Clergy Reserves

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The Clergy Reserves were huge tracts of public land in Upper and Lower Canada that were set aside for the future use of Protestant clergy. They were established under the Constitutional Act of 1791 and amounted to one seventh of public land in Quebec and Ontario. London intended them to become the base of a landed aristocracy that would oppose democracy.

In practice, the reserves became bastions of wealth and power for the predominantly Anglican elite (the Family Compact) in Upper Canada, which drew fierce criticism from Methodists and disestablishmentarians. The reserves were secularized in 1854.

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