How did the Quebec Act affect Indians?

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jstussy eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Quebec Act of 1774 was a law passed by the British Parliament intended to provide greater rights to the French inhabitants of Canada, which had come under British rule as a result of the 1763 Treaty of Paris.  The provisions of this Act included the following:  appointment of a new governor and council in Quebec; official recognition of the French civil code as operating in Quebec (with English law prevailing in criminal matters); recognition of the Roman Catholic Church enabling Catholics to hold public office; extension of Quebec's boundaries south to the Ohio River and west to the Mississippi River.

In spite of the good intentions of this particular act, the American colonists viewed it as simply another "Intolerable" act, as it came quick on the heels of the "Coercive Acts" designed to punish them for their disobedience.  Furthermore, the fear existed that with the Quebec Act, a Roman Catholic French Empire would re-emerge in American colonial territory.

The Quebec Act affected not only the French Canadians and the American colonists, but also the Native Americans living within the area.  In particular, territory that had once been ceded to them in the Treaty of Paris was now granted to the Quebecois (French natives of Quebec).  This effectively rendered the Proclamation Line (which marked the boundary of colonial westward expansion), as well as Native American policy in general, useless and invalid.

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