Books Should Be Free
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

British Supremacy & Canadian Self-Government, 1839-1854   By: (1875-1952)

Book cover

First Page:

[Frontispiece: Lord Elgin]

British Supremacy


Canadian Self Government

1839 1854


J. L. Morison, M.A., D.Litt.

Professor of Colonial History in Queen's University, Kingston, Canada

Late Lecturer on English Literature in the University of Glasgow


S. B. Gundy

Publisher in Canada for Humphrey Milford




M. T.



The essay which follows had been printed, and was on the point of being published, when the outbreak of war involved my venture in the general devastation from which we are only now emerging. More than four years of military service lie between me and the studies of which this book is the summary. It was written under one dispensation; it is being published under another. My first impulse, therefore, was to ask whether the change which has rendered so much of the old world obsolete had not invalidated also the conclusions here arrived at. But reflection has simply confirmed me in the desire to complete the arrangements for publication. Self government is the keynote of the essay, and it is unlikely that self government will cease to be the central principle of sane politics either in the British Empire or in the world outside. I watched a Canadian division coming out of the last great battle in France, battered and reduced in numbers, but with all {viii} its splendid energy and confidence untouched. The presence of the Canadians there, their incomparable spirit and resolution, the sacrifices they had just been making, with unflinching generosity, for the Empire, seemed only the last consequences of the political struggle for autonomy described in the pages which follow. They would have been impossible had the views of all the old imperialists from Wellington to Disraeli prevailed.

The material on which this volume is based falls into three groups. First in importance are the state papers and general correspondence of the period, contained in the Canadian Archives at Ottawa. In addition to the correspondence, ordinary and confidential, between the Secretaries of State for the Colonies, and the Governors General, from 1839 to 1867, I read two very notable collections, designated in the foot notes the Bagot Correspondence and the Elgin Grey Correspondence. In the former are contained not only Bagot's private correspondence with Lord Stanley, but also letters from Bagot's British friends and Canadian political advisers. These constitute the most important evidence which exists for Bagot's year of office. In the same way, the private correspondence, carried on between Earl Grey and the Earl of Elgin from {ix} 1847 to 1852, takes precedence of all other Canadian material of that period; and is, indeed, the most enlightening series of documents in existence on mid Victorian Colonial policy.

The second group is composed of pamphlets and early newspapers, more especially the admirable collection of pre confederation pamphlets in the Archives at Ottawa, and the Bell and Morris collections at Queen's University. Kingston. I cannot pretend to have mastered all the material supplied by the newspapers of the period; but I have attempted to work through such representative journals as the Toronto Globe , the Montreal Witness , and the Kingston papers published while Kingston was capital of the united Provinces. I consulted certain others, French and English, on definite points of political interest, such as the reappearance of Papineau in politics in 1847.

The Canadiana of Queen's University Library gave me my third group of documents: and the facts from books were confirmed or modified by information gathered, chiefly in Kingston, from persons whose memories of the period under discussion were still fresh and interesting.

As the work proceeded, certain impressions were {x} very definitely created in my mind... Continue reading book >>

eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book

Popular Genres
More Genres
Paid Books