The Great Migration and the Push for Democracy

The Great Migration

A slow European economy and famine in Great Britain resulted in waves of British citizens moving to British North America for a better life.

  1. What challenges did this migration present to the First Nations Peoples of the area?
  2. What challenges did this present to the French Canadiens?
  3. How did The Great Migration benefit the Province of Canada?

The Push for Democracy

As the Province of Canada became more established, the people wanted more local control. Unlike the Americans, the citizens were not looking to disassociate themselves from Britain. Rather, they were looking to be an Independent British province with a democratic government featuring locally elected leaders.


Britain wasn’t interested in relinquishing governmental control of British North America. This led both the Canadians and Canadiens to rebel. Both rebellions failed but they would eventually lead to Britain’s compromise, The Act of Union.

  1. What were the British Canadians hoping to achieve when they rebelled?
  2. What were the French Canadiens hoping to achieve when they rebelled?

The Act of Union

After defeating the rebels, Britain sent Lord Durham to the Province of Canada to investigate why the citizens were so upset. Britain didn’t want to lose this land like they lost the United States and sent Lord Durham to look for solutions.  His findings led to the creation of the Act of Union.

  1. At first, the French Canadiens were not happy with the Act of Union. Why?
  2. What later happened to make the Act of Union more fair for the French?
  3. How were LaFontaine and Baldwin able to obtain self-government for the Province of Canada?
  4. What were the objections of the First Nations Peoples of the area in regards to this new democracy?