The Fight for Responsible Government
Some key events in the fight for Responsible Government in the British Colonies
1828 - Robert Baldwin, William Baldwin, and Marshall Spring Bidwell launch a campaign in Upper Canada for Responsible Government, based upon the British parliamentary system. This campaign severely criticizes the executive branch (Family Compact).
1835 - Joseph Howe successfully defends his libel charge.
1837 - In Nova Scotia, Joseph Howe proposes 12 resolutions including an elected executive council.
1837 - The above resolutions are presented to the Lieutenant Governor.
1837 - Rebellions in Upper and Lower Canada
1838 - Robert Baldwin and William Baldwin have an audience with Lord Durham explaining the principles of their model Responsible Government.
1839 - Joseph Howe writes a series of 4 letters on September 18 to the Colonial Secretary, Lord John Russell, advocating responsible government in Nova Scotia
Letter 1- Supporting Lord Durham's conclusion and illustrating some problems with the current system in Nova Scotia.
Letter 2 - Howe's rebuttal to Lord Russell's speech of June 3 whereby Russell elucidates some difficulties he perceives with the idea of responsible government and an elected upper house.
Letter 3 - Howe concludes his rebuttal to Lord Russell's June 3, 1839 speech.
Letter 4 - Howe illustrates how he would change the present systems to become more accountable to the people.
1840 - The Nova Scotia Assembly requests the removal of Sir Colin Campbell as Lt. Governor.
1840 - 1843 - Howe appointed to the Executive Council in a coalition with the Tories and resigns in 1843 over a ministerial appointment.
He maintains his seat in the House of Assembly.
1844 - 1847 - Howe publicizes his ideas regarding Responsible Government in The Novascotian.
1848 - Nova Scotia becomes the first British Colony governed by a Responsible Government.