British North America Act


British North America Act
(1867) Act of the British Parliament by which three British colonies
Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Canada
were united as "one Dominion under the name of Canada.

" The act also divided the province of Canada into the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. It served as Canada's "constitution" until 1982, when it became the basis of the Canada Act.

* * *

United Kingdom [1867]
also called  Constitution Act, 1867 

      the act of Parliament of the United Kingdom by which in 1867 three British colonies in North America—Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Canada—were united as “one Dominion under the name of Canada” and by which provision was made that the other colonies and territories of British North America might be admitted. It also divided the province of Canada into the provinces of Quebec and Ontario and provided them with constitutions. The act served as Canada's “constitution” until 1982, when it was renamed the Constitution Act, 1867, and became the basis of Canada's Constitution Act of 1982, by which the British Parliament's authority was transferred to the independent Canadian Parliament.

      The British North America Act conferred on the new dominion a constitution “similar in principle to that of the United Kingdom.” The executive government was vested in Queen Victoria and her successors. These two provisions meant that Canada would have parliamentary and cabinet government. The legislature was to consist of a Senate, its members appointed for life from the regions of Canada, and a House of Commons elected from the provinces on the principle of representation by population. The act provided that criminal law should be federal and civil law provincial. The federal government was to appoint all senior judges, the provinces to administer the laws and maintain the courts. The act also authorized establishment of a Supreme Court of Canada.

      The allocation of powers between the federal and provincial governments was done by sections 91 and 92 of the act. By the former, the federal legislature was given power to legislate for “the peace, order and good government of Canada,” and “for greater certainty” 29 subjects of exclusive federal jurisdiction were listed. The act also gave the federal government the right to disallow any provincial act within two years of its passage. The provinces might levy direct taxation only, whereas the dominion might use any mode of taxation. The act thus provided for a union in which the federal government had general and overriding powers, while the provinces had particular and restricted ones.

      The course of judicial interpretation in the Judicial Committee of the imperial Privy Council nevertheless transformed the character of the federal constitution under the act by greatly reducing the powers of the federal government and correspondingly increasing those of the provinces. The act provided no process of amendment. Amendments were made by the imperial Parliament in London at the request of the Parliament of Canada.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • British North America Act — Die British North America Acts (frz. Actes de l Amérique du Nord britannique), in Kanada bekannt als Constitution Acts sind Gesetze, die das Britische Parlament zwischen 1867 und 1982 beschloss, um das Regierungssystem Kanadas zu regeln. Sie… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • British North America Act — (1867)    An act of the British Parliament creating the federal state since known as Canada. It united the separate colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick into a federal Dominion of Canada while simultaneously dividing the old colony… …   Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914

  • British North America Act —    The constitution of the Dominion; the Act by which the scattered colonies of British North America were united in one Confederation. Drafted at the Quebec Conference, 1864; discussed and passed in the form of resolutions, in the Legislature of …   The makers of Canada

  • British North America Act — (inglés: ley para la América del Norte británica) (1867). Ley del Parlamento británico por medio de la cual tres colonias británicas Nueva Escocia, Nueva Brunswick y Canadá fueron unificadas como un Dominio bajo el nombre de Canadá. También… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • British North America Act, 1867 — Das Verfassungsgesetz von 1867 (englisch: Constitution Act, 1867, französisch: Loi constitutionnelle de 1867, vormals British North America Act, 1867 bzw. Acte de l Amérique du Nord britannique de 1867) ist das Gesetz, mit dem das Dominion von… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • British North America Act von 1867 — Das Verfassungsgesetz von 1867 (englisch: Constitution Act, 1867, französisch: Loi constitutionnelle de 1867, vormals British North America Act, 1867 bzw. Acte de l Amérique du Nord britannique de 1867) ist das Gesetz, mit dem das Dominion von… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • British North America Act 1867 — This exists because Canada s Constitution Act, 1867 is known by its original name in British law .The British North America Act 1867 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that established the Dominion of Canada. It is known in Canada… …   Wikipedia

  • British North America Acts — Canada This article is part of the series: Politics and government of Canada   …   Wikipedia

  • British North America Acts — Die British North America Acts (frz. Actes de l Amérique du Nord britannique), in Kanada bekannt als Constitution Acts sind Gesetze, die das Britische Parlament zwischen 1867 und 1982 beschloss, um das Regierungssystem Kanadas zu regeln. Sie… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Report on the Affairs of British North America — The Report on the Affairs of British North America, commonly known as The Durham Report, is an important document in the history of Quebec, Ontario, Canada and the British Empire. The notable British Whig politician John George Lambton, 1st Earl… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.