The Constitutional Act

**NOTE: This is a trial run. I will be correcting some of the typos, adding a few more questions, and shortening the audio soon.

Quebec HistoryConstitutional Act
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The Constitutional Act

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**NOTE: This is a trial run. I will be correcting some of the typos, adding a few more questions, and shortening the audio soon.
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Slide Content
  1. The Constitutional Act

    Slide 1 - The Constitutional Act

    • History Sec. 3
    • Mr. James Gore
    • www.mrgore.com – jgore@swlauriersb.qc.ca
  2. Aftermath of the American Revolution

    Slide 2 - Aftermath of the American Revolution

    • At the end of the American Revolution, many Americans who were still loyal to the British Empire settled in places throughout British North America
    • Their arrival in Quebec was welcomed by the English as the French outnumbered the English at least 8:1 (although some numbers some data indicates this could actually be closer to 15:1)
  3. Problems with the Quebec Act

    Slide 3 - Problems with the Quebec Act

    • Many of the Loyalists (and other English people living in Quebec) did not like the fact that the Quebec Act (1774) gave the French many rights and privileges that seemed to clash against British culture
    • Things like the seigneurial system, French civil law, and Catholicism were all remnants of New France
    • Many English felt that the Province of Quebec was run more like a French colony rather than an English one.
  4. The Constitutional Act (1791)

    Slide 4 - The Constitutional Act (1791)

    • The Constitutional Act was enacted in 1791 to appease the English minority without angering the French majority
    • It split the Province of Quebec into two: Upper Canada (present-day eastern Ontario) and Lower Canada (present-day Quebec)
    • Upper and Lower Canada were split along the Ottawa River (with the exception of the Vaudreuil area which was part of Lower Canada)
  5. The Constitutional Act (1791)

    Slide 5 - The Constitutional Act (1791)

    • Lower Canada was predominately French
    • The main religion was Catholicism
    • French civil law remained intact
    • Land was still subdivided using the seigneurial system
    • French people could be part of the administration
  6. The Constitutional Act (1791)

    Slide 6 - The Constitutional Act (1791)

    • Upper Canada was predominately English
    • The main religion was Protestant
    • English civil law applied
    • Land was still subdivided using the township system
    • 1/7 of all land in Upper Canada was set aside for the church
    • People could own their land (freehold)
  7. Government of the Constitutional Act

    Slide 7 - Government of the Constitutional Act

    • The government created from the Constitutional Act allowed for there to be some representation of elected officials by citizens
    • You could vote if you:
    • were British
    • owned land
    • over the age of 21
    • earned or paid rent of a certain amount
    • Women were allowed to vote
  8. Government of the Constitutional Act

    Slide 8 - Government of the Constitutional Act

    • The general population could vote for the Legislative Assembly
    • The Assembly voted on laws and was in charge of approving various taxes
    • The two Councils were appointed by the Governor
    • The Legislative Council voted on laws approved by the Assembly
    • Legislative Council were members for life
  9. Government of the Constitutional Act

    Slide 9 - Government of the Constitutional Act

    • The Executive Council advised the governor as well as running the government and its services
    • The Governor also had a Lieutenant-Governor in each colony that acted as his deputy
    • The Governor himself was appointed by the British government
  10. Problems with the Constitutional Act

    Slide 10 - Problems with the Constitutional Act

    • The idea of the Constitutional Act was to appease the French majority and the English Loyalists
    • However, many of the issues that existed prior to the Constitutional Act began to affect both Lower and Upper Canada again
    • Some issues like language and religion was still an issue in Lower Canada as the English population started to grow in the colony
  11. Governmental Limitations of the Constitutional Act

    Slide 11 - Governmental Limitations of the Constitutional Act

    • In Lower Canada, there were major issues over spending
    • The English elites (merchants) wanted to spend money on infrastructure so their businesses can grow and tax property
    • The French farmers wanted to tax goods
    • While the French Canadiens majority could somewhat get what through the elected Legislative Assembly, the English merchants were close to the governor and both the Legislative and Executive Councils
    • Laws created by the Legislative Assembly could be vetoed by the Legislative Council or the Governor
  12. Practice Question #1

    Slide 12 - Practice Question #1

    • Document #1
    • Document #2
  13. Practice Question #1

    Slide 13 - Practice Question #1

    • Document #1
    • “It was a strange mix of imperial and republican world views, a hodgepodge of contradictory and self-cancelling impulses, with an appointed council overseeing an elected council” - Will Ferguson, Canadian History for Dummies
    • Document #2
    • “They therefore maintained strong executive power…These councils served to cement the crown’s alliance with its traditional allies…” - John Dickinson and Brian Young, A Short History of Quebec
  14. References

    Slide 14 - References

    • Dickinson, John and Brian Young. A Short History of Quebec. Quebec City: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2005.
    • Ferguson, Will. Canadian History for Dummies. Mississauga: John Wiley & Sons, 2005.
    • Fortin, Sylvain, et al. Panoramas: Student Textbook A. Montreal: Graficor, 2009.
  15. References

    Slide 15 - References

    • "Constitutional act of 1791" by User:Mysid, User:Mathieugp - Made by Mysid in Inkscape after a PNG by Mathieugp.. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/archive/d/db/20080206104006%21Constitutional_act_of_1791.svg
  16. References

    Slide 16 - References

    • "Henry Sandham - The Coming of the Loyalists" by Henry Sandham (1842-1910) - Black Loyalists in New Brunswick. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Henry_Sandham_-_The_Coming_of_the_Loyalists.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Henry_Sandham_-_The_Coming_of_the_Loyalists.jpg
    • “Selected maps from the National Atlas Maps" by National Resources Canada - http://atlas.nrcan.gc.ca/site/english/index.html