Reform movement (Upper Canada)

The Reform movement in Upper Canada was a political movement in British North America in the mid-19th century.

Founded1817 (1817)
Dissolved1849 (1849)
Succeeded byClear Grits
Parti bleu
HeadquartersToronto, Upper Canada
IdeologyCanadian nationalism
Canadian reformism
PoliciesFiscal: Owenism
Social: Chartism

It started as a rudimentary grouping of loose coalitions that formed around contentious issues. Support was gained in Parliament through petitions meant to sway MPs. However, organized Reform activity emerged in the 1830s when Reformers, like Robert Randal, Jesse Ketchum, Peter Perry, Marshall Spring Bidwell, and Dr. William Warren Baldwin, began to emulate the organizational forms of the British Reform Movement and organized Political Unions under the leadership of William Lyon Mackenzie. The British Political Unions had successfully petitioned for the Great Reform Act of 1832 that eliminated much political corruption in the English Parliamentary system. Those who adopted these new forms of public mobilization for democratic reform in Upper Canada were inspired by the more radical Owenite Socialists who led the British Chartist and Mechanics Institute movements.