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262   HISTORY OF CANADA.

so unworkable that it was repealed in the following session, when a new Act was passed, the provisions of which may be briefly stated. Up to this time the only schools which could be considered state schools were those known as District Schools—comparatively few in number—for more advanced pupils. These were managed by Crown-appointed Boards, largely Anglican, and were supported by government grants. The Act of 1842 established a regular system of Common and Grammar Schools, to be managed by trustees elected locally. The whole system was to be under the control of one General Superintendent of Education, with an assistant for each section of the province. The schools were to be supported by government grants, local assessment, and a rate-bill upon the parents. In order to supply good teachers, township and county Model Schools were provided, and the ultimate establishment of provincial Normal Schools was also contemplated. The system naturally developed many defects in its practical working ; and, after the Rev. Dr. Ryerson became General Superintendent of Education in 1844, it was entirely recast and made more complete and efficient.

Public Improvements.—Particular attention was also paid to public works. The Welland Canal became the property of the province, and the navigation of the St. Lawrence was improved by the construction of additional canals. Liberal sums were also voted for road improvement, and the old "corduroy" or small log roadbeds rapidly gave place to gravel and "macadam." Canada was able to borrow money for public works at a low rate of interest, because, as part of the plan of union, the Imperial government guaranteed to lenders the payment of the interest upon their loans. The next ten years, therefore, of Canadian history show a marked improvement in road-making, bridge-building, and internal water communication; and this was followed in the next decade by a wonderful development of railway enterprise.

Death of Lord Sydenham.—Shortly before the session of 1841 closed, Lord Sydenham, riding out one afternoon, was thrown from his horse. Though not seriously injured, the shock to a constitution already somewhat shattered proved fatal, and on the day following the prorogation the governor died. At his own request, he was buried in Kingston cemetery. It has been said of him that he gave but a half-hearted adhesion to the doctrine


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