The Quebec Act
included Quebec and the Midwestern United States


USA 1774 Great Britain gave the name Quebec to the area that made up most of its new territory in Canada. It added some of the new territory to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. At first, Britain governed Quebec under British laws, which denied Catholics the rights to vote, to be elected, or to hold public office. This policy affected nearly all the colony's French Canadians. Quebec's first two British governors, Generals James Murray and Guy Carleton, opposed the policy because they wanted Britain to gain the loyalty of the French. Carleton also was aware of discontent in the 13 colonies to the south, then known as the American Colonies. He knew that Britain would need the support of the French Canadians if an American rebellion broke out.

In 1774, Carleton persuaded the British Parliament to pass the Quebec Act. This act recognized French civil and religious rights. It also preserved the seigneurial landholding system and extended Quebec to include much of what is now Quebec, Ontario, and the Midwestern United States.

The Revolutionary War in America began in 1775. The Americans asked the French Canadians to join their rebellion against Britain. But the French regarded the war mainly as a conflict between Britain and British colonies and chose to remain neutral. An American invasion of Canada in 1775 failed.

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