you will have some ground for saying 
that trade follows the flag. Did not the trade of England 
with her American Colonies, instead of diminishing, increase 
from the time when the Union Jack was exchanged for the 
Stars and Stripes, evil as the day of separation had been? 
To take the book trade as an example. At the very time 
when, in consequence of the Trent affair, Canadian feeling 
was excited against the Americans, the vast bulk of that 
trade-prices then ruling low and copyrights of great popular 
works not having expired — was going to the United States. 
Patriotic or philanthropic movements in favour of particular 
markets have beenoftenset on foot,and to what have they come? 
As to Emigration, there went in the year 1888 of British 
emigrants to Canada 49,168, to the United States 293,099 ; 
while of those who went to Canada half at least passed on to 
the United States. What the emigrant wants is bread. That 
an Englishman in quest of employment will meet with a 
warmer welcome in Canada than in the United States is, as 
has already been said, a natural impression, but not the fact. 
There is nothing to make an emigrant prefer the British 
dependency to the Anglo-Saxon Colonies as his new home 
except the anti-British tone of American politics and of the 
American press ; and on this probably few intending emi- 


grants bestow a thought. It suffices them to know that they 
are going where their friends have gone before them, and 
where they will be better off than they are at home. Besides, 
as we have seen, the emigration question has now entered on 
a new phase, and the people of whom the mother country 
wishes to be rid the colony is no longer inclined, or not so 
well inclined as it used to be, to receive. It looks as though 
England might have for the future to close her own ports 
against the influx of Polish Jews or foreigners of any race, 
and in this or other ways to set bounds to the growth of her own 
population and find means of feeding her offspring at home. 

Of dominion over the Colony barely a rag remains to the 
mother country, and even that remnant is grudged, and is 
being constantly nibbled away. The appellate jurisdiction 
of the Privy Council has been narrowed by the interposition 
of the Canadian Supreme Court ; there is a smouldering 
agitation for the transfer of the military command from a 
British to a Canadian officer, and with regard to commercial 
matters there is a gradual assertion of diplomatic independ- 
ence. This we have seen. The appointment of a Governor- 
General is about all that remains ; and it perhaps may not 
be long before the Colonies generally improve upon the ex- 
ample of Queensland, which asserted a veto, and, under some 
constitutional form of recommending a name to Her Majesty, 
take the appointment to themselves. 

That England can derive no military strength from al . : a *r 
dependency 3000 miles away, without any army or navy 
of its own, and with an open frontier of 4000 miles, 
will surely be admitted by all, and is in effect proclaimed /l " !ir f /*</&-% 
by Imperialists when they strive to goad CanaLns into 
setting up a standing army. She cannot even derive that false 
show of strength solemnly styled " prestige " : the weakness 





* l \ 



is too patent and too confessed to deceive even an opponent 
capable of taking pasteboard for a stone wall Enlist soldiers 
in Canada England may, if she chooses to pay much higher 
wages than she pays her soldiers now, and perhaps bounties 
into the bargain ; so, as the enlistments during the Civil War 
showed, can the American Government. The soldiers would 
no doubt be good, though British officers might have some 
trouble with democratic recruits not brought up like the 
British peasant to obey a gentleman. But Canada will never 
contribute to Imperial armaments at her own expense. Even 
Australia, which is more British than Canada, and has no New 
France in the heart of it, seems not likely to send another 
regiment at her own expense to an Imperial war; and when 
it was faintly proposed in Canada to emulate Australia in 
devotion there was a chorus of dissent, Conservative organs 
showing special anxiety to relieve their Government of the 
suspicion. The Conservative leader in Canada has intimated 
that the Colony will help the mother country only in case 
of defensive war ; and he evidently did not regard as defensive 
the war in Afghanistan or that in Egypt. The mercantile 
marine of Canada claims the fourth place among those of the 
world. It is often spoken of as a nursery for the British 
navy. The mercantile marine of Great Britain can of course 
draw from it freely in case of need, as does the mercantile 
marine of the United States — for of those American fishermen 
about whose rights diplomatists contend the majority are 
said to be Canadians. But the new warships require seamen 
specially trained for the service. Besides, while people are 
dilating upon the military and naval resources of Canada as 
aids in time of need to the mother country, French Canada is 
left out of sight. Let the War Office ask the Canadian High 
Commissioner whether he thinks that Quebec would, under 

Mi ii 1,1 ^fjUP^P" — wuii »^ JBBPWPi 


any conceivable circumstance, send contingents or subsidies 
to British armaments, or allow the Dominion, which is con- 
trolled by the French vote, to send them. The most likely 
antagonist of England is France, and in a war between France 
and England the hearts of the French Canadians, if not their 
arms, would be on the wrong side. There was no difficulty 
in raising Papal Zouaves. 

"There are," says Sir George Cornewall Lewis, 1 "supposed 
advantages flowing from the possession of dependencies which 
are expressed in terms so general and vague that they cannot 
be referred to any determinate head. Such, for example, is 
the glory which a country is supposed to derive from an 
extensive Colonial Empire. We will merely remark upon 
this imagined advantage that a nation derives no true glory 
from any possession which produces no assignable advantage 
to itself or to other communities. If a country'possesses a 
dependency from which it derives no public revenue, no mili- 
tary or naval strength, and no commercial advantages or facili- 
ties for emigration which it would not equally enjoy though * , 
the dependency were independent . .^Such a possession^ ^ , t 
^eaSnbTjustly be called glorious." These are the words of & *. /y r ", /' 
Minister of the Crown and a colleague of Lord Palmerston. , ,/ /. , 

Great Britain may need a coaling station on the Atlantic /• r 
Coast of North America, not for the purposes of blockade, ^ / ^ € ^ jgUu ^ '■ 
which could no longer have place when all danger of war was ^ * 
at an end, but for the general defence of her trade. Safe ^ ^ ~^ 
coaling stations and harbours of refuge, rather than territorial L( K ^i} 4 / ^ 
dependencies, are apparently what the great exporting country ^^^^J 
and the mistress of the carrying trade now wants. New- ,y^ lK £, r[ 
foundland would be a safe and uninvidious possession, and it -t*^*/,-^ f 
has coal, though bituminous and not yet worked. The Ameri- <* *-i V- '<•'.• 

1 Essay on the Government of Dependencies, p. 239. />vrv < <<-# w 




cans do^not covet islands, for the defence of which they would 

have to keep up a navy. The island itself would be the 

gainer ; there would be some chance of the development of 

its resources ; with nothing but the fishery the condition of 

p.*-, l r( (i ^ ite people seems to be poor. Let England th en keep New - 

/^►^v^^iv^Jfoundknd. Cape Breton is rather too close to the coast, 

t j T> *(>* otherwise it has coal in itself, and Louisbourg might be restored. 

,/'«<•<*&-** The strength of England is and always has been in 

t \.<m* ,v herself, not in her dependencies. Alone she fought and van- 

* ""^frw,' quished Louis XIV and Napoleon, as well as Philip II. 

i/ <&***»*' Some sepoys sent to Egypt in the war with France, some 

^ sepoys brought to the Mediterranean fourteen years ago as a 

demonstration against Eussia, the regiment raised by Australia 

for the campaign in the Soudan — these are about the total 

amount of military contribution ever drawn by the Imperial 

country from what is called the Empire. Black regiments were 

raised in the West Indies, and the 100th Begiment was 

originally raised in Canada, but at Imperial expense. On the 

other hand, one dependency at least has drawn heavily on 

Imperial resources in an hour of extreme peril. When 

Wellington faced Napoleon at Waterloo he must, as he looked 

on the raw levies or foreign auxiliaries around him, have 

thought with bitterness of his victorious veterans who were 

on the wrong side of the Atlantic, engaged in what, as the 

conquest of Canada was the American aim, was really a 

Colonial war. Had Canada then been in the American 

Union her friendly vote might have turned the scale of its 

councils generally in favour of England. The British in 

the United States have hitherto to a great extent declined 

naturalisation, repelled perhaps by the political feeling against 

their native country. But they have now been persuaded to 

take the wiser course, and are being naturalised in great 

Tr - - - ^ - 


numbers. As soon as their vote makes itself felt, the influence 
of the Irish vote and of the enemies of England on politics 
will decrease. The Nova-Scotian vote is said to have told 
the other day in Massachusetts. No other kind of aid will 
it be in Canada's power to lend. If this assertion is ques- 
tioned, let the Canadian Government be called upon, while 
yet it is time, to say plainly what assistance, military or naval, 
it is able to afford, and in what contingency the assistance 
will be afforded. 

Sir Henry Taylor cannot be said to have forfeited hia^ 
character as a patriotic Englishman when he wrote, as Under- 
Secretary for the Colonies, to Lord Grey: "I cannot but 
regard the North-American Provinces as a most dangerous 
possession for this country, whether as likely to breed a war 
with the United States or to make a war otherwise generated 
more grievous and disastrous. I do not suppose the Provinces 
to be useless to us at present, but I regard any present uses 
not obtainable from them as independent nations as no more 
than the dust in the balance compared with the evil con- 
tingencies." It may be said that this was written in 1852, 
and that since that time we have had new lights. Some 
persons may have had new lights ; but those who have not are 
no more unpatriotic in saying that the possession and that its 
uses are as dust in the balance compared with its evil contin- 
gencies than was Sir Henry Taylor. 

Now on the side of the Colony. The disadvantages of 
dependence stare us in the face. If to be a nation is strength, 
energy, and grandeur, to be less than a nation is to have less 
than a full measure of all these. Nor can any one who has 
lived in a dependency fail to see that the high spirit of inde- 
pendence is not there. Its absence is marked by restless and 
uneasy self-assertion, by a misgiving which sometimes lurks 


under an outward boastfulness, by a constant craving for the 
notice of the Imperial country, coupled with a jealousy of her 
superiority and of the supposed pretensions of those who 
belong to her. To live not to yourself but to another man, 
said the philosopher of old, is moral slavery, and a dependency 
live, * L fa£rid «** not * hei V. m pnd' 
of country cannot have place, nor can the full attachment to 
country. The social centre of the rich and eminent is in the 
Imperial capital, and in their social centre are their aspira- 
tions and their hearts. There is not found in Canada the 
same public munificence which there is in the United States ; 
nor are there found, as in the United States, great citizens 
who, without going into public life, without coveting its 
prizes, recoiling perhaps from it altogether, as it is under the 
party system — still take an active interest in all questions 
which deeply concern the welfare of the community, head 
movements of reform, political as well as social, throw them- 
selves even into the political conflict when the salvation of 
the State hangs in the balance, and in a measure neutralise 
the evil influence of faction and its retainers. The depend- 
ency shares, it may be replied, the greatness of the Imperial 
nation. It does ; but only as a dependent ; it bears the 
train, not wears the royal robe. 

Military and naval protection Canada may be said to 
receive ; but it is protection of a very precarious kind. It is 
not pretended that the arm of England would save Canada 
from invasion : the most that is alleged is, that when Canada 
had suffered all the evils of invasion she would be redeemed 
by the pressure which the English navy would put upon the 
seaboard cities of the enemy. What amount of naval force 
Great Britain would be able to spare for the defence of 
colonial trade in case of a war between her and any other 


maritime power is a question which must be answered by the 
Admiralty, whose utterances on the subject hitherto have not 
been comforting. But it could hardly be such as to prevent 
a rise in the rate of insurance such as, the market of the 
United States being half closed by the tariff, would ruinously 
reduce Canadian trade. The saving to Canada of military and 
naval expense is one of the great inducements always held 
out to her for adhering to the connection. The other is the 
saving of diplomatic expense, which, however, will not be com- 
plete if the proposal to have residents at seats of commerce, 
in addition to the High Commissioner at London, is carried 
out. Diplomatic expense is not found intolerable by Switzer- 
land, Denmark, Belgium, or Sweden, although they are mixed 
up with European diplomacy, of which Canada would be clear. 

In the balance against this claim to protection and this 
saving of expense must be laid the heavy weight of a constant 
liability to entanglements in the quarrels of England all over 

the world, with which Canada has nothing to do, and about ^ 

which nothing is known by her people. Her commerce may I J \ *K* ><!■<* / c 
any day be cut up, and want brought into her homes by a \ k> l l, »y* ** 
war about the frontier of Afghanistan, about the treatment of k^ w/Su& 
Armenia or Crete by the Turks, about the relations of the n^ /*',' /// 
Danubian principalities to Russia, or about the balance of / , , • /.; 
power in Europe. No one in Canada who forms his estimate V/ <- ' a 
of public sentiment through his senses and not through his '''/£. 
fancy can doubt what the result would be. 

That in all diplomatic questions with the United States 
the interest of Canada has been sacrificed to the Imperial 
exigency of keeping the peace with the Americans is the 
constant theme of Canadian complaint K I do not think " — 
these are the words of a Canadian knight — "that we are 
under any deep debt of gratitude to English statesmen, that 


we owe them much, unless, perchance, it may be the duty as 
Christian men to forgive them for the atrocious blunders 
which have marked every treaty, transaction, or negotiation 
which they have ever had with the United States where the 
interests of Canada were concerned, from the days of 
Benjamin Franklin to this hour, not excepting their first or 
second treaty of Washington." By the Treaty of 1783, 
confirming the independence of the United States, England 
not only resigned the territory claimed by each State of the 
Union severally, but abandoned to the general government 
immense territories "unsettled, unexplored, and unknown." 
That this was done partly through ignorance appears from 
the fact that in the Treaty the north-western angle of 
demarcation was fixed at the north-west corner of the Lake 
of the Woods, from which point of departure it was to run 
due west to the sources of the Mississippi; whereas the 
sources of the Mississippi were afterwards found many 
hundred miles to the south, so that the line prescribed was 
impracticable. 1 This is the beginning of a long and uniform 
story, in the course of which not only great tracts of territory 
but geographical unity has been lost To understand how 
deeply this iron has entered into the Canadian soul the 
Englishman must turn to his map and mark how much of 
geographical compactness, of military security, and of com- 
mercial convenience was lost when Great Britain gave up 
Maine. The British statesman would with truth reply that 
he had done all that diplomacy could do, that he had gone to 
the very verge of war with the United States, and that with a 
world-wide empire and world-wide enmities on his hands he 
could not afford to go beyond. The Canadian, if he were 

1 See article " How Treaty-making unmade Canada," by the late Lieut- 
Colonel Coffin, Ottawa, in the Canadian Monthly, May, 1876. 


reasonable, would acquiesce, but he would feel that the 
sincerest wish to protect without the power was not protec- 
t\on^/L large portion of Minnesota, Dakota, Montana, andl G^L*^ 
Washington, Canada also thinks she has wrongfully lostj^^t^^ ^W 
These are causes of discontent ; discontent may one day J^/ ^p? 
breed disaffection; disaffection may lead to another calamit- JLff y <KjL ^ Aji ' a * 
ous rupture ; and instead of going forth into the world when 
the hour of maturity has arrived with the parent's blessing, 

the child may turn in anger from the paternal door. T 

About the advantages of political tutelage hardly a word 
need be said. Practically the idea has been abandoned. 
How could a democracy in Europe regulate, to any good 
purpose, the progress of a democracy in America about the 
concerns of which it knows almost nothing, and which is 
superior to itself in average education and intelligence? 
British democracy has enough to do in regulating itself. In 
former days, when the British Government consisted of the 
chief men of the nation exercising real power the illusion of 
tutelage was possible ; but who can believe that a colony is 
the better for being guided by the delegates of an English 
caucus? Even the best informed in England are still too 
uninstructed about Canada to interfere usefully in her affairs? 
If the days are gone by when the Admiralty could send out 
sentry-boxes for the troops, water- casks for a flotilla on 
Canadian lakes, and spars for the use of vessels in a land of 
pine, the writer has seen posted in England a proclamation 
of the Privy Council in which Ontario was called "that 
town," and he has heard a well-educated Englishman con- 
gratulate a Canadian on the removal by the settlement of the 
Alabama question of all causes of enmity between Canada 
and Great Britain. The House of Commons notoriously 
cannot be got to attend to colonial questions. In the debate 


on the Quebec Act it was near being counted out, and in the 
division which was to decide the constitution and laws of the 
dependency only seventy -two members took part. An Act 
relating to the South- African Confederation was passed in an 
all-night sitting held to beat obstruction. Nobody blames 
people for knowing or caring little about matters with which 
they have nothing to do. Canadians care and know little 
about Australia or the Cape of Good Hope. But to talk of 
tutelage is absurd. If British monarchists have continued to 
cherish the hope of establishing through the agency of 
Canada hereditary monarchy and aristocracy on this Con- 
tinent, and thus wresting from democracy a part of its 
dominion, let that hope be for ever laid aside. The structure 
and spirit of Canadian as well as American society, it must 
be repeated, are thoroughly democratic. The homage paid to 
titled visitors from the old country and the social worship of 
the Governor-General are indications merely of personal habit, 
not of any political return to the past. Americans and 
Canadians are in this respect the same. In the hereditary 
principle there is not on the American Continent a spark of 
life. The abdication of the Brazilian dynasty was the knell. 
That democracy on the American continent and elsewhere 
may some day pass through faction into anarchy, and that out 
of the anarchy a strong government may arise, is among those 
possibilities in the womb of the future which no external 
power can help to the birth ; but on the soil of the New World 
hereditary monarchy and aristocracy can never grow. 

Canada has received, it is true, large advances of British 
capital. Her debt to England has been reckoned at 
$650,000,000, though of the portion invested in the construc- 
tion of Canadian railways most may be practically written off. 
How far facility of borrowing is really a blessing to any 


country is a question which need not be discussed. English 
capital is now pouring into the United States ; it has 
poured into the Argentine Eepublic, Spain, Russia, Egypt, 
Turkey, Mexico, and every country in which it appeared that 
profitable investments could be found. Investment is as 
cosmopolitan as trade. Let Canada keep up her credit and 
the British investor will not curiously inquire whether the 
Governor-General is sent out from England or elected by the 
Canadians themselves. 

Sentiment then, apparently, is the sole life of the present 
connection. Of sentiment no one wishes to speak irreverently. 
But to be sound, it must after all have its root in some kind 
of utility, and when the root is dead the days of the flower ( n^. ^ 
are numbered. /Besides it is but the exchange of one senti- Sj *' ; ci J 
ment for another which is more certain to endure. Why \&4>*CC * < 
the filial sentiment of less value than the sentiment of de- ' ' '' \ a '\ ' ' 
pendence? >lt is surely rather the nobler of the two. The ^°.,, : ' {& 
Greek colony which kept the fire taken from the mother ^ *\ K 7 
country's altar always burning on its sacred hearth and ' "*r**** 

assigned to the representatives of the mother country places 
of honour, effectively preserved, in its classic fashion, the 
bond of the heart ; and why should not the same thing be 
done in forms suited to our time by a Colony at the present 
day? Protracted dependence may imperil the filial tie if 
resentment is caused on either side by the failure to render 
services which can no longer be rendered, and perform duties 
which can no longer be performed. 

Section II. — Independence 

Confederation was followed by a movement in the direction 
of Independence, chiefly among the young men of Ontario, 


which was called " Canada First." The name was the title 
of a pamphlet written in 1871 by Mr. W. A. Foster, a barrister 
of Toronto, which fired a number of young hearts. To in- 
dependence the movement manifestly tended, if this was not 
its avowed or definite aim. The authors of Confederation, to 
induce the people to accept their policy, had set before them 
glowing pictures of the resources of the country, and made 
strong appeals to patriotic pride, hope, and self-reliance. 
These produced their natural effect on ardent and sanguine 
souls. It happened that just at the same time the gener- 
ation of immigrants from England which had occupied 
many of the leading places in the professions and commerce 
was passing off the scene and leaving the field clear for native 
ambition, while the withdrawal of the troops also brought 
socially to the front the young natives who had before been 
somewhat eclipsed in the eyes of ladies by the scarlet. 
" Canada First" was rather a circle than a party : it eschewed 
the name of party, and the Country above Party was its cry. 
Some of the group were merely nativists who desired that all 
power and all places should be filled by born Canadians, 
that the policy of Canada should be shaped by her own 
interest, and that she should be first in all Canadian hearts. 
With some a " national policy " for the protection of Canadian 
manufactures was probably a principal object. But that to 
which the leading spirits more or less consciously, more or 
less avowedly, looked forward was Independence. That they 
aimed at raising Canada above the condition of a mere 
dependency and investing her with the dignity of a nation 
they loudly proclaimed, and they would have found that this 
could not be done without putting off dependence. " Canada 
First " was violently denounced and assailed by the politicians 
of the two old parties, who betrayed in their treatment of the 


generous aspirations to which they had themselves appealed 
the real source of their policy and the spirit in which they 
had acted as the authors of Confederation. The Court of 
Ottawa also exerted its influence, including its influence 
over the masters of the Press, in the same direction. The 
movement found a leader, or thought that it had found a 
leader, in a native Canadian politician, who was the child of 
promise and the morning star at that time. But at the 
decisive moment party ties prevailed, the leader was lost, and 
the movement collapsed, not however without leaving strong 
traces of its existence, which are beginning to show themselves 
among the younger men at the present day. 

In one respect, at all events, the men of " Canada First " 
were right. They saw or at least felt — even the least bold 
and the least clear-sighted of them felt — that a community 
in the New "World must live its own life, face its own 
responsibilities, grow and mould itself in its own way ; that 
Anglo-Saxon nations in North America could no more be tied 
for ever to the apron-strings of the mother country than 
England could have been tied for ever to the apron-strings of 
Friesland, or France to those of the mother country of the 

There was nothing on the face of it impracticable in the 
aim of "Canada First." There is nothing in nature or in 
political circumstances to forbid the existence on this 
Continent of a nation independent of the United States. 
American aggression need not be feared. The violence and 
unscrupulousness bred of slavery having passed away, the 
Americans are a moral people. It would not be possible for 
Clay or any other demagogue now to excite them to an un- 
provoked attack upon another free nation or even to a manifest 
encroachment on its rights. If they had been filibusters they 


would have shown it when they had an immense army on 
foot, with a powerful navy, and when they were flushed with 
victory. The New England States, and the non-slavery 
element of the nation generally, were opposed to the War of 
1812. An independent Canada, however inferior to them in 
force, might rest in perfect safety by their side. But when 
" Canada First " was born the North- West had only just been 
acquired. British Columbia was as yet hardly incorporated, 
and the absolute want of geographical compactness or even 
continuity was not so apparent as it is now. Enthusiasm 
was blind to the difficulty presented to the devotees of 
Canadian nationality by the separate nationality of Quebec, 
or if it was not blind, succeeded in cajoling itself by poetic 
talk about the value of French gifts and graces as ingredients 
for combination, without asking whether fusion was not 
the thing which the French most abhorred. There is no 
reason why Ontario should not be a nation if she were 
minded to be one. Her territory is compact. Her population 
is already as large as that of Denmark, and likely to be a 
good deal larger, probably as large as that of Switzerland ; 
and it is sufficiently homogeneous if she can only repress 
French encroachment on her eastern border. She ^rould have 
no access to the sea : no more has Switzerland, Hungary, or 
Servia. Already a great part of her trade goes through the 
United States in bond. 

The same thing might have been said with regard to the 
Maritime Provinces — supposing them to have formed a 
legislative union — Quebec, British Columbia, or the North- 
West In the North- West, rating its cultivable area at the 
lowest, there would be room for no mean nation. But the 
thread of each Province's destiny has now become so inter- 
twined with the rest that the skein can hardly be disentangled. 


That the North-West, if it is not released from the strangling 
tariff, may take a course of its own is not unlikely ; but it is 
unlikely that the course will be Independence. 

Section III. — Imperial Federation 

It was probably the sight of the tie visibly weakening 
and of the approach of Colonial independence that gave 
birth, by a recoil, to Imperial Federation. But the move- 
ment has been strangely reinforced froxn another source. 
Home rulers, who, under that specious name would surrender 
Ireland to Mr. Parnell, think to salve their own patriotism 
and reconcile the nation to their policy by saying that in 
breaking up the United Kingdom they are only providing 
raw materials for a far ampler and grander union. In the 
case of the late Mr. Forster, the only statesman who has 
seriously embraced the project, something might be due to 
the Nemesis of imagination in the breast of a Quaker. 

The Imperial Federationists refuse to tell us their plan. 
They bid our bosoms dilate with trustful enthusiasm for 
arrangements which are yet to be revealed. They say it is 
not yet time for the disclosure. Nor yet time when the last 
strand of political connection is worn almost to the last 
thread, and when every day the sentiment opposed to 
centralisation is implanting itself more deeply in Colonial 
hearts! While we are bidden to wait patiently for the 
tide, the tide is running strongly the other way. Now New- 
foundland claims the right of making her own commercial 
agreements with the United States independently of other 
Colonies. Disintegration, surely, is on the point of being 

At least we may be told of whom the Confederation is 



to consist. Are the negroes of the West Indies to be 
included? Is Quashee to vote on Imperial policy? But 
above all, what is to be done with India? Is it, as 
a Canadian Federationist of thorough - going democratic 
tendencies demanded the other day, to be taken into 
Federation and enfranchised? If it is, the Hindoo will 
outvote us by five to one, and what he will do with us only 
those who have fathomed the Oriental mystery can pretend 
to say. Is it to remain a dependency ? Then to whom is it 
to belong? To a Federation of democratic communities 
scattered over the globe, some of which, like Canada, have 
no interest in it whatever? Its fate as an Empire would 
then be sealed, if it is not sealed already by the progress of 
democracy in Great Britain. Or is it to belong to England 
alone ? In that case one member of the Confederacy will have 
an Empire apart five times as large as the rest of the Confeder- 
ation, requiring separate armaments and. a diplomacy of its 
own. How would the American Confederation work if one 
State held South America as an Empire ? Some have suggested 
that Hindostan should be represented by the British residents 
in India alone. If it were, woe to the Hindoos. 

Again, the object of the Association must surely be known. 
Every Association of a practical kind must have a definite 
object to hold it together. The objects which naturally 
suggest themselves are common armaments and a common 
tariff. But Canada, as we have seen, refuses to contribute to 
common armaments, and Australia, though she sent a regiment 
to the Soudan, now apparently repents of having done it. 
Great Britain is a war power; the Colonists, like the 
Americans, are essentially unmilitary, and here would be the 
beginning of troubles. As to the tariff, the Canadian 
Protectionists, who make use of Imperial Federation as a 



stalking-horse in their struggle against free trade with the 
United States, are always careful to say that they do not 
mean to resign their right of laying protective duties on 
British goods. Victoria also seems wedded to her Protective 
system. What remains but improvement of postal com- 
munication and a Colonial Exhibition, neither of which 
surely calls for a political combination unprecedented in 

Unprecedented in history the combination would be. 
The Eoman Empire, the thought of which, and of its Cvm 
Romanics sum, is always hovering before our minds, was vast, 
but it was all in a ring-fence. Moreover, it had its world to 
itself, no rival powers being interposed between Eome and 
her Provinces. It was an Empire in the proper sense of 
the term. Its members were all alike in strict subordination 
to its head. The head determined the policy without ques- 
tion, and danger to unity from divided counsels there was 
none. We confuse our minds, as was said before, by an 
improper use of the term Empire, The name applies to 
India, but to nothing else connected with Great Britain 
unless it be the fortresses and Crown Colonies. Our self- 
governed Colonies are not members of an Empire, but free 
communities virtually independent of the mother country, 
which for the purpose of Confederation would be called upon 
to resign a portion of their independence. Of the Spanish 
Empire it is needless to speak. Its name is an omen of 
disaster and a warning against the blind ambition which 
mistakes combination for union and colossal weakness for 
power. After all, the Eoman Empire itself fell, and partly 
because the life was drawn from the members to the head. 

The Achaean League, the Swiss Bund, the Union of the 
Netherlands, the American Union, all were perfectly natural 


combinations, not only suggested but commanded by a 
common periL In three out of the four cases the communities 
which entered into the compact were kindred in all respects ; 
in the case of the Swiss Bund they were equal. In the case 
of the Confederation now proposed, they would be neither 
kindred nor equal ; and fasten the people of the British Islands, 
those of the self-governed Colonies, the Hindoo, the African, 
and the Kaffir together with what legislative clamps you 
will, you cannot produce the unity of political character and 
sentiment which is essential to community of councils, much 
more to national union. 

Steam and telegraph, we are told, have annihilated 
distance. They have not annihilated the parish steeple. 
They have not carried the thoughts of the ordinary citizen 
beyond the circle of his own life and work. They have not 
qualified a common farmer, tradesman, ploughman, or artisan 
to direct the politics of a world-wide State. How much does 
an ordinary Canadian know or care about Australia, an 
ordinary Australian about Canada, or an ordinary Englishman, 
Scotchman, or Irishman about either? The feeling of all 
the Colonists towards the mother country, when you appeal 
to it, is thoroughly kind, as is that of the mother country 
towards the Colonies. But Canadian notions of British 
politics are hazy, and still more hazy are British notions of 
the politics of Canada. When John Sandfield Macdonald, 
the Prime Minister of Ontario, died, his death was chronicled 
by British journals as that of Sir John A. Macdonald, the 
Prime Minister of the Dominion. 

About India Englishmen know more, because their 
interest in it is so great ; but Canadians know nothing. The 
framers of these vast political schemes, having their own 
eyes fixed on the political firmament, forget that the eyes of 


men in general are fixed on the path they tread. The suffrage 
of the Federation ought to be limited to far-reaching and 
imaginative minds. 

A grand idea may be at the same time practical. The 
idea of a United Continent of North America, securing free 
trade and intercourse over a vast area, with external safety 
and internal peace, is no less practical than it is grand. The 
benefits of such a union would be always present to the mind 
of the least instructed citizen. The sentiment connected with 
it would be a foundation on which the political architect 
could build. Imperial Federation, to the mass of the people 
comprised in it, would be a mere name conveying with it no 
definite sense of benefit, on which anything could be built. 

To prefes this receding vision a little closer, what would 
be the relation of the Federal Government to the British 
monarchy? Would the same Queen be sovereign of 
both? Would she have two sets of advisers? Suppose 
they should advise her different ways ! Would she appoint, 
as she does now, the heads of all the other members of the 
Federation? It would hardly do to let the President of the 
United States appoint all the State Governors. How would 
the Supreme Court be constituted? Such an authority 
would certainly be needed to interpret the Constitution, and 
the British monarchy would have to be a suitor before it. 
How would the decrees of the Federationists be enforced, 
say, in case of refusal to send the war contingent ? How, 
again, would the representation in the Federal Parliament be 
apportioned? If by population, the representation of the 
British Islands would so outnumber the rest that the rest 
would deem their representation practically a nullity, and 
jealousy and cabals would at once arise. The very number, 
too, would be a difficulty. If Great Britain had members in 


proportion to St. Helena and Fiji, the Parliament would have 
to meet on Salisbury Plain. These are not questions of 
detail, nor do they attach only to a particular scheme : they 
are fundamental, and attach to every scheme that can be 

The ^Parliament of Great Britain must cease to be a Sove- 
reign Power. The Imperial Congress itself would not be a 
Sovereign Power. like the Congress of the United States, it 
would be subject to the Federal Constitution, and would have 
so much authority only as that Constitution assigned it. 
The Sovereign Power would be in the people of the Empire 
at large, and a curious Sovereign they would be. 

The same person could not be the head at once of a 
Federation and of one of the communities included in it any 
more than the same person could be President of the United 
States and Governor of the State of New York. Her Majesty 
would have to choose between the British and the Pan- 
Britannic Crown. 

Canada is a Confederation in herself. Movements are on 
foot for a Confederation of the Australian Colonies and of those 
of South Africa. A Confederation of the West India Islands 
has also been proposed. We should thus have a striking 
novelty in political architecture in the shape of a Confedera- 
tion of Confederations* But it seems certain that New Zea- 
land would not, and that some isolated Colonies could not, 
join any Federation, in which case the members of the Central 
Parliament would represent partly Federations, partly single 
communities. Strange apparently would be the complication 
of fealties, obligations, and sentiments which would hence 

This Union, so complex in its machinery, with its members 
scattered over the world, and distracted by interests as wide 


apart as the shores of its members, Home Eulers think they 
could maintain, while they bid us despair of maintaining the 
Parliamentary Union of Ireland with Great Britain. 

Even to assemble the Centralised Convention would be 
no easy task. The governments, British and Colonial, are 
all party governments and all liable to constant change. The 
delegate trusted by one party would not have the confidence 
of the other, and before the Convention would proceed to 
business somebody's credentials would be withdrawn, "We 
have seen in the case of Canadian Confederation how Nova 
Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island flew off 
from the agreement at which their delegates had arrived. In 
truth there would probably be a general falling away as soon 
as payment for Imperial armaments came into view. 

The Federation would be nothing if not diplomatic. 
But whose diplomacy is to prevail? That of Great 
Britain, an European Power and at the same time 
Mistress of India? That of Australia, with her Eastern 
relations and her Chinese question? Or that of Canada, 
bound up with the American Continent, indifferent to every- 
thing in Europe or Asia, and concerned only with her relation 
to the United States ? If we may believe Sir Charles Dilke, 
Australia avows her intention of breaking away from England 
sjhould British policy ever take a line adverse to her special 
interests in the East. 

Achaia, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the United States, 
all federated under the pressure of necessity,,which, stern and 
manifest as it was, had yet scarcely the power to overcome 
the centralised forces. To do the work of that necessity 
there ought at least to be an equally strong desire. . But 
what proof have we of the existence of such a desire ? 
Australia, far from being eager, seems to be adverse ; in some 


of her cities the missionary of Imperial Federation can scarcely 
find an audience. From South Africa comes no audible 
response. In British Canada the movement has no apparent 
strength except what it derives from an alliance with 
Protectionism, which, as has already been said, repudiates a 
commercial union of the Empire and insists on maintaining 
its separate tariff. To the French nationalists of Quebec any- 
thing that would bind their country closer to Great Britain is 
odious, and they were disposed to receive the present 
Governor-General coldly because they suspected him of 
favouring such a policy. In Great Britain itself the move- \ 
ment shows no sign of strength. For several years, under 
Lord Beaconsfield, Imperialism had everything its own way, 
yet not a step was taken towards Federation. That was the 
grand opportunity ; but Federationists failed to grasp it by the 
forelock. Not a step has been taken to this hour beyond 
holding a meeting of Colonists, absolutely without authority, 
which dined, wined, and talked about postal communications, 
all power of dealing with the great question having been 
expressly withheld. Lord Beaconsfield's successor in the 
Tory leadership has plainly declined to commit himself to the 
project. We seem to be a long way from a spontaneous and 
overwhelming vote, nothing short of which would suffice. 
The approach to centralisation at once sets all the centrifugal 
forces in action ; it did this even in the case of American 
federation, so that the project narrowly escaped wreck ; and 
miscarriage would beget, instead of closer union, discord, 
estrangement, and perhaps rupture. Let us bear the warning 
example of the rupture with the American Colonies in 

What is the real motive for encountering all the difficulties 
and perils of this more than gigantic undertaking, for running 



laboriously counter to the recent course of Colonial history, as 
well as to the natural tendencies of our race, and for taking 
the political heart and brain, as it were, out of each of those 
free communities and transferring them to London ? "We are 
told that the Federal Empire would impose peace upon the 
world. This assumes that dispersion is strength, and that 
Great Britain would be made more formidable in war by 
being bound up with unmilitary communities. But suppose it 
true, surely the appearance of a world-wide power, grasping 
all the waterways and all the points of maritime vantage, 
instead of propagating peace, would, like an alarm gun, call 
the nations to battle ! The way to make peace on earth is to 
promote the coming not of an exclusive military league but 
of the Parliament of Man, the moral Parliament of Man at 
least, by enlarging the action of international law and 
repressing the ambitious passions to which, however philan- 
thropic may be our professions, Imperialism really appeals. 
If no distinct object can be assigned, if no definite plan can 
be produced, if the projectors are conscious that there is no 
practical step on which they can venture, surely the project 
ought to be frankly laid aside and n6 longer allowed to 
darken counsel, hide from us the real facts of the situation, 
and prevent the Colonies from advancing on the true 

There is a Federation which is feasible, and, to those who 
do not measure grandeur by physical force or extension, at 
least as grand as that of which the Imperialist dreams. It is 
the moral federation of the whole English-speaking race 
throughout the world, including all those millions of men 
speaking the English language in the United States, and 
parted from the rest only a century ago by a wretched 
quarrel, whom Imperial Federation would leave out of its 


pale. Nothing is needed to bring this about but the volun- 
tary retirement of England as a political power from a 
shadowy dominion in a sphere which is not hers. There is 
no apparent reason why, among all the states of our race, 
there should not be community of citizenship, so that a 
citizen of any one of the nations might take up the rights of 
a citizen in any one of the others at once upon his change of 
domicile, and without the process of naturalisation. This 
would be political unity of no inconsiderable kind without 
diplomatic liabilities, or the strain, which surely no one can 
think free from peril, of political centralisation. 

Unless all present appearances on the political horizon 
are delusive, the time is at hand when the upheaval of the 
labour world, and the social problems which are coming into 
view, will give the politicians more serious and substantial 
matter for thought than the airy fabric of Imperial 

The old project of giving the Colonies representation in 
the Imperial Parliament appears to have been laid aside. 
The objections urged against it by Burke on the ground of 
distance have been to a great extent removed by steam, 
though it might even now be difficult to call together a 
world-wide Parliament in time of maritime war. But the 
objection still decisive is that the Colonies would not put 
their affairs into the hands of an Assembly in which their 
representation would be overwhelmingly outnumbered* Nor 
could they trust representatives domiciled in London who, 
under the influence of London society, would be apt to be- 
come more British than the British themselves. These new 
countries, which have such difficulty in finding suitable men 
for their own legislatures, would have difficulty in finding 
men to represent them at Westminster at all. They might 


have to fall back on expatriated millionaires, in whom not the 
slightest confidence as representatives of Colonial sentiment 
could be placed. Supposing that the members for the 
Colonies remained colonial, and tried to make up for their 
lack of numbers at Westminster by combining among them- 
selves and log-rolling, they might become a serious addition 
to the distractions of the British Parliament, which assuredly 
need no increase. 

Let it be taken as certain and irreversible that the 
Colonies will not part with any portion of their self-govern- 
ment. If a scheme can be devised by which they can be 
governed by an Assembly at Westminster without any loss to 
them of self-government it may, supposing it to be presented 
to them in an intelligible and practicable form, stand a chance 
of consideration at their hands. 

Section IV. — Political Union 

Annexation is an ugly word ; it seems to convey the 
idea of force or pressure applied to the smaller State, not of 
free, equal, and honourable union, like that between England 
and Scotland. Yet there is no reason why the union of the 
two sections of the English-speaking people on this Continent 
should not be as free, as equal, and as honourable as the 
union of England and Scotland. We should rather say their 
reunion than their union, for before their unhappy schism 
they were one people. Nothing but the historical accident 
of a civil war ending in secession, instead of amnesty, has 
made them two. When the Anglo-Saxons of England and 
those oi Scotland were reunited they had been many centuries 
apart ; those of the United States and Canada have been 
separated for one century only. The Anglo-Saxons of Eng- 


land and Scotland had the memory of many wars to estrange 
them : the Anglo-Saxons of Canada and the United States 
have the memory, since their separation, only of one war. 

That a union of Canada with the American Common- 
wealth, like that into which Scotland entered with England, 
would in itself be attended with great advantages cannot be 
questioned, whatever may be the considerations on the other 
side or the reasons for delay. It would give to the inhabit- 
ants of the whole Continent as complete a security for peace 
and immunity from war taxation as is likely to be attained 
by any community or group of communities on this side of 
the Millenium. Canadians almost with one voice say that 
it would greatly raise the value of property in Canada ; in 
other words, that it would bring with it a great increase 
of prosperity. The writer has seldom heard this seriously 
disputed, while he has heard it admitted in the plainest 
terms by men who were strongly opposed to Union on poli- 
tical or sentimental grounds, and who had spent their lives in 
the service of Separation. The case is the same as that of 
Scotland or Wales in relation to the rest of the island of 
which they are parts, and upon their union with which their 
commercial prosperity depends. The Americans, on the 
other hand, would gain in full proportion as England gains 
by her commercial union with Wales and Scotland. These 
inducements are always present to the minds of the Canadian 
people, and they are specially present when the trade of 
Canada, with the rest of her Continent, is barred by such 
legislation as the M'Kinley Act, when her security is threat- 
ened by the imminence of war in Europe, or when from 
internal causes she happens to be acutely feeling the com- 
mercial atrophy to which her isolation condemns her. 
Canadians who live on the border, and who from the shape 


of the country form a large proportion of the population, 
have always before their eyes the fields and cities of a 
kindred people, whose immense prosperity they are pre- 
vented from sharing only by a political line, while socially, 
and in every other respect, the identity and even the fusion 
is complete. 

On the other hand, there is the affection of the Colonists 
for the mother country, which has always been kind to them 
in intention, even if she has not had the power to defend 
their rights and her interference has ceased to be useful. 
This might prevail if union with the rest of the race on this 
Continent, under the sanction of the mother country, would 
really be a breach of affection for her. But it would be 
none. It would be no more a breach of affection than the 
naturalisation, now fully recognised by British law, of multi- 
tudes both of Englishmen and of Canadians in the United 
States. Let us suppose that the calamitous rupture of the 
last century had never taken place, that the whole race on 
this Continent had remained united, and had parted, when 
the time came, from the mother country in peace ; where 
would the outrage on love or loyalty have been ? Admitted 
into the councils of their own Continent, and exercising their 
fair share of influence there, Canadians would render the 
mother country the best of all services, and the only service 
in their power, by neutralising the votes of her enemies. 
Unprovoked hostility on the part of the American Bepublic 
to Great Britain would then become impossible. It is now 
unlikely, but not impossible, since there is no wickedness 
which may not possibly be committed by demagogism pander- 
ing to Irish hatred. 

Nor need Canada give up any of the distinctive character 
or historical associations which she has preserved through 


the continuance of her connection with the mother country. 
Scotland is still Scotch, and her idol Sir Walter Scott was 
the type at once of patriotic Britons and of Scotchmen. 
The Federal system admits wide local diversities, and if 
Ontario or Nova Scotia clings to the British statute-book, to 
the British statute-book it may cling. There is no reason 
even why Canadians, who like to show their spirit by military 
celebrations, should not celebrate Canadian victories as the 
Scotch celebrate Bannockburn. Americans would smile. 
Of the antipathy to Americans sedulously kept up within 
select circles and in certain interests, there is absolutely none 
among the Canadian people at large. It would be strange 
if there were any, considering that half of them have brothers, 
sons, or cousins on the American side of the line. " Bom- 
bard New York ! " said a Canadian to the writer when some- 
body was declaiming in that vein ; " why, my four sons live 
there ! " On the Pacific Coast of the United States a British 
shell could scarcely burst without striking a Canadian home. 
The masses do not read much history or cherish antiquarian 
feuds. If the President of the United States were to visit 
Canada, he would be received as cordially as he is in any 
part of his own Eepublic ; more cordially, perhaps, since 
in Canada the people of both parties would unite in the 

If the language held by Canadian Jingoes or "Paper 
Tigers," as they are called, about American character were 
the truth or anything like the truth, union with such people 
ought indeed to be declined at any sacrifice of military 
security or commercial profit. But even those who hold it 
hardly believe it. An Imperialist journal in London the 
other day ended an article on the influence of Americans in 
England by saying that they are too like the English in all 


essential respects to produce any possible change in English 
character. That, as regards the normal American, is the fact. 
The present writer has known the Americans not, like most 
of their critics, only in the cities, but in the country and the 
country town. As a lecturer and resident in an American 
University he has been brought into contact with American 
youth ; he has friends among Americans of all vocations and 
professions ; he has seen the people under the ordeal of civil 
war, seen their conduct in the field, their care of the 
wounded, and their treatment of their captured enemies; 
and to him the idea that Canadians would undergo moral 
disparagement by the Union seems of all reveries the most 
absurd. Sheer snobbishness, to tell the truth, has not a 
little to do with the affectation of contempt for Yankees. 
This is one of the ways in which vulgarity tries to make 
itself genteeL The good feeling of Canadians towards their 
mother country is strong, genuine, disinterested, and cannot 
be too highly prized. But there is a blatant loyalty which 
it is very easy to prize too highly. If a man makes a violent 
and offensive demonstration of it against those whom he 
accuses of American sympathies, you are apt presently to 
find him in the employment of some American company, 
peddling for an American house, or accepting a call to the 
other side of the Line. We have already, in our his- 
torical retrospect, had occasion to observe that when by 
untoward circumstances interest is divorced from senti- 
ment, the loyalism which before had been the most fiery 
in its manifestations can suddenly grow cold. If England 
ever has occasion to call on her children in Canada for 
a real sacrifice, she may chance to repeat the experience 
of King Lear. 

There are varieties too little noticed by critics of American 


character in different parts of the Union. These are black 
spots. In certain districts lawlessness and want of respect 
for human life remain as the traces of slavery, whose cause 
Canadian Jingoism ardently espoused New York has its 
shoddy wealth which the better Americans despise, and 
which British aristocracy, though scornful of American de- 
mocracy, sometimes takes to its arms. Eapid commercial 
development has bred gambling speculation, and with it 
unscrupulousness, of which Canada also has her proportionate 
share, though in both cases the amount of knavery is small 
compared with that of sound and honest trade. Party 
politics are the same on both sides of the Line, and on neither 
side, happily, are they the whole of life. The Canadian 
politician exactly resembles the American, and none the less 
when he has been knighted. Both countries would be in a 
bad way if the demagogue ruled society and trade. Political 
corruption is on a far larger scale in the wealthier country, 
but it is more shameless in the poorer country. About the 
American Press there is a good deal to be said, but not more 
than there is about the successive personal organs of a Prime 
Minister of Canada. Canada has the advantage of not having 
broken with her history or bearing on her political character, 
like the American, the trace of a revolution ; but America is 
gradually renewing her historical associations, and since she 
has had herself to contend with rebellion and been threatened 
within by the Anarchists, the revolutionary sentiment has 
been losing force. In the wealthier country and that which 
had the start in civilisation is found a higher standard of 
living, with more of science and culture ; in the other, more 
frugality and simplicity of life. Both communities are 
threatened by the same social dangers and disturbances, nor is 
there any conservative force in one which there is not in the 


other, the phantom of monarchy in Canada being, as has been 
shown, no conservative force at all, but rather serving to 
disguise the action of forces the reverse of conservative. 
There is continual harping on the laxity of the American 
divorce law, and Canada was told that if she traded more with 
the Americans Canadian wedlock would be in danger of the 
contagion. Illinois and Indiana, where the laxity prevails, 
are not the United States. However, scarcely had the warning 
been penned, when we had proof that, even as it is, no 
impassable gulf of sentiment divides us from Indiana and 

The fear that with the addition of Canada the Union 
would be too large and that its cohesion might give way, 
which is felt both by Canadians and Americans, though 
natural, seems not to be well-founded. Slavery being ex- 
tinct there is no longer any visible line of cleavage. So 
long as the freedom of the system is preserved, there seems 
to be no limit to its possible extension, provided the territory, 
though vast, is within a ring fence. Nobody is likely to rebel 
against an arrangement which, without fettering local self- 
development, gives safety against attack from without, peace 
and freedom of intercourse within. People must be revolu- 
tionary indeed if they can take arms against mere immunity 
from evils. The tariff question does not form a line of 
cleavage, and is in a fair way to be settled by the ballot. 
If 300,000,000 Chinese can get on well together under 
a centralised Government, surely 100,000,000 of the 
higher race can get on together under a government much 
more elastic. The problem of races at the South no doubt is 
still serious, but there is no tendency to a renewal of seces- 
sion, and the South is becoming daily smaller and less im- 
portant in proportion to the Union. The growth there of 




manufacturing industries will both modify political character 
and bind the States to their Northern market. Socialistic 
revolution, such as would take a State out of the Eepublic, 
and the occupation of the Pacific Coast by the Chinese, are 
contingencies which might threaten the Union, but at present 
they are very remote, while to Chinese irruption Canada on 
the Pacific is more open than the United States. 

Again, Canadians who heartily accept democracy wish 
that there should be two experiments in it on this Continent 
rather than one, and the wish is shared by thoughtful Ameri- 
cans not a few. But we have seen that in reality the two 
experiments are not being made. Universal suffrage and 
party government are the same, and their effects are the same 
in both Eepublics. Differences there are, such as that 
between the Presidential and the Cabinet system, of a sub- 
ordinate kind, yet not unimportant, and such as might make 
it worth while to forego for a time at least the advantages of 
union, supposing that the dangers and economical evils of 
separation were not too great, and if' the territorial division 
were not extravagantly at variance with the fiat of Nature. 
The experiments of political science must be tried with some 
reference to terrestrial convenience. Besides, those who 
scan the future without prejudice must see that the political 
fortunes of the Continent are embarked in the great Eepublic, 
and that Canada will best promote her own ultimate interests 
by contributing without unnecessary delay all that she has 
in therway of political character and force towards the saving 
of the main chance and the fulfilment of the common hope. 
The native American element in which the tradition of self- 
government resides is hard pressed by the foreign element 
untrained to self-government, and stands in need of the 
reinforcement which the entrance of Canada into f he Union 


would bring it Canadians feel all this without being dis- 
distinctly conscious of it : they are taking less interest in 
British and more in American politics : in British politics 
they would take but little interest if their attention were not 
turned that way by the efforts of the Irish to drag every- 
body into their clan feud. A Presidential election now 
makes almost as much stir in Canada as it does in the United 
States. There is something to be said in favour of recognis- 
ing destiny without delay. The reasoning of Lord Durham 
with regard to French Canada holds good in some measure 
with regard to Canada altogether in its relation to the Anglo- 
Saxon Continent. He thought it best to make the country 
at once that which after the lapse of no long time it must be. 
And this reminds us of another reason for not putting off the 
unification of the English-speaking race, since it is perfectly 
clear that the forces of Canada alone are not sufficient to 
assimilate the French element or even to prevent the indefinite 
consolidation and growth of a French nation. Either the 
conquest of Quebec was utterly fatuous or it is to be desired 
that the American Continent should belong to the English 
tongue and to Anglo-Saxon civilisation. 

The Americans in general are not insensible, perhaps they 
are more sensible than they sometimes affect to be, of the 
advantages and the accession of greatness which would accrue 
to the Republic by the entrance of Canada into the Union. 
They expect that some day she will come to them, and 
are ready to welcome her when she does. But few of them 
much desire to hasten the event, and hardly any of them 
think of hastening it by coercion. The M'Kinley Act was 
not intended to coerce Canada into the Union. Its objects 
were to rivet Protection and catch the farmer's vote, though it 
was welcomed by the Tory Prime Minister of Canada and his 


following as a plausible ground for insulting demonstrations 
against the Americans, and this at the moment when Great 
Britain was carrying on difficult negotiations at Washington 
on Canada's behalf. Of conquest there is absolutely no 
thought. The Southern violence and the Western lawlessness 
which forced the Union into the War of 1812 are things of 
the past. The American people could not now be brought to 
invade the homes of an unoffending neighbour. They have 
no craving for more territory. They know that while a 
despot who annexes may govern through a viceroy with the 
strong hand, a republic which annexes must incorporate, and 
would only weaken itself by incorporating disaffection. The 
special reason for wishing to bring Canada at once into the 
Union, that she might help to counterbalance the Slave 
Power, has with the Slave Power departed. So far as the 
Americans are concerned, Canada is absolute mistress of 
her own destiny, while she is welcome to cast in her lot 
with the Republic. Such is the impression made upon the 
writer by his intercourse with Americans of all classes during 
twenty years. 

Of Canadian opinion the one thing that can be said with 
certainty is that the great mass of the people, and especially 
those who dwell along the border of Ontario, in the Maritime 
Provinces, in Manitoba or other districts of the North- West, 
and those who are engaged or wish to be engaged in the 
mining, lumbering, or shipping trade, strongly desire freedom 
of commercial intercourse with their own Continent. Such 
appears to be the wish of the people and of the politicians in 
Quebec also, as well indeed it may be, since the American 
market is the only market which Quebec has. The tendency 
of the priesthood is isolation, as the safeguard of their 
dominion and of their tithe; but their position is in all 


respects somewhat altered by the exodus, and it is doubtful 
whether they would dare to oppose themselves directly to the 
material welfare of the masses. Nothing apparently can save 
the restrictive policy of the present Government and its 
confederate, the protected manufacturer, except the use of 
the same engines which have so long sustained a similar 
policy in the United States. On the question of political 
union apart from commercial union there are no means of 
gauging popular sentiment, the question never having been 
brought definitely before the people and expression not being 
free. But the English inquirer had better be cautious in 
receiving the confident reports of official persons, or listening 
to public professions of any kind. The very anxiety shown 
to gag opinion by incessant cries of disloyalty and treason 
shows that there is an opinion which needs to be gagged. 
People were taken by surprise when in 1849, under the 
pressure of commercial distress, a manifesto in favour of 
annexation appeared with the signatures of a number of the 
leading men of the country. In these democracies, where 
everybody from his cradle is thinking of votes,- and to be in a 
minority is perdition, political courage, whether in action or 
speech, is not a common virtue. Politicians especially 
tremble at the very thought of a premature declaration of any 
kind. But the notion that a man who at a meeting of 
ordinary Canadians should avow his belief in an ultimate 
reunion of the two sections of his race would be " stoned * or 
even hissed, may be proved from experience to be a mistake. 
A bold man had avowed annexationist opinions in official 
company at Ottawa. One of the company, horrified at his 
profanities, told him that he should feel it his duty to de- 
nounce them if he were not restrained by social confidence. 
" Come down," was the reply, " into the street, collect the 


biggest crowd you can, and I will soon relieve you of the 
restraint of social confidence.*' The other day an ex-Governor- 
General undertook to assure the world that the slightest 
suspicion of annexationism would be absolutely fatal to a 
candidate in an election. Almost on the very day on which 
his ex-Excellency's paper reached Canada an avowed annexa- 
tionist was elected by a large majority for a county in 
Ontario. Annexation is not the platform of either party, and 
as a rule, nobody can get himself elected without a party 
nomination. But supposing a candidate had the party 
nomination and were locally strong the suspicion of annexa- 
tionism would do him very little harm. Of this, indeed, we 
have already had practical proofs, besides the example just 
cited. Since the passing of the Jesuits' Estates Act and the 
revelation in connection with it of priestly influence and 
designs, the saying of Lord Durham's Eeport that the day 
might come when English Canadians to remain English would 
have to cease to be British, or something like it, has been 
heard on many sides. 

There is a conflict of forces, and we must judge each for 
himself which are the primary forces and likely to prevail. 
Prevail the primary forces will in the end, however long their 
action may be suspended by a number of secondary forces 
arrayed against them. In the case of German and in that of 
Italian unity the number and strength of the secondary forces 
arrayed against the event were such, and the action of the 
great forces was so long suspended by them, that it seemed 
even to sagacious observers as if the event would never come. 
It came, irresistible and irreversible, and we see now that 
Bismarck and Cavour were the ministers of destiny. 

In the present case there are, on one side, geography, 
commerce, identity of race, language, and institutions, which 


with the mingling of population and constant intercourse of 
every kind, acting in ever-increasing intensity, have brought 
about a general fusion, leaving no barriers standing but the 
political and fiscal lines. On the other side, there is British 
and Imperial sentiment, which, however, is confined to the 
British, excluding the French and Irish and other nationalities, 
and even among the British is livelier as a rule among the 
cultivated and those whose minds are steeped in history 
than among those who are working for their bread ; while 
to set against it there is the idea, which can hardly fail 
to make way, of a great continent with an almost unlimited 
range of production forming the home of a united people, 
shutting out war and presenting the field as it would seem 
for a new and happier development of humanity. Again, 
there are bodies of men, official, political, and commercial, 
whose interests are bound up with the present state of things, 
whose feelings naturally go with those interests, who in many 
cases suffer little from the economical consequences of isola- 
tion, arid who, gathered in the capital or in the great cities, 
exercise an influence out of proportion to their numbers on 
public opinion and its organs. Great public undertakings 
involving a large expenditure, produce fortunes to which 
titles are sometimes added, and which form strong supports of 
the existing system, though they are no indications of general 
prosperity, and the interests of their possessors is as far as 
possible from being identical with that of the farmer, who 
meantime is paying ruinous duties on his farm implements 
and on some of the necessaries of life. Eepulsion is also 
created by the scandals of American politics, by the corrup- 
tion which has reigned of late, by the turmoil of Presidential 
elections, and by such enormities as the Pension List, while 
political scandals and evils at home, being familiar, are less 


noted. Men of British blood, moreover, even when they are 
friendly to closer relations with the United States, are dis- 
gusted by the anti-British language of the American Press 
and of some of the American politicians. Above all there is 
the difficulty of getting any community, but especially a 
democracy in which there is no strong initiative, to quit the 
groove in which it has long been running. On the American 
side there is, to countervail the promptings of high policy and 
natural ambition, the partisan's fear of disturbing the adjust- 
ment of parties. There is the comparative indifference of the 
Southern States of the Union to an acquisition in the North. 
There is, moreover, a want of diplomatic power to negotiate a 
Union. The southern politicians were statesmen after their 
kind, secure in their seats and devoted to public life. They 
governed the country as a nation, though with ends of their 
own. Their successors, besides being by no means safe in 
their seats, are to a great extent delegates of local interests, 
each of which, like the members of a Polish diet, has and 
exercises a veto in the councils of the nation. Upon successive 
attempts to pursue a definite policy towards Canada the veto 
has been put by one local interest or another. If negotiations 
for a Union were set on foot, the party out of power would 
of course do its best to make them miscarry, and a patriotic 
Press would not fail to lend its aid. Every sort of suscepti- 
bility and jealousy on such occasions is wide awake. The 
great English statesmen, trained in the highest school of 
diplomacy, who negotiated the Union with Scotland found 
their task hard though they operated under far easier condi- 
tions. However, if the primary forces are working towards 
an event, sooner or later the crisis arrives ; the man appears, 
and the bidding of Destiny is done. 


Section V. — Commercial Union 1 

" I am confident," said Mr. Bayard, the American Secretary 
of State, to Sir Charles Tupper, " that we both seek to attain 
a just and permanent settlement — and there is but one way 
to procure it, and that is by a straightforward treatment on 
a liberal and statesman-like plan of the entire commercial 
relations of the two countries. I say commercial, because I 
do not propose to include, however indirectly or by any 
intendment, however partial and oblique, the political relations 
of Canada and the United States, nor to affect the legislative 
independence of either country." The object of the move- 
ment now on foot under the name of " Commercial Union " is 
to bring Canada within the commercial pale of her own 
continent, and thereby put an end to the commercial atrophy 
which her isolation entails. A reciprocal benefit would of 
course be afforded to the United States in an increase of com- 
mercial area and opportunities of opening up new sources of 
wealth. The name Commercial Union, which has been 
challenged as suggestive of political union, was adopted in 
contradistinction to it, and in exact accordance with the 
intention of Mr. Bayard. The measure would be necessarily 
accompanied by an assimilation of the excise and of the 
seaboard tariff, without which there would be smuggling of 
liquors across the line, and of goods through the ports of one 
country into the other. Whether there should be a pooling 

1 For all that relates to the question of Commercial Union, and the whole 
subject of Canadian commerce and industry in connection with that move- 
ment, see the "Handbook of Commercial Union : a collection of papers read 
before the Commercial Union Club, Toronto, with speeches, letters, and other 
documents in favour of Unrestricted Reciprocity with the United States." 
Toronto: Hunter, Rose & Co. [294 pp. Crown 8vo, 25 cents = Is. stg.] 


of the seaboard duties is a separate question. Community of 
Fisheries, the Coasting Trade, and Water-ways is included in 
Commercial Union. 

The movement in Canada originated with a Farmers' 
Convention in Toronto, and was taken up by the Farmers' 
Institutes of the Province. On the farmer's mind had 
dawned the fact that he was the sheep, and the protected 
manufacturer was the shearer. The special organ of the 
movement has been the Commercial Union Club, an association 
independent of political/ rty. The policy of Reciprocity, 
however, has been embraced by the Liberal Party now in 
Opposition : it forms the main plank in the platform of that 
party ; and will, in all probability, be the issue at the coming 
elections. On the American side a resolution in Congress 
authorising the President to treat for Commercial Union with 
the Canadian Government has been brought forward by 
Mr. Hitt, of Illinois, and has been passed unanimously by 
the House of Eepresentatives, while in the Senate it has 
failed of unanimous consent only by one vote. Another 
resolution pointing the same way was brought forward by 
Mr. Butterworth, the member for Cincinnati, one of the fore- 
most men in the Eepublican party, and like Mr. Hitt 
thoroughly friendly both to Canada and to Great Britain, 
life has been given to the movement by the public spirit and 
energy of Mr. Erastus Wiman, a Canadian who has won his 
way to a high place in American commerce without ceasing 
to be a Canadian, and has done more than any other man to 
keep up attachment both to Canada and England and to 
sustain the honour of the British flag at New York, so that 
he is well placed for dealing with any question in the interest 
of all three countries. A word of justice is due to him, since 
he has not been fairly treated by certain journals in England 


whose confidence is abused by their correspondents in Canada 
on this and on other Canadian questions. 

That the market of her own continent is the natural 
market of Canada, both as a seller and a buyer, even so strong 
an Imperialist as Sir Charles Dilke admits, and no one but a 
protected manufacturer or a fanatical Tory would attempt to 
deny. The Conservative leader, Sir John Macdonald, has 
always professed to be doing his utmost to bring about 
reciprocity. His motto has been Eeciprocity of Trade or 
Eeciprocity of Tariffs, meaning t if he had recourse to 
reciprocity of tariffs it was only oecause he could not get 
reciprocity of trade, and in order to enforce it. His Pro- 
tectionist Tariff Act contained a standing offer of reciprocity 
in natural products. This, as has been said before, was 
illusory, inasmuch as the Americans evidently could not, in 
common justice to their own interests, allow their manufactures 
to be excluded while they admitted the natural products of 
Canada ; but it was at all events the homage paid by political 
strategy to commercial wisdom. If the offer has now been 
cancelled, this, it may safely be said, is not because conviction 
has changed on the commercial question, but because the 
irritation bred by the M'Kinley Act presents an opportunity 
for an appeal to that feeling against American connection 
which is the life of the existing system. M. Chapleau, one 
of Sir John Macdonald's French colleagues, still declares for 
Eeciprocity in the teeth of the declaration of Mr. Colby, 
another member of the Government, against it, as well as of 
the general action of the Administration, showing thereby 
apparently his sense of the fact that Eeciprocity is a prime 
necessity in the French Province. Let any one scan the 
economical map of the North American continent with its 
adjacent waters, mark its northern zone abounding in minerals, 


in bituminous coal, in lumber, in fish, as well as in special 
farm products, brought in the north to hardier perfection, all 
of which the southern people have need : then let him look to 
its southern regions, the natural products of which as well 
as the manufactures produced in its wealthy centres of 
industry are needed by the people of the northern zone : he 
will see that the continent is an economic whole, and that 
to run a Customs line athwart it and try to sever its members 
from each other is to wage a desperate war against nature. 
Each several Province of the Dominion is by nature wedded 
to a commercial partner on the south, though a perverse 
policy struggles to divorce them. The Maritime Provinces 
want to send their lumber, their bituminous coal, and their 
fish to the markets of New England ; Ontario and Quebec 
want to send their barley, eggs, and other farm products, their 
horses, their cattle and their lumber to New York and other 
neighbouring States ; Manitoba and the North- West want to 
send their superior wheat, their barley, their wool, and the 
fish of their great lakes to St. Paul and Minneapolis ; British 
Columbia wants to send her bituminous coal, her salmon, and 
the timber of which she is the mighty mother, to California 
and Oregon. All of them want to get American manufactures 
as well as the products of a more southern climate in return. 
It must be long before Canada can produce a first-rate 
printing press. Even when an article is made in the 
Dominion, the freight from one of the scattered Provinces to 
another may be ruinous. British Columbia was paying for nails 
a price for transit exceeding their first cost at Montreal 1 
Canada is not one market but four, widely separated from 
each other, and each of them sparse in itself. 

It is in regard to minerals, perhaps, that the case of Canada 

1 See Handbook of Commercial Union, p. 56. 


is the hardest. She has all the economic minerals except 
tin. She has vast stores of magnetic and hematatic iron, such 
as would make the best of iron and steel. In some districts 
she is rich in copper and nickel. She has valuable veins of 
silver and gold-bearing quartz, the former in the Lake 
Superior district, the latter in Nova Scotia and British 
Columbia. She has abundance of coal, both in British 
Columbia and in Nova Scotia. Chemical minerals she has 
also in abundance, and stores of mineral manure. Yet the 
total value of her mineral exports for 1888, was under 
$5,000,000, of which nearly a half was for bituminous coal, 
while she imported hard coal to nearly the same value. 
What she wants is a free market, free inflow of American 
capital, free purchase of mining machinery. 1 On the American 
shore of Lake Superior mining is rife, and its yield is immense ; 
on the Canadian shore, which is not less rich in minerals, it 
sleeps. Continual appeals are made to the Government by 
Protectionist patriotism to " open up " the mines, as though 
a Government could open up production of any kind otherwise 
than by giving it fair play. With free trade Port Arthur, in 
the centre of an immensely rich mining district, instead of 
being, as it now is, a mere village, might be a mining city. 
Let the mines be opened and there would be a mining 
population such as would give the Canadian farmer a home 
market for which he would not have to pay. For the home 
market which Protectionism gives him he pays both in the 
price and quality of the goods. An interestf or a country 
trying to make itself prosperous by such means is, as has 
been truly said, like a man trying to lift himself up by his 

1 See Handbook of Commercial Union, pp. 73 et seq. See also Mr. Ledyard's 
memorandum in the Appendix to this volume. 


The shipping interest of Canada again pines for the free- 
dom of the coasting trade. Canadian vessels are not allowed 
to trade between American ports, and have often to return 
without a cargo. The consequence is that the Canadian 
marine is fast disappearing from the Lakes. Of the vast 
trade in ore and grain on the Upper Lakes less than 10 per 
cent is now carried in Canadian bottoms. The Canadian 
tonnage passing through the Sault Ste. Marie Canal has fallen 
to 4 per cent, the rest being American. The new Canadian- 
built tonnage in the past five years is not over 5 per cent of 
that launched from Lake shipyards. There is little use in 
constructing at immense expense a special lock for Canada 
alongside of the American lock at the " Soo," while Canadian 
shipping is being made the victim of a policy of extermina- 
tion. The Dominion Statistical Abstract, for 1889, admits a 
decrease of the amount even of the seagoing trade of the 
country carried in Canadian bottoms compared with that 
carried in foreign bottoms. There has also, according to the 
same authority, been a steady decline in the number and 
tonnage of the vessels built in the Dominion during the last 
ten or twelve years, that is since the inauguration of the 
Protectionist policy of Sir John Macdonald. Protectionists 
who profess that it is an object of their system by multiply- 
ing industries to diversify national character, should consider 
whether a variety of it will not perish with the mariner. 

The Americans, on their side, want to buy things which 
Canada has tb sell ; they want an extended market for 
the products of a more southern climate, such as fruits; 
they want an extended market for their manufactures. They 
can manufacture as a rule better and more cheaply, because 
they do it on a larger scale and can specialise ; whereas the 
manufacturer with a small market is obliged to produce 


several kinds of goods to keep his hands employed. All 
this is most strongly felt at Detroit, Buffalo, and other com- 
mercial cities along the frontier which find themselves cribbed 
and confined by the Customs line. It has been objected by 
some American Protectionists that America would be giving 
a market of 65,000,000 in exchange for one of 5,000,000, 
as though markets when thrown together were exchanged 
and not enjoyed in common. According to this reasoning 
the 60,000,000 of Americans outside the State of New York 
would be better off without the 6,000,000 of that State. 
But American capital also wants free access to the natural 
resources of Canada, her mineral resources especially, which 
await only the touch of capital, together with the opening of 
the market, in order to turn them into wealth for the benefit 
of all the people of the continent. Mr. Blaine, the political 
leader of the Protectionist party in the United States, has 
shown himself alive to the need of new markets by declar- 
ing in favour of Eeciprocity, and he will not be long in 
finding that the only American community reciprocal trade 
with which would be of much value is the Dominion of 
Canada. The half-civilised masses of South America want 
little except gaudy cottons, with which they are supplied to 
their satisfaction by England. 

It is alleged by Protectionists that there cannot be a pro- 
fitable trade between Canada and the United States, because 
the products of the two countries are the same. The pro- 
ducts of the two countries, even their natural products, 
leaving out of sight special manufactures, are not the same. 
In the United States are included regions and productions 
almost tropical. Canada, on the other hand, has bituminous 
coal, for which there are markets in the United States, and 
plenty of nickel, of which the United States have but little. 



Canada has lumber to export, and the United States want all 
they can get. Both countries produce barley, but the Canadian 
barley is the best for making beer, and its exclusion by the 
M'Kinley Act brought out a heavy vote at Buffalo against the 
party of Mr. M'Kinley. This is the first answer. The second 
and the most decisive is that, in spite of the tariff, Canada 
has actually been trading with the United States more than 
with England or any other country in the world, and nearly 
as much as with all the other countries in the world put 
together. In 1889 her exports to Great Britain were 
$38,105,126 ; her imports from Great . Britain were 
$42,249,555. Her exports to the United States were 
$48,522,404 ; her imports from the United States were 
$56,368,990. Of the total trade of Canada, in the same 
year, 41*35 per cent was with Great Britain ; 4965 was with 
the United States; while only 9 per cent was with the 
rest of the world. To take even the case of farm products, 
of 18,799 horses which Canada sold in one year, the United 
States bought 18,225. Of 443,000 sheep, they bought 
363,000. Of 116,000 head of cattle, they bought 45,000. 
Of $107,000 worth of poultry, they bought $99,000 worth. 
Of $1,825,000 worth of eggs, they bought all. Of $593,000 
worth of hides, they bought $413,000 worth. Of 1,416,000 
pounds of wool, they bought 1,300,000 pounds. Of $9,456,000 
worth barley, they bought all. Of $743,000 worth of hay, 
they bought $670,000 worth. Of $439,000 worth of potatoes, 
they bought $338,000 worth. Of $83,000 worth of vegetables, 
they bought $75,000 worth. Of $254,000 worth of miscel- 
laneous agricultural products, they bought $249,000 worth. 
Manitoba and the North- West believe that, were the tariff 
wall out of the way, the United States would be their best 
customer for a great deal of high-class wheat. In spite of the 


fisheries disputes and taxes, out of $7,000,000 worth of fish, 
the United States take annually about $3,000,000 worth. 1 

The case is specially strong with regard to some of the 
smaller Provinces. Prince Edward Island exported in 1889 
only $800 worth of agricultural products to Great Britain, 
while she exported to the United States $466,000 worth. 
The total export of her own produce to all countries in that 
year amounted to $974,000, of which $686,000 worth went 
to the United States. The exports of British Columbia for 
1889 amounted to $4,284,000, of which $2,782,000 in value 
went to the United States, and only $870,000 went to Great 
Britain. To these Provinces the tariff war is ruinous, and 
they have some reason for demanding compensation in sub- 
sidies from the Dominion. 

High as the tariff wall between Canada and the United 
States is, trade, we see, has climbed over it. Wherever an 
opening is made in the wall, trade at once rushes through. 
Before the removal of the duty on eggs, the trade in them 
was nominal : it rose, when the duty was removed, to over 
$2,000,000 in 1889. The M'Kinley tariff sends it down 

Smuggling, as might be expected, is rife along the whole 
Line, with the usual consequences to popular morality and 
honest trade. When a border township in which the potato 
crop is short cannot go to the adjoining township for potatoes, 
a severe appeal is made to the hamlet's respect for law. 

To Manitoba and the North- West, which neither have 
manufactures, nor, as farm products are their staple, are 
likely to have them, the tariff is a curse, without even a 
shadow of compensation. It is difficult to believe that in 

1 See speech in the Dominion House of Commons of Sir Richard Cart- 
wright, ex-Minister of Finance, March 14, 1888. 




that region it will be possible for ever to maintain the 
Custom line, the frontier being merely an imaginary boundary 
drawn across the prairie for 800 miles, with identically the 
same population on each side of it, so that a village, even a 
house, maybe placed astride the line, and the housewife with 
a new kettle may be liable to duty in passing from one room 
to the other ; while the Ottawa Government, for the benefit 
of which the duties are imposed, is remote and, with too 
good reason, unbeloved. But the case of Manitoba is hardly 
worse than that of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, which 
get absolutely nothing to make up for their exclusion from their 

_ natural market in New England, the attempt to force Ontario, 
by violent legislative pressure, to buy her coal of Nova Scotia 
instead of buying it of Pennsylvania having utterly failed. 

The assertion that the British market is better for Canada 
than the American market has already been met by the 
figures. If for a time the English market was better than 
the American the reason was that the British market was 

/ open, whereas the American market was half closed by the 
tariff. Eemove the Customs line between Canada and the 
United States and there can be no doubt about the value of 
the American compared with that of the British market. 
No people are individually so rich as the Americans, or so 
ready to pay freely for everything they want or fancy. The 
American market is always increasing with the rapid growth 
* of population. It is also secure, whereas that of England, 
or any transmarine country, would become very insecure if 
England were at war with a maritime power. Canada would 
then be without any free market at all. But it is needless to 
discuss this question, because when the American market was 
opened to Canada that of England would not be closed. 
Canada would enjoy them both. 


The near market must as a role be the best, not only on 
account of the difference in freights, but in many cases on 
account of the perishableness of goods. It must be best for 
fruits, fish, vegetables, and even for poultry and eggs. It is 
the best for horses, the breeding of which is a great Canadian 
industry, and might be a greater. The American comes to 
Canada and buys the horses on the spot, whereas if the 
horses are sent to England, unless they at once take the fancy 
of the market, they may eat up a great part of their value 
before they are sold. Not till the American market is 
opened can its full value be understood. Commercial Union 
between Scotland and England gave a value to black cattle 
and kelp which could hardly have been foreseen. Produc- 
tion would adapt itself to the new demands, and new 
roads to wealth would be found. Besides, Canada wants to 
buy as well as to sell, and the near market, even irrespect- 
ively of freights, is preferable as the most convenient and 
the most likely to produce exactly the kind of goods required. 
This will be acknowledged by the buyers of farm machines 
and implements in the North- West. 

It has been proposed that rather than succumb to the 
force of nature, and allow Canada to secure her destined 
measure of prosperity by trading with her own continent, 
England should put back the shadow on the dial of econo- 
mical history, institute an Imperial Zollverein, and restore 
to the Colonies their former protection against the foreigner, 
in her market. It is hardly necessary to discuss a policy in 
which Great Britain would have to take the initiative, and 
which no British statesman has shown the slightest disposi- 
tion to embrace. The trade, both of imports and exports, of 
England with the Colonies was, in 1889, £187,000,000 ; her 
total trade in the same year with foreign countries was 


£554,000,000. Is it likely that she will sacrifice a trade of 
£554,000,000 sterling to a trade of £187,000,000 sterling? 
The framers of an Imperial Zollverein, moreover, would 
have some lively work in reconciling the tendencies of strong 
Protectionist Colonies, such as Victoria and Canada, with the 
free trade tendencies of Great Britain and New South Wales. 
The Conservative Prime Minister of England, if he has been 
correctly reported, holds that the adoption of Protection, on 
which the Imperialists of Canada insist as a condition of any 
arrangement, would in England kindle -a civil war. 

The Canadian Government shows its sense of the situa- 
tion and of the real effect of its policy by trying to open up 
new markets in distant countries, in the West Indies, in 
Brazil, in the Argentine Eepublic, in France, in Spain, 
in Australia — in the Moon. It thus hopes to stay the craving 
of Canadian commerce and industry for their natural market. 
It has been compared to the father who told his boy that he 
could not be taken to the circus, but that if he was good he 
should be taken to see his grandmother's tomb. If the 
Canadian manufacturer, as the Protectionists aver, is unable 
to compete in his own market with the American, how can he 
compete with him in the markets of other countries ? 

It may safely be said that all the natural interests in 
Canada, the farming interest — which is much the greatest of 
all — the lumber interest, the mining interest, and the shipping 
interest, would vote for a measure which would admit them 
freely to the American market. On the other side are only 
the protected manufacturers. But the protected manu- 
facturers are strongly organised, whereas the other interests, 
notably the farmers', are comparatively unorganised ; so that, 
as was often said in the case of the United States, the fight 
between Protection and Free Trade is a fight between an 


army and a mob. The Protectionists have a firm hold upon 
the present Government, the existence of which is completely 
bound up with their system, and which looks to them largely 
for its election fund. It has, however, been already said that 
they are the hot-house industries which are alarmed. Of the 
Canadian manufacturers who feel that their business is 
natural and has a sound basis not a few avow themselves 
ready for an open market. They would have in some cases 
to put their production on a new footing, making fewer articles 
and on a larger scale, but, this being done, they do not fear the 
competition. They would still have the advantage of some- 
what cheaper labour. Sir George Stephen, than whom there 
can be no higher authority, in a circular addressed in 1875 to 
the heads of the woollen trade, with which he was then con- 
nected, said that if Canada could have free interchange with 
the United States of all products, whether natural or manu- 
factured, she "would become the Lancashire of the continent 
and increase in wealth and population to a degree that could 
hardly be imagined." That some of the weaker houses might 
suffer is acknowledged, and is to be lamented. All possible 
consideration is due to those whom Parliament has encouraged 
to invest But the whole community cannot be allowed to 
suffer, nor can commerce and industry be kept for ever on an 
unsound basis, for the sake of a few. Besides, it will be mercy 
to shut the door of unsound investment. But this is the bane 
of the Protectionist policy : when its unwisdom appears, you 
can hardly draw back from it without doing injury to 
artificial industries which it has created, and those engaged in 
them. Not that the artisans will suffer. 1 For them the 
expansion of natural industries would furnish fresh em- 
ployment, if not in Canada in the United States, to which 

1 See Handbook of Commercial Union, pp. 122 et seq. Mr. Jury. 


they pass with little hesitation when the labour market 

Canadians are told, to scare them from Commercial Union, 
that if the tariff wall were out of the way they would become 
"hewers of wood and drawers of water for the Yankees." 
Hewers of wood for the Yankees they are already to their 
own great profit. It is not obvious why the producer of raw 
materials should be deemed so much beneath the factory 
hand; perhaps looking to the effect of manufactures on 
national character in England we might think that a nation 
would be wise in contenting itself with so much of factory 
life as nature had allotted it. Whatever yields most wealth 
will raise highest the condition of the people, their standard 
of living, and their general civilisation. Another bugbear is 
the fear that Canadian cities will be swallowed up by New 
York, though the cities of the State of New York itself, 
Buffalo, Eochester, Syracuse, Oswego, and even Albany, which 
is within four hours' run of New York, are growing all the 
time. 1 These vague alarms remind us of those raised on com- 
mercial grounds by the opponents of the union between 
England and Scotland. The English were told that their wealth 
would be devoured by the hungry Scots, the Scotch were told 
that they would become commercial slaves to the wealthy 
English, and " with their grain spoiling on their hands, stand 
cursing the day of their birth, dreading the expense of their 
burial. ,, The able and eloquent Lord Belhaven formally 
paused in the middle of his speech that he might shed a tear 
over the approaching ruin of his country which he foresaw 
in a vision of woe. Lord Marchmont in reply said that he 
thought a short answer would suffice. " Behold, he dreamed ; 
but, lo, when he awoke, behold, it was a dream." The reality 

1 See Handbook of Commercial Union, pp. 86 et seq. Mr. Janes. 


was what the Duke of Argyll in his work on Scotland calls 
" The Burst of Industry." It was the works and warehouses 
of Glasgow, the shipbuilding yards of the Clyde, and the 
farms of the Lothians. 

To make up for the dearth of economical arguments 
against Eeciprocity its opponents appeal to Loyalty and the 
Old Flag. " Discriminate against the Mother Country ! 
Never I " So with uplifted hands and eyes cry Protectionists 
who are running to Ottawa to get higher duties laid on British 
goods, and would not be sorry to shut the gate, if they could, 
against British importation altogether. Canada does already 
discriminate against Great Britain, if not on any specific 
article, on the aggegate trade. It has been shown that she 
collects about four per cent, more in the aggregate on British 
than on American goods, and admitsmore American than British 
products free. 1 When the privileges enjoyed by the Colonies 
in tha British market were withdrawn and the commercial 
unity of the Empire was broken up, notice was in effect 
given to each member of the Empire to do the best that it 
could for itself under its own circumstances. The circum- 
stances of Canada are those of a country commercially bound 
up with another country much larger than itself and with a 
high tariff. It is surely too much to expect that all Canada 
shall remain in a state of commercial atrophy for the sake of 
a few exporting houses in Great Britain. The British people 
themselves would never be brought to make such a sacrifice. 
The discrimination would not, like the duties imposed by 
Canadian Protectionists on British goods, be directed against 
British'commerce ; it would be merely, like the equalisation 
of excise, a necessity incidental to an arrangement for the 
benefit of Canada with the United States ; so that no breach 

1 See Handbook of Commercial Union, pp. 175 et seq. Mr. Dryden. 


of good feeling would be involved. Not a penny would be 
taken from the British Crown, Nor would England be 
really a loser ; she would gain by the enhanced value of her 
Canadian investments more than she would lose by the 
reduction of her exports. 

It is further alleged that Commercial Union would be 
Annexation in disguise. When railways were introduced it 
was thought that a gauge uniform with the American would 
be annexation in disguise and a difference of gauge was 
insisted on accordingly. Is there a natural tendency on the 
part of Canada to political union ? If there is, increased 
intercourse of any kind, whether locomotive or commercial, 
will no doubt help it ; but nothing can help it more than the 
fusion of population by the exodus which the separatist 
policy keeps up. The enemies of Eeciprocity forget that they 
are themselves the most active of annexationists, if not in 
regard to the Canadian territory, in regard to the Canadian 
people. Canada would be as much as ever mistress 
of her own political destinies, nor could any step towards 
political union be taken without the free vote of her citizens. 
If her nationality is Sound what does she require more? 
That would be a weak nationality indeed which should 
depend on a Customs line. The German Zollverein, which is 
pointed out as a warning example, would never have unified 
Germany or tended much to her unification had not she 
already been a nation, though in a state of political disruption. 
Zollvereins are now, it seems, being proposed between other 
communities of Central Europe without any idea of altering 
political relations. If the reciprocity in natural products 
enjoyed under the Elgin treaty did not impair Canada's 
independence, why should reciprocity in manufactures destroy 
it ? Not only did the Elgin treaty not impair independence 



but it put an end to the movement in favour of annexa- 
tion, which commercial distress had generated, and which had 
led to the Annexationist manifesto of 1849. In entering into 
any contract, the parties, whether nations or men, must give 
up their independence to the extent for which they covenant : 
in no other sense would a commercial treaty, however 
extensive, if freely made on both sides, be on either side a 
surrender of independence. Dependent on the Americans 
for her winter ports Canada already is, and large branches 
of her railway system are on their soil and in their power. 
Americans who desire immediate Annexation are always 
against Commercial Union. 

Commercial Union would include mutual participation 
in the fisheries, in the coasting trade, and in the use of 
the canals and water-ways. In this it is distinguished from 
Unrestricted Eeciprocity, which would equally involve the 
complete removal of the Customs line. In regard to the 
fisheries it would give effect to the policy of British states- 
men who desired, « as Shelburne and Pitt seem to have 
desired, that England and her American colonies should not 
become foreign nations to each other, but divide amicably 
between them the family heritage. In no other way is the 
dispute about the fisheries likely to be ended. Even sup- 
posing a treaty satisfactory to diplomacy to be made, fisher- 
men are not diplomatists ; they are naturally tenacious of the 
trade by which they live ; they will always be prone to deny 
their rivals the facilities and hospitalities incident to treaty 
rights, and thus quarrels will be apt to arise. 

The main objection to Commercial Union is the difficulty 
of framing, in concert with the Americans, a uniform sea- 
board tariff. This difficulty, however, as matters stood before 
the passing of the M'Kinley Act, was by no means insuper- 


able, the principle of the American and Canadian tariffs 
being the same, and the difference of rates not very great. 
The smaller interest in case of disagreement might, as in 
ordinary bargains, without loss of honour, yield a point. An 
arrangement would probably have been brought about easily 
enough by a conference of commercial men, free from the 
malign influences of party, and unaffected by the appeals to 
national pride and jealousy which, if the negotiation were 
in the hands of a party government, the opposite party, 
in its anxiety to discredit its rivals would be sure to 
make. Nor need there be any fears of subsequent disturb- 
ance of the agreement, from any source, at least, but a quarrel 
between Great Britain and the United States, such as that 
by which the Eeciprocity Treaty was overturned. Com- 
merce after a little experience would be too sensible of the 
benefit to renounce it or allow the politicians, whom, by a 
resolute effort, she can even in the United States control, to 
wrest it from her. The line of Custom houses built across a 
continent which nature has forbidden to be divided, once 
pulled down, will never be built up again. Fresh obstacles 
and of a serious kind might have been created by the 
M'Kinley Act. Commercial Unionists did not feel them- 
selves called upon to raise the general questions between 
Protection and Free Trade, so far as the seaboard tariff was 
concerned. They confined their aim to the removal of the 
Customs line across their own continent, which oh any 
rational hypothesis is an evil, unless it would be a good 
thing to have a Customs line between Pennsylvania and 
New York, or between York and Lancashire. But there 
must be limits to the compromise of principle, even for the 
sake of an immediate advantage so great as Commercial 
Union will bring. Canada cannot commit treason against 


civilisation. However, the manifest faults of the measure, com- 
bined with the enormous waste of public money incurred in 
baling out surplus revenue to avert a reform of the tariff, 
have proved too much for the superstition or the sufferance 
of the American people. Symptoms of a change of opinion 
had even before appeared. At the last Presidential election, 
Mr. Cleveland was defeated more by party than by protec- 
tion, and more by the manufacturers' money than either, and 
there was a marked increase of the mechanics' vote in favour 
of a reduction of the tariff, showing that the fallacious belief 
in protection as a mode of raising wages was losing its hold. 
Moreover, protection was being nullified by the extension of 
its own area, which exposed the protectionist to increased 
competition, national it might be, but not more welcome to 
him, in spite of his patriotic professions, than that of the 
foreigner. New England is now praying for free admission 
of raw materials. The Eepublican party in the United States 
is the war party kept on foot for the sake of maintaining 
the war tariff in the interest of the protected manufacturers. 
It has made a desperate effort to retain power and to rivet 
its policy on the nation by means which have estranged 
from it the best of its supporters ; but in the late elections 
it has received a signal, and probably decisive, overthrow. 
What all the preachings of economic science were powerless 
to effect has been brought about at last by the reduction of 
the public debt and of the necessity for duties as revenue. 
A new commercial era has apparently dawned for the United 
States, and the lead of the United States will be followed in 
time by the rest of the world. 

By the abandonment of the Customs duties on American 
goods, the Canadian government would lose revenue perhaps 
to the amount of $7,000,000. This loss might be made up 


partly by new taxes of such a character as not to press on 
industry or shackle trade — to begin with, an increase of 
the excise— partly by economy in subsidies to Provinces, 
public works undertaken for political purposes, and needless 
expenditure on legislation and government. To say that 
such economy is impracticable, would be to admit that a 
confederation, united by no natural bond of geography, race, 
language, or commercial interest, can be held together only 
by corruption. 

While these pages are going through the press, Canada is 
the scene of a general election. Seeing that the tide in favour 
of free trade with the continent was rising, and, before the 
constitutional time for the next election came round, might 
rise to an overwhelming height, the Protectionist Government 
of Sir John Macdonald has sprung a dissolution on the 
country, the Governor-General passively lending the pre- 
rogative for that purpose. There is not a shadow of constitu- 
tional ground for the step, and the reason alleged — that the 
Government contemplates making overtures on the trade 
question to the Americans, and cannot do this without a 
fresh Parliament at its back — was evidently hollow. The 
Government at first sought to head off the current of opinion 
and dish the Opposition by declaring for Bestricted against 
Unrestricted Reciprocity. But this strategy has failed of effect, 
and the appeal on the part of the Government is now to 
" The Old Flag," with which are coupled " The Old Leader," 
and "The Old Policy," against American connection. On 
the issue thus raised the deliverance of the country will be 
made. The verdict will be greatly confused, not only by 
local questions, such as that of a Submarine Tunnel for Prince 
Edward Island, which seems uppermost in the Islander's 


mind, but by the Equal Eight movement against Jesuit and 
priestly aggression, which is still strong, and cuts across the 
lines of political and commercial party. The Protected 
Manufacturers will do their best, and the Government will ply 
all the engines which it has long had at its command. To 
ply those engines in Nova Scotia the Canadian High Com- 
missioner has been brought over from England. Nor have 
party names and shibboleths lost their extraordinary power. 
Tories, though in favour of Eeciprocity, will still vote Tory. 
To stimulate the enthusiasm of loyalty " Annexation plots " 
are being discovered, and the discoveries are paraded with all 
the resources of emotional eloquence and sensation type. 
What will come out of this chaos is, at the time of our 
writing, uncertain. But already tidings reach us from the 
rural districts which seem to show that the farmer, however 
much he may care for the Old Flag, cares also for his bread. 
Should the Government be beaten or even hard pressed in 
a pitched battle of its own seeking on the question of relation 
with the United States, the result will be full of meaning. 



By Mr. Henry "W. Darling, Ex-President of the Toronto 

Board of Trade. 

The Canadian Banks hold their franchises by virtue of an Act of 
the Dominion Parliament, which expires periodically and has just been 
renewed, extending the Bank Charters for ten years from July 1891. 

The Bank of British North America, and the Bank of British 
Columbia are incorporated by Royal Charters, but are subject to the 
provisions of the Canadian Act in all respects, except as to the double 
liability of their Shareholders. The system of Banking modelled 
upon the plan of the Scotch Banks with Branches, has proved 
admirably suited to the wants of a new country, and although the 
management generally has not been conspicuous for ability trans- 
cending that of all the other commercial enterprises of the country, 
the failures and consequent losses to the public have been neither 
numerous nor large. The tendency of the management is towards a 
legitimate banking business conducted upon well-established principles. 

The provisions governing the creation of new Banks are not too 
onerous to prevent their increase as the needs of the country may 
require. Under the new Act the safeguards and restrictions are 
increased, and they are now severe enough to discourage speculative 
schemes, a substantial paid-up capital, and a contribution to the fund 
in the hands of the Government guaranteeing the circulation, being 
requisite before power to issue notes is granted. 

The list of Shareholders published annually as a Government 
return, and presented to parliament, shows that the Shareholders are 
chiefly residents in Canada, with a few in Britain and the United 
States. The liability of the Shareholders in case of failure in 
a further amount equal to the amount of the shares held is 
no doubt a deterrent to foreign investors. The Banks are permitted 
to issue their own notes in denominations of $5 and upwards in 
multiples of $5 to the extent of their bona fide unimpaired 


paid-up capital. Under the new Act, which comes into force 
in July 1891, they deposit with the Government a sum equal to 
5 per cent upon the average circulation of the Bank during the 
previous year ; and this fund is held as a guarantee against loss to the 
public from the circulation of their notes. Any impairment is to be 
made up by proportionate contribution from each Bank, in payments 
not exceeding in any one year 1 per cent of the average amount of its 
notes in circulation. Experience has shown that the risk of ultimate 
loss on the circulation through the failure of a Bank is infinitesimal, 
and in order to prevent temporary depreciation to holders of bank 
notes on the suspension of a Bank, it is provided that they shall 
bear interest at the rate of 6 per cent per annum until the process 
of redemption is resumed, either by the Bank or by the Liquidator. 
It is also incumbent upon the Banks to make provision for the 
redemption of their notes at a central point in each Province, which 
ensures their passing at par from end to end of the Dominion. The 
circulation constitutes a first lien upon all the assets of the Bank, 
including the reserved liability of the Shareholders. It may therefore 
be affirmed that there is a circulating medium in Canada adequate to 
all the requirements of the business in it, which cannot be forced 
upon the community in excess of the daily need, because it is under- 
going redemption daily at three central points, and possessing the 
essential element of elasticity. From the monthly return made to the 
Government by the Banks, it is shown that the maximum of Bank 
circulation for the past year (1889) was $33,577,700, and the entire 
assets, including the Shareholders' Capital and Reserve Fund and 
double liability of Shareholders standing between the public and loss 
upon it, was $397,300,000 — ample security in the aggregate. The 
guarantee fund in the hands of the Government, amounting to about 
$1,700,000, with the obligation to contribute to any impairment of 
it to the extent of 5 per cent upon the average annual circulation 
of each Bank, is regarded as sufficient to meet loss in any case of 
failure. The system, however, has its chief recommendation in the 
element of elasticity, enabling the Banks to meet any extra pressure 
for money, in moving the crops for instance, by an increase in their 
circulation without causing a stringency, raising rates of interest, or 
reducing loans to their regular customers. In this respect it is 
regarded as superior to the system in the United States, where the 
circulation of each Bank is secured by Government Bonds deposited 
with the Government against the notes issued. Here the element of 
elasticity is entirely wanting, and the market value of the bonds 
makes it unprofitable for the Banks to hold them, and a stringency 
ensues upon any abnormal demand for money. 

In addition to the notes of the Chartered Banks, the Dominion 
Government issues legal tender in $1, $2, $4 bills, and those of larger 


denominations, and this is authorised by Act of Parliament to the 
extent of $20,000,000, but limited at present by order in Council to 
$19,000,000. The average circulation of those notes for the past 
year has been about $16,000,000 ; and, although the Chartered Banks 
are not compelled to keep any fixed amount of cash in their Treasuries 
as Reserves proportioned either to their Capital or Liabilities, not 
less than 40 per cent of their Cash Reserves must be in these 
Dominion notes. By this means a certain volume of circulation is 
secured. A forced loan is thus obtained by the Government from the 
Banks without interest 

The Reserves held by the Minister of Finance are regarded by 
competent authorities as wholly inadequate, viz. 15 per cent in 
gold: 10 per cent in Canadian Government securities guaranteed by 
the British Government; and the remaining 75 per cent in 
Dominion debentures. To prevent the defection of its Gold Reserves 
by a demand for export to New York when it would be profitable to 
send gold there British sovereigns are paid out, and American gold, 
which could be negotiated without discount or depreciation, refused. 
The Government circulation is further stimulated by making certain 
proportions of it redeemable only at certain cities. It is of course 
a legal tender in every part of Canada. 

The system of Banks with large capital, having their head offices 
in the commercial centres and extending their operations by means of 
branch offices at various points, is admirably suited to a new country, 
and in this respect is also regarded as superior to the National Bank 
system of the United States, where branches are forbidden and the, 
operations of each Bank are restricted practically to the locality in 
which it is established. In Canada the savings of the people are 
gathered up at points where they can be attracted in amounts 
sufficient to warrant the opening of a Branch Bank, and if the local 
loaning business offered is small or undesirable, the funds are 
employed in commercial and industrial centres, and the value of 
money is thus equalised, or nearly so, all over the Dominion. It is 
assumed that in the hands of a Bank with large capital and a liberal 
reserve fund deposits are safer than when entrusted to a smaller insti- 
tution whose opportunities of doing a safe, legitimate, and profitable 
business are restricted to the discounts offered in a single locality. 

Four of the largest Banks in Canada have offices in New York, one 
has an office in Chicago, and one in San Francisco, where they do a 
large business in Foreign Exchange, and employ their Reserves on call 
and short-date loans, so that they may be immediately available in 
cases of emergency. Further than this, and with the exception of the 
ordinary items sent from and to either side for collection, the Banks 
in Canada and the United States have no relations with one another. 

The Government of Canada has been an active competitor with the 



Chartered Banks for the savings of the people, through the agency of 
the Post Office and Savings Banks. Of the former there are 463, 
with a balance at the credit of depositors of $23,000,000, and in 
Savings Banks $20,000,000. These sums have been obtained by a 
rate of interest being paid at a higher rate than the largest Chartered 
Banks found it necessary to pay. 

The Building Societies and Loan Companies which have the 
power to take deposits have also been active competitors with the 
Banks in this department, and, since 1867, the deposits in 
these institutions have increased from $577,299 to $17,757,376 in 
1889. The managers of such companies are beginning to realise 
that there is danger in borrowing on call and loaning on land 
security without adequate reserves immediately available being re- 
tained. A run upon one company in troublous times would probably 
precipitate disaster, and efforts are being made to convert call deposits 
into true debentures when opportunity offers. 

The Chartered Banks are not allowed to loan money on the 
security of their own stock or on real estate. The monthly return of 
their assets and liabilities, made to the Finance Minister, is elaborate, 
but serves a useful purpose, and as published is carefully studied and 
commented upon in the financial papers. 

The rate currently paid by the Banks for deposits is from 3 per 
cent to 5 per cent A rate of interest so high has attracted large 
deposits: in 1867 the total amount at the credit of depositors was 
$30,652,193 ; in 1889 it was $126,243,755. The rate on loans and 
discounts varies from 6 per cent to 8 per cent, according to the 
character of the business ; and dividends are paid from 6 per cent to 
1 2 per cent, according to the running capacity of the Bank, and the 
skill with which it is managed. The Dominion Bank, whose head- 
quarters are in Toronto (Capital $1,500,000 and Rest $1,300,000), 
pays dividends of 10 per cent per annum, and their shares of $100 
are sold for $230. The Bank of Toronto (Capital $2,000,000, and Rest 
$1,400,000), also pays dividends of 10 per cent per annum, and their 
shares are quoted at 224 per $100. The Bank of Montreal (Capital 
$1 2,000,000, and Rest of $6,000,000), pays 1 per cent, and the market 
value of their shares is 229 per $100. Most of the other Banks in 
the Province pay a yearly dividend ranging from 6 to 8 per cent, after 
carrying, in many instances, a substantial amount to the Rest Account 
and providing for contingencies. The more substantial Loan Companies 
pay an annual dividend of 10 per cent, and frequently with a bonus 
to their stockholders. The Dominion " Statistical Abstract " gives the 
total amount of money on deposit in 1889, in the Chartered Banks, 
Post Office, and Government Savings Bank, and in the hands of Loan 
Companies, as upwards of $207,000,000, equal to the sum of $40 
per head of the population. 



By Thomas Shaw, Professor of Agriculture and Arboriculture, Ontario 

Agricultural College, Guelph, Ontario. 

The climate of Ontario admits of the growing of as great a variety of 
produce as that of England, the natural capabilities of her soils are 
probably greater, and she is ahead of Great Britain in the introduction 
and use of agricultural implements of the most approved kinds. 

The Province produces finer samples of various kinds of grain, a 
greater variety of the pure breeds of live stock, and a better quality 
of several of the most useful kinds of fruit, than any other province or 
state on the North American Continent. It is not, we fear, generally 
known that the people of this Province ship annually to Great 
Britain from one-third to one-fourth as many finished bullocks as the 
whole of the United States, and that we export annually to the latter 
country, in the face of a high tariff to the extent of many millions of 
dollars, the same kinds of agricultural products that are grown in that 
great Republic. In the hope of dispelling in some degree miscon- 
ceptions and of disseminating the truth, the writer has consented to 
prepare this brief essay. 

We do not claim for the Province the first place in the world for 
agricultural resources and development^ but we do claim for it a 
foremost place. If the reader will but bear in mind that one hundred 
years ago nearly the whole of Ontario was primeval forest, and 
that seventy years ago the very spot on which these college walls now 
stand was the home of the wild beast, he will concur in the conclusion 
that the development of the agricultural resources of this country has 
been simply wonderful. 

The Soil, Climate, and Products of Ontario 

The climate of Ontario is very invigorating. In the summer it is 
rather warm, but the amount of bright sunshine, especially in the 


harvest months, is very favourable to the quick conducting of the 
operations of the husbandman. Some seasons there are not half a 
dozen showers through the whole of the harvest time. During other 
seasons it is different, but grain or fodder is seldom spoiled from over- 
much moisture. The winters of Ontario are not so favourable to the 
operations of the husbandman ; as he cannot usually conduct field 
operations after the end of November nor before the middle of ApriL 
His stock also requires to be housed during that season, which 
necessitates a large output of food and labour. The season of growth 
is very rapid. Barley sown during the closing days of April is often 
housed before the end of July. Field operations must therefore of 
necessity be done in a somewhat hurried manner. The climate seems 
to suit stock-growing admirably, as the diseases which so often hamper 
and thwart the efforts of the stockman in Europe are unknown here. 
We have no pleuro-pneumonia, nor foot-and-mouth disease amongst our 
cattle. The swine plague is unknown. There is no active disease at 
work amongst our flocks of sheep, and the same maybe truthfully 
said of our horses. This happy immunity from disease is a great boon 
to the grower of live stock. 

The soil of Ontario is varied in an unusual degree. The Province 
embraces all shades of soil, from a light sand to a heavy clay ; its 
prevailing character is that of a clay loam. Relatively it is rich and 
productive, more so perhaps than any similar area in the North 
American Continent Considerable portions of it do not require 
under-draining owing to the porous nature of the subsoil, and yet it 
cannot be said of any large area of it that it is leachy, although 
much of it is not yet under -drained. This work is now being 
carried on with a great deal of vigour in several sections. It is owing 
to the varied nature of the soil of Ontario that so large a variety of 
crops may be grown. In this respect the Province is singularly 
favoured. In the western half of it fall wheat can be grown of the 
first quality. The Ontario six rowed barley is not equalled perhaps 
by any in the world for brightness of colour, and for its suitability to 
make beer such as the Americans desire. Heavy crops of rye, spring 
wheat, oats, and peas can be grown in almost any part of the Province. 
Indian corn or maize flourishes in the Lake Erie counties, where it 
can be grown to great perfection, and it will grow admirably 
throughout the whole Province for ensilage or fodder purposes. 
It is now being grown very extensively for these uses, and the 
average quantity of green corn that can be grown on an acre in one 
season is probably not less than 15 to 18 tons. Buckwheat, though 
not much grown, does very well in all parts except in the most 
northerly counties. 

The Province is not only admirably adapted to the growth and 
proper curing of hay, composed of a variety of grasses and clovers, but 


it will grow field roots, such as turnips, mangels, and carrots in fine 
form in nearly all the counties. Sugar beets may also be readily 
grown, yielding by analysis fully as high a percentage as can be 
obtained in Germany or France, but as yet we have no sugar beet 
factories established. 

Rape may also be grown in great perfection, and the fattening of 
lambs on this for the United States market by pasturing is becoming 
an important trade. The southerly sections of Ontario are admirably 
adapted to the growing of many kinds of fruits. The climate in these 
is tempered by proximity to the waters of the Great Lakes. Small 
fruits, such as strawberries, raspberries, currants, and gooseberries, will 
grow well in almost any section of the country. All the Lake counties, 
and indeed all the counties of the West, grow apples, excellent in 
quality and in great abundance in favourable years. Pears, plums, and 
cherries produce well in the same sections. Peaches flourish in certain 
sections of Lakes Erie and Ontario, though the crop is somewhat pre- 
carious. In the same localities enormous quantities of the finest grapes 
are now being grown. Garden vegetables of many kinds, including 
squash, celery, tomatoes, melons, etc., are grown in finest form. In 
1888, 180, 557 acres were devoted to orchard and garden purposes. The 
immense original forests of Ontario are largely a thing of the past. 
Generally speaking, the farmers have sufficient timber for fuel, but 
many of them have not a sufficient supply for building purposes. 
Almost the only timber now used for fencing purposes is cedar, utilised 
in the form of posts on which wires are stretched, either with or with- 
out barbs. Re-foresting is only in its infancy, but trees planted for 
purposes of protection in winter are now becoming quite common. In 
1888 the returns of the assessors gave the amount of farm lands in 
the Province as 22,058,279 acres — 

Cleared .... 11,314,725 acres 

Woodland .... 8,512,740 

Swamp, marsh, or waste . 2,230,814 

The amount returned as woodland does not by any means represent 
unbroken forest, but lands as yet uncultivated, and from a large portion 
of which the forest has been largely removed. 

In the same year the staple field crops occupied 7,616,350 acres, 
and the pasture grounds 2,535,604 acres. There has been a marked 
decrease in the number of acres devoted to pasture during recent years, 
owing to the great increase in the growth of soiling and ensilage crops. 

Although at the time of writing the report for 1889 of the Bureau 
of Industries is not yet published, through the kindness of its secretary, 
Mr. A Blue, we are enabled to give in advance the following statistics 
relating to the agriculture of Ontario in 1889 : — 



Acreage, Yield, and Value of Field Crops 






Fall Wheat 





Spring Wheat . 





Barley .... 















Pease .... 





Corn (in ear) 










Beans .... 





Hay and Clover (tons) 





Potatoes .... 





Mangel-wurzels . 




No estimate 

Carrots .... 





Turnips .... 





Value of all Field Crops 


The aggregate returns given in the above Table and the average 
yield per acre compare as follows, with the same during the seven 
preceding years : 

Average yield 
per acre. 


Fall Wheat . 

Spring Wheat 

Barley . 




Corn (in ear) . 

Buckwheat . 


Hay and Clover 



Carrots . 

Turnips . 

19*8 bush. 
15-9 „ 
26-1 „ 
357 „ 
16*4 „ 
20-7 „ 
67-5 „ 
22*2 „ 
20*9 „ 

1-33 tons 
121-5 „ 
437-1 „ 
353 -4 „ 
394-9 „ 











From these figures it is apparent that the fine natural capabilities 
of the soil of Ontario have not as yet been brought out in best form. 
But while this is true it should be remembered that Ontario leads the 
North American continent in the yield obtained per acre from the 
principal cereal crops. During the seven years ending with 1888 the 
average yield of fall wheat from Ontario exceeded that of any State in 
the Union 4-1 bushels per acre, barley 3 bushels per acre, and oats 1.5 



bushels per acre. The State giving the largest return of fall wheat dur- 
ing this term was Michigan ; spring wheat, Dakota ; barley, Wisconsin ; 
and oats, Illinois. 

The average prices obtained in the leading cities of Ontario for the 
various crops grown during the preceding seven years ending 1888 
are given in the following table : — 

Fall Wheat, per bushel 

88.8 cents 

Spring Wheat 















Corn (in ear) 










j> < 


Hay, per ton 

• « 



rvE Stock Statistics for 1889 

Number of Live Stock — 




1,891,899 (779,171 being milch cows) 








Value of Farm Live Stock, $105,731,288. 

The principal breeds of horses bred pure are the Clydesdale, the 
Shire, and Percheron of the heavy breeds, and of the light ones the 
Standard bred trotting horse, and the Cleveland Bay. The Clydes 
are by far the most numerous. The chief of the breeds of cattle bred 
pure are the Shorthorn, the Hereford, the Aberdeen Angus Poll, the 
Galloway, the West Highland, the Devon, the Ayrshire, the Jersey, the 
Guernsey, and the Holstein. Of these, Shorthorns are by far the most 
numerous. The leading pure breeds of sheep include the Leicester, the 
Lincoln, the Cotswold, the Oxford Down, the Shropshire Down, the 
Hampshire Down, the Southdown, the Horned Dorset, and the Merino. 
Of these the Leicester is the longest established in the country. 

The chief of the pure breeds of swine are the Berkshire, the York- 
shire, the Essex, the Suffolk, the Poland China, the Chester White, and 
the Tamworth. Of these the Berkshire is the best established. No 
one State or Province of the continent can compare with Ontario in 
the number of the pure bred animals produced, taken as a whole, in 
the variety of the breeds, or in the individual excellence of the animals 
composing them. Because of this Ontario has become in a sense a 



breeding ground of pare stock of a high order for almost every State in 
the American Union* 

Cheese Statistics for 1889 

Number of Factories 


,, Patrons .... 


Average number of cows 


Milk used, lbs. .... 


Cheese made, lbs. .... 


Value of Cheese, $ . 


Value per lb., cents .... 


Milk to make lib. of cheese, lbs. 


Creameries Statistics for 1889 

In operation .... 


Butter made, lbs. 


Value, $ 


Cheese made at Creameries, lbs. 


Value of Cheese, $ 


Total value of Produce, $ 


Nearly all the butter as yet produced in Ontario is made in private 

No better idea can be obtained of the great agricultural capabilities 
of this Province intrinsically and relatively than by glancing over a 
summary of the exports. Owing to the method adopted in making 
up the official trade and navigation returns for the Dominion of Canada 
and its respective Provinces, it has been found impossible to 
ascertain exactly the relative proportion of the agricultural products 
exported from Ontario to Great Britain and the United States respect- 
ively. Ontario has no shipping port, and those engaged in making up 
the trade returns place the products exported to the credit of the country 
from which they have been finally shipped. Thus it is that Quebec 
Province, with Montreal as the leading shipping port for Ontario, is 
credited with the production of a large proportion of the shipments 
from Ontario. For instance, in the official returns which end 30th 
June 1889, Ontario is represented as having shipped to Great Britain 
during the preceding twelve months, of animals and their produce to 
the value of $2,139,450 ; and Quebec as having exported of the same, 
to the value of $13,477,182. The true facts of the case are that nearly 
the whole of this produce came from Ontario, as it consisted almost 
wholly of fat and store cattle, sheep, and cheese, of which Quebec 
Province produces very little for export. If the exports from the two 
Provinces be added together, and say five-sixths of the whole, or a still 
larger proportion, credited to Ontario, we will then get an approximate 
idea of the extent of the Ontario exports. 



The following summary is taken from the official returns for the 
fiscal year ending 30th June 1889. It relates to the exports of agri- 
cultural products from Ontario and Quebec together as compared with 
those of the whole Dominion : — 

From Ontario From the 

and Quebec. Dominion. 

Animals and their produce .... $21,788,799 $23,894,707 

Agricultural products $12,272,760 $13,414,111 

This implies that probably more than three-fourths of the agricul- 
tural products of the whole Dominion are produced by Ontario. 

Ontario produces and exports the greater portion of the cattle and 
sheep that are sent out of the Dominion. Of the former about 60,000 
head have been sent annually to Great Britain, and 40,000 head to 
the United States during recent years. The same may be said of 
sheep, of which about 30,000 head are sent annually to Great Britain, 
and 300,000 head to the United States. The same is also true of 
horses, of which about 16,000 head are sent annually to the United 
States. The cheese export from Ontario and Quebec, for the year 
ending 30th June 1890, was 88,041,857 pounds, and was valued at 
$9,465,936. The value put upon the cheese at the port of shipment is 
higher than the estimate put upon it in the factory returns. The 
same year Ontario exported eggs to the United States to the value of 
$1,544,974, apples to Great Britain to the value of $1,013,909, and 
to the United States to the value of $1 7 9,247. Ontario is the principal 
producer in the Dominion of all the aforementioned articles ; and also 
exports wool, flax, and beans in considerable quantities. Her export 
of barley for the year referred to above was 9,716,993 bushels, valued 
at $6,329,502. 

The exports of all other kinds of grain have dwindled to almost 
nothing, and are sure to decrease still further, as without a doubt 
Ontario is destined to grow great through the production of live stock 
and live stock products. 

The Methods Usually Adopted by the Canadian Farmer 

Although the methods practised by the Ontario farmer are defect- 
ive in many respects relatively, his practice is advanced when com- 
pared with that of the other Provinces and States of North America. 
No other proof of this is required than the success which has attended 
his efforts in capturing foreign markets in competition with the 
people of all nations. Fat bullocks sent from Ontario command 
high prices in the markets of Liverpool, store steers are eagerly 
bought up by Scottish farmers in Glasgow, Aberdeen, and Dundee. 
Ontario cheese commands the highest price in the markets of London, 
and Ontario apples can at any time find purchasers on British docks 
more readily than those from the United States. Ontario barley 


flowed into the New England States in a stream so constant that it 
has been thought necessary by the United States Government to bar 
its entrance by a duty of 30 cents per bushel. Our horses have been 
sought for to the extent of about $2,000,000 annually by the people 
of that country, and these, along with large numbers of our store 
cattle, have climbed over a tariff wall in the face of a 20 per cent 
duty ; and now our lambs are entering their markets in thousands and 
tens of thousands, although a duty of 75 cents has to be paid on 
every lamb going into that country. 

A very large portion of the pure-bred live stock imported into this 
country from Britain finds its way over our Western border into the 
United States ; and our best market for the pure bred horses, cattle, 
sheep, and swine that we raise is found in that market. Methods 
which give such results as these cannot be behind the age when 
viewed as a whole. In Ontario we have some specialists in various 
lines, but the system generally adopted is more commonly known by 
the name of " mixed " farming. Those who practise mixed farming 
rear a sufficient number of horses to till their lands, and occasionally 
one or two for sale. The sale of butter from their cows and of 
poultry and eggs keeps the family in groceries ; generally more or less 
beef, mutton, and pork are sold in addition to what is used in the 
family. Nearly all the grain and fodder required, if not the whole 
of these, is grown upon the farm, and sometimes a considerable portion 
is also sold in the local markets. 

A very large proportion of the work done upon the farm is now 
done by machinery. Much of the ploughing is done by the use of the 
sulky plough, and much of the harrowing by the use of the sulky 
harrow. Machines are also being introduced which will enable culti- 
vating to be done in the same way. The sowing is almost entirely 
done by the use of the seed-drill The mowing and reaping are done 
by the use of machines. A large proportion of the pea crop is cut by 
the pea harvester. The sulky horse-rake does all the raking. Hay 
loaders load much of the hay, and horse forks deposit much of it in 
the mow. In some instances sack-lifters elevate the loads bodily to a 
high position in the barns, and in others the load is carried into the 
mow from off the waggon by means of slings. Threshing machines 
are of the first order, and they are run by steam-engines which 
have been so perfected in their appendages that they may be set 300 
yards away from the barn. The steam-engine is often used in prepar- 
ing food for the stock, and windmills are frequently employed in pump- 
ing water for their use. The extent to which the aid of machinery 
is called in enables the farmer to get over his work with much expedi- 
tion, and with a much reduced expenditure of bodily strength. 

The live stock is all housed in winter, sometimes in sheds, but 
more frequently in what are termed basement stables, that is, stables 


the walls of which are of stone, brick, or wood lined with tar-paper, 
and these support a wooden building, usually termed a barn, in which 
are stored the food supplies. The live stock being in the lower apart- 
ment, the food and litter kept overhead are thus very easily fed to 
them. In many of the buildings the cattle drink without leaving 
the stalls, and other facilities for doing the work are equally perfect. 

The Impoverishment op the Soil 

The system of farming practised by the first settlers may justly be 
termed a land-robbing one. In clearing the land they cut down the 
heavy growth of timber which covered the soil, applied to it the torch, 
and reduced the whole to ashes. There was thus added to the stores 
of fertility, that had been accumulating for ages preceding, an immense 
quantity of potash. Thus it was that the farmer could go on and 
grow wheat year after year with an ample return at first, but which 
after a time gradually became less, until the crop proved unremunera- 
tive. Thus it was also that slovenly methods of farming came to 
prevail which even now in many sections are sapping the prosperity of 
Canadian farming. 

In this respect, however, the dawn of a brighter day has arrived. 
Ontario has almost entirely ceased to be an exporting country of grain, 
or indeed of food of any kind that may be fed to stock ; such food is 
almost entirely fed upon the farm, which of course tends to the reten- 
tion of its fertility. Were it not for the duty of 7£ cents per bushel on 
Indian corn or maize brought from the United States, large quantities of 
this would be imported and used by our farmers in fattening their stock. 

Artificial fertilisers are also beginning to be used, but their use 
has not as yet become general. As the Dominion is rich in phosphates 
and other forms of artificial fertilisers, we may confidently hope that 
the farmer, who is fast awakening to a sense of the value of such 
manures, will use them as regularly as he now does those which are 
made in the barnyard. 

"We may confidently hope then that the period of soil exhaustion 
is rapidly drawing to a close, and that it will be followed by one of 
soil enrichment. Ontario is already importing food for live stock 
from Manitoba and the North-West, and these importations will un- 
doubtedly increase from year to year, all of which will be favourable 
to the retention of the fertility of our soils if not to its positive increase. 

The Social Condition op the Farmer 

The condition of the farmer socially is not all that could be 
desired. The farmer in Ontario does not occupy the same position 
in society relatively with the farmer of Great Britain. The social 
distinctions are largely obliterated between him and the labourer 
which he employs. Nor in the community generally does he occupy 
that high position socially to which the dignity of his calling should 


entitle him. The first has arisen from influences inseparably associated 
with the early settlement of the country. Nearly all the early settlers 
in Canada were immigrants from Britain, who came from the labour- 
ing classes. Each family did its own work at first, both within the 
log cabin and without After a time other help had to be called in, 
and from the nature of things the labourer of necessity had to lodge 
with his employer. The employer then usually made a bargain with 
the employed to the effect that he would pay the former a certain sum 
for a given time and furnish board, lodging, and washing. Thus it 
was that a system originated which tends to obliterate all social dis- 
tinctions between the farmer and those whom he employs. This 
state of matters is, however, gradually changing. It is slowly giving 
way to that system which furnishes cottages for the labourer and his 
family. In many instances one of the cottagers provides board and 
lodging for the other portion of the hired help of the farm, and before 
very long it is not at all improbable that the necessary accommoda- 
tion for the assistants of the farm will be furnished in this way. In 
this tendency to. obliterate social distinctions between the farmer 
and his hired help there was really no hardship imposed upon the 
former, where he did not desire to have it otherwise, but when he 
wished to carry on the work of the farm and at the same time main- 
tain sacred the privacy of his home, he was not always able to do so 
because of the scarcity of labour. The labourer from the vantage 
ground which was thus given him became dictatorial in his attitude, 
and oftentimes compelled the farmer to come to terms. But with 
the increase of population and the introduction of improved machinery 
all this is rapidly changing, insomuch that it is probable that ere long 
the help employed upon the farm will not be lodged and fed in the 
house of the farmer. 

The Diet op the Ontario Farmer 

The diet of the Ontario farmer is not what it should be, or what 
it might be. No class of people in the world are better situated in 
regard to opportunity for providing a suitable diet The country 
provides in abundance a wonderful variety of wholesome products. 
Ontario produces wheat, oats, and buckwheat in fine form. No 
country can better furnish beef, pork, mutton, and fowl of a high 
order. Any farm in Ontario will produce a wide variety of vegetables 
in abundance, and also small fruits ; and large sections, as has already- 
been shown, will grow as fine apples, peaches, pears, and plums as can 
be found in the world. All of these products in many sections can be 
grown upon one and the same farm. Notwithstanding, the farmers 
generally live upon a diet that is more or less unwholesome. This 
has arisen in part from the vicious system of selling everything off the 
farm of first quality that would bring in money, and in part from 


unwholesome and defective methods of preparation. The Ontario 
farmer lives far too much on salt pork and pastry preparations. Were 
it not for this he would undoubtedly take a foremost place for robust 
physical development amongst the rural population of any land. The 
corrective influences of this abnormal state of things are already at 
work, and will, it is hoped, soon bring about a radical reform in the 
dietary practices of the farmer. 

The Agricultural Associations op Ontario 

The agriculture of this Province has been greatly assisted by the 
various Agricultural Associations operating within it The oldest 
association within the Province is the Council of the Agricultural and 
Arts Association, which for more than forty years held an agricultural 
and arts exhibition every year. This feature of the work of the 
Council has been brought to a close for the present Joint-stock 
associations hold exhibitions annually in some important centres. 
The Government has made provision for holding exhibitions annually 
in every township of the Province where this may be desired by the 
people, and these are usually held. 

We have an association of the breeders representing the Clydesdale 
and Shire horses, the Shorthorn, Ayrshire, and Holstein breeds 
of cattle, and the sheep, swine, and poultry industries. The cheese 
industry is represented by two associations, east and west, and the 
butter industry by one. 

The Bee Keepers' Association of Ontario is leading the world at 
the present time in the method it has adopted for the eradication of 
foul brood, and the Ontario Fruit Growers' Association has accom- 
plished a work second only in importance to that achieved by the 
Cheese Dairy Associations previously referred to. A system of Farmers' 
Institutes has been established by the Government, whereby the 
farmers may meet in any electoral district in the Province for the 
purpose of discussing questions relating to agriculture, and these are 
addressed periodically by the professors of the Ontario Agricultural 
College at Guelph. This college has a farm of 550 acres attached to 
it, a large portion of which is devoted to experimental purposes. The 
sons of farmers who are willing to labour diligently at this college 
may participate in the benefits which it offers at a very trifling 
cost, though the expense to young men from other countries is 

Ontario as a Field for Immigration 

The agriculture of Ontario invites two classes of immigrants at the 
present time. The first of these should possess sufficient capital to 
purchase an Ontario farm of from one to two hundred acres, and the 
second the ability to labour well with their hands in the capacity of 
farm servants. 


It would not be prudent, however, for the British capitalist to engage 
in Ontario farming who was not possessed of a fair share of knowledge 
regarding agriculture as practised in Great Britain. Lacking this he 
would not be likely to succeed. The tenant farmer of Britain possessed 
of sufficient capital to enable him to purchase and stock a farm here 
would very probably succeed in Ontario farming. But he would not 
succeed without having due regard to the modifications of method 
rendered necessary by the differences of climate, and the changed 
relations as regards labour. The season of growth in Ontario is 
relatively short as compared with the corresponding period of growth 
in Britain. Labour has to be performed therefore with much energy, 
and the aid of the most perfected labour-saving machines must needs 
be called in. The class of tenant farmers from Great Britain who will 
succeed best as farmers in this country are those whose predilections 
lead them into stock-keeping, for we have already shown that the 
agriculture of Ontario in the future will consist very largely of the 
production of live stock and the products of the same. The amount of 
capital required to purchase a farm of the dimensions indicated would 
be from $10,000 to $15,000, and to stock the farm and equip it 
with implements of tillage would take about $2000 or $3000. 

The system of renting or leasing farms in Ontario has never 
become popular, and is not practised to a very great extent. This is 
owing to the fact that usually the farmer is the proprietor. Leasing is, 
however, becoming more frequent during recent years, so that where 
a tenant has proved his efficiency he has little difficulty in obtaining 
a farm to lease. 

The rental paid is from $3.00 to $4.00 per acre per year, much 
depending upon soil and locality. Long leases are seldom given in this 
country, and the tenant is not usually hampered to any great extent 
by the terms of the lease. In instances not a few, persons who began 
by leasing farms have ended by becoming the proprietors. 

The efficient farm labourer can always find employment in Ontario 
when once he has proved his efficiency, so that the capable farm hand 
coming from Britain, indeed from any other country, need have no 
misgivings in regard to getting regular work when once he has proved 
his ability. The difficulty encountered at the first may be overcome 
by working cheaply for a time. The average wages paid to a farm 
hand per annum from 1882 to 1888, without board, was $254, and 
with board $163. The demand for efficient farm labourers in Ontario 
is always in excess of the supply. Those most in demand from foreign 
countries are such as are competent to feed and care for live stock. 

The demand for domestic servants on the farm has never yet been 
met The hours of labour for this class are no doubt long, but the 
domestic enjoys many of the privileges of the household oftentimes not 
accorded to such in other homes. The average wages paid per month, 


with board, was $6.28 during the year 1888. Immigrants of this class, 
furnished with credentials as to character, can at all times find ready 
employment in farmhouses. 

The Trade Relations of Ontario 

The trade relations of Ontario are not satisfactory to a majority of 
the farmers. A large number of them desire to have closer trade 
relations with the people of the United States. They look upon that 
country as the natural market for a large proportion of their products. 
That this view is the correct one is clearly apparent from the extensive 
trade which they have carried on with the United States during recent 
years in the face of a high tariff 

The agricultural exports to the United States and Great Britain 
respectively from the Provinces 6f Ontario and Quebec combined, for 
the fiscal year ending 30th June 1890, are given in the official returns 
as follows : — 

To G. Britain To the U. S. 

Animals and their produce . . $15,616,632 $3,938,827 
Agricultural products . . . 3,319,398 8,654,824 

$18,936,030 $14,593,651 

As the greater portion of the above produce went from Ontario, 
we thus see that, in the face of a duty averaging over 20 per cent, the 
Province of Ontario has sent at least three-fourths as much agricultural 
produce to the United States as to Great Britain during the year 
referred to. This trade has been carried on in products all of which 
are grown in the United States, and in most of which that country is a 
very great exporter. 

These facts and figures demonstrate very forcibly, first, the high 
character relatively of Ontario farming, and secondly, the overwhelm- 
ing advantages of contiguity in trade. There is no saying what this 
trade in agricultural products between Ontario and the United States 
might not have been had there been no tariff restrictions to meet. 
We are furnished an excellent example of this in the development of 
the egg trade. On 1 st January 1871 the duty of 1 per cent on eggs going 
into the United States was removed. During the half-year preceding 
this period the value of the eggs imported into the United States from 
all countries was not more than $5,403. In 1883 the import of eggs 
by that country from Canada (and most of them came from Ontario) 
amounted to 14,683,061 dozens, and the price paid for them to 
$2,584,279. A large majority of the farmers therefore are impatient 
of the barriers in the way of their trade with their southern neighbours, 
and many of them are clamouring to the Government for their 
removal. What the ultimate effects of failure to attain this end may 
be it is difficult to forecast. That it will strengthen the desire for 


political union with that people is more than a possibility. In the 
meantime the effects of these restrictions upon our agriculture are 
depressing, and this depression has shown itself in various ways ; but 
in none so strikingly as in its effects upon emigration from Canada to 
the United States. By the United States census returns we learn that 
in 1860 the number of Canadians in that country was 249,970. In 
1880 the number was 717,157; and although we cannot give the 
numbers from the census returns for 1890, it cannot be less than 
1,000,000 at the present time. Add to this the natural increase of 
our people there, and we would probably find not less than two 
millions of the people of that country emigrants from this Dominion, 
or their descendants. A large majority of these went from Ontario. 

To say that the restrictions on trade were the sole cause of this 
exodus would not be correct, but they are no doubt a prime cause, and 
the constant drain upon the enterprising class of our young men from 
the source indicated furnishes cause for great regret 

Ontario Agricultural College, 
22d October 1890. 





By T. D. Ledyard, Toronto 

The continent of North America is abundantly supplied with economic 
minerals which are distributed alike through the Dominion of Canada and 
the United States, and are confined by no international boundary. The 
British Provinces are as rich in mineral wealth as the neighbouring 
Republic, with a striking difference, however, in favour of the latter in 
the matter of development The industrial situation of the world is 
changing ; the supremacy in iron and steel manufactures hitherto held 
by Great Britain is about to be transferred to the continent of America. 
Reports of the late census show that the manufacture of pig-iron in the 
United States during the last ten years has been extraordinary, and at 
the present rate of increase that country is destined to become the 
leading producer of pig-iron in the world, possibly reaching this 
distinction very soon. 

The quantity of pig-iron produced in the United States during the 
census year 1890 was 250,000 tons in excess of the production of 
Great Britain during the calendar year 1889, being 9 J million tons as 
compared with 3| millions in 1880 and 2 millions in 1870. 

Whereas England supplied in 1878 as much as 45 per cent of the 
world's production of pig-iron, as against 16 per cent supplied by the 
United States ; in 1889 England only supplied 33 per cent, while the 
production of the United States had increased to over 30 per cent, and 
is rapidly growing. 

While the production of iron ore in the Lake Superior districts 
was 5,000,000 tons in 1888 it grew to 7,000,000 in 1889, and in 
1890 will exceed 8,000,000 tons. 

The United States contain a population of about 65,000,000 and 
Canada is supposed to contain 6,000,000, so that to be even in the 
race the Dominion should show one tenth as much as the production 



of her great neighbour, and in this the greatest of all industries should 
produce annually nearly a million tons of pig-iron. 

According to the Government returns, however, Canada produced 
less than 60,000 tons last year, or not quite one fifteenth of what she 
should 'produce to be on a par with the United States in proportion to 

This disproportion is not the fault of our ores, for Canada possesses 
a great abundance and variety of iron ores. Sir William Logan, our 
great geologist, predicted that Canada would become eventually one of 
the greatest iron producing countries of the world, but for want of a 
market our iron manufactures have as yet made little progress. 

In Nova Scotia near the Atlantic coast are found numerous deposits 
of iron ore in close proximity to coking coal ; these are as well 
situated as any ores on the continent, and possess all the requirements 
for cheap manufacture, and being so near navigation, have great 
facilities for transport 

The manufacturers of Massachusetts and the Eastern States are 
earnestly urging their Government to admit coal and iron ores free, so as 
to enable them to compete with Pennsylvania, and represent that free 
trade in these articles is highly essential to their welfare. 

The United States last year used upwards of 15,000,000 tons 
of iron ore, and Canada should in like proportion use 1,500,000 ; but 
the production of Canada in the same time was less than 90,000 tons. 
The Canadian production of coal is only about one-fifth of what it 
should be to make it proportionately equal to that of the States. 

Some excellent hematites showing 65 per cent metallic iron, 
and almost free from impurities, suitable for steel, are found in Nova 
Scotia, while in other sections are found magnetites and limonites of 
good quality. 

Manganese occurs in numerous places both in Nova Scotia and 
New Brunswick, some rich enough to be used in glass-making, and a 
good deal rich enough for spiegel-eisen and steel manufacture. 

Although there is no coal in Ontario or Quebec, there are iron ores, 
both magnetic and hematite, of the finest quality. These ores are 
generally found in well-wooded districts where hard wood suited to 
make charcoal abounds, and there are just as great facilities to make 
cheap charcoal iron as anywhere in America. Estimates show that in 
well-situated parts charcoal iron might be manufactured for $10 per ton, 
which would allow a large margin for profit ; yet there is not a single 
blast furnace in operation in Ontario, while the charcoal furnaces in 
Michigan produced last year about 200,000 tons of pig-iron worth 
nearly $4,000,000. 

Within about 100 miles east of Toronto an iron mine is being 
developed containing ore giving 68 to 70 per cent metallic iron with 
practically no phosphorus or sulphur, and suitable to make the finest 


BteeL There is a large bed of this ore which, if it were in the States, 
would doubtless be employing 400 or 500 men and producing several 
hundred tons per day. This ore is about one-half the distance from 
Pennsylvania furnaces that the furnaces are from Lake Superior mines ; 
and if such ore as this had free access to the States it would greatly 
cheapen their steel manufacture, but the duty of 75 cents per ton is a 
heavy impost 

A leading English iron trade journal lately stated that the principal 
reason the United States could not make steel as cheaply as England 
was that their Bessemer ores cost too much, the cost being quoted at $7 
per ton in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

But this Ontario ore can be delivered in Pittsburgh for $4 per 
ton (if there is no duty), which is about as low as the best Bessemer 
ores cost at English furnaces. If there were no trade restrictions, 
Toronto, the capital city of Ontario, should be an excellent point for 
the manufacture of iron and BteeL It possesses fully as great facilities 
for such manufactures as Chicago had thirty years ago, before that city 
commenced to make iron. 

Ores could be laid down in Toronto for $2.50 to $3.50 per ton, 
which cost $5 to $6 in Chicago ; and coke could be obtained from 
Connellsville, Pennsylvania, as cheaply as in Chicago. But the 
population of Canada alone is too small and too scattered to support 
iron and steel manufactures, except at one or two points, of a size suffi- 
cient to make them profitable, for experience teaches that small works 
cannot manufacture nearly so profitably as large ones. 

West of Port Arthur on the Canadian side of Lake Superior are 
found extensive deposits of magnetic iron ore, very rich and suitable 
for steel making, which are not worked as yet, although from the 
adjoining districts of Minnesota about one million tons annually are 
being mined. On an island in Lake Winnipeg is a large deposit of 
hematite. In British Columbia are numerous deposits of good iron 
ores, with great facilities for smelting, as coal abounds in that Province. 
In British Columbia, as in Nova Scotia, coal is found close to the sea 
shore ; the best market for both is in the neighbouring States where a 
large population requires cheap fuel, and free trade in fuel would be 
of immense benefit to both countries. 

The nickel ores recently discovered in the Sudbury district, on the 
line of the Canadian Pacific Railway about 300 miles north-west of 
Toronto, are extremely valuable, and promise to become of great 
importance. The nickel occurs in magnetic iron pyrites yielding from 
1 to 3 per cent nickel, and in some cases as high as 4 to 5 per 
cent, the ore also often containing a paying proportion of copper. By 
roasting with charcoal most of the sulphur can be expelled, and it is 
then smelted with coke, and reduced at the mines to a matte containing 
about 15 per cent nickel and 20 per cent copper. 



A small proportion of nickel is found greatly to improve the 
quality of steel, rendering it tougher and stronger. There is no doubt 
steamships will hereafter be made of nickel steel ; and if there were no 
artificial hindrances to trade much of the manufacture should be 
carried on in Canada. 

Estimates based upon the past increase of production, and taking 
into consideration the increasing population of the States, show that 
the probable consumption of pig-iron in the United States will be 
20,000,000 tons by the end of the century. The consumption of 
iron and steel is the index of the industrial prosperity of a nation. Is 
Canada to share in the wonderful prosperity which will ensue from 
such an immense consumption of iron on the American continent, or 
are we to be shut out by trade restrictions ? 

The discovery of platinum in the Sudbury district also promises to 
be of some importance, and is opportune in view of the increased 
demand for that mineraL The production of asbestos in the province 
of Quebec is rapidly increasing, 4400 tons having been mined in 1888 
and upwards of 6000 in 1889, with considerably more in 1890, the 
value being from $30 to $150 per ton. New uses are constantly being 
found for this interesting mineral. The demand at present exceeds 
the supply, and asbestos mining will no doubt be a source of much 
profit in the future. 

The production of phospate of lime (apatite) is also increasing, 
30,000 tons having been mined last year against 22,000 the year 
before. Canadian apatite is a fertiliser of high grade, some of the ore 
containing 80 to 87 per cent pure phosphate of lime. Phosphate and 
asbestos are allowed to enter the United States free of duty, and although 
that country is not by any means the only market for them, the rapid 
increase in their production shows the benefit a free market gives. 

In contrast to this take the item of grindstones, upon which there 
has been a duty of $1.75 per ton. In 1888 were produced in Canada 
5764 tons, which fell to 3404 tons in 1889. Excellent grindstones 
are found on several parts of the Nova Scotia coast, whence they could be 
shipped to Atlantic ports in the United States much cheaper than the 
present cost, but here again the tariff obstructs trade to the detriment 
of both countries. 

There are many copper ores in Canada. Nova Scotia has rich 
copper glance, and there is cupreous pyrites in New Brunswick and 
the eastern townships of Quebec, while British Columbia contains some 
copper ores which often carry gold or silver. There is a great field 
for industry in the development of our copper ores. 

Lead production in Canada suffers severely from tariff restriction. 
Galena is found in several parts of Canada and baryta often accompanies 
it, but owing to the small demand in Canada and prohibitory duties in 
the States, the market is very limited, only 337 tons of lead being 


produced in a year against 180,000 tons during the same time in 
the States. 

British Columbia has many mining districts which produce lead 
ores rich in silver, now only beginning to be developed. 

Already large veins of galena are known which carry 40 to 50 ounces 
of silver to the ton, and some as high as 200 or 300 ounces. A great 
future is, no doubt, in store for this industry, and there can be as little 
doubt that the Pacific Province will prove one of the richest parts of 
the continent. Bismuth has been found in British Columbia, and, if 
proved to be in quantity, will be of great value, as it has not hitherto 
been found in commercial quantities in America. In Ontario and 
Quebec there are many veins of fine white feldspar suitable to make 
porcelain. The best Muscovite mica occurs in many places, but is 
shut out by a tariff of 35 per cent. There is plenty of graphite in 
Canada, but very little demand for it 

There are many varieties of marble and serpentine ; some beauti- 
ful white marble suitable for statuary, which is little developed owing 
to the small Canadian demand and the high American duties. 

The same may be said of mineral paints, quantities of which are 
found, but put to little use. Canada possesses great stores of petroleum. 
In addition to those in Western Ontario, which are extensively worked, 
there are large districts in our North-West Territories containing inex- 
haustible supplies of mineral oil 

The western part of Ontario has numerous salt wells from which a 
much larger supply could be produced, and from which many people 
in the United States could obtain cheaper salt, one of the necessaries 
of life, if it were not for the duties. In many parts are good qualities 
of soapstone, and in Quebec excellent roofing slates, the production of 
which could be greatly increased if that commodity were allowed to 
find its natural market. 

Canada has her share of the precious metals. Nova Scotia is 
annually increasing its gold production ; the district west of Port 
Arthur in Ontario is becoming an important silver producer ; and both 
silver and gold are found in many parts of British Columbia. 

From what has been said it will be apparent that although Nature 
has been bountiful to Canada in the distribution of mineral wealth, 
yet her gifts are deprived of much of their benefit by artificial barriers 
to trade, which it is to be hoped the good sense of both countries will 
shortly remove. _r~-^-' 

Printed by R. & R. Clark, Edinburgh ^^^^FOlVjV/ 

^ *» 

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