The political party that opposed the political patronage system used by the people in power, the so-called Family Compact. They controlled the Assembly in 1828 and 1834. In the late 1830's it split into three factions - moderates, radicals, and extremists. The extremists were the cause of the Rebellion in 1837 in Upper Canada. All three were wiped out when the rebellion failed, but the moderates reappeared as a force in the United Province of Canada.
a movement intended to bring about social and humanitarian reforms
A reform movement is a kind of social movement that aims to make gradual change, or change in certain aspects of society rather than rapid or fundamental changes. Reformists' ideas are often grounded in liberalism, although they may be rooted in utopian, socialist or religious concepts. Some rely on personal transformation; others rely on small collectives, such as Mahatma Gandhi's spinning wheel and the self sustaining village economy, as a mode of social change.