According to John Stuart Mill in 1861, Britain had ‘always felt under a certain degree of obligation to bestow on such of her outlying populations as were of her own blood and language, and on some who were not, representative institutions formed in imitation of her own’.1 What was obvious to Mill then had not been obvious to William Pitt seventy years before. Introducing the Canada Constitutional Bill2 into the Commons on 5 March 1791, Pitt had declared that, as a great innovation of principle, the Bill would introduce a system of government formed ‘in imitation of the constitution of the mother country’.3 Like his cousin, William Grenville, who had drafted the Bill,4 Pitt recognised that it broke new ground in British policy towards colonial government.
KeywordsGreat Innovation Colonial Government Colonial Constitution Representative Institution Settle Coloni
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- 1.J. S. Mill, On Liberty 308.Google Scholar
- 2.Geo. III, c.31, discussed in Chapter 2.Google Scholar
- 3.Cruikshank, in Ontario Historical Society, Papers and Records XXVIII, 244f.Google Scholar
- 4.H. T. Manning, Revolt of French Canada 26f.Google Scholar
- 5.Grenville to Dorchester, 5 June 1790, in Shortt and Doughty, Documents II, 1024f.Google Scholar
- 6.J. S. Mill, On Liberty 309.Google Scholar
- 7.Ibid., 131; London and Westminster Review (1838), 241f.Google Scholar