The Evolution of Government - Coggle Diagram
The Evolution of Government
Absolutism: a political system in which a single ruler, group, or political party has complete power over a country
The Divine Right of Kings: "the right to rule was given to the monarch by God, not by the people."
Example: The Ancient Régime in France held absolute sovereignty over the country and its empires
Example: New France
At first, New France was the responsibility of the trading companies, and the only purpose of settlement in New France was to reap the financial rewards of the fishery and the fur trade.
In 1663, the population of New France had grown significantly, so the King of France assumed control of the colony under the direct leadership of a royal governor.
The governing body in New France was modelled after the parliaments of the French provinces.
Chief official: the governor-general Responsible for maintaining law and order, as well as the military
Chosen by the Sovereign Council
The intendant: the chief administrator, responsible for economics, finance, justice, housing and paying the military, and overseeing incentives designed to encourage large families.
The Seigneurial System: a system of land tenure that was transplanted from France to New France.
Seigneurs: the privileged nobility and clergy who received land tracts, even though the land still belonged to the crown. They earned their income from their estates.
Habitants: workers who the seigneurs distributed small plots of land to. They worked the land to produce crops for their families and the seigneur.
The only way habitants could make their vies known was through public protest. These protests centred on redressing social and economic grievances, such as labor laws, food shortages, and rising prices, rather than rebelling against constitutional authority.
This was ended with the French Revolution in 1789 to 1799, which brought a violent and blood end to the divine right of kings.
Rule of law: "a fundamental principle of democratic government that states that no one is above the law."
"England was the first western nation in the Modern Age to embrace this principle."
Magna Carta (the Great Charter): a charter that "ended the divine right of kings in England". This was signed by King John in 1215.
"Marked the first step toward the development of democracy in a process that would increasingly limit the power of the English monarch."
"By the 1500s, the English Parliament had secured important rights for the representatives of the people.
The right to approve new taxes and laws proposed by the monarch.
To advise the monarch on matters of public interest.
The Mayflower Compact
A group of people, called the Pilgrims, fled England in 1620 to escape religious prosecution. Their ship was called the Mayflower. They landed at a place they named Plymouth in New England.
They claimed the rights to govern themselved without interference from England, and in accordance with the 'Mayflower Compact,' "the settlers decided that all residant landowners, so white males, were eligible to vote for legislative representatives and a colonial governor."
Became the model for self-governance for the other colonies within New England.
The English colonies in North America were used to large measures of freedom and self-government in the 1670s, because English authorities were distracted by civil war and political upheaval.
In 1685, "England moved to reassert its authority and take greater control of its colonial interest by creating the Dominion of New England, which united all of the northern colonies under the Crown's jurisdiction."
This Dominions would be ruled by a royal governor representing the English monarch. This governor attempted to rule New England by executive authority, which diminished the power of the elected assembly.
The decision to tighten the control over the colonists angered them, so they decided to rebel. (Inspired by the Glorious Revolution that took place from 1688 to 1689 in England).
The governor was imprisoned.
The Dominions of New England was disbanded, and the colonies reverted back to their previous governments.
The legislative branch of government in England fought for power, and by the early 1800s, the legislature had secured the right to vote on taxes and to initiate legislation.
Used this power to keep the power of the governors in check and to expand their pwn power and influence.
The Road to Revolution
Taxation without representation
By the 1760s, the colonies were becoming expensive to administer and defend, so the English government began levying taxes on the colonists. The colonists did not this this was fair, because they were not represented in the British Parliament.
The British Government didn't see this as a problem, because direct taxation without representation was a basic principle of British democracy since only 10% of the British population had voting privileges.
The Québec Act of 1774
Extended the boundaries of Québec southwest into the Ohio territory, so that they could expand the fur trade.
This diminished the colonists' rights to expand westward.
Established that the colonies would be ruled by an appointed council rather than an elected assembly.
This was seen as a threat to the colonists' right to self-government.
Intent of the Québec act: to create stability and loyalty in Britain's new colonies.
American colonies believed that the act would have long term negative consequences for their interests.
The Loyalist Legacy
After the American Revolution (1776-1783), "large numbers of Loyalists who had fought on the British side in the war migrated north."
Loyalists: "the first major influx of people of English and African descent into the two northern colonies."
The Loyalists were more conservative than the rebellious colonists they had opposed in the War of Independence.
"Most Loyalists moved to what was then Nova Scotia."
Two other colonies were formed, because the Loyalists felt isolated from the centre of government in Halifax.
Annexed by Nova Scotia in 1820
The Loyalists were used to representative governments, so they pushed for elected assemblies once they reached the Maritime colonies.
"The Maritime colonies were the first of Britain's remaining colonies to receive representative government modelled on the voting practices already in place in Britain."
The Constitutional Act of 1791
Divided the colony of Québec into Upper and Lower Canada.
Upper Canada: English-speaking Loyalists, and it was governed by British Laws
Lower Canada: French-speaking Loyalists, and "it retained French civil law, including the seigneurial system, which continued the terms of the Québec Act."
"The system that the Constitutional Act created would ultimately lead to the road to Confederation.
Governor-general in Upper Canada and a lieutenant-governor in Lower Canada. "These officials were given the right to veto legislation, dissolve assemblies whose policies they did not support, and call new elections.
The governors appointed a legislative council, whose members held office for life. "This council had the power to enact and veto all bills originating in the elected House of Assembly."
The governors appointed an executive council to act as their advisors, and they also held office for life. The appointed council was "highly influential and often used their positions to persuade the governors to support their own interests rather than those of the colony."