The Act of Union

1840 -1841

What is the Act of Union?

After the rebellion of Upper and Lower Canada, politician Lord Durham was sent by the British government to write a report on the rebellion, find the cause and make a solution. He visited both Upper and Lower Canada, but spent most of his time in Lower Canada, making only one short trip to Upper Canada. His report was entitled as Durham's Report.
Eventually, both Canadas agreed to the Act. It was passed on July 1840 by the British government, and proclaimed on February 10, 1841 in Montreal, Quebec. Canada was officially one country.
The Act of Union was a significant event in Canada's history, because it was how Canada became one country. Some other significant historical events in Canadian history is the Great Migration from 1815-1850, the Royal Proclamation of 1763, and the First Canadian Railway built in 1836.

The Durham Report

In early 1838, after the 1837 rebellion between the French of Lower Canada and English of Upper Canada, Lord Durham, a British politician, was sent to report and investigate on the rebellion. He was to find out the reason of the rebellion and create a solution. He arrived on May, 1838. Lord Durham visited both Upper and Lower Canada, to investigate so he can write a report. The report was entitled as Durham's Report, written in 1839, and consisted of tree main proposals:

  1. He suggested greater colonial self-government.
  2. He proposed that the governor chooses his own advisers, and goes by the wishes of the selected representatives.
  3. A union of Upper and Lower Canada; it would make a larger union of all British North America, and will cause the French Canadians to assimilate, which was necessary.
The idea to unite the two Canadas was based on the Durham Report.

The "Act"

The idea to unite the two Canadas was made based on the third proposal of the Durham Report. The Act of Union's main goal was to create one parliament, with representatives from both Canada West and Canada East (aka Upper and Lower Canada). Also part of the Act was to ban French from official government use, and suspend certain French-Canadian institutions relating to education and civil laws.

Even though it was a bit unfair, both Canadas agreed to work under the Act, because of influence of the united Reform party. It was led by leaders from both Canadas--Louis Lafontaine from Canada East and Robert Baldwin from Canada West.

The Act of Union united Upper & Lower Canada under one government, creating the "Province of Canada."

The Result

Lord Durham's report and suggestion to unite the two Canadas had been successful. The Act of Union was proclaimed on February 10, 1841 in Montreal, Quebec, and passed in July 1840 by the British parliament. It had started a new era of history, and led to a wider union of British North America. The effects were permanent, and to this day, Canada is still united as one, and still will be in the future.


"Act of Union 1840." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 04 May 2014. Web. 06 Apr. 2014.

"Act of Union." The Canadian Encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Apr. 2014.

"The Historical Process of Canadian Confederation." The Historical Process of Canadian Confederation. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Apr. 2014.