Happy birthday, Canada!
The Family Compact
Each of the British North American colonies experienced some form of Family Compact rule before the achievement of responsible government.
The term most often refers to a small group of public servants who dominated the decision-making bodies of Upper Canada around 1830. This Family Compact came about through the desire of John Graves Simcoe, first lieutenant-governor of Upper Canada, to create a local aristocracy by naming his friends to important political and judiciary positions.
Based mainly in York (Toronto), the members of the Family Compact were from Canadian high society, with strong ties to the British Empire. They were cautious of the United States and idealized British institutions.
From about 1830 this practice of the British authorities caused discontent among certain segments of the Upper Canadian population and was one of the factors leading to the 1837 rebellions.
1837 was a most important date for the history of Canada as a European dominated society of double conquest (of the Brits and French over the Native Peoples, and then of the British over the French). In 1837, there were two rebellions against the Brit govt--one took place in Lower Canada (Quebec) and the other in Upper Canada (Ontario). Les patriotes, also called les Canadiens in the Lower zone, and William Lyon McKenzie's men in the Upper, took on the British and lost. In Upper Canada, a two of the rebels were hanged, others were shipped off to the Penal Colony of Australia. The patrimony of these actions was a muted force of remembrance that led ultimately to popular interest in self-rule for Canada. When Canadian self-rule came in 1867, it was the national bourgeoisie who were in control under the terms of The Family Compact of 1868.
Historical Background of Canada Day
"On June 20, 1868, a proclamation signed by the Governor General, Lord Monck, called upon all Her Majesty's loving subjects throughout Canada to join in the celebration of the anniversary of the formation of the union of the British North America provinces in a federation under the name of Canada on July 1st.
The July 1 holiday was established by statute in 1879, under the name Dominion Day.
There is no record of organized ceremonies after this first anniversary, except for the 50th anniversary of Confederation in 1917, at which time the new Centre Block of the Parliament Buildings, under construction, was dedicated as a memorial to the Fathers of Confederation and to the valour of Canadians fighting in the First World War in Europe.
The next celebration was held in 1927 to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Confederation. It was highlighted by the laying of the cornerstone by the Governor General of the Confederation Building on Wellington Street and the inauguration of the Carillon in the Peace Tower.
Since 1958, the government has arranged for an annual observance of Canada's national day with the Secretary of State of Canada in charge of the coordination. The format provided for a Trooping the Colours ceremony on the lawn of Parliament Hill in the afternoon, a sunset ceremony in the evening followed by a mass band concert and fireworks display." -- Heritage Canada website
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