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Table of Contents
See the fact file below for more information on the Lower Canada or alternatively, you can download our 21-page Lower Canada worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- It was created in 1791 when Britain divided the Province of Quebec (by the Constitutional Act 1791) into Upper Canada and Lower Canada.
- Britain had followed the policy of territorial division twice before. In 1769, Prince Edward Island was separated from Nova Scotia. In 1784, in response to the wave of Loyalist immigration (which also happened in Quebec), the provinces of Cape Breton and New Brunswick were founded.
- In 1841, Upper Canada and Lower Canada were merged to form the Province of Canada.
CONQUEST AND A FLEDGLING TIME
- The French administration was succeeded by an English one after their famous battle happened on the Plains of Abraham of Quebec in 1759, and the French’s capitulation of Montreal in September 1760. This era is now called the “Conquest”.
- The Conquest led to an entirely new regime wherein New France, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick became British colonies. The British took charge of all the land and established their way of government.
- Modeled on British tradition, the first constitution for the “Province of Quebec” (the new name for the colony) was introduced by Royal Proclamation on October 7, 1763.
- The Royal Proclamation was replaced by the Quebec Act after almost 11 years. This current constitution effectively expanded the size of Quebec by adding Labrador, the Magdalen Islands, the Great Lakes Region, and the Ohio Valley.
- The new act repealed the Royal Proclamation of 1763 and established a more realistic policy for dealing with the Canadians. It allowed the Canadians to join the Empire but increased the anger of the colonies to the south.
- The Thirteen Colonies, also called the Thirteen British Colonies or the Thirteen American Colonies, were a group of colonies of Great Britain on the Atlantic coast of North America founded in the 17th and 18th centuries. In 1776, these colonies declared their independence and formed the United States of America.
- The American Declaration of Independence had the result of bringing to Canada a huge number of Loyalists, Americans who chose to flee the United States to persist to be loyal to the King and the Empire.
- With a large number of Loyalist immigrants, the Quebec Act immediately became difficult to enforce, as the Loyalists called for the British system of parliament and for British civil law.
- The Loyalists’ grievances were answered by the British government through a proposed compromise between their desires and those of the Canadians: the Constitutional Act of 1791.
CONSTITUTIONAL ACT 1791
- Passed by Parliament in London, the Constitutional Act did not abolish the Quebec Act but added some amendments wherein the Province of Quebec was divided into two colonies, a mostly French-speaking Lower Canada, and a mostly English-speaking Upper Canada.
- The prefix “lower” in its name indicates its geographic position farther downriver from the headwaters of the St. Lawrence River than its contemporary Upper Canada, present-day southern Ontario.
- In 1841, Lower Canada was abolished when it and nearby Upper Canada were united into the Province of Canada.
- There was significant political unrest in Lower Canada like in Upper Canada.
- 22 years after the invasion by the Americans in the War of 1812, a rebellion disputed the British rule of the mostly French population. Some of the causes were comparable, rooted in the governing structure commanded by the 1791 constitution, while other causes were due to each particular character of the colony.
- On March 27, 1838, the 1791 Constitution was suspended and a special counsel was appointed to administer the colony after the Patriot Rebellion in the Rebellions of 1837–1838 was crushed by the British Army and Loyal volunteers. A failing attempt by revolutionary Robert Nelson to declare a Republic of Lower Canada was quickly prevented.
- The British government rejected an explicit grant of responsible government but did accept the proposal to merge Canada.
- In 1841, the provinces of Lower Canada and Upper Canada were united as the United Province of Canada when the Act of Union 1840 came into force.
- Their separate legislatures were merged into a single parliament with equal representation for both constituent parts under a new and dynamic governor even though Lower Canada (now renamed Canada East) had a greater population.
- In both colonies, the effective administration was in the control of the lieutenant governor and an oligarchy that governed the legislative and executive councils. This ruling elite was called the Château Clique in Lower Canada.
- In Lower Canada, the members of the Château Clique were principally merchants, bankers, or those involved in the shipping trade.
- These colonial oligarchies members shared religious and cultural affinities, intermarried, provided each other political support, and had comparable social, economic, and political aims.
- A mixed set of French and English institutions were inherited by the Province of Lower Canada that existed in the Province of Quebec during the 1763–1791 period. It also continued to exist later in Canada-East (1841–1867) and ultimately in the current Province of Quebec (since 1867).
- It was mainly the Canadiens, an ethnic group who traced their ancestry to French colonists and settled in Canada from the 17th century onward, who populated Lower Canada.
- Lower Canada’s transportation was mainly through water along St. Lawrence River.
- Chemin du Roy or King’s Highway was the only long-distance route through the land. The King’s Highway was built in the 1730s by New France and was, in addition to the mail route, the primary means of long-distance passenger travel until steamboats and railways began to challenge it.
Lower Canada Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Lower Canada across 21 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Lower Canada worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Province of Lower Canada which was a British colony in Canada from 1791 to 1840. Its geographical boundaries covered the southern portion of present-day Quebec and Labrador.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Lower Canada Facts
- Quick Facts
- Unlocking Vocabularies
- Major Events in Lower Canada
- Lower Canada Laws
- Arrange the Events
- Thirteen Colonies
- Q & A
- Upper and Lower Canada
- Lower Canada Essay
- Flag of Lower Canada
Link/cite this page
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Link will appear as Lower Canada Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, December 2, 2020
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.