Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada

Legislative Assembly Of Upper Canada

Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada

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The Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada was created by the Constitutional Act of 1791. It was the elected legislature for the province of Upper Canada and functioned as the province's lower house in the Parliament of Upper Canada. It's legislative power was subject to veto by the appointed Lieutenant Governor, Executive Council, and Legislative Council.

The first elections in Upper Canada, in which only land-owning males were permitted to vote, were held in August 1792. The first session of the Assembly's sixteen members occurred in Newark, Upper Canada on 17 September 1792. Shortly before the capital of Upper Canada was moved to York in 1796 the Assembly was dissolved and reconvended for twelve more sessions between 1797 to 1840 in modest buildings in the new capital. Members continued to be elected by land-owning males to represent counties and the larger towns.

During the War of 1812, American troops set fire to the buildings of the Assembly (the future Parliament of Canada moved to its current location at Parliament Hill in Ottawa in 1866). Following the war, the Executive and Legislative Councils became increasingly dominated by the Family Compact, a clique of wealthy individuals led primarily by John Strachan. The Compact was deeply opposed to American republicanism and favoured full establishment for the Anglican church in Upper Canada. Their increasingly authoritarian style of governance and disregard for the will of the Legislative Assembly led to demands for...
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