The Province of Quebec (French: Province de Québec) is a colony in North America created by the British Commonwealth after the Seven Years' War (1756-1763) and by the Treaty of Paris (1763) was awarded to the British becoming the Province of Quebec. Lands southwest of the former French Canada, south of the Ottawa river, became the Illinois Country of the Northwest Territories.
Quebec as a dispute with Illinois Country over the administration of the Ontario Lands, that mark its southern limits, that gives navigational access to the Great Lakes.
At the time transfer of rule French-speaking Quebecer formed the vast majority of the population of the province. As part of the policy on the Indian territories of the Northwest all French settlers were force to relocate in Quebec and had their lands forfeited. British immigration was not going well going the majority to the Northwest Territories. More relaxed land grants were enacted in 1792 along the St. Lawrence valley, as a result of Clarmont's Rebellion.
Contrary to some in Parliament and public opinion, religious tolerance was guaranteed for Catholics but under restrictions such as right to impose tithes was rescinded. This made the Quebec Catholic Church a privately funded religious establishment.
French separatism due to disfranchisement of the French-speaking majority led a a series of revolts being the most notable Clarmont's Rebellion (1798-1799) that briefly established the Quebec Republic. Its fall however divided the French in republican patriots (patriotes) and clerical loyalist (loyalistes) later know as sovereignists (souverainistes). The loyalistes were the reaction to the radicalism of patriots during the short-lived Quebec Republic, and they had a policy to accommodate to British rule and peacefully call for reforms.
The Quebec Rights Charter of 1791 allowed French-Quebecers to maintain French civil law (keeping Commonwealth public law) and sanctioned freedom of religion, allowing the Roman Catholic Church to remain. It however, maintained disfranchisement of the French-speaking majority unless they fulfilled property requirements, leveling it to the same ones that British citizens had.
The franchise of 1791 enabled women, particularly French Catholic, with large land holdings a voice in local and provincial government for the first time.
The main French-Quebecer political factions are the republican patriots (patriotes) and clerical loyalist (loyalistes) later know as sovereignists (souverainistes). On the British-Quebecer side the main political unions are the conservative British Compact or British Brotherhood and the liberal Civic Reform Union.
Local governance followed the lines of the American colonies of the Commonwealth save with the high franchise requirements that favored British colonizers. Government until 1814 was made up of an executive with a Governor- named by the Lord Protector-, an executive Provincial Council and a Council for the Affairs of Quebec to advise the governor on legislative integrated by notable citizens named by the governor. In 1795 the composition of the Council for the Affairs of Quebec was changed to half of its members maned by the governor and the other half elected by district circuits.
The Quebec Charter of 1815 reformed the provincial government defined more clearly the powers of the Governor, the Provincial Council, the General Assembly and the Supreme Court. It also established local authorities.
The Quebec Government Act established self rule and full responsible government, considering the constitutional practices of New England and the Commonwealth. The General Assembly became a bicameral legislature with a Senate and Legislative Council. By the Act, the Governor names the ministers and members of the Provincial Government Council. The Premier, the head of the government, commands the votes of the majority party or coalition of the Legislative Council.
The Governor, as head of state, promulgate and publish the laws and decrees, issue proclamations and sign orders in council, can dissolve the Legislative Council, name part of the Senate, summon the General Assembly, appoint the judiciary, name the chiefs of the provincial-districts, command the armed forces and invoke the reserve powers.
Quebec is administratively divided in four provincial-districts: Quebec, Montreal, Trois-Rivières (Three Rivers), Labrador and the territory of New Quebec.
Agriculture and Commerce
The combination of rich and easily arable soils and relatively warm climate make the St. Lawrence River Valley Quebec's most prolific agricultural area. It produces dairy products, fruit, vegetables, foie gras, maple syrup, fish, and livestock. North of the St. Lawrence River Valley, there are significant resources in its coniferous forests, lakes, and rivers. These include pulp, paper, and lumber.
The Quebec Republic (French: République Québécoise) was a short-lived republic established during the European Revolutionary Wars as a revolt of radical French-speaking colonists of the Province of Quebec (Clarmont's Rebellion)
During its one and one-half year of existence it effectively controlled of the surroundings of Quebec City and Trois-Rivières. The republican government tried to occupy Montreal, where the Commonwealth General and administration had fled. Its pleas for help from republican France were unsuccessful because of the British naval blockade of the Saint Lawrence river.
An elected National Assembly and a proclamation of the Rights of Man and Citizen, verbatim copy of the French one, were issued.
The National Assembly elected an Executive Council until a constitution organized the republic with Étienne Clarmont as its moving figure. Important measures enacted, besides a fully responsible and independent government, were the seizure and auction of Church and British property, full religious freedom, the use of French as the official language in government, law courts and schools, the restoration of French civil and penal laws, along the reforms it had in metropolitan France.
The fall of the Quebec Republic was not only due to its military defeat but also its Revolutionary Terror. Likewise Revolutionary France, Quebec's radicals started to weed out non republicans and conservative Catholics, Both groups became the main concerns and were seen as obstacles for more radicals reforms. Forced requisition and seizure of grains and foodstuff of farmers, the first partisans of the Revolution, made them change side and support the return of Commonwealth rule, adding also a misjudged vigorous anti-religious campaign promoted by the Executive Council.
As in France, Terror turned on its partisans severely incapacitating military capacity and command. On the final onslaught and siege of the British Army and Colonial regiments on Quebec. Étienne Clarmont, the main figure of the rebellion and republic was hanged by the British.
- In French premier ministre.