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QUEBEC, CANADA

Places that I visited in Quebec:


Quebec city


We had a good time in Quebec where we were to whale watching close to Tadusact, 3 hours north to Quebec city. Even most of the people speak french, you can survive with english.

Quebec is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level.

Quebec is Canada's largest province by area and its second-largest administrative division; only the territory of Nunavut is larger. It is bordered to the west by the province of Ontario, James Bay and Hudson Bay, to the north by Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay, to the east by the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador and New Brunswick. It is bordered on the south by the U.S. states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York. It also shares maritime borders with Nunavut, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia.

Quebec is the second most populous province, after Ontario. Most inhabitants live in urban areas near the Saint Lawrence River between Montreal and Quebec City, the capital. English-speaking communities and English-language institutions are concentrated in the west of the island of Montreal but are also significantly present in the Outaouais, the Eastern Townships, and Gaspé regions. The Nord-du-Québec region, occupying the northern half of the province, is sparsely populated and inhabited primarily by Aboriginal peoples.

Nationalism plays a large role in the politics of Quebec, and all three major provincial political parties have sought greater autonomy for Quebec and recognition of its unique status. Sovereigntist governments have held referendums on independence in 1980 and 1995. In 2006, the Canadian House of Commons passed a symbolic motion recognizing the "Québécois as a nation within a united Canada.

While the province's substantial natural resources have long been the mainstay of its economy, sectors of the knowledge economy such as aerospace, information and communication technologies, biotechnology and the pharmaceutical industry also play leading roles. These many industries have all contributed to helping Quebec become the second most economically influential province, second only to Ontario.

At the time of first European contact and later colonization, Algonquian, Iroquoian and Inuit groups were the peoples that inhabited what is now Quebec. Their lifestyles and cultures reflected the land on which they lived. Seven Algonquian groups lived nomadic lives based on hunting, gathering, and fishing in the rugged terrain of the Canadian Shield: (James Bay Cree, Innu, Algonquins) and Appalachian Mountains (Mi'kmaq, Abenaki). St. Lawrence Iroquoians lived more settled lives, planting squash and maize in the fertile soils of St. Lawrence Valley. The Inuit continue to fish and hunt whale and seal in the harsh Arctic climate along the coasts of Hudson and Ungava Bay. These people traded fur and food and sometimes warred with each other.

Basque whalers and fishermen traded furs with Saguenay natives throughout the 16th century.

The first French explorer to reach Quebec was Jacques Cartier, who planted a cross in 1534 at either Gaspé or at Old Fort Bay on the Lower North Shore. He sailed into the St. Lawrence River in 1535 and established an ill-fated colony near present-day Quebec City at the site of Stadacona, an Iroquoian village.

Around 1522 - 1523, the Italian navigator Giovanni da Verrazzano convinced King Francis I of France to commission an expedition to find a western route to Cathay (China). Late in 1523, Verrazzano set sail in Dieppe, crossing the Atlantic on a small caravel with 53 men. After exploring the coast of the present-day Carolinas early the following year, he headed north along the coast, eventually anchoring in the Narrows of New York Bay. The first European to discover the site of present-day New York, he named it Nouvelle-Angoulême in honour of the king, the former count of Angoulême. Verrazzano’s voyage convinced the king to seek to establish a colony in the newly discovered land. Verrazzano gave the names Francesca and Nova Gallia to that land between New Spain (Mexico) and English Newfoundland.

In 1534, Jacques Cartier planted a cross in the Gaspé Peninsula and claimed the land in the name of King Francis I. It was the first province of New France. However, initial French attempts at settling the region met with failure. French fishing fleets, however, continued to sail to the Atlantic coast and into the St. Lawrence River, making alliances with First Nations that would become important once France began to occupy the land. French merchants soon realized the St. Lawrence region was full of valuable fur-bearing animals, especially the beaver, an important commodity as the European beaver had almost been driven to extinction. Eventually, the French crown decided to colonize the territory to secure and expand its influence in America.

Samuel de Champlain was part of a 1603 expedition from France that travelled into the St. Lawrence River. In 1608, he returned as head of an exploration party and founded Quebec City with the intention of making the area part of the French colonial empire. Champlain's Habitation de Quebec, built as a permanent fur trading outpost, was where he would forge a trading, and ultimately a military alliance, with the Algonquin and Huron nations. Natives traded their furs for many French goods such as metal objects, guns, alcohol, and clothing.

Hélène Desportes, born July 7, 1620, to the French habitants (settlers) Pierre Desportes and his wife Françoise Langlois, was the first child of European descent born in Quebec.

From Quebec, coureurs des bois, voyageurs and Catholic missionaries used river canoes to explore the interior of the North American continent, establishing fur trading forts on the Great Lakes (Étienne Brûlé 1615), Hudson Bay (Radisson and Groseilliers 1659–60), Ohio River and Mississippi River (La Salle 1682), as well as the Prairie River and Missouri River (de la Verendrye 1734–1738).

After 1627, King Louis XIII of France introduced the seigneurial system and forbade settlement in New France by anyone other than Roman Catholics. Sulpician and Jesuit clerics founded missions in Trois-Rivières (Laviolette) and Montréal or Ville-Marie (Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve and Jeanne Mance) to convert New France's Huron and Algonkian allies to Catholicism. The seigneurial system of governing New France also encouraged immigration from the motherland.

New France became a Royal Province in 1663 under King Louis XIV of France with a Sovereign Council that included intendant Jean Talon. This ushered in a golden era of settlement and colonization in New France, including the arrival of les "Filles du Roi". The population grew from about 3,000 to 60,000 people between 1666 and 1760. Colonists built farms on the banks of St. Lawrence River and called themselves "Canadiens" or "Habitants". The colony's total population was limited, however, by a winter climate significantly harsher than that found in France; by the spread of diseases; and by the refusal of the French crown to allow Huguenots, or French Protestants, to settle there. The population of New France lagged far behind that of the Thirteen Colonies to the south, leaving it vulnerable to attack.

In 1774, fearful that the French-speaking population of Quebec (as the colony was called) would side with the rebels of the Thirteen Colonies to the south, the British Parliament passed the Quebec Act giving recognition to French law, Catholic religion and French language in the colony; before that Catholics had been excluded from public office and recruitment of priests and brothers forbidden, effectively shutting down Quebec's schools and colleges. The first British policy of assimilation (1763–1774) was deemed a failure. Both the petitions and demands of the Canadiens' élites, and Governor Guy Carleton, played an important role in convincing London to drop the assimilation scheme, but the looming American revolt was certainly a factor. Through the Quebec Act, the Quebec people obtained their first Charter of Rights, which paved the way to later official recognition of the French language and French culture. The act allowed Canadiens to maintain French civil law and sanctioned freedom of religion, allowing the Roman Catholic Church to remain. It also restored the Ohio Valley to Quebec, reserving the territory for the fur trade.

The act, designed to placate one North American colony, had the opposite effect among its neighbors to the south. The Quebec Act was among the Intolerable Acts that infuriated American colonists, who launched the American Revolution. A 1775 invasion by the American Continental Army met with early success but was later repelled at the battle at Quebec City.

After the rebellions, Lord Durham was asked to undertake a study and prepare a report on the matter and to offer a solution for the British Parliament to assess.

The final report recommended that the two provinces of Upper and Lower Canada be united, and that the French speaking population of Lower Canada be assimilated into British culture. Durham’s second recommendation was the implementation of responsible government across the colonies. Following Durham's Report, the British government merged the two colonial provinces into one Province of Canada in 1840 with the Act of Union.


In 1848, Baldwin and LaFontaine, allies and leaders of the Reformist party, were asked by Lord Elgin to form an administration together under the new policy of responsible government. The French language subsequently regained legal status in the Legislature.

In the 1860s, the delegates from the colonies of British North America (Canada, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland) met in a series of conferences to discuss self-governing status for a new confederation.

The first Charlottetown Conference took place in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island followed by the Quebec Conference in Quebec City which led to a delegation going to London, Britain, to put forth a proposal for a national union.

As a result of those deliberations, in 1867 the Parliament of the United Kingdom passed the British North America Act, providing for the Confederation of most of these provinces.


June 2009

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