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Chapter: Canada’s History

Topic: Responsible government

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Unification of Lower and Upper Canada in 1840

In 1840, Upper Canada and Lower Canada were unified under a responsible government. Robert Baldwin and Sir Louis-Hippolyte de Fontaine were reformers who collaborated with British governors in establishing a responsible Canadian government.

In 1847-1848, Nova Scotia was the first British colony to have received full responsible government in North America. London encouraged Lord Elgin to establish a responsible government and be the governor of this United Canada between 1848 and 49.

This responsible government is the system we live with today. It essentially means that the government must resign if it loses confidence votes at the assembly. La Fontaine was the first Canadian leader to establish a responsible government. La Fontaine was a champion of democracy and French language rights.