History of Quebec City

Dream to live in Quebec? Do you want to move to this beautiful province? Move from Montreal,  Toronto, Ottawa to Quebec! What is now Quebec was a territory colonized by the French who gave it the name of New France. His first explorer was Jacques Cartier, who in 1534 placed a wooden cross with fleur de lis in Gaspé. He took those lands in the name of the French Crown. In addition, he discovered the San Lorenzo River. Another fundamental person in the French colonial history of the territory was Samuel de Champlain when he founded on the north bank of the river the city of Quebec, in a place that the Indians called "kebek", that is, narrow. With Louis XIV the territory became a royal colony.


In the complex world of international relations of the eighteenth century, Quebec played a major role in the conflict between France and England, especially in the Seven Years' War (1756-1763). The French army was defeated in the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, at the very gates of Quebec City. By the Treaty of Paris of 1763, England took possession of New France. Apparently, Luis XV preferred to preserve Guadalupe for its sugar wealth in front of a territory that was immense but gave less economic benefits.


London allowed the French-speaking majority to preserve their language, Catholic religion and their own culture by the Quebec Act of 1774. We have to take into account that the English were already beginning to have serious problems with the Thirteen Colonies and preferred to secure peace in the north. In 1791 the Constitutional Law of Canada was promulgated, which established two provinces around the Ottawa River: Upper Canada (now Ontario) with an Anglophone majority, and Lower Canada (today Quebec) with a French-speaking majority. The Quebec began an existence between two Anglophone cultures, the own one of Canada and one of the neighbors of the south. In 1867 he decided to join the Anglophone territories because the inhabitants of Quebec understood that it was easier to maintain their language and customs within this confederation than at the mercy of the all-powerful United States. In that year the British North American Law was signed.


Quebec was for a long time an eminently agrarian territory. Industrialization did not begin until the 20th century. That is the reason why, in the second half of the 19th century, half a million people had to emigrate to the United States.


In political matters, the Progressive Conservative Party was the majority in Quebec but became a fief of the Liberals from 1896 when Wilfrid Laurier was appointed the Canada prime minister, the first Franco-Canadian and Catholic to become one. Laurier promoted the modernization of Quebec against the traditional Canadian federal policy in favor of Ontario and the provinces of the West. Invested in infrastructures and economic development was promoted. At the beginning of the 20th century, the industrialization of Quebec began, closely linked to the US market.


The Great Depression caused a new wave of emigrants from Quebec to other areas of Canada and the United States. In 1936 the Union National won the elections and remained in power until 1960, with the only exception of the period of 1939-1944, coinciding almost with the Second World War.


The evident economic progress of the second half of the forties and the fifties did not produce, however, great social changes in Quebec. These changes occurred when the Liberals came to power in the first half of the 1960s, with the Révolution tranquille. The changes were the work of the government of the liberal Jean Lesage (1960-1966), which had replaced the traditional conservative government of strong rural roots, the Union National. Lesage set out to modernize Quebec in tune with the growing industrialization. A public education system was created, the equality of women was recognized and energy was nationalized. Quebec began to acquire its own conscience, the fruit of its economic and social progress, in front of the federal government of Ottawa, and the United States itself. But now, the problem no longer came from the south but from the rest of Canada, as the federal authorities refused to recognize the uniqueness of Quebec.


During the War of Independence of the United States, the British garrison in Quebec was attacked by American troops in the Battle of Quebec. The defeat of the Americans ended their hopes that Canada would join the rebellion.


The city of Quebec was the capital of Canada from 1859 to 1865. After the formation of the Province of Canada, the capital was transferred successively to Kingston and Montreal. With the creation of the Dominion of Canada, in 1867, the capital was moved to Ottawa. In Quebec, the Conference of Quebec (1844) took place, one of the conferences of the series of conversations that gave rise to the promulgation of the Law of British North America and the creation of the Confederation of Canada (1867).


In the Second World War, two conferences were held in Quebec. The second was held in 1944 and was assisted by Churchill and Roosevelt. These were kept in the buildings of the Citadelle and the nearby Palace Frontenac.


In the 1970s tensions between Quebec and the federal government intensified. After winning the elections, the Partit Québecois, defender of independence, raised a referendum on the question of sovereignty but lost it. The majority of the population wanted to stay within Canada while preserving their identity.


In the 1980s the question of sovereignty gained many adherents, because neither the 1982 Federal Constitution nor the Meech Lake Accords proved, in the eyes of the inhabitants of Quebec, sufficient sensitivity to their complaints and their identity. In the 1995 referendum, the Bloc Québecois narrowly lost, but it demonstrated the importance of the question of self-determination.


In April 2001 the city received the Summit of the Americas to discuss the Free Trade Area of the Americas; it was also the scene of massive anti-globalization demonstrations, provoked by the summit and the decision to install a wall around a large portion of the historic city with a fenced fence four meters high during it. The police bodies were widely accused of the excessive use of force during these demonstrations.


On January 1, 2002, Quebec City and 12 other municipalities of the Urban Community of Quebec joined the new city of Quebec (megacity), which was divided into 8 neighborhoods and since 2009 in only 6 neighborhoods.


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