“A Pacific Revolution” The Globe (27 June 1864)
By: The Globe
Citation: “A Pacific Revolution”, The Globe [Toronto] (27 June 1864).
A PACIFIC REVOLUTION.
(From the Kingston Daily News, Conservative)
The bloodless constitutional revolution which has been achieved by the combination of opposing political parties is a most important event in the history of this country, It is a preliminary step to the concentration of the colonial governments of British North America into a Federated Government, to which may be confidently entrusted by the mother country the independent nationality for which our granted independence in local government has been suitably preparing us. By the force of circumstances, the approach of which on one in Canada could have entertained a preconception, our public men have brought themselves to the same position that the public men of the Maritime Provinces were brought during last winter, simply by steadily pursuing the idea of federation from a belief in its advantages. The resolutions of the Lower Provincials to unite themselves into a Federation to be called Acidia, have now a counterpart in the determination which has been unexpectedly come to in Canada, to erect the Provinces of Canada East and Canada West, with perhaps the Red River Settlement, and the North-West Territory, into a similar Federative Government. And thus, as both colonial peoples are endeavouring, according to their own motives, and for immediate objects not altogether the same to set in working the principle of Federation, there is some hope that all the British colonists in the northern part of this continent may be brought together to devise a common defensive and commercial system, and to set up a form of government under which all our fellow colonists may cherish a common nationality, and be in a better position to resist the encroachments of an encroaching neighbour, [sic] either alternative of those encroachments taking the guise of a propaganda of specious principles or the hostile attitude of a people bent on conquest. Two great steps have been thus gained. The Federative principle is to be applied to Canada and the North-West, and an attempt is determined upon to enlarge the scope of the basis, and include the whole of the British settlements in contiguity with each other.
So far, not a doubt has been raised as to the effect of the carrying out of the federative principle between the Canadas. It is believed that it will accomplish what it is intended to accomplish – the abatement of sectional difficulties. It should not, we think, be accepted as a panacea for all political ills, and a sure preventive of sectionalism, so far as the latter is the offspring of jealous feeling; for the Americans, as we have seen in our own day, have permitted their feelings to overstep all the barriers of a federal organization; but the new plan man be accepted as a remedy to overcome the difficulties which have so far perplexed the country.
But the [sic] and stipulations of the plan to be adopted are the chief matters. Until they are framed and settled, the opinion of the public with naturally be held in reserve – content only with expressing a satisfaction that so much has been already accomplished towards the great end. The next session of Parliament, which is to witness the perfection of the measure, the principle of which is now agreed to, will be a most interesting one on this very account. The changes in the personnel of the Upper Canada section of Cabinet, which are to be brought about during the vacation, will also have an important interest, the more so as they are likely to include the removal from governmental life – perhaps a final removal – of one who has played a distinctive part in the recent legislation of our country. Mr. Brown, the head of the dominant Upper Canada party, is to become a Minister, but who is it that is to give place for him? We doubt not the result will surprise many. It will doubtless be of a nature to make Mr. Brown’s acceptance of office more agreeable on personal grounds, and many do much to deprive the present astonishing coalition of the feature which seems to mark a political inconsistency on the part of one or both.
The paper giving an account of the Ministerial explanations has been printed in official form, and is incorporated in the Parliamentary report. The length of the debate and the limited space at our disposal enforces a division of the report. Mr. Brown’s speech is incomplete, but will be continued in our next. Enough is given to show its general character. While the Attorney General read the memorandum of explanations there was a most attentive silence in the House, and during Mr. Brown’s speech there was a deep and eager attention interrupted only by the heartiness of the applause at the avowals which he made, that what he had done he had done solely for the advantage of his country.