The Quebec Act of 1774 was an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain
(citation 14 Geo. III c. 83) setting procedures of governance in the
Province of Quebec. The principal components of the Act were:
The province's territory was expanded to take over part of the Indian
Reserve, including much of what is now southern Ontario, plus
Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, and parts of Minnesota.
The oath of allegiance was replaced with one that no longer made
reference to the Protestant faith.
It guaranteed free practice of the Catholic faith.
Constitutional act 1791
It reformed the government of the province of Quebec to accommodate the
10,000 English-speaking settlers, known as the United Empire Loyalists,
who had arrived from the United States following the American Revolution.
Quebec, with a population of 145,000 French speaking inhabitants, was
divided in two when the Act took effect on 26 December 1791. The
western half became Upper Canada (now southern Ontario) and the
eastern half Lower Canada (now southern Quebec). The names Upper
and Lower Canada were given according to their location on the St.
Lawrence River. Upper Canada received English law and institutions, while
Lower Canada retained French law and institutions, including seigneurial
land tenure, and the privileges accorded to the Roman Catholic Church.
Representative governments were established in both colonies with the
creation of a legislative assembly; Quebec had not previously had
• French presence diminished
• British in London dominated
• British capital became increasingly influential
• Fur trade – management and labour divided ethnically and linguistically
• Quebec rural
• Rapid population growth
• After 1791:
• Freehold tenure for new lands
• Villages sprung up
• Direct expenditures by the British
• Agriculture grew – wheat boom in late 1700s • Links growing between town and country
• Wheat boom ended – why?
• 3 poss