Previous The History of the Dominion of Canada (1897) Next

 

HISTORY OF CANADA.   203

and staff were Anglican, but no religious test was required of students. Not, however, until the year 1860 was the college made entirely non-sectarian and provincial. There were also complaints in this province that the "school school reserves," which had been set apart at a very early date, were largely granted to church schools, either Anglican or Presbyterian.

In Upper Canada a royal charter for a King's College was obtained in 1826 by Archdeacon (afterwards Bishop) Strachan. Lands for the support of schools had been set apart as early as 1797, and a great part of these—over 225,000 acres—was now taken to form a land endowment for King's College, supplemented by a liberal money grant. Members of the college council—of which Archdeacon Strachan was the first president —were to subscribe to the Thirty-nine Articles. No religious test, however, was to be imposed upon matriculants. King's College charter was from the beginning an object of unceasing attack, but not until 1849 was this institution finally made entirely non-sectarian under the name of the University of Toronto.

In Lower Canada the refusal of the French-Canadians to attend the schools founded under the Education Act of 1801 was based upon their objection to the exclusive control of those schools by the Anglicans. Apart from this, the province was very free during this period from purely sectarian disputes. John Neilson, speaking in 1828, said : " No country was ever more exempt from religious animosities than Lower Canada has generally been during the thirty-seven years I have resided there." The non-sectarian McGill College, Montreal (chartered in 1821), owes its existence to the liberality of a merchant of that city whose name it bears.

An Anglican Official Class. —Above every other cause it was owing to their position in reference to the executive government of the various provinces that the Anglican minority were long able to hold their advantages. The head of the government in each province was an Anglican, members of the executive and legislative councils were for many years largely Anglican, and the majority of the government officials were of that de-nomination. Every vacancy was, as a matter of course, filled by the appointment of one of their own social and political friends. The natural result was the concentration of power in the hands of the Anglicans. Every etlitrt of the popular assembly to pass laws


Previous The History of the Dominion of Canada (1897) Next