The 92 Resolutions|
In Quebec, the capital of Lower Canada, the Patriote Party had enjoyed a majority in the House of Assembly for the last 15 years.
However, the reforms it proposed were rarely accepted by the British government. The Patriote politicians demanded more power for the elected Assembly and insisted that the Legislative Council be elected by the people.
|In 1834, the Patriotes drew up a list of political grievances, called the 92 Resolutions, and sent it to the government in London. (As portrayed in Canada: A People's History)
In 1834, the Patriotes took their cause directly to London with the "92 Resolutions." This list was made up of all the grievances and claims of the Patriotes in Lower Canada. They demanded that the budget be controlled by the Assembly. They wanted the same powers, privileges and immunities as the British Parliament. Furthermore, the Resolutions contained veiled threats of Lower Canada's independence and annexation to the United States.
"Resolved, that this House is no wise disposed to admit the excellence of the present Constitution of Canada..."
Louis-Joseph Papineau, leader of the Patriote Party, remained cautious:
"We will not cease our demands for full political rights and power.
And though we feel uneasy, we hope that the British government will at last grant us justice. In this hope, we shall do nothing to hasten our separation from the mother country, unless it be to prepare and lead the people towards that day, which will know neither monarchy nor aristocracy.">
He hoped that the British government would finally grant the colony full autonomy:
"(..). and considers it inappropriate and inaccurate that His Majesty's Secretary of State of the colonial office should claim that he conferred the institutions of Great Britain on the two Canadas."
The Patriotes' protests and their landslide victory in the 1834 election brought a backlash from the English Party.
John Molson, one of the most powerful businessmen in Montreal, issued a warning to the Patriotes:
"Recent events have roused us to a sense of impending danger (...) the French party may yet be taught, that the majority upon which they count for success, will, in the hour of trial, prove a weak defence against the awakened energies of an insulted and oppressed people."
Julie, Papineau's wife, spent long months in Montreal while her husband was involved in parliamentary work in Quebec.
She was wary of the English Party:
"I harbour no idle fears but I can appreciate for what they truly are the rage and the hatred that this party bears towards us, and I see that our position is a lamentable one. They seek to prevail at all costs or trample us and if we do not have the energy to escape from their power they will certainly find ways of doing us harm."