The Canadian political system contains to a large degree a combination of both British and American characteristics, but the current Canadian system has also evolved unique elements of its own. The Canadian political system acquired its major political institutions from the British political system of the 18th century. In addition to this, Canada has not undergone a revolutionary eruption with its past as compared to the United States, instead Canada has followed a more reasonable path along the lines of a British constitutional evolution during the 19th century. However, the Canadian political system has also been influenced and flavored by ideas and institutions from the United States' political system, namely federalism. "In Britain and the United States the great constitutional issues that set the parameters of the political game had been long settled, but in Canada between the 1790's and 1850's, there was a prolonged struggle between British values and institutions and North American and Canadian conditions, a struggle that made Canadian political culture complex and difficult to define, a struggle that prevented a clear-cut British or American definition of politics from emerging." This paper will focus on the evolution of Canadian independence, first examining the historical background starting in the 18th century, then secondly the movement toward self-government, thirdly the confederation, then finally, the movement towards independence.
Of the British colonies that had become parts of modern Canada, only Nova Scotia had a government similar to those of the other British American colonies. "In 1758 Nova Scotia was granted an Assembly. . .the granting of more or less popularly elected Assemblies established that male British North Americans had inherited the right to elect their own members to a lower House of their own. . .this house had to share, or balance, its power with the governor (the British-appointed viceroy) and the Upper House.