By Barbara Messamore
Oft-ignored within the learn of Canadian heritage or brushed off as a vestige of colonial prestige, the governor general's place of work presents crucial old perception into Canada's constitutional evolution. within the 19th century, as at the present time, person governors basic exercised massive scope in analyzing their method of the workplace. The period 1847-1878 witnessed profound adjustments in Canada's courting with Britain, and during this new e-book, Barbara J. Messamore explores the character of those alterations via an exam of the function of the governor general.
Guided by way of outdated directions and constitutional conventions that weren't but firmly demonstrated, the governors normal of the time - Lord Elgin, Sir Edmund Head, Lord Monck, Lord Lisgar, and Lord Dufferin - all wrestled with the consequences of colonial self executive. The imprecision of the viceregal function made the nature of the appointee specially vital and biographical information are hence necessary to an figuring out of ways the hot test of colonial self-government used to be positioned into perform. Messamore's publication marries constitutional background and biography, supplying illumination on many of the key figures of nineteenth-century Canadian politics.
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Additional info for Canada's Governors General, 1847-1878: Biography and Constitutional Evolution
His successor, Sir Charles Theophilus Metcalfe, a veteran administrator with experience in Jamaica and India, came to Canada in March 1843. Unlike Bagot, who proved to be more liberal than his reputation promised, Metcalfe's earlier reformist tendencies gave no hint of the reactionary flavour that would mark his Mary Lambton's Husband 45 tenure in Canada. His clear-eyed analysis of the real implications of Sydenham's concessions to responsible government suggests that he was less comfortable than some of his predecessors with apparent contradictions.
Yet Elgin was convinced that overseas service was the route to the elusive financial security he desired for his family. He grew reflective while the ship carried him to take up the post of governor general of India in 1862: What a strange career it has been! How grateful I should be to Providence for the protection I have enjoyed! How wild it seems, to be about, at the close of twenty years, to begin again. 22 Sadly, a little over a year later, Elgin learned of the sudden death of his youngest son, Charles, who was at school in Britain.
And a more active governor was not necessarily a better governor. Despite some attributes in common, it is undeniable that the five men who held the viceregal office between 1847 and 1878 were not only distinct, but very different individuals. Elgin, while family-oriented and often sentimental, was matter-of-fact and pragmatic in dealing with the demands of colonial government. Head was highly cultured and educated but perhaps lacked the common touch that might have enabled him to smooth over political factions.
Canada's Governors General, 1847-1878: Biography and Constitutional Evolution by Barbara Messamore