The Archibald administration in Manitoba, 1870-1872

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Ronaghan, Allen,
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The Red River Insurrection was not a rebellion against Canadian or British authority but rather a reaction against the actions and words of the "Canadian" party and the failure of anyone in authority to consult with the Red River people as to their future. The Insurrection did not represent a victory for those who led it, nor did it secure the position of the Metis people in Manitoba. Rather it merely interrupted a constitutional revolution by which Manitoba entered Conferederation with its public lands appropriated "for purposes of the Dominion". The uproar in Ontario concerning the execution of Scott served effectively to divert attention from this revolution. The Red River Expeditionary Force did not bring law and order to Manitoba. The Ontario Rifles at Fort Garry became an unruly army of occupation, providing protection for the "Canadian" party and the "reign of terror" for the Metis. This army of occupation prevented Lieutenant-Governor Archibald from succeeding in his policy of conciliation and from establishing responsible government in Manitoba. Archibald managed to hold the allegiance of the Metis during the confrontation at Riviere aux Ilets de Bois by giving them certain assurances concerning the way they wished to hold the land to be granted them under the terms of the Manitoba Act. The Canadian Cabinet refused to honor these undertakings. The attacks on Archibald begun by the Liberal and repeated in the Ontario press made his position untenable. After the so-called "Fenian Raid" when Archibald accepted the Metis offer of support and shook hands with Riel, the outcry in the Ontario press forced Archibald to submit his resignation. With the passing of the British North America Act of 1871 by the British Parliament and the Dominion Lands Act of 1872 by the Canadian Parliament, the "constitutional revolution" was complete and Manitoba, its people still not amnestied, was effectively a "colony of a colony."