Dominion of Canada and British North America

  • Frederick Martin
Part of the The Statesman’s Yearbook book series (SYBK)


The basis of the political constitution of Canada is the Act of 31 Geo. III. cap. 31, passed by the Parliament of .Great Britain in 1791. By the terms of it, the old province of Quebec—which then embraced the present province of Canada—was divided into the two Governments of Upper and Lower Canada, with representative institutions for each. The legislative authority was vested in a Legislative Council appointed by the Crown, and in a House of Assembly elected by the inhabitants; the Lower province was under a governor, whilst the Upper was under a lieutenant-governor. This constitution was suspended in consequence of the rebellion in Upper Canada in 1838, and a Special Council appointed. In 1840 the two provinces were reunited—by an Act 3rd & 4th Vic. cap. 35—and the Legislative Councils of the united provinces were consolidated. The new Legislative Council consisted of twenty members, appointed by the governor for life; while the people were represented in a House of Assembly, comprising eighty-four members, returned in equal proportions by the inhabitants of Upper and Lower Canada. A final modification of the constitution, which united the provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to Canada, took place by an Act of Parliament passed on March 29, 1867. The Act ordered that ’ it shall be lawful for the Queen, by and with the advice of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council, to declare, by proclamation, that on and after a day therein appointed, not being more than six months after the passing of this Act, the provinces of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick shall form and be one dominion under the name of Canada.’ In conformity with the statute, the Queen issued a proclamation, under date of May 22, running: ‘We do ordain, declare, and command that on and after the 1st day of July, 1867, the provinces of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick shall form and be one dominion under the name of Canada.’


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Statistical and other Books of Reference concerning Canada and British North America.

1. Official Publications

  1. Statistical Tables relating to the Colonial and other Possessions of the United Kingdom. Part XI. Fol. London, 1867.Google Scholar
  2. Statistical Abstract for the several Colonial and other Possessions of the United Kingdom. No. IV. 8. London, 1868.Google Scholar
  3. Correspondence relative to the proposed Union of the British North American Provinces. London, 1865.Google Scholar
  4. Further Correspondence relative to the proposed Union of the British North American Provinces. London, 1866.Google Scholar
  5. Speech on tho Budget by tbo Hon. John Ro«o, minister of finance, delivered in the House of Commons, Ottawa, April 28, 18GS. 8. pp. 31. Ottawa, 1868.Google Scholar
  6. Letter by Lieut.-Colonel Jervois respecting tho Defence of Canada. Presented to Parliament. London, 1865.Google Scholar

2. Non-Official Publications.

  1. Canadian Almanac and Repository of Useful Knowledge for 1868. The 21st year of publication. 8. Toronto, 1868.Google Scholar
  2. Faillon (Abbé) Histoire de la Colonio Française en Canada. 2 vols. Fol. Montreal, 1865.Google Scholar
  3. Howe (Hon. Joseph), Confederation considered in relation to the interests of the Empire. 8. London, 1866.Google Scholar
  4. Hunt (F. Sterry) Canada: u Geographical, Agricultural, and Mineralogiçal Sketch. Published by authority of the Bureau of Agriculture, for distribution at the Dublin Exhibition. Toronto, 1865.Google Scholar
  5. Mwfie (Matthew) Vancouver Island and British Columbia; their History, Resources, and Prospects. 8. London, 1865.Google Scholar
  6. Monro (Alex.), History, Geography, and Statistics of British North America. 12. Montreal, 1864.Google Scholar
  7. Raulinas (Thomas) The Confederation of the British North American Provinces: their Past History and Future Prospects. 8. London, 1866.Google Scholar
  8. Ihissril (Wm. Henry) Canada: its Defences, Condition, and Resources. 8. London, 1865.Google Scholar
  9. Year-Book and Almanac of British North America for 1868, being an Annual Register of Political, Vital, and Trade Statistics. 8. Montreal, 186S.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1869

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frederick Martin

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations