Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada

Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada

The Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada was the elected legislature for the province of Upper Canada and functioned as the province's lower house. Created by the Constitutional Act of 1791, in practice the Assembly's power was enormously curtailed by the fact that its actions were subject to the veto of the British-appointed lieutenant governor as well as appointed the Executive and Legislative Councils. The first elections, in which only land-owning males were permitted to vote, took place in August 1792. The first sitting of the Assembly's sixteen members occurred in Newark, later Niagara-on-the-Lake on September 17 1792. Shortly before the capital of Upper Canada was moved to York in 1796 the Assembly was dissolved and reconvended for twelve more sittings between 1797 to 1840 in modest buildings in the new capital. Members continued to be elected by land-owning males to represent counties and the larger towns.

After the War of 1812, the Executive and Legislative Councils became increasingly dominated the Family Compact, a clique of wealthy individuals led primarily by John Strachan. The Compact was deeply opposed to American republicanism and favoured full establishment for the Anglican church in Upper Canada. Their increasingly authoritarian style of governance and disregard for the will of the Legislative Assembly led to demands for government that was more responsible to the people and eventually the Upper Canada Rebellion of 1837.

The Act of Union (1840) united Upper and Lower Canada into the single Province of Canada and, from this point until Confederation in 1867, a joint parliament was held for the united provinces.

List of Parliaments

*1st Parliament of Upper Canada 1792-1796
*2nd Parliament of Upper Canada 1797-1800
*3rd Parliament of Upper Canada 1801-1804
*4th Parliament of Upper Canada 1805-1808
*5th Parliament of Upper Canada 1808-1812
*6th Parliament of Upper Canada 1812-1816
*7th Parliament of Upper Canada 1817-1820
*8th Parliament of Upper Canada 1821-1824
*9th Parliament of Upper Canada 1825-1828
*10th Parliament of Upper Canada 1829-1830
*11th Parliament of Upper Canada 1831-1834
*12th Parliament of Upper Canada 1835-1836
*13th Parliament of Upper Canada 1837-1840

peakers

The chief justice of the Court of King's Bench was usually the Speaker of the Assembly:

* John McDonell 1792-1798
* William Osgoode 1798-1801
* Henry Allcock 1801-1805
* Thomas Scott (judge) 1806-1816
* William Dummer Powell 1816-1825
* William Campbell (jurist) 1825-1829
* Sir John Robinson, 1st Baronet, of Toronto 1830-1840

Changing Loyalties

A few members of the Legislature eventually left Canada. Some were involved in the Rebellion of 1837 and other just simply abandonded Canada.Most moved to the United States, some left for Britain.

References

*"Handbook of Upper Canadian Chronology", Frederick H. Armstrong, Toronto : Dundurn Press, 1985. ISBN 0-919670-92-X

External links

* [http://www.gov.on.ca/ont/portal/!ut/p/.cmd/cs/.ce/7_0_A/.s/7_0_252/_s.7_0_A/7_0_252/_l/en?docid=004690 Government of Ontario site]


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