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Republic of Quebec
La République des Québécois
Flag of Quebec
Armoiries du Québec (1867-1939)
Flag Coat of arms
Motto: Je me souviens
("I remember")
Anthem: "Gens du pays"
Gens du pays
Capital Montréal
Largest city Rouillé
Official languages Quebec French
Demonym French: Québécois(e)
English: Quebecer or Quebecker
Supranational union Flag of the Conference of American States Conference of American States
Government Federal presidential republic
TBD
TBD
Legislature National Assembly of Quebec
Independence from the United Commonwealth
March 18, 1792
June 3, 1865
December 25, 1868
Area
• Total
2,868,944 km2 (1,107,705 sq mi)
Population
• 2016 estimate
53,075,963
• Density
11.06/km2 (28.6/sq mi)
Time zone UTC –6, –5, –4
Date format dd-mm-yyyy
Drives on the right

The Republic of Quebec (French: la République des Québécois) is a sovereign state situated in the North American continent, bordering Teutonica to the west; the United Commonwealth and the Northeast Union to the south; and the Maritimes, Newfoundland, and the French island of Saint-Pierre to the east.

The territory that now constitute Quebec (then known as New France) had been first colonized by France. Though interest among French authorities was initially low, the lucrative fur trade as well as the emergence of a successful commercial whaling industry had attracted a sizeable number of settlers; albeit the majority of whom went back to metropolitan France after amassing personal fortunes. Under the financial sponsorship of King Louis XIV, 1,536 filles du roi arrived in 1663 to 1673. Meanwhile, Cardinal Richelieu encouraged coexistence and cohabitation with the indigenes, with Catholic converts branded as "natural Frenchmen". These efforts led to a rapid population increase, and by its cession to the British following the Seven Year's War, Quebec had a population of approximately 140,000 inhabitants–far larger than any of France's possessions in the New World. Despite the deportation of the Acadians (eventually forming the Cajun community of Louisiana) and encouragement of immigration from Britain, the French still comprised the overwhelming majority of the population. The Quebec Act of 1774–which restored usage of French civil law for private matters, maintained the use of English common law for public administration, as well as guaranteed the free practice of Catholic faith–was established to secure the allegiance of the Québécois amidst instability in the Thirteen Colonies.

During the American Revolution (1775–1783), Quebec was invaded by the Americans, achieving a victory in Battle of Quebec albeit with it resulting in many casualties including the death of General Richard Montgomery, who led the campaign. However, the arrival of British and German reinforcements led to a stalemate until the end of the war. As part of the Treaty of Paris (1783), the territories east of the Mississippi river as well as the lands bordering the Great Lakes and areas adjacent to Quebec City had been transferred to American administration. British hopes to reconquer the area were thwarted following the War of 1812, though the Québécois resisted the rise of American nationalism in the subsequent Era of Good Feelings. The Canadian Purchase of 1825 (which ceded large portions of Rupert's Land), which coincided at the height of the Panic of 1825, resulted in the territorial reunification of Quebec while regions that had been heavily settled already by the British: The Maritimes, Newfoundland, and Labrador, remained under British colonial rule. The issue of whether or not Quebec would be a free state or a slave state, and concerns over the absorption of the majority-Francophone population, were cited as main reasons for Quebec's failed attempts at statehood–despite its population approaching a million people. Instead, it was designated as a self-governing territory via the Quebec Act of 1792, while the Quebec Act of 1830 prohibited American settlement of the territory to a quota of ~1,000 settlers per annum.

However, the loss of available farmland in the Midwest in the 1830s led to an influx of American settlers, attracted by the presence of rich unexploited land. The Americans did little to penalize those who broke the quota, and in-fact, encouraged it to solidify the United State's territorial legitimacy. Bitter land disputes, sectarian conflict, and segregation had heightened animosity between the Francophone Québécois and the Anglophone American settlers; further fueled by competition in the whaling and cod fishing industries. This anti-American sentiment had sown in the seeds of a Québécois separatist movement, and had sporadically coalesced into disorganized revolts. In 1865, the onset of the United States federal government's collapse following the Assassination of President Abraham Lincoln had initiated the Québécois Revolution. Considered part of the northern theatre of the War of Contingency, the independence of Quebec was guaranteed by Sierran, Brazorian, and British intervention. There was massive population upheaval during the war, with many Anglophone residents being forcibly expelled and their settlements resettled with Francophones. Following the war's end in 1868, the ratification of the Treaty of Montréal led to the recognition of independence, with the United States represented by its newly-organized successor state, the United Commonwealth. The socially-progressive Constitution established a secular government that had granted universal suffrage for all men and women above the age of majority, decriminalized homosexuality, upheld the free practice of religion, of speech, and of expression. Meanwhile, citizenship was to be granted to all who affiliate themselves to Quebec, regardless of race or ethnicity.

The Québécois Gilded Age (1870–1910) was characterized by the promotion of a Québécois national identity based on civic principles and its Francophone identity; both of which were principles ingrained into the constitution. Due to the disruption of the American economy by the war, Quebec had been able to participate at the forefront of the Second Industrial Revolution. Due to the intensity of economic growth, by 1900, Toronto and Montréal (Quebec's two largest cities) had both emerged as leading international financial centers. It also oversaw a gradual détente between it and the United Commonwealth, with bilateral relations not only re-established, but normalized in 1895. Despite past grievances, shared republican institutions and progressive social values, led to the establishment of a formal alliance as stipulated by terms of the Treaty of Continental-Québécois Amity of 1912. Amidst feelings of national unity, the Roaring Twenties consolidated Quebec's preeminence in the manufacturing sector, and its status as the epicenter of the newly-established automotive and aerospace industries; with the corporations of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler all being based there. This period of optimism came to an abrupt end in the Great Depression. The 1930s was characterized by economic woes and a shift to right-wing politics, as exhibited by a rise in nativist and anti-communist sentiment. The Immigration Act of 1933 implemented immigration quotas and in-practice effectively barred entry to Old World immigrants, especially those from Asia and Southern Europe. However, the Quebec New Deal pioneered by President Clark D. Summers led to the the entrenchment of worker's rights such as: the minimum wage, a standardized 40-hour working week, and mandatory two-week non-working period–which facilitated economic revitalization.

During World War I, Quebec remained neutral due to its large population of German immigrants. However, following the Japanese preemptive attack on Pearl Harbor, a joint Anglo-American overseas base situated in Hawaii, Quebec participated in World War II. Its controversial involvement and participation in the Manhattan Project with the Anglo-American community, and its leasing of land for nuclear weapon testing held it at odds with the general public. Despite historical tensions, the onset of the Cold War saw the drastic realignment of its foreign policy and increased cooperation with its Anglo-American neighbors; as attested by its co-founding of the Conference of American States (CAS) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The post-war period is colloquially referred to as Summer in Quebec, characterized by an unprecedented level of prosperity and intensive social liberalization, as cultural and social norms were shaped by Anglo-American popular culture. Meanwhile, the abolition of counter-immigration policies has led a renewed boom in immigration. However, as the sources of immigrants shifted from mainly Europe to Asia; Quebec's ethnic composition was inevitably altered, a shift that cemented the civic tenets of Québécois nationalism. Similarly, the Great Migration led to the influx of African-American immigrants, primarily within Detroit and the surrounding metropolitan area. The gradual southwards movement of Quebec's center of population has led to a "southernization" of Quebec.

Quebec is the eleventh-largest economy by nominal GDP, but thirteenth when adjusted for power purchasing parity (PPP), a feat that can be attributed to exceedingly high rates of worker productivity. As a result, Toronto and Montréal are one of the two foremost international trading and financial hubs, with the Toronto-Waterloo Corridor often referred to as the "Silicon Valley of the North". Owing to its long history of immigration, it is a prime example of cosmopolitan multiculturalism and is often considered a melting pot. Quebec is considered a middle power and a regional power, and is considered by some analysts as a second-tier emerging power. Apart from being a member of the Conference of American States (CAS), it is an observing member of the Trans-Pacific Allied Community (TPAC) and is a participant of the St. Louis Economic Zone.

Etymology

History

Pre-Columbian

New France

Early French exploration

Main article: Jacques Cartier

Jacques Cartier by Hamel

Portrait of Jacques Cartier by Théophile Hamel, c. 1844. No contemporary portraits of Cartier are known.

On June 24, 1534, French explorer Jacques Cartier planted a cross on the Gaspé peninsula and took possession of the territory under the name of King François I of France. On his second voyage on May 26, 1535, Cartier sailed upriver to the Saint-Laurence Iroquoian villages of Stadacona and Hochelaga, situated near present-day Quebec City and Montreal respectively. In 1541, Jean-François Roberval became lieutenant of New France and was tasked with establishing a new colony in North America; however, it was Cartier who established the first attempted European settlement in the New World, Charlesbourg Royal–situated in modern-day Cap-Rouge, Quebec City. However, the three voyages of Cartier had dismayed French authorities, who saw very little profitability in sponsoring further French colonial activity in North America. It was only until the end of the sixteenth century was interest within these northern territories renewed.

An increase in the demand for whale products led to the emergence of a competitive whaling industry, which alongside the lucrative fur trade, made France's territorial possessions within the region especially valuable. This allowed it to exert a monopoly over those industries, which garnered France a huge profit. The influx of merchants and fishermen, an increasing number of whom of whom began to opt for a permanent instead of a seasonal presence, led to a growth in the size and number of settlements. By the end of the seventeenth century, a census showed that there were ~20,000 French settlers permanently-residing in the lower Saint-Laurence Valley, which extended from modern-day Newfoundland to the Mississippi; the pattern of settlement typically coincided with networks of cod fishery and the fur trade.

French settlement

Main article: New France

Habitation de Quebec

Champlain's Habitation, c. 1608

Fillesduroi

Jean Talon, Bishop François de Laval and several settlers welcome several filles du roi upon their arrival. Painting by Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale

Current-day Quebec City was founded in 1608 by Samuel de Champlain, which was the first French settlement intended to house a large permanent population, rather than function as a simple trading post. Being Quebec's earliest settlement, it was initially the most-populous, and was designated as the capital of all French colonial possessions in North America (which was organized as New France, encompassing Acadia, Newfoundland, Louisiana and Quebec itself). At its establishment, it consisted of a single-walled building, an arrangement intended to provide protection to the settlers from the indigenous people. However, the settlement's overdependence on supplies shipped from metropolitan France, the inefficient utilization of land, and generally poor living standards contributed to a disproportionately high mortality. However, the expansion of agriculture and the continuous flow of immigrants (who were disproportionately male) led an eventual increase in population.

The Catholic Church was granted large tracts of land, amounting to nearly a third of all lands that had been granted by the French Crown in its New World possessions. After meeting with Samuel de Champlain, Cardinal Richelieu granted a charter to the Company of One Hundred Associates, which gave it a monopoly over the booming fur trade and land rights across the territory–in exchange for supporting the settlement of New France. For example, specific clauses in the charter required the recruitment of ~4,000 colonists into New France over the following 15 years. However, this request was largely ignored in-favor of focusing on the fur trade, with only ~300 permanent settlers arriving before 1640. The instability that had resulted from the Anglo-French War (1627–1629) led to the company's declaration of bankruptcy; with its monopoly revoked in 1641, and finally dissolving in 1662. New France underwent a period of political restructuring following the end of company rule. Following its establishment in 1663 by King Louis XIV of France, the Sovereign Council of New France emerged as the governing body of France's overseas territories, which sought to eventually incorporate it into metropolitan France as a province. Consisting of twelve members, it served as both its main judicial and legislative institution.

The growth of the population in the competing English colonies to the south had awakened concerns among the French authorities over the ability of France to assert control over its own territory. In order to stimulate population growth and entice the formation of families, the Intendant of New France, Jean Talon, proposed that the King sponsored the passage of at least five hundred women, a proposition which was accepted. Between 1663 and 1673, a total of approximately ~1,600 women were recruited and sent to New France, thrice that of the proposed amount. These women were given not only state patronage, but were granted dowry from the King. As a result, these women are colloquially referred to as the filles du roi, or the "King's daughters" in French. The program was declared a success, with the population of French settlers doubling during the period. Despite the intensification of French settlement in the New World, New France still remained fairly sparsely-populated, with a population of only ~140,000 residents at the time of British cession.

British conquest and occupation

Main articles: French and Indian War and Seven Years' War

American Revolutionary War

Main articles: Invasion of Quebec, American Revolutionary War

Death of General Montgomery

A painting dramatizing the death of General Richard Montgomery in the Battle of Quebec, (John Trumbull, 1786).

When the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783) broke out, the Province of Quebec targeted by American forces, who sought to exploit the rife anti-British sentiment among the majority Francophone population to turn the tide of war to their favor. In 1775, the Continental War mounted a two-pronged offensive; one army headed towards Montreal, and another traversing through country (in modern-day Maine) towards Quebec City. The two armies eventually joined forces, and achieved a victory in the Battle of Quebec; albeit at the cost of many casualties, including American General Richard Montgomery. The northwards advance of American forces was however, halted by the arrival of British and German reinforcements in 1776, with the campaign to seize the rest of Quebec reaching a stalemate.

Despite the northern borders remaining unchanged until the end of the war, control over the Saint-Laurence River basin enabled the Americans to effectively resist British counter-offensives in the failed Saratoga campaign. The ratification of the Treaty of Paris, which ended the war, placed the areas bordering the Great Lakes and the Saint-Laurence River under American occupation; and under the terms of the treaty, the Americans were obliged to grant it eventual independence or admit it as a state.

Territory of Quebec

See also: Northwest Ordinance, Territory of Quebec

Due to the ambiguity of the Treaty of Paris, the full extent of the lands granted to the United States was unclear, sparking frequent border disputes. It was only until the Jay Treaty when the Americans achieved undisputed rule over the current-day lands constituting Quebec. In spite of this, the Northwest Ordinance enacted in 1787 established two territories from the former Province of Quebec: the Northwest Territory, and the Territory of Quebec. As the former was sparsely inhabited and was therefore suitable for settlement, it was designated as an incorporated territory; whereas the latter had a preexisting population of French colonists, and was designated an unincorporated territory. Nevertheless, both territories were organized and granted self-rule. Quebec was forced to abandon its seigneurial system of land tenure, the French civil system, and separate Catholic institutions from government ones.

Since the onset of the Napoleonic Wars, Britain had enforced a naval blockade to choke off neutral trade to France, which the United States contested as illegal under international law. Furthermore, to man the blockade, Britain impressed American merchant sailors into the Royal Navy. As a result, relations between the United States and Great Britain became increasingly poor; aggravated by the latter's support of Indian raids into the former's territory, which had obstructed westwards expansion. These diplomatic tensions manifested into the War of 1812, which was partially driven by the political desire to integrate the rest of British North America. However, campaigns on both sides were repulsed. The resulting military stalemate prompted calls for peace, which was materialized in 1815 with the ratification of the Treaty of Ghent.

In spite of the treaty declaring no boundary changes, the Americans subsequently purchased British North America (with the exception of Newfoundland and the Maritimes) and the entirety of Rupert's Land in the Canada Purchase. The purchase occurred during the height of the Panic of 1825, which involved the closure of six of London's banks and sixty county banks, with the Bank of England threatened with closure as well. Perceived British failure to consolidate their colonial possessions in-face of a burgeoning United States and the low value of the land contributed to the British decision to cede the territories. The purchase not only reunified Quebec, but nearly quadrupled the land placed under its administration. Despite the abrupt revocation of its monopoly and the cessation of company rule, the Hudson's Bay Company were permitted to continue their economic activities in the Hudson drainage basin.

Early secessionist movements

War of Contingency

Québécois Revolution

Reconstruction era

Gilded Age

World War I

Interbellum era

World War II

Cold War

Great Migration

Contemporary era

Geography, climate, and environment

Fauna and flora

Demographics

Ethnography

Language

Religion

Family structure and law

Government and politics

Administrative divisions

Parties and elections

Foreign relations

Economy

Culture