The Voyageurs of Quebec were the first of many immigrants to Canada.

These hardy pioneers came from France to live, hunt, and tame the forests and streams of a new world.

To these French speaking immigrants, they were seeking to create a "New France", just like English colonists were seeking to create a "New England."

These pioneers met many hardships such as hostile Indians, famine, and every conceivable danger that nature could throw at them.

The Saint Lawrence River (St. Laurent in French) was the key to settling this new region of North America.

"Quebecois" (French speaking pioneers and trappers) relied on the St. Lawrence and its tributaries to provide access to the rich interior of Quebec.

Hunting beaver, fox, and other animals for their furs, these voyageurs traveled deeper into the region.

In the process, the voyageurs helped develop a unique and different culture than the rest of North America.

This culture was predominantly a French speaking, Catholic, and rural population that eventually was forced to survive in an increasing sea of Anglophones (English speakers).

Understanding the history of these early voyageurs is essential to understanding the current realities Quebec faces today.

You will be given a series of guiding questions and maps to focus your exploration of selected web sites.

Sit back and explore the world of "Les Voyageurs."

What were the main causes of the British Conquest of New France in 1760?

There were several reasons why the French were defeated by the British in North America during the course of the Seven Years' War (1756-1763) in Europe.

Reasons for the British Conquest
  • New France had a vast territory but a small population to defend it.

  • Britain's navy was stronger and bigger and they could prevent supply ships from reaching New France.

  • New France had 5000 soldiers compared to 23,000 soldiers in the 13 Colonies.

  • The population of the 13 Colonies was about 1.5 million in 1760; that of New France was about 70,000.

  • The 13 Colonies has a stronger, more diversified economy than New France. New France was too reliant on France because of mercantilism.
On September 13, 1759 the English and French forces met on the Plains of Abraham.

After a brief but bitter struggle, in which both Montcalm and Wolfe were killed, Quebec fell to the British.

With the defeat of the French, at Sainte-Foy and Montreal in 1760 New France was conquered and came under British rule.

In 1774 the Quebec Act came into effect in order to appease and conciliate the French Canadians so they would not join the Americans in their revolt against Britain.
The main provisions of the Quebec Act centred around:

  • Quebec's territory was enlarged to include the Ohio Valley.This was a major change from 1763.
  • Quebec was still to be governed by an appointed governor and council. An elected legislative assembly was again denied.

  • The Test Act was changed, Catholics could now hold government office by taking a special oath of allegiance to the King.

  • Roman Catholics could now be appointed to the council. Seigneurs had a chance to take part in government.

  • Catholics were to have full freedom of worship and the right to collect tithes by the Catholic Church was restored.

Legal System
  • It allowed for French civil law and English criminal law.

Seigneurial System

It kept the seigneurial system but also allowed for freehold tenure which was the British form of landholding.

Thus this to say that Quebec could have turned down the bribe from the English and gone fighting with the Americans in their revolt against Britain but did not, as what was offered at the time was satisfactory to the French.

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as this will also give the readers an education that should be beneficial.

It is also recommended to read Pierre Vallieres the While Niggers of America, a very controversial book. White Niggers of America is a manifesto that depicts the life of a working class child growing up within a province exploited by those in power. This book convinces us on the need for every English Canadian to reflect on our country's history (by this, we refer to what we are taught at school, if the subject was discussed at all).

Justice is a conscience, not a personal conscience but conscience of the whole of the humanity.
Those who clearly recognize the voice of their own conscience usually recognize also the voice of Justice.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn