Up until 1834, there had been a conflict between those in Upper Canada who were reform-minded and those who were allied with the Conservative Family Compact. But those in the reform movement had no desire for radical change or an American style republic, but there were also some that were. The same remained on the Tory side, there were those who were moderates who thought that some change might not be a bad thing, but others who wanted stricter controls, those who wanted to turn Upper Canada into a perfect England, where English was supreme, and the only church was the Anglican church. But likeRead More →

Out of all the historical figures I have come across in my research one of the more interesting is Sir Allan Napier MacNab. MacNab is one figure whom I already had some knowledge of considering I have visited his former home many times in Hamilton. However, I had no idea how influential he was on pre-confederation history and his lasting impact on Canada today. Born in Newark, Upper Canada, today Niagara-On-The-Lake on the 19th of February 1798, his father an officer in the Queen’s Ranger who came to Upper Canada with Sir John Graves Simcoe. When the unit saw disbandment, the MacNab’s moved to theRead More →

If there is a single figure in the lead up to the Upper Canada Rebellion, the opposite of William Lyon MacKenzie, a Tory among Tories, that figure is Sir John Beverly Robinson. There is no better example of a loyalist and the perfect man to head up the Family Compact and pull the strings of the Provincial Government for many years. While having no love of power, he was a man of strict ideals, and for that, he took the role seriously and refused to allow anyone to deviate from his moral compass. John’s family’s legacy traced back to the Robinsons who were among theRead More →

If there is a singular group that I had a clue about going deep into this project, that group would be the Family Compact. And how you view them relies on your view of Canadian History. To some they are the antagonist of this particular branch of Canadian history, to others, they represent Canadian loyalty to the British Crown in the rebellions. But for me, they now stand as the opposite side of the same coin during the Upper Canada Rebellion. The Compact represented the colonial elite, the new ruling class. They controlled every aspect, every part of the government, the law, and the church.Read More →

There’s a certain axiom when dealing with history, it comes from the reimaging Battlestar Galactica, all of this has happened before, all of this will happen again. The rise of the reform movement and the radicalisation of elements of the reform movement merely in response to extremism on the opposite end of the political spectrum. And yes this is where we get messy and political. While Upper Canada saw a great deal of expansion and improvement under the governorship of Sir Peregrine Maitland and Sir John Colborne, not all were happy with how the Colonial Parliament operated. These complaints were brought to light when RobertRead More →

There are many figured in our history that changed the course of Canadian History, think Sir John A. MacDonald, William Lyon MacKenzie, Robert Baldwin, Louis LaFontaine. However, all these men owe their contributions to a single person, Robert Gourlay. Gourlay’s presence in Upper Canada would ignite the spark of reform here in Upper Canada. Upper Canada in the early 19th-Century was a vast rural backwater. Urban centres were few and far between cities that we know today were little more than muddy villages in the middle of the vast forest. The undeveloped nature of the Province gave those in control, the colonial elite, access toRead More →

All stories have to start somewhere and to understand everything that happened after the Anglo-American War of 1812 one must learn about how the seeds of the struggles that are to come were first sewn. Pre-Confederation History is a bit of a mess, but there is a single touchstone date where everything stems from, and that is 1791. By 1791, the American Revolution was nearly a decade over, and many who still lived in the former colonies swore loyalty to the British Crown. Many did not wish to remain under a republic, and many Americans did not want these Tories in their country. And inRead More →