The Durham Report
The Durham Report
“The Durham Report was a racist document that has had a lasting effect on the country of Canada”. This report was bias and written by a British person ‘Lord Durham’ who wrote statement which made French look inferior to the English. This report was in a total favour towards British. To start with, the first main recommendation was to unite the Lower and the Upper Canada into one province called ‘Canada’. This recommendation would give British Canadians an advantage in population. With this the French population would be less as in front of the British and French would have less reputation in the country and in the political government.
By uniting the two states into one province, French had to pay more tax. Now it had to pay more debt that belonged to Upper Canada. They really felt forced to pay. He also said that English was more practical and was interested in improving the province. The result of this, the French became a minority, while the English made a huge majority in the province. Secondly, he asked for a responsible government, with a proper cabinet system as in Britain for the English but not the French as he said that the responsible government should be only given to the English- speaking majority.
He said the French wasn’t ready for it yet which was a total sarcasm. This system made the Executive Council responsible to the Legislative Assembly, whose members are representatives of the people. The real power was now in the hands of the voters. The problem with French was that they wouldn’t be allowed to vote because they were easily manipulated as said by the Lord Durham. This was assimilation against French. By this, only the English could vote and as obvious they would vote the English only.
This would make British more powerful and French inferior to them as they wouldn’t be included more in the political government and in the decisions for the province. Lastly, Lord Durham used a biased language for French and attacked on the French culture. This discrimination is still going on today in some British countries where French are living this pressure. French were called names like pea soup, frenchie, etc. they were also divided by fence in some places like sport arenas, auditorium and many other places.
The reason why they did was that they knew that the French couldn’t afford the tickets to sit on the English and the rich side, and it would again make French inferior to the English. Also, the French could only speak English on the bench. Lord Durham also said that the French had no history or culture and also called illiterate which totally attacked the French culture. He also suggested making a program of education where French Canadians would become more progressive. This meant changing the French to English indirectly. This was really unfair to the people of the Lower Canada or French and it made them really angry.
In brief, Lord Durham suggested that the responsible overall regime be dominated by the English so that the French would be kept away from leadership positions. By uniting the Upper and Lower Canada, giving the responsible government only to the English and using a wrong language for French Durham made French look poor, bad and illiterate with no history or culture. This was mainly abandoning the French identity which was pretty sad for the French people. This reported affected Canada a lot even though they already knew what was going on in the Lower Canadian people.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 11 October 2016
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