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What were the long-term implications of both the Royal Proclamation of 1763 and the...

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catalysts | Student, Grade 9 | eNoter

Posted May 24, 2013 at 1:14 AM via web

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What were the long-term implications of both the Royal Proclamation of 1763 and the Quebec Act of 1774 and which one do you think was best for the overall future of New France?

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 24, 2013 at 3:04 AM (Answer #1)

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In addition to forbidding American colonial settlement west of the Appalachians, the Proclamation of 1763 attempted to promote British settlement in Quebec, recently acquired after the French and Indian War. It did this in two ways. First, it mandated that American colonists could not settle west of the Appalachians, and that royal governors could not grant land there. This, it was hoped, would not only relieve British troops of the burden of protecting the frontier from Indian attacks, but it would funnel British Americans into abundant lands in Quebec and elsewhere. Second, it stipulated that British American culture would be protected in Quebec. It excluded French Canadiens from holding public office on the basis of their religion, and guaranteed English law would prevail in the territory. However, very few English moved to the colony (in part because so many simply ignored the Proclamation) and it remained predominately French Catholic. Only 500 moved there by 1765, in contrast with the over 70,000 Canadiens who inhabited the region.

The Quebec Act officially granted religious tolerance to Catholics, and allowed for French civil law. (English criminal law still applied however, and it should be noted that most attorneys in the province had been French Catholics despite the Proclamation of 1763). While governors were still encouraged to promote English culture, the Catholic Church was more or less left to function as it had before. Canadiens did not have to reject the Pope in loyalty oaths, and the Church, headed by a bishop, was left to collect tithes and administer itself. The Quebec Act also angered Americans by extending the borders of the province into Ohio. Both Acts were very significant in their time, and the Quebec Act more or less acknowledged what was already the case "on the ground" in Quebec, but still, it must be said, more or less guaranteed that the province would remain culturally, if not politically, French. 

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