The redistribution of lower Canada in the 1830s: An essay on government mentality colonial
Revue d'Histoire de l'Amerique Francaise , Volume 58 - Issue 1 p. 27- 66
The Gosford Commission has been seen by historians largely as a failed attempt at the conciliation of Lower Canadian political factions, or as a delaying tactic on the part of an indecisive English administration. This essay argues that an investigation of the debate over political representation led by the Constitutional Associations of Montreal and Quebec, as well as of the analyses of the political situation of Lower Canada by members of the commission, reveals a shift in the mentality of colonial government away from a logic of mercantilism towards a liberal political logic. Liberalism is shown to have been able to accommodate quite contradictory notions of equity in matters of political representation.