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CHAPTER XI.
STORMY YEARS IN LOWER CANADA.

Hard Times. In Lower Canada the period after the war

was dark and stormy. At first trade was bad and the harvests were poor, while for many years abuses of all sorts flourished under the rule of the Compact. The wild lands had been largely taken tip by men who only hoped to make money by selling them, and so took no trouble to clear or improve them. This made it difficult in many parts of the country for useful settlers to obtain good land. Some of the judges were accused of breaking the laws, and many of the officials did little to earn their salaries.

Strife for   The assembly, composed chiefly of French-

Power. men, was eager for reform, but the officials, nearly all of whom were English, were determined to keep their power. The struggle between them took different forms, but raged longest and most fiercely over the question whether the officials or the people's representatives were to control the supplies,—for whoever had command of the money really ruled the country.

Little by little the assembly obtained more power. The number of officials gradually increased, and the governor was obliged to ask for extra grants of money. But the assembly would give them only on condition of being informed how they were to be used.

Reform   A leading spirit amongst the Reformers

Leaders. was a young French-Canadian barrister, named Louis Joseph Papineau. He was fine-looking and a brilliant speaker, and had great influence upon other young men.

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