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1867 & All That
39 minutes | 7 months ago
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.
39 minutes | 8 months ago
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?
27 minutes | 8 months ago
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.
40 minutes | 8 months ago
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.
35 minutes | 8 months ago
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'.
40 minutes | 8 months ago
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!
38 minutes | 9 months ago
Episode 18 - Double Majority
Governor General Charles Metcalfe tries to keep a government going - fending off nice insults like 'Old Square Toes' - while Reformers try to embarrass his government into submission. And vying ideas of how to govern the Canadas face off in an as-yet-undecided mid 1840s contest: it's responsible government vs 'double majority'. And we have more duels, a bench-clearing parliamentary brawl, and a club-wielding civil servant bent on clearing his name.
43 minutes | 9 months ago
Episode 17 - The Metcalfe Crisis
The Canadas have a new Governor General and this one comes with a cancerous tumour that is going to - yet again - limit his time on this planet. But while he's here, Lafontaine and Baldwin go toe to toe with him to determine who really controls the government. The Reformers pass a misjudged Secret Societies Bill, trying to ban the Orange Order and then step on their own foot by resigning on principle in a situation that doesn't show up their principles very well. We're introduced to a man named Dominick Daly who somehow ends up forming a government with two former Patriotes. And then, to top it off, Canadians head to the polls yet again.
35 minutes | 9 months ago
Episode 16 - Reform Ascendant
The new Governor General Charles Bagot decides to ask for forgiveness and not permission. And this means we have a government - sort of - controlled by the Reformers Louis Lafontaine and Robert Baldwin. Robert Baldwin is defeated by his cousin and that gives Lafontaine an idea. And our new Governor General, the one we've just met, goes and does what Governors General do at this time - he gets sick and dies. And that leaves the Reformers and responsible government, such as it so far is, very much in the lurch.
36 minutes | 9 months ago
Episode 15 - Bromance
It all starts with a letter from Francis Hincks to Louis Lafontaine. But soon Robert Baldwin is getting in on the action and then the Reformer bromance really takes off - and all with the idea of responsible government at its political heart. The Assembly meets in the brand new capital of Kingston. We get an actual motion calling for responsible government that wins support. There's an unprecedented election in Upper Canada. And, we're not talking metaphorically here: Lord Sydenham falls off a horse.
30 minutes | 10 months ago
Episode 14 - The Sydenham System
It is early 1841 and the Canada's have been officially joined together. Now Lord Sydenham has to find someway of making the shotgun marriage actually work. A lot of reformers were hoping for a switch to this newfangled thing called 'responsible government'. But Lord Sydenham has his own system instead - and a plethora or corrupt electoral techniques to make sure it will work, at least in the short term.
37 minutes | 10 months ago
Episode 13 - Shotgun Marriage
How did we go from loyalist victory in the rebellions to loyalist anger in the Rebellion Losses Bill mob riot in 1849? When did winning look so much like losing?This week we start in 1849 but quick return to the years right after the rebellions. Lord Durham is back (but don't worry, as usual, he's not staying long); there's a new Governor General with a new nickname (welcome Le Poulet); Lower Canada and Upper Canada are forced to marry; Robert Baldwin is back in yet another executive (how long will he last this time?); and we have more elections in the Canadas which means, you guessed it, more election violence.
42 minutes | 10 months ago
Episode 12 - What the !$#! Just Happened?
The Rebellions of 1837 and 1838 are finally over. Houses have burned; Governors General have come and gone; rebels have fled, been imprisoned, hanged and been exiled. And now we need to figure out what it all means. We step back in this episode to ask:what caused the rebellions? why did they fail? could they have succeeded? And then there is the most important historical question of all: so what?
44 minutes | 10 months ago
Episode 11 - Once More Unto the Breach
The secret Hunters Lodges come out of hiding and launch attacks in the autumn of 1838 and General Colborne, and especially the loyalist militia, get back to their work of suppressing rebellion. The rebel leaders once again show themselves not quite up to the task; we have a naval raid along the St Lawerence gone wrong, and blood on the streets in Windsor. But most importantly, it all wraps up. Rebellion rises from the ashes only to be forcefully told to go back where it came from.
34 minutes | a year ago
Episode 10 - Exile and Terror
Winter extends from 1837 to 1838 and the rebels in exile try to turn around their fortunes. William Lyon Mackenzie captures an island. Canadian loyalists sink a ship but they also kill an American. Radical Patriotes read a revolutionary declaration into the late February winter wind in Lower Canada and then are chased back across the border. We meet Lord Durham, the new Governor General, and he hatches a scheme to deal with rebel prisoners. And there are enough cross-border attacks to keep everyone on edge.
34 minutes | a year ago
Episode 9 - Lake of Two Mountains on Fire
A Swiss-born revolutionary stirs things up in an already pretty agitated region of rebellion west of Montreal. Things turn pretty dire for the Patriotes this week. There is fire, and then some more burning. Then, to make things fun, more fire. And General Colborne earns a nickname - the 'vieux brulé' (that is, old firebrand). So, yeah, fire.
36 minutes | a year ago
Episode 8 - William Lyon Mackenzie's Very Bad Day
The regular troops have left Upper Canada to go help put down rebellion in Lower Canada and that gives William Lyon Mackenzie an idea. Well, he had the idea already, but this seems like a good time to act on it. We have rebellion in Upper Canada. There is a secret meeting at a brewery; rebels and loyalists shoot at each other and then run away; there is even a Laura Second tie-in. But none of this can stop Mackenzie from having a very bad day.
28 minutes | a year ago
Episode 7 - The Battle At St. Charles
An intercepted letter proves fateful to the fate of rebellion. And the remaining British force in the Richelieu valley heads toward (and not away from) conflict. The early good showing of the Patriotes proves short-lived but, by the end of November 1837, it is still unclear how the rebellion in Lower Canada will turn out.
30 minutes | a year ago
Episode 6 - 'Let's Dance!'
The Rebellion in Lower Canada is absolutely underway this week - the Patriotes leaders flee Montreal; the habitants fortify local strongholds; and the British General Colborne sends troops out to try to drown the the flames of rebellion before they burn too strong. And we have pig noises. Just because.
38 minutes | a year ago
Episode 5 - Denounce the Oppressors
It's the summer of 1837 and Lower Canada is in turmoil - horses are losing their tails, effigies are burning, the charivari has turned political, and we have more (and more) resolutions. Oh, and a little thing called rebellion breaks out.
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