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The Age of George III

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The Quebec Act 1774

Quebec has a long history: please see this site for further information.


Canada had become a British colony in 1763 as part of the Peace of Paris at the end of the Seven Years' War. Thereafter Canada was subject to British legislation including the Williamite Penal Laws which discriminated against Roman Catholics. Since the bulk of the population in Canada was French and Roman Catholic, there were great difficulties in govenance and the administration of justice.

The main lines of policy for Canada had been decided on by 1773; Lord North decided to pass into law the practise which had been followed since 1763 rather than continue government by royal prerogative. The Quebec Act was shaped by the opinion of law officers, Canadians, the government and independent advisers. It was not a hasty or ill-considered Act. The Quebec Act

There was a great deal of opposition to the Act in both America and Britain, particularly to the religious and territorial clauses. Lord North had the support of the King and the Act was passed.

SEE this web page for the Appeal to the Justice of the State: Epistle to the Canadiens (1784)

For other documents concerning the history of Canada, see this page


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Last modified 26 October, 2013

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