Origins of Canadian Government

  • 507 BCE

    Democracy in Ancient Greece

    Democracy in Ancient Greece
    In 507 B.C. Athenian leader Cleisthenes introduced a political system that he called demokratia -rule by the people- it was the first known democracy. Canada adopted the democratic political system and has a representative democracy where citizens vote for representatives.
  • 27 BCE

    The Roman Empire

    The Roman Empire
    The Roman Empire during the Imperial Rome period lasted from 27 B.C. to A.D. 476. The Roman Empire had territorial holdings around the Mediterranean Sea, North Africa, and Western Asia, it was ruled by emperors. Legal ideas like trial by jury, civil rights, contracts, and corporations were influenced by Roman law.
  • 1215

    The Magna Carta

    The Magna Carta
    In England, King John was facing a potential rebellion and he agreed to a charter of liberties known as the Magna Carta. This would place him and all of England’s future rulers within a rule of law. The Magna Carta forbade illegal imprisonment and required a fair justice system. This affected key aspects of Canadian law.
  • 1215

    British Parliament

    British Parliament
    Modern day parliament has a House of Lords and a House of Commons (in Britain),these houses are from the Anglo-Saxon council governments of the 8th century. The first English Parliament was convened in 1215 with the creation of the Magna Carta. The Great Council was first referred to as “Parliament” in 1236. Canada’s parliamentary system stems from the British “Westminster” tradition. Parliament now consists of the Crown, the Senate, and the House of Commons.
  • Divine Right of Kings

    Divine Right of Kings
    Is a political and religious belief of royal absolutism. It states that a monarch is not subjected to earthly authority and his right to rule comes directly from God. The monarch also isn’t subjected to the common good of his people. Any attempt to dispose of the king would be treason. The divine right is associated with a monarchy and Canada is still technically connected to the British monarchy.
  • Thomas Hobbes

    Thomas Hobbes
    English philosopher known for his political thought. His most well known concern was social and political order. He believed that all people are born selfish and only seek out their own interests. Hobbes’ Leviathan explained that government and people are interlocked, the governed and the government have a “co-dependent relationship”. After the Great Depression the Canadian government realized it had to be more involved with the citizens for a more efficient nation.
  • John Locke

    John Locke
    John Locke was a philosopher and was one of the most famous political theorists of the 17th century. One of his well known beliefs was that most humans are naturally good and fairly intelligent. He believed that humans know right from wrong and are capable of resolving conflicts. He made foundational contributions to modern theories of liberal government. Locke is credited with founding liberalism. Canadian liberalism has made a very real contribution to the democratic government.
  • Iroquois Confederacy

    Iroquois Confederacy
    The Iroquois Confederacy or Haudenosaunee and emerged out of five woodland tribes affected by war and violence. The five tribes included the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca nations. They made The Great Law of Peace which was their own constitution, it brought the nations together to govern but still protected their sovereignty. The Great Law of Peace was a model for seperation of power and modern democracy.
  • The American Revolution

    The American Revolution
    An ideological and political revolution in British America. It was caused by British attempts to gain greater control over the colonies. Canada did not join the revolution because only a few areas of modern Canada were British then: Nova Scotia and Labrador-Newfoundland. This resulted in Canada remaining under British rule.
  • Period: to

    Revolutionary Ideas

    The American Revolution and the French Revolution
  • The French Revolution

    The French Revolution
    A period of radical political and societal change in France. The objective was to completely change the relationship between the rulers and those they governed. During the revolution there was tension between France and French Canadians, in the 1850s they had little relations. But in the 1960s France's interest in Canada increased as French Canada became drawn to French history, ideas and language. The Quiet Revolution was a period of socio-political and socio-cultural change in Quebec.
  • The Great Depression

    The Great Depression
    The Great Depression in Canada was caused by several factors. Canada was too dependent on the USA and primary products like pulp and minerals. High tariffs also killed international trade. Over expansion and over production. Also too much buying with credit and buying stocks with credit. The Great Depression led the Canadian government to take more of an active role in the economy and led to the creation of social welfare.
  • Period: to

    Social Revolutions

    The Great Depression and the 1960s
  • 1960s society and politics

    1960s society and politics
    More than half of Canada’s population was under the age of 25. Indignous communites were still facing oppression. The “Sixties Scoop” was the mass removal of Indigneous children from their homes and their adoption into non-Indgineous, middle class families. But in August 1960 the House of Commons approved the Canadian Bill of Rights. The Quiet Revolution took measures to increase Québécois control over the province's economy and electricity production.
  • 1960s pop culture

    1960s pop culture
    Canadian artists included The Who, Neil Young, and Paul Anka. Movies like The Sound of Music and My Fair Lady were popular. The baby boom influenced the creation of recreational centres, shopping malls, and drive-ins. "Hippies" would get together to sing and dance to music. The Fourth Avenue took place in Vancouver or in Toronto where they all gathered to hear Jimi Hendrix and The Rolling Stones. The government had to learn how to keep up with the young population.