History of Quebec

Do you dream of living in Quebec? Do you want to move to this beautiful province? History of Quebec, a brief history of this beautiful province of Canada. The current Quebec was a territory colonized by the French who gave it the name of New France. Its first explorer was Jacques Cartier who, in 1534, placed a wooden cross decorated with a fleur-de-lis in Gaspé. 

He took these lands on behalf of the French crown. In addition, he discovered the San Lorenzo River. Another fundamental figure in the French colonial history of the territory was Samuel de Champlain when he founded the city of Quebec on the north shore of the river, in a place that the Indians called "kebek", meaning narrow. With Louis XIV, the territory became a royal colony.

In the complex world of international relations in the 18th century, Quebec played a major role in the conflict between France and England, particularly in the War of Seven Years (1756-1763). The French army was defeated at the battle of the Plains of Abraham, at the very gates of Quebec. By the treaty of Paris in 1763England took possession of New France. Apparently, Luis XV preferred to preserve Guadalupe for its richness in sugar in the face of an immense but less profitable territory.

London allowed the French-speaking majority to keep their language, their Catholic religion and their own culture through the Quebec Act of 1774. It must be taken 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 Constitution Act of Canada was enacted, establishing two provinces around the Ottawa River: 

Upper Canada (now Ontario) with an English majority and Lower Canada (now Quebec) with an English majority. Speaking French. Quebec began its existence between two English-speaking cultures, that of Canada and that of its southern neighbors. In 1867, it decided to join the English-speaking territories because the people 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. That year, the British North American Act was signed.


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

Politically, the Progressive Conservative Party had a majority in Quebec, but became a Liberal stronghold in 1896 when Wilfrid Laurier was appointed Prime Minister of Canada, the first French-Canadian and Catholic to do so. Laurier favoured the modernization of Quebec over Canada's traditional federal policy of favouring Ontario and the western provinces. Investment in infrastructure and economic development was encouraged. At the beginning of the 20th century, the industrialization of Quebec began, closely linked to the American market.

The Great Depression caused a new wave of emigration from Quebec to other parts of Canada and the United States. In 1936, the Union Nationale won the election and remained in power until 1960, except for the period 1939-1944, which almost coincided with the Second World War.

The obvious economic progress of the second half of the 1940s and 1950s. However, it did not produce major social changes in Quebec. These changes took place when the Liberals came to power in the first half of the 1960s, with the Quiet Revolution. The changes were brought about by the Liberal government of Jean Lesage (1960-1966). This replaced the traditional conservative government with strong rural roots, the Union Nationale. Lesage set out to modernize Quebec in step with increasing industrialization. 

A public education system was created, women's equality was recognized and energy was nationalized. Quebec began to acquire its own conscience. The fruit of its economic and social progress, before the federal government in Ottawa and the United States itself. But now, the problem was no longer coming from the south. But from the rest of Canada, the federal authorities refuse to recognize the specificity of Quebec.

During the American Revolutionary War, the British garrison in Quebec City was attacked by American troops at the Battle of Quebec. The defeat of the Americans ended their hopes of Canada joining the rebellion.

Quebec City was the capital of Canada from 1859 to 1865. After the formation of the Province of Canada, the capital was successively transferred to Kingston and Montreal. With the creation of the Dominion of Canada in 1867, the capital was transferred to Ottawa. In Quebec City, the Quebec Conference (1844) took place, one of a series of conferences that led to the enactment of the British North America Act and the creation of the Confederation of Canada (1867).

During the Second World War, two conferences were held in Quebec City. The second was held in 1944 and was attended by Churchill and Roosevelt. These have been preserved in the buildings of the Citadel and the nearby Palais Frontenac.

In the 1970s, tensions between Quebec and the federal government intensified. After winning the election, the Partit québécois, an advocate of independence, held a referendum on the issue of sovereignty but lost. The majority of the population wanted to remain in Canada while preserving their identity.

In the 1980s, the question of sovereignty attracted many supporters, as neither the 1982 federal constitution nor the Meech Lake Accord showed sufficient sensitivity to the grievances and identity of the Quebec people. In the 1995 referendum, the Bloc Québécois narrowly lost, but demonstrated the importance of the issue of self-determination.

In April 2001, the city hosted the Summit of the Americas to discuss the Free Trade Area of the Americas; it was also the scene of massive anti-globalization protests, triggered by the summit and the decision to erect a wall around much of the historic city with a four-metre high fence. Police forces were widely accused of using excessive force during the protests.

On January 1, 2002, Quebec City and 12 other municipalities of the Quebec Urban Community joined the new Quebec City (megalopolis), divided into 8 boroughs and since 2009 into only 6 boroughs.

For information call Alex 514-569-4443

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