Life in British North America after the Conquest
Articles of Capitulation Article XXVII – Free exercise of Catholicism in colony Article XL – Aboriginal peoples allowed to remain on the land British impose a military governor Allow French language to continue, as well as Seigneurial system
1. If the Catholic Church was still in a position of influence, the people of the colony would not come to the British for social assistance when it was needed; 2. To counter-balance the growing discontent in the thirteen American colonies 3. French Canadians were unlikely to get involved in politics of the colony, leaving it to Protestant English. French Catholics were forbidden from voting or running for office and only Protestants could become lawyers, judges or serve on juries
One of the most significant documents in Canadian history “peace, welfare, and good government” Guaranteed French language, culture, religion Guaranteed large chunks of land as Aboriginal territory
Prevented westward expansion of the colonies Felt controlled by British Relationship with Aboriginal peoples Manifest Destiny
1996 Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples says it is the defining document, particularly around land ownership Cornerstone of relationship between the Crown and Aboriginal People
“It has been the opinion of very many able lawyers, that the best way to establish the happiness of the inhabitants is to give them their own laws, as far as relates to their own possessions.” British Prime Minister Lord North
One of the most significant documents in Canadian History Confirmed that Quebec would retain their language, religion and hierarchical structure in society They would not have an elected legislature or any representative government Prevented American attempts to take over more western Aboriginal territory
Quebec was judged to be unique in North America Allowed French Civil law to apply, but imposed British Criminal Law British wanted to keep French on-side and prevent them from joining the rebellious Americans to the South.
Did not mention Aboriginal Peoples at all – this will have severe consequences in the years to come
Concerned that British refused to allow assembly in Quebec (Perhaps theirs could be revoked?) British reminded them that their elected assemblies were a privilege – not a right Roman Catholicism was outlawed in British Empire – but allowed in Quebec? Prevention of westward expansion
Taxation without representation Defray cost of 7 years war and of keeping a standing army in the colonies “Representation” not universal No women, slaves, Aboriginal Peoples, Jews of Catholics were allowed to vote or hold office Only free male, Protestant landowners had a right to vote
July 1775 Continental Congress of Thirteen Colonies The Quebec Act demonstrated “a despotism dangerous to our very existence.” Propaganda from Thirteen Colonies targeted Quebec Tried to convince them to join the Continental Congress calling them “fellow sufferers of the “fetters of slavery” imposed by British rule. Quebec religious leaders encouraged neutrality
1775 – American militia and British troops begin to battle in the colonies. 1776 – Declaration of Independence 1783 – Treaty of Paris 1784 – Arrival of Loyalists to NB, NS, Ontario
American forces attack Quebec – repelled Several Aboriginal tribes sided with British – Mohawk, Onondaga, Cayuga and Seneca of the Six Nations Iroquois Alliance Ferocity of Iroquois attacks on American forces enraged General George Washington He ordered “the total destruction and devastation of their settlements and the capture of as many prisoners, of every age and sex as possible.” “lay waste to all the settlements around with instructions to do it in the most effectual manner, that the country not be merely overrun but destroyed.” Within two months all settlements were destroyed.
Not mentioned, represented or thought of in Treaty of Paris Aboriginal Territory west of Thirteen Colonies ceded to USA – Aboriginal people’s lost land Weakened by war – Aboriginal Peoples moved north to British North America British set aside Crown land in Upper Canada colony in 1784, but by 1828 only one third of it was left – lost the rest to land grants, encroaching settlers and sale/lease agreements.