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198   MILITARY HISTORY OF CANADA

and 1828, and a violent agitation against the ordinances followed, led by Papineau, Neilson, Viger, and other popular leaders. Some of the militia officers went to such lengths that Dalhousie cancelled their commissions. In 1830, the Assembly passed a Militia Bill which among other things reinstated the officers whose commissions had been cancelled. The Legislative Council removed the objectionable clauses, and, as the Assembly refused to accept the amended Bill, it was dropped. The same year another Militia Act was passed, superseding the ordinances of 1787 and 1789 and establishing a property qualification for officers, designed, as in the 1819 Bill, to prevent officers of the Imperial army serving in the militia. This was the situation, so far as the militia was concerned, at a time when political and racial unrest in Lower Canada was rapidly ripening into rebellion.

Before attempting to describe the military events of 1837 and 1838 in Lower Canada, it may be well to say a few words as to the causes of the rebellion. The situation in the French province was somewhat more complicated than in Upper Canada. Both rebellions were products of the struggle for responsible government in Canada, a struggle, be it remembered, maintained by many responsible leaders in both provinces who were determined to win their cause by constitutional means, and who had little in common with either Papineau or Mackenzie. But behind the struggle for responsible government in Lower Canada there was a purely racial movement, permeating the whole province, and much more potent as an incentive to extreme measures. Stripped of all verbal wrappings, it was mainly the demand—French Canada for the French Canadians.

So far as the struggle for responsible government was concerned, however one may deprecate armed rebellion as a cure for political evils, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that, in both Lower and Upper Canada, some such violent remedy was needed to convince the dominant minority that the long-suffering majority was really de-


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