The organization of the territory underwent several changes between 1745 and 1820.

The Treaty of Paris of 1763
Following the British Conquest, New France officially became the possession of Great Britain with signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1763. Almost all of North America was now in the hands of Great Britain. The province of Québec, which was a narrow strip of land along the St. Lawrence River, was created. This was where most Canadians lived.

The Québec Act of 1774
In 1774, the British government passed the Québec Act and greatly expanded the territory of the province of Québec. It now extended to the Great Lakes region to the south and to the Lower North Shore. The government had granted this larger territory to Canadians because it feared they would join the inhabitants of the Thirteen Colonies, who openly criticized the British government.

Video narration available in French at

The Constitutional Act of 1791
Following the American Revolution of 1776, many people left the United States to settle in the province of Québec because they want to remain loyal to Great Britain. These people were called the Loyalists. They quickly discovered that they were coming to a province where francophones had many rights and where there was no parliament. They quickly demanded changes.

In 1791, the Constitutional Act was adopted. It separated the province of Québec in two: Upper Canada (now Ontario) and Lower Canada (now Québec). Each province had its own Legislative Assembly. The Loyalists mainly inhabited Upper Canada while most French-speaking people lived in Lower Canada.

In 1820, the Constitutional Act of 1791 was still in force.

Author: Léon Robichaud, text updated by the Service national du RÉCIT en univers social



Teacher's Corner

Below you will find some activities students can do as they process information, that you can adapt for evaluation purposes, and a few project ideas!  Browse also the available resources in the top Teachers menu or browse through the activities main page here

Cartograf Scenarios on the Territory of The Canadas

Two new Cartograf Scenarios have been shared by David Emory of LBPSB, to help students map and interpret changes due to the 1763 Proclamation and the 1774 Quebec Act.

Access these scenarios at The Quebec Act, 1774  and at English territories in North America, 1763


See also


Related: Traces of the past:

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