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Quebec Act, 1774

1774 Quebec Act, passed by the British Parliament to institute a permanent administration in Canada replacing the temporary government created at the time of the Proclamation of 1763. It gave the French Canadians complete religious freedom and restored the French form of civil law. The Thirteen Colonies considered this law one of the Intolerable Acts, for it nullified many of the Western claims of the coast colonies by extending the boundaries of the province of Quebec to the Ohio River on the south and to the Mississippi River on the west. The concessions in favor of Roman Catholicism also roused much resentment among Protestants in the Thirteen Colonies. Although it thus helped to bring on the American Revolution, the act, for which Sir Guy Carleton was largely responsible, was very influential in keeping Canada loyal to the crown during the Revolution. It was replaced by the Constitutional Act of 1791.

See studies by R. Coupland (1925) and H. B. Neatby (1972).

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Quebec Act

Quebec Act, 1774. This followed but was not part of the Intolerable Acts. It settled matters relating to the British acquisition of French Canada by recognizing the catholic church, allowing the exercise of French law, denying Quebec an elected assembly, and extending its boundaries to the Ohio. Opposed by only a few parliamentarians and by virulent British anti-catholics, it was fervently condemned in the thirteen colonies, as an attack on protestant and constitutional liberties and on their territorial expansion and as confirmation of the malign intentions of Lord North's ministry and of the British crown and Parliament towards America.

Richard C. Simmons

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Québec Act

Québec Act (1774) Act of British Parliament creating a government for Québec. It set up a council to assist the governor and recognized the Roman Catholic Church and the French legal and landholding systems in the former French colony. Québec's boundary pushed south to the Ohio River, a cause of resentment among the 13 North American colonies.

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