The Canadian History Podcast
Episode 24 - Making Sense of it all
This week we are at the end of Season One and we do our best to figure what just happened. What was responsible government? Why did it emerge when it did in the 1840s? And, most importantly, so what? What was the legacy of these events - the rebellions and responsible government - at the time and since? Hint: I think they do in fact matter.
Episode 23 - Rebellion Redux
Louis Lafontaine proposes the Rebellion Losses Bill into the Canadian parliament and things get ugly. A mob burns parliament; Montreal is turned inside out; even the Governor General Lord Elgin isn’t safe. Will responsible government hold? And at what cost? And, finally, why are Montreal Tories demanding to be annexed to the United States?
Episode 22 - Disasters and Democracy
The potato blight arrives and disaster does too. It's time for coffin ships, disease, and economic strife as a new Governor General - Lord Elgin - arrives in the Canadas. There's another election and this time the Governor General stays out of it. Lafontaine and Baldwin have another go at governing and everything goes swimmingly until... well until February of 1849.
Episode 21 - The Nova Scotia Breakthrough
Lord Sydenham takes a summer work-cation in Nova Scotia and leaves a political system. Joseph Howe joins a coalition government and then falls out with the Governor. But he takes with him a Tory named James Uniacke who converts to the idea of responsible government. Free trade ideas take over in London and we fast forward through the 1840s to finally end up at the glorious election at the end of 1847 that changed British North American forever.
Episode 20 - Joseph Howe's Non-Revolution
Fresh from his libel trial, Joseph Howe gets himself elected to the Nova Scotian Assembly. And then he makes himself even more famous by doing what all Reformers seemed to desperately want to do in these years - he makes up some resolutions. Howe also writes some famous letters to Lord John Russell in England making the case for responsible government. Party lines are hardening in Nova Scotia and the Governor discovers that Joseph Howe is a real pain in the... 'dignity'.
Episode 19 - Tribune of the People
We are in Nova Scotia this week (and for the next two weeks) so it's rewind time as we (briefly) catch up on things like the Acadian expulsion and the rum trade with the West Indies. Then we zoom forward to meet one of the most interesting people in Canadian history: Joseph Howe, the poetry reading, donkey-owning rambler, who liked his drink and his politics - a man who wasn't easy to pin down. And we end up with the famous libel trial of 1835. Long live the free press!