By Barbara Messamore
Oft-ignored within the research of Canadian background or disregarded as a vestige of colonial prestige, the governor general's place of work offers crucial ancient perception into Canada's constitutional evolution. within the 19th century, as this present day, person governors common exercised significant scope in examining their method of the place of work. The period 1847-1878 witnessed profound alterations in Canada's courting with Britain, and during this new publication, Barbara J. Messamore explores the character of those adjustments via an exam of the function of the governor general.
Guided by way of outdated directions and constitutional conventions that weren't but firmly verified, the governors common of the time - Lord Elgin, Sir Edmund Head, Lord Monck, Lord Lisgar, and Lord Dufferin - all wrestled with the results of colonial self govt. The imprecision of the viceregal position made the nature of the appointee specially very important and biographical info are therefore necessary to an figuring out of ways the hot scan of colonial self-government used to be placed into perform. Messamore's booklet marries constitutional historical past and biography, supplying illumination on the various key figures of nineteenth-century Canadian politics.
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Extra resources for Canada's Governors General, 1847-1878: Biography and Constitutional Evolution
Widely read and cultured, Mary was personally acquainted with Queen Victoria; they had been childhood playmates. In addition to these assets, Elgin's new wife proved a source of domestic comfort and a steadying influence in his life. 18 During the times when Elgin's duties dictated a separation from his wife, he wrote to her constantly, adding new pages each day until the post would leave. '20 Elgin, for all his apparent calm pragmatism, was a sentimental man, devoted to his wife and children. His family joined him in Canada in the spring of 1847 but some separations were inevitable, and family letters written during these times offer glimpses into Elgin's nature and his impressions of Canada.
These laws required Canadian produce to be transported in British or colonial ships and often meant that shipping rates were significantly higher from Canadian than American ports, or even at times that transport was unavailable. In 1846 the Corn Laws, granting preference to colonial wheat in the British market, had been repealed. Elgin now argued that the retention of the Navigation Laws when all of the protective aspects of mercantilist doctrine had been eliminated was an injustice to the colonies.
With the advent of self-government for domestic matters, Canada did not gain instant autonomy over foreign relations. Not until 1909 was there even a government department devoted to external affairs, and until this time the governor general was the conduit for all correspondence between Canada and any foreign state. Even communication destined for the United States would have to travel twice across the Atlantic to be vetted by the home government. '77 Herman Merivale, permanent undersecretary at the Colonial Office, pointed out that the governor, who was 'the only political link connecting the colony with the mother country ...
Canada's Governors General, 1847-1878: Biography and Constitutional Evolution by Barbara Messamore