Responsible government

responsibleresponsible self-governmentself-governingself-governmentaccountableexecutive branch is thus said to be responsiblegoverned itselfgovernmental reformsministerial responsibilityparliamentary responsibility
Responsible government is a conception of a system of government that embodies the principle of parliamentary accountability, the foundation of the Westminster system of parliamentary democracy.wikipedia
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Westminster system

WestminsterWestminster-styleWestminster parliamentary system
Responsible government is a conception of a system of government that embodies the principle of parliamentary accountability, the foundation of the Westminster system of parliamentary democracy.
It is used, or was once used, in the national and subnational legislatures of most former British Empire colonies upon gaining responsible government, beginning with the first of the Canadian provinces in 1848 and the six Australian colonies between 1855 and 1890.

Bicameralism

bicameralbicameral legislaturechambers
If the parliament is bicameral, then the government is responsible first to the parliament's lower house, which is more representative than the upper house, as it usually has more members and they are always directly elected.
When this is the case, the legislature may be called an example of perfect bicameralism. However, in many parliamentary and semi-presidential systems, the house to which the executive is responsible can overrule the other house and may be regarded as an example of imperfect bicameralism.

Presidential system

presidentialpresidential republicpresidentialism
Governments (the equivalent of the executive branch) in Westminster democracies are responsible to parliament rather than to the monarch, or, in a colonial context, to the imperial government, and in a republican context, to the president, either in full or in part.
In presidential countries, the executive is elected and is not responsible to the legislature, which cannot in normal circumstances dismiss it.

Head of state

heads of stateChief of Stateheads of states
Secondly, and most importantly, although ministers are officially appointed by the authority of the head of state and can theoretically be dismissed at the pleasure of the sovereign, they concurrently retain their office subject to their holding the confidence of the lower house of Parliament.
The executive branch is thus said to be responsible (or answerable) to the legislature, with the head of government and cabinet in turn accepting constitutional responsibility for offering constitutional advice to the head of state.

Nova Scotia House of Assembly

Legislative Assembly of Nova ScotiaMLAHouse of Assembly
After the formation of elected legislative assemblies starting with Nova Scotia in 1758, governors and their executive councils did not require the consent of elected legislators in order to carry out all their roles.
The assembly is the oldest in Canada, having first sat in 1758, and in 1848 was the site of the first responsible government in the British Empire.

Self-governing colony

self-governingself-governing coloniesself-government
The concept of responsible government is associated in Canada more with self-government than with parliamentary accountability; hence there is the notion that the Dominion of Newfoundland "gave up responsible government" when it suspended its self-governing status in 1933, as a result of financial problems.
Most self-governing colonies had responsible government.

Dominion of Newfoundland

NewfoundlanddominionBritish dominion
The concept of responsible government is associated in Canada more with self-government than with parliamentary accountability; hence there is the notion that the Dominion of Newfoundland "gave up responsible government" when it suspended its self-governing status in 1933, as a result of financial problems.
In 1854 the British government established Newfoundland's responsible government.

Canadian Confederation

ConfederationConfederation of CanadaFather of Confederation
It was only in the decades leading up to Canadian Confederation in 1867 that the governing councils of those British North American colonies became responsible to the elected representatives of the people.
Following the Rebellions of 1837, Lord Durham in his Durham Report, recommended Upper and Lower Canada be joined as the Province of Canada and the new province should have a responsible government.

James Boyle Uniacke

James B. UniackeJames BoyleJames Uniacke
Following a vote of want of confidence in the preceding Council, James Boyle Uniacke, who had moved the resolution, became Attorney General and leader of the Government.
James Boyle Uniacke (1799 – 26 March 1858) led the first responsible government in Canada as it is today or any colony of the British Empire.

Upper Canada

UpperProvince of Upper CanadaUpper Canadian
Elected assemblies were introduced to both Upper Canada and Lower Canada with the Constitutional Act of 1791.
John Lambton, Lord Durham's support for "responsible government" undercut the Tories and gradually led the public to reject what it viewed as poor administration, unfair land and education policies, and inadequate attention to urgent transportation needs.

Joseph Howe

Joe HoweJoseph Howe Drive
The first instance of responsible government in the British Empire outside of the United Kingdom itself was achieved by the colony of Nova Scotia in January–February 1848 through the efforts of Joseph Howe.
He was instrumental in helping Nova Scotia become the first British colony to win responsible government in 1848.

Francis Bond Head

Sir Francis Bond HeadFrancis HeadSir Francis Bond
The Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada Sir Francis Bond Head wrote in one dispatch to London that if responsible government were implemented "Democracy, in the worst possible Form, will prevail in our Colonies."
Head was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada in 1835 in an attempt by the British government to appease the reformers in the colony, such as William Lyon Mackenzie, who wanted responsible government.

Robert Baldwin

BaldwinRobert
In the Province of Canada, responsible government was introduced with the ministry of Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine and Robert Baldwin in spring 1848; it was put to the test in 1849, when Reformers in the legislature passed the Rebellion Losses Bill.
Robert Baldwin (May 12, 1804 – December 9, 1858) was a Canadian lawyer and politician who, with his political partner Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine, led the first responsible ministry in Canada.

Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine

Louis Hippolyte LaFontaineLafontaineLouis LaFontaine
In the Province of Canada, responsible government was introduced with the ministry of Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine and Robert Baldwin in spring 1848; it was put to the test in 1849, when Reformers in the legislature passed the Rebellion Losses Bill.
Sir Louis-Hippolyte Ménard dit La Fontaine, 1st Baronet, KCMG (October 4, 1807 – February 26, 1864) was a Canadian politician who served as the first Premier of the United Province of Canada and the first head of a responsible government in Canada.

Province of Canada

Canada WestUnited Province of CanadaCanada
In the Province of Canada, responsible government was introduced with the ministry of Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine and Robert Baldwin in spring 1848; it was put to the test in 1849, when Reformers in the legislature passed the Rebellion Losses Bill.
Although Durham's report had called for the Union of the Canadas and for responsible government (a government accountable to an independent local legislature), only the first of the two recommendations was implemented in 1841.

Upper Canada Rebellion

rebellionRebellion of 1837Patriot War
After the 1837 Lower Canada Rebellion led by Louis-Joseph Papineau, and the 1837–1838 Upper Canada Rebellion led by William Lyon Mackenzie, Lord Durham was appointed governor general of British North America and had the task of examining the issues and determining how to defuse tensions.
His first move was to broaden the representation on the Executive Council by including the advocate of "responsible government", Robert Baldwin.

John Lambton, 1st Earl of Durham

Lord DurhamJohn George LambtonEarl of Durham
After the 1837 Lower Canada Rebellion led by Louis-Joseph Papineau, and the 1837–1838 Upper Canada Rebellion led by William Lyon Mackenzie, Lord Durham was appointed governor general of British North America and had the task of examining the issues and determining how to defuse tensions.
Durham's detailed and famous Report on the Affairs of British North America (London, January 1839) recommended a modified form of responsible government and a legislative union of Upper Canada, Lower Canada and the Maritime Provinces.

John Charles Molteno

John MoltenoMoltenoSir John Molteno
A popular political movement for responsible government soon emerged, under local leader John Molteno.
Sir John Charles Molteno (5 June 1814 – 1 September 1886) was a soldier, businessman, champion of responsible government and the first Prime Minister of the Cape Colony.

Cape Colony

Cape of Good HopeCapeGovernor of the Cape of Good Hope
The Cape Colony, in Southern Africa, was under responsible self-government from 1872 until 1910 when it became the Cape Province of the new Union of South Africa. Under its previous system of representative government, the Ministers of the Cape Government reported directly to the British Imperial Governor, and not to the locally elected representatives in the Cape Parliament.
The Cape of Good Hope then remained in the British Empire, becoming self-governing in 1872, and uniting with three other colonies to form the Union of South Africa in 1910.

James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin

Lord ElginThe Earl of ElginJames Bruce
The Governor General, Lord Elgin, had serious misgivings about the bill but nonetheless assented to it despite demands from the Tories that he refuse to do so.
Under Lord Elgin, the first real attempts began at establishing responsible government in Canada.

British Empire

BritishEmpireBritain
The first instance of responsible government in the British Empire outside of the United Kingdom itself was achieved by the colony of Nova Scotia in January–February 1848 through the efforts of Joseph Howe.
Responsible government was first granted to Nova Scotia in 1848, and was soon extended to the other British North American colonies.

Parliament of the Cape of Good Hope

Cape ParliamentCape Legislative AssemblyCape House of Assembly
Under its previous system of representative government, the Ministers of the Cape Government reported directly to the British Imperial Governor, and not to the locally elected representatives in the Cape Parliament.
Among the Cape's powerful local leaders, a radical faction under the leadership of John Molteno pushed for further independence in the form of "Responsible Government".

Provincial secretary

Colonial Secretary
Joseph Howe, the long-time campaigner for this "Peaceable Revolution", became Provincial Secretary.
Before the granting of responsible government and the emergence of the position of premier, the provincial secretary was the leading position in the executive councils appointed by the various governors and lieutenant-governors of British North America.

William Lyon Mackenzie

William Lyon MackenzieKingMackenzie
After the 1837 Lower Canada Rebellion led by Louis-Joseph Papineau, and the 1837–1838 Upper Canada Rebellion led by William Lyon Mackenzie, Lord Durham was appointed governor general of British North America and had the task of examining the issues and determining how to defuse tensions.
In 1848, the Province of Canada (which had been formed out of Upper and Lower Canada in 1841 upon the recommendation of Lord Durham) received responsible government, with Lord Elgin being the first Governor General of the Province of Canada to accept the Legislative Assembly's advice as to whom to appoint to the Executive Council and hence the cabinet, instead of appointing the cabinet himself.

Nova Scotia

NSNova Scotia, CanadaNova Scotian
The first instance of responsible government in the British Empire outside of the United Kingdom itself was achieved by the colony of Nova Scotia in January–February 1848 through the efforts of Joseph Howe.
During this century, Nova Scotia became the first colony in British North America and in the British Empire to achieve responsible government in January–February 1848 and become self-governing through the efforts of Joseph Howe.