“The Act of Union was passed by the British Parliament in July 1840 and proclaimed February 10th, 1841. It united the colonies of Upper Canada and Lower Canada under one government, creating the Province of Canada.” (The Canadian Encyclopedia)
I found that this quote effectively summarized the article in the link as a whole, but it failed to highlight some of the intricate details of this controversial act that made it one of the leading causes of the Canadian Confederation. Seeing this quote was what led me on my search to see if this act was truly as peaceful as it seemed in the quotation.
I chose this article because I felt that it gave me a good overview about one of the key factors that lead to the Confederation. Prior to the Act of Union, Canada was divided as the Upper Canada and the Lower Canada, so I was interested in knowing what Canada’s first step to being united was and how it affected the people. We can already assume that this was not final seeing as the confederation was what made the final decision, but this was clearly an act that made others look for better solutions. I found it really interesting that this Act essentially eradicated the French with the intention to shut down French-Canadian political influences despite all the French-Canadian influences here today. This made me realize that our start to making “Canada” may have not been so smooth after all and this also ties into my previous document of learning which was about tying events from the past to the present. This article reminded me of the current situation in Ukraine. Seeing as Ukraine is essentially split in two due to cultural differences among many other things, it reminded me of how originally Canada was also split due to the influences from the British and the French. Although the initial situation for both countries was quite different, hopefully, if history does repeat itself, we can see Ukraine become united as a whole country once more through peace talks instead of war.
Another reason why I chose this topic, was because I didn’t know too much about this Act, seeing as the Confederation of 1867 usually steals the spotlight. This one article lead me on an “internet scavenger hunt” much like how we often lose our time on Youtube and Wikipedia. I ended up looking into many other great sources regarding this issue and also some of the events before and after the 1840 Act of Union such as the 1837 rebellions which lead the British to make this Act that soon became the foundation of our government.
This article ties into Section B of our Prescribed Learning Outcomes, but more specifically Section B4, because this article highlights the beginning of some changes to Canada’s national identity as the colonies became one. This article definitely describes point no. 3 the development of Canada’s identity as a French and English Country.
I look forward to discovering more about Canadian Colonialism in my next blog post!