By protecting the Catholic enclave within Canada, the Quebec Act basically ensured that the Canadian people would not be able to make common cause with the American colonists, who strenuously objected to their presence. When the imperial crisis reached its climax with the American Revolution, the French Canadians realized their best hope to retain their cultural and religious heritage was within the British Empire. In this sense, it helped to maintain Canada within the Empire, including a Francophone, Catholic province. It also severely alienated the colonists, both by protecting Catholicism and by extending Quebec into territory that was claimed by many wealthy Virginians. It might be too much to say that it made Canada what it is today, but it certainly was a major event in Canadian and North American history.