It has often been suggested that one of the fundamental differences between the United States and Canada is that the United States was born out of a revolution while Canada was created by an Act of the British Parliament. While this is true, it is an understatement.
In fact, some of the same sentiment that led to the American Revolution also led to rebellions in Canada in 1837 and this, in turn, led us down the road towards nationhood.
You see, one of the causes (and I stress one) of the American Revolution was “taxation without representation.” Great Britain was taxing its 13 colonies, but those colonies did not have any political power or really any say in British government at all.
After the American Revolution, Great Britain’s response to its colonies’ desire for representative democracy was to further restrict democracy in its remaining North American colonies! Basically, they set up an oligarchy where a few appointed officials made all of the key decisions in Upper and Lower Canada while elected assemblies had very little political power.
Two separate failed rebellions (really, they were more like riots) ensued and the road to Confederation began.