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Responsible Government

Sir John A. Macdonald

From the Red River Settlement to Manitoba (1812–70)

Sir Wilfrid Laurier

Sir George-Étienne Cartier


The Fenians

Women in the DCB/DBC

The Charlottetown and Quebec Conferences of 1864

Introductory Essays of the DCB/DBC

The Acadians

For Educators

The War of 1812 

Canada’s Wartime Prime Ministers

The First World War

Achieving Responsible Government Elsewhere in British North America
Original title:  Colonial Building, St. John's, 1851

Source: Link

Supporters of the establishment of responsible government in Nova Scotia were the first in British North America to see their demands met, as recounted in the biography of journalist and politician Joseph HOWE:

“Howe delineated the issues more clearly than ever before, and the election of 5 Aug. 1847 was as much a referendum on the single issue of responsible government as a British-style election is likely to be. The Reformers’ margin in seats was only seven, but their victory was certain, for none of the new assemblymen fell into the category of ‘loose fish.’ It was simply a question of voting out the Tories on 26 Jan. 1848; a Reform administration was installed a few days later. Nova Scotia had become the first colony to achieve responsible government, and Howe boasted it had been done without ‘a blow struck or a pane of glass broken.’”


The biographies in the following lists reveal the scope of the fight to obtain responsible government outside the Province of Canada, and provide further information on how the struggle took root.

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