Quebec Act, 1774

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

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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