During the early 1830s the Reform movement split. Moderates, led by Robert BALDWIN, were committed to the British constitution, the imperial connection and the concept of a stable, hierarchical society; they simply wanted to enlarge the ruling elite through the introduction of RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT. Radical reformers increasingly demanded the application of republican principles to create a social and economic democracy modelled on the US; they also sought greater colonial independence. Mackenzie led a third, extreme faction.
In 1836 Baldwin entered the executive council but Lt-Gov Sir Francis Bond HEAD refused to accept responsible government. The administration resigned and the moderates were squeezed out of the political process. Mackenzie's group, devastated in the subsequent election, became more revolutionary but was crushed in the REBELLIONS OF 1837. The moderates, led by Baldwin and Francis Hincks, re-emerged as a potent political force in the United PROVINCE OF CANADA, and the nonrevolutionary radicals sank into oblivion.
Author DAVID MILLS
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A biography of Egerton Ryerson, Methodist minister, author, editor, and educational administrator. From the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online.