Equal Subjects, Unequal Rights: Indigenous People in British by Julie Evans, Patricia Grimshaw, David Phillips

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By Julie Evans, Patricia Grimshaw, David Phillips

This publication makes a speciality of the ways that the British settler colonies of Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa handled indigenous peoples with regards to political rights, beginning with the imperial guidelines of the 1830s and finishing with the nationwide political settlements in position by means of 1910. Drawing on quite a lot of resources, its comparative process offers an perception into the historic foundations of present-day controversies in those settler societies.

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Additional resources for Equal Subjects, Unequal Rights: Indigenous People in British Settler Colonies, 1830-1910

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The Report’s recommendation that the British Government should extend responsible government to the existing colonies – Upper Canada (Ontario), Lower Canada (Quebec), and the maritime colonies of Nova [ 35 ] CLAIMING A SECOND EMPIRE Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland – was not immediately acted upon. But in 1847, the Whig Government, with the third Earl Grey (son of the former prime minister and brother-inlaw of Lord Durham) as secretary of state for the colonies, granted Nova Scotia responsible government.

This was to be done constitutionally in two stages. First should come ‘representative government’, under which the White settlers were able to elect a legislature, but the executive continued to be a governor appointed by the British Crown. At the second stage would follow ‘responsible government’, under which principal authority and power would lie (as in the British Parliament) with an executive of prime minister and cabinet chosen by, and responsible to, the elected legislature. Even under ‘responsible government’, although the colonists would be given almost full control of their own internal affairs, the British government would retain control of: the colony’s political constitution; the colony’s foreign relations and trade with Britain, other British colonies and foreign nations; and the disposal of public lands (which in Canada involved ‘Indian’ policy) in the colony.

Report, British Parliamentary Papers (1837), vol. 7, p. 5. , pp. 76, 82–3. , p. 18. Colonial Intelligencer; or Aborigines’ Friend (hereafter: Colonial Intelligencer), April (1847), p. 1. See M. Brock, The Great Reform Act (London: Hutchinson, 1973). On the historical context of the Durham Report, and its subsequent reception and influence, see: J. R. M. Butler, ‘Colonial Self-Government 1838–1852’, in J. H. Rose, A. Newton and E. A. Benians (eds), The Cambridge History of the British Empire, 2 vols (Cambridge & New York: Cambridge University Press, 1938–40), vol.

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