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144   HISTORY OF CANADA.

from the assembly that the Jesuits' estates should be applied for purposes of education.

Slavery in Canada.—A bill against slavery was introduced, but for some reason failed to pass. A few years later (1800), the Court of King's Bench in Montreal held slavery in Lower Canada to be illegal, but we hear of slaves there as well as in the other provinces for some years after that date. In Upper Canada an Act was passed in 1793 to put an end to slavery in that province. In all the provinces the few slaves who were brought in by Loyalists from the United States were apparently content to stay and share their masters' lot. The unhallowed institution, however, never took root in our soil, and it hardly needed legislation to bring it to an end. An Imperial Act passed in 1833 abolished slavery throughout all British dominions.

Political Calm.—Lord Dorchester returned to Canada in 1793 and so long as that able governor remained at the head of affairs* the French-Canadians seem to have had full confidence in his government. As a result, the first parliament of Lower Canada (1792-96) performed its work with scarcely any friction. For some years after 1791 the taxes collected in the British colonies in America were insufficient to pay the expenses of their government, the deficiency being met out of the Imperial exchequer. The people, therefore, during these years were naturally not inclined to criticise very closely the executive government of the provinces.

A Reaction in Europe.—Other influences were at work to strengthen the position of the official classes. The French revolution was in progress at this time, and the outrages committed in France in the name of "liberty, equality and fraternity" led to a marked reaction in other countries in favor of a strong executive government as opposed to popular rule and

" From 1791 to 1812 the government of Lower Canada was administered by the following officers:

  1. Lord Dorchester    Governor (1784-1797).

Sir Alured Clarke    Lieut.-Governor   (1791-1793).

General Robert Prescott    "   (1790-1797).

  1. General Robert Prescott    Governor (1797-1807).

Sir R. S. Milnes    Lieut.-Governor   (1799;1805).

Hon. Thos. Dunn    Administrator (1805-1807).

  1. Sir James H. Craig    Governor (1807-1811).

  2. Sir George Prevost    (1811-1815).


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