Lord Durham's Report
The Beginning Struggle > Lower Canada
Lord Durham, 1853 (Painting by Thomas Lawrence. Courtesy Library and Archives Canada/C-121846)
In the aftermath of the rebellion, the British named John George Lambton, Lord Durham, Governor General of British North America and asked him to report on the situation in the colonies. After less than six months in Canada, Durham resigned his commission because he felt that the British government was not supporting him. He returned to England where he wrote his famous report. The Durham Report made two major recommendations. It was disdainful of the French and what Durham called "their vain hopes of nationality." In order to create an English-speaking majority, he urged that Lower Canada be joined to Upper Canada (Ontario) as the United Province of Canada. Union, he believed, would assure the assimilation of the French minority and resolve the political crisis in the lower province. Secondly, Durham recommended that the colonies be allowed more independence from the Mother Country, that the elected Assembly should choose the members of the Executive Council, and that the governor should follow the direction of the council. In practice, this meant that the governor and council would become responsible to the elected representatives.