The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House resumed on:
September 21, 2017.

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.