Constitutional saga

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The people of Québec have been ruled from the capital of France for about 150 years (1608-1760), from that of Great Britain for 107 years (1760-1867), from that of Great Britain and of Canada for 64 years (1867-1931) and from that of Canada without supervision from Great Britain for 77 years (1931-).

Since 1776 and 1789, every generation of Quebecers has wanted to change the constitution of their home country, through profound reform or other means.

Kingdom of France (225 years)

For some 225 years, the populations of Quebec were subjects of the Kings of France.

French company rule (129 years)

In the early days of the French colonization, the French subjects were under the dominion of trade companies in all parts of New France (Canada, Acadia, Louisiana etc.). Until 1663, a succession of different trade companies, the Compagnie de Rouen (1613 to 1620), Compagnie de Montmorency (1621 to 1627), Compagnie des Cent-Associés de la Nouvelle-France (1627-1645) and Compagnie des Habitants (1645-1663), were responsible for the administration and development of the Laurentian colony popularly called Canada.

  • 1627 - Edict of the King of France creating the Company of One Hundred Associates (Read full text in French)
  • 1645 - The Company of One Hundred Associates transfers its monopoly over Canada to the Compagnie des Habitants

French Royal province (96 years)

Constitution of New France, 1759

In 1663, New France was turned into a royal province of the Kingdom of France. Examples of other provinces of France at the time were Poitou, Saintonge, Aunis, Picardy etc. New France being an immense territory many times larger than France itself, the provincial government was divided into administrations that were largely autonomous from each other. Canada was itself divided into three districts (Québec, Trois-Rivères and Montréal) each having its own government.

The colony of Acadia, ceded to Great Britain with the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, never had the time and resources to give itself a full set of provincial institutions.

The immense colony of Louisiana, founded in 1699, remained under company rule (Compagnie de Crozat, then Compagnie des Indes) until 1732, when the royal government was implanted. By the 1750s, Louisiana had a full set of provincial institution and was largely autonomous from the central government of New France located in Canada.

  • 1663 - Edict of the King of France creating of the Superior Council of Quebec (Read full text in French)

Kingdom of Great Britain (171 years)

British military rule (4 years)

  • 1760 - Articles of Capitulation of Montreal. The Canadiens are made British subjects (Read full text)

British royal regime without representation (28 years)

Constitution of the Province of Québec, 1775

In 1763, French Canada is given the name of Province of Quebec. However, the inhabitants of the country will stubbornly continue to call themselves Canadiens for a very long time...

  • 1763 - Treaty of Paris, (Read full text)
  • 1763 - On October 7, Royal Proclamation (Read full text)
  • 1765 - British merchants established in Quebec petition for a colonial House of Commons for Protestants alone.
  • 1773 - On October and November, British merchants and a few Canadiens petition for an elective House of Commons.
  • 1773 - In December, Canadien landlords petition for the conservation of Canadian civil laws and ask to be granted the rights and the privileges of British subjects.
  • 1774 - On June 22, The Quebec Act formalizes the status quo (Read full text)
  • 1784 - Pierre du Calvet publishes Appel à la justice de l'État which includes a constitutional project
  • 1784 - A group of 2291 people (1436 Canadiens and 855 British) petition for the establishment of an elective House of Assembly for all without regards to nationality or religion. (Read full text)

British parliamentary regime with powerless elected house (46 years)

Constitution of the Province of Lower Canada, 1792
  • 1791 - On June 10, the Constitutional Act (Read full text)
  • 1800 to 1822 - Battle for the right to vote the civil list annually, control of the budget, demands for an elective legislative council and a government responsible to the house of representatives, petitions against the Union project etc.
  • 1822 - British merchants and bureaucrats petition for the Union of Upper and Lower Canada into a single colony before the British Parliament in London.
  • 1823 - On May 10, Louis-Joseph Papineau and John Neilson are delegated to Westminster by the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council to present a petition of 60,000 signatures against the Union project. (read Letter from Papineau and Neilson to the Under Secretary of State on the Proposed Union)
  • 1834 - The Ninety-Two Resolutions of the House of Assembly (Parti patriote) are sent to London. (Read full text)
  • 1837 - The Ten Resolutions of John Russell (Read full text)
  • 1837 - Boycott of all British imports, numerous public meetings to protest against the despotic rule of London over Lower Canada and Upper Canada, organization of the Fils de la liberté, mandates of arrest on the leaders of the Patriote movement, the armed resistance to their arrest by three leaders is crushed by the British army.

British military rule & Special council (3 years)

  • 1838 - Declaration of Independence of Lower Canada by Robert Nelson who invades the country with a small party of patriots exiled in the USA (Read full text)

British parliamentary regime with powerless elected house & underrepresentation (8 years)

British parliamentary regime with powerful elected house & underrepresentation (19 years)

  • 1848 - A French motion for the restoration of the French language, representation proportional to the population (rep-by-pop), double-majority principle to work around the Union Act's very purpose, Rebellion Losses Bill, Burning of the Parliament.
  • 1864 - Québec Resolutions. Many politicians voice against the confederation and demand for a referendum on the question confident it will be rejected by voters.

British federal dominion rule, provincial autonomy (64 years)

Quebec elects a minority of the members of the federal parliament, however Quebec's Franco-Catholic majority can take control of the Parliament of Quebec if they can only get the Catholic clergy to stop interfering in temporal affairs.

  • 1867 - British North America Act (Read full text)
  • 1867 - In September, Liberal Premier of Nova Scotia elected on an anti-confederation agenda, various demands for the breakup of the confederation, major electoral fraud allows for the election of the pro-confederation party in Quebec.

Beginning of a long saga to reform the constitution of the Dominion of Canada. Quebec demands the respect of its exclusive provincial powers by Ottawa, bilingualism in the other provinces too and a decentralization of federal powers so that Canada be a real binational confederation.

Canadian federation (75 years)

Canadian rule, provincial autonomy weakened (51 years)

  • 1931 - Westminster Statute (Read full text)
  • 1971 - Victoria Charter (Read full text)
  • 1980 - Québec Sovereignty-Association Referendum: 60% of the Quebec electorate rejects the project

Canadian rule, unsigned constitution (25 years)

  • 1982 - Unconstitutional and illegitimate patriation of the BNAA by the federal government
  • 1982 - Constitutional Act adopted without Quebec (Read full text)
  • 1987 - Meech Lake Accord collapses
  • 1992 - Charlottetown Accord Referendum: The Accord is rejected by both the Quebec electorate and Canadian electorate
  • 1995 - Québec Sovereignty with Partnership Referendum: 50.6% of the Quebec electorate rejects the project. However, a major case of fraud is revealed.
  • 1998 - Clarity Act (Bill C-20) (Read full text)
  • 1999 - Rights and Prerogatives of the people of Québec (Bill 99) (Read full text)


From province of France, to province of Great Britain to province of Canada for a total of some 472 years in 2006.

What does Québec want? Independence!!! Sovereignty of the people!!! Home Rule!!! Self-Government!!! Call it want you want!