QUEBEC-RESEARCH-L ArchivesArchiver > QUEBEC-RESEARCH > 2004-04 > 1081296770
Subject: Excerpt Of History
Date: Tue, 6 Apr 2004 20:12:50 EDT
"The recently ended American Revolution weighed heavily on the minds of the
British officials in the late 1780s and early 1790s. Britain's Canadian
subjects had remained loyal to the crown during the revolution (not really, there
was a whole regiment of Canadian Partisans in the American Revolution fighting
for the US.), but Britain had no guarantee that its remaining North American
colonies would not opt to join the young United States in proclaiming
independence. The colonies disaffected French speaking subjects seemed especially
likely to break away, as they could hardly be expected to feel loyal towards
conquerors who still treated them as second class citizens.
To ameliorate the situation and reduce the likelihood of a Canadian
revolution, in March 1791 Britain's Parliament passed "An Act for more effectual
Provisions of Quebec, in North America, and to make further Provisions for the
Government of the said Province." A piece of legislation commonly known as the
Constitution Act. The act, which was presented as a means of rewarding Canadians
for their loyalty during the American Revolution, was given royal assent by
George lll in March 1791.
The Constitution Act granted equal rights to French and English subjects.
For the first time, French was recognized as an official language, and full
rights were granted to Catholics."