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John George Lambton, Earl of Durham

John George Lambton, Earl of Durham, commonly referred to as Lord Durham (1792-1840), was a British Whig statesman and colonial administrator, Governor General and high commissioner of British North America. As Lord Privy Seal in the administration of Lord Grey he helped draft the reform bill of 1832.

He was sent to Quebec in 1838 to investigate the circumstances surrounding the Patriotes Rebellion of Louis-Joseph Papineau and the Upper Canada Rebellion of 1837, and his detailed and famous Report on the Affairs of British North America (1839) recommended a modified form of responsible government and a legislative union of the Canadas and the Maritime Provinces.

He has been lauded in Canadian history for his recomendation of introducing responsible government. This was implemented and by 1847 Canada was a functioning democarcy, as it has been ever since. He is less well considered for his idea of merging Upper and Lower Canada into one colony, since this was proposed with the express end of trying encourage the extinction of the French language and culture through intermingling with the more numerous English.



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